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 Dice Setter Precision Shooter's Newsletter

Volume IV : Issue II

September 2004


In this edition:
Crapsfest 2004 - LAST CALL!
Shooting From The Don’ts…A Journey of Opportunity - Part II
Maddog's Journey - Part 5


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

It's down to the wire on Crapsfest 2004!  There are just a couple of slots left in the Sunday class and we have a some room in the Friday event.  So if you're thinking of coming, make your reservation now! 

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!    Don't miss out on the dice influencing event of the year!

Shooting From The Don’ts…A Journey of Opportunity - Part II

by the Mad Professor

In addition to the normal Road Trip kind of report you are used to seeing from me, this article also focuses on many of the aspects of Come-Out betting when you are Precision-Shooting from the Darkside.

If you are looking to super-charge your WrongWay betting regimen or merely provide a bit more turbo-boost to an already robust Darkside game-plan, then this one is definitely for you.

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

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 needn’t be nearly as good before you start to make some reliable profit; then in my books, Darkside-shooting holds even more merit for those who have had difficulty in converting their shooting SKILL into sustainable Rightside PROFIT.

If your dice-influencing skills are already highly developed; then Darkside-shooting can take your profit to new altitudes.

Achievable Goals

I wanted to establish and then achieve a continually higher set of goals for each stop along the way on this trip.

At Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax I had accomplished several things:

       I had been able to start with simple Don’t Pass bets and validate my skill as a Darkside-shooter.

       I had gotten confident, not only with the shooting, but also in my ability to fly SO LOW under the radar as to be almost invisible.

       I had carefully gauged how many rolls it was taking me, on average, to 7-Out.  This was critical information that I would use to further refine my betting-methods as my journey continued.

       I had gotten a reasonable amount of table-time in, yet no threats of bodily harm had been made against me by other players because of their perception that I was “betting against” them.

       Just as important, I had gotten a full-ride Comp on all of my daily living needs as far as food, shelter, shopping, parking, and entertainment was concerned.

       Moreover, I had an even better perspective on what I could accomplish by using shooting from the Don’ts.

 My goals for the overall trip were:

       To make the Come-Out segment of each hand as LONG as possible; and,

       To make the Point-cycle segment of each hand as SHORT as possible.

 My goals for my next casino destination were a little more refined:

       I wanted to average AT LEAST 3 rolls of the dice on the Come-Out before establishing the PL-Point.

       I wanted the PL-Point to be as tough to repeat as possible.

       I wanted to average a MAXIMUM Point-Cycle length of 5-rolls.

If I could increase my C-O roll-average and reduce my Point-Cycle roll-average; I figured my profitability would rise dramatically.

On the Road Again…

For someone that loves to be on the road, especially the craps-trail road; driving from state-to-state or province-to-province, gives me a chance to stay relaxed and to keep a balanced perspective on what it is I do for a living.   With Ms. MP’s ongoing illness, my travels hadn’t taken me as far afield as they normally do.  The trade-off of being able to spend some well-deserved time with her was obviously fully worth it.

The drive from Halifax’s Casino Nova Scotia to my next destination, gave me plenty of opportunity to plan my betting-methods, and especially focus on the Come-Out wagers that I was planning to exploit on the Darkside.

When shooting from either side of the line (PL or DP), I still treat the Come-Out portion of the hand as a Game Within a Game.  This approach is based on the premise that the Point-cycle, or in the case of Darkside shooting, the anti Point-cycle, calls for the use of one dice-set while the Come-Out rolls require an entirely different dice-set in which to exploit the various opportunities. 

Therefore, I treat ALL of my Come-Out action as a totally separate and distinct profit center.

Further to that, I also vary my C-O sets even WITHIN the same Come-Out cycle to maximize my Game Within a Game profitability. 

Simply stated, I may use one set for the initial Come-out Roll, but switch to another set if the Come-out phase is still in effect and I haven’t yet set a PL-Point.  The reason for this will become clear very shortly, but in essence it holds that if you can snipe out back-to-back (“bullfrog” repeaters) during the Point-cycle, then you should also be able to do it just as successfully during the C-O phase as well.  That being the case, sometimes I’ll change my C-O set in order to snipe out a back-to-back-to-back win on one of the higher paying C-O Prop-wagers.

