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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Where they see flaws, I see profit.
Morphing Maddog's No-Box Play Into My $290
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
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
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
- 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
For my $290 All-Across-Lay play, I use the
- 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
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
Total Playing Time
Average Session Duration
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 and $290 All-Across-Lay
Total Hands thrown
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
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
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
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.
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
$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
Total Net-Win from Lay-Bets
$4743 (after commission)
Avg. Lay-Bet Win/Hand
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
This is the total net-win from my DP w/12x-Odds
income when combined with the $290 All-Across-Lay
Avg. Combined Profit/Hand
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
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
It was done for my own benefit to validate some additional
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
test; I was nonetheless quite pleased with the outcome and I
now deem it worthy enough to add it to my bet-strategy arsenal.
Foreign-Exchange...Or How Not to Get Reamed on Currency
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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
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
Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables and in Life.
The Mad Professor Copyright © 2006