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Creating More Shooting Opportunities - Part 3

"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."

...Chinese Proverb

Play with An Edge or Cast Your Money To The Wind


When you consider your dice-influencing skills, it makes sense to compare them to that of random-rollers. How much better you are will determine how big of an advantage you develop against the house.


Sooner or later, most accomplished dicesetters realize that although not every one of their hands will be stellar money-makers; more of them can be especially when judged against making comparable bets on random-rollers.


The bigger your advantage, the more sense it makes to seek out additional shooting opportunities for yourself, while concurrently reducing the wagers that you make on random-rollers.


Let’s do a quick review of the methods that we’ve discussed so far in this series in terms of creating more ways to get the dice in your hands while you are at the casino tables:


Ø Play During “Off Hours” like 3 a.m. to 8 a.m.


Ø Play During “Off Days” like Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.


Ø Play during “Off Season” by avoiding convention periods, major sporting events, and of course long weekends.


Ø Play during “Off Weather” when most other people don’t want to venture out.


Ø Avoid the crowds especially during promotional periods when they are giving away cars, boats, barbeques and Swiffer WetJets.


Ø Schedule to be at the tables a few minutes before a dealer shift-change when more tables will open.


Ø Use the “If You Liked How I Just Shot, Then Let Me Shoot Again” approach to get a table full of players to pass the dice back around to you after a successful hand.


Ø Seek out Turbo-Dice at casinos where they move the dice as quickly as possible. More decisions-per-hour means that the dice will cycle back around to you faster.


Ø Trade excitement for profit. Crowded tables may be exciting, but they diminish and inhibit your profit opportunities. Remember that open but empty tables are the curse of random-rollers but the blessing of Precision-Shooters.


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 much more predictably.


If I seem a little pre-occupied about getting the dice in my hand as often as possible, you are correct.


Why?


Well, you first have to ask yourself how much money it is costing you or how much money you are making, on average, when you bet on or against random-rollers while you’re camped out at a table patiently waiting for the dice to come around again.


You then have to ask yourself if your time at the tables would be better spent seeking out more shooting opportunities for yourself than it is in betting on non-skilled shooters?
For me, the same answer keeps coming back to a resounding, “YES!”


I’m better off betting on myself than I am in betting on or against random-rollers.


It’s THAT simple.


Here’s a few additional ways to get the dice in your hand more often:


Suggestion #12…Higher Table-Minimums = Lower Player-Populations

If there are multiple open craps tables in a dice pit with different minimum-bets; then generally the cheapest one will be the most crowded, while the more expensive one will usually be the least crowded. Obviously there are some exceptions to this generality, but this idea holds true a majority of the time.


Having less players at your table means that the dice will make one lap around it more efficiently. Now I’m not saying that the players who frequent higher-denomination tables are always better shooters, but in gaming-jurisdictions where there are a number of skilled Precision-Shooters, that is often the case.


I know that I am not the only good shooter out there.


There are many, many excellent dice-influencers in the world; and like it or not, there is a natural selection process that takes place which separates the skilled dice-influencers from the ones who haven’t yet gotten their entire skill-set in order.


That natural selection process is helped along by the fact that skilled players will eventually seek out higher-denomination tables for the majority of their action.
As their bankrolls grow, they come to the same realization that I have.


That realization is that the more frequently they get the dice in their hands during a given session; the better their chances of walking away with a profit, and more often than not, that profit will be of the bankroll-building kind.


Though I still like playing at some of the neutral-rolling and unfortunately, semi-crowded cheap tables; I often find myself immediately seeking another shooting opportunity as soon as I finish my hand, especially if I know it’s going to take quite a while for the dice to come back to me.
Frequently, I find that the next shooting opportunity is immediately available at a higher-denomination table right beside the low-buck one I just finished throwing at.


Suggestion #14…Be the First Shooter at Multiple Tables

A moment ago, I mentioned the idea of adapting your schedule to be at the tables just a few minutes before a dealer shift-change when more tables will open.