No Dice…No Detour

I was hoping to make a detour to Casino de Charlevoix in La Malbaie, Quebec, but craps is not one of their currently offered games, so it was a straight-line push to the cosmopolitan city of Montreal.

It gave me time to ponder the long-bandied advice that some guys give about the “need” to be the master of more than one casino game.

Though I understand the requirement for some people to sit down and take a rest once in a while, I would rather not do it at a casino game where I don’t have an edge.  While you’ll often hear stories of how the Austin Powers slot-machine win saved the day for a player who had lost large on the craps table, I would think that there are many more untold stories of multitudes of additional players who gave back as much or even more of their hard-earned craps profit on the same machines because they had to sit down due to tired feet.

Listen, I’m all for taking the necessary breaks from the action when your health calls for it, but I think we have to be cognizant of how expensive those slot-machine “chair rentals” really can be. 

Okay, sermon’s over…let’s play craps.

click here for the rest of the article!

Maddog's Journey
by Maddog

Part 5: Learning the Game of Craps
(part 1 was in the  Feb/March Newsletter, part 2 was in the April Newsletter and part 3 was in the May/June Newsletter and part 4 was in the July/August Newsletter)

Can you beat the game, if you don’t know the game?

Fresh off that real butt-whipping that I received in my first stab at Dice Influencer-based craps shooting; I began doing some real serious thinking about what I had done wrong.  Even taking into account that I did not have the dice influencing skills I thought I had, I had never done so poorly at a craps table.  What was so different about that last outing?

One thing that struck me was the realization that I had not been betting how I would normally make bets at the craps table.  I started out by chasing the 6 and 8 like a puppy that first discovers it has a tail.  Then when it seemed like I couldn’t get those numbers to hit how I wanted, started tossing bets here and there, hoping that something would go right.  Instead of having a basic betting pattern and watching for a trend which was my standard table play, I was thinking, “hey, this set is supposed to result in more 6’s.   I’m gonna bet the 6 and 8 and use this set.” and when they didn’t show, I’d think “ok, this set is supposed to also show some 5’s and 9’s, lets bet those instead”.  Yes, I correctly knew the numbers associated with a given axial-set, but I’m sure you can all see what I had failed to catch.  The sets will produce the numbers, if I can produce the toss.

Thinking back critically at that performance I began to realize that I really didn’t know what I was doing as a DI.  Oh, sure, I understood the basics of the toss and was doing my best to execute.   But when it came to making bets, smart bets, there was a gap the size of the Grand Canyon between my craps knowledge and what I should have known about craps before I put my money on the felt.  I had no strong understanding of how the bets broke down by House Advantage (HA), or Expected Value (EV).  Didn’t understand how to correctly apply the DI skill (that I didn’t have) as leverage against the HA and to improve the EV.  I don’t think I even knew correct payoffs on anything but the most basic of bets.

I realized I had skipped an important if not crucial step in becoming a DI.  I had jumped straight into controlled shooting, without knowing the game, the bets, the payoffs, etc.   I suppose I was acting like most people.   I wanted quick results and effortless success.  Let’s face it, most citizens are lazy. They don't want to put in any real effort to get what they are after. They don't want to do the hard work of studying and practicing and experimenting.   Most folks want shortcuts.

We see it all the time, even on the craps boards, people looking for quick answers to difficult problems. Some people read craps books or message posts to be told "the answer." They want charts, they want systems, and they want iron-clad rules. They are looking for anything that gives them a fool-proof path to results. Some people do study to really learn.  I like to think that all of us folks who hang around Dice Setter are a notch above and are in the “work to learn” camp.  But all around are folks that simply want to be told. If you don't understand the "why" of a situation, the "what" of what you do, even if you happen to do it correctly, you’re on the road to limited results at best.

Oh sure, reading a book, using crib-notes, and taking shortcuts, where somebody else has done the thinking for you, can often bring results, particularly if that "somebody else" is a top player.  Mimicking the actions of a pro, like a big blue macaw in a cage, will be a big step up from the unknowledgeable players.  However, parrots/clones are many steps down from people who try to understand the reasons for doing the right things. Learning to really advance and improve as a DI is about coming to understand the reasons things work the way they do and in doing experimentation to find out how to apply that understanding into what works for them.  It’s not so much the actual playing (although the playing IS the end result and is the reason for the study/work.  See what I’m getting at?).

