I hate to re-post this intro at the beginning of each archival post, but I think it's necessary to help those who stumble on them out of sequence. If you've read it once then you can just scroll down the page and start on the next 20 posts.
When the original Axis Power Craps forum was taken down by the ProBoards folks back in 2010 there were over 25,000 posts archived on the board. Thanks to the diligence of several of our board members we were able to preserve around 3000 of the best posts and move them to the Crapsfest Forum in October 2010. Posting continued over there until we hit the 4000 mark, but due to software issues we ended up taking the Crapsfest board down as well. We finally managed to grab a download of the data base from the Crapsfest forum. The posts that follow in this series are directly from that data base.
That's the good news. The bad news it that this capture is in Word format and it includes every bit of html or bbl code that would have been invisible to you on the old forum. That means you'll see code for font size, color, links, and more. It makes it a tad on the cumbersome side to read. However, panning for gold is a pain in the . . back . . . as well. But the gold dust and nuggets you find after sifting through the sand can be quite rewarding. To you I will simply say - it's worth much more than the price of admission (which happens to be free). Enjoy it.
The other issue we have with the archives is the fact that the data base does not recognize members by their usernames. Instead, it assigns each member a code number - e.g. cfe3c39577. That particular code happens to be $5Bills. I know this because he signs most of his posts. If you do NOT sign your posts then there will be no attribution on these archival posts. I apologize if that's a problem for any of you. Just remember that your posts are your property and we will not "sell" or otherwise use them without your permission. Feel free to post at the end of the threads if you want to claim (or disavow) any of the posts. Alas, it is what it is.
If one of you old-timers is interested in volunteering to go through these threads, remove the html/bbl code, correct spacing, etc. and add attribution where you can figure it out then please let me know. I will be happy to grand you moderator powers on this forum so you can edit threads. PM me here on the board or e-mail me at email@example.com.
The maximum post size on the forum is 60,000 characters, so I am going to have to break these 4000 posts down into smaller chunks. We'll see how this works out. My best guess at this point is that it is going to take around 200 individual posts to re-post the 4000 from the data base. That means this is going to be an on-going process for awhile - since I just don't have a lot of time to devote to the project.
Making comments on the individual threads will be difficult, so I am going to suggest that if something triggers an idea you'd like to discuss that you start a NEW thread on the appropriate forum on the board.
Last of all - I suggest ignoring any links or e-mail addresses listed in these posts as the odds are they are no longer functioning. This is particular true in the case of links to banners, photos, etc.
Here is archival post #5
76 285a3bf6db What Axis Power Craps Students Really Want Prior to each seminar I send a self-assessment survey to all the seminar attendees. Essentially, I look for information on their knowledge of the game, how long attendees have been playing craps, how many sessions a year they play, what their average session but-in is, their level of aversion to risk, their ability influence the dice, and what they really expect to get out of the class. The results of that survey may surprise you. Most of the players who take the class rate themselves as very knowledgeable of the game. On a 1 - 10 basis, the average is 8.8. In academic parlance that's a solid "B." While I am continually impressed by the knowledge of many seminar attendees, I'm often surprised by the fact that many do not understand some of the fundamental aspects of the game. Foremost among the areas where players are lacking: * A basic understanding of dark-side play * How to take money off the table * Ability to read a shooter/table/casino * The real meaning of discipline In short, it appears to me that a significant number of students are only playing half of the game (the right side), and very few really understand the concepts required to win consistently. To that end I'm going to recommend a couple of things to ALL of you. First, study everything you can find on this forum about playing the Don'ts. Seconaly, if you don't already own the following books - get them. “Advanced Craps” by John Patrick and “The Dice Doctor” by Sam Grafstein. Yes, you're going to get some mixed messages from these guys in some aspects of the game, particularly in the area of laying odds. Consider both sides of the coin and settle on something that works for you taking your bankroll and short run risk aversion into consideration. I believe you'll be a much better player - and a more consistent winner in the long run. The typical seminar attendee has been playing craps for just over seven years, and plays an average of eleven sessions per year. I'm not going to go deeply into this subject, other than to note that for the most part, the folks who attend the clinics have been playing the game for a while and are simply looking for a "better gamble." In other words, not many of our students have aspirations to become professional gamblers, or even to supplement their incomes at the casinos to any great extent. Most simply want to lose less and have a fair shot at winning. Unfortunately, the rest of the "survey" pretty much tells the story of why that doesn't happen for a lot of people. The average session buy-in for attendees runs just under $300. Let's think about that for a minute. Start with that "average" session buy in of $285 and plug in a 50% loss limit. That gives you roughly $142 to play with assuming you stick with that loss limit. That pretty much limits you to two or three different plays at the table. You could play $5 Pass Line with $10 odds. You could by-pass the Pass Line and play $6 six and eight. You could play the dark side and make $10 Don't Pass bets. But honestly, if you are a moderately