Let’s take that one step further:


Ø As a courtesy, especially if the crew knows you as a good tipper; they’ll often let you shoot first no matter where you are positioned at the table.


Bear with me as we take another step forward with this idea:


Ø If they open several tables at the same time, you could take a look at how quickly each table-crew is getting ready (as they count down the cheque-bank and unwrap fresh dice, etc), and choose the table that will be ready first.


Ø Then, after you’ve thrown your first hand at the newly opened layout, you could switch over to the one that is now just about ready to open (especially if the table you are at has filled up because of pent-up player demand).


Ø Again, if you are the first to arrive at the second table or you pre-reserve a spot at it with one of your extra Players Cards (by asking the crew to hold your spot, and saying that you’ll be back as soon as they’re ready to go); then they’ll likely let you be the first shooter at that table as well.


At some casinos where they open three or four new tables at the same time, you can use this method in order to shoot four straight hands in a row on four different layouts.


Again, the idea is to bet when you have the advantage.


If your shooting is dialed-in, and you keep your wits about you; there is absolutely no reason why you can’t make money off of each of your hands, while concurrently avoiding an equal number of random-roller hands.


For a skilled player that still struggles with discipline, you can look at it in another way:
The more often that you shoot, the less time you’ll spend frittering away money on random-rollers. The money you save by avoiding random-rollers can be more intelligently redeployed on wagers where you have a validated edge over the casino; and that is when the dice are in YOUR hands.


Suggestion #15…Lower the Cost of an Expensive Table

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. It’s similar to a Doey-Don’t where you have equal amounts of money on both the “Do” and the “Don’t” lines, but in this case, you could put a table-minimum bet on the Don’t Pass and a bet on the Pass-Line that is the table-min plus the amount that you are comfortable in actually wagering (let’s say $25 on the DP and $30 on the PL).


If the table is totally empty, you can use this solo shooting opportunity to really groove-in your skills in a low-cost, live-action environment.


It is also an excellent way to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the allowable Odds.


For example, if you are at a $25 table where you have $25 on the DP and $26 on the PL, then you can back up either of those bets with the maximum allowable Odds for the full amount of either (but obviously not both) lines.


At a 3x, 4x, 5x table with the above-noted wager, you could instantly turn those allowable Odds into 78x, 104x, and 130x-Odds simply because of how you’ve used offsetting PL and DP wagers.


Up until now, you’ve been thinking that 100x-odds were only available at sawdust joints like Casino Royale and a couple of Midwest boats, while in fact you can turn places like Bellagio, Beau Rivage, Venetian, Taj Mahal, Foxwoods, Caesars, Borgata or any other casino into a high free-Odds joint no matter how pitiful their low-multiple free-Odds appear to be.


In the above example, they’ll allow you to take full-Odds behind your Pass-Line wager despite the fact that there is only a one-dollar difference between your PL and DP bets. To that end, you can make Odds bets for the full value multiple of your line-bet, yet only have one-dollar at actual risk on your base-line wager. In doing so, you can instantly turn a $25 game into a $1 game and in doing so, they’ll allow you to wager up to 130x-Odds (on the 6 or 8), or 104x-Odds (when your PL-Point is a 5 or 9), or 78x-Odds when your Pass-line Point is a 4 or 10. If you are using a straight Doey-Don’t, then obviously a $25 game would see the Odds-multiple restricted to 75x, 100x, and 125x.


From a practical point of view, let’s see how this approach works:


Ø On the Come-Out roll I avoid getting overly fancy; opting instead to establish the PL-Point as soon as possible.


Ø I hedge my PL-wager with a $1 bet straight up on the 12-midnight so I don’t have to do an expensive PL-bet replacement in case the 12 rolls. That way, no C-O numbers can harm either my PL or DP wagers.


Ø Once the Point is established, I back up the PL-Point with as much Odds as I am comfortable with.


Let me point out the obvious at this juncture and say that this play is not for the weak of heart, the queasy of stomach or the light of bankroll. It is designed for the player that is more than adequately funded, and who is looking for maximum free-Odds and the lowest base-bets possible. This play accomplishes that goal.


