This entire Shooting Bible series attempts to distill and summarize a bit of my collective Precision-Shooting knowledge that I’ve gained over the last fourteen years of pro play.
My Collective Knowledge
In truth, I’ve only been able to impart a fraction of what I know about it in this series, but it’s a modest attempt to codify WHAT it is I do, and to some extent, WHY it is I do it. Each article brings us one small step closer to what I could call my entire Book Of Precision-Shooting Knowledge.
The fact is though that it is an evolving knowledge.
Ø What profitably worked for me four or five years ago has evolved into something much better and much more consistent, and frankly more efficiently-profitable today.
Ø What looked definitive and authoritative about this craft five years ago, to my eye, looks wholly unremarkable today.
Ø Five years from now I think I’ll be able to look back and make the same statement about what we consider to be the state-of-the-art of dice-influencing today.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I continue to learn something new about this game everyday.
Though we’re not talking about the basics of the game like proper payoffs or bet sequences; we are talking about gaining a deeper insight into what it takes to make even more money from this game, and you’ll be pleased to know that it doesn’t strictly entail throwing down larger bets (although that is definitely a part of it when you have a discernable edge and your shooting is grooved-in and firing on all cylinders).
For me, it entails taking all the stuff that works, and improving on that; while concurrently taking all the non-productive stuff, and eliminating as much of that crap as possible.
You can call it betting-efficiency or you can call it getting the most bang for your buck. Frankly you can call it whatever you want, as long as you DO it!
In the end, it all boils down to how effective you are at keeping the dice on-axis, and how efficient you are in wagering on that skill.
Without on-axis shooting and tailored-to-skill wagering…everything else is just pleasant looking window-dressing.
Though I understand that my approach may not be altogether popular with gamblers, it’s certainly found a practical and functional place in the hearts, minds and bankrolls of astute advantage-players.
Like I said…this is an evolving art, and sometimes that means taking some hereinbefore commonly-accepted wisdom and turning it COMPLETELY upside down.
Will it take another 250 articles before I’m able to get all my gaming acumen down on electronic paper to become part of my collective cave-drawing works on this subject?
I don’t know for certain, but the journey to that destination sure promises to be an interesting one, just as it continues to be an even more profitable one. So let’s continue…
My On-Axis Chronicles
If you are familiar with the movie, Mr. Holland’s Opus; then this particular Shooting Bible chapter could most appropriately be sub-titled, “Mr. Mad Professor’s On-axis Chronicles”. It’s long and ponderous, and to my mind, quite enlightening as to why some players have such a hard time keeping the dice on-axis, while others find it relatively easy, yet still continue to grapple with the notion of reliable profitability.
However, this study goes MUCH further than that.
It delves into how to gauge your advantage over the casino as well as considering various ways to maximize it (without undue risk), as well as looking at where hidden profit-opportunities can be unearthed from your mountain of current axis-tracking results.
So yeah, this particular chapter will take a lot of words on my part, and a lot of reading on your part to cover it all, but if you want the 15-second banal sound-bite version of it, I’ll offer you this before you change channels:
Ø Keeping the dice on-axis is the basis of what we do as Precision-Shooters and therefore on-axis performance is our primary profit source.
Ø It is also one of the most misunderstood aspects of dice-influencing and therefore carries the highest culpability, blame and responsibility for UNREALIZED (neglected) skilled-player revenue.
If you’re still here, let’s continue…
A Short Review of the Not-So-Easy Basics
I’ll keep this simple:
Ø Getting the dice to end up on the same axis as they were when you first set them, is how we reduce the expected number of 7’s from 1-in-6, down to 1-in-8 (while using a 7-avoidance dice-set).
Ø That means that instead of seeing the 7 occur 16.6% of the time as you would in a random game, we should only see it 12.5% of the time. This 4.1% difference is significant in a low-vig game like craps. However, for me, that difference is not enough. We’ll get to how that 4.1% difference actually translates into a tangible advantage over the casino in a moment.
The first thing that I discovered about getting the dice to stay on-axis, is that anything I do that keeps them doing the same thing again and again (even if it results in one die going off-axis and turning up on a certain face) means that if I correct it (or compensate for it in my initial dice-set), then the results will be astonishingly consistent.
Now I know that doesn’t sound like one of those “Ahhaa…Eureka” moments, but you’d be surprised at the number of aspiring shooters who have yet to realize that there is sometimes incredible consistency in their results (even though they are not the DESIRED results they are setting for). Once they discover that small adjustments sometimes equate to BIG on-axis improvements and actionable (read: BETTABLE AND WINNABLE results), then their game and profitability finally turns around completely.
Understanding what the dice are doing as a result of how you are tossing them is incredibly important.
If you are getting completely different results from the ones you are trying to get; then it is simply a matter of taking a look at how the dice are ending up, and then reconfiguring your dice-set to get them to give you your desired outcome.
Though it isn’t rocket-science, it does require a serious look at your current results and a bit of detective work on your part to find out what your current results are telling you (as well as figuring out how to reconfigure the dice to give you the results that you want).
At first glance, many players will throw up their arms and declare, “My results are telling me that I’m not keeping the dice on-axis any better than a random-roller, even though there are brief periods where I KNOW that I am exerting actual influence over them”.
To get consistency, you have to de-engineer your toss.
When was the last time that you did the “increasing target-distance” exercise that we discussed in More Gain & Less Pain – Part Two, or elementally developed or tweaked your grip, step-by-step, the way we covered it in Getting the Most Out of Your Practice Sessions – Part Four?
When was the last time you ran some target-practice or trajectory-practice exercises with the tools that we talked about in More Gain & Less Pain – Part One or used Heavy’s Grid Pattern or Shooter57’s Limbo Bar or Irishsetters Coathanger tip that we discussed in Part Five of that same series?
The reason I ask you that is because so many people complain about the difficulty of keeping the dice on-axis, yet they won’t do anything different in order to improve it.
