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 Irishsetter's Precision Shooter Newsletter

Volume V : Issue I

July/August 2005

 

In this edition:
Crapsfest is Back!
The Re-Write Your Own History Contest
Mindful Living, Mindful Shooting - Part III
Heavy's Axis Power Craps Seminar.... On DVD!
Shooting From The Don’ts…A Journey of Opportunity - Part IX

 

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Crapsfest is Back!

October is just around the corner!   Don't miss this opportunity to improve your skills with Heavy, Dicecoach, Michael Vernon and myself.  Team up with us for another exciting weekend of seminars, one-on-one coaching, and live casino sessions in fabulous Las Vegas. It's THE craps event of 2005. Here's what folks had to say about previous Crapsfest events!

"The best time ever! I WILL be back."

"My hats off to ya’ll for putting on, yet again, a great event."

"Thanks to some fine shooting by Irish, Heavy, Dice Coach and a few others, I walked away with one of my largest wins yet."

Enrollment is extremely limited to insure plenty of one-on-one time, so register early!  Click here or the banner above for more information.

 

The Re-Write Your Own History Contest!

After viewing the fiction that was presented as "fact" on the History Channel's Breaking Vegas series, I was inspired to hold a "Re-write Your Own History Contest" on the message board.   I figured if a dice control "expert" could re-write his story, why not give my forum members the same opportunity?  The winner of the contest was Nicklemidnight, who donated his prize to charity, with the following submission:  Congrats!

Nicklemidnight's Dice History

It all started more than 50 years ago one December morning when I was a child of 7 or 8. An aunt had given me a child's board game that included two dice. The day after the Christmas gift was opened, my Dad was playing the game with me.

"This is kind of a lame game, son," I remember Dad saying. "Let me teach you a MAN'S game -- craps." As my father took a grocery sack and drew a rough layout with a crayon, he explained how to play craps and he told me of some of his exploits in the Army during World War II.

"While I was just a buck private, I was so skilled with the dice that I became known as the 'Sergeant of Shooters,' "my Dad told me. "Eventually, I was known simply as 'The Sergeant,' " he said.

Dad put the dice in my hands that very first time, an intense feeling of excitement came over me that I have never experienced since. Dad told me, "Son, let me show you how to hold them and throw them and you will become a dominator in this game!"

What followed were weeks and weeks of practice, after school and on weekends. I first practiced my toss against my bedroom wall, then into a peach crate (with one end sawed off) set on our long kitchen table. Did my mother mind? Hardly! She was a "soft touch" for father-son "togetherness." I fondly remember her saying, "Isn't it cute that your Dad is your dice coach."

There was so much I learned from my Dad. A little bit of a heavy-set man, he taught me "See a Horn, bet a Horn" as a mainstay comeout play. He taught me the different sets to bring out desired point numbers. "See this little vee set with the 2's, and this bigger vee set with the 3's -- I was the person who invented these," said my father.

On our peach box/kitchen table practice rig, he would have hands of 100 or more tosses on dozens and dozens of occasions. His record was 449 throws before a seven-out on a practice hand that went on more than six hours. How vividly I remember it!!!

A few years later, when I was in my late teens, Dad took me to Las Vegas. While I wasn't 21 at the time, being mature looking for my age, I was never asked for my ID. This was in the early 1960s, and Dad was -- you'd better believe me -- far better at a real craps table than our practice rig! There were monster rolls morning, afternoon and night at casinos all along the Strip.

John Scarne happened to be in Las Vegas that same week and witnessed one of my Dad's 150-plus toss hands. "Your Dad, the Sergeant, really is the best I've ever seen -- and I've seen 'em all," said Scarne.

Dad and I played a little blackjack from time to time to "take a break" from the crap tables. Once on that early 1960s trip, while playing BJ, my father and I met a scholarly looking man who turned out to be a math professor. This man had an avid analytical interest in blackjack. "Let's have a cup of coffee together and I'll teach you how to count cards, Professor Thorpe," my father told the man. "Don't get me wong (Dad had a bit of a problem saying R's) but I alone invented card counting," Dad said.

That Las Vegas trip is a collage of fantastic memories. It was followed by many, many more trips together to Glitter City. On each visit to Las Vegas, many people came up to my father to greet "The Sergeant." I worshipped my Dad for the adoration and respect he got from players, dealers and "suits" alike. Every craps stickman and dealer treated the "Sergeant" with total respect, letting him take as much time as he needed to set and throw the dice.

