I keep electronic notes after each one of my casino sessions. Each set of notes merge together to form a large, but effective reference e-book. It’s a work in progress that probably will continue to expand and evolve for the foreseeable future.
I thought that a little peek into my Precision-Shooters Bible might give you a little bit more insight into the skills that bring home the REAL MONEY!
I’ve given each shooting-style it’s own name so the Table Notes that I make after each session make more sense to me. It makes the shots more easily repeatable, even if I’ve been away from a particular casino for some time. By making note about what throwing-methods work best on different tables, the Shooting Bible definitely helps with shooting-consistency. And after all, if you can shoot well, and do it consistently enough…that’s where the real money is!
As you know, I am a firm believer in making accurate, actionable notes after every casino session. When the thoughts are fresh and the accuracy is the greatest, these notes are for future use in honing my skills and bringing the “repeatability” of good-shooting to my game.
I want you to think of the times when you’ve been at a craps table and done well with the dice. After that good session, you then step up to another table right beside the first one, and you have one of the ugliest and shortest hands you’ve ever thrown. You probably don’t have to search too deep into your memory bank to recall a situation like that do you?
Now some of that poor-performance may have to do with exhaustion or higher-expectations, but most of it can be attributed to slightly different table or throwing conditions. In fact, I’ll bet the same thing may have happened to you without even changing tables. Success can seem flighty and elusive when we are in that frustrating-inconsistent phase of our shooting abilities. This is where session notes are critical.
It is SO important to enter and make note of all the little nuances of your successful hands. While it is fairly important to keep track of the number of rolls and the amount of profit that you generated, it is MORE important to figure out HOW you did it. THAT is how you get repeatable consistency.
The “Table” section of my session notes will specify which tables that I played on and any particular items of interest about that individual craps layout.
For example, if I had been away from Gaughan’s Plaza Hotel & Casino in Downtown Las Vegas for a while; I would pull up that casino on my handheld computer screen. I would do a quick scan of my last three or four sessions there, paying attention to how well I did, and which particular shooting methods worked best. At the same time, I would specifically look at which tables at the Plaza have historically proven to be the most profitable for me.
In a moment, you will see that I give each throwing-method a different name. This isn’t to glamorize what I do. It is simply a mental-trigger so that I can automatically do the correct throwing set-up to match a particular table based on my past performance on it.
Instead of writing…okay…”grip the dice using the middle finger in front and grip it medium-hard, while the thumb grips the back seam of the two dice about three-quarters of the way down…then use a quarter back-swing prior to launch…and release the dice at 80-to-85 degrees from the perpendicular…with a low-backspin/thumb-push release”…I simply write…“Tried, Tested & True” (T, T & T). My brain automatically goes through a pre-throw checklist for that particular throw. In my session notes I know exactly what that short-form note means.
Here’s an example of one entry. I’ve added the stuff in brackets for your easier understanding.
Date: Wednesday, April 17th, 2002
Casino: Plaza Hotel
Location: closest to the bar
Table Limits: $2 to $1000, 10x Odds
Worn, smooth on “action” areas, semi-smooth on the apron (low-activity areas are near the back and side-walls on most tables. The “action” areas are those that get a lot of chip activity.)
Time In: 5:30 am
Time Out:8:00 am
Position: R-2 (note that this is two positions to the right side of the stickman)
# of Players: 1 to 7, averaged 3
Precision-Shooters: 0 (other than myself)
Rolls: 8, 12, 10, 4, 27, 18, 41, 21, 9, 30, 40, 39, 6, 5, 32, 45, 32, and 17.
(While I am at the table, I keep track of the rolls for each of my hands with the use of gaming chips. At the end of the hand, I make a small note of the number of rolls that I just made.)
Roll Average: 22 (This entry is automatically calculated based on the above-noted
Hands & Rolls entry, and is rounded up or down to the nearest whole number.)
Medium-low (This is the gauge of how hard I am “pressing” my bets when on a “hot” hand.)
$2784 (This is the amount that I let the box-man know that I was leaving with. This is NOT an accurate gauge of profitability, as you’ll see in the next item.)
$2000 (This is the amount of chips that I have “skimmed-off” during my session. I do this to minimize the impact that the casino thinks I am having on their game. I cash out these chips at a different time than when I cash-out my chips that I Colored-In at the end of my current session.)
Net Profit: $4284
Energy Level: good, no distractions
Smoke/Distractions: nil to low
Players: Saw Keno-Robbie, but he was more interested in a Texas Hold ’Em game in the Poker Room.
