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Ask the Mad Professor - Part 20

Q:
MP, I love your articles and appreciate all that you’ve done for us beginner and intermediate dicesetters.  I understand that you don’t get paid for your articles.  Can I ask why you do it for us?

A:

Mark Twain said it best; "Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can read."  Precision-Shooting has been pretty good to me over the last 14 years, and if I can make it a bit easier for others to learn and earn; then I’ve given back a little something to the dice-influencing community.
In this self-absorbed what-village-can-we-burn, how-many-gold-pieces-can-I-sell-my-Mother-for world, the
MP Speaks page is my cave painting.

Q:

Hop-Bet ParlaysI play in Atlantic City once or twice a week and am starting to get concerned about the increased heat.

I shoot with a friend that has a very light touch from SL1 & under the right conditions (she is zoned in and her landing zone is clear), there is a sweet spot where she can hit a fantastically high percentage of perfect pitch throws, but the pit guys in a few of the casinos have started to notice how she is doing it, and the heat is increasing at some places but not all, every time we go.

On the come-out roll, we think that hopping the 7’s parlay would be a good way to take advantage of her high-accuracy throws, but I don’t want to kill the Golden Goose especially with the additional heat that we’ve been feeling at The Sands, The Trop and Claridge.

How many come-out rolls would you recommend trying for a parlayed hop the 7’s bet during an excellent perfect pitch hand?

A:

The trouble with Hop-bets is that if you hit them...and hit them...and then hit them again; then the pit WILL notice, ESPECIALLY if you are parlaying them.

Most salty veterans don't see eye to eye with me on this subject at all, so you may want to seek their counter-balancing perspective.


I say that if you hit one hopper and then parlay it and then hit it again and parlay it again and hit it one more time and parlay it again...and it comes in for the fourth time, the casino-guys WILL notice. I mean...come on...they really aren't THAT stupid, especially if they are sending out high-denomination chips by the bucket full.

Now if you successfully do that practically every time it is your turn to shoot, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that you are SERIOUSLY affecting their "hold", and they WILL start doing something about it.

For a discussion regarding casino-hold percentages, and how they have been affected for the entire State of Mississippi, you will want to have a look at the "If Blackjack is So Much Better Than Craps" MB-thread over on Heavy's Discussion Board.

Now, if you constantly make hop-bets, but don’t collect; or if you hit them, and parlay them but rarely rack any of your payouts; then the casinos don’t mind because you are helping their bottom-line and not hurting it.

I know this isn't really the answer you were wanting to hear, but successfully doing multiple parlays on ANY Hop-bet is a little like having unprotected sex with a stranger ...there's a few moments of pleasure...and sometimes a lifetime of regret. Yes, you'll get the pleasure of instant profit if your friend is good enough to consistently hit back-to-back parlay hop-bets...but it won't take long before they wise-up and turn off your personal ATM machine.

Many people will tell you that it CAN'T happen...yet it IS happening every day.  You’ve already started to notice the heat in a market that is probably one of the most “heat-free” in North America…why make it worse.

The heat for players who can’t control themselves as much as they control the dice…is spreading quickly...and it's little wonder why. Parlaying hop-bets that continue to hit, only speeds that process along.


Like I said, many others disagree with my assessment, and therefore strongly promote the "stack 'em, never rack 'em...parlay it 'til you see them sweat" philosophy. However, you have to decide whether you want to be able to make money from this game for the next couple of weeks, or for the next couple of years.

A final thought on parlayed Hop-bets...

Keep in mind that the boxman is likely to "notice" the bets that he is most closely involved in, especially if he is helping to direct their payouts...and Hop-bets fit perfectly into that category.

In your case, if the boxman has been the one who is bringing the heat, then it certainly makes very little sense to have him associate your face with a steady-hitting, high-ratio Hop-bet payout unless you REALLY want MORE heat!

Q:

Hop-bet Tracking By The Stickman or Boxman.
MP, I play at a casino that allows hop-bets, but they don’t have all the possible bets stenciled on the table.  I was wondering how the stickman and boxman keeps track of them all.  Hop-bets are gaining popularity with the young folks around here, so is it up to the dealers memory or do they have any “tricks of the trade” that I’m not aware of?

