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D'ya Wanna Win, or D'ya Wanna Gamble Part 1, Revised

With all the new shooters who have joined our community over the last couple of years, I thought I’d dust off my old 2001/2002 article-series of the same name and give you an updated reprise that seems especially appropriate as many of us make resolutions for the new year.  The content seems more apropos than ever before.

I was shooting dice one night in Las Vegas with three other players at the same table. A tourist walked up, and asked no one in particular, “How do you play this game?”

A Pit Boss was standing nearby.

He walked a bit closer and said,
“D’ya wanna win, or d’ya wanna gamble?”

The new guy's eyes and mouth opened wide as he was caught off-guard by the question. Despite his mouth being open, no words came out.

After a second or two of silence, the Pit Boss pointed in my direction and said,
“If you wanna win, bet the WAY he does, WHEN he does. If you just wanna just gamble, (as he nodded his head in a sweeping motion to the other players), just do what everyone else here is doing.”

It felt a little awkward when all of the other players looked directly at me, then down at my semi-filled chip rail, then back up at me.

I turned to the new guy, and said,
“He’s just kidding. After I finish shooting, I’ll be happy to answer any and all questions you might have. In the meantime, Stevie here (the dealer closest to our table-position) will explain how the game actually works, then I’ll fill in the rest of the story once my hand is completed.”

The Pit Boss retorted,
“I wasn’t kidding…just look at his rack and compare it to everyone else’s. His buy-in was the same as everyone else’s. He’s got close to $700 in profit, and everyone else is down to playing with milk-money. That should tell you somethin’. Don’t let his modesty fool you…he’s one of the very few sons-of-bitches that consistently wins in here, and I’ve been watching this damn game for 25 years, this August. So you gotta decide, d’ya wanna win, or d’ya wanna gamble?

It was clear that he knew what my agenda is.

I am much more interested in actually
WINNING, and not nearly so interested in merely GAMBLING.

Gambling for fun and entertainment is fine, or if you use gambling as an expensive “escape”. However, recreational gamblers realize sooner or later that playing-and-winning is generally a whole lot more fun than just playing-and-losing.

There is a big difference between the two routes, and this series of articles will map out a path to a profit-destination where the efforts are well worth the trip.

The Concept of Gambling

Some people like to “gamble” as a form of entertainment. When it is done with restraint and within the tightly controlled confines of your discretionary income, gambling can be entertaining, pleasurable, and act as an escape outlet for an everyday mundane existence.

In some cases, gambling represents the “thrill and challenge” for survival that we used to face when we hunted wooly mammoths and fended off ravenous packs of jackals from the entrance to the family cave. Since we no longer have to do that unless we live in Flint, Michigan; many people find that casino gambling satisfyingly replaces that higher need for “thrill, struggle and challenge”.

The Concept of Advantage-Winning

The idea behind advantage-play winning is a simple one. It is based on the simple concept of netting more money on the winning bets than we spend on the losing ones.

In this series, I’m going to show you, step-by-step, how-to-LOSE-LESS... How-to-WIN-MORE...and how to efficiently use the same amount of money to achieve HIGHER PROFIT.

For the advantage-player, most of the thrill comes from dice-influenced EARNINGS, and not from the thrill of simply PLAYING.

Fear & Greed...and How They Shape Your Decisions

The two main motivators when it comes to making gambling decisions are fear and greed. That is why I talk about both of those factors quite a bit in my articles.

The fear of LOSING money is balanced against the greed of wanting to MAKE money.

We make constant adjustments to that equation during every moment that we are at the tables, just as we make similar decisions in day-to-day life.

A Simple Example of an Ongoing Decision-Making Process

Let’s look at a simple bet such as an $18 Place-bet on the 6 and 8 that we regress down to $6 each after any paying-hit.

~A win on an $18 Place-bet 6 or 8 pays $21.

