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The Mad Professor’s Shooting Bible: Part XV

Frequently Asked Questions – Chapter One

In this article: Release-point Follow-Through
Initial Landing-Zone Target Areas
Dice-Outcome Correlation

How important is Release-Point Follow-Through?

Release-point Follow-Through is very important in terms of executing a consistently smooth dice-release.

toss arc that your fingers/hand/wrist/lower arm combination is following right at (and after) the point of release (as well as where they continue to arc to in your post-release follow-through) is of critical importance in not only determining spin-rate, but also in determining the smoothness of the release and the smoothness of the spin-inducement itself, but also the wobble-free evenness of the dice-launch and subsequent flight-path.

Though most people would argue that once the dice leave your hand they are on their own and therefore your follow-through shouldn't have any effect on them...they would be
partially correct but that isn't the full picture.

What they don't understand is that if your follow-through is ragged or abbreviated (abruptly stopping once you release the dice), or the follow-through arc of your fingers/hand/wrist/lower arm combination at the point-of-release is in transition to either a
different arc than the initial release-point flight-path or it is already in preparation to slow down or stop as soon as the dice come off your fingertips; then there's a high likelihood that consistent dice-results will continue to evade that player.

I'll give you an example:

If you are using a Low, Slow, and Easy Toss; then your follow-through (once you release the dice), should follow the EXACT same flight-path and trajectory that you released the dice on until your arm is fully extended.

Think of your release-point follow-through as the parent who is teaching their child to ride a bicycle...where the transition from mild assistance to initial full-release is a smooth and gradual one.

This method is especially effective for users of 3, 4, or 5-finger grips because of the amount of fingertip skin contact they have on the dice just prior to the critical release-point (when initial spin-rate and launch-smoothness is being imparted).

Where is the ideal landing zone target area for the dice to first make contact with the table?

Your Target Area is pretty much determined by how well your toss conforms to the bounce-characteristics of the particular table you are playing at. There are some general rules of thumb, but they are only guidelines that have to be modified to match
your own toss-dynamics to the specific table-types you normally play on:

On most tables, I like to land my dice about 6" to 8" from the backwall.

Depending on how they react to that toss, I may have to dial-down my throwing-energy or alter the trajectory at which the dice are thrown.

Equally, I might increase or decrease the amount of spin (either backspin or forward-spin depending on which way I am throwing the dice), in order to compensate for the way their impact with the table is counter-reacting to their initial contact.

As well, I may adjust my initial-landing Target Area a little closer or a little further away from the backwall.

Each one of those elements have to be adjusted in harmony with the others. For example, reducing your throwing-energy (the force with which you toss the dice) is almost always the biggest enemy of a reliable throw-after-throw on-axis, primary-face outcome; so throwing-speed is the first thing I recalibrate.

less opportunity you give to the table to disturb the dice, the better your chances of a high consistency outcome:

The less energy and the less undissipated descent-speed that the dice impact the table with; the more likely they are to end up with a result that we intend.

Generally, the lower and shallower the flight-path trajectory is, the further away from the backwall you can throw the dice.

For example, a low trajectory throw (like the Low, Slow, & Easy Toss that we discussed here http://www.dicesetter.com/mp/mad105bible3.htm and here http://www.dicesetter.com/mp/mad105bible5.htm , will not decelerate the dice as much as a higher-trajectory landing will, and therefore the dice will maintain more of their forward-speed (but with the side benefit of usually maintaining their axial and facial integrity quite a bit better).

Ideally the initial landing zone Target Area is one where the dice will make their SECOND low-remaining-energy contact with the table at the smooth lower non-bumpy margin of the backwall and not higher up into the random-inspiring alligator-pyramids.

Needless to say though, you'll have to experiment a bit to determine exactly how close or how far from the backwall your initial Target Area landing zone should be in order to move their
second low-remaining-energy contact-point right to the base of the backwall.

If for example, the first bounce launches them high into the backwall alligator bumps; then obviously you can reduce your throwing energy as well as moving your initial landing zone quite a bit further from the backwall. If on the other hand, their first contact sees them barely dribble in and almost fail to make contact with the backwall; then obviously you can move your initial target-area a bit further down the table and closer to the backwall.

What is “Correlation” and what role does it play in dice-influencing?

"Correlation" is a mathematical way of describing any difference from independence.

Here's an example that Stanford Wong provided to me when we first started discussing this subject a couple of years ago:

“Suppose you have enough control over the dice that you can get the left die to stop on the “3-face” 25% (one-quarter) of the time and the right die to stop on “3-face” 20% (one-fifth) of the time.

Question: Does this show correlation?

Not enough information is given to figure it out.

Yes you have
control, if you are getting frequencies of 25% (1-in-4) on one dice and 20% (1-in-5) on the other when random is 1-in-6.

However, to know whether or not you have correlated outcomes, you also need to know
how often you get that same 3-3 outcome.

Independence between the two dice would give an outcome of 3-3 about 5% of the time with a frequency of 1-in-20 (which is what you get by multiplying the frequency of seeing each face individually).

If the appearance of the two faces together happens significantly more than 1-in-20 or significantly less than 1-in-20 (more than 5% of the time or less than 5% of the time); then you have correlation.

Dice tosses
with correlation but without axial control means each die comes up with each number 1/6 of the time, but certain combinations of two dice come up significantly more or significantly less than the randomly-expected 1/36 of the time.”

Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.


The Mad Professor
Copyright © 2006

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 24, 2007 12:51 AM.

The previous post in this blog was The Mad Professor’s Shooting Bible: Part XIV.

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