Every so often a significant number of dice students
come to Las Vegas around the same date. Although these
players may be aligned with different shooting
communities, it is understandable and only natural that
they would want to socialize and share their knowledge
for the betterment of their dice game. And it is not
uncommon for these groups to make plans to play sessions
together at the various casinos.
Still, this kind of group play can be tricky at best.
More times than not the players' outcomes do not meet
individual expectations. I also recognize that it is
hard not to join in the dice sessions with a large group
in town. I have "been there and done that."
Group play is a different aspect within our gaming
approach and can have a significant impact on our
individual playing results. The group thinking is that:
"one good shooter is great - and more is even better.
After all, we are precision shooters and at least one of
us will catch a hand."
After one of these sessions, it is not uncommon for me
to hear that a shooter caught a great hand and yet some
of the group players left the table basically empty
handed. Although there was a hot roll, the rest of the
shooters did not experience the same kind of throwing
results. The pressure to bet on everyone in the group
leaves everyone's bankroll at risk. With this scenario
alone, I just can't see why the casinos don't love us
I've had been asked for advice on many subjects, but the
most prevalent question is "why are my session results
not matching my player expectations during group play
with other dice setters".
In this particular playing situation, it is important to
remember that there will always be other playing
opportunities. The key to group play is for each player
to figure out how to best support the group, without
feeling obligated to shoot or bet during any one
My aim is not to discourage anyone from joining a group
session for play experience. Meeting and connecting with
other players is a great thing. With the shared
experience of group play, the player will evolve within
their game, regardless of whether they win or lose. How
other people play the game in real sessions can be very
educational. Yet for me, group play just does not work
in my overall strategy for moneymaking opportunities,
especially when it involves a session with four or more
players in a crowded playing environment.
In groups, there is a subtle influence or pressure on
each player to accomplish more than what they could
possibly do on their own at the tables. Everyone is
vying for a position to shoot. The decision to play out
of position compromises a player's confidence. Decision
making at the table is different and tends to be based
on what other shooters are doing.
After all, it seems that during group play; no one
wishes to bet against someone in his or her particular
group, even when the shooting climate dictates a change
in direction. Normally there is no clear leader to
influence a favorable direction for all at the table.
And to leave a craps table early seems to be out of the
question. As a result, tension often ensues and the
decision on how to play is clouded. Such is the group
Factors in group play that are seldom considered, yet
still important, are the size of the group, male or
female, age of the players, personalities, skill level,
shooting style, cultural influences and even the mood of
each individual player. With the size of the group in
particular, imagine what your playing results would be
if you decided to play craps with just one other person?
Surely, your decisions of where to and how to play would
be totally different versus playing in a situation with
say a group of six to ten people. And, how much active
communication amongst the group really takes place?
It is not enough to feel that craps is beatable just
because you are playing with others affiliated with one
particular camp or another. It is important to know as
much as possible about your playmates. Qualifying your
playmates becomes just as important as qualifying the
shooter. And remember that each player has different
This is a game that will require your full attention if
you plan to make money through group play. Here is one
idea I have discussed with a few frustrated players
recently; Pass the dice, not everyone has to shoot. Pass
the dice to the good shooters that have proven that they
have some confidence with the dice today.
The mindset is that "everyone wants to be the hero", and
the group influence seems to support that energy. Smart
players know that, had all the players agreed to let the
hot shooter keep the dice - keeping a potential "hot"
hand alive as long as possible, - the outcome might be
more profitable for all.
But, I have yet to see a table of ten precision shooters
do this. Why risk giving your chips back to the casino,
hoping to prove you are just as good a shooter as
everyone else. Just pass the dice back to the hot
I recently worked with another astute player who has
elevated his game to a point that he does not have to
participate in all the group sessions. Still, he loves
the social aspect of getting together with other
like-minded players. He has reached a point in his game
where he doesn't have to play because, in his gaming
reality, he knows when to pick playing sessions that are
favorable for him and remains disciplined about it. If
his fellow group members experience a winning hand he is
there to congratulate and offer support. He knows there
is always another opportunity just around the corner and
it is nice to see that he has developed a deeper
understanding of his own game. So, don't shoot or play
if the game is not favorable for you individually.
To play in groups is never clear-cut. Yes, there is
always a greater chance that someone may bust out a
monster hand. The real test is whether you will know
what to do with that monster hand to make your best
money. Group play is challenging at best. It offers
growth for the player and if done with an awareness of
all the subtle influences in play, it can provide you
with information on how best to play your game for
Have fun out there.
||Don't let anyone ruin your fun when gambling. More importantly, don't ruin it yourself. - From Wit & Wisdom To Help You Win, by John Gollehon -