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Advantage Rules:  
BY:  Michael Vernon

What does it take to be an advantage player? It is using numerous ploys that provide a slight edge and come together as one winning session.  
 
A while back, I received an email from an old friend. He was a boxman for a Las Vegas casino and is now retired. As politely as I can say, he was a bit smug when it came to beating the casino. He shared his perspective of the game after his years watching the dice. His letter to me follows.  
 
Dear Michael, I gotta ask you if you truly believe what you were saying about setting the dice? I've watched many a dice setter for the past 10 years, and I've yet to see anyone do any better with setting them as not.  
 
Energy, there has to be, without a doubt. Focus has to be there as well. I've seen people come up to the table with nothing but intention and walk away winners and never once set the dice. I understand what you are saying, but I would say that being centered and grounded is more effective than worrying about which number to put the dice on. In my mind, it's a question of timing and balance.  
 
As I'm sure you are aware, they have a saying at the crap table, "It's bad luck to be superstitious!" I know this to be true. Anyway, just curious about your feeling on that.  
Ross " the pit-boss"  
 
"The Pit-Boss" makes several interesting observations. Essentially, he doubts that there is much, if anything, to be gained from setting the dice. Ross does point out several essential elements for winning: the presence of energy, strong intention, being centered, being grounded, and the issue of timing and balance. He also used the word worrying which I'd replace with playing detached instead of worry.  
 
Ross made a short list of what I consider advantage plays. When it comes to gaming, I want every advantage. All that I teach has to do with gaining an edge. I say, "an edge, is an edge, is an edge". No advantage stands alone. It is like the cable that supports the bridge that spans the Golden Gate of San Francisco. The Cable is some 36 inches in diameter and made of wrapped bundles of wires, twisted together. It is the combined strength of the many wires, working together, that creates the marvel of the world famous bridge. Thus, it is with all the things that combine and provide for the strength of an expert dice game.  
 
Playing centered and grounded are a couple of advantages I like that were mentioned by Ross. To play centered and grounded, you place yourself in the present moment. It allows you a clearer perception of the events going on around you. For example, you can train yourself to "feel" when you are in the groove. When you are in the groove, your rhythm and toss are on track. You can feel it. Your are dialed in. You will know a good toss from a bad toss when the dice leave your hand. It is that feeling, a kind of knowing when the dice are going to drop down a winner 7, or land on the winning point.  
Ross said that it is a question of timing. He is correct. You ask the question as a perception of the energy present. Reading the energy through perception provides invaluable information like timing. Timing is arriving at the right place, with the right action, at the right time. At the end of every game that is what it comes down to, being in the right game, at the right time and knowing what do when it is all happening.  
 
Ross is correct about the advantage of intention, focus and energy. Among the more overlooked advantages, these three are so simple to employ. The biggest hands I have witnessed came from players just tossing'em down the layout. However, they were focused, they were intent and they came to the table exuding a winning energy. What I am saying is the dice will act out of probability in any one's hand. In my years of experience, it has consistently been from the hand of a shooter exhibiting stronger energy. In those long hands, there was consistency with the toss, confidence, focus and intention. There was nothing whimsical about just getting the dice down the table with a tumble and let's see what happens. It is that consistency expressed as a visible energy that supports my theory for advantage plays for gaming. "The more the merrier," I say!  
 
More and more players are attracted to setting the dice, but is it "just a superstition" as Ross implies. On axis or not, the intention is to avoid the "seven". Expressed as odds, setting the dice is a take-a-way from the house advantage. The edge, be it ever so small, is still an edge. With this game of dice, if you put enough wires together, you can have a distinct advantage. It is like my cable metaphor, you bundle your strategies to be stronger.  
 
Now, when it comes to dice setting, "when the dice land they dance". Never the less, I contend that you will experience more positive sessions by employing every advantage play, no matter the argument against dice setting. Personal experience speaks louder than other's skeptical words of logic.  
 
My example of bundled wires for advantage play really expresses itself when the Dice Coach, Beau Parker, and I team up for a session. Playing together, we are stronger. We share information and perceptions. We help each other in the game. We acknowledge what is going on with any changes in the game. It is the same when we present the Dice Busters experience. Together we bring mutually agreed strategies to the program. Time tested strategies proven in live casino play. Though both of us have a different approach to the game, our combined methodology runs the gamut of the game. Together, we have it all covered, delivering a complete package of advantage plays that we have learned from years of study and experience.  
 
Of course not everyone has the time, interest and opportunity to develop their game to this level. At the same time, no one says that you have to reinvent the wheel either. Take the short cut to increasing your knowledge of advantage play. Gaming no longer has to be at the mercy of negative casino experiences while you learn. Even if you play a few times a year, the more you know, the less you lose. Who ya gonna call?  
 
A long time ago, I learned that the thin line between success and failure was the difference between striving for excellence or settling for mediocrity. If you settle for less, less is all you will ever have. That is why I say, "Advantage rules!" When the big hand comes along, you have to be at the rail to sail. Doing so consistently means the application of multiple advantage plays. You can not just walk up to any table, plop your money down and expect results. That kind of action is what built the City of Dreams.  
 
Copyright © 2004 Michael Vernon  

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