Many people asked about the books they had heard my father was writing about craps, blackjack and all other casino games. Dad would tell everyone who inquired about his planned books: "You know, it's a Doey-Don't situation.'' He would explain: "Should I 'Do' this and tell the world these gambling secrets, or is it better that I 'Don't'. "

Dad did write those books on craps, blackjack "as a business," roulette and all other games, but he never had the chance to have them published. On our way to a New York book publisher in the late 1970s, we first stopped at Atlantic City as its first casinos were opening. There was an early-morning break-in at our hotel room while we were at the tables. All of his manuscripts were stolen. It broke my father's heart.

"Some slob let ee self into our room (Dad had a bit of a Scotch accent) and stole my life's work," my father shouted in anger and anguish.

My Dad was never the same after that theft. His anger smoldered and then grew as he began to hear from player acquaintances that a New York real estate developer, known as a real "captain" in his field, was using my father's ground-breaking gambling innovations.

Still in all, I told my father many, many, many times over the years: "Dad, what's important is that I KNOW that you are the best, the very best, at any casino game, any place, any time."

To view the other submissions to the Re-write Your Own History Contest, click here!

Mindful Living, Mindful Shooting - Part III of a series
(see part 2 in last months newsletter)
By Jeffrey47

Zen bones, Zen muscles, Zen Mind

As we continue our inquiry into mindfulness in dice influencing, regard for the ageless traditions of the East seems inevitable.  Eastern philosophy is deeply rooted in discipline in both mind and action, and in both person and community.  If dice influencers feel an affinity, it could derive, in part, from this.

A popular misunderstanding, however, is that Eastern philosophy, and Zen in particular, involve the invocation of some kind of trance-like state of consciousness.  To the best of my understanding, getting into a trance is neither the object nor result of living (or shooting) mindfully, nor is it the object of the most common forms of meditation practice, the martial arts, Zen study, or the “Eastern ways.”  If anything, the point is often made that the only trance to be concerned with may be the one we suffer because of our over-thinking minds; a trance from which we may awaken.  Ultimately, this may simply involve seeing more deeply and more consciously, without strain.

There would appear to be utility in this for dice influencers, not as a ticket to some mystifying trance-like shooting zone, but as a context for our efforts to achieve a consistent, well-grounded, mindful attitude toward our dice-influencing pursuits.

I had not contemplated we head to our local Zen center for sitting meditation and Dharma talks, or that we visit ascetic monks in Tibet, or even that we take up Yoga, Transcendental Meditation, T’ai Chi, Aikido or any other particular discipline as an adjunct to our dice-influencing efforts.

Our focus is going to stay right where it belongson our work with the dice.  As we become more deeply involved, opportunities for enriching our mind-set will abound.

The muscle-memory mystery

Last time, we began investigating the topic of intensity, anticipating an “effortless calm” at its core.  We’ll return to the interplay between intensity and calm, in due course.

First, it should be helpful to reacquaint ourselves with our old friend, “muscle memory.”  We’ll more easily discover calm skies if we stop floundering in the tricky currents of a muscle-memory mental storm impeding the view.

From what I can discern, the term muscle memory first entered the popular vernacular in the context of weight training and muscle building.  Some of you probably have first-hand experience with this.  After a layoff, weight lifters are usually more efficient at rebuilding muscle mass and re-sculpting their shape in subsequent efforts.

Of course, it’s the familiar movements and progressive resistance levels, careful monitoring of “muscle burn,” and even diet and nutrition, that a body builder uses to bring his muscles back into condition.  Weight lifters must understand this, but that apparently hasn’t stopped the idea from taking root in popular thinking that muscles themselves are capable of memory, which of course they are not, nor need they be.

Whether everyone really knows that muscles don’t have a memory, I’m not sure.

In any event, labels (such as “muscle memory”) are powerful agents in determining how we think, and, uh . . . how we THINK has a lot to do with how we SHOOT.  Remember?

Just what are we thinking when we think about muscle memory in dice?  And, by the way, has anybody ever established that it’s really helpful to be thinking in terms of muscle memory?  Maybe the ideas we hold dear about it make it harder to hone our skills, not easier.

I’m not making a case for black or for white in this, at least not just yet.  I pose the matter because there really is a lot we don’t understand in this area.  We rely on an idea of muscle memory without really knowing what we’ve gotten ourselves into.

If it’s not in our muscles, where is it?

The neurological process most responsible for what we call muscle memory is proprioception.  It’s a catch-all term that includes a number of different central nervous system pathways that control our muscles (including even the muscles attached to our eyes) and monitor our physical orientation and movements, as well as providing equilibrium, a sense of gravity, and as we’ll see, much more.  Proprioception is considered the real “sixth sense” by the guys in the lab coats, after touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing.  It’s a profoundly complex, multi-layered and inter-connected system of conscious and unconscious mental and physical processes and properties.