Ø If my PL-Point is a 6 or 8, then I back it up with full Odds. In this case (at a 3x, 4x, 5x table), you are allowed to wager up to five times your Passline-bet in Odds. So with $26 on the PL, you can back it up with a maximum of $130 in Odds.


Ø The fact that I’ve only got a $1 difference between my $25 DP-bet and my $26 PL-bet, means that I’ve turned it into a $1 minimum-bet game, but with allowable Odds of 78x, 104x, and 130x!


Obviously you can do the same thing with nearly offsetting Come/Don’t Come bets as well. Equally, a skilled Darkside shooter can do the opposite thing with Odds on his Don’t Pass line-wager too. In this case, he’d be allowed to bet up to six times his DP line-wager.


Ø Likewise, a skilled Rightside Precision-Shooter can instantly turn a $50/$51 base-bet into a 260x-Odds game (on the 6 or 8) or a 208x-Odds game when his PL-Point is a 5 or 9; and a 156x-Odds game when the Pass-line Point is a 4 or 10.


Ø One of my favorite casinos has a heck of a sweet-rolling table in their Salon Privée high-roller room, which they always have set at a $50 bet-minimum. I often use a partial offset with $50 on the DP and $100 on the PL to instantly turn it into a 6x, 8x, 10x-Odds game like the Golden Nugget now offers.


Again, it is critically important that you are adequately funded before you raise your bet-level to this echelon or beyond.


If you want to try this Odds-stretching approach, it is best if the entire Pit-crew (including all the boxmen and Table Game Supervisors) know you REALLY WELL (and respectfully like you A LOT) as a frequent tipper, and that your tips actually end up in the toke-box instead of being swept away without producing any revenue for them.


While it’s nice to hear that the crew appreciates the “kind thought” of a non-winning toke; it is the player who makes sure that money goes directly into the dealers jukebox that will be given the most latitude when it comes to pulling a play like this.


In other words, you have to build up your social equity with the entire Pit-crew before using gaming-approaches like this.


Let me put it another way:


If you are not the most warmly regarded player as far as the crew is concerned; then please DO NOT try to use this method…YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!


As your confidence and shooting-steadiness improves on the high-dollar tables, you can ratchet things up by simply increasing the bet-size difference between your two base-line PL/DP wagers or completely removing your DP “table-cheapener” altogether.


However, if playing at the higher-limit tables makes you too nervous, uncomfortable or anxious; then perhaps you shouldn’t play at them at all.


Suggestion #16 – Raise The Cost Of Doing Business


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 move around a bit quicker.


I’m not talking about a situation where the Pit Manager instructs the TGS to increase the minimum-bet from $5 to $10 because the casino is starting to get crowded; I’m talking about a skilled player (with an adequate bankroll) asking the Pit Manager to raise one of the $5 tables to a $15, $25 or $50 minimum.


When a table-rate is raised beyond the next highest denomination (a $5 table being raised to $15 or $25, instead of just to $10); then it has a way of opening up a fair number of player-positions, as well as speeding up the rate at which the dice cycle around the table.


It also has a tendency to speed the flight of high-maintenance players who hop-bet multiple number-combinations on nearly every roll. When the $10-to-$40-buy-in players aren’t taking up rail space, the game moves quite a bit faster, and you’ll usually encounter less arguments and payout-disputes than there are at the low-buck layouts.


Before you consider this approach, you have to be brutally honest with yourself as to how big of a Precision-Shooting edge you actually have, and how often you’ve been able to profitably exploit it, (in addition to how comfortable will you be when you move up to the AA-league bet-values).


I’ll have more to say about this subject in a few moments.

Suggestion #17…Call Ahead


If you play in a gaming jurisdiction where there aren’t many casinos or many open tables; you can call ahead to your target-casino…ask for the craps pit (or the “dice pit” if you are on the East Coast)…and ask the Pit Clerk the following questions:


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?


