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Dice Setter Precision Shooter's Newsletter

Volume IV : Issue I

July/August 2004

Wow!  Where has the summer gone?  I must apologize.  I've been quite remiss in getting the newsletter out.  Between work, vacations with the family and other summertime activities, I've had very little "free" time.   A lot has happened in recent weeks, especially on the message board. Several members have done some amazing dice set and betting analysis which I believe is the most important information to come along since Zeke and Yuri brought us the basic theory.  This analysis will both shake up the dice influencing community, and have a huge impact on our profitability.  In addition, these shooters have mathematically, and conclusively debunked the hardways set as a sevens avoidance once and for all.  If you haven't stopped by the message board lately, I highly recommend that you do so.

Let's get on with the newsletter.....

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at ed@dicesetter.com Thanks for your continued support of Dice Setter!

In this edition:
Crapsfest 2004
Shooting From The Don’ts…A Journey of Opportunity - Part I
Maddog's Journey - Part 4


Las Vegas Crapsfest 2004! - October 15 - 17, 2004

October is just around the corner!  Heavy, Dice Coach, Michael Vernon and Soft Touch have planned a very special, fun-filled weekend!    In addition to our regular classes on Saturday and Sunday, we have an exciting event planned for Friday as well.   Join us for shooting demonstrations, various speakers, toss tweaks, fantastic prizes and giveaways and much, much more!   For complete information, click the link or the banner above!  Enrollment prices go up after Labor day, so sign up now. Look for the final list of speakers in next months newsletter!

Shooting From The Don’ts…A Journey of Opportunity - Part I
by the Mad Professor

I didn’t want to use too many superlatives in the title of this article, but frankly it should have been called:

Shooting From The Don’ts…an Extraordinary Journey of Remarkable Opportunities and Amazing Discoveries…with a Couple of Setbacks and Notable Kicks in the Ass Along the Way”. 

Okay, it’s a few too many words to fit onto the masthead of even MY ego, but it pretty much sums up what I encountered when I set out to determine whether a skilled craps-player could make enough money STRICTLY as a Darkside-SHOOTER to make it worth his while. 

What I discovered will open the minds of some, and cast even more deserved credit to those who have been doing the very same thing for a long time now.

To both of those groups, I offer a clean windshield co-driver seat as I narrate this journey of dicesettings darkside-potential.

The Perspective

Sooner or later, nearly every skilled Precision-Shooter considers the opportunities offered by shooting the dice from the DARKSIDE.  While some players have a hard time picturing themselves doing this at a crowded table, many others have no qualms about it at all.

Certainly the profit-potential offered by a quick 7-Out are quite attractive, especially when employed at an empty table where you can get the dice returned to you over and over again without interruption, or when used on a quick Hit’n’Run get-inget-out casino raid.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that the whole idea of shooting from the Darkside doesn’t appeal to many players because it not only goes against their sensibility of fair-play and camaraderie; and but they believe that it upsets the metaphysical energy and life-force around them, as well.  Many dicesetters simply don’t like the dirty looks from right-side players or for “the daggers to be out” when it comes to their turn to shoot.  They rightly want to maintain the good positive vibes, which they reason is only obtainable when shooting from the right-side (unless of course you have a table full of Darksiders).

However, the fact is that some players either can’t develop their Precision-Shooting skills to a high enough edge over the casino to make sustainable profit while shooting from the right-side; or they simply like shooting from the Don’ts BECAUSE it suits their personality. 

In either case, the pre-disposition of the “7” to show up when using certain dice-sets, makes it quite a bit easier to accomplish Precision-Shooting success when shooting from the Darkside than it does when shooting from the “Do”.

Let me repeat that:

Precision-Shooting success is easier to accomplish when shooting from the Darkside than it is when shooting from the “Do”.

That in and of itself is a pretty compelling reason to at least consider the entire idea.

How about I put it another way?

If you have the “7” working IN your favor during the Point-cycle, as opposed to working AGAINST you; then you are in a much better position to take profitable advantage of it.

If your shooting-skills don’t have to be nearly as good before you get to make some reliable profit; then in my books, this concept holds even more merit for those who have had difficulty in converting their SKILL into sustainable PROFIT.

Welcome to the “Credit Where Credit is Due” Department

Let’s be frank.  There are a number of very accomplished dicesetters who have already embarked on the same darkside-shooting journey, and they’ve succeeded at it like it’s nobody’s business. 

There are even a handful of players who frequent the Message Boards, but aren’t necessarily the most prolific message-posters on the net; so their message has been largely ignored.  In fact, that’s part of the appeal of WrongWay-shooting…it flies under almost EVERYONE’S radar…including OURS.

