Okay, let’s continue our journey of getting from where we are now (HERE), to that more profitable place that we want to be (THERE).
Your Evolution as a Precision-Shooter
My game has evolved quite a bit since I first wrote the Mad Professor's Playbook back in early 2000. In fact, my Playbook, especially for my own rolls, has evolved A LOT since then!
As my Precision-Shooting has improved significantly over the past four and a half years since I first wrote it, I can say that my Precision-BETTING has also improved right along with it.
By taking a critical look at what my Signature-Numbers are, and how frequently I can expect to see THEM before I see that OTHER much less-desirable number (the 7); I have been able to continually tailor all of my bets to more closely match my CURRENT shooting skills.
Having more knowledge of what is likely to happen during any given hand that you have with the dice; means more predictability as far as your bets are concerned as well. If betting on random-rollers gives you random results; then making seemingly random bets on your own advantage–play shooting is just as likely to have the same unpredictable effect when it comes to making any profit.
Precision-Shooting DEMANDS Precision-BETTING!
If I had to point to one particular factor that has played a role in letting me get to bigger, more consistent profit more often; I would have to say that ratcheting-up my Betting-Methods to reflect my evolving skills as a dicesetter is the one that played the biggest part.
You’ll find a complete study of that subject in my Matching Bets to Your Shooting Ability article.
Bankroll Size and Bet-Size
Clearly, what you have as far as a bankroll is concerned, and what you bet on, plus how much you put on each wager; has a huge bearing on what you CAN win and also what you MIGHT lose.
So, what you have and what you do with it, are pretty large determinants of what you will get in return as far as profit or losses are concerned.
Remember, we are talking about ways to get to bigger and more consistent wins, NOT about how to lose more money. Initially bigger bets and a huge bankroll are not necessarily synonymous with winning, but they can certainly lead to bigger losses. If you aren’t playing with an edge over the house, then eventually your bankroll will evaporate, no matter how big it was when you started out. As your dice-throwing skills improve, you have to eliminate all the frivolous, superstitious and hunch-betting from your wagering-diet, and replace them with healthier, more sustainable wagers. Your survival, or at least the survival of your bankroll, depends on it.
The more skill you have with your shooting, plus the less risk you put into your betting; equals more profit in your pocket.
Let’s Talk About Size
Believe it or not, once you go beyond a $500 session bankroll-size, the significance of the "size" has less and less bearing on win-amounts.
Under the $500 buy-in level, then bankroll size does indeed have a very strong bearing on your likelihood of winning, but over that amount, it has more to do with what you do after a bet wins. In either case of session bankroll-size, it all comes down to your personal skill as a Precision-Shooter, and HOW you bet, WHEN you bet, WHAT you bet on, and WHAT you do after a bet either wins or loses.
To take a closer look at how the size of your bankroll affects your chances of winning, I can recommend the following articles:
Don't Cut Off Your Bankroll's Blood-Flow
For an entirely different perspective on the role that the size of your bankroll plays in the way you are treated, and the way you are comped by the casinos; I would recommend the following article:
I'm Sorry, But SIZE Really DOES Matter!
Is Bigger Always Better?
I can tell you, right off, that even for a skilled Precision-Shooter, merely increasing the size of your wagers will not necessarily translate into commensurately larger profits. It’s tied more closely with how your bets are built up when you are winning, and how they are restricted when you are losing. So, on an “everything being equal” basis, larger bets MAY mean bigger wins, but it’s more related to how you build them up to their highest levels which generally determine how much net-profit you actually end up making and keeping during the mid-to-long hands.
Obviously, if you focus the bulk of their wagering-weight on your strongest plays (where you have the biggest advantage), and minimize or eliminate the less productive ones (where you are at the mercy of house-edge and game-volatility just like every other player); then most astute players soon find that their net-profits increase SUBSTANTIALLY, all on their own without having to resort to larger bets or a bigger bankroll.
Simply shifting around the amount of money that you bet on various wagers, usually yields more profits from the same amount of money gambled. Simply put; the most efficient use of your money usually produces the most Precision-Shooting profit.
Let me put it another way:
If you cut out the non-paying or net-loss bets, and put those same dollars to work on your strongest, most dominant numbers: greater, more consistent profits will flow.
Folks, this isn’t rocket-science, but the way some people react when it’s pointed out that the lion’s share of their profit is being sucked up by net-losing wagers that “they’ve always made”; you would think you’re asking them to take a one way trip to lovely downtown Fallujah instead of merely shifting a few dollars OFF of one wager and ON to another.
