Even the most rudimentary Precision-Shooting skills will consistently beat random-rolling most of the time.
While a random-roller may have an occasional long, hot and LUCKY roll; the skilled dicesetter does it more often, more consistently and more predictably. After all, more consistent and more profitable rolls are the whole point of what we do.
Suggestion #8 Higher Minimum = Lower Population
If each of four craps tables in a dice pit have different minimum-bets; then generally the cheapest one will be the most crowded, while the more expensive one will usually be the least crowded.
While there is no guarantee that the more expensive tables will always be less populated; it is generally the rule of thumb. Whether it be the $2 table at the Gold Coast compared to their lonely $5 one, or the $15 table at Taj Mahal compared to the $100 layout; a price difference does means a population difference.
When you are playing on “known” tables where you have shot SUCCESSFULLY before and where all the other cheaper tables are crowded, then the more expensive table may be a great choice, and not just a high-priced alternative.
One caution that I would add is that if the higher table-minimum is outside of your current comfort-level, and it intensifies your shooting-stress and anxiety; then I would recommend against making this unique move.
Suggestion #9 – Lower the Cost of an Expensive Table
This idea ties in nicely with the above-noted suggestion. If you get to an empty or barely occupied table that you want to play at, but it has a bet-minimum that is higher than your current comfort-level; then you can artificially LOWER the table-minimum.
Simply place an almost-equal bet on both the Pass-Line and the Don’t Pass. If it is a $25 table, but you are most comfortable at a $5 game, then you can bet $25 on the Don’t Pass, and $30 on the PL. In doing so you have reduced it down to a $5 game. If you fear the nasty “12” on the Come-Out roll, you could venture $1 on the 12-Midnight bet as sort of an insurance hedge.
Once you establish your PL-Point, you can add Odds to a level that you are most comfortable with. While the required minimum on Place bets will still be at least $25, you could use the same PL/DP “almost-equal” betting approach through the Come and Don’t Come betting areas, should that fit into your betting plans.
If the table is totally empty, you can use the solo shooting opportunity to really groove-in your skills in a low-cost, live-action environment. As your confidence and your shooting-steadiness improves, you can ratchet up your bet-size by simply scaling back or completely removing your DP and/or DC “table-cheapeners”.
My own experience on the more expensive $25, $50, $100 and $500 tables, is that once I am comfortable and shooting well at a table, then the bet-minimum becomes a non-factor insofar as relaxed-focus is concerned. On the other hand, I’ve never actually bellied up to the few $1,000-minimum tables that I’ve run across over the years.
One additional note about this method is that the Pit-hawks will only rate you for the amount of difference between the two bets on the PL and DP. So if you’ve reduced a $50 table down to a $5 one, they will only rate you at the nickel level (if at all). They may not like the way that you bet, but then again, it’s not their money.
I will also restate once again, that if the higher tables are not within your current comfort zone, then DO NOT PLAY at them.
Judge For Yourself
How often do YOU throw decent length hands?
You will know the answer to that question if you make accurate notes after you finish each casino session. Those notes will help you keep track of the good, the bad and the truly ugly. In addition, they will help you determine just how much better your shooting is, measured against what we already know about how random-rollers do. In doing so, it underscores the value of your own shooting as opposed to indiscriminate dice-tossers.
We took an extensive look at a sample of my own session-notes in the Mad Professor's Shooting Bible Part I article. Making and using Session-Notes is a good way to compare your at-home practice results with your money-on-the-table real-world casino results. It also helps you to judge YOUR talents against the known random-roller standard.
Suggestion #10 - Buying Shooting Opportunities
There are a number of highly accomplished players out there whom specifically ask the Pit Boss to RAISE the table-minimum simply to keep more of the low-rollers OFF of the table, and to ensure that the dice cycle around to their position quicker.
This is a popular method used by very skilled and proficient Precision-Shooters. They always seek out the higher minimum-bet tables in any event, because they know that those layouts are usually less crowded. However, when all of the tables are busy, it doesn’t require a whole lot of arm-twisting to encourage the Pit Boss to raise the cost-of-play at any one particular table.
If they have a favorite table, they will specify which one they want the higher-minimum to be established at. Sometimes this can be a simple increase from the normal $2 or $3 bumped up to a $5 or $10 level. Of course, the higher the standard-bet in a particular casino, then the higher it will have to be raised to gain more and more exclusivity. At some casinos, kicking it up a notch or two will mean bumping it up to the $25, $50 or $100 level. Even at the higher benchmark, you may not get the solo-exclusivity that you were hoping for.
The counter-balancing purpose is that these accomplished players want to raise the “sperm-count” to eliminate most of the lower-limit players at that table, but they don’t want to make it prohibitively expensive for themselves.
It’s a bit of a balancing act, and one that I don’t usually encourage.
If your shooting isn’t up to par on that particular day, the smug elitism that this type of move engenders, can come back to kick you squarely in the ass.
