As a border city from across Detroit, Michigan, you would think that the Big Three from Motown (no, not Ford, GM and Chrysler…but rather, MGM Grand, Greektown and Motor City Casino) would easily overshadow their Canadian neighbor, Casino Windsor, to the south-east; and to some extent it does.
If the sheer number of craps tables on the Michigan side of the border is the determining factor, then obviously the three American casinos tower over Casino Windsor by a huge margin. However, for me, the true measure of a casino is whether or not the conditions are right for an advantage player to make substantial amounts of money within a reasonably short period of time…without wearing out his welcome (or that of future dice-influencing players)…all the while remaining completely under the advantage-player radar.
Under that gauge, Casino Windsor gets my unreserved endorsement as an outstanding place to play…and profit.
Casino Windsor Table Conditions
When you appraise and quantify playing conditions, table-felt conditions, game-pace and tempo, other D-I player skill-levels, casino win-tolerance and overall atmosphere; Casino Windsor comes across as a nice, relaxed place to churn out relatively steady Precision-Shooting revenue.
The craps tables at Casino Windsor are amongst the best neutral-rolling, low-backwall-rebounding tables that I’ve run across…and they have remained that way for almost four full years now. To wit, regardless of how often they wet-vac the tables or how frequently they change the felt…the layouts continue to react exactly the same way…year after year.
When you consider how often you run into a table where it seems your shooting can do no wrong…and the next time you visit it’s a wonder if your dice stay on-axis even once; then you’ll appreciate the dependable landing-dynamics and reliable backwall rebounds that these tables continue to offer.
With that type of layout-to-layout reliability, I figured this would be a perfect spot to broaden my Darkside-shooting betting strategies.
A Short Geographic Note
The Great White North city of Windsor, Ontario is located SOUTH of Detroit, Milwaukee, Green Bay, umm, make that south of the entire states of Wisconsin…and Minnesota…and North Dakota…and South Dakota…and Montana…and Idaho…and Washington…and Oregon. It’s also south of New York, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and of course, Connecticut. Heck, if it was any further south, Windsor residents would probably start storing old washing-machines and refrigerators on their front porches and asking, “Y’all wanna caribou Timbit with that there coffee?” As it is though, until global-warming brings that corn-pone nirvana closer to reality; they’ll simply have to settle for rusted-out Mercury Montcalm’s and Pontiac Laurentian’s in their side yard and continue to insist that all beer under 6% alcohol is strictly for children, the elderly, or the feeble-minded.
Time For a Little Explorative Betting
I had been fooling around with various Darkside betting-strategies based on my average hand-duration (how many rolls it takes to intentionally 7-Out), as well as tracking my primary-face hit-rate for both the Come-Out and the Point-cycle. I knew my shooting was up to par and I had narrowed my chosen methods down to a few.
For the Come-Out, I decided to stick with my normal “Game Within a Game” strategy. It had been delivering up a steady flow of high-dollar cash over the last couple of months, and although there was certainly room for improvement in both the shooting aspect of the C-O as well as the betting efficiency, I felt that there was much more upside potential that could be rung out of the point-cycle itself.
Delving Into New Betting-Methods
Without reservation, I can say that the betting strategy that I’m about to discuss was not originated by me. My strength is in taking the best betting-methods and ideas that others have come up and tweaking them to suit my own game-approach and bet-level.
The following is a prime example…
Maddog’s No-Box Play
The idea of lay-betting all the box-numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10), and then intentionally setting for a 7-Out is one that has intrigued me for some time now.
I will admit that I’ve done similar plays over the years, but never in a concerted and sustained experimental way to see just how effective and productive a method like this would be in real-world casino-combat. I had also done a lot of previous experimentation with Laying the 5 and/or 9 and using it either as a Come-Out money-maker, or as a Point-cycle strategy when paired-up with the S-6 dice-set.
Still though, Maddog’s NO-BOX lay-action play was a substantial step up in terms of total bet-commitment (not to mention that it required avoidance against a total of six numbers) as compared to when you are just avoiding one number (when you have a single DP-wager with full-Odds) or even against a couple of numbers as in the No-5 and/or No-9 play.
What finally convinced me to use his bet-strategy was the chart that he created which shows Expected Win-Rates when using various dice-sets in combination with variable on-axis proficiencies…all while matched up to a couple of different Lay-bet strategies.