conservative player, that's pretty much the limit of your game. It should come as no surprise to you that it is VERY difficult to win playing at this level. The smallest lapse of discipline, the slightest deviation in sizing bets to bankroll, and you're pretty much done. How would I suggest you address these issues? You can either increase your dedicated bankroll per session and play the same number of sessions - or you can play FEWER sessions with a larger buy in. Let's say you typically go to Vegas and play four sessions a day for three days - with an average buy-in of $300. Assuming you stick with a 50% loss limit and the worst happens and you lose every session, you’d need a minimum casino bankroll of $1800. Instead of playing four sessions a day - why not play two sessions a day with a $600 bankroll per session? First off, you'll be better off physically - you won't be as tired so you'll play sharper. Secondly, you will open up a world of betting opportunities not realistically available to a player with a $300 buy in. By the way, your comp rating will also improve, which may lead to a “hidden” win in the form of free meals and rooms. Given a choice or rating their style of play (aggressive, moderate, conservative) the majority of the players attending the seminars rate themselves on the conservative side of moderate. Speaking off the cuff, I have say that many of these you are being less than honest with yourselves. When is the last time you said, "Take me down," or "Turn my bets off for a couple of rolls," or "Make that $110 inside look like $32 across?" When was the last time you made a transition move to the don'ts instead of chasing losses on the right side? When was the last time you actually stuck to your loss limit? Remember, if YOU don’t manage your money the casino will. Be a tough player in 2009 and make the casino work for their wins. Regarding their ability to influence the dice, on a 1 - 10 scale the average student rated himself a 7.2. That's a solid "C" and I'll pretty much agree with this one. From time to time we'll get a new player in class who has never attempted to influence the dice before. Often, these students struggle. There are a couple of reasons for this - not the least of which are stress and nerves and the pressure to learn in one weekend what others have taken a lifetime to achieve. On the other hand, frequently I'll see a student in class who needs little or no help with his toss. These are tough ones for me, as I have a natural desire to "fix" grips and tosses. But if the toss looks good and is yielding good results, the last thing I want to do is change it. It also surprises me that a lot of players who sign on for the classes refuse to change their grips or shooting positions despite the fact that they demonstrated better results with the suggested changes. This is what I call the “Shorty Small’s Barbecue” syndrome. Those of you who have been around the boards for a while have heard me say it before. “You can take them to Shorty Small’s, but you can’t make them eat the ribs.” The grip issues players have almost always fall into the same four or five categories: * Improper finger alignment * Dice not level or square with the table * Poor release and follow-through * Rushing your toss * Tossing too hard Most of these problems are simply the result of poor practice routines that have reinforced bad habits. The majority of our new students are self-taught or have had poor instruction from one of our competitors, and are unaware of the problem habits they have formed. They often compensate for their toss issues by adjusting their dice sets to secondary or off-axis combinations. While we can make the players aware of these issues, it is difficult to fix the problem in the course of a weekend seminar. The player has to take the information home to his practice rig, put it into practical application, and unlearn his bad habits. Here are the most popular answers to "What do you expect to get out of the class?” ranked in order. * Money management and discipline * Betting Strategies * Better Control of Dice * Meet and Observe Other Precision Shooters To me, this is the most revealing question on the survey. It is the one area where I believe players intuitively KNOW and GIVE the correct answer. Unfortunately, when class time rolls around many of the players’ interests seem to shift to the last two items on the list. They want a quick toss tweak, followed by a live session at the casino with the coaches and their new-found friends. Nevertheless, we should look at all four of these items - and I believe they are ranked appropriately. Let's start with money management and discipline. When you get right down to it, the fact is, lack of MM&D is what beats you. I played craps profitably for many years before undertaking the precision shooting aspect of the game. I did it by sticking to hard and fast loss limits and win objectives, adapting a conservative style of play, and a willingness to walk with ANY win rather then endure any loss. Even today, despite betting more than I should on chicken feeders, I manage to walk away with a win on over 80% of the sessions I play. How? I choose not to lose. If I get ahead $80 in a session and find that I've lost half of that win back to the casino - I'll walk with a $40 win. Most players won't do that. That's not to say I haven’t stood at the table too long or made a same-session re-buy – two definite no-no’s- but these breakdowns in discipline are rare. As you approach the tables in 2009, remember some of the basic things we talked about at the seminars: * Discipline is how you manage your emotions at the table * Never test the depth of the water with both feet * Lose three in a row - time to go * If it ain't fun - it's time to run It works, folks. But you have to use it. Closely related to money management and discipline are your betting strategies. Everyone wants a betting strategy that will help them get money off the table. But to get money off the table you have to be willing to put money on the table when the indicators are there, and take it down in time to reap a profit. We could write an entire book on indicators, reading tables and shooters, and the intuitive side of the game. Some swear by it. Others call it “dice voodoo.” I admit to falling somewhere in the middle