They have profitably succeeded at shooting from the Don’ts, and have done it SO successfully that they have continued to cruise under OUR radar.  When you put that into a real-world casino context; where even an airborne E-3 Sentry AWACS couldn’t pick them out against the ground-clutter of random-rollers…that tells you how far under the detection-net they are…and they remain so to this very day.

In this series I will be discussing some of their camouflage and “masking” methods, along with a few of their best Romulan-cloaking techniques.  Frankly some of it is so good, even I never would have thought of it on my own.  On the other hand, most of it is SO simple, it fits right into the easiest-to-understand “hiding in plain sight” concept.

That Brings Us to The Present…

Obviously I had figured out this whole “easier-to-succeed-from-the-DP” thing a long time ago, but I had mostly chosen the right-side strategy of achieving as many multiple PL-Point and Box-number laden rolls as possible.  After all, if the tables are crowded and your casino selection is limited, most players want to make the most of their talents and limited shooting opportunities; which in most cases means going for the multi-Point, plentiful box-number mega-hand approach.

I’m still a strong believer in that concept, and I continue to make piles of money as a right-side shooter, however I wanted to expand my horizons a little further, by seeing just how far Darkside shooting could carry me.  Although I had done it before, usually on an “I’ll throw from the DP in order to get out of this shooting-slump” basis, I wanted to try it out on a multi-table, multi-casino, multi-city, multi-province, multi-state and multi-PROFIT trial. 

It was at that point that I decided to set out on this six-province, four-state expedition into the deep, murky and mostly uncharted waters of steadily profitable Darkside-shooting. 

This is a journal of my voyage.

Craps…Maritime Style

Casino Nova Scotia is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Canada’s east coast.  It is owned by the Caesars Entertainment empire, so that means they know how to run a casino, and they know how to treat a guest. 

Pulling into Valet Parking set the tone for the rest of my stay there.  New and returning guests are treated with a welcome that Tourism and Convention Bureaus across the world would have wet-dreams over.  Short of slaughtering a fattened calf for the return of the Prodigal Son, they make you feel like a long lost family member being welcomed home after many years of being lost at sea.

I’ve played craps in every single corner of this planet.   From the dusty Australian Outback…to the teeming streets of downtown Seoul…from a converted Army barracks casino in Davao City (Philippines)…to the Gallipoli Peninsula of Turkey…I’ve tossed the dice on nearly every legal casino craps table from South America to North Africa…and to my mind, the absolute friendliest people in the craps-playing universe are found in Nova Scotia.

Okay..tourism commercial ends…let the craps play begin…

The Preparation

I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted to approach the entire setting and betting angle as a Don’t Pass shooter, but I also knew enough to be open-minded to modifying that plan if anything needed to be changed.

As soon as I got to my suite, I took a long shower that was as much therapeutic as it was for just washing off the road dust. 

I got out a pair of dice to do a couple of perfunctory tosses across the king-size duvet that covered the bed.  This was simply to see how the dice were leaving my hand and flying through the air.  I wasn’t too worried about the landing or the outcome.  I was more interested to see how much the highway miles had affected my ability to release them smoothly and fly mirror-like through the air.  It only took a half dozen or so tosses to confirm that I hadn’t sustained any temporary nerve damage by gripping the hand-stitched steering wheel too firmly over almost 1200 miles. 

Normally, I recommend that a player take sufficient time to rest up and regroup before hitting the tables.  The advice that Heavy and others have given on this topic should generally be heeded, especially if it’s been some time since your last major casino session.  Some people require a good night of sleep and a fresh start in the morning.  For me, a long shower is generally enough time to calm any anxiety or over-anxiousness that might be hiding just below the surface of my apparent calmness.

Admittedly, I was anxious to get to the tables to try this new, dedicated Darkside-shooting out.  To be fair, I had run many simulated sessions on my at-home craps table, but this was clearly something completely different.

If I knew then, just HOW different it was from what I was expecting, I would have done much more mental preparation.  Though I had the physical side of the Darkside game down pat; I was soon to find out in the days and weeks to come, that I needed much more girding of my mental-loins in intellectual preparation.

Casino Nova Scotia’s Tables

Ah, make that The TABLE---singular.  They only had one table open while I was there, but thankfully it was never packed, even on the weekend.  While it did get busiest at night, I was usually one of only eight to ten players even at the most heavily occupied of times.  At other hours, I was normally sharing the table with only three or four players.  I was pleasantly surprised that the conditions stayed just as good over the next couple of days.

