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Fail. Fail Again.  Fail Better.

The title of this article is a Samuel Beckett quote.  Some may interpret this as a negative statement because it is dwelling on failure.  I disagree.  In dice influencing, and life in general, I associate this quote with the oft cited, “When at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”   Here’s why.

Let’s face it.  Every hand that a precision shooter throws, be they novice or journeyman shooter, eventually ends with failure.  Whether the hand lasts three rolls, or ten or thirty rolls, an eventual unintended seven arrives in due course. 

If we were capable of throwing a perfectly executed controlled toss every time, perhaps this would not be the case, but the bottom line is we CAN’T throw a perfectly executed toss every time.   The seven is inevitable.  This is a fact of life for a precision shooter. This doesn’t mean that you should live in fear of the seven.  As I’ve stated before, as a precision shooter, if you’re shooting in fear of the seven, you are giving it power over you. 

We’ve established then that for every hand you throw as a dice influencer, it will end in failure.  We aren’t going to dwell on the negative aspects of that right now. The purpose of this article is to determine whether you are getting the most out of those failures at the tables.

Every Session Is A Learning Opportunity

I’ve been involved with precision shooting for several years now.  Regardless, I still approach every session as an opportunity to learn something new.  Perhaps it’s a new betting method, maybe it’s a fresh approach to money management, or being more adept at troubleshooting my throw while I’m at the table.  There is always room for growth. 

Anyone who tells you that they know everything there is to know about the game and about precision shooting is delusional or has an ego that’s run amok.  Continued growth is extremely important to your future success at the tables as a precision shooter specifically and as a craps player in general.


I certainly hope by now, you know the importance of keeping session notes.  The Mad Professor has several articles on the subject, as well as MickeyD’s article Notes, Notes, Notes.  I’m aware that a lot of shooters keep session notes solely for the purpose of keeping track of wins and losses.  That’s really a secondary purpose. 

The main purpose for keeping notes is for gaining insight into future sessions.  Your session notes will provide a method for you to FAIL BETTER in the future.

Focus On the Positive

As I stated at the beginning, “failing better” does not mean that you only focus on the errors that you made at the tables, but also on what you did well, what you should do again, what you should ALWAYS do.  It is essential for every small success to be a building block for future success. 

Despite how poorly a session goes, determine those things that you did well. If you terminated a session because you reached your loss limit, or you realized you weren’t “on”, are just a couple of examples of “positives” that can be gleaned from even the worst session.  For sessions that go particularly well, take precise notes of what occurred. 

Your goal is to be able to recreate a positive situation every time you stand at the tables.

A Small Bite From the Poisoned Apple

Some of the best hands I’ve EVER thrown have ended when I had just a small lapse in judgment or discipline.  For instance, in one case I’d had the dice for a little more than 15 minutes.  For the previous 24 rolls, I had remained calm and focused.   I hadn’t interacted unnecessarily with the staff or other players and was in a perfect state of relaxed concentration.  The next roll I hit a two way hard ten that had been parlayed.  

Everyone cheered including the dealers.   I turned to the stick, and said, “you should leave yourselves up on that hard ten, I’m going to throw it right back.”   In other words, I took a bite of the poisoned apple. The next roll?  No, not another hard 10 but a seven out.  You see, one of the lessons I’ve learned from my past failures is to limit my interaction with everyone else at the table while I’m throwing.  In addition, I CALLED MY SHOT.  In other words, I completely altered the successful dynamic that I had established, and failure came shortly and even worse, it was self-inflicted.

As a precision shooter, you will be tempted by all sorts of poisoned fruit on your dice influencing journey.  I guarantee that you will stop and take a bite from time to time.  No matter how disciplined you are, you will have lapses in judgment.  But, if you are able to learn from your previous failures, you will disregard the poisoned fruit in your path more often.

As they say, those who choose to ignore history are doomed to repeat it.  “Failing Better” doesn’t guarantee that you won’t repeat your previous failures, but by acknowledging and addressing your errors, you’ll put yourself in a better position to sidestep them in the future.


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