It’s a bit like cheating on a collage aptitude test.  Reading the answers off the smart nerd kid’s paper might be temporarily convenient but it won’t help you much when your back is up against it and you need to remember how to answer the question.


I knew I needed to get back to the basics.  I had to study the game and understand what was up and how it all tied together with the DI thing.  So what are some good resources to understanding the craps table?

There are several good books on the topic and I purchased a few.   Studying these was helpful and brought some insight into the nature of game and how the probabilities applied to making craps a negative expectation game.

I tried searching the internet for more information, but most of what I found there was lackluster and tended to be fairly superficial in content.

After working around these various avenues of information, I found that the best resource of information was back at good ‘ole Dice Setter.  I went back to reading the material that is available there.  There are several sections dedicated to articles written by past and present DI dignitaries.  And of course we all know about the boat load of ideas and advice written in the Mad Professor articles.   I made a pact with myself to read every article.  Not just the ones with interesting titles or picking one or two out here and there to read.  No, I was determined to start at the first article in the list and read on until I’d read through everything there was to read.

Once I’d gotten my way through the reams of information contained in the literal instruction manual that is Dicesetter.com, I then started into the forum archives and read through everything I could find there.  Man there is some interesting stuff in the old posts.  Seems like almost any subject about craps and dice influencing you can think of has been discussed in one form or another in the old posts.  You can get a lot of insight by going back through some of the old threads.  There are hundreds and hundreds of posts in the archives.  You’re bound to read something that sparks an idea or gives you a new perspective.

Of course, purely reading reams of material is simply not enough.  I felt that it was important to try and find ways to really absorb the information and make it part of my knowledge pool.  To do this I began to really study the craps layout.  I came up with drills to memorize various bets.  I didn’t go so far as to create flash-cards, but it was fairly close to that.   What is the correct odds and payout for various levels of place bets?  What are the correct dollar amounts of a 3 unit 6 place bet, a 4 unit, a 5 unit. (Easy right, just multiply by 6, but if your not used to thinking about levels and regression points, it can be a distraction).  Do the same thing for the 5&9 and 4&10 place bets.  What is the payout for a $5 horn high yo?. How about a $10 horn high midnight?  What is the vig for these bets?  Etc. etc.  You get the idea and have probably done much the same yourself.

I’ve always felt that knowledge is power.  I guess this was instilled in me at an early age.  My folks started talking to me about how important an education was for getting ahead in life.  Even before I was in high school, my dad was telling me to set my sites on college, “That sheepskin is the only way that you’ll get ahead.  It’ll open the doors so you can be better than me.”  Maybe you’ve heard that same speech from your Pop?  Well I’ve come to believe it is true. 

Knowledge is power.  Knowledge provides leverage over a given situation.  It is one thing to bet a Hard 8 because you like the idea of a 10 for 1 payoff.   But it is more powerful to understand that the Expected Value (EV) of the Hard 8 is -9.09% and the cut that the House takes from your winning (the House Advantage or HA) of the hard 8 bet is about a dollar for every $10 bet.  Or another way to look at this is that the winning hard 8 is paid $10 for $1 bet.  The true odds are 11 for one.  You really won $11, but the house kept $1, thanks for playing. 

Armed with this knowledge, you’re now going to bet the hard 8 and (a) understand what you’re paying for the payoff, (b) you have a skill to toss the hard 8 which changes the baseline EV or (c) you wish to hedge or enhance a current bet.   Anyway, the point being your not just tossing a buck on the hard 8 with your fingers crossed.  You’re tossing that buck out knowing the consequences of your action with sound reasoning behind it, (and your fingers crossed).

In the midst of all this studying, I kept up my practice routine, to the point of putting in more hours then the spouse cared for or the kids deserved.   I had come to understand that becoming a DI was hard work (at least for me).  Success wasn’t going to just happen without some dedication on my part.  Dedication applied to practice and training, as well as dedication in study and understanding.

Next time well delve into the practice schedule, results tracking, and why the Maddog believes that probability math and the DI are like alcohol and firearms, the two just don’t mix.

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

(Part VI 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 for contributors with a fresh perspective.

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Good Luck!

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