Shooting & Betting In The Present-Tense
Some things about successful Precision-Shooting are SO obvious that it’s actually easy to overlook them and forget about applying them when the dice are in our hand.
That brings us to the whole Precision-Shooting concept of living in the moment, while shooting and betting ONLY the present tense.
In a nutshell, it means…
Putting aside the stuff that has come before. While we have to learn from our previous mistakes…we cannot dwell on them.
Equally, we cannot bank on our recently outstanding performances as a guarantee that we will do just as well during this session.
The only thing that matters is our very next here and now throw of the dice.
Your previous throw that you made just a few seconds ago has come and gone. The future is right here and right now in your very next toss. Yesterdays or last weeks or even last months roll is ancient history, and means nothing at this precise moment.
The only thing that matters is what you are doing RIGHT NOW while the dice are in your hand.
Don’t worry about how any of this fits into your SRR or your On-Axis Percentage or your Signature-Number hierarchy; just focus on the task at hand.
The dice are in your hand, it’s what you do with them right now on the very next roll that matters.
Each roll stands on it’s own. Each roll is independent, but it is how we string them together and how we bet on them that determines our ultimate profitability. For that reason, the very next toss is where your total focus is concentrated.
When that throw is complete, you will take the informational feedback that you gleaned from that one and transfer it to or appropriately modify it for the very next throw. At that moment, your next toss again becomes THE throw.
As you make each subsequent throw, it fits into the totality of your current hand. Again, the very next throw is the only one that matters. You therefore take it one roll at a time, and then make adjustments (betting-wise and mechanics-wise) before making each subsequent toss.
If you make a good one, you get to keep the dice…if you make a bad one, your current hand is over…THEN you’ll have plenty of time to dwell on what you did right…what you did wrong…what you would do differently next time…and what you wouldn’t change a bit.
When you do that end-of-hand self-appraisal, you learn to focus-in very quickly on your Precision-Shooting and Precision-BETTING strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities.
When you live in the present-tense of each and every roll; you quickly realize that your very next throw is the only thing that will let you get to the next one after that…and the one after that… and the one after that, etc.
Likewise, you’ll begin to look at your bets in a more objective way. For those wagers to work, they have to fit into the dice-results that you are throwing. Therefore, a savvy player is always re-evaluating his bets in terms of their likely prospects-for-profit or liability-for-losing.
I regard each and every roll as a fresh new profit opportunity.
If you are interested in reading a little more about my every-roll mindset, I would kindly direct you to How To Get THERE From HERE - Part One.
Track Your Bet-Decision Win-Ratio
Let me ask you this:
How many of your bet-decisions turn out to be right?
That is, how many of your bets turn out to be NET-winners?
Is it 8 out of 10, 5 out of 10, 6 out of 20, or better or worse?
The reason I ask, is because it’s important that you give yourself credit for the right decisions that you make, and equally important that you understand and learn from and improve upon your decisions that turn out to be wrong.
When it comes to bet-decisions, it almost always makes the difference between profit and loss. What am I saying, the bet-decisions you make ARE the difference between profit and loss.
We track our rolls, we track our Sevens-to-Rolls ratio, we track our Signature-Numbers, we track our On-Axis percentages, and our Box Numbers-to-Rolls ratio; but all of that is on the Precision-Shooting side of the equation.
What about the Precision-Betting side of the equation?
So, I’ll ask you again:
How many of your betting decisions are right, and how many are wrong?
Suppose we were able to make one additional correct choice out of every ten or twenty decisions that we have to make as far as our betting is concerned.
Would that mean the difference between a loss and a profit?
Would it mean the difference between a break-even session and a healthy profit?
Would it mean the difference between profit and P R O F I T ?
It’s vitally important to look at your whole bet-decision process with a light that perhaps you haven’t shone on it before.
Keep It Simple
I could get into all sorts of exotic formulas and use all kinds of analogies by explaining how math sometimes has to figure into things even when we don’t want it to.
I could use historical references and explain how math first helped man to fly, otherwise we’d still be flapping our arms in a vain attempt to ignore the math of the entire notion of flight; but I’m not going to.
Rather, I’m going to keep this simple.
If you keep track of the number of throws that you make during each hand; then use the same method (or something very similar) to keep track of the number of individual bets that you make, and the number of times you are able to collect on them.
Even if you make five separate bets, and only one of them makes a payoff six times over; we’ll still count that as five decisions and six wins (correct decisional choices). Yes, that means that you can have a better-than-100% bet-decision ratio, but it also means that the more bets that you have on the layout…the more correct decisions or repeating throws that you’ll have to make.