ground. For betting strategies, again, read Patrick and Grafstein.. In my opinion, they are as good as they come. As for the other stuff, these lessons are best learned at the casino. Approach the table as if it were a classroom. Look, listen, and learn. Number three on the list is "better control of the dice." You would think that would top the list for a precision shooting seminar. But again, the majority of the players who attend the seminars already have the basics down. They just want to see how everyone else tosses, then get a minor grip adjustment or toss tweak so they can get to the tables and win. Last on the list is the two-edged sword. Students tell me they attend the seminars because they want to meet other precision shooters and play some group sessions at the casino. Yes, we are social animals. We want to get together and have a good time. We think if four or five of us getting together to play is a good thing then nine or ten of us on a table at the same time is twice as good. Trust me, it’s not. We mistakenly think that if we get that many people together on the table - surely SOMEBODY will have a great hand and we'll all get fat on it. But when groups get together like that, the other things we talk about - money management and discipline - seem to go out the window. Out of position shooters don’t want to pass the dice. Their table mates feel guilty if they don’t bet on them - despite the fact they’re out of position. I order my third Bailey’s coffee. Someone else gets a Bloody Mary. Hey, beer is okay for breakfast, right? After all, it's made from cereal. Then someone you know from the board gets the dice and you're feeling confident about their skills. Overconfident. You toss out $160 across on that $285 buy-in and . . . you guessed it . . . seven out, line away. So you dig in your pocket for another hundred because - hey, these are some great shooters. Somebody is bound to catch a hand. Right? Well, you get the picture. While the seminars we do stick primarily to the basics, they continually evolve as we add new material and update old. Yes, we'll continue to focus on dice sets, grips, and tosses - but I want to see more rounded players coming out of this year's session - and that means learning how to play the game - the entire game - and playing a lot smarter. I hope you’ll have the opportunity to join us.
77 0854f0b696 S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G Your Bankroll n this age of failing markets and rising costs a lot of players are finding themselves short of discretionary income. I could lecture you on the importance of establishing and maintaining a separate gaming bankroll, but let’s face it. Most of you won’t do that and those of you who have already done so probably won’t hesitate to use the funds in that account should you need the extra money to pay the light bill, gas up the family automobile, or otherwise maintain the day-to-day life you’ve grown accustomed to. When discretionary income gets tight - discretionary activities like dining out, movies, and (of course) gambling are among the first things folks cut back on. Here are some thought starters on how to stretch your gaming bankroll when you do hit the tables: 1. Start Low and Go Slow. There’s nothing written in stone when it comes to betting. You don’t have to toss out your usual $44, $66, or $110 inside on every player. It’s perfectly okay to start with a single bet and progress from there. You might, for example, start out by placing the sister of the number that was established as the point. When the six is the point place the eight, and vice versa. If you’d like a little more action place just the six and eight and forget about the rest of the inside numbers. After a hit or two spread to $22 inside then play and up and out strategy if the hand continues. Looking for a lower vig way to play? Consider the Heatseeking strategy, starting out with $22 inside and running a place-to-come progression. Played properly you’ll never have more than three units at risk, and you can quickly move into a profitable position. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the game without putting all of your action on the table. 2. Three Little Words. Don’t forget those all-important three little words - “Take me down.” People often call me superstitious when I turn my bets off after a craps number rolls in the middle of a hand. But it’s not superstition that makes me to this. It’s a pre-planned key that tells me to take a break for a couple of rolls. It’s another way to bet less - and that will ultimately save me money. Some players use indicators like the dice rolling off the table as keys. Others use numerical keys, turning their bets off after a certain number of rolls or after they have pressed their action up to a certain level. Whatever key you use - remember than taking money out of action from time to time will enhance your bottom line. 3. Skip a Shooter. The reasoning behind this is the same as in turning your bets off. Just as there’s nothing written that says you have to play the same betting strategy all the time, there’s no reason why you can’s skip a shooter from time to time. If you only bet on every other shooter you reduce your bankroll’s exposure to the house edge by 50%. My suggestion - skip the questionable shooters and bet on the really good ones - and against the really bad ones. 4. Take those Bathroom Breaks. Every DI should take a break and head to the restroom when the dice move to the opposite end of the table. That gets you out of the action and gives you time to wash your hands before handling the dice. 5. Focus on Free Odds. If you want to reduce the house edge to the absolute minimum then focus most of your action on the Free Odds bet. We’ll have more details on why in the Free Odds article later in this newsletter. 6. Remember the Dealers. It’s only natural for players to get conservative with their tokes when cash is tight. But remember, a good dealer will make money for you. If you want good service then throw out an occasional toke. If you get good service then tip again. All of these suggestions are really just another form of money management. With disciplined play you’ll not only survive with a smaller bankroll - you’ll become a better player in the process. What do you have to lose - other than less money?
