Mad Professor's Shooting From the Don'ts- Part IV
That of course is no surprise.
What IS a surprise is that youll almost always run into a least one semi-skilled Precision-Shooter at Ramas tables. That in and of itself presents a legitimate money-making opportunity for any keenly aware player.
Though its necessary to pre-qualify ANY shooter that you choose to bet on, you can sometimes use past-performance to indicate future potential (but not unconditional profit assuredness) in judging various betting options.
At Casino Rama there are a handful of talented Precision-Shooters who ably deliver a steady flow of hand-after-hand reliable performances, and in doing so, their demonstrated skills offer some fairly tasty betting prospects.
Its important to note that its not necessary for an advantage-player to offer-up a dazzling array of mega-hands in order to make consistent money from this game. Though this message is largely lost on aspiring dice-influencers who think that jumbo-hands are a requirement in order to make money; reliable profit can be more easily found in the mundane (and far more frequent) less-than-headline-making hands that are the stock-and-trade of journeyman dice-influencers and those are the kind of fellow dice-influencers that youll see at Rama.
If you are interested in learning more about the intriguing (and profit-making part) of dicesetting that derives steady profit even from Rightside-shooters with relatively low SRRs, I would invite you to have a serious look at my Can Frequency Compensate For Shortness? article.
In any event this tour is about Darkside-shooting where we are aiming for as low of a Sevens-to-Rolls point-cycle ratio as possible; so lets pick up the dice and take a shot at an early 7-out here at Rama.
I actually spent my entire shooting-day by bouncing between three tables where the $5 one was fairly crowded and the other two were only moderately-populated.
Since I was shooting from the Darkside and I wanted to get my hands on the dice as often as possible, I was willing to get set up at one table and shoot when the dice came to me, and then immediately depart for an open position at another table as the dice were cycling nearer an equally advantageous throwing-spot.
I ended up doing that for most of the afternoon.
That enabled me to increase my throwing from 1.3 hands-per-hour (by just standing and waiting for the dice to cycle back around at the busier $5 table), to just over 3.2 hands-per-hour by shootin and scootin by way of immediately seeking out greener pastures on a different table where the dice were nearing an open player-position.
The Table Game Supervisors here are pretty observant and will keep your Rating Card open and active as you move about the craps pit. That way, your comps will continue to rack up just as your more frequent shooting-opportunities should continue to rack up self-made throwing profit as well. More frequent shooting is also a great way to keep a keen edge on your sharply-honed skills. After all, you are the one with a shooting-advantage. You came to shoot and not to stand around while everyone else who doesnt have an advantage has their turn. Anything you do to increase the frequency or utility of your positive-expectation skills, the more profit youll end up putting in your pocket.
I will readily admit that my constant departure and re-arrival at a table did cause a few audible moans and groans from players that had semi- permanently stationed themselves there. In truth, they were none too happy to see me arrive at their table again and none too sad to see me leave.
Their unhappiness was not unreasonable.
Here you have someone who comes into their game sets up a big wager on the World (and the Dont Pass of all places) and proceeds to throw a few Pass-line eroding Come-out 2s, 3s and 12s (along with a few Pass-line plumping 7s and 11s) and then he lays some big money as DP-Odds and he subsequently proceeds to throw a quick 7-Out before abandoning the table before the next shooter has even picked out a pair of dice from the five that the stickman is offering.
Yeah, I can understand their unhappiness especially when the same player pulls that identical Im-only-here-to-shoot-one-hand move again and again and again.
There were a couple of times when guys who normally only take up two or three rail-spots with their girth miraculously morphed into a rapidly-spreading rail-glacier that managed to take up more table-rail real estate than a Barnum & Bailey circus elephant.
I was undaunted by their behavior and they were undaunted by my DP-shooting.
They continued to bet on the Pass-line, and I continued to shoot and win on the Dont Pass. It wasnt exactly a symbiotic relationship and there definitely werent any group-hugs being organized; but they grudgingly tolerated my presence.
I was kind of surprised that there was barely a handful of Rightsiders who would switch over to join me on the Darkside when I was shooting. There was one table that I jumped on time and time and time again, and in each case it took no more than six or eight throws for me to 7-Out, yet not one of them changed their usual Rightside betting-pattern. Were not talking about a time or two when I went to that table and shot from the Dont while they watched their PL line-bets, Odds and Place-wagers all fall Im talking about well over a dozen or so times; yet it was the same story the same betting-picture and the same result EVERY time yet they never varied their betting-pattern by one iota. Go figure!