Like I said earlier, the profit-potential offered by a quick 7-Out is quite attractive, especially when employed at an empty table or used on a quick Hit’n’Run raid.  As I was to find out again and again, both Empty Table solo-shooting and busy table Hit’n’Run opportunities would present themselves over and over again, literally hundreds of times during this cross-continent adventure.

The CNS table rolled quite neutral from nearly every player position, and I did in fact end up trying nearly every one of them except the outer “hook” position at each end.  The dice landed on the unpadded felt with a satisfying heavy click, and the backwall wasn’t at all lively; meaning the rollbacks were extremely limited. 

The actual felt appeared to be several months old, but there weren’t the usual wear-marks in the high-traffic areas that you’d normally expect.   I also noticed that they vacuum the entire layout every morning around 6:00 a.m.

The one tiny flaw I did detect was that if you rolled the dice into the bottom margin of the non-alligatored part of the backwall where it starts to curve towards the outer (player-side) hook; one die (the left-hand cube) would roll back INTO the other (the right-hand cube), thereby giving a maddeningly consistent one-face off-axis flop.  The cure was simple enough…just don’t throw into the outside corner, BUT there was an oh-so-perfect sweet-spot that was right near (about 1 inches away) from that curved-margin danger-zone.  That meant I had to be extra careful with my targeting and dice-alignment.

Over the next couple of days, I think that danger-zone/money-zone awareness actually increased my focus quite a bit.

The Play

My intention was to start out betting and shooting on a fairly simple and straight-forward basis. 

The plan was to set up a bet on the Don’t Pass Line and then once the Point was established, try to roll the 7-Out as quickly and painlessly as possible. 

It was my intention to wait for one roll after establishing the Point, and then to start adding Lay-Odds in single-unit presses every other roll, until I reached max-Odds.

This simple approach was intentional. 

I wanted to re-validate my in-casino DP-shooting before I started to get fancy or riskier with my bets.  I certainly didn’t plan on unleashing them all at once.  

       Yes, I had a number of wrong-way betting-methods that I used during this trip. 

       Yes, I will explain each and every one of them in painful detail.

       Yes, I will discuss the merits of various dice-sets for the Come-Out and Point-cycle throws.

       Yes, I will give you all the details of how to tie your current DP-shooting skills into wagering-approaches that are best suited to your CURRENT abilities.

       Yes, I will look at nearly every aspect of WrongWay shooting that you can think of…and perhaps a few that you haven’t thought of.

       No, I cannot stuff all of that information into one article; so you’ll have to be patient as each new piece in this series is released.

Whenever I make a major change to one of the fundamental aspects of my game (and switching over to Darkside-shooting as an entire game-plan definitely constitutes a major change), it’s important to ensure that all the other fundamental elements of Precision-Shooting and Precision-Betting are still in good working order before you start laying out major coinage on those ideas.  That way, you can get comfortable with the new approach, and reduce your risk to it’s lowest denominator until you have verified that what works on the practice rig is just as profitably transferable to the real-world tables.

Crawl before you walk…and learn to drive properly before you strap your ass behind a 650 horsepower engine.  That advice has held me in pretty good stead over the years, and the same holds true for wagering on any yet-to-be-proven “let’s change our fundamental approach to the game” ideas.

click here for the rest of the article!

Maddog's Journey
by Maddog

Part 4: The Puppy’s First Hunt
(part 1 was in the  Feb/March Newsletter, part 2 was in the April Newsletter and part 3 was in the May/June Newsletter)

Have you ever seen that show “COPS”.  You know how it starts out with “This program contains graphic contents.  Viewer discretion advised”.  Then it goes into that well known theme song; “Bad boys, Bad boys, whatcha gonna do…”

Well, that’s your warning for this issue of the Maddog’s Journey.  The contents are not pretty, so viewer discretion is advised.  If you have a weak stomach you may wish to skip this report and go onto the next article.   On the other hand, if you are one of those folks who can’t seem to look away from a train wreak… well, read on.

Here I was with my nice cardboard box practice rig.  I’d gotten the felt wrapped board into the bottom to keep the used casino dice from tearing up the box bottom.  I was practicing when I could.  I’d guess I was practicing one or twice a week.  I’d practice whenever I didn’t have anything else going on.  I’d say I was into the practicing for about 2 months then and I was recording enough difference in the occurrence of the 7 that I felt comfortable with continuing.  Enough difference to say “Hey, maybe this can work.” (I wasn’t practicing enough, but we’ll come to that.)