Those articles contain actionable ways for you to keep the dice on-axis more often.
If you haven’t used any of those tips or you haven’t used them for a while…and you’re still not satisfied with the on-axis results that you are getting…then perhaps the answer is right here on Irishsetters website…because it certainly isn’t going to be found in doing the same old toss in the same old way…and expecting to get different results!
Sometimes a fresh approach to an old problem offers new solutions.
Let me give you an example:
Ø If you can keep the dice on-axis when you throw them a distance of 12” but not from 12-feet; then how about starting by throwing the dice accurately to a target that is only 14 or 16 inches away. Practice until you can do it perfectly nearly 100% of the time.
Ø After you perfect your on-axis toss from that distance, how about increasing it to 18 or 24 inches...and then three-feet…and then four-feet?
Ø Instead of taking giant steps and not getting any traction, you sometimes have to build up your success one-inch and one throw at a time.
Ø If you don’t go back and re-build your wonky throw from the absolute solid basics, then your skill-foundation may never be firm enough to build your bankroll. Though you might get the occasional stellar performance from it; the results will be just inconsistent enough to drive you nuts (or at least hamper your shooting-faith and wagering-confidence) so that you aren’t able to ever live up to your full Precision-Shooting potential.
If you aren’t patient enough or dedicated enough to go through that process at the practice rig; then your impatience and lack of commitment will certainly end up costing you money at the casino tables.
Each Step…Each Element…Each Success
Each individual on-axis element has to be built into your throw in a way that it won’t fall apart when you use it in a real-world situation, and each element has to be viewed as an integral part of your overall objective.
Let me give you an example:
Ø If I see any amount of dice “roll-out” or further travel once the dice make their initial touchdown, I want it to be IN A STRAIGHT LINE. That line can be forwards or backwards (if they are rebounding off the backwall), as long as it is STRAIGHT!
Ø Look at it this way…if the dice leave your hand together…fly through the air together…land together…but hit the wall and roll out in different directions with differing amounts of rotation; then they may still end up on-axis, but they’ll most likely not end up on the four “primary” faces that you first set them on.
Ø I want every roll to have the same force, same backspin, same landing and same roll-out as the one before it and the one that comes after it.
Ø Though that doesn’t mean that every roll WILL end up the same, you have to shoot with that intention and throw with the same input (roll-characteristics) in order to get the same output (results) as frequently as possible.
Ø If I get the dice doing the same thing roll after roll after roll, then I get the consistency that I need, and therefore the profit that I want.
Ø The amount of energy that has to be controlled when the dice are being thrown is one of the most important aspects of Precision-Shooting. If you can get the dice to keep doing the same things roll after roll after roll; then you should be collecting money roll after roll after roll too!
That’s how it’s done…or at least, that’s how I do it.
Each element of the on-axis toss has to be structured so that it will work most of the time. If you need to review WHAT each of these elements are, and HOW to build them into your throwing-motion in order to get roll-after-roll-after-roll repeatable results; then a quick study of my Shooting Bible – Five, Six, and Seven is definitely called for.
Each step forward (no matter how small it is) is an incremental improvement that builds shooting confidence and bankroll profit.
Each small success has to be viewed in relation to your goals. The closer you get to achieving your on-axis goals, the closer you get to reliable and consistent money-making.
Throwing the same way to the same target with the same force, the same trajectory with the same amount of spin and rollout is where repeatability comes from…and where steady profits are found.
By going right back to the dice-influencing basics of HOW they are set, gripped, aligned, targeted, thrown, spun and landed again and again and AGAIN, we not only understand what the dice are doing at each stage of their actions, but that the on-axis throw is EVERYTHING that the rest of accomplished Precision-Shooting (proper betting, proper money-management and proper discipline) hinges on for consistent success.
The three series of articles that I mentioned above, address all of those “How-the-heck-do-I-keep-the-dice-on-axis-more-often” issues.
Without keeping the dice on-axis…you will NEVER be in a steady-advantage position.
Advantage Today…Profit Tomorrow
I’m not really keen about gambling, per se. Though I enjoy playing craps A LOT; most of that enjoyment comes from making money, and quite frankly, I’m not all that happy about losing any of it along the way.
The concept of losing money as a form of entertainment somehow escapes my mental grasp. Oh sure, I understand the cathartic reason why people enjoy losing money, but obviously it doesn’t appeal to me in the same way that it appeals to them.
At the craps table, just about the only way to get consistently achievable and reliable profit is to de-randomize the dice in such a way (and to such an extent) that you have a tangible advantage over the house. While that edge doesn’t have to be huge, it does have to be repeatable if you want to take steady earnings off of the table.
I guess you could say that I’m not all that interested in the once-in-a-blue-moon wins that capture the Message Board headlines but fail to address the huge losses that occur both before and after a Big Event win. I think that deceives many aspiring players by building their unrealistic expectations of needing to score the big win, while the more mundane small wins are blithely discarded in a blind chase to bag that elusive big one.
While I understand that if you continually blast your gun into the air, a bird may eventually fly by and you’ll have something to bring home for dinner; the more mature profit-hunter carefully selects his target and ensures that he has ample ammo when the big opportunity comes into sight. In the meantime, his skills are reliable enough so that he doesn’t have to hope, pray and wait for the once-a-year (or once-a-decade) roll that may or may not come along.
So how high does your on-axis performance have to be before we can count on steady earnings?
Ø A random-roller will be "on-axis" about 44% of the time, though not through any fault or intention of his own. That simply means that even randomly thrown dice will end up on the same as-launched axis about 44% of the time.
Ø To gain a sustainable advantage, some seminar-teachers and gaming-authors suggest that a 50% on-axis result will give the player a discernable edge over the house.
At first blush, that would appear to be a valid benchmark, and in theory it actually is. However, as you know, there are other casino-gaming dynamics that also enter the equation which determine to a larger degree whether or not a player will be able to profitably exploit that apparent "advantage" on an on-going, predictable and sustainable basis.