Memory itself, even apart from its role in proprioception, is also complex, of course.  It has captivated philosophers, scientists, artists, poets, and  probably anyone who has given it a moment’s thought.  It’s now known that memory involves changes in neurological connections in the brain in a yet-to-be-completely-understood chemically and electrically driven process called neural plasticity.

The processes of our “sixth sense,” proprioception, combined with neural plasticity in the brain; this may be the best explanation we’ve got for the time being for how muscle memory works, or at least where it works.

So the idea that muscles themselves have memory is simply beguiling.  Muscles don’t have the capacity for memory any more than our brains can do curls.

Ideas about muscle memory in dice influencing

In the precision-shooting context, muscle memory is usually mentioned as something we “lock in” during practice in order to “groove in” later; with lots of variations on this theme that we’re all familiar with.

In the glossary here on Irish’s site, muscle memory is defined as “the process of training your body to repeat your precision shooting throwing mechanics by rote memory.”

MP adds:  “Once we narrow down the elements of the Precision-Shooting toss that works best and most consistently for US, then we can turn our focus towards building muscle-memory.  Muscle-memory is how we train our bodies to do things almost automatically…we train our bodies to do something so repetitively, that it becomes like second-nature to us, and our actions become virtually automatic.”  (More Gain & Less Pain, Part 3, Tip 23)

Yet, in his book, “Dice Control for Casino Craps,” Yuri doesn’t mention muscle memory at all; instead, he talks about “paying attention” to our toss, and about coordinating our body movements.  Stanford Wong, in his book, “Wong on Dice,” makes no mention of muscle memory, either.  He does warn we need to “monitor our skill constantly.”

Sharpshooter, on the other hand, talks quite a bit about muscle memory.   In “Get the Edge at Craps,” he includes an entire section called “Creating Muscle Memory in Three Weeks,” and provides his thumbnail explanation about how he believes it works in a section he calls “Delivery Style.”

Surprisingly, even with all these references, and many more throughout the DI literature, my obsessive need to understand muscle memory was not satisfied.  If I’m not satisfied, even with Mad Professor’s direction, I really begin to worry.  I found myself desperately seeking clarity on the subject.  After looking into it a little further, hopefully with an open mind, I have come to believe that some of the ways we might be thinking (or not thinking) about muscle memory may be about as useful for skilled shooting as the hardways set is for seven-avoidance.

Let me tell you what I’ve come up with, and maybe you’ll be re-evaluating the way you think about muscle memory a little bit, too.

What else are the guys in lab coats saying?

The terms used in psychology for muscle memory include among others, procedural memory, skill memory, and implicit motor learning.  It’s beyond the scope of this article to run it all down, of course.  But psychologists seem to like it that skills can be acquired through physical practice without our even knowing it.  The learning is considered implicit, or unconscious.  Prime examples are learning to walk or to ride a bicycle.  We don’t really know how it happens, while it happens, it just does, and that’s that.  Implicit motor learning.  Mysterious, almost magical.  Psychologists love it. 

For dice influencing, however, a more useful concept of muscle memory than the unconscious-learning model psychologists favor, comes from the field of kinesiology.  Kinesiology is the study of the interrelationship of human physiology and anatomy with respect to movement.   In kinesiology, muscle memory is said to involve “a finely tuned sense of our physical orientation, leaving us free to concentrate (on other things).”

Wow!  I think we may be getting somewhere!

From this standpoint, “muscle memory” is not as concerned with recording memory as it is with sensing what we’re doing.  It involves our maintaining awareness rather than depending on something to be locked mysteriously away.

In my view, thinking about a process of continually monitoring ourselves provides a more dynamic framework for maintaining and improving our skill than thinking about a mere background function somehow recording our efforts for later automatic play-back from the recesses of our unconscious.  We’re actively engaged whenever we play, rather than passively hoping muscle memory will kick in and do the job for us.

Let me put it this way:  Our muscle memory is only as good as our active proprioceptive skills will allow.

Viewed this way, if we do well we can congratulate ourselves for our achievement, and if we don’t do so well we know we’re responsible for the results in the present.  We’re confident we’ll quickly find a way to fix the problem because that’s exactly what we’ve trained ourselves to do through our finely tuned proprioceptive sense.

What we won’t have is the lame excuse in the back of our mind that our muscle memory wasn’t locked in right.  We won’t be guarding ourselves from taking immediate responsibility for failure while scolding ourselves at the same time for apparently ineffective practice habits.  (With this kind of thinking, maybe a shrink would be more helpful than more practice.)

