Musical Dice -- My Craps Blog

May 28 - May 31, 2024 -- LAKE CHARLES XXX -- Cover Story

     Greatland Tours, the bus company that takes me and my wife to Lake Charles, apparently had adopted a policy at the start of this year that if you don't have proof that you're staying at L'Auberge, when you have luggage, they charge you $30. They almost charged us that fee last time we stayed at Golden Nugget. But this time, Mrs. MusicalDice hit upon the idea for us to stay at L'Auberge the first night, and then Golden Nugget the other two nights. That way, we can stay at Golden Nugget and avoid the penalty (why can't we go back to the days when Greatland took people to Golden Nugget as well?). Nice cover story, huh?

Day 1 -- Stormy Beginnings

     We checked into our room at L'Auberge, and fortunately, we didn't have to wait for our room to be ready this time. Unfortunately, just as we were preparing to go swimming, it started rainig, and soon thunderstorming real bad in Lake Charles. So we decided to head to the gaming floor.

     Also unfortunately, the stormy weather reflected my shoots at the craps table. I couldn't get ANYTHING right, no matter where I shot (even from SL1), or what dice set I tried. And I even tried some of my regression strategies, but got sniped with early seven-outs before I had a chance to regress. Eventually, I lost $936 at the craps table.

     I did win $50 of that back at the blackjack table, but seriously, an $886 loss is not the way I want to start off a trip.

     It was still thunderstorming when we next went to the Horseshoe. I played craps there only because I had forgotten that the poker room was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Unfortunately, the same thing happened here that happened at L'Auberge, with early seven-outs on my shoots, only that I stopped sooner, ONLY losing $717. ARGH!!!

     By the time I finished up at the Horseshoe, it had stopped raining. We returned to L'Auberge, and ate a very tasty dinner at the Ember Steakhouse. I was hoping a rest and a change of pace would get me back on track.

     However, when I then went to Golden Nugget to play craps, I still wasn't shooting worth sh*t. I was still crapping out early. The only difference was, I didn't put as much money out there. My loss this time was "only" $421. Definitely the worst start to a trip in a long time! Down exactly THIS YEAR, in terms of dollar amount!!!

     I finally did get a session win when we returned to L'Auberge, and I won $100 playing blackjack. So I ended up down $1924 for the day.

     One of my other hobbies is writing fictional stories. Ironically, several years ago, I had written about a female dice shooter, who was off kilter on a trip, doing badly, and it turned out that she was pregnant (she didn't know that until just afterwards). So why was my dice shooting so off kilter? I know I'm not pregnant! I don't know, but I know things had better improve tomorrow, or I'm going to be all gambled out much sooner than I'd like.

Day 2 -- Switching Properties And Focus

     I decided not to do any more gambling until I'm able to play poker at the Horseshoe. If it seems that I'm changing focus, maybe I am. I'd previously warned that this might happen.

     However, no gambling would come down the pike until the afternoon. Both of us slept in this morning. It could be that I was tired yesterday, and I needed the rest. I don't know. But anyway, we checked out of L'Auberge, and checked into Golden Nugget. Very nice rooms at both properties. I only wish the weather was as nice. It was still rainy off and on out in Lake Charles.

     When I did resume gambling, it was at the poker table, at the Horseshoe. I lost a sizeable pot early on, and it took me about 3 hours to get my money back, which I did, plus $50. It was enough to make me feel like a winner again.

     I felt like a winner enough to once again put the big money out there on my shoot. This time, it was at a $10 table, I was using the Hardway dice set from Stick Left 1, and I did 135 across for 2 hits, regressing down to 54 across. I also had a bet on the ATS (5-5-5). Much to my surprise, I hit the small, with the last roll being a 6. Made $170 off the roll, plus another $14 for the Place bet. Turns out, that was more than half of the $326 I won at the table. Also, much to my surprise, I discovered that I'd rolled 20 times, enough for this roll to make my Craps Shoots Hall Of Fame page. I was long overdue for a roll like this!

     However, returning to the craps table late that night, still at Golden Nugget, may not have been the best decision I made.