JH (name deleted) was Pit Boss/Shift Manager, no problem with my win-amount. Crew made a ton of money, especially when Francisco was on stick. The three long hands were surrounded by good solid rolls when the table was empty. The 30, 40, 39 and the 32, 45, 32 hands were done solo (no other players at the table) when Francisco brought the dice right back to me. In between new hands he didn’t even dump the dice bowl, he just mopped the old ones back to me. The crew dropped about $280 in the juke-box (toke box).
Used “Low, Slow & Easy” (L, S & E) on the first four hands, but the dice weren’t biting. (I give each shooting method a “name” so that it is easier for me to remember and duplicate when I am at the table. I’ll define what each one is in one of the upcoming installments in this series of articles.)
-Dice edges were worn, and at least five or six hours old.
-Felt-nap was low, and very smooth.
Switched to “Tried, Tested & True” (T, T & T) and “Extended-Lift Back-Draw” (E-L, B-D) for the balance of the session.
On the 6 and 5 roll hands, I knew the 7-Out would appear while the dice were still in mid-air. I saw the right-dice wobble as soon as it left my hand. On the 4-roll hand, the left dice stuck to my thumb, and rolled sideways immediately.
The dice always splatter and scatter if you over-amp on the T, T & T landing on these tables. (“over-amp” means too-high of a landing angle)
Perfect Dead Cat Bounce (DCB) with 50° landing-angle, 4” from back-wall when I used the E-L, B-D.
Pass Line rolling-lane veers to the left at hook on L, S & E.
Sweet-Spots: (1)-E-L, B-D DCB with 50°, 4” from back-wall. (There are usually a number of different “sweet-spots” on each table. If one doesn’t work, I simply switch to another before I chase losses in trying to make the first one “work”.)
(2)-One-hop T, T & T on DP/CB line. (Where the Come Box outline curves down to intersect the Don’t Pass line border.)
(3)-One-hop T, T & T on PL/DP line on Hook. (On the white separation line of the Pass Line and the Don’t Pass, where they start to curve at the “hook” of the table.)
Okay folks, I know that that seems like a lot of notes, and it is, but it is worth it. At least it’s worth it to ME.
If you only play at one casino all the time, then you probably don’t have to make these kind of detailed notes. I play at over 1000 craps tables throughout North America. My brain simply isn’t big enough to remember all the good stuff, and I’m not egotistical enough to think that I can.
I also know that ONE particular toss that is thrown to ONE particular spot will not work on EVERY table to any high-degree of consistency. At least I know that is true for me. My notes help me keep track of WHAT works on WHICH tables.
While a casino may change their table-felt from time to time, you would be surprised at the reliability and dependability that these notes bring to my game. Perhaps you could for consider them for inclusion into your winning-plans.
Craps is the game that I use to fuel a lifestyle that I REALLY like. I love beating an “unbeatable” game, and I like the money that it generates. To make serious money, you have to take this game seriously. You have to be serious about what you are doing.
If making accurate, actionable notes seems to be too much like “work”; then perhaps your heart and your focus is on a more recreational approach to this game. That’s okay too. But just don’t fool yourself into thinking that you will be able to elevate your game much beyond your current level if you don’t take the necessary steps to elevate it to the next level of performance.
Part of that skill-improvement involves making actionable notes.
Also remember that just because you take the game seriously, does not mean that you can’t have fun. Believe me…I have a LOT of fun at the table. A HOT money-making table is a LOT of fun…in fact, in some ways it is some of the most fun that you can have while still wearing clothes!
When I talk about increasing the seriousness in which you approach the game, I’m really talking about the dedication and commitment that you are willing to make to gain tangible improvement. I am NOT talking about making 174,000 practice tosses at home, only to find out that they are not repeatable on any known real casino-layout. Rather, I am talking about taking an integrated approach to the whole learning process. That process begins with the quality of your session notes.
So those are what my session notes look like. As I said earlier, I give each shooting-method a “name” so that it is easier for me to remember and duplicate when I am at the table.
In Part Two, we’ll look at what “Low, Slow & Easy , “Tried, Tested & True”, “Extended-Lift Back-Draw”, “Straight Up…No Chaser” and all the other terms in the Mad Professors Shooting Bible actually mean. We’ll also look at how you can make all of this part of your own successful game-plan
Until then, Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
The Mad Professor