Ø Generally speaking, a random-roller (with an “accidental” on-axis consistency of ~44%) will have a Sevens-to-Rolls Ratio (SRR) of 6:1
Ø To achieve a SRR of 7:1, a dice-influencer has to keep the dice on-axis about 55% of the time while using a 7-avoidance set.
Ø A 7:1 SRR will give your Passline-bet with 2x-Odds an advantage of approximately 8% over the casino.
Ø That’s a huge edge over the house, but it assumes that you are only betting the Pass-Line with double-Odds or higher, and that nothing else is either contributing to or taking away from that sizeable 8% advantage.
Ø That means Place-bets, Field-bets, Prop-bets or Hop-bets are not figured into that advantage, so your mileage will obviously vary. It also means that any other bets that you make that are not net-contributors to your advantage, will be net-DETRACTORS from the edge that you have developed.
Ø In other words, any bets that you make where you do not have an edge will quickly negate the ones that do.
Ø The significance of that 8% edge/55% on-axis/7:1 SRR figure is that it gives you a starting point from which to understand just how powerful Precision-Shooting can be if you can keep the dice on-axis somewhat better than a random-roller.
Ø If you are able to keep the dice on their axis about 65% of the time, then you’ll get an SRR of 8:1 (with a 7-avoidance set). While random dice will deliver an average of one-7-every-six-rolls, a 7-avoidance set kept on-axis 67% of the time will deliver one-7-every-eight-rolls, and a 7-dominant set kept on-axis the same amount of time will serve up just one 7 for every four-rolls on average.
Of course, all of that means absolutely NOTHING if you don’t properly bet into that advantage, or if you squander your advantage by making bets that you not only don’t have an edge on, but ones where the casino has a much faster grind-rate than your skillful advantage-play is able to overcome.
What Is A Realistic Goal?
I find that most players require a higher (steadier) on-axis performance than the prescribed 50% verifiable advantage level that is normally held out as the required minimal benchmark.
To my mind, a player needs a significantly higher (at least 55%) on-axis consistency in order to make sustainable profit, and most of that income will usually have to be derived from his most dominant Signature Numbers.
Take a quick look back at the numbers that we just discussed and you’ll see why.
That higher on-axis requirement (before a player can start to see sustainable profit) accommodates the tendency of novice-to-intermediate dice-influencing players (and even some stuck-in-a-rut serious semi-pro’s) to over-bet their bankroll on wagers that are less-than-positive revenue-generators, plus it factors in any still-developing Money-Management and Discipline shortcomings.
Now I am not saying that a player who is able to keep the dice on-axis half the time (50% O-A) won’t see any profitable sessions…far from it.
In fact, that player may be seeing quite a few winning sessions, but it is also an extremely vulnerable time for the novice-to-intermediate dicesetter, because the excitement of seeing a few more wins (than he did in his random-roller days), often leads him into making bets of a size, scope and type that actually worsens his revenue stream.
Again, any bets that you make where you DO NOT have an edge will quickly negate the ones that DO.
Over-betting offers such a strong temptation, especially in light of a verified advantage, that newly discovered dice-influencing skills can become as much of a liability as it is a blessing. Like I said, there are many veteran dicesetters who still struggle with this problem.
An appropriate parallel would be to compare a skilled Precision-Shooter to a skilled Blackjack card-counter. You can be a master counter, but if you don’t bet the advantage when you have the advantage…and control and restrict your bets when you don’t have the edge; then you won’t get to keep any of the profit that you make despite your huge advantage over the house.
Though it would be nice to live in a perfect world where all of our newly-developing throwing-skills coalesce with our betting-skills and our money-management-skills and our discipline-skills all at the same time; that is rarely the case.
Rather, there is some slippage and erosion because none of us makes the perfect play…the perfect bet…and ONLY the perfect bet…at the perfect time, EVERY time.
In a real-world situation you have to accommodate those shortcoming (while still working to improve them) and allow for that deficiency in your skill-assessment (along with HOW you bet, WHEN you bet, and HOW MUCH you bet) when the dice are in your hand.
For some players, that means that they have to overcome a LOT of slippage, and therefore, even a 55% on-axis rate (with it’s attendant 8% edge over the house on some bets), often isn’t nearly enough to compensate for all their betting-errors that still occur at almost every session they play.
Hopefully that explains the difference between a "theoretical" advantage (at the 50% on-axis mark), and the need for a higher "practical" advantage when you play in a real-world, real-money situation.
For a closer look at how to narrow down your betting to the point where your money is deployed on ONLY the most useable and productive bets (so you can GET a profit in the first place), you’ll want to take a serious look at the seven-part When, Where, Why, What and How of Signature Numbers series.
Again, if you are throwing the dice with a validated edge over the house, yet you aren’t able to show any sustainable profit from it; then it is your betting and NOT your shooting that is the problem.
Climbing The Ladder of On-Axis Success
To answer the question about what a realistic on-axis goal is; I prefer to use an escalating-scale of achievement. That way, you can climb one rung at a time and use it as a strong and firm foothold to safely get to the next level.
Ø If you are a random-roller who has just taken an interest in dice-setting, then an immediate target of 50% is realistic. Every percentage-point above the 44%-mark brings you one step closer to overcoming the house-edge.
Ø The reason that most players need to get to a higher O-A mark in order to show a sustainable profit is because they have to overcome their own self-imposed and much higher-cost shortcomings. The house-edge is one thing, but inefficient betting-habits, poor money-management and lack of discipline is something completely different.
Ø Once you approach the 50% on-axis mark, then an even larger portion of your focus has to be spent on tailoring your betting-methods to take advantage of your current skills.
Ø As I just mentioned, a 50% on-axis rate is usually NOT enough to show consistent profit simply because the recreational gambler hasn’t yet improved all the other aspects of his game like money-management, effective betting and strong-willed discipline in order to stay within the narrow confines of what a slim 50% on-axis advantage offers in the way of reliable revenue.