When skilled dicesetters discover the hidden value of redeploying the same money but in different proportions, and on different bets; their confidence rises in a speed only equaled by the increase in their bankroll. Armed with that new found confidence, they are able to bet with a renewed level of assurance and self-reliance…and THAT is what Precision-Shooting advantage-play is all about.
Knowing When to Draw the Line
Sometimes if my rhythm is interrupted during my own dice-rolling, I MAY reduce my Place-bets, but I’ll only turn them “Off” if something REALLY disturbing is happening at the TABLE or in my HEAD. You have to determine what affects YOU enough to make a difference with your own shooting.
Otherwise, I keep my foot on the aggressiveness-pedal.
Although I will often leave a ton of money on the layout when the 7-Out shows up, it’s a comparative thing. Once I get beyond the second-press, the profit (in addition to the 30%-net that I have already locked-in on the initial Steep Regression) continues to tumble in quite nicely. If my Place-bet on the 6 or 8 has reached the $90 or $120 or $180 level; then you can be sure that I’ve already banked an equal, if not greater, amount of profit in my rack, and you can also place great faith in the fact that once it is IN my rack, the casino WILL NOT be getting it back!
As I mentioned in Part I of this series, I often "draw the line" at certain bet-plateaus. Sometimes "permanently" (for the duration of the hand), but mostly "temporarily", while I lock up a few more wins at a certain level.
Many times, I will use those bet-level stages for a "pause to collect" a couple additional wins before continuing to press-it-up. By plateauing my profit, it gives me a chance to psychologically gear-up for the next higher bet-threshold. After a few wins at one level it is MUCH easier, both financially and psychologically, to move up to the next one. In fact, multiple hits on the same Place-bet numbers behoove you to increase them. Your own medium-to-long rolls are the time to get aggressive, and the place to make money from your obvious dicesetting skills.
Keep Your Mind ON the Dice, and OFF of the Money
Once you have an initial profit locked-up, it is critically important to maintain the focus that got you to this profit-point in the first place. You have to maintain that same focus so you can get MORE of it from the same source that produced the first 50% locked-in part of it…YOUR good rolling. If you relax too much after reaching this point, you’ll often get a real LONG time to relax since the dice are passed to the next shooter all too soon due to your sense-of-relief lapse in concentration.
There is no need to be hyper-focused on your money that is on the layout because each subsequent hit locks up greater and greater amounts of it. It is your dice-throwing that lets you keep collecting those profits, so your primary focus has to be on that. Yes, you have to manage your bets along the way, but you also have to manage your mind so that the money isn’t the over-riding concern. Each new toss of the dice is where all the elements of your skill (including the collection of fresh profit) comes together. That’s where your concentration and focus needs to be.
Once your bets are set and paid for, and you get into a comfortable progression of Presses and bet-collecting, then it’s easier to just keep on rolling. When you pause to think about how fortunate you are, or you start to worry about how much money is on the layout, or anything else for that matter…it is NOT what you should be focused on. All too often, those outside thoughts are more than enough to take the edge off of your game and distract your skill-focus just enough to bring about a 7-Out.
This Precision-Shooting stuff that we do is NOT easy, so why make it all the more difficult by letting outside thoughts interfere with the only thing that will get you more of what you want?
Focus on the task.
Your reward for all of that single-minded concentration is the profit that you get for a roll well done.
It’s a one-way street.
You roll good; you get profit.
You roll bad; you get no profit.
Focus on the task of rolling, and the profit will come.
A Way to Look at Pressed-Up Wagers
The large-money pressed-up wagers you have out there on the layout during mid-to-long hands are made with the partial re-investment of profits that you have made during your current roll. You are spending some of your newly-earned money to make more of it. It makes sense in business, and it makes sense for Precision-Shooters.
By this point during your hand, all of the initial wagers from your starting-stake have been recaptured and are safely in your rail-space. So too is some of your profit, and that isn’t going anywhere except home with you. So disconnect from the money you have out there, and assemble all your thoughts on the single task at hand…the very next toss of the dice.
You have to decide how much profit you want to lock up now and how much you want to re-invest for possible additional hits during your current hand. If you are struggling with that question DURING your roll, then clearly your focus is NOT on what it should be, and perhaps that is an indicator that you have reached your current discomfort level. It’s okay to regress your bets or even turn them off at this point, because you definitely aren’t thinking about the things you should be thinking about.