It seemed like I was tossing consistently.  The four fingered top grip (BTW, why isn’t this just called the 3 fingered grip and assume the thumb?) felt pretty comfortable and it seemed like I was getting pretty good at gripping the dice consistently each time. (I really wasn’t, but we’ll come to that.)

Oh, sure, the toss results were still a bit sporadic.  I still had dice dancing all around my practice box.  Sometimes the dice would hit the back of the box hard enough to roll back out the front.  There were quite a few occurrences of the dice kicking left or right and hitting against the side walls of the box.  Sometimes the dice would get stuck in one of the box corners.  I guess that’s one of the idiosyncrasies of a square cornered practice box.  But, still, I was getting used to tossing into the box and building up some “muscle memory”.  From the simple check-mark tracking I was doing I was gaining confidence. The results were showing that I was getting a slightly different result from the expectations tables. I felt like it was all good. Yeah, making progress. (I actually had a long way to go, but we’ll come to that.)

The things that I was reading on dicesetter.com were making sense to me.  Based on the many posts and articles it looked like I was heading in the right direction with my practice and results.  I’d read somewhere that I needed to read the material “till I puked and then read it some more”. (Famous words from Grits or Golfer?) I’d read several articles and I guess I felt like puking. Least wise everything was starting to sound the same so I figured I’d gotten the gist of what there was to read. (I might have gotten the general picture, but I hadn’t really pulled out the gold nuggets of info yet… oh yea, but we’ll come to that.)

I had moved from the “hardways” set that I had been practicing with based on SS’s book, and had switched to using the 3V (Hard-six Flying V) pre-set.  When you study the available craps bets, you’ll find that the 6 and 8 offer low vig, very similar to a straight Pass Line bet.  And when bet as a pair, they offer 10 ways of hitting (5 ways each for the 6 & 8) vs the 6 ways of hitting the 7, so that seems like a smart bet.  The 3V is supposed to be the best pre-set for hitting sixes and eights and so everything seemed to come together as a sweet little strategy.  The next chance I had to head to the casino; I had a “Plan”.  That plan was to use the 3V and to bet $12 each on six and eight, take one hit and regress, then press every other hit from there.  One hit would pay $14, I’d regress to $6 each on the six and eight for $12 on the table.  One hit and an automatic $2 win, with more to come. The plan was so perfect in its simplicity.  How could I lose?  (There are a lot of assumptions in that paragraph! Right, we’ll come to that in a few seconds.)

Well I finally got a opportunity for a day trip to the casino.  An chance to give this whole Dice Influencing thing a try.  This puppy was pretty excited about the “hunt” and to be honest I was also a bit nervous.  But all in all I was looking forward to a chance to give it a shot.

Took a bankroll of about 600 bucks and figured I’d split it into two sessions.

Well, I said this was going to be an ugly story, but now that I’m here, I don’t really want to relive the horrid details of that outing.  Instead of a blow-by-blow account, how about if I give ya just a couple of highlights (err, lowlights).  See if you’ve experienced any of these…

~ Get to the table and hands a bit shaky.  Can’t seem to get the dice into the sets as fast as I thought I could.  Seems to take forever to fumble the dice into position and it feels like you’re on trial for some crime with the judge and jury staring at your every move.  A couple of times it seemed like the dice had some pips missing, cuz I couldn’t ever find the numbers I was after.  A few times I’d get so frustrated trying to find the set that I’d just picked em up and huck em, too nervous to even toss them correctly.  Every toss was rushed and either tossed so hard the dice come banging off the back wall or over compensating and tossing so soft as to not get the dice to roll out past the pass line. 

~ How can you lose with the simple 6&8 strategy?  Easy, never hit the six or the eight.  Roll a 5 and a 4 and a 5 and a 3 and a 9 and a 7-out.

~ Damn, can’t hit the six or eight; let’s go back to the old betting strategy of $20 outside.  Oh nice, now I need 2 or 3 hits to get covered. Pressing? Ok, now you need 5 or 6 hits to get paid.  Oh look, here comes the sixes and eights.

~ Damn, getting low on ammo.  Let’s re-buy for a couple o’ Benjamin’s.

~ Point – seven. Point – seven. Come on, we can do this! Point – seven. (seems the records stuck). Ok, I’m broke, let’s take a break.

~ Ready to go for the second session.  Can’t buy in on a hundred, where is that ATM machine?

~ More of the same until, “Where did all my money go?”  Gotta give this one more shot and really focus this time, but first, where is that ATM machine?

Melt-down.  Blow-out. Wipe-out.   Bankrupt.  Idiot.  Call it what you like, all the terms fit, and I deserved to hear them all.