Ø That being the case, a higher on-axis goal of perhaps 55% is not only realistic, but it offers a better shot at the much sought-after session-to-session profit-reliability.
Ø The simple truth is…the worse your betting-methods, money-management and discipline is…the BETTER your on-axis percentage has to be for it to show any degree of reliable profit-making ability.
Ø Once you get to the 55% on-axis snack-bracket, you again have to honestly appraise the areas of concern in your game-plan that need the most improvement, as well as intelligently looking at your strongest Signature-Numbers to determine whether or not they can now comfortably carry more wagering-weight and bankroll-growing responsibility than they did when your shooting wasn’t as reliable.
Ø At the 60% on-axis mark, your betting HAS TO keep pace with your talents, otherwise the inefficiency of improper betting will breed a new kind of frustration; and that is one where you are steadily throwing fair-to-good-to-great hands, yet your retained-earnings do not reflect your obvious advantage over the house.
Ø This is the spot where guys who have been playing craps for years, most often get stuck. They know they have the edge, yet their bankroll-growth doesn’t reflect that fact. They stubbornly cling to betting-methods that they’ve latched onto because of a me-too Message Board popularity instead of using sound reasoning and good judgment to determine whether all the wagers that they make are in THEIR OWN best interests and matched to THEIR OWN shooting-skills.
Ø Once you get to steady 65% on-axis performance, the game takes on an entirely new dimension. On one hand, you not only know how good your shooting is, but you also get to enjoy the steadier stream of cash that this game is supposed to generate when you are doing most of the Precision-Shooting things right. It is also a dangerous time if you allow an inflated ego to forget about the humble basis of where your casino advantage comes from. The fragility and sensitivity of your toss (to all things mental and physical) can come into play even more now than ever before.
That simply means that no matter how much you can steadily keep the dice on-axis, you still have to restrict your bets to the ones where you have a validated edge, and avoid all the other ones where you don’t.
It also means that you have to keep your wits about you at all times and not get carried away with the enthusiasm of the moment. It’s one thing to make money at the table, but it’s something completely different to keep all or most of the money that you’ve won.
If you are making more bets where you DON’T have an edge, in comparison to wagers where you DO have an edge; then your positive-advantage will quickly evaporate.
Let me put it this way; how long do you think your 8% edge over the house will last if you are making non-winning bets where the house has a 9%, 11%, 12%, 13% or 16% edge over YOU?
If you don’t have the advantage over any specific wager you are making; then it is important to understand that you are willingly giving back some or all of the advantage that you’ve worked so hard to get.
If it was easy to develop your on-axis Precision-Shooting skills, then I’d understand why so many players freely give their advantage right back to the house by making bets that fall far outside their current dice-influencing talents; but for me, building my dice-shooting skill took years…so I’m not too keen about giving any of my advantage back to the casino.
Getting To The Major Leagues
Can a player get to the 70%, 75% or 85%+ on-axis level and maintain that skill for extended periods?
You’re damn right they can.
Is it easy?
The fact is though that a number of players HAVE gotten there and continue to STAY there.
If you've read my "Shooting Bible-Part III", you'll see that my own on-axis performance varies from grip to grip, position to position, table to table and even casino to casino.
Some grips (with the proper throw-mechanics and trajectories) on some tables give shockingly high on-axis percentages that approach almost unspeakable “no-one-would-believe-me-if-I-told-them” consistency…but are absolutely useless when employed on other types of tables.
It all comes down to adapting your on-axis throw to a particular table (or table type). That’s what it’s all about, and obviously that’s where the money is.
If you “tune” your Practice Rig to reflect the bounce-characteristics of the tables that you encounter most frequently in the real world; then you’ll be better prepared to take full advantage of them as soon as you step up to buy in.
The less acclimation, familiarization and adaptation you have to do when you play at your local haunt; the faster you can get to the actual task of making money.
If your local casinos have soft, spongy, trampoline-like tables, yet your at-home rig is hard as rock; then how is that helping your game?
If your practice-rig has ¾-inch sized alligator backwall bumps, yet your local joint uses the smaller ½-inch diamond backwall material; then how is that helping your game?
If your local casino changes out the dice at each shift-change; then why are you still using crappy old played-out year-old dice that were purchased used from a casino gift-shop?
The idea is to build our on-axis consistency one step at a time to a point where it generates profit consistency one session at a time. That often means tailoring your practice sessions, your Practice Rig, your throwing distance, your throwing-stance, and as many other conditions as possible to replicate what you encounter most often at your local gaming joint.
Mull this over:
Ø The next time you are standing at the casino table…ask yourself if this is how you stand at home when you are practicing.
Ø Do you anchor yourself against the table-padding the same way you do at home?
Ø If you’ve been slumped against the rail for the last 45-minutes while you’ve been waiting for the dice to cycle back around to you…ask yourself how that is going to affect your posture compared to how you stand at home?
Do you think any of that might have a bearing on how well you are able to keep the dice on-axis when the dice finally come around to you again?
If you are doing anything differently in the casino than how you do it at home; then don’t expect your real-world results to accurately reflect your at-home practice sessions.
Verify Your Continually Improving Skills
I keep coming back to the idea of making continuous improvements to your toss and building reliable consistency into every element of your Precision-Shooting (and dare I say, Precision-Betting), simply because it gets you out of looking for the Messiah (the mythical unending mega-hand that just goes on and on…that will make up for all the lousy, non-winning bets that you shouldn’t have made in the first place), and properly prepares you for real-world situations where you can derive steady profits from the more realistic (and much more frequent) 8 to 20-roll hands.
In fact, when the mega-roll does come along, you’ll be better prepared to squeeze it for it’s true worth, simply because you’ll have enough locked-in profit from your normal hands, that you won’t be too psychologically fragile (gun-shy) in terms of not being able to take advantage of a great opportunity when it presents itself.