In Maddog’s words:
“These numbers assume that the bet is setup the same way for each of the 36 rolls and includes the probability of “no-decision” rolls (i.e. 2, 3, 11, 12) when laying all the box-numbers.
I ran the simulation two ways; first, where all lay-bets were immediately replaced when knocked off, and second where all lay-bets were reset only on the Come-out roll, but left up until replaced (never taken down). There was only a small percentage difference (7.99% vs 8.04%) between the two strategies.
A quick look at Maddog’s chart lets you match your current on-axis proficiency to the dice-set and the Lay-strategy that would work best with it.
In my case I chose the S-6 set with the “No Across” bets for my point-cycle shooting.
Gentlemen…Choose Your Weapon
I’m continually amused by the scholarly scoffing about the dice-influencing concept of keeping the dice on-axis. I’m told that using an “ideal” starting point like supposing that the V-3 set could be kept on-axis 100% of the time is flawed thinking and therefore the goal of keeping them on-axis and the associated betting-methods attached to perfect concepts like that are also flawed and doomed to failure.
If you take a sober look at this chart, you’ll see that there actually IS merit to keeping the dice on-axis and it doesn’t take anywhere near 100% O/A proficiency for some sets to prove their worth.
If you take a look at the S-6 set for example, you’ll see that even rudimentary axial control can yield substantial returns with Maddog’s No-Box Lay-bets. Further though, there are some dice-sets when paired with certain bets that NEVER become profitable no matter how much they are kept on axis…and in fact it clearly shows that random-rolling would actually offer a LOWER loss-rate.
When it comes to making money from your current Precision-Shooting skills, you have to do your homework. When you combine your on-axis proficiencies and correlated off-axis dominants with various different dice-sets and a variety of betting-methods; you’ll discover a variety of ways to directly convert your skill into profit.
Math scholars may look at this approach as being seriously flawed and deceptive, but I look at this chart and see “OPPORTUNITY” scrawled all over it in big ghetto-sized letters.
Where they see flaws, I see profit.
Morphing Maddog’s No-Box Play Into My $290 All-Across-Lay
Though this method was, it appears, originally designed as a Come-Out strategy for a Rightsider (looking for a 7-winner that would pay his flat PL-wager along with a boatload of cash from an across-the-board Lay bet against all the box-numbers), I chose to apply it to my point-cycle-shooting (after the PL-Point is established).
To complement the size of my Don’t Pass with full-Odds wager, I raised the sperm-count of the Lay-bet up to the $290 All-Across level.
Here’s how I set it up to work with my Darkside shooting…
➽ I make my normal $25 Don’t Pass wager.
➽ As usual, I back my DP line-bet with full-Odds. In normal casinos that offer 3x, 4x, 5x-Odds on PL-wagers, I’d be allowed to bet up to six times my DP wager, regardless of the Point. However, in Windsor they allow 10x-Odds on the Pass-line, so Darksiders are allowed to lay a maximum of 12x-Odds on the DP, regardless of the Point.
➽ I then make lay-bets against all the open box-numbers.
➽ Since my DP wager (with 12x-Odds) covers one of the box-numbers, I make wagers “against” the remaining five.
For my $290 All-Across-Lay play, I use the following amounts…
➽ Lay $50 each against the 4 and 10. At 1:2, each number pays $25 when you 7-Out.
➽ Lay $60 each against the 5 and 9. At 2:3, each number pays $40 when you 7-Out.
➽ Lay $60 each against the 6 and 8. At 5:6, each number pays $50 when you 7-Out.
To cover all those numbers except your DP-Point, you’ll be looking at putting out either $290 or $280 on the layout (depending on your Point) plus a vigorish (commission) of approximately $9 to cover all the numbers.
In some jurisdictions, they only charge the vig if you win, while others will give you a break as to how much they charge. In most cases however, you can expect to pay at least $1 for every $20 that the bet can potentially “win”. So on a $40 Lay-bet against the 10 (which at 1:2, would “win” $20), you should generally expect to pay $1 for the privilege of making that bet. Again, some places charge the commission upfront when you make the bet, while others only charge it after the win and take it out of your paid winnings.
Okay, those are the basics; let’s get to what’s really important…how did it fare?
