Mad Professor's Mini-Table Craps Tour with the Vegas Ghost- Part VII
The most obvious answer is that I avoid disasters by keeping my losses to an absolute minimum.
Now this may sound like simple stuff, but its probably the hardest thing to master or at least it was for me. While I hate to lose money, I understand that I cant win everywhere that I play, nor can I win every session that I play.
What I can control is HOW MUCH I lose. Sometimes my dice-shooting is absolutely terrible. If its not clicking, I move on to another table or another casino, or I take a break from the gaming-action to regroup. Why stay and toss good money down the drain on bad throws?
Oh sure, my ego usually says, Stay and play You can beat this table Youre the master Just a few more hands is all it will take to turn this loss into a win. In most cases, that self-deceiving talk can turn into a bankroll disaster.
Like I said, I HATE losing money. While a little loss may be tolerable once in awhile; bigger or more frequent losses quickly become altogether intolerable and insupportable.
Your Precision-Shooting wont always carry the day and rake in the profit for you. We all have our off days. On a day like that, you have to be sure that you dont get your ass handed to you by the casino. Just because your shooting may be far less than perfect on any given day; it doesnt mean that you have to let the casino shoot down your bankroll into an empty flaming carcass.
Hey, if you have a higher tolerance for losses, then you are always welcome to stay and play. The casinos will love you for that. Its what they are counting on from most players. They understand that in the heat of action, most players will lose more than would have previously admitted they were willing to squander. When ego, greed, fear and adrenalin are mixed together in a casino-context, the resulting cocktail is both intoxicating and highly volatile.
So let me ask you this; are you there to win or to be entertained? If you are there for entertainment, then enjoy yourself as your losses become greater and greater. If you equate entertainment with losing, then a casino is a perfect place for you and your wallet.
I play for profit. While not every session can be a winning one, it is how you handle the losing ones which determine your overall profit-consistency as a Precision-Shooter. Reduce your losses to an absolute minimum, and your wins dont have to be nearly as large to result in an overall profit.
It all sounds so easy, but players find that that is one of the hardest aspects of gaming to come to grips with. I struggled with those same demons for more than a decade. I may be a slow-learner, but once Ive grasped the lesson, I make sure that I apply it at every possible opportunity.
If you want more insight into this whole subject, I wrote an entire series of articles entitled, Can't Win For Losing, which covers it all quite nicely.
Turning a small loss into a huge loss just cant be all that much fun. It reminds me of the joke about the guy who keeps hitting his thumb with a hammer. His friend asks him why he is doing it, and he replies cause it feels so good when I stop!
Letting small losses turn into disasters are pretty much the same thing. The only good part about a huge loss is the feeling of relief when you finally stop playing. That is when feelings of regret and remorse have a tendency to creep in. If you want to avoid those feelings, simply cut your losses short. Like our friend advises, When it aint fun, its time to run.
Seek, Expect and Embrace Success
The second part of my answer to Mels question is that I seek, expect and embrace success.
I seek success with my Precision-Shooting, by carefully noting HOW I do well, WHERE I do well, and WHY I do well. If you want to read more on that subject, I would invite you to read my Mad Professor's Shooting Bible Part I and Part II articles.
Expect to Win
I fully expect to win when I step up to the table. Im not only HOPING that Ill have a good session; I am actually EXPECTING to win.
I keep my win-goals reasonable enough so that I can reach them 19-out-of-20 times. Some people look at that win-ratio and think to themselves, There is NO WAY that anyone can do that. However, they will quickly admit that at some point in their own casino-sessions, that they are usually up by anywhere from 10% to 30% at any one time. Despite that level of profit, most people will also admit that most of their sessions end in a loss.
There is no mystery or secret as to how I accomplish such a high win-to-loss ratio. The answer is simple. Once I have a 10% or 15% profit; I lock it up, and I play with the excess. If, and hopefully when I garner another 10% or 15% in winnings, I also lock that up. John Patrick advises the same thing. The concept is SIMPLE, but its the doing that is HARD!
If you want to read more on this subject, I would invite you to take a look at The River of Consistency Leads to Lake Profit and How Much Commitment Are You Willing To Spend? or my Gambling Styles Reflect Motivations articles. The reading is free, but the cost of not applying the advice can be pretty expensive.
Dont say that a high 80% to 95% win-ratio cant be done; just admit that most people arent willing to do it. Some players look at settling for small profits as irritating and annoying. They prefer the action of gambling.
If you want to GAMBLE, then keep on playing back any wins that come your way. But if you want to WIN, then be satisfied with those small, conservative profits. They have an irritating way of increasingly becoming BIG wins, and an annoying way of building up your bankroll. It may not be as exciting as gambling all of your money away, but it sure is a lot more satisfying.
I embrace success by not taking my good skills and good fortune for granted.