Many players add mock-wagering into their at-home Practice Sessions, so that when they are in the heat of a casino battle, they’ll act instinctively and decisively at the proper time. This also tends to alleviate most of the stress and anxiety that can accompany large-dollar pressed-up wagers during a mid-to-long roll.
We should be focusing on each roll as if it is the only thing that matters at that moment. In the casino-craps context, that IS the only thing that matters to our current-hand survival; so to my mind, it is proper to think of it in such an exclusive way.
I want to revisit the “plateau” points or stages that we talked about in Part One. As I said, these are important, because they give you a chance to get comfortable with certain elevated bet-levels before moving on to the next higher ones.
I'll use the 6 or 8 Place-bets as an example of how I press and plateau my wins.
When I reach the $30 level. I'll occasionally pause for one additional hit before pressing.
At the $60 level I'll sometimes pause for one or maybe even two additional hits. That means that I’m locking up one or two more $70 wins before I consider moving up to the next rung.
At the $120 point I'll also pause for one, two or sometimes even three hits before moving right into either the $180 or $240 level.
At the $300 bet-mark, I'll also pause for two or possibly three hits before pressing directly to $600.
At $600, I’ll pause again to collect at least twice, or every now and again, three times before going straight to $900 or more usually $1200. That decision depends on what the dice are doing between hits on those higher-level Place-bets. If there are long intervals between payouts on these high-wagers, then I’ll stay at my current level for additional hits. If the wins are coming quite rapidly with very few other numbers in between; then I’ll be a little quicker off the mark in stepping up to the next level.
In other words, if the 6 and/or 8 is repeating with a vengeance, I'll be ratcheting them up MUCH quicker than if all of my box-numbers are hitting with equal ferocity.
If this occurs at a $2000 max-bet table; then I will sometimes camp out at the $1800 bet-mark (usually) or I'll sometimes go to the $1998 absolute-max for that table. In that case, I’ll also start using Come-bets of an adequate flat-bet size so I can max-out on the corresponding allowable Odds.
A Note About Big Wins
Obviously, I am ALWAYS cognizant of the loss-tolerance for the particular casino that I am playing at, in which case, I will keep my bets at a level that THEY (the casinos) are most comfortable of losing at. I also keep accurate notes of how much I have won at different casinos, and the date on which it happened (see Mad Professor's Shooting Bible - Part I and Part III for details). That way, I not only keep track of where my best shooting is, but it’s also a helpful reminder to use a reasonable interval between tagging the same casino again for another big win.
There is absolutely no need to wear out my welcome or that of other Precision-Shooters just for the sake of unbridled greed and wanton disregard for everyone else who pursues advantage-play dicesetting.
Again, it's also important to understand that I DO NOT get to those rarified $600/$900/$1200/$1800 bet-levels all the time. Instead, I satisfy myself with smaller, but STEADIER wins, so that when the good hands do come along, I can bet with the confidence that if all else fails, I STILL have a small profit locked-up. Those small wins are the ones that allow me to be so aggressive when the mid-to-long rolls do come along.
If you are looking for some reading material on all of these matters, I would suggest the following:
How Good Is Your Precision Shooting? Part I and Part II
C'mon Shooter, We Need a Hard Eight!
A win-goal IS NOT a win-LIMIT.
My win-goal each day is $1,000. Most times I'll easily hit that, but occasionally I don't.
When I do win that much, it does not mean that I immediately stop playing for the day. Rather, it means that I refuse to lose back even $1 below that amount. I will continue playing and continue to rack up my locked-in profit at ever-increasing "win-plateaus". This idea is not new. I got it from John Patrick’s writings more than a decade ago. Of course, it took many, many “played-back/lost-back” profits before I finally put his well thought-out advice into action. The next "profit-lock-in" level beyond my daily $1000 win-goal is $1200, then $1500, then $2000, etc. Again, once I reach the next locked-in profit-plateau, I will not venture even one more dollar that would put me under that new locked-in profit level.
I know from my own experience that I HAVE TO set up solid rules like that for myself, because I have too often reached those profit-levels and beyond, yet I've given back all of it due to lack of discipline. I set up those rules for myself because I know ME!
Skill lets you EARN IT, and discipline lets you KEEP IT!
I’m going to repeat that, because it took me YEARS for that to fully sink in.
Skill lets you EARN IT, and discipline lets you KEEP IT!
