Describing and Determining Your Throwing Skill
When the dice are in your advantage-play hands, you usually hold a distinct edge over the casino. Now whether or not you’ll be able to turn that advantage into a net-profit on this or any particular hand, is yet to be determined.
In order to select the dice-set that best takes advantage of your current dice-throwing skills, you first need to find out in what ways and by how much your throws differ from random.
Ø If your throws are indistinguishable from random, then no dice-set will make you a winner. Hopefully your throws do differ from random, and that they differ enough to enable you to make actionable positive-expectation wagers against them.
There are several ways in which your throws can differ from random, so selecting a dice-set is not a one-size-fits-all exercise.
Ø For people who have enough control over the dice to be able to play craps with an edge but not enough ability to be able to throw outcomes of their choosing at will, there are two categories of differences from random.
Ø They are; how well you are able to stop your dice on-axis, and how well you can keep the starting primary-faces together.
Ø You might be able to do one of them, or you might be able to do the other, and ultimately as your skill-set increases, you should be able to gain the ability to do both.
The process of selecting a set starts with a sample of your dice throws.
Ø Use your freshest at-home practice-rolls or actual in-casino data.
Ø RECENCY is most important because the more up-to-date the roll-stats are; the better they will reflect your current dice-tossing abilities. It makes no sense to be using ancient roll-data from several months ago if you were still experimenting with different grip-types, body-positions and when you were still developing the basic toss-dynamics and throwing-style that you are using today.
Ø The SIZE of your roll-date sample is next most important.
Ø If you look at too small of a sample, you’ll think you see all kinds of indicators that are just short-term deviations and outcome variations. They aren’t relevant, and generally they aren’t even actionable from an advantage-betting standpoint.
Ø Equally, if the roll-sample is too big, your most recent dice-influencing accomplishments and betting-opportunities may be hidden in amongst the enormity of the sampling and therefore your most recent improvements won’t be evident…and you may miss them entirely.
Ø Use as large a sample as possible, but don’t use data more than about a month old.
Ø Compare what the differences are between your results and the results produced by random dice, and then look at the size of the differences.
Ø The bigger the differences between your results and random-outcomes, the better.
Ø No matter what the differences are or what particular numbers that show the most disparity, the key is that you determine WHAT they are and how they are being produced.
Ø To do that, we start by figuring the frequencies with which you produce five different categories of outcomes:
· Frequency of primary-hits
· Frequency of double-pitches
· Frequency of single-pitches on-axis
· Frequency of one die on-axis and the other off axis
· Frequency of both dice off-axis
These five categories include ALL possible dice throws; there is no sixth category, and those five categories let you classify and sort where your best opportunities lie.
Likewise there is no overlap within those categories; each dice throw fits into one and ONLY one category.
Ø A primary-hit is the same two rotating faces that start out together. There are four primary-hit faces. If for example, you set the Hardways (where both dice rotate on their 1-6 axes, and the rotating faces are 3-3, 2-2, 4-4, and 5-5); then the four primary hits are the Hardways: 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, and 5-5.
Ø The best place to determine all of the above roll-data is on your at-home Practice-Rig. This is especially true when you are just starting out and your finger-alignment, grip-pressure, and toss-dynamics are still in their formative stages.
Ø If you are going to be selecting a dice-set based on live-money casino tosses; then I suggest using the Hardways-set to make those roll-data determinations. Now seasoned dice-influencers may consider that to be blasphemy especially coming from me, but before you start fashioning a gasoline-soaked effigy, let me point out that Hardway-set outcomes facilitate easier tracking due to the simplicity of identifying which tosses are primary-hits as well as which ones are off-axis…so put down that match.
Ø If you want to use a dice-arrangement other than the Hardways to gather information to choose a set, then it’s best to use two colors of dice, but again you can only do this on your Practice Rig, so it once again points up the benefits of doing all of this without having your money on the line.
Ø If you use dice of two colors, then you could for example set 3-V with a red 5 and green 1 on the near faces; where a throw result of red 5 and green 1 would be a primary-hit, whereas a result of green 5 and red 1 would fall into the category of both dice off-axis.
Ø Suppose for the moment that you use the Hardways-set to gather your sample of tosses.
· As mentioned above, the four primary-faces are 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, and 5-5.
· The four double-pitch faces for the Hardways-set are the two ways to get 2-5 as well as both ways to get 3-4.