You’ve heard it before: muscle memory can lock in bad habits.   But the worst consequence is not so much the inconsistent shooting that rote practice can bring; it’s our habit of thinking in terms of an unconscious, automatic process taking place beyond our apprehension, over which we have no apparent present-tense control.  By giving in to this thinking, we dilute our skill rather than support it because we’re sacrificing the depth and full integration of our conscious and unconscious motivations and single-minded involvement every time we pick up the dice.

Now, add to that, the proprioceptive tract that monitors and directs our movements also contains neural circuitry that detects and expresses our emotions, including our feelings and attitude about ourselveseven our passion for the game.  These systems actively share information, so that our emotions continuously affect our body, and our body continuously affects our emotions.  Insufficient attention to our proprioceptive awareness can thus wreak havoc not only with our physical skills directly, but it also opens the door for inattention to the all-important emotional frame of our efforts.  So how we think about muscle memory affects not only how we throw the dice, but also how we feel about ourselves as we practice and shoot.  The potential for a vicious cycle of flagging passion and fading skill should be obvious.

We might be in for a difficult struggle moving our skill forward relying on any process we think of as “implicit” and therefore so veiled from our present awareness that we may feel virtually helpless to affect any current control over its unfolding.  Whenever I hear about “grooving in muscle memory,” I think of a mind that may be getting progressively more insulated from the active role required of it if we’re to maximize our present potential as skilled shooters.

Changing our thinking about muscle memory

We need to be vigilant against letting the idea of muscle memory denude our toss of its dynamic vitality.  Let’s not disconnect from the full spectrum of information in the moment-to-moment flow of our senses as we shoot, based on loosely formulated, popular thinking about “muscle memory.”

If, instead of relying on the tenuous idea of implicitly acquired skills, we mindfully engage our skill of applied proprioception to become and to remain intimately familiar with our toss, to thoroughly understand its dynamics, and to actively sculpt it in the present tense, I think we will have taken a big step in the evolution of our DI consciousness.

When we bring that kind of intensity to the execution of each toss, we learn a deeper-reaching awareness where conditions and processes we may have believed were inaccessible to us begin to emerge to enrich our skill-set.  Newly acquired insights can begin to become more automatic as we learn them, sure, but without sacrificing a moment’s opportunity for continued new insight and without risk of slipping backward from having let our proprioceptive guard-dogs go on break.  As I said before, our muscle memory will only be as useful to us as our active proprioceptive skills will allow.

Okay, so we’re paying attention . . . to what again?

Our focus here has been on developing a greater awareness of how it feels as we shoot, so that we can most skillfully repeat a successful toss or implement the very subtle changes that become necessary to correct mistakes or dial in.  It’s one thing observing the dice in the air and as they land, but it’s quite another to feel our toss mechanics internally through our proprioceptive sense.  In precision shooting, we need to be noticing not only what the dice to after we toss them; we also need to tune it to what we’re doing to get the dice to do what they’re doing.

If we really don’t know exactly how each toss feels from our feet to our fingertips, we may be unwittingly squandering the benefits we should derive from carefully observing the reactions of the dice.  Without a high degree of self-awareness, we’ll be less able to sense and then execute the subtle, precision modifications of our base toss suggested by the reactions of the dice in order to dial in a table, take advantage of our current skill, and continue rolling the dice.

Having said that, it’s important to realize that enhancing our proprioceptive sense also primes the cerebral pump for our skill of observing the reactions of the dice.  By the concentration we’ve already achieved paying close attention as we toss, we’re better attuned to the reactions of the dice as well.  All that information, first from the feel of our toss, and then from the reactions of the dice, combines into a comprehensive and integrated whole, resulting in a more immediate experience of clarity as we prepare for each successive shot.

The progressive acquisition of increasingly enhanced awareness, especially during a successful, longer sequence of rolls, is worth investigating as a likely source of what some skilled shooters refer to as “getting in the zone.”  I’m looking forward to devoting attention to this interesting area later on in this series of articles.

In later installments, we’ll also discuss some things we can do to deepen our proprioceptive awareness and raise the level of our concentration.  We’ll look into how we can enlist our emotions as allies rather than possible enemies as we develop our skill.  And there will be opportunities to further investigate the whereabouts of those calm mental seas we’re hoping to discover as we continue our efforts to find a consistent dice-influencing mind-set, hopefully free at last of any unsettled feelings we might have had about our old friend “muscle memory.”

Heavy's Axis Power Craps Seminar.... On DVD!

It's finally here! For years players have been asking for a video edition of the Axis Power Craps Seiminar. The video is now availalbe on DVD - and you can be among the first to own the video if you order now.

Here's what Heavy has for you:

The Limited Version of the DVD is approximately forty-five minutes in length. It includes the portion of the seminar that deals specifically with the mechanics of the grip and toss, along with roughly twenty minutes of tossing and coaching live at the craps table.