78 6aa5ff477b Tournament Craps Every Spring a young man's thoughts turn to love - and an old man's thoughts turn to the Hilton Craps Tournament in Vegas. And with the tournaments come the ever-present questions on the best way to play. The answer, of course, is like a lot of answers in this game. It all depends. First let’s take a look at a typical craps tournament format. Most tournaments require entry fees ranging from $300 - $500 or more. For that entry fee the casinos usually provide you with a hotel room, all meals, a welcome reception and some sort of tournament gift. In addition, all of the money received as entry fees is typically paid out to the winning players in the form of tournament cash prizes. That means a small local tournament can have a prize as high as $10,000, and a large casino mega-resort can offer prizes totaling $1 million or more. Depending on how many players sign on for the tournament, there may be four or five tables running for three to four rounds. Generally, the top two players from each round advance to the next round, until the final table is filled and the competition begins for the big prize. In this type of tournament, every player who advances to the final table may receive some sort of cash prize, and the top two or three will finish in the big money. Before you play, familiarize yourself with the rules. Rules differ from tournament to tournament, and if you break one of the rules, another tournament player may complain and request you be disqualified from play. Some of the more common rules require that you to have a pass or don’t pass bet on every play. There will be limits on bet sizes, and time limits on how long you have to place your bets. Most tournaments mandate that your chips must remain in full view so that everyone can see how much you have won or lost. And players are not permitted to leave the table during tournament play. The purpose of this last rule is to prevent two players on separate tables from collaborating by combining tournament chips on a single table. Tournament play is a bit different than when you’re normal craps play. You are still playing against the house, but you are also playing against the other players at the table. Your objective is to end up with the most money at the end of the round. Each round consists of a specific number of rolls – or a specific length of time. Since you are competing against the other players, you should keep a sharp eye on the other players’ racks and betting strategies. A common strategy is to bet the opposite of the chip leader if you get behind. For example, if the chip leader is betting the Pass Line with Max odds, you would bet the Don’t Pass with Max odds. Should his wager lose and yours win, you close the ground between you twice as fast. Most tournaments wins are decided on the last two or three tosses of the round. A common ploy some players use is to take down all of their action on the final toss and play it in the Come. If the seven shows – the player doubles his stake. If not, odds are the chips will “travel” to a box number. Since all chips are counted and totaled after the last toss, the only exposure the player has is to the 2, 3, or 12. Another common strategy, particularly among players who are well out of the hunt, is to make a maximum bet on the two or twelve, or to attempt an all-in the field parlay. These “lightening strike” strategies can work – but it is rare that they do. Tournaments are not for everyone. They’re basically marketing strategies the casinos use to get players into the casino. But they are fun to play, and if you find yourself in a position where you are going to have to pay for a hotel room anyway, it might be a fun way to reduce expenses. Who knows? You might even win the big one.
79 d889a58112 The Difference in Craps and Blackjack Ignoring the obvious, one is a card game and one is a dice game, there are a lot of differences in craps and blackjack - just as there are a lot of similarities. But there’s one major difference. A skilled dice influencer with a long-run SRR of 1:7 has an advantage on the individual bets that is pretty much constant if he does everything correctly. Oh, he will win some and lose some due to the variability inherent to the game. But over the long run it will all work out to his advantage. A skilled card counter may have an advantage over the house when the composition of the deck is correct, but that advantage varies with the composition of the deck, how many decks are being dealt and how deep the dealer is dealing into the shoe, and the rules of the specific table he is playing. Therefore a card counter must effectively range his bets so that he maximizes his action when the deck is in his favor. The advantage craps player, on the other hand, only has to resize his bets as his bankroll increases or decreases. His edge is constant. Let’s say our skilled dice controller tosses a six. On the next toss he throws another six. Then he tosses another, and another. Guess what? The dice still have the same number of sixes on them. The shooter hasn’t exhausted the supply. He may go on to toss fifteen or twenty sixes in a single hand and the dice will still be the same. But what about a single deck blackjack game where all four aces have been dealt? Think you’re going to be dealt a blackjack on the last hand before shuffle-up? Not a chance. Here’s another way craps differs from blackjack. Craps has one bet - the Free Odds bet - that actually offers a correct payoff. The house has no advantage over the players on the Free Odds bet. And if the shooter is a skilled dice influencer the Free Odds bet offers him a significant positive EV. After all, there’s no house edge to overcome. Blackjack has no bet that offers a correct payoff. Yes, you can double after a split, but you cannot add additional money to an existing wager once the first cards are dealt. In craps you can put more money on the table all the way up to table max. Craps even has a bet - the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come - that allows you to bet that you will lose. The closest thing to that blackjack has is the insurance bet. Speaking of the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come - have you noticed how closely blackjack players resemble wrong way craps players? You don’t see them bumping knuckles with their neighbor or exchanging high fives. When was the last time you a blackjack player - or a dark side craps player - cheering at the table? Yeah, they are a quiet lot. So why bring up the subject of blackjack in a craps article? Simply because blackjack is one of just a handful of casino games that CAN be played with a positive expectation. Even if you cannot count cards, blackjack offers an extremely low vig to those who can manage to play correct strategy. And sometimes having a second game is a good way to reduce some of the heat you’re getting at the craps table. As dice influencers we have a huge advantage blackjack players will never have. With skill and practice we can develop a constant edge at our game. No, you won’t win on every toss. Craps is still a volatile game. But you can stack the deck in your favor.