There is some excellent roll-tracking software that you can access directly from this site. These are critical tools for the serious dicesetter because they provide a verifiable-advantage basis upon which to make your wagering decisions. While you may not want to completely discount your intuition and erudite guesswork; a slim-margin player-advantage cannot withstand very many betting-hunch blunders.
The more accurately you can gauge your on-axis improvements at your Practice Rig today; the better prepared you’ll be to make profitable bet-decisions at the real-world tables tomorrow.
Matching Your Dice-Set to Your Current Skills
Tailoring your bets to your current skill-level and matching your dice-set to enable the most efficient profit-extraction from those bets is the heart and soul of Precision-Shooting opportunity and higher profit predictability.
In essence...if you can do well with ONE dice-set; then you can do well with ALL of them, and...
Your current skill-set will indicate which dice-sets should be most profitable based on your current dice-throwing skills.
Clearly, one goes hand-in-hand with the other.
Remember, we’re talking about keeping the dice on-axis more often, with more predictable consistency in order to generate more profit.
So how do we do that?
ACDOC and Maddog have done an outstanding job of breaking down each dice-set to determine their efficacy based on each level of on-axis efficiency (from 44% random to 100% perfection). That in turn tells you which set will work best for which bets you want to make, and conversely, which bets are most efficient depending on which sets you use.
Folks, the effort that those two guys have put forth is incredibly important work, and you cannot afford to overlook it if you are seeking to improve the money-making portion of your game.
It is to your benefit to understand the relationship between what each of the two individual dice are doing (as far as their independent on-axis results are concerned) in order to derive as much profit as possible from your personal skill.
Let’s take a brief look at HOW and WHY…
The THEORETICAL Side
For discussion purposes, let's say that:
Ø The X-6 is your favorite point-cycle set.
Ø Within that set, you are getting a nice even distribution of Inside-numbers as the set-distribution chart indicates that you should.
Ø Based on your Practice Session roll-tracking, you have determined that your most dominant Signature Numbers are, in order, 6, 8, 5, and 9.
Ø Further based on your tracking, you see that your throws are generating only slightly more 6's and 8's with this set; but you are getting almost as many 5's and 9's, (which is generally in line with what the X-6 Expectancy Chart indicates).
Ø You then come to the realization that although 6 and 8 are your most dominant outcomes (based on the sheer number of rolls when they show up), it would make more sense to put a higher amount of wagering-weight (money) on the 5 and 9 simply because of the higher payoff (7:5 vs 7:6) difference.
Ø That $1.40 per dollar-wagered on the 5 and 9, versus $1.16 per dollar-wagered on the 6 and 8, when compared to the fact that your 5 and 9 are showing up almost as frequently as the 6 and 8, means that you are getting more bang for your buck (a +23% difference) for every dollar you bet.
Ø Though that doesn’t mean you will abandon your Place-bets on the 6 and 8 altogether, you come to the realization that you have been under-funding your wagers on the 5 and 9 especially in light of their enhanced payout when compared to the 6 and 8, and especially since they are showing up pretty much as frequently as the 6 and 8.
Ø In this exercise, up until now, the player was simply looking at which box-numbers showed up the most (and betting accordingly), but was largely ignoring the payouts.
Ø When a player goes to the trouble of factoring payoffs into the equation; they often “discover” profit opportunities that a particular dice-set had previously kept hidden (to his eye at least). Obviously I’ve used the words “discover” and “hidden” quite loosely in this context, but I think you’ll see the benefit of taking a closer look at what it is you do and why it is you should do it when it comes to your bet-decisions.
Ø When you take your roll-stats and look at them with a critical eye as far as the "What results am I getting, and what can I do with them to make more profit" question; a player often makes amazing discoveries as far as lost or at least overlooked opportunities are concerned.
Ø It is through that sort of constant roll-result appraisal and review that makes a real difference when it comes down to extracting tangible (and more sizeable) profit from your current in-casino rolls.
That was the hypothetical part of it. A savvy player then has to take that newfound information to the next practical step.
The PRACTICAL Side
Ø If you take those same X-6 roll-stats and transpose them onto any other 7-avoidance set (V-3 or V-2); you can easily determine where the best profit opportunities would be found if you used either of those dice-arrangements.
Ø Since you know the set that you started with and the facial-outcomes that you ended up with; you can just as easily use the same information to determine which Come-Out set (A-7/HW, P-6, or S-6) might be best suited for your current throwing-skills as well.
The tactical-to-practical part of this exercise is when you take that new-found "this particular C-O set and that particular Point-cycle set will give me the best-return and lowest-risk on my investment based upon what my CURRENT Precision-Shooting skill is giving me right now" information to the casino and make properly-proportioned bets (with an adequately-sized bankroll); you get maximum efficiency (max-profit and minimum risk) for your money.
If there is a better reason for taking a serious look at what your current results are REALLY telling you; I can’t think of one.
Dice-Sets Have NOTHING To Do With Your Toss, But EVERYTHING to Do With The OUTCOME
I'm going to give you an abstract example first, and I think you'll immediately catch on to what I’m saying.
Ø Forget for a second that the dice have ANY markings on them.
Ø Think of just two perfect but unmarked casino-cubes.
Ø When you set them, grip them, target them and throw them...it is the physical act of tossing them to the other end of the table that we are trying to control or at least influence.
Ø We try to get every toss of the dice to be the same as the one before it and the one that immediately follows the throw we are making now. The idea of course is to throw them the same way EVERY time.
Take that idea one step further...
Ø The PHYSICAL act of throwing has NOTHING to do with the numbered-faces that we set, but the outcome has EVERYTHING to do with it.
Ø That means the dice don't know what you set them on, and therefore will only turn up on the outcome that the physical act of throwing them and influencing had.
Ø Since the dice don't "KNOW" what you set them on, their outcome is based ONLY on the physical influence you are able to impart.
Ø The physical act of throwing them (REGARDLESS of which dice-set you use) is what will determine their outcome. The plain fact is that if the dice had letters on them instead of numbered-pips...the outcome would STILL be the same REGARDLESS of the set you chose.
