Precision-Shooting Is A Journey Rather Than A Destination
Someone much brighter than me coined that phrase in the first place, then someone else adapted it from a “life in general” axiom to a verity that is especially appropriate for aspiring Precision-Shooters.
As for me, well, I just repeated it here because it applies equally to our dice-setting methods as well as our craps-betting process.
Again, Precision-Shooting is a journey rather than a destination.
Ø Continual improvements to your skill-set require constant changes to your betting-methods as well.
Ø Small changes to your wagering-approach often lead to better ways of extracting additional profit from your current abilities.
It’s a two-way street.
Ø Tailoring your bets to accurately reflect your current skill, profitably enables and tangibly validates your talent in the first place.
Ø If you shoot well and bet well…you get the profit.
Ø If you shoot badly or bet badly…you lose your money.
Ø It’s hard to have one without the other, unless you have incredible and sustainable luck (which, in the casino-context, is highly unlikely).
I want you to notice that I said, “shoot well AND bet well”; then, “shoot badly OR bet badly”.
Part of the difficulty with Precision-Shooting is that to do well, you have to do two things properly and concurrently: you have to shoot well AND bet well.
On the other hand, to lose money at Precision-Shooting, you can fall short on EITHER of those two things and still end up leaving a portion of your bankroll safely in the hands of the casino instead of your own.
Ø If the dice-outcomes don’t reflect your betting-intentions; then sustainable profit is not often going to be yours.
Ø You can be the world’s greatest shooter, but if your bets don’t reflect your dice-results; then you’ll still probably end up losing money…a sad, but very true facet of Precision-Shooting (and the chief reason why you don’t see more people making sustainable profit DESPITE their outstanding throwing-abilities).
To make matters worse:
Most players make their Precision-Shooting journey much more UN-profitable than it has to be.
Let’s explore that a little further…
Opportunity TODAY Is Often Overlooked Because of Tomorrow
Instead of using their current skills with properly matched bets; many players set unrealistic goals of unrealistic profitability for some far off tomorrow; and as a result, largely by-pass the real opportunities that are right in front of them today.
Unfortunately too many players tap out their bankroll long before reaching that illusionary tomorrow; never realizing they had profitably sustainable skills TODAY!
A quick illustration of what I’m talking about:
One incredibly skilled player that I know, plays with a rock-steady 10% advantage over the house; yet his bankroll steadily bleeds red based on his penchant for “hopping the red” whenever the urge hits him…and unfortunately the urge hits him often.
Equally as unfortunate, it hits his bankroll even harder.
If you ask any seasoned casino-player, most would tell you that they’d kill to get a 10% edge over the house. There is absolutely no reason in the world why someone with that big of an edge over the house is not taking loads of ready-made cash off of the table.
Each time this guy gets his hands on the dice, he does take loads of ready-made cash off of the table in a nice steady (dare I say, “predictable”) way that seems almost effortless. If I didn’t know how hard he practices, and how much time he has dedicated to perfecting his craft; I would have thought it just came to him naturally.
He makes Precision-Shooting look THAT easy.
Even most of his betting (during his roll) is proportioned correctly in order to make max-dollars without unjustified risk. Yet all of that profit plus a little more from his own pocket will go right back to the casino in the form of unrealized (non-winning) Any-7 wagers that he makes on everyone else.
He makes those Hopping-7 wagers at the drop of a hat…and the approach of a waitress…and the appearance of a craps-number…and a Table-game Supervisor picking up the stack of Player Rating Cards…and if someone coughs, sneezes, or farts…and if anyone late-bets…and if the dice accidentally tumble as the stickman is sending them over to the shooter (even if they don’t show a 7)…and if someone’s wife or girlfriend approaches the table…and a thousand other reasons that he feels is an appropriate reason to bet an Any-7 Big Red.
I would estimate that he “Hops the Red” about once every three or four rolls, although I’ve seen him chase and replace the same non-winning bet for more than 20+ rolls in a row. No wonder he ends almost every session with a loss, regardless of how much money his own great shooting generates.
His reasoning is that he’s only spending six bucks ($9) when he makes those bets, and though he makes ~36 of them an hour (for a cost of ~$324+), his says his verified 10% Precision-Shooting advantage SHOULD be good enough to allow him that luxury.