For those of you who want more - there's the Full Version of the Axis Power Craps Seminar. In addition to the Limited Version, above, you'll receive the entire Axis Power Craps Seminar as presented in Biloxi this past February. You'll learn all about the dice, the dice sets for right way and wrong way play, the grips, tosses, and betting strategies that position you to win. You'll also get solid training on bankroll, buy-in, money management and discipline. In addition, we include the most comprehensive session on casino complimentaries you'll find anywhere. But that's not all. With the Full Version of the Axis Power Craps Seminar you'll also receive the Seminar Play Book and Strategy Cards attendees receive at the live seminars. Hey, we'll even toss in a pair of red and green Dice Coach dice for good measure. Not only that - if you order the Axis Power Craps Home Study Seminar you will qualilfy for Alumni pricing on all future Axis Power Craps Clinics. We'll even toss in a complimentary membership on the Axis Power Craps forum. That adds up to huge savings.

Order the Limited Version for $89 (plus $4 S&H) or Order the Full Version for $189 (plus $6 S&H)

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Shooting From The Don’ts…A Journey of Opportunity - Part IX
(see part 8 in last months newsletter)
by the Mad Professor

As a border city from across Detroit, Michigan, you would think that the Big Three from Motown (no, not Ford, GM and Chrysler…but rather, MGM Grand, Greektown and Motor City Casino) would easily overshadow their Canadian neighbor, Casino Windsor, to the south-east; and to some extent it does. 

If the sheer number of craps tables on the Michigan side of the border is the determining factor, then obviously the three American casinos tower over Casino Windsor by a huge margin.  However, for me, the true measure of a casino is whether or not the conditions are right for an advantage player to make substantial amounts of money within a reasonably short period of time…without wearing out his welcome (or that of future dice-influencing players)…all the while remaining completely under the advantage-player radar. 

Under that gauge, Casino Windsor gets my unreserved endorsement as an outstanding place to play…and profit.

Casino Windsor Table Conditions

When you appraise and quantify playing conditions, table-felt conditions, game-pace and tempo, other D-I player skill-levels, casino win-tolerance and overall atmosphere; Casino Windsor comes across as a nice, relaxed place to churn out relatively steady Precision-Shooting revenue. 

The craps tables at Casino Windsor are amongst the best neutral-rolling, low-backwall-rebounding tables that I’ve run across…and they have remained that way for almost four full years now.  To wit, regardless of how often they wet-vac the tables or how frequently they change the felt…the layouts continue to react exactly the same way…year after year. 

When you consider how often you run into a table where it seems your shooting can do no wrong…and the next time you visit it’s a wonder if your dice stay on-axis even once; then you’ll appreciate the dependable landing-dynamics and reliable backwall rebounds that these tables continue to offer.

With that type of layout-to-layout reliability, I figured this would be a perfect spot to broaden my Darkside-shooting betting strategies.

A Short Geographic Note

The Great White North city of Windsor, Ontario is located SOUTH of Detroit, Milwaukee, Green Bay, umm, make that south of the entire states of Wisconsin…and Minnesota…and North Dakota…and South Dakota…and Montana…and Idaho…and Washington…and Oregon.  It’s also south of New York, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and of course, Connecticut.  Heck, if it was any further south, Windsor residents would probably start storing old washing-machines and refrigerators on their front porches and asking, “Y’all wanna caribou Timbit with that there coffee?  As it is though, until global-warming brings that corn-pone nirvana closer to reality; they’ll simply have to settle for rusted-out Mercury Montcalm’s and Pontiac Laurentian’s in their side yard and continue to insist that all beer under 6% alcohol is strictly for children, the elderly, or the feeble-minded.

Time For a Little Explorative Betting

I had been fooling around with various Darkside betting-strategies based on my average hand-duration (how many rolls it takes to intentionally 7-Out), as well as tracking my primary-face hit-rate for both the Come-Out and the Point-cycle.  I knew my shooting was up to par and I had narrowed my chosen methods down to a few.

For the Come-Out, I decided to stick with my normal “Game Within a Game” strategy.  It had been delivering up a steady flow of high-dollar cash over the last couple of months, and although there was certainly room for improvement in both the shooting aspect of the C-O as well as the betting efficiency, I felt that there was much more upside potential that could be rung out of the point-cycle itself.

Delving Into New Betting-Methods

Without reservation, I can say that the betting strategy that I’m about to discuss was not originated by me.  My strength is in taking the best betting-methods and ideas that others have come up and tweaking them to suit my own game-approach and bet-level. 