Obviously this an over-simplistic approach in terms of getting you to look at the number of bets that you are making versus the number of times they turn out to be proven to be the RIGHT decision when they are activated; but I want you to get in the habit of gauging whether or not you are making the right decisions at the right time.
As you get used to keeping track of how often you are making the right choices, you’ll become more objective in your bet-making process. Clearly, most players will make much-needed improvements to this most rudimentary of decision-yardsticks as they get better at appraising a potential wagering-opportunity…and so they should.
The goal of course is to make you look at all of your bets with a critical eye as to whether they are in the best interests of you and your bankroll; or whether they merely satisfy your thirst for risk-taking, and gambling action.
Again, it’s a simple process, but I want you to start getting into the habit of soberly asking yourself whether this bet or that bet is the RIGHT bet, and whether it is a likely profit-maker or a bankroll-sapper.
Precision-Shooting takes a high-measure of brutal honesty. If a bet is a NET-contributor; then it has a place of honor, and should be constantly re-appraised to determine whether even MORE wagering-weight should be placed upon it. If a bet isn’t a NET-contributor to your shooting-and-betting regimen; then it probably has no place in there.
That is one of the ways to determine where your money should be concentrated on or where it should be excluded from.
Making constant re-evaluations about where your bets are placed, and when and for how long they are exposed there; determines for the most part, whether or not you will likely come out of each shooting opportunity with more money than you went into it with.
Tracking your bet-decisions Win-ratio helps you develop a keener sense of where your money is going to and where your profit is coming from.
An Advantage-Player With A DIS-Advantaged Bankroll
Your bankroll determines how big of a bet you should have out on the table, and also indicates the amount of bet-spread you can allow yourself to have.
Many players write in to ask why I don’t suggest more low-budget, low-bankroll betting-methods. The answer is clear, or at least it SHOULD be clear after reading my 200 or so articles…
If you have an insufficient bankroll, then you shouldn’t be in a casino in the first place.
The money that it takes to make sustainable profit (with the lows of losing and the highs of winning) with the type and size of bets that I’ve laid out and contemplated in these articles…IS SUBSTANTIAL!
Yes, many have tried to do it with lesser money, and many, in fact most, have failed due in large part to their undersized bankroll.
Even with adequate skill, an under-funded betting-pot is not likely to weather the winds, storms and occasional squalls that come along even for the best of us.
To get through that inclement weather and sail through to calmer and more profitable waters, you NEED a sufficient bankroll. There are some that say you don’t, but frankly they don’t know what they’re talking about.
It is critical to have a sufficient bankroll BEFORE you attempt to take your Practice Rig skills to the real-world layouts.
When I read about the tiny bankrolls that some players venture forth with, it's little wonder that they get the mileage out of their skills that they do. Please understand that I'm not taking a swipe at anyone with a small bankroll...in fact, it's just the opposite.
A small session-bankroll will by its very nature, enforce a very low Loss-Limit.
Unfortunately a small bankroll is equally unforgiving of even tiny Precision-Shooting flaws or betting mistakes.
In that way, it is difficult for a short-stacked player to make a comeback from any shooting or betting defects that may show up early in his session.
Equally, a small bankroll often makes a very talented player forego most, if not all of the profit that his skillful shooting SHOULD BE producing, simply because to his mind, he can't afford to venture a larger percentage of an already too-small bankroll.
In general, a "no-room-for-ANY-mistakes" bankroll, places undue stress (and often unrealistic profit expectations) on even the most talented, but under-funded players. Most knowledgeable BJ players know this, yet too many savvy dice-guru’s encourage others who aren't as fortunately-banked, to try to make do with insufficient funds.
As a result, I think an insufficient bankroll is one of the major contributing factors to the high percentage of players who try dicesetting, and in fact validate a Precision-Shooting advantage for themselves; yet tap-out their bankroll (and leave the game entirely) before they are able to turn that D-I advantage into consistent profit.
Factoring in Bet-Levels and Bet-Spreads
When your shooting isn't up to par, then your bet-levels (the amount of money you have on any singular bet) and your bet-spread (the number of total bets that you have "spread" on the layout) should be at an absolute minimum. That way, when your shooting IS GOOD, you don't have as big of a hole to dig yourself out of before getting back to break-even for the session or day or week or month or year or even the decade for that matter.
A HUGE part of successful advantage-play is to limit your losses, while at the same time giving your winnings enough freedom to generate even more of the same.
Player-Advantage Isn’t Constant, So You Can’t Bet Like It Is
As we looked at in Part Five of this series, there are some aspects of the professional card-counters approach that we CAN adopt and some that we CAN'T (or at least shouldn't).