Know when the shift-change times are for each casino that you play in. If they usually open more tables when the new crew comes in, you’ll be more likely to get to “start up” a new empty table when it opens.


See my “TIPPING –Are There Two Sets Of Rules?” article for greater detail on this subject including the usual shift-change times.

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 before you seek out additional ways to get the dice in your hand more often.


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?

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 that we’re discussing today are worthwhile or a complete waste of your time and money.


Suggestion #18…Ask and Ye Shall Receive


In Part I and Part II of this series, we covered several ways for you to artificially lower the cost of a higher-minimum table and today we’ve looked at a couple more, but there is an even simpler alternative.


If there aren’t any players at the expensive table and the crew has been standing dead (idle) for some time since anyone played on it; then simply ask the Pit Boss if he will lower the bet-minimum.


If he agrees, you will probably be able to get in one or two complete hands before fellow players catch on to the fact that the former expensive table is now more reasonably priced.
In the meantime, get your good rolls in, and tell the stickman not to call out the “Pass-Line winners” too loudly. That helps to keep the mass-migration from occurring too quickly.


Let’s take that idea one step further…


Many times if you’re on good terms with the crew and the Pit-miesters, they’ll let you play at a lower-than-posted rate at the more expensive table until at least one or more players joins in; then you’ll either have to bet at the “posted” minimum, or move back the cheaper and more crowded layout.


Developing a friendly, cooperative, symbiotic relationship with the crew and the Pit-dwellers is always a good idea.

Ø Since few mid-roller random-shooters like to play solo, there’s a likelihood that your action will bring more higher-limit (but reluctant-to-play-at-an-empty-table) players to the layout…and in doing so, you’ve done the Pit Boss a favor.


Ø By letting you play at a lower-than-posted bet-level until another player shows up, the Pit Boss has also done you a favor.


Doing stuff like this also tends to raise your stock-value as far as your worth to the casino (in the eyes of the Pit-guys that are filling out your Rating Card) is concerned. Besides, the worse they can say to your request about lowering the price of an empty table, or letting you play at it for a lesser amount until another player shows up…is “no”.


Suggestion #19…Ask For a HIGHER Limit Table


I know we just got finished talking about asking for a lower limit, but as I promised a moment ago, I want to return to the whole subject of playing at higher-denomination tables, and specifically about intentionally getting the Pit Manager to raise the table-minimum.

First of all, there are many, many ways to create more shooting opportunities at cheaper tables, but I want to make you aware of ALL the methods that I use, including the ones that involve playing on expensive layouts.

Asking for a higher table-minimum may sound counter-intuitive, but if you find a nice empty cheap table, you’ll often see players come out of the woodwork in droves as soon as you start to play. They may not have been around a moment ago; but as soon as you pick up the dice, they all swarm in like locusts.


If you find yourself on a table that is similarly-priced to all the other ones that are open, and you know from your own experience that most players will stay away if it is higher-priced; then it often makes sense for a skilled Precision-Shooter to have the bet-minimum raised to the highest-limit that you yourself are comfortable with.


This method acts to limit the amount of player-migration from nearby tables.
While a higher limit won’t make it exclusively yours (especially if it is only one rank higher than the others); you’ll definitely have a little more rail space than you would at the cheapest tables in the joint.


The idea is to afford yourself the most frequent dice-throwing chances WITHOUT raising the bet-minimum past your comfort-level (or your bankroll-affordability level). So, for example if all the other tables are set at $5, but you are comfortable with a $15 base-bet; then having the Pit Boss set the table at a $15-minimum instead of $10, it will have the effect of keeping more players away…and putting the dice in your hand more often.

It is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT that you remember that this whole more-shooting-opportunities concept is based on your validated Precision-Shooting advantage.
If your shooting shows a verified and consistent advantage, and your betting is properly matched to fully exploit that advantage; then it just makes good economic sense to get the dice in your paws as often as reasonably possible.