Ø In other words the dice don't care what number you set them on. Rather, they "care" (are influenced) ONLY by the way in which you throw them. Your throw determines how they end up.
Ø Let's say your Point-cycle set is the X-6 in its traditional (non-permutated) set-up, so we KNOW what the "starting faces" are.
Ø We also know what our most dominant outcomes are with that set, and by logic we know HOW they ended up the way they did at the far end of the table, by way of reverse-engineering what we started with and what we ended up with.
Ø If we now set the dice in the V-3 or V-2 when we throw either of those two sets; then we should be able to predictively say what our top Signature Numbers will now be with THOSE sets (based on what the dice do when we throw them in the X-6 configuration).
Ø Again, the SET has NOTHING to do with the PHYSICAL act of throwing them, so what's good for the goose is good for the gander. If you can make profit with the X-6 set, then you can make the same amount of profit with the V-2 or V-3 set as long as you bet according to what your new dominating-numbers are with the new dice arrangements.
Ø Since we throw the dice the same way all the time (regardless of the set we are using); then we should be able to predict what our most dominant numbers will be with ANY sets we choose to use (even if we have NEVER thrown that set before).
Let's take that one more step further...
Ø If we know what the likely outcomes will be based on how we throw the dice; we can then make permutation changes within the same set (or with another appropriate set), and SNIPE out the numbers that we want (or need) in an even more predictive (and PROFITABLE) way.
…and to take it one step further…
Ø The concept of "Signature Numbers" is actually much broader than merely determining which numbers are your “favorites”. It is in fact more related to a signature "DICE DELIVERY MOVEMENT," encompassing your typical or average throwing-dynamics of spin, yaw, and skew, etc.
Let’s let ACDOC and Maddog explain it a little better:
Ø “Your characteristic mechanical dice-throwing movement will be replicated at the same rate across EVERY set no matter which one it is.
Ø A dice-set is nothing more than two starting numbers, to be acted upon by your signature dice-control throwing movements.
Ø Thus, a signature 5-1 on the Straight Sixes (Left die single-pitch, right-die double-pitch hit), will with the same customary delivery and movement, become a 5-4 when you set and throw the V-3.
Ø So, your consistent toss-mechanics produce a signature movement result, and you then work backwards from the number that you want and set up the dice in the configuration that will produce it.”
Guys, using methods like these are just a few of the ways you can derive more profit from your current results.
You can keep on working to improve your on-axis performance, and obviously that is always a great idea; but it makes just as much sense to squeeze out as much profit as you can from your current skill-level in the process.
If you remember that dice-sets have NOTHING to do with your toss, but EVERYTHING to do with the outcome; then you’ve taken a huge step in the right direction.
Each TINY Step Of Improvement Takes A BIG STRIDE Towards Profit
Ø The higher you move from the 44% on-axis random-standard; the more accentuated your ACTUAL (actionable) edge over the house becomes.
Ø However, it's not a straight-line advantage-increase due to volatility, skew and kurtosis. Rather, there is a non-linear incremental improvement for each percentage-point past the 44% mark.
Ø My own experience tells me that anything under 50% on-axis WILL PROBABLY NOT BE ENOUGH TO MAKE A SUSTAINABLE PROFIT, but it is often enough to give you more winning sessions that losing ones…and that’s a good start.
Ø I could probably reword that to say, "You probably can't make a sustainable profit under the 50% on-axis mark UNLESS you bet VERY low and you have a sizeable bankroll to weather the back-and-forth wins and losses”. Otherwise the volatility of the game will kill you or at least dissuade you because of the constant frustration that you’ll get from KNOWING you have an edge over the casino, yet not being able to profitably exploit it in a steady, RETAINED-earnings sort of way.
Ø At the same time, I can also say that if your on-axis throwing is just a couple of percentage-points better than 44%, you can still make some decent money once in a while, but your discipline will need to be rock solid so that you don’t give back all that hard-fought profit during the times when your shooting isn’t so hot.
Ø One other thing to keep in mind is that certain Darkside betting-methods (using a 7-dominant dice-set for the Point-cycle) can show sustainable (and not as highly-volatile) results even if a shooter never manages to break through the 50% on-axis mark.
Ø That is, marginal on-axis improvement (greater than 44%, but still under 50%) is easier to profitably and consistently exploit with Darkside-betting than it is with Rightside wagers. This phenomenon is discussed in detail in my ongoing Shooting From The Don’ts…A Journey Of Opportunity series that you’ll find in Irishsetter’s monthly Newsletter.
Ø When we reach the 50% on-axis mark; then for each percentage point past it, the profit-per-roll can climb at an almost geometric rate (assuming that you make properly structured bets on the numbers that you have the highest advantage over). That holds especially true for Rightside-betting when ramped-up bet-value sequences are used.
Ø In other words, for each fractional improvement that our on-axis throwing achieves past the 50% mark; the more betting-flexibility and profit-opportunity we will find. The entire ramped-up betting-sequencing subject is covered in my on-going How To Get THERE From HERE series, but I want to touch on it briefly here.
Keeping Pace with Proper Bet-Amounts and Bet-Sequencing
Ø If you look at on-axis percentages on a flat-bet basis (once you get past the 50% O-A mark); then the profit-growth rate should be arithmetical. However, logic tells me that every incremental %-increase over that benchmark warrants and DEMANDS a higher-degree of wagering-weight.
In other words;
Ø Once you verify that your on-axis percentage is out of the "marginal" volatile predictability range of 44% to 50%, and into the "tangible profit" range (with the lower volatility and higher predictability of 50% to 65% O-A shooting); then for every, let's say, 3% improvement over that 50% starting-point, a player can justify (and more reliably profit from) a substantial increase to his VALID-edge wagers.
Ø In this case, a player at 50% on-axis would warrant let's say one wagering-unit (W-U) on a VALID bet (where he has a proven advantage), but the 53% on-axis guy could justify having two or three W-U's on it, while the 56% player would have five, six or possibly even eight Wagering-Units on the same validated bets.