     The big difference was the fact that it was a crowded and loud party table. Ironically, that's one of the things I love about craps, but trying to concentrate on setting and tossing the dice in this environment was not working. Worse yet, Mrs. MusicalDice decided to play too, and although I love her to death, she really doesn't know how to play, for she really has no concept why I make the bets I make, and what the logic behind these bets are. I kept having to tell her what to do, and why I make certain bets, while not slowing the game down. But it turns out, Mrs. MusicalDice lost less than I did because she didn't make as many Place bets as I did, that got shot down, due to early seven-outs, especially on my shoots. Maybe I should have played like my wife! I lost $455 at the craps table while she lost only $146.

     I managed to win $27.50 back at the blackjack table, for a total session loss of $427.50. Overall, I was down for the day $51.50. Not nearly as bad as yesterday, but the only reason why I didn't declare myself all gambled out already was because I felt like I wanted to play another poker session first.

Day 3 -- On The Edge

     Just like the previous day, I decided not to do any more gambling until after I got to play poker at the Horseshoe.

     This time, the weather was finally nice enough to go swimming, so after breakfast, that's what me and Mrs. MusicalDice did. We spent most of the time in the cloverleaf-shaped hot tub. Very nice and relaxing. And no kids this time, unlike at Biloxi. But the water was so hot that we spent a lot of the time sitting on the edge of the hot tub.

     But when we did make it to the Horseshoe, I discovered that the poker table was already full, and I was 6th on the waiting list. Ultimately, I decided, f88k it, I'm going to play some craps. So I got onto a $10 table, standing at the end on the left. Once again, I got into trouble early, crapping out early, using the Crossed Sixes dice set (for me, that was 6/2-6/4). Worse yet, I was doing a Fibonacci betting system on the Pass line, starting out with $10 bets, then progressing up to 20, 30, 50, and then 80, as each bet lost. Then it became my turn to shoot, and I continued what would be the next in the Fibonacci sequence, which would be 130 on the Pass line. I decided to switch to the Yo-Yo dice set, and focus on my landing zone, straight nown the Come. My first roll was a 4 to establish a point. At this point, I bought in for a second round of $500. I was not a happy camper at this point. I have $130 on the Pass line, tied to one of the hardest points to make, plus I still had to make Place bets and odds bets!? I felt like I was really on the edge at this point. I had already resolved that if I lost here, I'd declare myself all gambled out. After placing $20 for odds, and $24 each on the 6 and 8, I shot. And quite surprisingly, it wasn't an early crap-out this time. As the 6 and 8 got paid for, I slowly branched out to the other numbers, and after I had all the numbers covered, I decided to try a new strategy I'd been playing with for the last week or so on my computer. This strategy entails pressing 6 and 8 with winnings from the other numbers--4 and 5 would feed the 6, and 9 and 10 would feed the 8. I call this strategy the Twin Towers strategy, but I only played it after I got everything paid for. I ended up building up the 6 and 8 bet up to 90 apiece, and they each hit once at that level. I got to yell out "Bull--llackout!" twice--something I hadn't done in quite a while. And by the way, I did make the 4. Normally in my Fibonacci strategy, I'd then lower my Pass Line bet down from 130 to 80, but since so many bets had hit up to that point, I lowered the Pass Line bet down to 20, the starting level for all my other bets. I really had a long shoot this time, so long that my name was being called for the poker game! I can't be at two places at the same time! I had to tell my wife to let the poker room know that I'd be over there as soon as I finished my shoot at the craps table. I was not quitting now. It turned out that I'd shot 32 times at that craps table! Not only did this easily make my Best Craps Shoots Hall Of Fame page, it tied for the best craps shoot I ever had from the end, using this dice set, plus this was the best craps shoot I had in nearly three years!! Oh and yeah, I even won $435 at the table, in spite of my very rocky start.

     Fortunately for me, the seat was still open for me, when I got to the poker room. I wanted to try to win at least $65 to get that 500 Club. It took 1½ hours of playing quite tight, and grinding out, but I made my goal, winning $123 at the poker table, leading to a session win of $558. This was the biggest win I had here in over 5 years, and the first since they changed names from Isle Of Capri, to the Horseshoe.