A:
Ahhh, that’s a good question.  For the most part, the stickman will use the open area just above the “Big Red/Any 7” box to book, set and mentally “cue” the Hop-bets.


The boxman may help in that endeavor, and MAY signal the exact hop-intention by “flashing” his fingers from a closed fist to the overhead camera to signify the hop-combination that is being wagered.  For example, a Hopping 5/4 (9) would be signaled first with five fingers, then four fingers.  This method is obviously very old-school.

When the stickman does the hop-bet arranging, many of them will specifically use the stenciled part of the Any Seven box where the words "5 for one Any Seven 5 for one" as their memory cue.  Obviously on a layout with the words “4 to one Any Seven 4 to one” they’ll have to make minor changes to the following:

Hop-7’s

If you bet a $2 "4/3, 6/1 hopping" a $1 cheque is placed over the word "for" and the other over the word "one" to signify that you bet the 7 with a 4 in the 4/3 outcome-combination, and you also hop-bet the 7 with a 1 in the 6/1 outcome-combination. 

For a three-way Hop-7, they usually spread the three cheques overlapping each other (similar to how some dealers spread a three-way craps bet in the “Any Craps” box instead of setting them up individually on the 2, 3 and 12).


Hop-4’s


These wagers are placed over the word "for".


Hop-5’s


The words "for one" are used for the 4/1 hop, while the letter "v" in the middle of the word "Seven" is of course the roman numeral for 5 which many dealers use to represent specific 3/2 hop-money.


Hop-6’s


These wagers are placed over the letter “S”.


Hop-8’s


These wagers are placed over the letter “E”.


Hop-9’s


The money goes over the letter “N”, but if you only want one of the two 9 combinations, then they’ll usually put the 6/3 combo money over the “N” and the 5/4 combo cheque over the words "five for".


Hop-10’s

These wagers are centered over the "en" part of "Seven" as a mental cue to remind them it was a hopper on the ten
Obviously some dealers and boxmen use totally different methods to aid their short-term memory, but I think this gives you an idea how quite a few of them do it if the hops aren’t specifically marked on the layout.

Q:


Best Burger in Las Vegas

I was one of the ‘September to Remember’ attendees in Vegas, and I finally get to go back again this year.  Where is the best place to get a burger?  Forget the buffets and luxury restaurants; just tell me who has the best burger for when I return again.

A:
One of the best burger bargains (and a fine piece of grilled cow I might add) would be the $1.99 special at Wild Wild West Casino (see my Mini-Table Craps Tour –Part IV” for full details). 


In addition:




      In’n’Out Burger’s Double Double always gets rave reviews, but they use a high-fat grind of beef (~13%), so even their optional multi-grain bun won’t offset the effects of that arterial gridlock-building plaque…tastes good though.


      Hamburger Mary's across from the Hard Rock Casino is building a pretty good reputation and not only has countless exotic toppings for your burger, but a wide variety of out-of-the-ordinary side-orders as well.  By the way, any room left over after your burger can easily be filled with their Hawaiian bread pudding with Captain Morgan spiced-rum sauce or Tiramisu with macadamia nuts.  Oh, and for those of you with intolerant Ann Coulter burn-‘em-at-the-stake-for-your-next-family-BBQ sensibilities, you should also be aware that this joint (along with the rest of the H-M chain), bills itself as being “gay-friendly”.



    The Triple-7 Restaurant and Brewery (known colloquially as the Brewpub) at downtown’s Main Street Station makes a pretty awesome burger.  20x-Odds on their craps tables and a bevy of mid-level microbrews makes a stop at MSS worthwhile.  Their almost-charred-too-much burgers easily pass my taste-test although the accompanying (and always reliable) Black Cherry Stout may have tipped the scales a bit.

¬ …and finally, if you are budget-minded and not-too-gourmet-centered; the Match-Play coupon-rustlers and hustlers that we talked about in the eight-part Match-Play Coupon Circuit series meet pretty much everyday (to swap match-play coupons, casino vouchers and lies) at the Target Discount Department Store on Spring Mountain Road at Rainbow. Their burgers are starting to gain “local legend” status.  You might also be able to pick yourself up a few m-p’s or discount coupons, and the burger price…well, it IS inside a Target store after all!