· There are eight ways to get a single-pitch on-axis outcome. They are; both ways to get 2-3, both ways to get 2-4, both ways to get 3-5 and both ways to get 4-5.
· There are sixteen ways to get one die on-axis and one die off-axis. They are; one die showing 1 or 6 and the other die showing 2, 3, 4 or 5.
· There are four ways to get both dice off axis. They are; 1-1, 6-6, and both ways to get 1-6.
· That accounts for all thirty-six possible permutations of two dice.
Short Sample of Dice Throws
Here is a sample of dice tosses using the Hardway-set where the outcome of each die was noted:
Using My Hands-of-the-Clock Method to Track In-Casino Outcomes
Place five single chips in your rack in such a way that they look like clock faces, and set them all so that the designs of the chips all seem to point to noon.
Ø Noon will represent zero occurrences of a category of dice toss.
Ø Decide for yourself which chip will represent which category of dice toss.
Ø My personal preference is to arrange the clocks by frequency of occurrence, so I have one-die-off-axis on the left, followed by single-pitch-on-axis, primary-hits, double-pitches, and both dice off-axis.
Ø If my dice are behaving randomly, my chip clocks will show multiples of 16-8-4-4-4 respectively.
Ø In the above example, the first toss is 2-2. That’s a primary hit. So set your counter of primary-hits to +1.
Ø If you are using five chips in your rack as counters, and set them all at 12:00 noon to start, reset whichever chip you designated as being primary-hits to show one o’clock. Your point is four.
Ø The second roll is 3-1, which is one die on-axis and one die off-axis. So reset whichever chip you designated as being one-die off-axis to show one o’clock.
Ø You just hit your point and won your line bet, but winning or losing a bet does not by itself show up in your chip-clocks. Those chip-clocks record only the five categories of your dice throws.
Ø The third roll is 4-6, which is one die on-axis and one die off-axis, so your one-die-off-axis chip which shows one o’clock, should be reset to show two o’clock. Your point is ten.
Ø The fourth roll is 2-2, which is a primary-hit, so your primary-hit chip which already shows one o’clock, should be reset to show two o’clock.
Ø The fifth roll is 4-4, which is another primary-hit, so your primary-hit chip that was at two o’clock should now be reset to show three o’clock.
Ø The sixth roll is 6-5, which is one die on-axis and one die off-axis, so your one-die off-axis chip which shows two o’clock, should be now reset to show three o’clock.
Ø The seventh roll is 4-5, which is a single-pitch on-axis, so your single-pitch-on-axis chip which shows noon should be reset to show one o’clock.
Ø The eighth roll is 3-4, which is a double-pitch. Your double-pitch chip which shows noon (for zero occurrences up until now), should be reset to show one o’clock. You just 7’d out.
Ø You can now either transfer your totals in the five categories to a piece of paper, or keep those five chip-clocks as is until the dice once again cycle back around to you.
Ø I'll often just write the five F-F's on a drink napkin that is on my drink-rail under the table; then during an appropriate break in the action (when the dice are going to take a while before they cycle back around to me again); I take a 'washroom break' to enter those totaled Foundation Frequencies into my DiceTool-equiped Blackberry. I'll tell you about this in much greater detail in Part Three of my QoD reply.
Ø For this example let’s suppose that you are the only shooter at the table, and do not have time to transfer your roll totals to the notepad in your pocket. You can continue into another hand with your chip-clocks as is.
Ø The ninth roll is 2-1, which is one die on-axis and one die off-axis, so your one-die-off-axis chip which shows three o’clock, should now be reset to show four o’clock.
Ø The tenth roll is 3-4, which is a double-pitch, so your double-pitch chip which was showing one o’clock, should be reset to show two o’clock.
Ø The eleventh roll is 1-5, which is one die on-axis and one die off-axis. Your one-die-off-axis chip which shows four o’clock, should be reset to show five o’clock. Your point is six.
Ø The twelfth roll is 5-5, which is a primary-hit. Therefore your primary-hit chip which shows three o’clock, should be reset to show four o’clock.
Ø The thirteenth roll is 4-1, which is one die on-axis and one die off-axis, so your one-die-off-axis chip which was showing five o’clock, should be reset to show six o’clock.