     Apparently, I wasn't the only one playing on the edge at the Horseshoe. While I was playing poker, Mrs. MusicalDice played on a slot machine, and she would tell me later that she was on the edge of losing all her gambling money, when she got a hit for over $400 to get her money back.

     Once we returned to Golden Nugget, our initial intentions after we had a late light dinner, was to go back to the hot tub. However, we were so mentally and physically exhausted from what happened at the Horseshoe, that we both fell asleep, and didn't wake up until about 10:00. The hot tub closes at 10. Back to the gaming floor.

     Again, trying to be a "controlled" dice shooter in a loud atmosphere, like it was, wasn't going to work for me. I had early crap-outs, and that led to my losing $369 at the craps table. Unlike yesterday, I wasn't going to let this session negate the beautiful one I had earlier in the day.

     I managed to win $42.50 back at the blackjack table, for a total session loss of $326.50. This time, I ended up $231.50 ahead for the day. Why couldn't I have started off like this?

Day 4 -- Epiphany

     After checking out of our room at Golden Nugget, and heading back to L'Auberge to wait for the bus to take us back to Houston, I decided to gamble once more. First, I played at the craps table. This time, I stood at Stick Left 1, and used the Hardway dice set. This time, I played very cautiously, not putting a lot of money out there. After my up-and-down (mostly down) results with shooting the dice, who could blame me? Anyway, I shot 12 times, almost getting the tall (only missing the 8), when I crapped out. I only ended up $6 ahead. But that was okay. It was then that I reached an epiphany that this was how I should have played at the beginning, and not put so much money out there at the start. Only if I'm ahead playing craps, should I try those high-risk regression strategies.

     I did add $125 to that win, for a total final session win of $131, and a total loss for the trip of $1613. Yes, it was worse than what happened in Biloxi, but after the first day, I actually did win money overall. Plus I plan to take this new perspective into my next trip, which will be in Reno in 2½ weeks. Plus, on the positive side, I still am ahead for the year in terms of poker ($706 to be exact). More later! ☺

May 15 - 19, 2024 -- BILOXI -- At Last!

     The sole reason for this trip being titled what it is, is because my wife and I actually should have been here on Monday the 13th. We had planned to be out here in Biloxi Mississippi from the 13th to the 16th, but our flight out of Houston got canceled due to thunderstorms in Houston, which shut down both Houston airports for some hours. But we made it out here today. Upon seeing how small our plane was, I'm even more glad our Monday flight was canceled, for that plane wouldn't have had a snowball's chance in hell in that powerful thunderstorm that hit Monday.

     We got to our hotel room at the Golden Nugget casino in Biloxi. The room is very spacious. Of course, the re-scheduling is costing me through the nose because we didn't get fully comped, and especially since we're staying Friday and Saturday nights, we had to pay extra. But I look at it this way: This is a wedding anniversary trip for us -- me and Mrs. MusicalDice will be married exactly 5 years on Saturday May 18th. We weren't planning to be at a casino for this wedding anniversary, but that's the way it turned out.

Day 1 -- I Had To Play At Least Once

     Unlike most of these trips, we didn't arrive until very late--almost 9 p.m. After we checked into our room, we were both hungry. So we ate dinner in a burger place in Golden Nugget. I thought the meal would give me some extra energy, after feeling tired as well when we arrived.

     However, the first gambling session of the trip may have shown that I was still tired, and was not playing my best. At the craps table, I first started out at Stick Left 1. I tried the Hardway dice set. I had a so-so roll the first time out (a 7-roll, I think). I didn't risk a whole lot of money at first. Then on my second roll, I risked more, only to be shot down by an early seven-out. I tried switching to the Yo-Yo dice set, and that resulted in a PSO. Then I switched to Left End, sticking with the Yo-Yo dice set. I actually shot a 16 that time, but I didn't risk much, plus the shoot wasn't enough to make up for earlier. The next time I got the dice, I tried 176 inside in a Split The Sisters strategy. I got the first, but forgot to reduce the 5 and the 9. The next roll was a seven-out. The rest of the craps session was filled with mediocre rolls that wasn't enough to get me out of the hands. I ended up losing $415 at the craps table. Blackjack wasn't really any better. I lost $387.50 there for a total session loss of $802.50. Not the beginning I'd hoped for, to say the least.

