Goal Setting and Casino Craps

Every January we get a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over with a fresh set of “resolutions.”   And, of course, those resolutions fall by the wayside by mid-February for most of us.  But you can sit down today and write down a set of goals to complete for this week, this month, and for the rest of the year and actually achieve something.  Why is sitting down and write down goals NOW instead of  “resolutions” in January important?  The word “resolution” is derived from the word “resolve, ” and resolve is nothing more than will power.  You’ve decided to do something but it takes will power to get it done.  But GOALS – Goals are different.  Goals require planning for success, taking action on that plan, checking for progress along the way, making adjustments as needed and patting yourself on the back for every win.  Goals are hard work.  Resolutions – not so much.

If you could resolve to win at casino craps and then do it, we would all be consistent winners.  But winning consistently is about much more.  For example, being in control of your set, grip, pick-up and toss is simply a matter of trusting the training you have done in your home practice sessions.  It is a matter of allowing your subconscious mind to take over your muscles so they can do what you trained them to do.

Instead of coming up with a list of craps resolutions for 2020, why not develop a plan for success.  It all begins with effective goal setting.   Here’s a crash course for those of you who need a primer.

1.  Understand why you play the game.  Why do you play craps?  I ask this question at seminars all the time.  Did you come here to have fun or did you come here to win?  Winning is fun – but a lot of guys still seem to have fun but walk away broke.

What is it about the game that makes you willing to spend hours at a time standing at a craps table?   Most players take up the game for certain reasons, but eventually find they are playing for different reasons.   Entertainment, camaraderie, and the chance to win money are all given as reasons to take up the game. But for the majority of players, craps is not really about winning or losing money.  The money is only how we keep score.  Craps is really about learning to control YOU.  As you master the game you learn about yourself – your strengths and weaknesses, and how to use and overcome them to become successful. Craps is a gateway to discovering powers and skills we all have, even when we think we don’t.  What do you want from the game of craps? What do you want from yourself?   The first step is to decide on your own personal motives.  Do you want to play for your own reasons – or someone else’s?  The choice is yours.

2.  Formulate a plan to achieve your purpose.   The first time I drove from Dallas to Las Vegas I had to have a map.  But in order to use a map it’s not enough just to know your destination.  You also have to know where you are starting from.  Without that information I might have ended up in South Dakota.  And even with a map, there were several routes to choose from.  Some were shorter, some longer.  Some were scenic, some more tedious.   So before I left Dallas, I formulated a plan that would get me where I was going in the easiest, most enjoyable way.   The same is true with your craps plan.  Formulate a plan that you will enjoy executing on a daily/weekly basis.   If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it.  And remember, the mental rewards come in the process of accomplishing, not in the accomplishment itself.

3.  Measure your results along the way.  There’s an old saying in the business world:  What gets measured gets done.  When you achieve your goal, whether it is a high sevens-to-rolls ratio, a sixty-number hand in the casino, or something as simple as a modest $100 win, you can then decide if that is all you want. If you want more, you simply set another goal.  One of my Facebook friends has a goal to sin $100,000 a year at craps.  Sounds absurd to a lot of you.  But I can guarantee you he’ll win a lot more than the player who’s goal is to win $1000 for the year.  Will he have losing session?  We all do.  ALL precision shooters have sessions where they toss the dice well and still lose money, or toss the dice poorly and win big.  Which scenario do you think would provide the most enjoyment?  Thinking that only a perfect on-axis toss will bring you the most enjoyment is the route to failure. To improve your toss and play better is an ongoing process that begins with enjoying yourself, which ultimately results in improved play.

4.  Acknowledge and reward your success.  If your goal is to win a particular amount of money and you fail, acknowledge that the training you put into that effort was still successful.  You might not have hit your win objective for that day, but your efforts will lead you to another, perhaps bigger win.  And when you hit that win – reward yourself.  Sure, you want to lock up a large percentage of that win in your “401G” gambling bankroll account.  But treat yourself to something special as well.  And while you’re at it – treat your significant other to a little something nice as well.

Remember, you cannot control every factor at the table.  You can only put forth your best effort, which ultimately makes you a winner.  Now is the time to program your craps game for this year and the future. Your current thoughts – the crap between your ears – are going to create that future. Give your brain the tools it needs to get the results you want.

Remember, in order to set good goals, you must be able to measure your success; the goals must be meaningful to you; they must be under your control, they must be positive, and they must be reachable.

Your  Craps Game Plan:

1.       Set goals that you truly want to achieve.

2.       Set a reasonable date for achieving your goals

3.       Set interim “check-points”  to measure progress.

4.       Make an action plan for each goal listing the steps you area going to take to achieve it.

5.       Set a pace that is comfortable so you won’t feel any stress or anxiety trying to achieve the goal.

6.       Acknowledge the smallest successes. If you take care of the small goals, the larger ones will just happen.

7.       When you accomplish the goal, congratulate yourself on the success – then set a new goal.

Remember, if you don’t have goals you are lost.  You don’t know where you’re going.  And if you don’t know where you are going you are guaranteed to end up in the wrong place.