Casino Windsor 3-Day Trial
Here’s a summary of how I did with this All-Across-Lay experiment:
Experiment Duration: Three days
Total Playing Time: 17.8 hours
Sessions Played: Eight (8)
Average Session Duration: ~2.25 hours
Average Dice-Cyclic Rate: ~25 minutes for the dice to cycle around back to me.
Type of Bets: $25 Don’t Pass w/Full 12x-Odds
Total Hands thrown: Forty-Three (43)
Unintended Point-Repeaters: Four (4).
In each case, I retained the dice, and replaced my DP
line-bet along with full 12x-Oddsmy DP line-bet along
with full 12x-Odds against the second PL-Point. There
were no occasions during this experiment
when I unintentionally repeated the anti-Point twice.
Adjusted DP-Point Hands: Forty-Seven (47)
This accounts for the total number of times I had a DP-Point to beat. That is, the 43 original Points plus the 4 times FI unintentionally repeated the Point and inadvertently caught a second Point to defeat as well.
Total Win from DP w/Odds: $8,375
Avg. Win from DP w/Odds: $178 (based on 47 total hands)
When averaged over the actual 43 dice-handle-hands that it took to generate this income, the average increases to $194/turn-with-the-dice.
Unintended Lay-Outcomes: Sixty-Six (66)
This is the total number of times that I threw an unintended box-number during the point-cycle which knocked off that particular Lay-bet. I did not replace that box-number during that hand.
I tracked this number by using $1 chips in a separate section of my rack. I also kept track of which number I was inadvertently throwing the most.
Avg. Lay-Losses/Hand: 1.4 box-numbers per hand
This figure does not include the four times when I accidentally repeated the PL-Point, nor does it include the 43 initial point-establishing rolls. Instead, it specifically includes any mid-roll point-cycle outcomes that extinguished any of my All-Across lay-bets.
Avg. Loss/Lay-Bet: $57 including vigorish
This was my average loss-per-bet where a Lay-bet gets unintentionally knocked off.
Avg. Lay-Bet Loss/Hand $79 including vigorish
This was my average Lay-bet loss-per hand and accounts for the fact that on average I knocked off 1.4 Lay-bets per hand.
Total Net-Win from Lay-Bets: $4743 (after commission)
Avg. Lay-Bet Win/Hand: $101
Although this figure is substantially less than the theoretical perfect-world earnings than one could earn if there wasn’t the inefficient messiness of knocking off so many box-numbers, I think it can be improved upon through the future lay-bet exclusion of my most dominant on-axis box-number…which also happens to be my most recurrent off-axis dominant number as well.
Combined Bet-Strategy Win: $13,118
This is the total net-win from my DP w/12x-Odds income when combined with the $290 All-Across-Lay revenue.
Avg. Combined Profit/Hand: $279/turn-with-the-dice
A Few Added Thoughts About the All-Across-Lay Method
This is a bit of a good-news, bad news thing.
When your Darkside-shooting is really grooved in, the All-Across-Lay method is a semi-efficient money-maker. Needless to say, when your dice-throwing isn’t up to par; this approach can be frustrating and downright excruciating when you repeatedly knock off your Lay-bets with mid-roll hits on any of those box-numbers. In fact it can be quite embarrassing if the whole knocking-off-your-own-bet thing really bothers you. Personally it doesn’t bother me…it’s just part of the process of getting to the profit.
As with major grip changes or toss re-adjustments, it’s always best to experiment, fine-tune and validate all of your new betting-scenarios at home before you try any of them in a casino setting.
Now clearly this little All-Across-Lay trial at Casino Windsor was not a clinically-controlled scientific experiment conducted by guys in lab-coats with pocket-protectors and slide-rules.
It was done for my own benefit to validate some additional Darkside-betting rationale.
It was done with real money on real-world craps tables in a real-world casino, and though the sampling size of forty-three hands was undoubtedly way too small to pass the eight-billion-rolls-required-to-prove-itself-mathematically-worthy test; I was nonetheless quite pleased with the outcome…and I now deem it worthy enough to add it to my bet-strategy arsenal. Thanks Maddog!