     After returning to our room, I watched part of Mel from Craps Hawaii's trip report, and after hearing how badly he started out -- assuming Mel is a much better dice shooter than i am, and to hear that he started off worse than I did, I don't feel so bad now. But I do need some sleep. More later.

Day 2 -- Finally Got To Go Swimming

     The one thing we were both determined to do this day, was go swimming, since we really didn't get a chance to do that at all until now. The weather was nice and warm, and we were going to take advantage of that.

     But before we did that, I played craps, still at Golden Nugget. This time, it was a $10 table, and I did 88 inside for two hits, then regressed to 44 inside. This was on my shoot, from Stick Left 1, using the Hardway dice set, and I had a real nice shoot, from Stick Left 1, easing up a bit on the release, while keeping the throw low to the table. I shot a total of 26 times, winning $247. I really needed this win after what happened last night. You'll see this roll on my Hall Of Fame page of My Best Craps Shoots. I was really hopeful that I could erase this red ink on this trip.

     After the win, we did go swimming. The pool at Golden Nugget was real nice and kind of warm, the way we like it. We got to talk to some people, and they were pretty nice. Mrs. MusicalDice likes the socializing and people-watching aspects of such trips more than I do, but it was great (got to see some nice eye candy too LOL).

     After we finished swimming, we took a bus that hops from casino to casino, over to the Beau Rivage casino. My initial intention for coming here was to play poker. But they didn't have a suitable poker table open at the time, so I played craps. Whatever magic I had this morning appeared to be gone, for I had a lot of short rolls, and badly timed bets. At one point, I tried what was intended to be a variation of the 2566 Iron Cross strategy, where in this case, I'd play it like I was on a $10 table, putting $20 on the field, $50 on the 5, and $60 each on the 6 and 8, with the intention of regressing down to half the amount on the Place bets, and putting $15 on the field (it was a $15 table), once I brought in $100 from the initial setup. Unfortunately, the next roll after I did the initial setup, was a seven-out. Admittedly, from there, I just plain-old didn't play well, trying a number of crazy bets, not betting as much I would initially on any of my regression strategies, but playing in such a manner that it would take a longer time to get out of the hand. The best thing I could have done was leave the table and re-group. I eventually left the table $870 down for the session. OUCH!!

     From there, we returned to Golden Nugget, for we had a dinner reservation at Morton's Steakhouse, which is in the casino. I got some much-needed rest before we had dinner at Morton's. The dinner was delicious, and the service was superb. Mrs. MusicalDice thought I was still upset over my loss at Beau Rivage, but I was actually deep in thought, thinking about how I was going to attack the craps tables from this point on. No more playing scared craps--yeah those strategies that I was betting conservatively, yet betting a lot to cover all the numbers, was still scared craps, in my book. So I was thinking of a strategy I could use that I can cover all the Place bets, and regress down to a level where I'd still cover all the Place bets. I was even thinking that I would have won more money this morning if I had played such a strategy. Most importantly, I decided, f**k it, if I lose, I lose, but I'm going to play strategies where I'm putting more out there, with the intention of getting out of the roll sooner, and covering all the Place bets.

     I got a chance to try this strategy after dinner. At first, the craps table at Golden Nugget was a $10 table, and I used a strategy where I did an across strategy, putting 2½ times the amount I normally would for a $10 table (in this case, I did 135 across). I got enough hits to regress down to 54 across after two hits. I did this on my roll, and I soon crapped out. I thought I'd gotten my money back, but I was $7 short, for prior to my shoot, I'd bet a little on a shooter (min bets on the 6 and 8, plus a line bet), and he sevened out. Once I realized that I was still short, I decided to keep playing a little longer. The table changed to $15, and when I got the dice again, I played with $20 on the Pass line, then when I established a point of 6, I put 260 across, then after two hits (an 8 and a 10, I think), I regressed to 104 across (4 units on everything). I shot 12 times, enough to get my money back plus $87. It was at that point that I colored up. I had to make sure I felt like a winner again.

