I made an informal pact with a group of players who frequent the small tribal casinos of Northern Michigan and Wisconsin.
We agreed not to openly trumpet just how incredibly good the tables are in these known-only-to-a-few gaming-houses, if everyone in the group agrees to strictly keep their betting-levels within the tight win-tolerance comfort-level confines that these Indian casinos operate under.
As such, I’ll keep the details about the outstanding playing-conditions in Northern Michigan and Wisconsin to an absolute minimum, and instead focus on the technical aspects of how and why Darkside-shooting can be incredibly lucrative with less effort and less actual “influence” to accomplish the same or better profit-objectives than Rightside-shooting requires.
Your Source of Influence Is Also Your Source of Profit
At its most elemental source, dice-influencing is all about affecting the number of 7’s versus the number of other non-7 outcomes that you produce.
➾ The Rightside-shooter wants to produce less 7’s and more non-7 outcomes during his point-cycle; thereby putting his Do-side bets into positive-expectation territory.
➾ On the flip-side, the Darkside-shooter wants to produce more 7’s and less of the other numbers during his point-cycle; thereby putting his Don’t-side wagers into positive-expectation territory.
The Darksider’s contrarian perspective actually has a pretty strong advantage-play rationale:
➾ If you can influence the dice at all; then why not influence the one number that is already dominant over all the other possible outcomes?
➾ The 7 is the only number that fits that requirement.
➾ The 7 requires the least amount of influence to increase its appearance-rate the most.
➾ Again, no other single number fits that requirement better; so why not put it to work for you instead of continually fighting against it?
Darkside-shooting can be the quickest and most efficient route to consistent advantage-play profit.
➾ It is far easier and much quicker to become proficient and profitable as a Darkside-shooter than it is to get everything right and steadily advantageous as a Rightsider.
Shooting FOR The Seven
As an advantage-player, you always have to be asking yourself, "Where will my betting-dollars do the most good and provide the best return-on-investment?"
In many cases, especially for the modestly skilled dice-influencer, the answer invariably comes back to Darkside-shooting.
➾ As a Rightsider, we try to broaden and increase our Sevens-to-Rolls Ratio (SRR) when we are shooting.
➾ As a Darksider, we try to narrow and decrease our Sevens-to-Rolls Ratio (SRR).
➾ As our Darkside SRR decreases, our chances of intentionally rolling a hand-winning 7-Out during the point-cycle, increases.
➾ As a Rightsider, we use certain dice-sets to stave off the 7 during our point-cycle (post Come-Out) shooting.
➾ Meanwhile, the Darksider usually uses a different dice-set that assists his effort to hasten the appearance of a 7-Out winner.
A dice-influencer who has already validated his level of Precision-Shooting skill as a Rightsider, can easily transpose and convert that skill into Darkside shooting.
This equivalency chart shows how easily 7-avoidance is convertible into a 7-supportive scenario:
The skill that it takes to produce a Do-side SRR of 1:8 is exactly the same skill that it takes to produce a Don’t-side SRR of 1:4.
Let me express this another way:
➾ If you have a Rightside point-cycle SRR of 1:8 and you still find it difficult to avoid the 7; imagine what it would be like if you took that exact same toss-dynamics influencing skill to intentionally produce more 7’s…to the tune of an average of nine 7’s per thirty-six outcomes.
The upside is that the Don’t-sider only has to influence ONE number (the 7) to get to the honey-pot of profit, while the Do-sider with multiple bets on the layout usually has to influence several numbers and often has to hit them multiple times just to break-even.
Take a look at how the number of 7’s increases as we use our dice-influencing skills to intentionally lower our Sevens-to-Rolls Ratio:
While Rightsiders fear the point-cycle 7; Darksiders embrace it. If you think the 7 has a dominance against a random-roller at a per-roll expectancy of 16.67%; imagine the impact it would have if you converted your Rightside SRR-8 shooting into a one-7-in-every-four-rolls (25%) SRR-4 Dark-betting juggernaut.
➾ The Darkside possibilities of taking the random appearance-rate from six 7’s and increasing it by 50% to nine 7’s looks downright mouth-watering from an advantage-players perspective.
➾ When a Precision-Shooter uses his dice-influencing skills to encourage and increase the occurrence-rate of the 7; he is taking an already dominant number and making it even better.
To my mind, if you take the single strongest number on a pair of dice and add just a little bit of positive influence to it; then you are working with the strongest bet on the table, bar none.
