One Thing You Don't Need
There are a lot of things a player needs in order to be
successful with this game. Drive, commitment, patience,
discipline, confidence, follow-through and money are
among the many requirements on an endless list of items
a craps player needs to build a positive outcome at the
One thing that a craps player does not need on his list
of success building tools is blame. Poor performance and
bad outcomes are simply the result of our choice to play
under less than optimal conditions.
I know I like to talk about how the game of craps has so
many dimensions and can be played on so many different
levels. In this game, a player can experience playing a
game within a game. Playing the Do Pass/Don't Pass line,
placing box number wagers and utilizing dice sets and
throws all have their place in facilitating winning
The table is too bouncy, the boxman is giving me heat, I
was out of position, etc., are common complaints that
are voiced to me by players for not winning. The list
can go on. Players find something they can blame for not
having a successful outcome or desired result.
Here is what I believe many players do not realize: by
placing blame on something outside themselves, they give
up their power to create winning opportunities.
Everything we do at the tables involves making choices
that will lead us down a path to winning, or not. The
decision to play originates with us. So, the outcome is
our responsibility and ours alone. Let's not blame
another player who has just as much right to play at the
same table as you do for our inability to create a win.
Last week, the Dice Coach and I decided to play a craps
session at Treasure Island. The table we selected had
friendly and recognizable dealers and it was not full of
players. So position, table surface, and the dealer
support were all there inviting us to play. As our
session progressed, the table filled with players as
Dice Coach and I proceeded to put together quite a few
good money making rolls.
Now, as the table "heat's" up, other players buy in
wishing to capitalize on our rolls. There are players
placing their bets in areas that happen to be directly
on my landing spot. Who's at fault when my dice land on
their chips resulting in a seven out? It is mine and
mine alone. Knowing that I can continue to toss the dice
in an area that has the potential to change my outcome
may cause a change in results and is part of the game.
In this case, I knew the player had no idea how
important it was to me to have a clear landing spot. So,
I respectfully and very politely walked to the opposite
end of the table and asked him if he wished to keep
winning on his pass line bets. The obvious answer was
"Could you move your chips just a few inches toward the
stick man, please" was my request. This player at the
opposite end of the table obliged me and we all
continued to get a few more of our bets paid. Winning
was important to him.
A very different scenario could have played out. The
player could have simply refused to move his chips for
whatever reason. I make the choice to continue to use
that landing spot and I seven out.
I don't blame the player for my outcome of a seven out.
I respect and honor him as he has every right to play as
he sees fit, just as do I. I blame myself for the
outcome. By refusing to recognize that my optimal
conditions for shooting were changing, I left myself
open to loss. I needed to make a change in my direction
to create the win.
Let me digress for a second here.
In this game, as in life, often the players who most
annoy or antagonize us are the ones we need most at the
table to teach us what we wish to learn. When we see
something with a player we do not like, we need to be
careful. Sometimes, these players can be mirrors of
ourselves. What we dislike about them can be likely a
behavior of our own that we are not aware of. When we
are alert to this, it is quite easy to do something that
can change your own gaming reality.
It is interesting how players accept full responsibility
for winning, yet, when it comes to losing, they will
find everything and anything other than themselves to
blame for losing. Still, as successful players, it is
important to take just as much responsibility for losing
because we have the power to create that outcome.
As long as a player blames something or someone outside
of himself or herself, they are effectively robbing
themselves of their own gaming empowerment. I feel a
craps player has to look at their session outcomes in a
After all, if the thought process is that "it is not my
fault for sevening-out because my dice kept hitting
other players' chips during my turn at the craps table",
then there is nothing I can do about changing and
improving my future performance.
If I take responsibility in knowing that there is the
potential for my dice to react unfavorably when hitting
player's chips positioned in my usual landing spot, I
can choose to continue to play and accept the
consequences at the risk of losing my turn by
sevening-out. I still had the power to not play. I still
had the choice to shoot or pass the dice. I could even
find a different landing spot.
I'll be the first to admit that I have lost a few times
at the tables though out my last ten years of serious
craps play. While the losses when compared against my
winnings are relatively minimal, I have had my struggles
and my share of losing craps and poker sessions even
when I did what I perceived to be correct.
I learned early on, that if I truly wished to be a
winning player I had to be responsible and embrace all
outcomes of this game. As I continued to add more and
more success building tools in my dice playing toolbox,
placing "blame" inside my toolbox would effectively
diminish any money building opportunities in my future.
You see, when you get on with taking responsibility for
everything that happens in your game, your game
improves. When that happens, you lose any and all desire
to be a player who blames.
Take responsibility for everything in your game. Blame
is one tool you don't need in your gaming toolbox.
||A gambler who doesn't have the patience to wait will have nothing to wait for. - From Wit & Wisdom To Help You Win, by John Gollehon -