In fact, there is absolutely nothing wrong with his Precision-Shooting, and everything wrong…well, okay just one thing wrong, but it’s a BIG one thing, about his betting that is surrendering his huge and toughly gained advantage over the house…right back to them, plus a little bit more.
I’ve only known him for a little over three years now, and though his shooting has improved markedly over that period; his Hopping Red wagering has actually gotten even more frequent (and even more unprofitable) over the same time frame.
He keeps telling me that he’s hoping to improve upon his “ability to predict random-roller 7’s” so that his Hopping Red bet will eventually start to pan out better in the future; yet the profit he continues to relinquish (give back) in that pursuit is the reason WHY he took up dice-influencing in the first place.
He took up dice-setting because it looked like a great way to make somewhat reliable money, and even though it now does everything for him that he ever dreamed it could…he is STILL unable to show an annual net-profit despite his outstanding abilities.
Oh sure, he makes a profit on almost every hand, but then gives all of it right back in the form of non-winning Hop-7 bets. The even more ironic part of all this, is that when the Hop-7’s DO win, it gives him more impetus and bravado to increase his bets on the Any-7 from there on out. So his $9 Hopping Red turns into a $15 or $30 Hopping Red for the rest of the session.
He further reasons (quite illogically), that if he improves his shooting skills just a little bit more, he’ll be able to show a profit despite any increased kamikaze betting on the Hopping Red.
While he says he’s there for the profit, and he certainly does have a penchant for earning it during his rolls; he invariably keeps giving more and more of it right back on every other shooter that picks up the dice.
Profit earned and then returned is not retained-earnings…it’s…well it’s what the casinos LIVE FOR!
Skill TODAY Should Deliver PROFIT Today
It does not take an unbelievably high SRR or On-axis Percentage or superior repeatability of your Signature Numbers to derive decent and reliable profit from this game.
Steady profit for the modestly-skilled dicesetter is derived as follows:
Ø It takes a well thought out betting-method that takes advantage of your current skill, but doesn’t require undue bankroll risk.
Ø It takes a betting-method that is based on the average of what you normally throw while the dice are in your hand, and provides even more growth potential if your turn runs longer than that norm.
Ø It derives about 50% to 80% of its revenue-consistency from the workmanlike short runs (hands that last anywhere from 3 to 10 rolls), and therefore doesn’t require the mythical “unending roll” to show a profit.
Ø Though our betting-methods can’t bank solely on the occasional long-rolls (because we never know in advance when they will happen), our wagering-approach has to be flexible enough to take advantage of them when the mega-rolls do come along.
Ø On the other hand, we have to structure our bets so that we earn money from all but the shortest (point-then-Out) hands. Through that approach, our wagers reflect our hope for the best, but preparation for the worst. It is that sense of survival that modestly-skilled dice-setters need to have in place before ascending to the upper-ranks of performance and profit.
Focus on Today…Prepare For Tomorrow
The idea is to take the skills that you are currently exhibiting, and profitably using them to fuel tomorrow’s higher betting-plateaus and more flexible wagering-methods.
You can’t do that unless you are taking (and KEEPING) a portion of your skill-based profit off of the tables today.
We’re not talking about requiring huge wins on a steady basis. Rather, we’re talking about the fact that most of your sessions will see you get ahead at some point, and then having you take a portion of those winnings (along with your original buy-in) and using it to fuel tomorrows higher bet-plateaus.
Now “tomorrow” in this context means that you are going to save up your small but steady earning until you have doubled your normal buy-in, and then to use that increased war-chest to spawn bet-levels that are perhaps 10% to 15% higher than the ones you are making now. That may not literally be “tomorrow”, and may in fact take you several weeks or even months to accomplish it.
Patience is critical in terms of scaling up your bet-levels with a sufficient bankroll to back it up.
Clearly we don’t take ALL of our winnings and try to parlay them in a single-hand effort to double them again. Instead, we use a portion of those winnings to fuel future earnings-growth. We re-invest 10% to 15% of our now-expanded bankroll into making slightly larger base-bets or to afford a Steeper Regression.
Again we aren’t going to suddenly develop an appetite for high risk. Having more money to work with does not automatically mean that we can get silly with our bets. Rather, we take the mature and business-like approach that prescribes a conservative re-investment strategy along with a plan to retain a much larger portion of our winnings as RETAINED-earnings.
Ø Your skills TODAY often hold profit-potential that you may be overlooking in pursuit of tomorrows hoped-for better proficiency.