I silently wondered to myself just how many times I would have been able to do that before at least ONE OF THEM (at that particular table) caught on and went with my quite-obvious-by-now DP-shooting win-trend.
I was keeping accurate track of how many rolls it was taking me to throw the desired 7-Out (once I established my DP-Point).
Although I was satisfied with what I would term my LOW-average (if I factored out the aberrant and somewhat worrisome long hands), it was higher than I wanted it to be when those long-hands were factored in. Obviously I wanted to give my Darkside dice-influencing the most objective of appraisals if I honestly wanted to find additional ways to improve my anti-Point rolling. Those occasional deviant long hands were showing up just often enough to prove to be somewhat distracting. Though it was not enough to disrupt my income, it was enough to distract me from betting more during times when I knew that I should be putting more wagering-weight on my actual advantage.
I decided to end my last session of Day One a little early when I started thinking too much about this particular subject. I headed up to my suite to mull it over; to review the days results, and to make plans for dinner.
The suites here are actually a very easy-to-get mid-week comp, although the same suite for a weekend-stay raises the minimum-play requirement quite a bit higher.
Although there are no regular rooms here just suites; there is a range of them to cater to every budget.
Their basic and most plentiful run-of-the-mill suites are what I would classify as a Vegas-style mini-suite. Their Players Club suites come with upgraded amenities and a Jacuzzi; while their best suites are held for full-ride premium-players (or people who are actually willing to pay upwards of $800 a night during mid-season). Each suite (no matter what its hierarchal status) has its own individual gas fireplace and a wide-vista pastoral view.
Room-service offers a bit of a twist in that you can order off of their regular room-service menu, or you can order directly from five of their premium restaurants (out of their nine on-premise facilities). That enables their Asian clientele (or those who enjoy traditional Asian cuisine) to enjoy some of the more exotic specialties that you wouldnt normally find on a run-of-the-mill room-service line-up.
I completed my session-notes for the day and reviewed the results.
My three separate sessions had eaten up more than six hours of table-time and yielded a substantial net-profit (especially when gauged on a per-throw and per-dollar-bet basis), but what really stood out was the amount of money that I had made off of several talented shooters that had thrown some truly memorable hands.
Even though I was shooting from the Darkside when I got the dice, I was perceptive enough to recognize and capture some additional casino-cheque treasures whenever a skilled Rightsider was influencing the outcomes in an exploitable way. Surprisingly, when I was the one handling the dice, very few of them followed my lead in switching all gears and all wagers in favor of my quite obvious Dont-side intentions.
During one session on the $25 table, one clearly-skilled shooter threw hands of 27-rolls, 19-rolls, 38-rolls, 8-rolls, 23-rolls, and 41-rolls during one block of time when only he, I and two other players were at the table. I was shooting from the Darkside, with my Come-Out cycle averaging almost five rolls (4.8 average) before establishing the Point, and finding the 7-Out within three to eleven rolls (5.3 rolls on average) after establishing my DP-Point (that figure includes the setting of the Point as well as the eventual 7-Out roll).
Though I was making decent money on my C-O rolls as well as my anti-Point DP-shooting; it was the stellar shooting from the guy at the other end of the table that proved to be a generous profit-contributor insofar as generating about half of the money that filled my rack with almost two full loaves of big-dollar ($100) chips.
I also reflected on the fact that it was sometimes taking me up to ten or eleven rolls before bringing about the 7-Out during certain hands. Though I never shot myself in the foot by throwing a DP-Point repeater, it was a bit disturbing that I twice hit the 11-roll mark. I finally figured out that my best Come-Out rolls (where I was making a steady stream of Horn-hits), were ending up as my most difficult-to-7-Out hands. My initial interrogative-deduction was that I was relaxing a bit too much when I had just made a pile of money on the C-O, and therefore I had been letting down my shooting-focus a bit as soon as I established my DP-Point.
That little bit of reduced focus was adding at least three additional rolls to my Point-cycle before I was able to bring it back on-beam and then throw what should have been a five or six-roll point-cycle 7-Out.
I kind of chuckled to myself that I still suffer through some of the same things that plague novice Precision-Shooters when their dice-influencing starts to show tangible results for them. I was pretty sure that realizing the problem went a long way to making sure that I didnt repeat it on Day Two.
Dinner at Rinaldos (their semi-gourmet Italian restaurant) was as passable as I had previously experienced, but it remained uninspired in a pedestrian sort of way.
I had a late start on Day Two.