80 81af5e3e3c Partner Play for Casino Craps Think about it. Why do you play craps? If you’re like me you play for two reasons. First, you want to win some of that money the casino keeps in the cage. Second, you enjoy the action. It’s just a fun game, and playing with a partner is a great way to win MORE money and have MORE fun. Let’s look at partner play from the winnings point of view. How many times have you tossed a great hand only to count your chips and discover that you didn’t make any money? It’s not unusual for a dice influencer to get so deep in the zone while tossing that they ignore their betting. Even veterans like me fall victim to this. In our recent Emeritus member hook-up in Albuquerque I decided I would put my bets on auto-pilot so I didn’t have to concern myself with them during a long hand. I told the dealer that I would be pressing every other hit, regardless of which number rolled. Throughout the afternoon I tossed several hands in the high teens and low twenties. All of them fell well short of their potential from a winnings standpoint. Oh, I won money. But I left way too much on the table. Playing a simple $5 Pass Line bet with max odds and pressing every other hit beginning with the first box number tossed, over the course of a twenty number hand I won roughly $300. But when I sevened out I had $55 invested in my line bet with odds, $50 on the four, $35 on the five, $42 on the six, $18 on the eight, $10 on the nine and $25 on the ten. My net profit for the hand - around $65. At the other end of the table one of the local players had made over $400. Had I been paying more attention to my betting and less on my throwing I might have made more profit. Then again, my shooting may have suffered when I shifted my attention to my betting. Partner play - and I’m talking about one partner that you play with regularly - can help take this issue off the table. Why? Because when playing with a partner using a shared bankroll you can pre-plan your betting strategies to include regressions and keys to turn bets off during your hands. And in the end you can turn more profit. Let’s run through an example. And feel free to check my math on this. If I mis-pay a bet it won’t be the first time. We’ll assume you and a partner decide to play with a total bankroll of $2000. It’s a $10 3-4-5X odds game. Each of you buys in for $1000. Each of you plays a pre-determined strategy when the other is shooting. With a total bankroll of $2000 the shooter could play the pass line and take max odds. The shooter’s partner could start out with $160 across working on the come out. The shooter sets a point and the partner collects from $35 to $50 and comes down off the point. Remember, they’re playing partners and they already have the point on the Pass Line. Coming down off the place bet on that number reduces your total exposure to the seven. For the sake of this example we’ll say the shooter’s point is ten. The partner collected $50 (less $1 vig) on the come-out win and took down his $25 ten. That’s a net $49 win. The shooter takes 3X odds giving him a total of $40 on the Pass Line and in odds. The ten had netted the team $9 on the Come Out. Next the shooter tosses an eight. Since he has no action except the line bet and odds he has nothing to think about but his next shot. He stays in his shooting zone while his partner collects $35 and says “same bet.” On this third toss the shooter throws a five. Again the partner collects $35. That gives the team a total of $79 in winnings, and it’s time for the partners to regress. The partner says “Bring all my action down then give me an $18 six and eight.” This gives the team a total of $76 action and a $3 guarantee for the hand. Now they’re prepared to win. They have three numbers working - the six, the eight, and the ten on the Pass Line. Let’s say they picked the right number to place and the shooter tosses an eight next. It pays $21. The partner locks up the win and you have a $24 guarantee for the series - and we’re only four tosses into the hand. On the fifth and sixth tosses the shooter throws an eleven followed by another five. Then, on toss seven he tosses a six. It pays $21. Since the five has shown up twice we’ll go ahead and place the five for $15 and lock up $6. Total guarantee for the series is not $30 and we have $91 action total. The eight shows up again on toss eight. It pays $21. Let’s press the eight $6 and lock up $15. We now have a $45 win guaranteed and $106 action. On roll nine the shooter scores a Pass Line win by tossing a hard ten. He locks up $70. The combined win jumps to $115. The team is in fat city. Once again the team is working on the Come Out. The shooter gets a Pass Line bet and the puck moves to the eight. He takes $50 odds. Meanwhile his partner collects $28 on the eight. The guaranteed win goes to $$143. But the shooter has an additional $20 in free odds compared to the last hand so we’ll reduce that guarantee to $123 total. At this point the partner executes a pre-planned regression. He has a total of $65 in remaining place action. He tells the dealer to “Make it look like $34 inside excluding the point” and locks up an additional $31. The combined guaranteed win jumps to $154 and all of the action on the layout - $94 total - is paid for. On the next toss the shooter sevens out. End of hand - and if the partners colored up and moved on each would have won $77 on the exchange. If they continue to play, the dice move over to the partner, who is the next shooter, and we repeat the entire process. Now, partners should also have a plan on how to handle other shooter’s at the table. You might consider playing a doey-don’t, with one player making $10 Pass Line bets with single odds while the other player plays $25 Don’t Pass bets and places the six and eight for $12 each for one hit and down. Or you might want to have different strategies when betting on Randies and known DI’s. But the key is to have a defined strategy that each player follows meticulously. Is this kind of play fun? Well, it’s certainly fun when you head to the cage. Then you can take a break, grab a comped meal from one of the casino restaurants, recap your adventure and plan the next one. Knowing you don’t have to worry about betting when you’re the shooter also takes off a lot of the pressure to perform. And sharing these good times with a friend makes tossing a great hand all the more enjoyable.