Ø Your shooting and your betting should compliment, and not diminish the positive aspects of one another.
Ø Earned profit is not money to be squandered. Once you earn it, it is up to you to KEEP it. By only using a portion of those winnings to fuel slightly larger base-bets or a steeper initial Regression; we enforce a kind of compulsory savings plan for our non-reinvested earnings.
Ø An increased bankroll adds flexibility to your betting-regimen, yet shouldn’t inspire sloppiness or careless risk. Rather, it should bolster your confidence now that you have much more formidable resources to back up your Precision-Shooting play.
Ø All of your bets, including those made on any other players; still have to be evaluated, as in, “Is this the right thing to be doing with my money at this moment?”, and “Will this next wager give me as good of a chance of making a net-profit than if I was betting it during my own roll?”
Opportunity (and money) that you squander now, has to be made up for with even BETTER Precision-Shooting down the road. Therefore it makes quite a bit of sense to earn and retain as much of your casino-income as possible.
By saving most of that profit, and re-investing a portion of it; we are able to ratchet up our base-betting levels, but always have something much more tangible to show for our successful efforts in the form of retained-earnings.
Not taking full advantage of your skills today and not retaining as high of a percentage of your profit as possible (while still using a portion of your income to ratchet up your bets); means that you are surrendering a portion of the edge that you have worked so hard to gain…right back to the casino!
If you don’t take what is yours, then the casinos are VERY happy to keep it as theirs!
What Could Be…What SHOULD Be
It’s interesting to watch Precision-Shooters when they bet on their own hands. Some match their current bets to their current outcomes, while other place bets that they hope will come in.
Often times…I’m sure you’ve seen it yourself…where the shooter will unleash a string of numbers that he doesn’t have a single solitary bet on. He keeps banging out the same numbers, and the bets he does have out there look like forgotten orphans that are surrounded by more favored offspring that everyone except the dice-shooter is taking advantage of.
I’ve seen some great shooters have hands in the 30, 40, and 50-roll category, yet end up losing money from that hand. While everyone else is cleaning up and coloring-out mounds of chips that teeter and wobble from their unwieldy height; the skilled-shooter is looking at his rail and second-guessing himself as to why he didn’t put any money on any the good results the dice were giving him. To his mind, the dice seemed to have eyes, and were somehow avoiding his bets while managing to hit repeatedly on everyone else’s…time and time and time again.
Their bets COULD have been his bets too. In fact, their bets SHOULD have been his bets too.
His rolls…his bets…his decisions…his lost opportunity.
“I know the profit COULD be mine and SHOULD be mine, but I choose not to take it in the hopes that my shooting will improve to the point where I can make sustainable profit with the bets that I am comfortable in making now.”
Like I said earlier:
Most players make their Precision-Shooting journey much more UN-profitable than it has to be.
It’s Up to You
As Precision-Shooters, it is our responsibility to construct bets and wager-sequences that make sense from a sustainable economic point of view.
If there is money to be made because the dice are indicating that this is where your “right here, right now” opportunity is; then it’s up to you to make the bet-decisions that are in your own best-interest (and still within the comfort-zone of the particular casino you are presently playing in).
Again, it’s a YOUR rolls…YOUR bets…YOUR decisions…YOUR opportunity situation.
As We Evolve
As our throwing-skills and betting-methods continually improve and evolve, we have to frequently update what it is we know, recognize, and assume about our current money-making opportunities.
Ø Slight shooting improvements in one area (increased primary-face outcomes, on-axis “secondaries”, repeating back-to-back Signature Numbers, off-axis dominants, recurring “clumpings” of certain outcomes like Horn, Inside, Outside or Field-numbers, etc.), frequently unearths an entire new world of betting-opportunities.
Ø Improved insight into WHEN to bet often reduces our risk without impacting profit.
Ø Improved insight into WHAT to bet usually increases our profit as well as reducing risk.
Viewed another way:
Ø Sometimes all it requires is a small shift from the bets you have been making, to the number-outcomes that you are CURRENTLY getting; that will make all the difference in the world…or at least all the difference in your pocket.
Perception Often Limits Our Profit-Reality
I think it’s pretty safe to say that most professional Precision-Shooters let our previous dice-shooting performances dictate our current betting-methods.
Ø We know what our Signature-Numbers are based on what we normally throw and how much outside of the norm (better than the 36-roll Expectancy Chart) our Precision-Shooting actually is.