Due to some commitments outside of the casino, it was nearly 1 p.m. when I first stepped up to the tables. The $5 one was completely jammed while the $25 layout that I had played yesterday now hosted just three guys including the stellar shooter from the day before. If I didnt know better I would have guessed that he had stayed at the table all night long. His five-oclock shadow from the previous day had grown into a full-blown Miami Vice era Don Johnson stubble, and his rack was filled with black, purple, orange and gray chips, so his slightly disheveled casino-pall appearance could be forgiven.
I had my money and my Players Card out and ready to throw down on the table when I noticed it was no longer a $25 game. I must admit that I hesitated for more than a moment when I realized it was now a $100-minimum game. I also realized of course that my already in-hand $500 buy-in wouldnt be nearly enough either, so I increased that to $1000.
Now in reality, a $1000 buy-in on a $100 game still isnt sufficient, but I didnt want to jump in too deeply before I had a chance to test the water, and I further figured that if the table wasnt performing to my liking, I could bail out before too much damage was wrought.
I didnt bet on anyone until the dice came to me. It was a good thing because all the random-rollers stunk. Save and except for the great shooter from yesterday, these guys could chicken-feed just as bad as the low-rollers at the nearby $5 table, but they were losing five-times faster (or at least for five times as much money) in the process.
When the dice came to me, I had to reconfigure my Come-Out action to better reflect the high-minimum that was now sitting on the Dont Pass line. I opted to go with $50 in World-action because my normal $25 on that combo wouldnt cover a C-O line-bet loss nearly as well as it should. I even considered bypassing the C-O prop-action completely and trying to quickly establish a tough-to-repeat DP-Point. I also considered doing a slight Doey-Dont Offset (where Id have $100 on the PL and perhaps ~$125 on the DP), but also opted not to do that.
I did a bit of a quick self-appraisal to figure out if I was too spooked by the higher bet-level requirement in order to shoot properly. Since I wasnt, I decided to proceed with my normal course of action, albeit with a significantly modified bet-level.
In hindsight things worked out, but if they hadnt, Im sure that I would have been admonishing myself for NOT using the D-D Offset play. Though its human nature to congratulate yourself for outstanding wisdom when things work in your favor, and to curry excuses when it doesnt; I was fully cognizant of the fact that it could have gone either way if I had dwelled too much on the amount-of-money-at-risk versus the required skill-of-shooting. In this case, Ill take the glory from shooting a modestly decent hand (8 rolls before I 7ed-Out), but readily admit that I was not all that comfortable with so much money ($100 DP plus $300 in less-than-full laid-Odds) for my first roll of the day.
Though my C-O World action failed to generate anything on my first hand, it performed quite a bit better when the dice came around on subsequent rotations.
Heres an example of my second go-round with the dice on this table:
A C-O 11 (for a net-profit of $10 after everything was paid for and replaced) was not enough to justify any World-action increases, but the second toss brought out a reversed-mirror C-O 3 (which gave a little more satisfaction on the profit-front for a further net-win of $210). That, in and of itself was not enough of a confidence-builder to warrant a World-pressure increase, although in a $25 or under game it certainly would have prompted a move to the $50 bet-level that was currently in place.
My next two tosses resulted in a C-O loser 7 (providing a combined net-loss of $200 from those two), while the following 12-midnight result took a bit of the sting off of it by providing a bit-better-than-an equalizing-wash of +$60 in offsetting the two previous throws. I came right back with another 3 and then an 11, so although my C-O cycle was long, it wasnt providing the kind of money that it should have been (considering that I had thrown the dice seven times so far on this hand, yet the DP/World combo had only produced a net-profit of $500).
Please understand that Im not turning up my nose at a $500 profit, its just that with that kind of money ($100 on the DP and a $50 World), and seven C-O tosses; youd expect a bit more from the profit-department. Im always harping about betting properly, but in this case I KNEW that I wasnt wagering properly, yet I was committed to NOT putting more money on the layout (especially not on the World-bet even though it was producing results) simply because the entry-fee for this level of play (at a $100 table) had spooked me a bit more than I had realized at the time.
In the back of my mind, I knew that I would become desensitized to the high table-minimum in fairly short order (and then look back on this moment and kick myself for not betting it up when the opportunity presented itself), but I also didnt want to kick my confidence in the ass by being too aggressive on a table-minimum that I hadnt played at in more than few months.
I ended up staying at the $100 table for several hours.
