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Discipline and the Art of Precision Shooting

 In a recent e-mail that I received, a site visitor was lamenting that his precision shooting was not reaping the huge profits at the tables that he had expected.  He had played the night before with three opportunities to throw the dice.  His first hand yielded a net loss.

 “ I sevened out after about five throws.  I hit a few numbers but I had pressed my place bets just before the seven showed for a net loss for that shoot.”

He said that his second and third hand yielded only slightly better outcomes, making a couple of passes in addition to hitting some of his place bets.

“Still, in each shoot, I left a bunch of money on the table.   I showed only a small profit (about $25) for my three turns shooting the dice.  Thank god I played conservatively when other players were shooting, so I colored up plus $124.”

It’s the last part of his statement that got me thinking.   While other players were shooting, he showed discipline and good judgment.  However, when it was his turn to throw the bones, he threw his money on the table as if there was no tomorrow.  We (precision shooters) are partially to blame.  I believe our session reports and posts on various message boards celebrating long throws and repeating numbers can skew the expectations of others, especially those who are recent converts of the art of precision shooting. 

The reality, in its simplest form, is that in the long run most precision shooters will only alter the probability table by percentage points in the range of 5% to 20%. Sure, we are going to have our long hands of 15 plus throws, but it’s not going to be every time we’re handed the dice.  Even the best dice sets for avoiding the seven have a 1 in 8 probability of the devil.  That’s significantly better than the 1 in 6 chance that random rollers face, but it doesn’t mean that you should triple or quadruple your money at risk just because the stickman has passed you the dice.

Don’t get me wrong, I think you can be more aggressive when it’s your turn to shoot, but you can’t go nuts.  Bank some profit before you press your bets.  Have reasonable expectations about precision shooting.  Understand the difference between confidence and arrogance as a precision shooter. 

The former will guarantee profits in the long run and the latter will lead to disappointment. (Besides that, dealers love to gloat when a precision shooter sevens out early) Utilize the same betting discipline when you are shooting that you use when others are shooting. 

Precision shooting is not a magic wand for guaranteed success, it is only one of many tools in your craps arsenal.

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