On the Rightside, our SRR-rate determines our per-roll probability of rolling a 7-out. Even though our roll-to-roll skill remains fairly constant, the ever-present 7 has a direct and over-riding effect on our actual roll-duration.
➾ We measure the cumulative effect of the 7 as the roll-duration “decay-rate”.
➾ As Rightsiders, we can use that decay-rate to determine the optimal bet-reduction trigger point for regression-style wagering where we reduce our large initial bet down to a smaller one, thereby locking up a profit.
➾ Likewise as Darkside-shooters, our chances of throwing a 7-Out also INCREASES as our point-cycle roll progresses…and for us, that’s a good thing. In this case, the decay-rate actually works in our favor, so the more we can help it along, the better.
➾ As much as Rightsiders want to avoid the 7 during the point-cycle portion of their hand; Darksiders want to hasten and encourage its appearance.
When viewed on a per-roll basis, the random-rolling SRR-6 shooter has a 16.67% chance of a 7 showing up during any given single roll. However, we also know that the domination of the 7 is such that long hands are the exception rather than the rule. That’s why long rolls are so darn memorable.
On a per-roll basis, the chance of a random 7 showing up remains locked in at exactly 16.67% on each and every roll; however the CUMULATIVE roll-ending effect of such a dominant number means that for each subsequent roll when it doesn’t show up…the chances of it showing up increases with each and every subsequent toss after that during a given hand.
This approach has nothing to do with due-number theory and everything to do with the math of the game, the law of large-numbers, the cumulative probability of occurrence and the sheer power of one dominant number over all of the other possible outcomes.
It takes very little influence to intentionally tip the 7 more in your favor…and in doing so we can derive all kinds of profit from it.
Whether you like it or not, and regardless of your SRR-rate, your chances of hitting a 7-Out increases with every subsequent point-cycle roll.
Again, your per-roll chances of throwing a 7 is dictated by your Sevens-to-Rolls Ratio and that per-roll number remains perfectly static; however the cumulative effect of a string of non-7 outcomes, means that the accretive (accumulating) rate of a 7 occurring, significantly increases with every subsequent non-7 outcome.
For example, if you graphed your point-cycle roll duration, you would see that the number of your hands that last 3-rolls outnumber the ones that last 10-rolls, but the 10-roll hands far outpace the ones that last 30-rolls, however the 30-roll hands far outpace your point-cycle hands that last for 100-rolls. That in a nutshell, is HOW the cumulative power of the over-riding 7 affects roll-duration regardless of your SRR-rate.
As a result, the Rightsiders who recognize how certain betting-methods can profitably harness the power of even the most modest dice-influencing skills despite the SRR-indicative roll-duration decay-rate (as chronicled in the ongoing 18-part Regression Avoids Depression series) learn to profitably live with it; while Do-siders who don’t recognize or harness it, continually moan about the disconnect between their shooting-skill and their retained profit.
In that same vein, Darksiders who recognize and properly harness their dice-influencing proficiency love how the cumulative accretion of expected 7’s turns the SRR-indicative roll-duration decay-rate into an undisputable money-maker.
A Darkside dice-influencer simply forces that already-dominant number to become EVEN MORE DOMINANT; and as a consequence, profitably exploitable 7-Out results follow.
So instead of negatively looking at this as a roll-duration “decay-rate” as is done on the Rightside; we as Darksiders, more appropriately look at our intentional sub-random performance as an “accretion-rate” where our chances of rolling a 7-Out during the point-cycle mathematically accumulates on each subsequent non-7 outcome.
Again, the per-roll chances of rolling a 7 is indicated by our SRR-rate, and that percentage-of-occurrence stays steady on any given roll that you make. However, the totality of a 7-Out is measurable over the entire expected duration of a dice-influenced hand and as you’ll see in a moment, that number is FAR from static.
Take a look at the already validated accumulative effect that the 7 has on a random shooters roll-duration and compare it to how the 7’s appearance rate is incrementally accelerated by even the most modest of positive dice-influencing inducement:
As each rolls proceeds without a 7, there is less and less chance that the 7 will stay away. As a Rightsider that isn’t so great, but as a Darkside-shooter, that can be a VERY lucrative thing.
As I said, though the per-roll chance of a 7 showing up always remains exactly the same at 1-in-6 (16.67%) for a random-roller or 1-in-4 (25%) for a SRR-4 shooter; the accumulative effect that it has on roll-duration is absolutely unmistakable. The profitable Darkside exploitation of these incrementally accelerated expected-7’s by even the most modest dice-influencing efforts is something that an ever-increasing number of advantage-players no longer ignore.