I dont piss my money away, especially after a good and profitable session. A lot of people like the cleansing, cathartic effect of LOSING. My soul, while rumored to be quite gray, is clean enough that I dont need to lose money to feel repentant, nor do I seek salvation by feeling unworthy of my winnings.
I respect the value of the money that I win, and I simply refuse to give it back. On the same note, I dont delude myself into thinking that Im playing with their money.
The most dangerous session is the one you play AFTER youve had a good win.
This is when you feel like superman, or at least somewhat bulletproof with your abilities. These are dangerous times, because you ego is dulling your otherwise keen senses that usually defend and protect your bankroll.
When your guard is down, your money is exposed to the biggest weapon the casino has in trying to take your money. It isnt the house-edge, it is YOU.
The Skyrise Casino in C-2
Mel and I were heading for the mini-table that now makes its home in the rear-most satellite gaming area of Circus Circus known as the Skyrise Casino.
As you can see, its a bit of a trip from the main entrance to the rear portion of the complex. You have to go through the Main Casino, past the West Casino, through the Promenade Casino, and into the Skyrise Casino before finally reaching the one mini-tub. While this table is usually only open on the weekends, the trip is well worth it.
Hand #1 and #2
My first chance with the dice was decent enough, but definitely lacking in both beauty and longevity. When I threw them, they were hitting the right target, but they were traveling with way too much forward speed.
I was getting some lucky outcomes, which allowed me to regress my Inside Place bets, and lock-up a guaranteed profit. My rolling improved marginally along the way, and it took ten or twelve more tosses until my Pass-Line Point finally repeated.
My second PL-Point roll was about the same, and I had pressed up the 8 and 9. I managed to collect once more from each of those increased bets, but the 7 showed up all too soon.
I counted the chips in my rail to figure out my profit-status. Mel gave me one of those what-are-you-complaining-about looks, even though I hadnt said anything. I had made a little over $80, which didnt seem like much, considering the amount of throws that I had made. On the other hand, $80 was a lot of money considering that my rolling was definitely not dialed-in anywhere close to what I wanted.
Mel passed on shooting the dice. He said, Id rather win ugly on your tossing, than lose pretty on my own throws. The table was still empty, save for the two of us. I knew what he meant and I nodded my head in agreement as I reached for the dice for my second hand.
My second opportunity with the dice proved to be a bit more profitable. However, the dice still werent leaving my hand smoothly or with any kind of grace.
It occurred to me that perhaps my hands were not as clean as they should be. However, I didnt have any of those Handi-Wipes that the casino freely supplies to slot players. The table started to fill up quite nicely during this particular hand, as I hit three Hard-6s in the span of eight rolls. As soon as I 7ed Out, I parked a chip in my rail to save my spot, and told Mel I was heading to the nearest washroom to give my hands a thorough washing.
The table here usually stays dead until one intrepid soul has the courage to step up and start the game. Because it is so remote from the other three larger craps tables in the Main Casino, it takes much longer for word to filter out that the mini-tub is actually open for business.
Ive never encountered any heat from the Pitbulls, and the crew is appreciative and accommodating to any players who toke (tip). The table-minimum is usually set at $3, although on holiday weekends it does rise to the $5 mark. While the chip-rail is laid out to accommodate 10 players, only 8 can comfortably gather round it.
Since it is not within easy sight, the table doesnt fill up as fast as it would if there were neighboring craps tables. However, there are plenty of tourists who find the friendlier mini-dimensions and the here-before-unheard of jargon of the stickmans calls enough to draw them near for a closer look.
Tourists are mostly curious about the mini-game, and CC keeps plenty of how-to-play brochures handy. I too like to encourage new players to try it out. While salty old veterans tend to hate new blood coming into their game, I think the long-term health of the game is dependant upon introducing new players to craps. While some bitter losers-for-life begrudge and resent the interlopers and newbies, I welcome them with open arms and readily answer their I-dont-want-to-lose-very-much-money questions.
Im in no hurry to see craps go the casino-extinct route of Faro, Brag, Grand Hazard, and Chuck-a-Luck (where the term Tinhorn Gambler originally comes from). I want to see the game at least maintain its current status in the casino hierarchy, and not slip any further in popularity (leading to less and less tables).
Hands 3 thru 5
When I returned to the now-full table, I was surprised that the dice were only three shooters away from my spot. I asked Mel if everyone had passed on shooting the dice. He gave me one of those, Are you a complete idiot, or cant you see that everyones chip rail is almost empty kind of looks.
Right on cue the current shooter 7ed-Out, and the next player passed the dice. Mel did likewise, and the stickman/dealer raised his eyebrow in my direction, with a downward glance at the table to suggest a line bet if I wanted to shoot.