As to win-limits...well...I tailor the amount of money I am willing to take from a casino to their particular loss-tolerance. Some small places start to sweat if you buy-in with anything larger than a couple of crumpled-up twenty-dollar bills. If you've read my 15-part Mad Professor's Mini Tub Tour series, you'll know exactly what I’m talking about.
On the other hand, there are some gaming-houses that don't even raise an eyebrow if you pull down a $10,000 marker from your Line-of-Credit or Front-Money account. So I tailor my betting-level and my profit-take to suit each casinos particular temperament and disposition towards winning players. It's a common sense approach that keeps me within their comfort-zone without jeopardizing the Precision-Shooting goose that lays all those golden eggs.
If you want to do any reading on subjects related to this; you will find the following articles quite helpful:
Okay, Who Cooked the Golden Goose?: Part I and Part II
Banning Players…Can’t Happen…Won’t Happen…Ooops!
Before we move on to additional elements that I’ve used to get from here to THERE, let me repeat the toughest lesson that I had to learn as a Precision-Shooter:
Skill lets you EARN IT, and discipline lets you KEEP IT!
Learning to Live With and Love the Big Bets and Expensive Tables
I can only give you my own experience when it comes to this subject.
I used to shy away from the more expensive tables ($25, $50, $100 minimum-bets) because I wanted to give my Precision-Shooting the best opportunity to get grooved-in without putting a whole lot of cash at risk. However, I also found that nearly every other craps player wanted to do pretty much the same thing, so the cheap tables were always crowded.
Out of frustration in waiting endlessly for the dice to cycle back around to me, I eventually moved up to the next snack-bracket ($10, $15 and then $25 tables) and found less-crowded conditions.
I also found it easier to get into a good shooting-groove and to stay in that groove since I was getting the dice back in my hands more often. At some places like the Gold Coast, it merely meant switching from the crowded $2 tables to the nearly-empty $5 table. At places like Venetian, Ballys and Mandalay Bay, it meant moving up to the $25 tables, so you can see it's all relative to what is "normal" for each casino that you play at. Sometimes at Bellagio or Borgata or Beau Rivage, or Taj, or Foxwoods, especially on the weekends, it often means moving over to the $50 or $100 table.
Now, for me, it took two things to make that move without a whole lot of anxiety and self-induced stress.
First, it took confidence in my shooting skills. Believe me when I tell you that if your shooting is lousy at the $1 table; then it will STILL be lousy at the $100 table. If your Precision-Shooting is not good enough to make a profit at the $5 tables, then there's little likelihood that raising the sperm-count at a $50 table will save the day.
Consistent skills bring in consistent profit.
Unreliable skills bring in equally unpredictable results.
If your skill-set is developed enough, then it is transportable to other layouts, and if it's not; then it is MUCH better to stay at the lower-bet tables. Secondly, your mind-set and mental-disposition has to be just as ready, willing and able as your physical skills (and bankroll) before you tackle the more expensive layouts.
For me, it took a fair bit of desensitization.
That is, I had to work my mind up to the fact that I was using larger base-bets and that my skill-set and betting-methods were good enough to see me through.
The first time that I played at a $25 table, my fingers trembled like Michael Jackson on his wedding night. I quickly got used to playing there (desensitized), especially when my shooting results validated and confirmed that my skills justified my presence at that table. At that point, everything calmed back down to what I can now easily call “normal”.
The unexpected bonus was that my earnings-per-dollar-bet rose higher than I had anticipated. I attribute this to the fact that less players, less crowding, less arguments and more shooting opportunities; means that I can dial-in my shooting quicker and keep it in the profit-zone for much longer during each session.
For better insight into what I consider an entirely separate approach to profitably increasing your validated skills, I recommend the following articles:
If Honey Attracts Bees, Then MONEY Attracts…Everything!
Whales, Guppies, and All the Other Fish in the Sea
You Had to be There: Part I and Part II
Control the Dice, and your NERVES
For a primer on increasing the number of times you get your hands on the dice during any given casino session, and on tackling higher-denomination tables, I would recommend the following:
Creating More Shooting Opportunities: Part I and Part II
Each of the elements that we’ve discussed so far, all fall within the whole concept of advantage-play for the Precision-Shooter. As always, the idea is to…
…REACH profit SOONER, and to have MORE winning sessions more OFTEN, and then once we get there; to make MORE profit from the same number of rolls than we did before.
Each one of these steps takes us further down that road. I hope you’ll join me again as we continue this lower-risk, higher-profit journey.
Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
The Mad Professor