Cumulative probability outweighs individual roll-expectation.
“We’re Not In Detroit Anymore Toto”
Once you venture out of the urban milieu of Motown, the softer, bucolic side of Michigan prevails. Most of this state’s casinos are north of Detroit…and some of them are waaaaay north, to the tune of ~400 miles north of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. That approximates the distance between Dallas and Jackson, MS, or Los Angeles to San Francisco, or Knoxville to Charleston, SC, or Omaha to St. Paul.
Although some substantial driving distances are involved when traveling between all of these far-flung gaming-outposts; to my mind, the effort is definitely worth it. A tour of all thirteen MI casinos (where craps is currently available) involves a bit of logistical planning. I temporarily suspended my cross-continent Darkside journey after the Detroit/Windsor leg in order to take care of Ms. MP and to better organize the Michigan, Wisconsin, and Manitoba segment.
Without having to deal with the Eight Mile Road BLT-posse (“born losers with a twenty”) that populate the Detroit casinos during certain hours; the Indian casinos of Michigan can focus on offering outstanding customer service and equally outstanding dice-shooting conditions. I promised not to say that it’s a dice-influencers paradise…so I won’t.
Though the upper betting-limits at these Native casinos may not always be as high as one might want; the more frequent shooting opportunities afforded by the dealers not having to book anywhere from 30 to 110 hop-bets before each and every roll of the dice (as they frequently do in Detroit) definitely makes a huge difference in game-pace and shooting rhythm. Added to the fact that their tables are generally uncrowded at most hours, I had plenty of shooting opportunities on an around-the-clock basis.
Here’s the briefest of brief summaries of the non-Detroit Michigan casinos:
Leelanua Sands Resort and Turtle Bay Casino in the middle of the Traverse Bay area are both operated by the Grand Traverse Band. The table at TBC may not be open until 12-noon during the week, but hums 24 hours-a-day on the weekend. LSR has one particular table that rivals some of the most consistently exploitable layouts that I’ve ever played on.
Ojibway Casino Marquette and Ojibway Casino Baraga both offer 5x odds with a $2-$200 limit. The crews are not as skilled as some of the other casinos in MI, but their good attitude more than makes up for any shortcomings. All I’m going to say about their tables is that I LOVE them!
Bay Mills Casino in Brimley is right on the waterfront and offers a $5 game with 10x-Odds, however, your max flat-bet is topped out at $100. Comps are fairly easy to get for low-to-medium green-chip action, and causes absolutely no heat or looks of concern from the pit. There aren’t any high-end restaurants in Bay Mills, but their lower-end Diner, Grille and Café provide passable offerings.
Chip-In Island Resort in Harris has two craps tables (one stand-up tub and one 16-footer) that are usually set at the $2, $3, or $5-minimum/3x-Odds/$200 max-bet mark, but they only open around 11 am during the week. Their Island Club players card offers the usual food, lodging and entertainment comps, along with same-day free gas comps and extremely generous mail-out cash vouchers.
Little River Casino in Manistee has a $5 to $500 game going most of the time, although if one or both of their two 14-foot tables are standing empty, they will often lower one to $2 or $3 if you ask nicely. The free-Odds situation at LRC is a little quirky. You are allowed 5x-Odds on flat PL-wagers up to $100. Past that point, your free-odds are limited to 2x. They have a palatable enough range of food offerings that are all compable for mid-level play, as is their lodge-style hotel.
Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant has an exquisite mini-tub table that has to be seen and played to be believed. I encountered no heat, no concern, and no problem in using this table numerous times as my personal cash-register during the three-and-a-half-weeks that I spent on the Michigan leg of my Darkside journey.
Victories Casino in Petoskey has one table, and although the casino itself opens at 8 a.m., the table doesn't usually open until a little later. Their Bakinaage Players Club is more generous than I ever anticipated, and their dining options, although severely limited in scope, are outstanding in quality. I found the table was initially a little tough to get dialed in on. To be fair though, I had spent the better part of a morning man-handling a new set of Scorpion 345/60’s for the LM002, so transitioning to lightly and accurately throwing the dice took a little bit of re-acclimation.
Kewadin Sault Ste. Marie requires a surprisingly low play-threshold to snag a run-of-the-mill hotel room comp, while sustained green-chip play will bump you up to a Jacuzzi suite. Their Northern Rewards players card is of the cross-property type, which means you can use the comps you’ve earned at one Kewadin casino, at any of their other four properties.