The following is a prime example…

Maddog’s No-Box Play

The idea of lay-betting all the box-numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10), and then intentionally setting for a 7-Out is one that has intrigued me for some time now.

I will admit that I’ve done similar plays over the years, but never in a concerted and sustained experimental way to see just how effective and productive a method like this would be in real-world casino-combat.  I had also done a lot of previous experimentation with Laying the 5 and/or 9 and using it either as a Come-Out money-maker, or as a Point-cycle strategy when paired-up with the S-6 dice-set. 

Still though, Maddog’s NO-BOX lay-action play was a substantial step up in terms of total bet-commitment (not to mention that it required avoidance against a total of six numbers) as compared to when you are just avoiding one number (when you have a single DP-wager with full-Odds) or even against a couple of numbers as in the No-5 and/or No-9 play.

What finally convinced me to use his bet-strategy was the chart that he created which shows Expected Win-Rates when using various dice-sets in combination with variable on-axis proficiencies…all while matched up to a couple of different Lay-bet strategies.

In Maddog’s words: 

“These numbers assume that the bet is setup the same way for each of the 36 rolls and includes the probability of “no-decision” rolls (i.e. 2, 3, 11, 12) when laying all the box-numbers.

I ran the simulation two ways; first, where all lay-bets were immediately replaced when knocked off, and second where all lay-bets were reset only on the Come-out roll, but left up until replaced (never taken down). There was only a small percentage difference (7.99% vs 8.04%) between the two strategies."


A quick look at Maddog’s chart lets you match your current on-axis proficiency to the dice-set and the Lay-strategy that would work best with it.  


[image]

In my case I chose the S-6 set with the “No Across” bets for my point-cycle shooting.

Gentlemen…Choose Your Weapon

I’m continually amused by the scholarly scoffing about the dice-influencing concept of keeping the dice on-axis.  I’m told that using an “ideal” starting point like supposing that the V-3 set could be kept on-axis 100% of the time is flawed thinking and therefore the goal of keeping them on-axis and the associated betting-methods attached to perfect concepts like that are also flawed and doomed to failure.

If you take a sober look at this chart, you’ll see that there actually IS merit to keeping the dice on-axis and it doesn’t take anywhere near 100% O/A proficiency for some sets to prove their worth. 

If you take a look at the S-6 set for example, you’ll see that even rudimentary axial control can yield substantial returns with Maddog’s No-Box Lay-bets.  Further though, there are some dice-sets when paired with certain bets that NEVER become profitable no matter how much they are kept on axis…and in fact it clearly shows that random-rolling would actually offer a LOWER loss-rate.

When it comes to making money from your current Precision-Shooting skills, you have to do your homework.  When you combine your on-axis proficiencies and correlated off-axis dominants with various different dice-sets and a variety of betting-methods; you’ll discover a variety of ways to directly convert your skill into profit.

Math scholars may look at this approach as being seriously flawed and deceptive, but I look at this chart and see “OPPORTUNITY” scrawled all over it in big ghetto-sized letters. 

Where they see flaws, I see profit.

Morphing Maddog’s No-Box Play Into My $290 All-Across-Lay

Though this method was, it appears, originally designed as a Come-Out strategy for a Rightsider (looking for a 7-winner that would pay his flat PL-wager along with a boatload of cash from an across-the-board Lay bet against all the box-numbers), I chose to apply it to my point-cycle-shooting (after the PL-Point is established). 

To complement the size of my Don’t Pass with full-Odds wager, I raised the sperm-count of the Lay-bet up to the $290 All-Across level.

Here’s how I set it up to work with my Darkside shooting…

       I make my normal $25 Don’t Pass wager.

 

       As usual, I back my DP line-bet with full-Odds.  In normal casinos that offer 3x, 4x, 5x-Odds on PL-wagers, I’d be allowed to bet up to six times my DP wager, regardless of the Point.  However, in Windsor they allow 10x-Odds on the Pass-line, so Darksiders are allowed to lay a maximum of 12x-Odds on the DP, regardless of the Point.

 

       I then make lay-bets against all the open box-numbers.  

 

       Since my DP wager (with 12x-Odds) covers one of the box-numbers, I make wagers “against” the remaining five.

 

For my $290 All-Across-Lay play, I use the following amounts…

       Lay $50 each against the 4 and 10.  At 1:2, each number pays $25 when you 7-Out.

 

       Lay $60 each against the 5 and 9.  At 2:3, each number pays $40 when you 7-Out.

 

       Lay $60 each against the 6 and 8.  At 5:6, each number pays $50 when you 7-Out.

 

To cover all those numbers except your DP-Point, you’ll be looking at putting out either $290 or $280 on the layout (depending on your Point) plus a vigorish (commission) of approximately $9 to cover all the numbers. 