I had practiced a bit and I thought I had the thing figured out.  But that first session was a disaster.  The nerves hit, the conditions weren’t the same as I’d expected, and certainly the results didn’t turn out as planned.  I wasn’t prepared to fall short of my daydream and wasn’t mature enough to realize it wasn’t working and to stop the train.  I kept thinking I would turn it around on the next hand.  The result was Bankroll blow-out.  Never posted that trip report.  It was far too embarrassing to write up.  Now that I’ve put some distance between that experience and today, I’m a bit more comfortable about letting it out.

SIDEBAR Here’s an idea.  Approach your next outing with the “intention” to write a trip report.  It is interesting how feeling responsible to “report back”, even to a group of complete strangers, enhances your awareness and focus on the game.  Even if you don’t actually write a trip report when you get back (but, please do ‘cause I love reading them) you will find a heightened attentiveness of your tossing and somewhat increased concentration on your game.

After that session fiasco, I was at the proverbial “Fork in the road”.  I had to decide that either “This doesn’t work” or “I gotta try harder”.  I don’t accept failure very easily, so I decided to take the road of trying harder.  I wanted to really give this a shot, and I was going to really give it a shot.  I was going to work harder, study harder and learn more, and practice harder with the intention of becoming a perfect tosser.

I said we'd get back to some of those assumptions I was making.   Let’s take a look at a few of them.

~ Assuming once or twice a week is enough practice.  It might be enough if I’d been doing this for several years, but I was just starting out.  It just wasn’t enough to really develop the skills needed to be consistent.

~ Assuming that “better then Chicken Feeder” consistency was precision shooter consistency.  Seeing an improvement in SRR is a good sign, but alone, it falls short of indicating how you can perform at the table.  I wasn’t really tracking my results to know what numbers I should be throwing and betting.  Even with an SRR of 8,9, or 15, a Dice Influencer can still walk away from the table a loser if s/he doesn’t correctly bet the action.

~ Assuming it’s natural for the dice to jump about a bit. Dice popping left or right.  Dice crossing each other.  Dice bouncing out of the box.  All these are RED flags.  When I first looked at Yuri’s book and saw the picture with the pile of dice in a tight group, I figured he must have just put them there for the picture.  No way could he toss them all into a tight pile like that.  I’ve learned I was WRONG. With proper practice and training; we can get tight dice landings and groupings.  In fact, we need to be able to land the dice, keep them together and have them end up within an inch or so of each other. 

~ Assuming most articles, books, and posts contain the same information.  I’m going to follow up on this topic a bunch in an upcoming article.  There is so much material provided for us that it can become overwhelming.   Sometimes we might read an article with some really good information.  We think yeah that is correct and makes a bunch of sense.  Then, in the heat of battle, forget all about the good instruction and advice, falling back to old habits.  Go back and re-read the article again and realize “oh, yes. That is exactly what happened”.  Suddenly the information takes on new life and meaning.  As experience is gained over time, the articles begin to make more and more sense and provide fresh enlightenment.  The information is meant to be read and re-read, over and over.  It is certainly one thing to “read” the information and something else altogether to “learn and incorporate” the information.

~ Assuming any bet is a sure thing.  How many of you read betting strategies that say “after the first hit… on the next hit press the… the next hit…” and subconsciously are reading “after the next TOSS… on the next TOSS… the next TOSS…”   Oh, sure, intellectually we all know and understand the difference between a “HIT” and a “TOSS”.  But I gotta say it came as something of a shock that I could throw so many tosses with out a hit.  I don’t know why I was surprised.  Before I began attempting to influence the dice, I’d seen many a bet lose without hitting.  I guess for some reason I thought precision shooting was automatic and I would surely get at least one “hit” before a seven.  Since that time I’ve matured my perspective and realize that Dice Influencing is just that “Influencing” and not “Controlling”.   Ya still gotta watch out and be prepared for Mr. Pitchfork.

Well, like a young pup out on its first hunt, the Maddog needed to get his nose thumped a few times to settle him down and get him focused on business.   Even though that first foray occurred nearly a year ago, I still remember it like a zap with a cattle prod.  I like to think I’ve learned a few things since then and have worked hard to improve.  Once I decided that I wanted to really do this, not just play at doing it, I made some changes to both my approach to Dice Influencing and to how I approach the good ole game of craps.  We’ll talk about some of those things in part five of the Maddog’s journey.

Until next time, keep your sixes crossed and your rack full.

(Part V will appear in the next Precision Shooter Newsletter)

If you have any comments or ideas for future issues, feel free to email me at ed@dicesetter.com

And as always, we are looking for contributors with a fresh perspective.

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Good Luck!

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