Ø The fourteenth roll is 4-6, is another one die on-axis and one die off-axis, so your one-die-off-axis chip which shows six o’clock, should be reset to show seven o’clock.
Ø The fifteenth roll is 5-5, which is another primary-hit. As we’ve been doing, your primary-hit chip which shows four o’clock, should now be reset to show five o’clock.
Ø The sixteenth roll is 5-4, which is a single-pitch on-axis. So your single-pitch-on-axis chip which shows one o’clock, should be reset to show two o’clock.
Ø The seventeenth roll is 2-3, which is another single-pitch on-axis. So your single-pitch-on-axis chip which shows two o’clock, should be reset to show three o’clock.
Ø The eighteenth roll is 6-4, is one die on-axis and one die off-axis, so your one-die-off-axis chip which indicates seven o’clock, should be reset to show eight o’clock.
Ø The nineteenth roll is 5-1, is yet another one die on-axis and one die off-axis. Therefore your one-die-off-axis chip which shows eight o’clock, should be reset to show nine o’clock.
Ø The twentieth roll is 5-4, which is a single-pitch on-axis, means that your single-pitch-on-axis chip which shows three o’clock, should be reset to show four o’clock.
Ø The twenty-first roll is 4-3, which is another double-pitch, so your double-pitch chip which shows two o’clock, should be reset to show three o’clock. You have just 7’d out, and the dice pass to the next shooter.
Ø Now is a good time to transfer your throw-category totals from your chip-clocks to a notepad in your pocket.
The totals you will transfer to paper include 5 primary-hits, 3 double-pitches, 4 single-pitches on-axis, 9 one-die off-axis, and zero both dice off-axis. Those are the clock-face numbers shown on the five chips that you used to track dice rolls.
If your hand had continued and there had been ten or more tosses in a particular category, an easy way to keep track of the tosses in that category is to add another chip to that particular chip-clock stack. For example, a total of thirteen can be shown by a stack of two chips, of which the top chip is oriented to read three o’clock.
Ø That total of 21 throws included 3 sevens so for that extremely small sampling you generated an SRR (Sevens-to-Rolls Ratio) of 1:7.
However, that tally includes much more information than that just a simplified single-hand SRR snapshot.
Ø Take that frequency of double-pitches for example.
Ø Can you use that data to select a dice set?
Ø As much as I would love to tell you that determining axial-control proficiency and deciding which dice-set is best for you is that simple or easy…sadly the answer is NO.
Ø The sample size in the above example is just too darn small. Though that sample of 21 rolls has zero throws with both dice off-axis, it does not mean that your future tosses will continue to include zero throws where both dice go off-axis.
Ø Likewise, the five primary-hits compared to only three double-pitches might also be a short-term random blip or they could be a harbinger of things to come, but only a decent sized set of roll-samples will prove that out one way or the other.
Ø You should have a MINIMUM sample of at least 500 rolls to be reasonably confident that your sample results are accurate indicators of what your near-term future results are going to be.
Ø Larger is better when it comes to sample size, but again, you don’t want to include tosses that are so old that they are no longer relevant or representative of your current skill level.
Ø The sample size does not have to be a round number, nor does it have to be a multiple of 36.
Ø Armed with that up-to-date roll-outcome information, take a look at what it is telling you about your own frequencies of ending up with various combinations of dice faces.
Ø Knowing which categories occur considerably more frequently or significantly less frequently than random, allows you to make intelligent decisions regarding what dice-set to use and subsequently what advantaged-bets to make.
Ø You can estimate what your advantage will be on various bets using different dice-sets provided you can continue to produce the same mix of dice outcomes. In other words, you can actually project what various bets using various sets will generate in the way of profit…all based on what your most recent relevantly-sized roll-data is telling you.
Ø You can utilize an extremely-easy-to-use Excel file that is available by clicking on the Craps:DiceTool link which is halfway down the Useful Resources page at Stanford Wong's BJ21.com site. That will take the tedium out of analyzing a sample of dice tosses. As previously mentioned, Maddog has graciously included DiceTool as part of free his BoneTracker download, and I highly recommend its use.
Coming up in Part Three, we’ll discuss ways to weigh the value of your at-home toss-results against your actual in-casino stats, as well as using DiceTool to clandestinely clock other skilled shooters in order to more fully profit from their de-randomized tosses…and of course, much, much more.
Good Luck and Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
The Mad Professor
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