Q:

Message-Board Activity
MP, I’ve noticed that the number of Message Board posts that you respond to has declined quite a bit over the past couple of years.  What’s up with that?  Also why so many links to your articles in your posts?

A:

The current M-B’s that I respond to (Heavy’s and DiceInstitute's) are well-run, well-moderated and of course well-responded to by a number of very talented individuals.

Those two boards do an excellent job of covering almost every subject with outstanding advice and commentary.  I generally only respond when my own contribution will add another dimension, aspect or slightly different facet to what has already been conferred up to that point in the thread.

As far as article-links are concerned, it saves a lot of time (and band-width) if I just post a link to the pertinent material instead of cutting and pasting a 2000 or 3000-word article on the very subject that is being discussed. 

In many cases, it’s a safe bet to assume that some M-B posters have never read that particular piece.  A convenient link offers an opportunity for them to discover it for the first time as well as offering a second look to those who find its content a little more relevant to their game-plan now than they did when it was first posted.


Q


Fiesta Rancho Rooms

I just received a mailer yesterday from Fiesta Rancho. They offered me one free night. Do you know anything about the rooms or hotel?

A:


Fiesta-Rancho has some good restaurants, but their 100-room hotel is a little on the low-budget, low-amenity side. If you are a non-smoker, you may notice the faint scent of stale smoke in your room.

As I recall, the pool is small and unpretentious, but totally uncrowded even on the weekends. I asked Ms. MP if there was an outdoor bar, but neither of us could recall one out there.


If you do stay there, be sure to ask for any freebies when you check-in. We got a handful of free-buffet coupons (3x per day x each person). Obviously that was more than we used, and so we gave quite a few away (which ties in nicely to the coupon-swapping idea that we talked about a few moments ago). I don't know if they still have that deal going...so ask when you check-in. Of course, food comps are VERY easy to get at Fiesta-Rancho anyway.


One thing you will notice if you stay there is that if you go down to the casino in the middle of the night (3 a.m. to 5 a.m.), the craps table may be completely empty. There were a number of times when I was the only player for a couple of hours at a time. Obviously you can't ding them for too much money, but having the table to yourself for hours at a time sure is hard to beat.YES, he set the dice.

YES, all of the players at his table made a couple of bucks.

The longest documented number of Pass-Line winners by one player happened at the old Dunes Hotel/Casino (where Bellagio now stands) on the Vegas Strip. That occurred on Friday, June 13th, 1967 when one shooter made FIFTY, yes 50 Come-Out and/or PL-Point winners during ONE hand.

According to "Mel, the Vegas Ghost" (no Mel is not his real name, but the old-school casino executives that have been around the block, know him by the “Vegas Ghost” moniker because he knows where most of the skeletons are buried), that Dunes shooter was also a dicesetter who threw them to the same exact spot every time he pitched them.

To read about what the owner of the casino did to the table AFTER that roll, you can read about it in
Walking with a Vegas Ghost – Part Four.

If we think back over the years and the number of times that we've observed some incredible hands, it's little wonder that they’ve become what sound like gaming-myths or legends to some readers.

I'll tell you about another hand that I witnessed and took part in...

I was playing at the Plaza Hotel...throwing the dice...and having an exceptional hand. Meanwhile, the table opposite from mine was having an even BETTER roll. The noise from my table was LOUD, but the noise coming from that other one was DEAFENING. I kept thinking to myself, "I hope I can get in on THAT action when I'm finished with THIS action."

Needless to say, my 79-roll hand ended shortly thereafter since I was more focused on what was happening at the other table rather than what it SHOULD have been focused on at MY table.  So I made my way over to the still-hot table where a young lady (a few minutes older than the legal age) was shooting with $2 on the Pass-Line, no Odds, and no other bets. Needless to say, the REST of the players had got on-board the press-it-to-the-moon bandwagon with their bets, while she's got maybe five or six bucks in her rack.

I knew that her roll had started long before the roll I had just finished, so she was well past the 90-minute mark.

I noticed one of the downtown "regulars" who plays the Fremont Street casinos (seemingly twenty-four hours a day), and asked him if I could piggy-back some of my action on top of his bets. He readily agreed to. I managed to move the velvet-rope stanchion and "create" some space beside the first-base dealer but obviously there weren’t any open rail-racks.