One more word about this subject:
This method will NOT work at a casino where they let pre-existing players at the table “grandfather” the previous lower bet. The grandfathering of a limit means that if you were playing at the table when the minimum was raised, you can continue to play at the lower level until you finish your session. For the player who is trying to “buy” more shooting opportunities by having the limit raised, this obviously won’t have the desired table-clearing effect that he was hoping for.
Make the Comparison for Yourself
It is important to know just how good your Precision-Shooting actually is, or how much more improvement it really needs. For a full rundown on this very important subject, you might want to first take a look at my two-part series entitled, How Good Is Your Precision Shooting?
Right now, let’s use some numbers extracted from my Dodging Bullets As A Darksider article so that you can compare your own efforts to that of a typical random-roller.
Ø There is a 40% chance that a random-roller will make his first PL-Point. So 4-out-of-every-10 shooters are likely to make this far.
Ø If you track your own shooting, you should be able to tell whether you meet or exceed those numbers. Out of 10 hands that you shoot, how many times do you make at least one Pass-Line Point winner? If you consistently make your first Point more than 40% of the time, that should tell you something.
Ø There is a 16% chance that a random-roller will make his second PL-Point in a row. That means that 4-out-of-25-players will make two of those in a row. How does your shooting compare? If out of 25 hands, you generally make two PL-Points more than 4 times, then your own Session-Notes are providing keen insight into your abilities.
Ø There is a 7% chance that a random-roller will make his third PL-Point in a row. So 7-out-of-100 players are likely to make it that far. How does your own shooting stand up to those numbers?
If you don’t keep track of your own in-casino Precision-Shooting results, then it’s hard to judge whether some of these more-shooting-opportunities suggestions are worthwhile or a complete waste of time.
In some cases, an aspiring shooter is surprised to see the math-verification of his efforts. On the other hand, there are those who are reluctant to keep track and do the note-taking task, simply because in doing so, they would have to confront their own Precision-Shooting shortcomings.
Make it Easier to Determine Your Development
Let me add one more suggestion to the above-noted Session-Note concept.
Making slow, but steady improvements is more the rule than the exception. Occasionally you will detect and cure a vital flaw that was holding back your progress, after which you will make lightning-fast advances in your SRR. However, it is more likely that your development as a Precision-Shooter will be continuous, but gradual, and slow, but steady.
Because of that, you may not fully appreciate your existing dicesetting status and your current Precision-Shooting potential compared to where you were just a few months or even a few weeks ago.
Some players have kept track of their results from Day-One of their journey on the road to dicesetting success. While that is a good way of seeing just how far you have come, the overall numbers pertaining to SRR (Sevens-to-Roll-Ratio) and Signature Numbers can be very deceiving. If you figure in the entirety of all of those hands you have thrown over all of the months or years since you began; then you are unfairly diluting and concealing your current skill-level.
By considering your shooting-numbers within too big of an historical range or too big of a picture, you may not be able to see the forest for all of the trees. Or in the alternative, the forest may be blinding and impairing your ability to find one species of tree that you are presently interested in harvesting. Simply stated, your current skills can be watered-down and adulterated, if not entirely hidden, due to the large size of the sample.
That is because the length of time and the huge number of rolls that your current abilities are measured against, are not allowing your current skill-level to shine brightly enough to shed a properly concentrated light on it.
You CANNOT use the “huge picture” numbers that you have rolled over the past three or four years (or even months) UNLESS YOU HAVEN’T IMPROVED at all in that time-frame. If indeed you have improved, then you have to use a sort of sliding-scale snapshot to measure where you are NOW in the process. If you dilute your current performance with the numbers that you’ve compiled over months or even years, then it acts to hide and conceal the present measure and full potential of your current skill.
So let me suggest this:
Your “snapshots” or time-frames of progress-measurement should be of a sufficient length to ensure that you aren’t just having a few lucky or aberrant sessions, but short enough to fairly and reasonably measure your on-going progress.
Suggestion #11 - Call Ahead
Another way to maximize the number of times that you get to shoot the dice, is to call ahead to your target-casino and ask for the craps pit (or the “dice pit” if you are on the East Coast) and ask the Pit Clerk:
Ø How many tables are open?
Ø What are the current bet-minimums at each table?
Ø How crowded are the tables right now?
Ø If and when new tables will be opening?
Answering the phone and replying to inquiries is amongst the 731 tasks that Pit Clerks are under-paid to do, so please be as pleasant as possible when you talk to them. When you arrive, a kindly worded thank-you to that particular Pit Clerk is definitely NOT out of line. They are the least appreciated employees on the casino floor.
Armed with that information, you can tailor your playing plans to more closely correspond with the ebb and flow of staffing levels and table-minimum adjustments that are made throughout the entire casino-day.
In “Part III” of this series, we’ll take a look at several more ways that will put the dice into your hand, more often. Until then,
Good Luck and Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
The Mad Professor
Copyright © 2007