81 b40e37d90b Hook Up Etiquette Who would you hook up with? Who would you avoid? And how did you reach a decision to avoid one person or another. The fact is, most of us are willing to hook up with just about anyone on the boards at least once. Whether or not we hook up a second time depends largely on the actions of the person we hook up with. Let’s face it. People are different and sometimes personalities clash in real life just as they do on the boards from time to time. You may not like a person’s politics or the kind of car they drive. You may think they have bad breath or are lacking in morals. Or perhaps they were simply rude, ignorant, or both. Hey - it happens. No one gets along with everyone. And while craps is considered a community game - there are plenty of folks out there who are better suited to being loners. Hooking up with someone for the first time? Think you might want to hook up with this person again someday? Then remember that of all the players in the casino - craps players probably have the most superstitions of all. With that in mind, I thought I recap some of the basic rules of etiquette that should be followed if you don’t want to annoy the other players. First off, you need to know how to play the game. If you don’t know the rules don’t expect the person you are hooking up with to teach you at the table. Your table-mates have their own agenda, and it should be making money for themselves. If you need lessons buy a book, read up on basic strategy on a website, or take one of those “learn to play craps” lessons the casino offers from time to time. But don’t ask other players how to run your bets. Secondly, you need to know when and how to buy in. The correct time to buy in is at the end of a game - after a player has either made his pass or sevened out. You should never drop new money on the layout in mid-game. It stops the action as the cash is counted in. The exception to this rule - in some markets you can make “cash plays” wagers. If you want to toss out a hundred dollar bill and tell the dealer you want “$100 outside” odds are no one will be upset. But if you toss out $100 and ask for $51 inside - a bet that a break-in dealer may fumble with - and you have to wait for the bets to be set up and your change handed off - I can pretty much assure you that someone at the table is going to be upset with you. Get your bets in while the dice are in the center. Or, as I say from time to time - get those late bets in early. Nothing is more annoying than watching the stick man bring the dice BACK to the center and stopping the game to set up a $1 hardway just because you had a hunch. Again, it’s all about keeping a rhythm going. Dice are out - shooter has ‘em. That means the table is no longer booking bets. Your hands should be up off the table and out of the path of the dice. Every veteran shooter will tell you that if the dice hit someone’s hands they’ll roll seven. Yeah, it is just a superstition. But you don’t want to be facing the crowd after the dice hit your hand and the seven showed. You’ll see calmer lynch mobs. Is it your turn to shoot? Again, don’t slow the game down or do things to aggravate the dealers. Set the dice quickly and get them down the table. And don’t deliberately bounce the dice off the dealer’s chip stacks. It annoys him, and eventually you are going to want him to pay your bets. Likewise, when you toss the dice get both of them all the way down the table and off the back wall. That’s the rule. Not following it simply draws heat for everyone. Last of all, don’t melt down over something as simple as an underpaid bet. I’ve seen players fly apart over being shorted a buck. If the dealer shorts you on the payoff simply hold the chips out in your hand and explain that you think you may be a little short on that last payoff. The dealer will tell you to drop it back on the table and he will take care of the problem. Want to be a class guy? Tell him not to hold the dice up - just settle up after the roll. Then when the box Okays correcting the bet take the extra buck you just made and toss it out as a dealer bet. Remember, hook up sessions mirror of life itself. You may have good neighbors and bad, but you can still get along if you send the right messages. Givers are given things - and takers get taken. Over the long run you get out of life what you are willing to put into it.