Normally I restrict my session time, but I eventually got into a comfortable groove with my own shooting in addition to making some really outstanding money from the stellar Precision-Shooter (who I thought would fall asleep in between the times when he was waiting for the dice to come to him). I asked him if he wanted to join me for lunch (as a subtle way of getting him to leave the table while his two feet could still support him and as a way of thanking him for the great profit that his good shooting had provided to my bankroll) instead of watching him lose a big chunk of his winnings (as he was definitely starting to do now). He politely declined, but what I found interesting was that although I was betting WITH him (by wagering a table-minimum $440-Inside on his dominant Inside Place-numbers and slowly ratcheting them up) when he was shooting; he was sticking to his PL/Full-Odds/Place-bets-converted-to-traveled-Come-bets-with-Full-Odds approach when I was shooting.
For every dollar that he was making during his own hands he was giving back at least half of it every time that the dice came to me.
Though everyone is free to bet their own money in any way they want; I would have thought that an astute dice-influencer like him would have recognized and modified his wagering-approach when another Precision-Shooter with an entirely different game-plan was doing his own thing with the dice.
Oh well, each to his own.
Though he managed to drop about eight to twelve thousand on more than a few of my hands; when he finally decided to call it a day, he still colored out with a net-profit of just over $37K so he still took away a sizeable win no matter how you look at it.
As soon as he left, the chief cook/bottle-washer/acting Pit Boss had the Boxman pull the tables black rate-card and replace it with a more reasonably colored green one.
Now that we were back to the more comfortable $25 level, I knew that I could apply a bit more betting-flexibility to my game. At the new lower level, it was akin to switching from a $25 game and moving down to a $5 table. I know its mostly psychological (oh, and somewhat economic), but the lower stress of having less money on the table gave me a renewed sense of opportunity.
Its hard to explain it, but the new lower minimum-bet requirements allowed me to ramp up my Odds-bets (as a percentage of my base DP-bet) and actually draw more profit off of the table (as a percentage of my exposed betting-action) than I had at the higher table-limit. Although that may sound counter-intuitive, it makes a lot of sense when you realize just how tight my wagering had been (when I was shooting) while the bet-requirement was at the higher $100 rate. Though I was making tons of money off of Mr. Stellar-Shooter during his hands, I was a little hesitant to go past the third progression on my C-O World-pressing (like we discussed in Part Three of this series) when I was the shooter. Now that we were back to a more comfortable starting-bet level, I was able to run that Come-Out progression all the way up to the sixth level (twice) with nary a concern about the amount of money that I had on the table (or any indication of anxiety from the Pit-dwellers either).
Within about fifteen minutes of grasping the fact that the high-roller table was now back to its more usual $25 level, it filled up with a half-dozen players who had been frozen out by the previously high price of this one, yet shut out of the other too-crowded-to-breathe $5 table on the other side of the pit.
I had a saddlebags worth of chips which I colored-out after my last hand (which lasted just four Point-cycle rolls before I managed to throw the DP-winner 7).
I felt like eating the biggest slab of prime-AAA cow that I could find and I knew exactly where to look for it.
St. Germains Steakhouse at Casino Rama had exactly what I was looking for and they gave it to me exactly how I wanted it. In this case I was looking for the rarest (and thickest) piece of slow-cooked Prime Rib that they could cut, and then to high-temp grill it just long enough to imprint some dark char-marks on both sides. The 22-hour slow-cook process imparts the tenderness, while the 3-minutes of flame-sear grill time imparts added character, taste-dimension and flavor.
My third day at Rama can be characterized by two words FREE ODDS.
I played three mid-length sessions on D-3 with a new focus on the Odds component of my DP line-bets.
My Come-Out action was going well and I had a good handle on where it could take me financially in the future. I was averaging close to five C-O rolls before establishing the Point, and since the table I was on was back to its normal $25 level, I felt comfortable enough to run my usual World-bet progression. That element was working out beyond anything that I had expected as far as sustainable and pretty huge profitability was concerned.
My Point-cycle shooting also remained on track although my p-c average wasnt going down by any marked amount. I was averaging just over five rolls (including the creation of the PL-Point) before I was able to destroy it with a DP-winner. To my mind, that was an acceptable number, and it was clearly showing a demonstrated DP-shooting advantage that warranted even MORE wagering-weight. Yesterdays performance at the $100-minimum confirmed it, as well as boosting my higher base-bet confidence even further.
That brings us to the matter of Odds.
At first glance, using Odds as a force-multiplier (yes, even when they are the inverse of their Pass-Line counterparts) should be a fairly simple assessment for most accomplished shooters and in truth it is, but there are some subtleties that allow even more profit-extraction from a straight-forward betting proposition like DP-Odds.
Laying Odds on the Dont
Before we get into the details, let me give you my philosophy about Laying Odds on Dont Pass line-bets.
