Free Dice Lessons /
It's More Fun When You Win!
In This Edition:
A Word From Soft Touch
Practice for Table Conditions...
Who Ya Gonna Call?
A Labor of Love...
Newsletter Archive Links
Playing With The Cause
When dealing with difficult, real time playing decisions at the
table, most players who have worked and or played the game along side me
will often hear me state: "Hey, If you don't like the direction you're
going in, then change the direction you are going in."
How many point then seven outs do you need before you decide to change
your approach? How many craps numbers will you continue to toss using a
hard-way set, all the while betting the inside box numbers, before
deciding to change something in your set, grip or throw?
When it comes to shooting the dice, it is no secret that I like to
utilize a three finger front grip with a hard-ten dice set. With this
set I can determine how my dice will react as a result of my delivery. I
use the come out roll with this set as a gauge of future results,
because my winning potential is based on my consistency at the tables.
Am I consistently throwing box numbers? Or do I need to "tweak" my set
or grip for better results?
If I toss a two or a twelve with this hard-ten set on the come out, I
know that I have to change whatever it is that mechanically caused that
result. I might focus on keeping my delivery parallel to the table
surface and check my follow through on the next toss.
Or, I might experience a 5/2 seven on the come out with my hard-way set,
which on the come out is profitable and yet not necessarily the result I
was anticipating. This type of seven result was caused by my grip and I
have to make sure my release allows the dice to roll off my fingers with
equal symmetry on the next toss, focusing on what I did mechanically to
cause that seven result.
If I didn't take the time to do this, I know with certainty that I would
not get very far in the game. I like to look at the mechanical part of
my game from a purely "cause and effect" point of view. While I am
shooting, if I don't like the result I am getting from my toss then I
simply have to change some aspect of my toss.
Again, "If you don't like the direction you're going in, then change the
direction you are going in."
For the dice-influencing player who wishes to change the results of
their game into a positive experience, it is essential to pin point and
change what ever is causing the undesired results. Focus on the
mechanics of the throw during the game and not on the results. As a
player, start pinpointing what you do want to achieve with your toss.
Work with what you know will net that desired point and concentrate on
I see too many players reacting and getting caught up in the "effect"
part of their game and they limit themselves to focusing on the wrong
part of the game.
Effects, - such as seven outs, lost chips, dice bounced off the table,
craps numbers instead of box numbers being rolled, - are all effects
that we, as the shooters, cause with our various mechanics. These
effects happen, we have caused it, and we can fix it. This is where our
true dice-influence lies. We have to focus on what we can do to cause a
desired number to appear.
If my financial results are less then desirable, I simply focus on what
caused those results and work toward making changes to my game that will
net me a different and positive result.
If you still seem to be getting a result in the game that is unfavorable
to your style of play, then it is up to you to decide how long you wish
to continue to experience those effects before you decide to switch to
another game, table or venue.
The game has so many levels and dimensions that are being influenced by
us as players. It is easy to see how players, steeped in the game, can
lose sight of how they cause their gaming results to vary.
Until next time, focus on visualizing future results - not past effects.
Practice for Table
Professor, I have posed my question to various
"Dice Controllers" and the response I get leads me to think that I'm just
failing at posing my question clearly. So forgive me for the expanded
explanation. First, I'll share with you how I have been posing my question,
and then I'll expand to my new way of posing it.
Original question: I'm building a practice
rig at home and I want to create a surface that will have the same bounce
properties as the average bounce in Las Vegas strip. So what materials should
I have on top of the wood surface to accomplish this average bounce?
Typical answer that I get: Well there is no
average bounce in Las Vegas because each table is a bit different than the
others. Some are very bouncy while others are not so bouncy and some are in
Modified new way of posing the question: Let
me start by defining the word "Average". Average means that you add up all
the instances and divide by the number of instances. So if you were to rate
the bounciness of a Craps table in Vegas, you might for example rate each
table on a scale of 1 to 10 given the same exact throw. So a rating of 1
would mean that this table bounces less than any other table in Las Vegas
while a rating of 10 would mean that the dice bounce more than on any other
table in Vegas. Some tables would have a rating of 1 or 2.4 while other
bouncier tables would have a rating of 7 or 8.2, for example. But all tables
would be rated between 1 to 10. One could calculate the average by rating all
the tables in Vegas and adding up all those ratings and then dividing by the
number of ratings. The result would be a number between 1 and 10. That said,
I know that no one has ever done this rating task. So my question is without
going through the rating process of every table in Vegas, can you use your
experience and knowledge of how tables are built and how dice bounce to give
me some clue as to what I should put under my layout in my effort to simulate
the average table bounce in Vegas?
I have a casino layout
that has the white linen backing that most of them have (called "rubber backed
craps layout"). But under the layout, between the layout and the wood, there
seems to be something underneath that somewhat adds to the bounce. Is it 1/4
inch closed cell rubber foam or is it just a couple of layers of felt, or
is it news paper under the layout, or something else. What do you think I
should use under my "rubber backed casino layout" to reach my goal?
To reach your "goal" Alex, you need to
change your paradigm about matching the average table condition for practice.