~If we immediately regress both of those bets down to $6 each, that leaves a total of $12 out on the table, and a $9 profit in our rack.

~We could also take the entire bet down, thus locking in a $21 profit for that short series.

When we place a bet and collect a win, we have to make the decision whether or not we will leave it out there in its entirety exposed to further risk, or whether we will regress it thus locking up a smaller profit...or whether we should use some of the just-won revenue to pump it up by either pressing it or parlaying it...or even take it all down.

That decision-process is shaped by our greed of wanting to make more money, as well as our fear of losing it.

As you can see, our decision-making process is a constantly flowing one. We make our decisions based on our own experiences.

These experiences are rooted in:

Ø Past occurrences

Ø Recent influences

Ø Future expectations

As the information flows, we continually try to make a decision that seems to be in our best interest. You can easily see where both the fear of losing, and the greed for winning will play on a persons mind.

Balancing Tolerance for Risk vs. Greed for Winning

Each player has a different tolerance for risk to such an extent that one players fear of losing is more than offset by another player’s greed for profit. In that equation, you also need to factor in your own deep-seated desire for “action” or “thrill of pursuit”.

For some people, the
“thrill of the chase” is much more important than the conquest of actual profit. This all figures into the “D’ya wanna win, or d’ya wanna gamble” question.

Dice gamblers LOSE, though they don't lose all of the time. Rather, their losses almost always outpace their wins, although there are usually enough wins peppered in there to keep their hopes up...and to keep them coming back to lose more.

Advantage-play dice-influencers WIN, though they don't win all of the time. Rather, their wins almost always outpace their losses, although there will be enough small losses peppered in there to keep their feet firmly planted in reality...and to keep their advantaged bets optimally focused on their strongest-edged wagers.

However, winning comes with the price of having to compellingly wager on the bets where you have an advantage, and to lay off from almost all of those where you don't.

To do that, you have to change some of the ingrained, inbred thinking that keeps 98% of casino-gamblers on the losing side. Those changes don’t come easily, and they won’t come painlessly. However, the alternative of continued losing should be motivation enough for you to come with me into the light of consistent profit.

Greed Makes You Stupid

~Greed makes you stupid because it blinds you to common-sense that would otherwise guide you in a completely opposite direction.

~Greed also forces you to take chances that you otherwise wouldn’t make.

In fact, those greed-driven risks are the same ones that you probably counsel your friends and family NOT to take; yet greed often gives you a false sense of imminent power, arrogant entitlement, and a hopeful swagger that is only slightly lessened by a twinge of impending doom.

Why Don’t Skilled-Shooters Make More Money?

If you ever thought to yourself,
“Why don't more skilled dice-influencers make more money off of their apparent skill?”; the answer almost always without fail lays in the way they bet, and NOT the way they throw the dice.

Over the last seventeen years of doing this, I have seen some truly awe-inspiring Precision-Shooters. They influence the dice to a point where their influence is so compelling and their skill is so outstanding; I am humbled by their abilities.

Sadly though, most of those same talented shooters RARELY walk away from the tables with a profit.

The intoxicating draw of Prop-bets that are combined with a superstitious mix of wagers that are far removed from optimal-betting, conspires to keep the casino's chips out of their hands for more than a session or three out of ten.

dice-throwing is amongst the best, yet their betting is amongst the worst.

There are many semi-pro/serious recreational players whose current $5,000 to $15,000 annual craps-shooting income would be three to ten times
HIGHER if they would only eliminate the high-cost Hops, Props, and sub-optimal Place-bets from their wagering diet.

In this series, if you wanna win, I'm going to show you how to match your bets to your current skills...and if you just wanna just gamble, then just do what all the other losers are doing.

Good Luck and Good Skill at the tables…and in Life.


The Mad Professor
Copyright © 2007

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 7, 2008 9:39 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Are You Playing for the Exception or the Rule?.

The next post in this blog is The Toughest Way to Make An Easy Living.

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