No Practice…No Edge
Let’s face it. Even a pro needs to practice. Whether you are talking about golf, baseball, motor-sports or ping-pong…you need to practice to stay in top physical shape as well as top mental condition.
Let me put it this way...
➢ If it has been two or three days since I have shot on a casino table, then I need a serious practice session just to get back into my finely honed groove.
➢ Sure I could walk into a casino and HOPE that I could shoot my way back into top-of-game condition, but frankly that move involves a fair bit of risk.
➢ Advantage-play craps is all about reducing the risk that your money is at, and INCREASING or at least maintaining your confirmed edge over the house. If you needlessly surrender that beneficial upper-hand because you are out of practice; then you are sacrificing your hard-fought right to earn advantage-play profit from your skills.
➢ Again, if you treat craps-shooting as an entertaining but expensive pastime; then it is perfectly reasonable to expect pay a certain price for that leisurely activity. However, if you have already validated and confirmed that your dice-influencing efforts do indeed give you an edge over the casino; then it seems kind of silly to let that opportunity go to waste.
➢ I like to keep my game in top form, which means that the less I play, the more I know I need to practice before I set out for the green-felt jungle.
Our edge over the house is relatively thin. As such, we cannot afford to step up to the tables when we are out of practice and still reasonably expect our shooting to redeem what could in that instance correctly be called “random-gambling”.
➢ Our practice-sessions are first used to build up and verify our dice-influencing abilities.
➢ Once developed, we use those same sessions to hone and refine our skills.
➢ If you go into a casino when you know your shooting-skills are rusty and dull, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise when your in-casino-talents fail to live up to their money-making potential.
In and of itself, lost potential, acceptance of mediocrity, and bravado over substance; is something that reversionary-fundamentalist societies have come to accept, embrace, and even encourage more and more these days. It’s part of what I would characterize as an empire-in-decline mindset. However, you don’t have to accept that kind of arrested thinking as part of your advantage-play regimen.
In fact, you can take a stand for your own financial viability and independence by committing to the necessary practice so that your advantage-play skills remain sharp and your edge over the house is upheld and preserved.
In other words, No Practice…No Edge.
With that work-ethic in mind; let’s look at one small idea that may make a big difference in your dice-influencing outcomes…
Weigh Your Off-the-Deck Dice Release
I speculate that many shooters who use a from-the-deck dice release, are putting WAY TOO MUCH weight on the dice just prior to their release in the fractional seconds before the cubes leave your hand.
Now on the face of it, a little bit of extra weight on the dice as you are about to lift them off of the table and commence your from-the-deck launch should not make much of a difference especially when there is no weight on them once you actually pick them up. However, there is often an unintended muscle-tension carry-over that continues right up until you release them a moment later.
The effect of putting a bit of downward hand, wrist, and arm weight (and even a hint of shoulder and upper-torso pressure) on the dice just prior to launch means that you are pre-stressing the exact fine-motor muscles and nerve-endings of your fingertips and finger-joints which will be called upon to evenly, smoothly, and concurrently release both dice in the very next moment.
What effect can pre-stressing your fine-motor-control muscles and fingertip nerves with additional weight have on your throw?
Well, it means that your finger-muscles, finger-joints and fingertip nerves may be momentarily loaded (or more accurately, pre-loaded) with excess blood and as such, they are now ready to do “harder work” than a finely controlled dice-release requires or calls for.
That simply means that your fine-motor-control muscles are preparing to do more work than the act of gently throwing the dice actually calls for.
➢ As a result, fine-motor control can suffer simply because the slight amount of additional body-weight that you might be unintentionally applying right before your from-the-table launch tells those small muscles to prepare (pre-load) to carry out a much harder, more strenuous task than finely controlling a pair of lightweight dice requires.
➢ It also means that your individual fingers may have differing amounts of gripping and clamping force on various control surfaces of each dice.
➢ Different grip-pressure variations between individual fingers usually result in an uneven toss. That grip-pressure disparity at the critical point of release gets amplified by the time both dice touch down at the far end of the table.
So what does that do to your toss and the eventual outcome?
Unfortunately, for many players, a general lack of fine, subtle, and delicate control at the critical moment right before dice-release usually results in…
➢ An uneven or minutely-delayed (staggered) release between the two dice.
➢ Applying an unequal throwing-force and forward-moving energy to both dice.
➢ Over-amped, excessive or mismatched spin-rates.
➢ Out-of-phase dice rotation and slightly disparate flight-path trajectories.
➢ Inconsistent targeting accuracy to your initial touchdown spot.
➢ Different bounce-heights and contradictory liveliness or sluggishness between the two dice on initial and subsequent impacts.
➢ Dissimilar backwall rebound reactions, divergent roll-out paths and varying travel-distances before stopping.
By pre-charging your fine-motor-control muscles, and indicating to them they they’ll be required to carry out a big effort in the very next moment, means that the quality of your release will likely suffer simply because of the quantity of work they were told to prepare for.
By pre-stressing your finger-muscles, finger-joints, and fingertip nerves with even an extra little bit of unintentional downward weight; they more than deliver on the QUANTITY of work you ask them to do, but the QUALITY of your rolls often suffer because of the misleading instructions they are given.
Successful and consistent dice-influencing is all about subtlety and refined control.
If your fingertip nerve-endings are dulled by too much muscle-loaded blood (by being pre-tensed or pre-loaded from having extra downward-pushing weight on them); then it’s no wonder that subtly-influenced control is so hard for some players to capture and tame on a throw-after-throw-after-throw basis.
Now before you start thinking that I am against any from-the-deck types of releases; I am not. In fact, I use them on a fair number of tables. Rather, I want to point out how sensitive your fine motor-control muscles are to almost any increased downward pressure or weight that your hand, wrist, arm, shoulder and upper torso may unintentionally place on your fingertips.
So what is the cure?
One solution involves the use a kitchen scale, or one of those cheap diet scales, or even a postal-rate scale. I prefer using one of those low-profile high-calibration (ultra-low gradation) electronic scales that many favor for weighing what my law-enforcement pals call “non-ethical pharmaceuticals”.
Simply put your dice on the scale and grip them as you normally do in your pre-release sequence. When you get set to actually release them, observe how much additional weight you are placing on the dice right at the moment before and during your release sequence.
In some cases, you’ll see that you are putting several pounds of extra downward pressure on the dice (through your fingertips) during the grip-set sequence, and even more downward pre-loading burden on your fine-motor muscles and fingertip nerve-endings as your grip-pressure and weight-force on the dice spikes right at the moment before you launch them from the deck.
In fact, the sheer amount of extra downward-force weight may shock you.
For the sake of increased dice-influencing control (through less muscle-charged demand) you may want to decrease the amount of downward pressure (by varying degrees) that you are putting on your fine-motor-control finger-muscles, finger-joints, and fingertip nerves just prior to your from-the-deck release.
The amount of increased axial and correlated phase-control improvement you get in return may very well surprise you.
Part Nine of this series breaks more new ground regarding the use of Maximus’ Laser Practice…Laser Perfection idea (that we first explored in Part Seven of this series). It includes a Roundtable Discussion that is as enlightening as it is entertaining. I hope you’ll join me for that.
Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
The Mad Professor