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Gaming Guru

Jumbotron Ron
 

When Advantage Craps Play Means No Play

12 June 2011

I am an advantage craps player that has a very dynamic edge. My controlled shot gives me an edge over the casino. There are, however, certain conditions when the edge goes back to the casino. Instead of battling these non-advantageous conditions, a true advantage player should refrain from play when the edge has gone back to the casino.

The following is a reminder for most advantage craps players of when not to play. This list is from experience and I would like to add that I have broken every rule on this list -- sometimes many times over. My mother used to tell me I was my worst enemy and she was right. One of the keys to being a real advantage player is being able to control yourself.

1. Don't play with scared money. Whether you are a pro or somebody who plays for leisure, do not gamble with money you can't afford to lose. Advantage players have a separate bankroll dedicated to gambling. Their initial bets are a small fraction of their bankrolls. Due to the high variance of the game of craps, they need enough cash to sustain themselves if they run into a long losing streak, which happens to the best of them.

Practice your shot at home until you have enough saved to take your show on the road (I know, I know, easier said than done). It might not be what you want to do, what you will do, but it is what you should do, if you want to be a long term winner, that is.

2. Don't play when the table is overcrowded. If you have to wait an hour to get the dice, go find something else to do until the tables are less crowded. The game of craps and the casino are two adversaries that are not easy to beat, so you are going to have to be strategic. Somehow you are going to have to find a time when you have a chance to shoot and get a rhythm going. Dice control is very sensitive to touch and feel. When you get the feel and you can hit your spot on the table with a nice soft touch, the edge swings in favor of the advantage craps player. When you have to endure an hour of random craps before you touch the dice, it's too hard to find a rhythm and the edge swings back to the casino. A packed casino is a dream to a leisure gambler trying to have a good time, but it's a nightmare to an advantage craps player trying to win money.

3. When your shot doesn't look good or your teammates' shots don't look good, don't play. As dice controllers and advantage craps players, our edges are dependent on our shots. Our shots are affected by the playing conditions. Regardless of whether you are just off or there is a drunk blonde dangling her hoop bracelets in your landing zone, if you can't execute a good controlled throw for whatever reason, don't play.

In general, what you want to look for in a good controlled throw is consistency. You want that shooter to be doing the same thing and those dice to be consistently doing the same thing. You want to see those dice traveling in the air together hitting the back wall softly and rebounding straight back without much scatter and remaining relatively close together. The ability to hit a spot on the table, keep the dice on axis, and have a high degree of pitch control so you can maintain your initial set and hit the numbers you're betting on while avoiding the 7 during the point cycle is pretty much the goal when betting on the right side. So I will say it again, if you can't execute the shot for whatever reason, do not play.

4. Don't play when tired. It seems easy enough to follow, but I have found myself in many situations when I didn't feel tired but it was only because I was running on adrenaline. When I get mentally tired I get forgetful and, even though I don't feel physically tired, I know that I need rest.

You have to know yourself and your limits. I know when I start forgetting my room key or where I parked that I should go to my room and get some rest, not go to the tables. As you become a more seasoned advantage player, you will start to know your limits better and recognize the warning signs of when not to play. It is very important that you learn from your mistakes and correct them or, even better, save yourself some time and learn from other people's mistakes. As a good friend of mine and fellow advantage player from the Las Vegas area, Tom AKA The B-Man AKA Mr. Vegas, likes to say, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." The B-Man is a Golden Touch trained controlled shooter and, in my opinion, he has one of the best controlled throws in the country.

5. Don't play when intoxicated. Another one that seems pretty obvious but, remember, everything the casino does is designed to give it an edge. Even seasoned veterans have breakdowns in discipline and self control. There are often different sets of circumstances for different people because people are different and have different vices and different strengths and weaknesses.

There have been nights when I went to the tables to play only to find them not conducive to advantage play. Conditions were not good so I decided to have some fun instead at one of my favorite watering holes and promotional spots 24-hour happy hour. I still have my bankroll in my pocket and now I have to fight temptation with my inhibitions weakened by very affordable drink prices set by the casino to weaken my defense and eliminate my self control.

Are you starting to see that the rules of engagement have been set and the war is more about controlling yourself. Since self preservation is the first law of nature, I came up with a few rules for myself that are called "Saving myself from self." The rule that applies in this situation is when I determine that conditions are not advantageous and I will just be enjoying myself for the night, I go back to the room and put my buy-in money back in the room safe with the rest of my trip bankroll. I only take what I need and I also go and hangout at a different place than I'm staying. I know myself and this is what I do to protect myself. Alcohol can be an ally to the casino, but that is dependent on your personal level of self control.

There are many different situations in the casino that take the edge away from an advantage craps player. I have outlined five common situations when you should not play. Some are in your control and some are out of your control. As an advantage craps player, you want to play when conditions are good and you have an edge over the casino. Don't be an action junkie and play just to play. Play to win.

As advantage craps players, one of our goals is to have big wins and small losses. I am ahead for my overall craps-playing career, but my profits would be tripled if I had avoided many of the situations on this list. The tables aren't going anywhere. If things aren't right, don't play. Period. Only play when the conditions are good and watch the wins increase and the losses decrease.

Take heed of this advice and the next time you're at the bank depositing that big win, tell that pretty teller, "Jumbotron Ron sent me!"

Jumbotron Ron
Known as Jumbotron Ron on the East and Nevada Ron on the West, he is a advantage dice controller who spends much of his time in the casinos playing with his team The Hitmen and various advantage players from Golden Touch Craps. Known for legendary rolls on both coast he has also been dubbed "Mr. Lucky" and the "Mayor" of the boardwalk by various casino personnel.
Jumbotron Ron
Known as Jumbotron Ron on the East and Nevada Ron on the West, he is a advantage dice controller who spends much of his time in the casinos playing with his team The Hitmen and various advantage players from Golden Touch Craps. Known for legendary rolls on both coast he has also been dubbed "Mr. Lucky" and the "Mayor" of the boardwalk by various casino personnel.