What George Washington could Teach us About Craps

I have no idea if the Father of our Country ever played craps or tossed a pair of dice.  However, he did have a few quotes in his career that I think could be aptly applied to our game.  Let’s drag a few out and see if I can make a connection.

  1. “It is far better to be alone than to be in bad company.”  Yeah, that one strikes a chord right off the bat.  How many times have you colored up and left a table because the average IQ of the other players is lower than the total number of pips on the dice (that’s 21 on one die – 42 on a pair)?  More times than I can count with both shoes off.  Last week I had to leave a table because I simply couldn’t stand to watch any more stupid bets being made.  The only way to retain any semblance of sanity was to get the heck away from them and move on.
  2.  “We should not look back unless it is for the purpose of deriving useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting from dearly bought experience.”  Okay, I could have said that in fewer words, but that’s how they spoke back before they had OMG’s and WFT’s.  LOL.  Bottom line, if you screw up at the table – don’t swell on that crap.  Get over it.  Just don’t make the same mistake again.  As I tell potential students from time to time – free lessons are often the most expensive ones.
  3. “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”  Oh, yeah.  Let me get on my scooter and ride.  In the DI world we hear all kinds of excuses as to why one player or another is having an “off day.”  For one person it’s the microfiber layout.  For another it’s the underlay the casino uses.  Then there’s the “bad dice” excuse.  I know, I heard it used this week.  “They got them bad dice in play that grab the felt and kick them over on the seven all the time.”  Hey!  That’s what casino dice with razor edges and sharp corners are supposed to do – randomize the roll.  That’s what an underlay is supposed to do (actually, it’s supposed to extend the life of the layout – randomizing the roll is a side effect).  That’s what microfiber does (actually – the casinos use microfiber because you can print four color graphics on it versus traditional felt – randomizing the roll is a side effect).  By the say, I actually hear a player say last week that he preferred microfiber over felt – which tells me that a new generation of craps player just hasn’t had the experience with felt that us old birds have had. But at the end of the day – these things are all just bad excuses.  Instead of offering a bad excuse – go home and practice.
  4. “The harder the conflict the greater the triumph.”  This is a great one for dice influencers and those who are just starting to undertake the DI challenge.  No one ever said the journey to dominance in the game would be easy.  It takes hundreds of thousands of hours of practice, practice, practice to attain the kind of perfection I see in some of the top shooters around.  I know players who practice one to two hours a day – every day – and have been keeping up that schedule for twenty years.  Even though they are playing at a masters level – they’re still working on their game.  They still practice.
  5. “Happiness depends more upon the internal frame of a person’s own mind, than on the externals in the world.”  I thought I’d cover this one last because it mirrors my old “Craps Between Your Ears” discussion.  There are many ways to win the mental game of craps.  I like to use a simple self-hypnosis technique to get into a relaxed state of mind, then employ a neuro-linguistic programming technique for visualizing the results I want to attain before heading in to the casino.  In the casino, I focus on building on prior experiences and wins through accurate record keeping and the use of positive affirmations.  For me, it’s an old salesman’s trick that transferred into my craps game well.  It could work for you too.

Turns out old George might have been a pretty savvy gambler.  He certainly took some risks in the 1770’s that worked out for him.  Personally, I’m glad he did.