Ø The 59% guy would deserve to put eight, ten or perhaps even fifteen W-U's on it, while the 62% on-axis player could justify anywhere from fifteen to twenty wagering-units (and probably much more) on the same valid-edge bet.
Ø By the time we get up to the 65% on-axis player, his skills justify a rise to the 25, 30 or even 40-WU mark for at least the initial Steep-Regression portion of his most dominant Signature-Number wager.
Ø In that example, the 65% on-axis player could start out with perhaps 35 to 50 wagering-units on his initial Signature-Number bets; then after one hit he could steeply regress them down to 5, 10 or 15 units, and then start to aggressively press them on subsequent wins.
Ø He would then plateau his bets at certain stages along the way, and consider doing another regression when his roll-count approached his average 7-Out point. Since he has dutifully tracked how long his average hand lasts, he can safely adjust his wagers when he gets near that point, and then take a more aggressive progression-bet stance once he gets past it.
Again, profit-growth is directly tied to how big of an edge you are able to develop over the house, and how effectively you are able to wager on it. The higher your on-axis performance, the more wagering-weight that your advantage can justify on your most-dominant numbers.
Less Volatility = More Opportunity
The further away we get from the up-and-down/back-and-forth unpredictability (volatility) that plagues the "verified on-axis improvement over random, yet unachievable consistency" (44% to 50% on-axis) stage; then the closer we are to the "virtually every hand will produce at least SOME profit" predictability stage.
The reason that I bring this up is because of the risk-of-assumption that gets embedded in a players mind once they find out they have an advantage. They figure, "Hey, I have an advantage and the charts and software and all my buddies tell me it's a REAL advantage, so therefore I can bet the farm and my prize-winning cow too."
Too often, as many blackjack card-counters failed to discover before it was too late; the volatility can kill your bankroll LONG before any of your verified advantage has a chance to substantively kick in.
The less volatile your results, the better prepared you will be to take advantage of your player-edge. Though a once-a-year mega-win may earn you a casino-slayer reputation amongst your fellow players; those rare wins have to be big enough to offset all the losses that got you there in the first place…AND it also has to be big enough to cover all the future losses that you’ll experience before you manage to catch lightning in a bottle for a second time!
Less up-and-down volatility (with frequent small wins and even tinier losses) may not be as exciting as a once-a-year mega-win, but it offers the opportunity to smooth out your Precision-Shooting earnings-rate while enabling you to make wagers that you know will put more net-dollars in your pocket during almost every session.
Each on-axis percentage-point that you improve by, reduces your betting-volatility and takes you one step further to a steady-profit objective.
Going Beyond the 8:1 SRR Standard…WAAAYYYY Beyond…
When we first look at on-axis performance, it appears that it’s hard to get a SRR (Sevens-to-Rolls Ratio) of better than 1:8 (or more conveniently expressed as 8:1). Heck, I’ll be the first to tell you that IT IS very difficult to REACH that 8:1 on-axis benchmark, so obviously when we contemplate going beyond that initial target, it’s going to take some dedicated effort and patient commitment on your part.
So how do we get BETTER than theoretical on-axis perfection?
Ah, that’s where we get into the whole idea of getting more of those on-axis outcomes to end up on the same four faces that we first set them on.
Ø We call these the “primary-faces” simply because they were the ones that we first set the dice to when we arranged them before tossing them to the other end of the table.
Ø Those four primary-faces, are to me, the four most crucial numbers that I have my wagers on. Using the V-3 in it’s conventional arrangement with the two 3’s on top forming a “V”, and either the 2 and 6 facing you, or the 5 and 1 facing you. This makes all four primary-face outcomes either a 6 or an 8.
Ø Regardless of the set you are using, you can adjust those four faces to suit your throwing style and to reflect the most likely outcomes depending on how the dice react to your method of throwing.
Ø The point is, the more you can keep those dice turning up on the same four primary-faces; the more consistent your profit will be, and obviously the longer you’ll be able to avoid the 7-Out.
Ø The concept is simple, but obviously the execution is FAR from easy.
Improving Your On-Axis, Primary-Face Consistency
I want to discuss HOW I manage to end up with such a high occurrence of “primary-face” outcomes.
Again, the primary-faces are the four faces that you initially set the dice on. We set them this way because we HOPE that they will somehow end up the same way when they come to a stop at the other end of the table.
I try to eliminate the hope, wish and prayer part of that equation by using my dice-throwing skill to bring it more in line with a MOST LIKELY to occur set of circumstances.
So how do I do that?
Ø If the dice travel through the air side-by-side and rotate at the same speed, then they should both hit the felt at the same time with the same speed and still be side-by-side.
Ø Any sideways (non-straight) dice-travel means that they didn’t land “square” and will now probably travel an unequal number of rotations before coming to a stop.
Ø If you are LUCKY, one dice MAY end up having exactly 4, 8, 12, 16, or 20 MORE rotations than its counterpart and end up on the primary-faces that you first set them. Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? No!
Ø Unfortunately, the likelihood of “double-pitching” to a 7-Out increases exponentially when the dice travel (or roll out) on-axis in anything other than a straight line. This happens simply because one dice will have one or more partial rotations than the other one.
Ø In that event, most dicesetters whose roll-out is not straight WILL NOT progress past the 8:1 SRR mark.
Ø To adjust for this unequal number of rotations, some shooters will use a quarter or half-turn adjustment to the dice-face before shooting. While this partially compensates for the immediate problem, you can see that it doesn’t address the unequal number of rotations, so once again, even the smoothest and prettiest of dice-shooters will have a tough time surpassing the 8:1 SRR mark if the landing and subsequent roll-out does not result in the same number of dice-rotations before they come to a full and complete stop.
When I talk about getting the dice to do the same thing roll after roll after roll, I’m also talking about having the two individual cubes doing the same thing (in relation to each other) on every roll as well.