Foreign-Exchange…Or How Not to Get Reamed on Currency Conversion
When you play craps in Canada, you have to convert some of your U.S. dollars into Canadian money. It’s as simple as doing any other transaction at the casino cage. The conversion-rate is clearly posted at nearly every wicket-window.
Some people don’t like the fact that there is a difference between the “sell-rate” (which is the rate you get if you are “selling” your U.S. dollars and converting them into Canadian dollars) and the “buy-rate” (which is the rate you get if you are “buying back” your U.S. dollars with Canadian dollars).
In some cases, the “float”, which is the difference between the buy-rate and sell-rate, can be as high as a couple of percentage points. On a $1000 exchange, that could add up to $20 or $30 each way.
Fortunately, there are several ways around that:
➽ You can set up a Line-of-Credit at Casino Windsor (or any other Canadian casino), based on your U.S. bank-account. The L.C. is "drawable" at the tables without having to convert ANY of your cash.
➽ Only your losses (if any) are payable in Canadian dollars instead of your entire buy-in.
➽ This way, you do not pay ANY exchange on ANY transactions except for the money that you actually lose at the tables. When you pay off your marker, you COULD pay it off with U.S.-converted-to-Canadian money. This way, you only get a one-way rip on the "float", instead of the two that a buy-and-sell transaction would incur.
➽ However, you SHOULD pay off your marker with a check from your U.S. account (denominated in $CDN). That way, you only pay your own bank's exchange-rate float which should be about 1/3rd lower than the casinos exchange-rate.
➽ If you play in Canada quite a bit, you might look at either keeping a portion of your bankroll in Canadian dollars, or you could open a Front Money account at Casino Windsor, and only pay the exchange-rate once in a while when you repatriate your winnings into USD$.
➽ Or you can have the casino cut you a check in Canadian funds from your Front Money Account when you want to drain off some of your profit. That way, you only pay the exchange-rate that YOUR bank is offering, and not be subject any usurious casino rates.
➽ If you need any additional information on Casino Credit, Front Money accounts, or Casino Markers; you could have a look at Casino Credit – Part Three as well as my entire four-part Casino Credit Update series (especially if you are interested in having any of your outstanding markers heavily discounted from their face-value).
Players Cards, Comps and Food
As with most other places, Casino Windsor has three levels of players-cards…basic, silver and gold. Of course they fancy it up by calling them Prestige, Preferred and Premier-level. Their comp system is fairly generous when compared to the LV-Strip or to A/C, and a free buffet is yours for the asking after a few hours of low-spread action.
A couple of dining highlights:
➽ Pan-seared soft-shell crabs at the Riverside Grille…overlooking the river. In the moonlight, Detroit looks downright inviting.
➽ Hazelnut-encrusted Pickerel and Tangerine Crème Brule at Caché…which unfortunately is only open to silver (Preferred) and gold-level (Premier) players-card members.
As good as those two places are; C-W’s temporary Promenade Buffet falls a little short in several areas, but it still beats most other non-casino buffet feeding-troughs by a wide margin.
As with every four-star, four-diamond hotel, Casino Windsor’s hotel delivers every in-room amenity that you would possibly need or want (okay it didn’t come with the topless room-service attendants like they have at the Four Seasons in Chiang Mai, but this is still Canada after all…no matter how far south Windsor is on the map).
The level of luxury in their deluxe/executive suites is pleasing but definitely not as over the top as you might expect from a gaming property that was created and managed (until McHarrah’s takes it over) by the multi-headed Caesars/Park Place/Hilton hydra. I blame that on (or credit it to) the mostly conservative and restrained tastes of the high-end players who get first shot at these comped digs.
When you look out over the Detroit River and beyond to Lake St. Clair in one direction and to Lake Erie in the other; it’s not difficult to get caught up in the juxtaposed beauty of the brutally subdued proximate Motown skyline which serves as a backdrop to the waterscape that stretches for miles in either direction.
Heck, from that height, Detroit looked downright inviting.
Now that I had validated my All-Across-Lay method as a legitimate money-maker, I wanted to start fine-tuning it to deal with one particular on-axis box-number dominant and its correlated off-axis fraternal twin that was single-handedly constraining my win-rate…and the Detroit casinos looked like an ideal place to do it.
I hope you’ll join me for that leg of my Darkside-shooting journey.
Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tabl
es…and in Life.
The Mad Professor