Meanwhile the boxman, "Big Keith" (who looks amazingly like Jabba the Hut from Star Wars, but weighs significantly more) was literally raining sweat onto the ever-diminishing chip-stack reserves as he madly directed the rookie dealers about the proper payoffs for some of the high-buck bets.

Three Pit-monkeys were also trying to help, but they were confusing the dealers as they argued amongst themselves about how to do power-presses and parlays on a box full of $240, $396, $540, $720, etc. payouts on the Place-number 6 that had just came in AGAIN!

Simultaneously, the Shift Manager was trying to calm down three players (including my new betting-buddy) because they all wanted to exceed their current $996 allowable table-max bet on both the 6 and 8 with our combined wagers! The table-max stayed at $1000, but a few more players let the newly-minted high-rollers (including me) camp some extra dough on top of their own lower-value (but still growing) bets.

Through it all, this kid kept throwing Inside-numbers relentlessly, and then would go on a tear with the 4 or 10 for five or six rolls in a row, followed by fifteen or twenty Inside-numbers interspersed with a few back-to-back PL-Point winners.

It got so bad that my action on the 5, 6, 8 and 9 had to be spread over five players Place-bets so that each one didn’t go over the table-max (and still afford me the level of bet that I had worked my wagers up to).  On each payout that each player collected for me, I “refunded” a bit of my profit back to them for their kindness.

Each new roll took a minute or two as the neophyte dealers struggled and the Pit-guys scrutinized each high-dollar payout.  They did a mid-hand chip-fill but that didn’t interrupt the action one bit (although all of the old guys moaned and groaned as soon as they saw two acrylic chip-cases arrive at center-table.
She continued to shoot for another 50 minutes after that chip-fill while the sweat continued to pour off the clan of the Pit-dwellers.

To get a little more money on the table, several players were “capping” (adding to) other players line-bets (even though they had that particular Place-number covered to the table-limit); thereby maxing out that players PL-Odds along with their own.  I didn’t resort to that approach although it was certainly tempting.

Now here's the amazing thing...the shooter made a grand total of $12 from her hand. She was stationed at the other end of the table, and the two guys who were on either side of her (and not only making money directly from their bets, but also from camping onto and capping her bets too), hadn’t even given her a dime.  I talked them and a few others at the table into ponying up some fresh cake in appreciation of her outstanding roll.  After the hat was figuratively passed around, she colored out a profit of $1612 (and yeah, there were still a few stiffs who won thousands of dollars, yet wouldn’t even toss an atta-girl $25 or $100 crumb her way).


Oh, and by the way, she WAS NOT setting the dice.




The secret to steady on-axis profit on these layouts is to adapt your shooting style to match the much shorter throwing-distance.

      Unfortunately, many people have a hard time dialing down the energy, force and speed of their throw enough to keep them on-axis and therefore the dice hit the wall way too hard.

    Similarly, a number of players who normally use a higher-trajectory toss have a hard time “fitting it into” the smaller confines of a shorter table.

If you can scale back your normal-length toss, the short throwing distance actually INCREASES your chances of on-axis, primary-face (as set) dice results if you GENTLY r-o-l-l the dice into the wall.
Shorter distances usually means more control, and in the case of some mini-tubs, the backwall is only 24" to 48" away from your extended release point.

It all comes down to personal preferences, and to some degree, the self-imposed limitations that your brain places over your abilities, (the old, "if you THINK you can't do it, then you NEVER will" problem).

The entire 15-part
Mad Professor's Mini-Table Craps Tour series covers every aspect of tub-table shooting that you could think of…and perhaps a few that you haven’t. Specifically, we take a serious look at a number of throwing techniques that I’ve adapted to the short lengths that you’ll have to deal with.  The last two articles in that series actually covers the whole subject of becoming a mini-tub specialist of sorts.

Short shooting distances (and enhanced profit potential) are hard for me to pass up, so I play on those tubs out at every opportunity.

Q:


Tropicana Playing and Staying Conditions

Hi MP, I’ve got a sweet internet room deal at the Tropicana for my upcoming trip to Vegas.  Can you tell me about the rooms and the playing conditions?