82 17c6c0d165 The High Roller Heat Seeker For many years I’ve recommended my Heat Seeking Craps Strategy as a savvy way for players with limited bankrolls to approach the game. The strategy, which combines flat betting with place betting and allows a player to gradually work into higher limit bets with very little downside risk -has a number of advantages that work well for players on a budget. When played properly you’ll never have more than three units at risk per hand - and in fairly short order you can lock up a profit and play from a position of power. As originally designed, this was a strategy developed to give you a conservative way to bet on the random rollers while waiting for the dice. As such, it incorporates certain “qualifiers.” Many of these are superstition based, but that’s fine. If they delay your entry into the game by one roll then that’s one less roll where your bets are exposed to the house edge. I'll post the original Heat Seeker on another thread and you can review the entire list of qualifiers. But for now let's assume your bettor has qualified the shooter and is ready to toss in some action. For this play we’re going to assume the guy doing the betting is a high roller who buys in for $3000. He likes to keep 10% of his bankroll on the table, so he’ll be looking to get $300 out there in fairly short order. He takes that $300 and places it in the front rack, then sets his remaining $2700 in the back rail. As our player wins he will place the winning chips in the front rack along side his action chips. When the dollar value of the chips in the front rack exceeds $350 he has the choice of stepping up his play to the next level. Our player watches the shooter come out, then toss a couple of box numbers, including one repeater. That’s his queue to get some action on the table, so he drops $120 on the layout and tells the dealer Place the six and eight for $60 each. Then he bets $50 in the Come. At this point, due to the hedge effect of the Come bet, the shooter has a net $70 at risk to win $70 on the six or eight. There are ten ways to win on the combined six and eight bet, versus six ways to lose on the seven. In essence, the shooter is booking the house instead of the other way around. On the next toss of the dice one of four things happens. The shooter makes his pass, he throws a box number, he throws a craps or eleven, or he sevens out. If he sevens out, the series ends with a net $70 loss. If he throws a craps number and you lose your Come bet you must stop betting until you note another positive indicator. If he makes his Pass or throws any box number your Come bet will travel to that number. Let’s assume the next number to roll is the nine and continue with our play. The come bet travels to the nine. The player now has three units at risk, $60 each on the six and eight plus a $50 flat bet on the nine. The dealer asks him if he wants odds. The answer is no. Instead the player drops another $50 on the Come, taking advantage of the hedge effect of the Come bet to reduce his exposure to two $60 units. That leaves him $80 in action chips in the rack and puts a total of $220 in action. The shooter tosses the dice and rolls the six. A couple of things happen at this point. First of all, the $50 Come Bet travels to the six. Next the dealer will pay our player $70 for the $60 six place bet and bring the bet down. Our player will put his $70 winnings plus $10 of the original bet back in the rack, bringing his action chip total back up to $160. Then he will drop the remaining $50 in the Come to hedge his two flat bets and the Place action on the eight. By this time the stickman will have tried valiantly to get our player to take odds on his Come bets. The box man may even have piggybacked on those recommendations. But the player is steadfast. “I’m playing a little system I like,” he says. And that’s that. This time the shooter rolls a four. The $50 Come bet travels to the four. The player now has four bets on the layout - three contract Come bets that consist of $50 each on the four, six, and nine, plus a $60 Place bet on the eight. This is the highest point of risk in this strategy. The player has two options. First, to risk all Four units with no further Come action until one of his bets repeats and is paid, or to come down off the place bet on the eight and continue to Come bet. Let’s assume our player does the former and assume the eight rolls next. Our player collects an additional $70 for the place bet and adds it to his action rack - bringing the total up to $250. But since the bet on the eight does not come down he makes no additional wagers. Now let’s say the six repeats on the next roll. Since the six is a Come bet our shooter is paid $50 and the $50 Come bet comes down. At this point the shooter locks up $40 with in his action rack, bringing his front rack total to $290, then hands $60 to the dealer and re-places the six. Why? Because in the Heat Seeker we always want the six and eight working UNLESS there are four or more working bets on the layout. If the player finds himself with more than four bets working he must come down off the six or eight, or both. Suppose the shooter makes his pass and throws the five on the next toss. Our shooter wants to do a quick tally so he notes he has $50 flat bets working on the four and nine, plus $60 each in Place Action on the six and eight. If he were to bring down the $120 action on the six and eight and drop it in his action rack he would find himself with a $110 win guarantee for the series. And since our shooter made his Pass, under the Heat Seeking Craps strategy the player can now make a Pass Line wager. Our player makes a $50 Pass Line bet. This provides a partial hedge for his established Come bets and leaves him with just $50 at risk. The shooter gets the dice again and establishes a four as the point. The dealer pays the player’s $50 Come bet and hands off $100. The player takes $20 from his action chips, adds it to the $100 and Places the six and eight for $60 each. Then we start the entire process again. When those long, hot hands come along and there’s a profit in the rack the player has the option of adding odds on subsequent hits -always watching those action chips and focusing on keeping more than $300 in the rack. Once again, the entire Heat Seeking Craps Strategy can be found at the link included above. The bottom line is this simple place/come betting strategy allows the player to see plenty of action while minimizing risk. It forces the bets to pay for themselves first while taking advantage of the lowest vig bets on the layout. Will it win 100% of the time? Of course not. But long, hot hands are what most players are looking for in the game. The Heat Seeking Craps Strategy will help you survive until the hot shooter comes along. Then - it’s money in your pocket.