In some jurisdictions, they only charge the vig if you win, while others will give you a break as to how much they charge.  In most cases however, you can expect to pay at least $1 for every $20 that the bet can potentially “win”.  So on a $40 Lay-bet against the 10 (which at 1:2, would “win” $20), you should generally expect to pay $1 for the privilege of making that bet.   Again, some places charge the commission upfront when you make the bet, while others only charge it after the win and take it out of your paid winnings.

Okay, those are the basics; let’s get to what’s really important…how did it fare?

Casino Windsor 3-Day Trial

Here’s a summary of how I did with this All-Across-Lay experiment:

Experiment Duration:   Three days
Total Playing Time: 17.8 hours
Sessions Played: Eight (8)
Average Session Duration: ~2.25 hours
Average Dice-Cyclic Rate: ~25 minutes for the dice to cycle around back to me.
Type of Bets:   $25 Don’t Pass w/Full 12x-Odds
and
$290 All-Across-Lay
Total Hands thrown: Forty-Three (43)
Unintended Point-Repeaters: Four (4).  In each case, I retained the dice, and replaced my DP line-bet along with full 12x-Odds against the second PL-Point. There were no occasions during this experiment when I unintentionally repeated the anti-Point twice.  
Adjusted DP-Point Hands Forty-Seven (47)
This accounts for the total number of times I had a DP-Point to beat.  That is, the 43 original Points plus the 4 times I unintentionally repeated the Point and inadvertently caught a second Point to defeat as well.
Total Win from DP w/Odds: $8,375
Avg. Win from DP w/Odds: $178  (based on 47 total hands)
When averaged over the actual 43 dice-handle-hands that it took to generate this income, the average increases to $194/turn-with-the-dice.
Unintended Lay-Outcomes: Sixty-Six (66)
This is the total number of times that I threw an unintended box-number during the point-cycle which knocked off that particular Lay-bet.  I did not replace that box-number during that hand.

I tracked this number by using $1 chips in a separate section of my rack.  I also kept track of which number I was inadvertently throwing the most.
Avg. Lay-Losses/Hand: 1.4 box-numbers per hand
This figure does not include the four times when I accidentally repeated the PL-Point, nor does it include the 43 initial point-establishing rolls.  Instead, it specifically includes any mid-roll point-cycle outcomes that extinguished any of my All-Across lay-bets.
Avg. Loss/Lay-Bet: $57 including vigorish
This was my average loss-per-bet where a Lay-bet gets unintentionally knocked off.
Avg. Lay-Bet Loss/Hand $79 including vigorish
This was my average Lay-bet loss-per hand and accounts for the fact that on average I knocked off 1.4 Lay-bets per hand.
Total Net-Win from Lay-Bets:  $4743 (after commission)
Avg. Lay-Bet Win/Hand: $101
Although this figure is substantially less than the theoretical perfect-world earnings than one could earn if there wasn’t the inefficient messiness of knocking off so many box-numbers, I think it can be improved upon through the future lay-bet exclusion of my most dominant on-axis box-number…which also happens to be my most recurrent off-axis dominant number as well.
Combined Bet-Strategy Win: $13,118
This is the total net-win from my DP w/12x-Odds income when combined with the $290 All-Across-Lay revenue.
Avg. Combined Profit/Hand: $279/turn-with-the-dice

A Few Added Thoughts About the All-Across-Lay Method

This is a bit of a good-news, bad news thing.

When your Darkside-shooting is really grooved in, the All-Across-Lay method is a semi-efficient money-maker.  Needless to say, when your dice-throwing isn’t up to par; this approach can be frustrating and downright excruciating when you repeatedly knock off your Lay-bets with mid-roll hits on any of those box-numbers.  In fact it can be quite embarrassing if the whole knocking-off-your-own-bet thing really bothers you.  Personally it doesn’t bother me…it’s just part of the process of getting to the profit.

As with major grip changes or toss re-adjustments, it’s always best to experiment, fine-tune and validate all of your new betting-scenarios at home before you try any of them in a casino setting.

Now clearly this little All-Across-Lay trial at Casino Windsor was not a clinically-controlled scientific experiment conducted by guys in lab-coats with pocket-protectors and slide-rules. 

It was done for my own benefit to validate some additional Darkside-betting rationale. 

It was done with real money on real-world craps tables in a real-world casino, and though the sampling size of forty-three hands was undoubtedly way too small to pass the eight-billion-rolls-required-to-prove-itself-mathematically-worthy test; I was nonetheless quite pleased with the outcome…and I now deem it worthy enough to add it to my bet-strategy arsenal.   Thanks Maddog!