What we CAN adopt is to bet it up when we have the advantage. The problem is we often mis-define what our advantage is, or at least WHEN it is pertinent.
Yes, as Precision-Shooters we usually have the advantage when we shoot; so does that mean we should get aggressive EVERY TIME we have the dice just like a pro-counter increases his bet every time the count is high?
NO we should not!
A BJ player gets the cards delivered to him. He doesn't shuffle or deal...he waits for the advantage, by way of a high-count, to come to him.
For a P-S'er, we have to MAKE our own advantage...it isn't delivered to us by the house. In that case, we don't ALWAYS have the advantage because our shooting isn't ALWAYS good, so our betting shouldn't be structured like the advantage is always there...because it isn't.
Instead, we WAIT until our shooting-edge is re-validated (by our current results), especially for the first hand, of the first session of the first day of play...and THEN we can start betting it up. To do so before we re-verify our player-advantage is to GAMBLE in a way that is actually worse than betting on a random-roller.
How and why can it be worse than a wagering on a R-R?
Well, a random-roller doesn't have any illusions about having an advantage (or at least he SHOULDN'T have any baseless illusions), but a P-S'er has confirmed that he indeed DOES have an advantage, and therefore he often believes that he’ll almost ALWAYS have the advantage when he picks up the dice...and so he mistakenly bets like that advantage is always there. By mistakenly shifting his bets into high gear before the revs of his dice-shooting engine are high enough to sustain the increased burden; he unexpectedly flames out (shuts down) any chance of a current-hand profit.
In doing so, he fails to understand that the count in BJ isn't always high, and likewise, a Precision-Shooters skill isn't always at it peak...so our betting shouldn't reflect the fact that we think it always is.
Why So Many Cautions?
It would seem that I’m always cautioning you not to get carried away with your betting until you have a valid shooting-advantage that is right in front of you.
I hope the reason is clear, but I’ll repeat it again in case it isn’t.
I don’t want you getting carried away BECAUSE of your betting. The opportunities will occur often enough and with enough ferocity, that you don’t have to force your wins.
Your SHOOTING-consistency has to develop BEFORE you can expect PROFIT-consistency; so you can’t bet like every hand that you throw will be THE one.
Instead, we first zone in our shooting, and when our skills are clearly showing an appropriate betting-opportunity; then we pounce.
A quick review of Part Six in this series will help you maintain that equilibrium in the Too Early or Too Late balancing act.
Close to Break-Even Often Leads to Catastrophic Losses
Staging a comeback after a huge loss, and being within a couple of bucks of your original buy-in often marks the point where many players begin another precipitous descent right back into the bankroll-abyss.
95% of skilled Precision-Shooters will readily admit that they have been in this position...the other 5% are liars.
It's so difficult for our egos to accept a small $5 or $10 or $20 loss, especially after staging a near-miraculous comeback during an extended session. We get within a couple of bucks of recapturing our buy-in, yet instead of leaving the table with a tiny loss; we'll willingly lose back nearly all of it in a vain attempt to recapture every last nickel.
Many players seem to have the attitude that they HAVE TO get every cent back from every session, and they are willing to sacrifice EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR that they have, in unsuccessfully attempting to do so.
Unfortunately, most of them will fail in that pursuit; yet they will do the same thing again and again, session after session after session.
It isn't the house-edge or game-volatility that grinds a player into casino dust...it is ego-driven greed.
I have AMPLE first-hand knowledge of this, so I can speak with a high degree of authority on this matter.
Most players get so buoyed up by the fact that they’ve staged a comeback, that when they get so close to their original buy-in point, they start to relax too much and subsequently let down their guard.
Further, they know that they’ve managed to make one miraculous comeback; surely they can manage another. It’s almost like an infantile response of building up a little house of toys blocks, only to intentionally knock it over as soon as it’s done. This childish omnipotent feeling often rears it’s head at the worst time…and therefore leads us directly into a bankroll meltdown from which we are unable to launch another successful recovery.
In most cases, a huge and concerted recovery is rightfully followed by a sigh of relief…a well-deserved mental unwinding…and an overall exhalation of focused stress. That is probably the worst time (other than chasing a loss) to be putting more money on the table.
It’s time for a break…you’ve earned it…you deserve it…and your bankroll requires it.
Guys, if you take any one of these individual ideas and apply them to your game, you may see a measurable difference…but when you apply ALL of them in concert with each other…THEN you’ll see a clearer path of how to get from here to THERE!
Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
The Mad Professor