83 a3154eabd5 Let'sGet Back to Bankroll If you’re continuing to do the same old thing at the tables year after year and you’re not getting the kind of results you want then maybe it’s time to do something different. It’s easy to get in what some people call their “comfort zone.” But sometimes you have to get a little uncomfortable to make progress. Sometimes what we think of as a comfort zone is nothing more than a rut. And as Zig Ziegler once said, “a rut is nothing but a grave with the ends kicked out.” In my “One Last Hand Before Calling it a Night” series on another thread I’ve been comparing different betting strategies to see how they play out in a mock casino hand. And despite the fact that I’ve demonstrated a pretty fair SRR in those hands, every hand is not a winner. What? You mean you can play with a positive expectation and still lose? Of course you can. Professional card counters sometimes take horrendous losses. It’s no different than a “bad beat” in poker. You had an edge. You made the right moves. But the other guy got lucky. And thanks to things like variability and volatility we can still expect to see significant bankroll swings in any casino game - positive expectation or not. In fact, volatility has a much greater impact on short run play than EV. That volatility, which is a function of standard deviation, is why it is entirely possible to bet profitably on the randies over the short run. Yeah, I knew that would get your attention. I'm not suggesting you rush out and bet on every shooter at the table. Over the short run you may win or lose betting on randy, but over the long run you're pretty much assured of a loss betting on negative expectation shooters. If you're mathematically inclined and would like to read some supporting documentation to that effect then feel free to Google the "square root of time" rule on the effect of time on your bankroll under different risk models (boring). It's a "dry" subject but one you need to know. Betting on DI's may also result in a short run win or loss. But again, falling back on the same rules, you're almost assured of a WIN over the long run if you play with positive EV. I said "almost assured" because it is possible to make decisions that pretty much assure you of long run losses - despite playing with positive EV. What are some of those decisions? Well, there are several but today we’re going to take a look at just one: [b:a3154eabd5]Under-Capitalized Play[/b:a3154eabd5] What do I mean by under-capitalized play? Simply put, you do not have enough bankroll to sustain your level of betting. You must have sufficient bankroll to manage the volatility issues. And you will experience volatility. An individual playing an even money game with no advantage or disadvantage can still expect to have about five consecutive losing sessions out of every thirty sessions played. You will, in fact, have more than five losing sessions total, but those five will come back-to-back. Let’s say you have a $300 loss limit for your sessions. Five in a row will set you back $1500. If you are playing with about a 1% advantage then you may play two or three times as many sessions without hitting a stretch to five consecutive losers. But you will still experience long dry spells where you cannot win. And remember, we're only talking about consecutive losing sessions here - not the odd session or two here and there where you experience a downturn. According to 2005 Las Vegas Convention Bureau statistics, the average gambler brings $627 to play with. If you're traveling with a non-gambling spouse or significant other then you're probably packing about $1250 between you. Since most DI's consider themselves to be serious recreational gamblers I'll make some allowances and double that. We'll assume that you're packing $2000 so play with in Sin City. That string of five consecutive loss limit sessions could put quite a dent in that, couldn’t they? Now let me ask you another question. Do you have $2000 in bankroll to go play right now? I'm not talking about the rent money or the car payment money or the little bit of cash advance money you have left on your credit cards after the holidays. I'm talking about $2000 in cold, hard, disposable cash? I suspect many of us don’t. Nevertheless, we'll use that number. The average Las Vegas trip lasts three-and-a-half days, and recreational players typically get in about four hours play a day. DI's, of course, put in more time than that but we'll go with that number and assume it's broken down into three sessions lasting about an hour and twenty minutes each. That's around ten sessions on your three-and-a-half day trip. Based on YOUR half of that $2000 trip bankroll, that allows you about $200 per session to play with. If you maintain a 50% los limit then you really have only have $100 to risk. And with that small of a bankroll I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t have to wait thirty sessions before experiencing five consecutive losers. Know what the number one cause of failure with new businesses? Under-capitalization. And an under-capitalized DI is no different than any other business. Without working capital - you’re never going to make it. The gap between your “want to” and your wallet is just too great. So what do you do? You have to begin at the beginning. Any good business begins with a business plan. Begin by taking time to commit your objectives as a DI in writing. Perhaps that objective includes a couple of trips to Vegas as well as play at your local casinos. Put that in the plan. Maybe you want to attend a craps clinic to improve your skills. Put that in the plan. How about taking on the task of training another shooter - your significant other, perhaps - to take up some of the slack during your casino sessions? Put that in the plan as well. Next, look around at others who are successfully doing what you want to do with your craps business. How have they structured their businesses? How are they capitalized? Is there a lot of competition in your area? Will another successful DI in the market bring added heat to everyone? What if your local casino suddenly decided no more dice setting? Would that impact your business? Based on your historical return on investment, how much do you think you can earn by working your plan? What was your bankroll level when earning that return? How much return do you want to make under the new plan? How much bankroll will you need to get there? Remember, if you managed to grind out a $1000 win for the year playing with a $2500 bankroll then all you have to do to win $100,000 a year is play with a $250,000 bankroll and adjust your bets proportionately. Once you’ve established the framework of your business plan go ahead and put it into action. Look for creative ways to build your bankroll. There’s a buyer for every piece of garage sale junk you own over on E-bay. Those aluminum cans you toss in the trash can be recycled for cash. That cash back you get on your credit cards at the end of the year can fund another six and eight. And a portion of you income tax refund can fall right to your bottom line. Then, when your bankroll is where it needs to be, adjust your betting strategy accordingly. Risk a little more when you have an edge. Quit betting on the random rollers. Focus on surviving the short run so you can experience the joys of winning over the long run. Remember, the day is going to come when you are going to have five - or maybe more - losing sessions in a row. If you have sufficient capital you will survive. And if you’re playing with a positive expectation you will eventually prosper. But it's only when you start to look at your play within the frame of years of play - and perhaps even a lifetime of play - that you really start to see long run profits.
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"Get in, get up, and get gone."