As it turned out, my clean hands helped to release the dice a little smoother than previously, but the cubes were no longer landing flat. I re-angled my elbow a bit higher, but that didnt help as much as it usually does. I figured that my hand was angled and aimed too far into the near corner instead of directly at the backwall. To get a better 90-degree angle, I bent my wrist a bit more sideways towards my elbow. This flattened and squared-up the landing angle, but the dice still exhibited undue mid-air wobbling.
I managed a few Pass-Line winners, but this time the outside numbers started rolling in. I Placed the 4 and 10 and quickly worked them up to the $50 buy-level. The profit picture was improving, but Ive got to tell you that my frustration was also building. I KNEW that I could throw better, especially on this table, but it just wasnt occurring in anything that looked consistent. I was glad to take the money, but I wondered how long my luck was going to hold out.
Shootin Fish in a Barrel
Tossing the dice on a small tub-sized table IS NOT like shooting fish in a barrel. While the table dimensions are definitely smaller, the dynamics of the dice are still the same. That means that if you throw the same way that you do on a regular-length table; then the dice have to do the same things, and go through the same motions and behaviors as they do on a regular table. However, it means that they have to do all of those motions and behaviors in a much smaller and shorter playing-area.
Good Landing with Minimal Roll-Out
The key to mini-table consistency is to land the dice with minimal roll-out once they touch down. Weve covered many of the aspects of my best Precision-Shooting methods in the first six Mad Professor's Mini Tub Tour - Part I articles.
If the dice are landing, then rolling out too much or too hard; your results will be random. Now Ill take all the luck as I can, especially at a craps table. But lets face it, if the dice are spewing and splattering all over the place, it isnt Precision-Shooting that is keeping you in the game its sheer luck.
I would rather not have to rely on that cagey lady named Luck to smile upon me when Im playing. Id rather engineer as much risk out of the game, and put as much skill into the game as possible. That is what Precision-Shooting is all about and a little luck doesnt hurt either.
Hands 6 thru 8
My sixth hand was similar to my fifth one. I made a couple of passes. The profit was okay, but it wasnt outstanding, and my shooting was still fairly ugly. Although the dice were now staying on axis more and more, they still wobbled in the air like lopsided beachballs.
I avoided betting on the other five remaining players at the table. The longest R-R hand lasted just eight rolls. I could also see Mels growing frustration. While he was making a tiny net profit on almost every shooter, it was always just barely enough to cover the amount of money that he had on the table.
He would press his Place bets just in time to see the dealer call a 7-Out. He said, This game is as frustrating as bingo! I replied that there was a nice comfortable Keno Lounge just to the side of the entrance back in the main casino, if he was so inclined. He gave me his patented, So many assholes, so few bullets look, as he passed the dice to me once again.
I didnt collect any profit on my next hand, but I felt like I was improving as far as a nice consistent landing was concerned. I wanted to take a break to do some thinking about putting it all together. I knew that if I stayed at the table, I would be distracted even though I wasnt betting on the other players. Mels constant comments were already diverting my train of thought as I tried to reflect upon what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong.
I went for a short walk through the Promenade Shops area of the CC complex.
Proximity to the Backwall Guarantees Nothing
v The closeness of the backwall in relation to your shooting-position demands a very low-energy toss. You gauge, control, and input as much or as little backspin as required to maintain on-axis travel, and to slow dice movement upon impact to an absolute minimum.
v The proximity of the backwall can be a help or it can be a hindrance depending on how far the dice have to travel to disperse all of their energy before coming to a full and complete stop.
You have to be a keen observer to determine how much to recalibrate each throw compared to the outcome of your previous toss. Simply put, if the dice just did what you wanted them to do; then throw them EXACTLY the same way again. If the dice did not do what you wanted them to do; then recalibrate your next throw to achieve the desired effect.
v On a mini-table, the arc of your throw is usually either higher or lower, and almost never the same as it is on a regular table. Again, we are looking for the dice to travel along a trajectory and land on a specific spot before coming to rest. The relationship between the swing of our hand, your release-point, your target-area and the amount of force in which you launch the dice is different from table to table, especially on the small ones.
These adjustments are difficult for some people, and they were certainly proving difficult for me on this day. I reviewed all of those things in my mind.
I felt that I had to assemble and organize my game-focus before I returned to the tables. We explored the idea of preparing yourself for victory in my Discipline, Character & Consistency set of articles.
It isnt enough to just hope that my game-focus would appear as soon as I stepped up to take the dice. It is critical to quiet your mind and focus your game-plan, your discipline, and your skill-set before you are even near the dice.
Join Mel and I next time as we
continue our Mini-Tub Tour of Las Vegas. Until
then, Good Luck & Good Skill at those
and in Life. Sincerely, The Mad Professor
Join Mel and I next time as we continue our Mini-Tub Tour of Las Vegas. Until then,
Good Luck & Good Skill at those Mini-Tables and in Life.
The Mad Professor