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    The SOFT TOUCH 

        

Are you in Control?

As dice influencers we place so much emphasis on our ability to influence the dice. We practice our sets, document our rolls and work on what we believe to be a mechanical advantage to shooting the dice when we have our turn at shooting. What seems to be lacking is practicing our ability to control our betting options when we are shooting or playing the game. It is important for players to realize the dice aren't the only things we have to control. The control of our chips and how we place our bets should remain under our influence as well.

In craps there are playing options that each of us have to remember, things that we have the ability to control at all times. These options never change. At the craps table, we have the ability to choose our bets, determine the size of our bets and elect to enter and exit the table whenever we please. The ability to choose what we do at the tables remains under our control.

It is funny how most players never realize how powerful these options are and I have observed many times that once a player enters the game, they surrender their ability to control their playing options, limiting their ability to maximize their winning potential.

Being cognizant of these never changing playing options allows me to quit when ahead or behind. These never changing betting options also allow me to limit my risk by waiting for more favorable conditions and jumping into the game at a time that will give my bets a greater advantage for success.

Last year, I resolved to exercise greater control over what bets I would make, the amount I would bet and when I would make my bet. I abandoned my usual "spray and pray" methodology of making place bets across the table when I felt the table was rolling within expected probabilities. Instead, I chose to take the time to observe the table before making a bet, limiting my risk by waiting for spot situations and jumping into the game with extreme care. This earned me positive results throughout the entire year. This was boring by most players standards, yet I was very pleased with the cushion of chips I built by taking greater control of how, when and where I chose to bet my chips.

How a player chooses to apply his or her betting options is totally up to the player. However, if a player hopes to close out their playing year with positive results, I have found that it is so vital to know when to jump into a game and jump out, when to escalate bets and when to call them off. Discipline with controlling my betting behavior was critical for me, as was trust in taking what the table was giving me at the time, instead of forcing a betting system or approach to work when table conditions were just not ideal.

As we begin our year, I think it is worth repeating here what I have shared with players during our workshop play together. I will always encourage players to seek out winning strategies that offer the best profit potential with the least amount of risk and know when to jump into the game with them and when to get out.

As a basic chip controlling strategy, once in the game, strictly limit your loss in any single session and regard it as an investment. Enter the game with a profit objective of around 2-3 times the maximum loss you are willing to accept. So, if your stop loss is one half your buy in, then two to three times that should be your stop win. Consider increasing the size of your bet by fifty percent whenever you have doubled your buy in. When you have built your buy-in within a session three fold, increase your betting unit by another fifty percent.

I have played the game of craps long enough to realize that the number distributional patterns we witness from our rolls will always vary from day to day, month to month and even from half hour to half hour. When observing the table conditions long enough before jumping into the game, our brains have the ability to recognize patterns at the table to be able to label the table conditions as cold, hot or choppy. We select betting approaches that will accommodate these pattern distributions and that should at least prove to be profitable over 50 percent of the time. We enter a game, once qualified, to allow us to give our betting approach a chance for success.

As a craps player, if you resolve to do anything with this game, let it be to know when your quitting time should be, and whenever possible, may it be at a moment when conditions are going in the most positive and profitable direction.

Have a great playing year.
Soft Touch

Any win is better than any loss … any day. -Pablo-

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