For the details on exactly how to do it roll after roll after roll, you have to once again de-engineer your basic toss. A good place to start is with the last eight articles in this Shooting Bible series.
Ø When you look at such things as how you position your feet, which way your toes are pointed, how much off-axis skew or yaw that your hips, torso and shoulders contribute to your toss, or how smoothly your big muscles work in concert with your smaller, fine-motor muscles; you’ll gain a better understanding of what it takes for the dice to do the same thing each time that you throw them.
Ø However, when you focus too single-mindedly on one thing, like perfecting your finger-placement or modulating your grip-pressure or commencing your dice-launch from a few inches or a few degrees further back from your body’s vertical center-point; many players tend to forget about the importance of a few of the more basic elements like stance, body-anchoring, posture, torso orientation, arm-sweep, and follow-through. In doing so, our efforts to improve that one area of concern where we were focusing all of our efforts, may be lost or stymied or completely thwarted because of diminished influence or improper procedure in another.
As I mentioned; Parts Six, Seven and Eight of this series addresses those issues head-on.
Increasing Your Primary-Face Outcomes
As I also mentioned a little earlier, ACDOC and Maddog have done some insightful work on the whole subject of on-axis dice-tracking and they’ve developed a number of graphic-interfaces that allow you to look at your own results from a whole new perspective.
To my mind, that opens up a plethora of possibilities that was up until now, more intuitive-based as opposed to being numerically and graphically-supported.
In doing so, those guys along with Irishsetter have advanced the state-of-the-art, and to my mind, the state of current Precision-Shooting profit-extraction.
A short definition before we proceed:
Ø When we talk about “primary-face hits”, we are talking about the outcomes or results where the dice land at the far end of the table, and end up on one of the four faces that you first set them on.
Ø Using the V-3 in its traditional arrangement as an example; that means the PRIMARY faces for the BASIC V-3 set is 3/3 (a dice call of "Hard 6"), 1/5 (a dice call of "Easy 6"), 4/4 (a dice call of "Hard 8"), or 2/6 (a dice call of "Easy 8").
Ø Those are the only four possible outcomes if the dice land on one of the four primary-faces upon which you first set them.
Ø Now, if you make changes to the dice-face relationship; then that is a "permutation" of that set. When you are looking at the outcomes of your roll, any time the dice land on one of the four primary-faces that you first set them on; then we get to say we made a "primary-face hit" or got a "primary-face result".
Ø The reason we say "primary face" in this case is to distinguish THAT outcome from what we call a secondary ON-AXIS hit, where the dice managed to stay on axis, but one die ended up 1/4 turn more rotated than the other.
Ø An on-axis double-pitch is the outcome where one die made 1/2 of a rotation more than the other die. When it happens in a 7-avoidance set like the V-3, V-2, or X-6; it often means (50%) of the time, that a 7-out will occur.
Okay, those are the definitions, but what about the number of primary-face outcomes that we should expect or shoot for?
Ø If you are not getting more than 10% to 15% primary-face hit/results, then I think you have to go back and take a look at your basic grip and throw.
Ø If you don't want to go to that trouble then you could "de-construct" your dice results by tracing back how the dice landed on THOSE faces instead of your PRIMARY faces, and then figuring out what permutation changes would have permitted an ALL-6 or 8 result (based on the V-3 example that we are discussing).
Ø Ideally, I like to see AT LEAST 25% of my results end up on their primary-faces when the stickman makes each dice-call. Though it takes a lot of fine-tuning and patience to get to that point, the results are worth the effort.
Ø The whole idea behind this Precision-Shooting thing that we do is to get repeatably consistent results. If you are getting steady and reliable results by doing what you are doing; then it simply becomes a matter of just doing it over and over and over again.
Ø If you aren’t getting repeatably consistent on-axis, primary-face results; then you’ll either have to carefully tailor your current betting to match your current skill-set (which you should be doing anyway); but also keep on practicing to improve both your on-axis percentage, as well as the number of on-axis primary-face hits that you are getting.
All of that takes adaptation, patience, perseverance, and of course, good old-fashioned hard work; but the results are obviously worth it.
Well we’ve covered a lot…or at least said a lot about what I consider to be the entire basis of successful Precision-Shooting.
Keeping the dice on-axis is where the advantage in “advantage-play” comes from.
Fancy betting-schemes, multi-faceted money-management plans and a pretty throw mean absolutely NOTHING unless you are able to de-randomize the dice.
To be able to walk up to a craps table and know that you have the edge over the casino is what Precision-Shooting is all about.
Ø We want every roll to have the same force, same backspin, same landing and same roll-out as the one before it and the one that comes after it.
Ø If we get the dice doing the same thing roll after roll after roll, then you’ll get the consistency that you need, and therefore the profit that you want.
Ø Though that doesn’t mean that every roll WILL end up the same, you have to shoot with that intention and throw with the same input (roll-characteristics) in order to get the same output (results) as frequently as possible.
Ø You sometimes have to build up your success one-inch and one throw at a time.
Ø The worse your betting-methods, money-management and discipline is…the BETTER your on-axis percentage has to be for it to show any degree of reliable profit-making ability.
Ø Any bets that you make where you do not have an edge will quickly negate the wagers that do.
Tailoring your bets to your current skill-level and matching your dice-set to enable the most efficient profit-extraction from those bets is the heart and soul of Precision-Shooting opportunity (and higher profit predictability).
Ø If you can do well with ONE dice-set, then you can do well with ALL of them.
Ø If we know what the likely outcomes will be based on how we throw the dice; then we can make permutation-changes within the same set (or with another appropriate set), and snipe out the numbers that we want in an even more predictive and profitable way.
Profit-growth is directly tied to how big of an edge you are able to develop over the house, and how effectively you are able to wager on it. The higher your on-axis performance, the more money you can justify putting on your most-dominant numbers for that set.
Now it’s time for me to get back to the Practice Rig and put some of my own advice to work.
Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
The Mad Professor