Think of it this way; it is a bit like being an all season driver. Learn to
drive your car on dry roads, wet roads, foggy roads, snowy roads, icy roads,
in the dark and in the light. In the same way you must learn to adjust and
adapt your play to different table conditions.
What lies under the felt is up to the
casino抯 whim, often there is nothing under the layout but the hardwood.
Sometimes there will be a few layers of newspaper. Some tables have additional
thin padding of some sort. However, too much cushion makes for a bouncy table
and there is no profit in chasing dice for the casino. If it were me, I抎 have
nothing under the felt and advise you to set up your practice table that way.
The table is one inch solid plywood. The
bounce is a result of the type of layout the casinos choose to use. What you
find on a table today may not be there next month. Layouts get dirty, wear out
and get replaced. Casinos do not purchase their layouts from the gambling
novelty store down the street. There are several styles to choose from
depending on the backing as well as a choice in surface fabric, natural and
synthetic materials to consider.
I suggest that your home practice table is
not directed to a specific table condition or 揳verage?table condition. I
suggest that you practice at home to become skilled with the art of dice
influencing for any table conditions. When you have developed the skill
adequately, it is then a matter of finding your preferred table. However, you
are not limiting yourself in anyway. Last thing I抎 want is to be limited to
only one 損erfect?table. You develop the confidence from having mastered your
skill and as such, you know how to adjust your toss to best fit any table抯
condition. In other words, you do not train to a specific table condition, you
learn to drive on any road surface and be good at it!
Consider how the dice react on the table
surface before playing and then decide if you will invest your time and money.
If you don't like what you see, don't play.
Several years ago, a list of all Las Vegas
casinos and their table conditions were ranked and posted on
. The source of the information in Las
Vegas could not keep the information current because of the constant changes
in tables and table surfaces. In addition, it was subject to one man抯
opinion. Numerous readers disagreed with the findings that were posted. It
seemed that craps players tended to be biased with their preference for
casinos and tables. Who would have guessed? Example: I like playing at the
Mirage. Dice Coach will not play at the Mirage, Soft Touch will play at
Mirage, but prefers Bellagio. Who抯 right?
In the end, it is not about being right or
wrong but mastering the skill so you are able to adjust to the prevailing
table conditions. You will never have home court advantage, that is, the same
conditions in the casino as the conditions you practice on at home. Unless, of
course, you have a table from that casino and the casino maintains their
tables just like your home version. Broaden your concept to encompass a more
holistic view of how to advance your game with dice influencing.
I had read how potential dice setters need to practice
at least a couple times a day to get the muscle memory to throw consistently.
Our local casino (we have several casinos here in my part of Washington, but
this is the only one allowed to have craps tables in our area.) They just
changed out their tables to a new surface-VERY BOUNCY-and really there hasn't
been much money won since the new surfaces got put in. I had practiced the
hardway sets and all the elements taught for controlling the dice, practicing
at least 2-3 times a day for 25 minutes or more. I'm happy to report that I
threw for about 50 minutes, hitting many points and making a couple high
rollers a LOT of money. One even threw me a large chip and bet the place
numbers for me. I was so in the zone that after about 30 minutes I hit a 7 and
was so disappointed, I didn't even realize I had just hit a point the throw
before and we all got paid for the 7! The stickman just shook his head and
said "hey, you're still throwing". I hope I get the chance to do that again,
because I really got to see what you meant about being "in the zone". As soon
as the number was announced after each throw, I just looked at the dice and
stared at them until they returned to me.
Great info on your site!
I just read August Newsletter and thought I would follow up
on Editor's letter about table etiquette with a short story from my recent play. A
somewhat radical solution ?Don抰 try this unless you are on very good terms
with the table crew.
I was at my favorite casino on a Saturday night. Table was
choppy with just a few players and I had been at the table off and on
throughout the day. The nigh crew had just come on board and we exchanged
small talk ( am on first name bases with most of the crew, as we have been
playing together for several years ) then a few more players showed up. The
table went from choppy to warm so the action was picking up. The dice came
around to me for the second time and I established a point, and was landing
the dice where I wanted. After the 2nd throw a group showed up at
the end of the table and proceeded to lay there bets. The big guy in the
center was one of those that leans both elbows on the rail with both hands,
full of chips, dangling over the layout. I asked the stick to have him pull
his hands back, the instruction was given and he pulled his hands back. Two
clear throws of the dice and he is back dangling over the rail. Again the
stick tells him to clear the area , and he reluctantly obeys. Two more throws
and he is at it again. Now the fun starts. I figured obviously he has a
hearing problem, so I purposely throw the dice hi and outside ?missed him
completely with both dice. Now the whole crew knows what I am up to. 1 clear
throw, and now my target moves back into position. Another throw high and
just off target and I make contact with one dice at shoulder height. I got his
attention but obviously it didn抰 sink in as he was back two throws later.
Ok, now I have the range, two dice and a side arm throw, and right on target
?both dice make contact in the middle of his forehead!!! I was getting
ready to run, figuring he was coming over the table after me, but he just
seemed a bit puzzled and decided he would step back a bit from the table so he
would be out of range of the crazy guy with the dice. Didn抰 make much money
on that hand, but provided a great story for the crew for the next couple of
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