Ø We base our betting-approach on where our current strengths presently lay.
Ø We limit our bets in a way that gives us the best shot of producing a profit, yet preserving our bankroll in the event those bets don’t work out.
That is HOW we form our perceptions and current betting-methods; but sometimes that very same experience tends to hold us back.
Ø Once you know where your profit-opportunities are, you have to make the required bet-decisions to properly exploit them.
Okay that part of it we’re pretty clear on.
Ø If timing is everything, then proper timing in Precision-Shooting is everything times two.
Again, there’s no disputing that knowing WHEN to bet and WHAT to bet on mostly means the difference between profit and loss; or at least predictable profit instead of mostly break-even or marginal income.
Here’s the problem though…
Ø Often we are reluctant to “pull the trigger” in terms of moving our bets to where they SHOULD currently be right here, right now, from the spots (bets) that have traditionally brought in the most money for us (our Top Four Signature Numbers for example).
This is where many highly-skilled and seasoned shooters fail to capitalize on their current, this-very-moment opportunities that everyone else at the table is raking in tons of money from.
My way to deal with that is to reduce a portion of my traditionally high-producing (but currently sleeping) wagers, and put some of their weight (money) onto the numbers that are showing up right here and right now.
Ø That means that we haven’t completely abandoned our primary income-producers (especially if our Signature Numbers suddenly decide to come back from vacation).
Ø Instead, we give the present high-activity performers a chance to show how productive they can be if afforded a properly-financed opportunity.
How To SEE It, And What To Do About It
Seeing the present opportunity and deciding what to do with it comes down to a couple of things:
Ø Enhanced trend-determining perception
This is the ability to look at your current shooting at this very moment and decide whether you are in the early, middle or late stages of a certain trend.
Again it could be a new indication of increased primary-face outcomes, on-axis “secondaries”, repeating back-to-back non-Signature Numbers, off-axis dominants, recurring “clumpings” of certain outcomes like Horn, Inside, Outside or Field-numbers, etc. What is important is that you first SEE the opportunity, and then give yourself permission to act on it.
Even if the numbers you are producing aren’t among your current Top Four Signature Numbers, but they are recurring with enough frequency for you to notice; then you have to make the mature decision whether or not it represents a reasonable betting opportunity.
Ø Bet-decision instincts
Here again, you have to strike a balance between what you normally bet on and what you should possibly be betting on right now.
If the stream of numbers you are rolling are not what you currently have wagers on; then you have to make a decision whether those new numbers warrant a small portion of your wagering attention, and whether or not some of your current (but non-performing) wagering-weight should be shifted OFF of your non-hitting bets and ONTO the numbers that are repeating.
Ø Clarified intuition
Human-nature causes us to remember our good decisions but discard and forget about the bad ones. You have to see past that self-induced mental-fog, and determine whether the intuition that you have, should be trusted or is highly doubtful and suspect.
Remember, you are making monetary decisions that determine your ultimate profit or loss. If you don’t continually update and re-validate your intuition, you may be making decisions that are based on the flimsiest of superstitions, fallacies, false notions and self-delusions. That is NOT how you are going to make a steady profit from THIS game.
All of these elements are linked.
Ø Each medium-to-long hand has it’s own self-contained trend.
Ø Currently recurring numbers often supplement or supercede your normal Signature Numbers.
Ø That’s not something to freak out over or get disappointed with…it’s something to take advantage of!
Ø Not all roll-results require re-aligned betting.
Ø You have to find a balance in being too quick in pulling the trigger (and betting on a false shadow of what appeared to be a possible target) and waiting too long (and missing the target-of-opportunity long after it has passed completely out of range).
Ø RECURRING roll-results (as defined above) require throw-by-throw decision-making and well-thought-out bet redeployments.
Ø Well-substantiated intuition IS actionable, but baseless superstitions and false notions aren’t; so the skilled Precision-Shooter (who doesn’t want to miss opportunities, yet not flinch every time a non-wagered outcome appears) has to rationally decide which is which.
This series is all about determining the best and safest way to get from HERE (where your current skill-set profit-making is right now) to THERE (the place where your current skill-set profit-making SHOULD BE).
Making the best-informed and least-tainted bet-decisions during EACH turn you have with the dice is one of the primary ways for you to bring home the gold, without increasing your inherent risk. In other words, it’s how we get from HERE to THERE.
Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
The Mad Professor