Foreign-Exchange…Or How Not to Get Reamed on Currency Conversion

When you play craps in Canada, you have to convert some of your U.S. dollars into Canadian money.  It’s as simple as doing any other transaction at the casino cage.  The conversion-rate is clearly posted at nearly every wicket-window.

Some people don’t like the fact that there is a difference between the “sell-rate” (which is the rate you get if you are “selling” your U.S. dollars and converting them into Canadian dollars) and the “buy-rate” (which is the rate you get if you are “buying back” your U.S. dollars with Canadian dollars). 

In some cases, the “float”, which is the difference between the buy-rate and sell-rate, can be as high as a couple of percentage points.   On a $1000 exchange, that could add up to $20 or $30 each way. 

Fortunately, there are several ways around that:

       You can set up a Line-of-Credit at Casino Windsor (or any other Canadian casino), based on your U.S. bank-account. The L.C. is "drawable" at the tables without having to convert ANY of your cash.

 

       Only your losses (if any) are payable in Canadian dollars instead of your entire buy-in.

 

       This way, you do not pay ANY exchange on ANY transactions except for the money that you actually lose at the tables.  When you pay off your marker, you COULD pay it off with U.S.-converted-to-Canadian money. This way, you only get a one-way rip on the "float", instead of the two that a buy-and-sell transaction would incur.

 

       However, you SHOULD pay off your marker with a check from your U.S. account (denominated in $CDN).  That way, you only pay your own bank's exchange-rate float which should be about 1/3rd lower than the casinos exchange-rate.

 

       If you play in Canada quite a bit, you might look at either keeping a portion of your bankroll in Canadian dollars, or you could open a Front Money account at Casino Windsor, and only pay the exchange-rate once in a while when you repatriate your winnings into USD$.

 

       Or you can have the casino cut you a check in Canadian funds from your Front Money Account when you want to drain off some of your profit. That way, you only pay the exchange-rate that YOUR bank is offering, and not be subject any usurious casino rates.

 

       If you need any additional information on Casino Credit, Front Money accounts, or Casino Markers; you could have a look at Casino Credit – Part Three as well as my entire four-part Casino Credit Update series (especially if you are interested in having any of your outstanding markers heavily discounted from their face-value).

 
Players Cards, Comps and Food

As with most other places, Casino Windsor has three levels of players-cards…basic, silver and gold.  Of course they fancy it up by calling them Prestige, Preferred and Premier-level.  Their comp system is fairly generous when compared to the LV-Strip or to A/C, and a free buffet is yours for the asking after a few hours of low-spread action.

A couple of dining highlights:

       Pan-seared soft-shell crabs at the Riverside Grille…overlooking the river.  In the moonlight, Detroit looks downright inviting.

 

       Hazelnut-encrusted Pickerel and Tangerine Crme Brule at Cach…which unfortunately is only open to silver (Preferred) and gold-level (Premier) players-card members.

 

As good as those two places are; C-W’s temporary Promenade Buffet falls a little short in several areas, but it still beats most other non-casino buffet feeding-troughs by a wide margin.

The Hotel

As with every four-star, four-diamond hotel, Casino Windsor’s hotel delivers every in-room amenity that you would possibly need or want (okay it didn’t come with the topless room-service attendants like they have at the Four Seasons in Chiang Mai, but this is still Canada after all…no matter how far south Windsor is on the map). 

The level of luxury in their deluxe/executive suites is pleasing but definitely not as over the top as you might expect from a gaming property that was created and managed (until McHarrah’s takes it over) by the multi-headed Caesars/Park Place/Hilton hydra.  I blame that on (or credit it to) the mostly conservative and restrained tastes of the high-end players who get first shot at these comped digs.

When you look out over the Detroit River and beyond to Lake St. Clair in one direction and to Lake Erie in the other; it’s not difficult to get caught up in the juxtaposed beauty of the brutally subdued proximate Motown skyline which serves as a backdrop to the waterscape that stretches for miles in either direction.

Heck, from that height, Detroit looked downright inviting.  

Now that I had validated my All-Across-Lay method as a legitimate money-maker, I wanted to start fine-tuning it to deal with one particular on-axis box-number dominant and its correlated off-axis fraternal twin that was single-handedly constraining my win-rate…and the Detroit casinos looked like an ideal place to do it.

I hope you’ll join me for that leg of my Darkside-shooting journey.

If you have any comments or ideas for future issues, feel free to email me at ed@irishsetter.com  And as always, I'm looking for contributors with a fresh perspective.

If you know someone who would be interested in receiving future editions of Irishsetter’s Precision Shooter Newsletter, tell them to send a blank message to irishsetter@aweber.com.

Good Luck!

Irishsetter
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