A:


The LV-Trop is pretty worn and frayed around the edges…hell, it’s worn and frayed all over, but it still holds an affectionate place in my heart.

Although it hasn’t been the Tiffany of the Strip for a long time, the playing conditions are still excellent.


You’ll find $5 tables most of the time, and a few of the old-time dealers prefer to continue working there since friendly, but non-aggressive toke-hustling is openly permitted.  Obviously you are going to encounter higher table-minimums during the busier times, but they aren’t as quick to raise the rates here as they do at most other Strip joints.

I actually love their modified-for-handicapped-players SL-1/SR-1 positions.  Combining an over-the-Prop-section dice release with a cooperative stickman who moves out of your way; the distance to the backwall is reduced to near tub-table length.

I’ve never run into any undue heat or pit-concern at the Trop regardless of the money that the table was dumping at the time.  However, you wouldn’t want to wear out your welcome or that of any fellow dice-influencers who come along after you. In other words, if you get on a great roll, please don’t rub their noses in it.




      Rooms in the Island Tower offer an excellent view of the Strip, but less-mobile folks find that it’s a bit of a hike to the casino.   

      The Paradise Tower’s recently updated-but-still-not-updated-enough rooms are right above the casino floor, so the elevator disgorges guests directly into the table-games area.


      Rooms in the Garden Wing(s) are not so nice.  They are in the low-rise motel-style section of the resort, which means you can usually park very close to your room.  On the downside, the rooms are noisier, dirtier and grungier than their tower counterparts, but they do have balconies.





Their 1970’s-era designers-idea-of-what-a-hip-tropical-paradise-should-look-like pool area is large and well-kept with plenty of MILF eye candy around.
Food and show comps are quite a bit easier to get at the Trop than they are at the mega-toilet resorts on the other three corners adjacent to it.

Q:


Boring Bets vs. Exciting Bets

MP, your betting-methods are boring.  I think Bigkhanmans Army March, the Hopping-Red Progression and Heavy’s Inside-Out Squeeze-box is much more exciting and I can make tons more money on them than any of your stuff, so why should I use any of yours?

A:


One of the attractions about craps is that there are so many choices, and really no ONE ideal way to bet.  As always, you are free to play and bet any way that your heart desires.

When it comes to betting my own money, I like to use bets that are best matched to my own dice-influencing abilities.  When it comes to betting on random-rollers, I like to minimize my risk.  To my mind, I would rather bet when and where I have an advantage over the house…and not bet at all when I don’t.


Now, I agree that doesn’t sound terribly exciting, and the prospect of making steady Precision-Shooting profit doesn’t give most players the rush that riskier bets will.

If you are making steady money off of the Army March Method or the by Hopping the 7’s or any other method for that matter; then you should definitely stick with it.

It’s your money and it’s your choice.  If you are making consistent profit, and getting your excitement-fix at the same time…then have at it.  I’d really like to hear back from you in three to six months for an update as to how much money the Army March and the Hopping-Reds are steadily making for you.



Q:


Where’s The “90 Days To Freedom” Series


In one of your articles you mention a series called "90 Days To Freedom" that I can't seem to find. Was it ever posted?

A:

"90 Days To Freedom" was based on a free-wheeling conversation/interview that I did with a guy that I taught Precision-Shooting to, who subsequently turned pro.
Ms. MP transcribed the tapes, but then my buddy hesitated about having it posted because he thought it would jeopardize his identity as well as the good thing he's got going on in the Atlantic City and Connecticut market.

Despite his outstanding talent and the level that he bets at...he still remains under the radar...or at least regarded by the casinos as a regular high-buck "gambler" and not as an advantage-player that has to be closely scrutinized; so I understand and respect his concerns.

In the alternative, I've taken many of the how-to elements of consistent on-axis, primary-face shooting that we talked about during that exchange and used it to fuel the ongoing "
Shooting Bible" series as well as the "How To Get THERE From HERE" chronicles.


I've given some thought about going back and radically editing that interview so that all identifying features about him would be changed, but frankly I have about 250 OTHER articles in various stages of production...so they take precedence right now.



Until next time,


Good Luck and Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
Sincerely,

The Mad Professor

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 20, 2007 1:32 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Ask the Mad Professor - Part 19.

The next post in this blog is Regression Avoids Depression Part 20.

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