Ø If your Precision-Shooting gives you a validated advantage over the house, and
Ø You choose to shoot from the Donts, and
Ø You play at tables where the dice cycle round to you quickly enough in order to get your paws on the dice often enough, or if you are stopping at successive tables or additional casinos to do a quick Hit n Run DP-raid, and
Ø You dont have any misgivings about shooting from the Donts, or feel any pangs of guilt when your good Dont-side shooting knocks off all the other rightside-players money (even if it is BIG money), then
Ø By all means LAY MAXIMUM ODDS on your DP-bets and roll that SEVEN.
Now remember that Im making this statement after just telling you that I was hesitant to Lay max-Odds when I was shooting from the Donts on the $100 table, but the fact is and the fact remains that if you have a discernable and present edge over the house on any given exploitable bet; then it is in your best interests to capitalize on it. In this situation, we are talking about taking maximum advantage of free-odds to your highest comfort and affordability point.
However, having said all of that, it is CRITICALLY important for you to balance EVERY bet-decision against your current bankroll, your current shooting-skill and your current bet-level comfort. In my situation, my bankroll is perfectly comfortable with the highest of bet-levels, yet psychologically as a player, I am nowhere near that point as far as my comfort-level is concerned.
So lets put this in context
Ø If you are betting at a level that you (and your bankroll) are comfortable with; then max-Odds for a skilled dice-influencer (who has a verified and substantive edge over the bets that he is making) is the best bet that you can make.
How much do I believe in this concept?
Ø In some cases, I'll even "over-Lay" my DP-Point by adding an additional Lay-bet against the Point. That is, Ill make a further bet against the same number that Ive already established as the Point.
Ø So in addition to putting the fullest of allowable Odds to back up my DP-bet (if I firmly believe that I can bring about a 7-Out before accidentally repeating the Point), then Ill put my money where my Precision-Shooting faith is.
Ø In that case Ill make a Lay-bet against the Point for an amount that reflects that faith in my shooting. Even when you factor in the cost of paying the vigorish for this type of bet, it is nonetheless a strong play when you have a validated shooting-advantage over the casino.
Although that concept flies in the face of conventional wisdom based on the low House-Advantage/Expected-Value on a DP-bet once the Point has been established, versus the much higher HA / EV against a "bought" Lay-bet; it makes outstanding economic sense (read: PROFIT!) for me to do that on certain DP-Point numbers.
During Day Three I experimented with varying amounts of Lay-bets that coincided with the Point, though I didnt do it every time that I got the dice. My decision was based in part on how my throw was actually feeling during the just-completed Come-Out portion of my hand, and partly on the actual number that I established as the anti-Point.
I found that betting against (and winning on) the No-5 and No-9 was quite often easier to do (while using the S-6 dice-set when 5 or 9 was the PL-Point) than winning against the No-4 or No-10 (when either of them was the Point I was trying to avoid).
By that I mean that I was able to bring about the 7-Out by at least a roll or two SOONER by using the Straight-Sixes set while shooting against 5 or 9, than it was taking me to 7-Out when shooting against the 4 or 10 using any of the 7-dominant sets. As a matter of fact, it was just as easy to 7-Out against the 6 or 8 (using the Parallel-Sixes set) as it was to shoot against the 4 or 10. Though many Dont-shooters are unnerved when the PL-Point is a 6 or 8, the fact is, its just as easy to 7-Out against either of them (with the appropriate set) than it is to 7-Out against the 4 or 10.
I headed south with Casino Rama in my rearview mirror, I reflected on the fact that my
head was more into the entire concept of shooting from the Donts more than I ever
imagined I would be. Though
the science of throwing a 7-out is the essence of Darkside Precision-Shooting success, I
was beginning to see more of the artistically nuanced side of it. Instead of viewing this journey simply as an
experiment in sustainable Dont-side profitability; it was taking on a
silent-stranger/gun-slinger-in-a-black-hat dimension that evoked one of Clint
Eastwoods spaghetti-western movies. That
peculiar thought certainly kept me amused for more than a few highway miles. I hope youll join me when we roll into our
As I headed south with Casino Rama in my rearview mirror, I reflected on the fact that my head was more into the entire concept of shooting from the Donts more than I ever imagined I would be.
Though the science of throwing a 7-out is the essence of Darkside Precision-Shooting success, I was beginning to see more of the artistically nuanced side of it. Instead of viewing this journey simply as an experiment in sustainable Dont-side profitability; it was taking on a silent-stranger/gun-slinger-in-a-black-hat dimension that evoked one of Clint Eastwoods spaghetti-western movies.
That peculiar thought certainly kept me amused for more than a few highway miles. I hope youll join me when we roll into our next casino-town.