Kewadin St. Ignace offers 10x-Odds just like the other three Kewadin casinos that offer craps (the two Kewadin casinos in Christmas and Hessel do not currently offer craps). Their almost famous Lakefront Inn may not look like anything from the outside, but the actual guest-rooms that overlook the water are downright inspirational, with stone fireplaces, walk-out balconies, and views that stir the soul.
The three Kewadin casinos that I played at all offer exceptional shooting conditions, and as with the other Indian casinos of Michigan, there is absolutely no heat or pit-concern as long as your betting-levels are kept within reason (green-chip play with $25 PL w/10x-Odds and up to $330-Inside or $390/$405-Across for Rightsiders, and $75 DP w/12x-Odds for Darksiders); and within their win-tolerance comfort-level (<$1500 per session/no more than one max-win session per day, or <$500 per session/no more than three sessions per day).
Kewadin Manistique does not have its own hotel, but there are four or five nearby motels that are compable through your casino host; however be forewarned that we are talking about Comfort Inn/Budget Inn type accommodation. The Kewadin tribe is also the owner/operator group of Greektown Casino in Detroit.
Lac Vieux Desert Casino in Watersmeet has a couple of low-limit tables that are almost always open 24 hours a day during the tourist season, but whose operating hours fluctuate in the off-season. LVD has very limited weekday food choices. You can expect a steady stream of mail-out room comps for their Dancing Eagles Resort (which is really just a tarted-up motel) for minimal play.
There are another dozen or so casinos in Michigan that DO NOT currently offer craps, and therefore I didn’t visit any of them during ~25 days of Michigan play.
Long-Table to Short-Table to Long-Table Shooting Adjustments
The number of excellent tub-tables in Northern Michigan is slowly increasing, while the number of tubs, mini-tables and sit-down Crapshooter™ layouts in Las Vegas is quickly shrinking.
My fifteen-part Mini-Table Craps Tour With The Vegas Ghost chronicles all of those LV tables both past and present. More importantly though, that series is filled with tips, pointers and all kinds of effective advice about getting the best dice-influencing results possible from small tables. It covers everything from dicesetting even where it is strictly prohibited, to betting in proportion to each casinos bet-tolerance and win-tolerance limits, how to adjust your toss-dynamics to best suit short throwing distances, and much, much more. However, the one thing that it doesn’t include, is how to rapidly adjust from shooting at short tables and then immediately switching to long tables and vice versa.
Since a growing number of North MI casinos have a mini-tub and a longer 12, 14, or 16-foot table too, you never know in advance which one will be open and which one won’t. Now you can call the table-games pit in advance like I do to find out which is available at various times of the day or night, but I also recommend practicing and preparing your shooting for both mini and maxi sizes just in case the situation changes in the interim, as it often does.
I recommend doing some pre-casino warm-ups by shooting from the most likely tub-distances of 3.00, 3.75 and 4.50-feet, and then switching to normal-tables distances of 6.00, 6.75, and 7.50-feet.
➾ Once I dial my shooting in from the shorter distances, I like to throw perhaps a dozen or so more tosses, and then switch over to the longer expanse.
➾ Then, when I’ve got my shooting on track for the longer distances, I switch back to the shorter ones.
➾ By swapping throwing-distances back and forth, I am able to improve and transfer my toss-dynamic malleability to various table lengths much more easily, especially when I walk into a casino that has two very distinct table-sizes.
➾ Equally, this warm-up is a tremendous help when your favorite table-position is not available. You can develop this to the point where no table-position is “out of position” for you or your skills.
➾ This exercise combines physical adaptability with psychological conditioning. The more confidence you have in various-length throws, the better able you are to concentrate on making each throw the best throw that it can be.
➾ Increased skill-validated shooting-confidence means increased dice-influenced profits.
Darksiders who recognize and properly harness their dice-influencing proficiency love how the cumulative accretion of expected 7’s turns the SRR-indicative roll-duration decay-rate into an undisputable money-maker; and the more table-size lengths that you can do that at, the more you’ll be able to take advantage of it.
By mildly influencing the already-dominant 7, the Darkside-shooter takes a strong number and makes it even stronger. By fully recognizing the “accretion-rate” (where his chances of rolling a 7-Out during the point-cycle mathematically accumulates on each subsequent non-7 outcome); he puts himself into a more accessible position to take profitable advantage of his D-I skills than a comparably proficient Rightsider can.
We’ll explore this phenomenon quite a bit more as we motor into the dairyland state of Wisconsin. I hope you’ll join me for that. Until then,
Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.