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My Helicopter (Shot) Crashes!26 April 2004
For the past two years and a half I have been fascinated with the idea of beating the craps "tubs" for some decent money. For those who have never heard of or seen a tub, it's a small table, maybe the size of two blackjack tables, sunken just like a regular craps table, where about eight players sit around (you aren't allowed to stand at it) and there's a mini-layout, one dealer for the whole table. But all the regular bets are in the tub and, joy - you even get to roll the dice.
The whole theory of controlled shooting is that the closer to the back wall you are, the better chance you have to influence the dice in your favor, given the proper sets, stance, grip, alignment, delivery, bounce and reaction. (Oh, yes, it is hard indeed to master!) The tub, where you are only about three to four feet from the back wall (a small portion of which is flat) would seem the ideal place to work some magic.
Last spring, I played the tub at Casino Royale in Vegas for about a week, off and on as it is almost always crowded. My regular Golden Touch shot, the one I use at a regulation 12 or 14-foot table, was not, I thought, the optimum way to throw on a tub. My method (actually called "The Method" and developed by the Captain) requires full body movement, much like Tai Chi, and didn't translate perfectly to a sitting down position.
After several hours of play, I adapted my throw and had good runs at the table, but nothing better than 15 numbers on any one hand. Still I did make a little money during that week but, being a gambler, I wanted to make more than a little and, if possible, much more than a little.
So I went home and started to think of what would be the optimum throw for such a short distance. I tried a simple wrist flick. Wasn't happy with it. I tried to use a modified "Method." Also wasn't too happy with it as my belly kept bumping against the railing. From a sitting position I just couldn't get enough of my body up and over the rail to do any body movement.
Then it hit me that a helicopter shot would be ideal for the tubs of the world. A helicopter shot is not hard to picture. Just think of the dice as blades of a helicopter. They spin clockwise (or counterclockwise) and parallel to the table.
Now, my helicopter shot had both dice spinning parallel to the table, one on top of the other. They hit, the bottom one stops on a dime, the top die's pressure causes the bottom one to stop spinning just like that, and even if not done correctly that bottom die might continue to spin for a few revolutions, nevertheless the face that appears is the one that was set on top. The other die, the top die, spins off, but doesn't lose its bearing and also lands in such a way that it does a double pitch. For example, if I set the bottom die with a three on top and the top die with a four on top (the dreaded 7), when all is said and done, the bottom die will show the three and the top die will flop over once or twice and not show a 7. That was my theory anyway.
Using a helicopter shot at a regular table is not a wise idea since the force and spin necessary to get it down to the back wall are too great to have much control. The law of controlled shooting is that the sum of all the forces must equal zero or close to it to get the result you are aiming for. The more force you use, the less control you have since it takes more reactions to dissipate all that energy.
But I thought that the Scobe Tub Shot (yes, I was going to name it after myself!) over a distance of two to four feet would be gentle enough to allow the reactions to take place as my theory suggested they would. And, of course, I would win oodles and oodles of money.
So I set up my craps rig at home to simulate a tub and I practiced every day for six months, keeping careful records of all the throws, sets, results and this is what I found.
It didn't work.
The first few days it looked as if this would be a method to extract loads of cash from the casinos. I was hitting the hard 6 like it was going out of style. But then reality intervened. As my trials got into the thousands and then to 20,000, I realized that my new Scobe Tub Method was no better than shooting randomly. The appearance of the numbers was reflective of randomness and not control.
Okay, so it didn't work, so what? Well, there is a moral to the story here and it is this: I had told the members of www.TheCrapsClub.com, a private website run by Golden Touch Craps, that I was going to perfect a throw for the tubs. I did this before I actually had any real data - just a few hundred initial throws that made me look like a hot shot. Of course, the members of this group, being serious craps players, were waiting with anticipation for me to announce that I had indeed perfected the throw and that I would, naturally, teach it to them during a Golden Touch seminar.
Now, I have to go back and explain that what looked promising didn't turn out to have any more promise than picking up the dice, shaking them, blowing on them, winging them down the tub as I screamed, "Baby needs a new pair of whatevers!"
"Pride goeth before the fall," yes, certainly, and you can add this to that saying: "Never tell anyone what you're working on before you know it works or you'll look like a fool!" Here's another: "Takes one to know one." And you know what? I know one - me! Sorry, everybody!
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
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