Eye on the Ball…
How far back in the archives of memory can you go to recall
the first time you were told “keep your eye on the ball”? For me, I was so
young that I had no idea of what the advice meant and I was confused. How I
would ever get my eye out of my head and on to the ball, never mind answering
why I would want to do such a thing? In education, this is known as a
misconception. It is the job of a teacher to discover students’ misconceptions
and demystify them in order to promote learning.
The theory of dice setting and manipulation is fairly
simple and you can find numerous pages within the Dice Setter web site
explaining the process. What is not so simple is for the player to develop a
consistency with their toss from table to table, casino to casino, and from
the home practice rig to the real thing.
Demystifying the misconception, that all you have to do is
practice a lot, does not necessarily get the prize. If you practice with wrong
notions or bad habits, you will become very good at the bad habits and
notions. “How come my dice look great at home and at the casino they look like
junk?” is a question that comes my way several times a month.
No two casinos are a like any more than any two craps
tables. Certainly a practice rig at home, even if you have your own table, it
is not going to be like the conditions found in a live game. What is the point
then of practice?
An overlooked element and probably the most important
reason for practice is consistency through observation. Learn to
observe the dice from start to finish. After all, this skill of dice
manipulation is hinged to hand eye coordination. Anyone that has used a bow
and arrow free style will understand this. You place the arrow where you are
looking. There is no aiming involved. It is all intuitive shooting. (The
Zen of Archery for more on this.)
Observing the dice as they come out of your hand will
immediately tell you everything about your resulting throw. Watching the dice
fly through the air, rotating, landing, and their position, provides you with
valuable information. Without this information you will not be able to make
adjustment or correction to an errant toss. You will be stuck wondering if you
are just wasting your time.
It is recommended, if you have an opportunity, to have a
“hands on” lesson from one of our coaches. Being observed and having your
toss tweaked is probably the quickest sure fix for bad habits and
The list below is simplified, never the less I present key
important elements for consideration if you feel that you are missing
something in your toss. Every sport has specific physical postures to
obey for optimum results. In golf keep your head down. Baseball, eye on the
ball. Football eye on the ball. Basketball bend knees, arch the ball, eye on
the goal. Archery eye on the bulls eye and anchor the hand drawing the string.
Okay, that should give you the idea of some hand eye
With the dice consider these:
have gripped the dice, position your hand with the dice perpendicular and
parallel to the table.
your back hand to the table becomes your anchor spot. (consistency)
are able to turn your head and focus eyes on your landing zone. (Hand/eye
coordination) You look at the place where you intend to drop your dice.
is anchored and your eyes dictate “range to target”, lock and
load, message sent to your throwing arm.
motion with building momentum directs the speed and arc.
As the arm
swings upward, your hand comes into your field of vision.
the split second before shooting the dice, you sent the message, eye to
brain, brain to hand, where to toss the dice, you now can observe how the
dice leave your hand and travel in space to their destination.
following a duck shot from the air, carefully observe every element once the
dice leave your hand.
train yourself to develop this skill it slots in automatically same as the
way you quickly arranging the dice before picking them up.
practice it is second nature just like a quarterback scours the defense
looking for their open receiver.
In this way
you can observe any inconsistencies in your toss, table to table, and know
what is happening with your dice. Once you recognize a flaw, you just have
to make an adjustment in your procedure.
I guess it is true. Beauty is in the eye the... dice
Thanks to the Professor at
P4K for helping me with part of
observation and hand eye for dice.
If you are not Playing 4 Keeps,
perhaps you should.
Do's and Don'ts of Dice Playbook
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