Suggestion #20…Eyes Open, Ears Tuned


In my seven-part Steaks, Trends and Opportunities series, we discussed various ways to “tune in” to what is happening at other nearby craps tables. The reason to do that is so you can clue in sooner to prevailing streaks and trends by listening to the stick-calls at other tables and watching how quickly or slowly the dice are circulating around.


In seeking out additional dice-shooting opportunities, you can use a similar technique.


Ø If you see that a nearby table is getting increasingly cold, that usually means that several players will be drifting away from the table sooner rather than later.


Ø It also means that the dice will be cycling around to your favorite table-position much faster than normal.


Ø In that case, you can usually time your move over to that table from the one you are currently at, to coincide with when the dice are about two positions away from your chosen spot.


Ø When you arrive at the new table, it is wise to throw out a sacrificial $1 bet on a Hardway or Prop-wager so that you’ve at least booked a bet on the previous player and you won’t look like (as much of) an interloper when the dice do make their way to your spot.


Keep your eyes open and your ears tuned to situations where you can put yourself into a position where you’ll be able to put your advantage-shooting to work for you.

Suggestion #21…Did the Fleet Just Dock?


Many times you will be standing at a table, and there will be a big influx of new players. Whether it be tour busses that just disgorged their passengers, or the early-show from the Showroom letting out; a big surge of people usually means that the tables will fill up quickly.
If you get to know the ebb and flow of casino action, you’ll get to know when the big crowds arrive and when they start to peter out. If you usually play at night; then don’t be surprised if it seems like the rest of the world has picked the same moment to play too.
The same goes for the weekends and holidays.


Get to know when the shows, sporting events and conventions let out, or when most people are coming out of the restaurants with a full belly and a full pocket of cash. If you avoid those times and all the other instances when there is a big influx of players, then you are more likely to have less people to deal with and more dice-tossing opportunities to profit from.

Suggestion #22…Playing at More Than One Table at a Time


Scope out other tables that are emptying out because of cold trends. If even the liars are complaining and everyone is drifting away; then this is an ideal opportunity for you to step up.
Park a chip in the rail at your current table to hold your spot, while you go over to that de-populated one.


As a side-note, it’s considered “impolite but not illegal” to be playing at more than one table at a time. If you are known by the crew and the Pit-critters as a good-tipping player; then it usually buys you additional latitude as far as casino-management allowing you to do this sort of thing is concerned.


A reserved spot at two different tables where you can shuttle back and forth between them, means having twice as many shooting opportunities to work your advantage-play magic in the same amount of time.

Suggestion # 23…Bubbles Crowd Detector


With Bubbles kind consent, I’m just going to paste his M-B post verbatim from the site:


Since I’m only an hour away from Atlantic City, I have never stayed overnight, but the other day I went into Caesars website to check my comps, and just for the hell of it looked to see what the room-rates were.


They had an icon link for special room deals and also an availability calendar. The calendar shows the room-rates for the next four months.


It struck me that with the same room going for $49 up to $450 a night (on a holiday) that this was a good way to determine low and high traffic dates.
So even if you aren’t staying overnight, you could check the room-rates and pick a low rate day for your visit to avoid the crowds
.”


That’s an outstanding idea, and I want to thank Bubbles for sharing it with us.


Who’s Got The Edge


Guys, you have to judge for yourself how good your dice-influencing skills are, and whether it is worth it to seek out additional shooting opportunities.


It’s important to weigh and compare your actual validated edge over the house against the amount of money that you would normally spend as far as betting on random-rollers.

If you have a confirmed edge and you eliminate one series of bets on a random-roller, but ADD one series of bets on yourself (that you’ve managed to squeeze into the same time-frame because you’ve created another shooting opportunity for yourself); then it is one more investment that you’ve made in yourself and one less probable waste of financial-resources on a situation where the house still has the advantage.

Think about THAT the next time you contemplate making a bet on a random-roller as opposed to seeking out another opportunity to make a bet on YOURSELF.

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


The Mad Professor

Copyright © 2007


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 25, 2007 6:30 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Forget the Complimentarities (Comps).

The next post in this blog is Creating More Shooting Opportunities - Part 4.

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