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The Dog’s Mailbag
2nd edition

The email continues to roll in on a daily basis....  I try to answer as much as possible, but certain questions are asked time and time again.   Here is a sample.

Q: You and the people who visit your site are SO full of shit!

(Yes, yes.  This one was also in the first Dog's Mailbag article. 
Not surprisingly this type of email comes in regularly each month...) 

A:  With the increased interest in dice influencing you also get an increased number of naysayers crawling out of the woodwork.   All I can say is I wish I had enough time on my hands to send email to everyone whose opinion I disagreed with.

You've got links to sites like Rolling Thunder, PARR and Heavy's Tunica seminar who will teach me dice setting for a fee.  Can't I just teach myself? Also, other than the website, do you teach precision shooting as well?


For your first question, you can absolutely teach yourself!  I taught myself.  (with the help of Yuri's book )  Several of the best shooters I've seen have taught themselves.  It boils down to personal choice.   Rolling Thunder, PARR and Heavy's seminar are options that one may choose if so inclined.  But in teaching myself, I've found that I'm able to self diagnose shooting problems and experiment with different techniques without being biased toward a specific grip, set or throwing style.   Teaching myself probably took more time than if I had had an "instructor" but the trial and error of the self-teaching process allowed me to gain a great deal of insight into the process.

With that said, I also contend that Rolling Thunder, PARR and Heavy's seminar are equally viable methods for learning the skill of dice influencing.  In the end, whether you teach yourself, or decide to get some assistance, it will still boil down to putting in A LOT of hours on the practice table if you want to develop any consistency.

As far as me teaching.  Currently I am working casually with a couple of shooters.  I plan to teach in a more formal manner late this summer at my home in Central CA.  In addition, there MAY be a seminar offered in the future with Irishsetter and some notable friends......


Q:  How much do you practice?  AND, does what you throw on the practice table translate to a real casino setting or do your "signature" numbers change when you're on real tables?
A: During the fall and winter (when it gets dark early), I practice about 5-7 hours per week.  Now that spring is here, it's a little less than that.  Of course if I have trip planned to go to Vegas or Reno/Tahoe, I'll put in a few extra hours on the practice table. 

My signature numbers are indeed the same on the practice table and in the casino.  Every time? Of course not, but if "my" numbers aren't coming up, then I should probably get away from the tables for awhile.  If you're throws are not producing expected numbers, you shouldn't to force it.



Why do so many dealers seem to be skeptical about dice setting?

A: I honestly can't speak for dealers.   I have two theories though, and they cover skeptical dealers and players alike.

The first theory is most dealers/players assume that if by setting the dice, we expect long hands every time we get the dice when, in fact, a controlled throw is "percentage throw" ( to quote Yuri).  Skeptics seem to think that if we throw a short hand, it proves dice setting doesn't work.  As dice influencers we need only to defy the expected probabilities of the dice slightly to gain an advantage.  We aspire to limit our short hands and extend our long hands.

The second theory is that the skeptics see a shooter fiddle with the dice, or line them up in a particular arrangement and assume that the shooter is one of those  "dice setters."    I've seen guys mess with the dice for 30 seconds then jetison them down the table.  You and I of course know that this shooter wasn't a precision shooter, but skeptic would probably label him as one.

Q:  Do you think dice setting will eventually be banned at casinos?
A: I'd like to say no, but in fact the casino industry has not been particularly smart about such things.   The industry has spent millions of dollars implementing counter measures to prevent a handful of good card counters from having an advantage. 

Similarly, if the casinos ban dice setting, or propose counter measures like throwing the dice from a cup, you will see even fewer players participating in craps. 

With that said, if you're considering the idea of dice influencing, I'd start practicing sooner than later.  I can't predict whether casinos will permit dice setting for another 2 months, 2 years, or 20 years.....

Q:  How do you feel about team play?

There are two kinds of team play.  The one I think you're speaking about is casually meeting up with other like minded players for a few sessions.  There are many benefits to this type of team play.  Of course there's the financial promise in having two or more dice influencers at the table.  In addition, there's the camaraderie factor.  It is also very beneficial to shoot with someone who understands what you're attempting to accomplish and can assist in troubleshooting your throw if you're having an "off" day. 

The pitfall that most shooters have in this situation is that they risk too much money on the other members of their "team."    If ground rules are followed for starting low and slow regardless of who's shooting, I think meeting up with other dice influencers can be a learning tool as well as fun and profitable. 

Another pitfall worth mentioning is when one team player has an extraordinary hand and feels he/she should be entitled to some of the other team members profits, especially if the shooter didn't win as much as his dice setting partners.  (I've had this happen.  A pal of mine was shooting, had a great hand but he only had a passline bet and $6 on the six and eight.  I pulled a great deal of profit from the table whereas his profit was comparatively meager.   In an unsubtle way, he hinted that I should "share" my profit.   Needless to say I haven't teamed up with this fellow again.)

The other type of team play is more formal, where bankroll is perhaps pooled, and strict betting strategies are pre determined.    There is much more to it that can be discussed in an email.  Formal team play can be lucrative, but to be successful, there has to be a very high level of trust among team members and unbelievable levels of discipline must be adhered to.  I wouldn't attempt this type of team play until you and your teammates are journeyman shooters.

Q:  How realistic should my practice table be?

Initially, I'd say that an aspiring precision shooter should spend as little as possible on a practice table.  Whether you build one yourself or buy one, I wouldn't spend huge amounts of money.  What if you decide dice influencing is not for you?  

Certainly you should set up some sort of practice rig.  Throwing onto your couch or on the living room floor will probably do you little good.  If you can afford it, of course springing for real pyramid rubber is a good idea, but not necessary.   

I STILL use my crummy practice table that I built long ago. (though I'm upgrading soon)  Once you've had some success and determined to yourself that you are dedicated to the skill, THEN you can decide if you HAVE to have a truly realistic practice table set up.

I hope you’ve enjoyed  a peek into the dog’s email box.  Keep those questions and comments coming!


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