     At least I could say that I lost less on this day ($536 total, compared to $802.50 for Day 1). $1338.50 of red ink. Not good, but I still have 3 days left here in Biloxi. It is still possible to erase this red ink. And with this new strategy and perspective, I feel I have a better shot at climbing out of the hole. We'll see.

Day 3 -- BOOYAH!!

     On this day, we got off to a late start, and had breakfast at the same restaurant where we had breakfast yesterday. The highlight for Mrs. MusicalDice wasn't the food, but the fact that she got to see dolphins, for the restaurant has a view of the Gulf Of Mexico. She loved it, and got some pictures.

     Afterwards, we went to the Palace casino. My plans was to have a quickie here, and head over to the IP casino where they were putting together a poker game. So I played a quick easy round of craps at a $10 table, doing 135 across for 2 hits, regressing to 54 across, when I got the two hits. I only rolled 7 times, using the Yo-Yo dice set from the end, but it was enough to win $18. On to the IP.

     At the IP casino, I got into a 1/3 No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em game. Now, since this is a craps blog, I'm not going to go into great detail about the poker session, only that after 2 hours, I'd succeeded in getting my money back, and I was in this hand against this woman, and I had Ace-King in my hand, and the flop included two kings. I was betting into this woman, who called my bet on the flop, then raised me on the turn card. I checked on the river card, and she went all-in for roughly $300. Although my hand was still very strong, I couldn't be sure that I had the winner because of the way it was played. I reluctantly called, and I discovered that my opponent only had Pocket Queens, which didn't look so strong with kings on board. I was actually very surprised that I won that hand, and I was so happy that I went "BOOYAH!!" much to the displeasure of my opponent who said "Why are you so happy? You knew you had that hand." My response was "No I DIDN'T know I had that hand." (I thought she had flopped a full house which would have beaten my trip-kings). Bottom line: I left the table $428 ahead after 2½ hours, primarily because of that win.

     By this time, it was getting late in the afternoon, and we hadn't had lunch yet. I wanted to try to get a 500 Club here in Biloxi, so after I cashed in my poker chips, we looked for either a blackjack table or a craps table, in hopes of my having a quick win to put me over the 500-dollar mark for a win at the IP. It was a craps table that I got to first. Someone else was shooting, and I don't know what possessed me to place a 75-dollar Field bet, but that's what I did, and fortunately, a 9 (Center Field) was rolled, and I won $75. That was it for the craps session--the shortest craps game I ever played. That made my total win at the IP casino, $503. BTW, when that 9 was rolled, I yelled "BOOYAH!" again. Nobody else understood the reason for my elation, but that was okay (my wife understood after she did the math).

     Unfortunately, I gave back most of those winnings that night at Golden Nugget. Here, it wasn't a matter of my shooting bad, but rather, my forgetting my own advice on betting on other shooters. My rolls would never be enough to make for other shooters crapping out early, and the tables were crowded. I ended up $390 down for the session, but $131 ahead for the day. At least I could say that this was the first day on this trip that I ended up ahead (I'm still down $1207.50 for the trip).

Day 4 -- Anniversary

     As I've previously stated, Mrs. MusicalDice and I didn't even intend to be in Biloxi for our anniversary which is today, but we found ourselves here, and decided we were going to have a great, regardless of what the weather had in store (it was predicted rain and possible thunderstorms for this day).

     After a very nice breakfast buffet at the Palace casino (recommended by someone we met when we went swimming on Day 2), I played craps. As was the case yesterday, I played from the end, but this time, I had a better roll, using my Yo-Yo dice set, and quickly getting out of the hand with the 270 across strategy for 2 hits, regressing down to 108 across. I made $155 at the table.

     From there, we went to the Hard Rock casino. Mrs. MusicalDice had a ball taking photos of all the music memorabilia all on the walls, and I was there to identify who each of those people represented were. From there, I played blackjack first, a game I hadn't played since Day 1. I got off to a rocky start, but I staged a comeback beginning with a double-blackjack (I was playing 2 hands), on my way to a $25 win. On to craps.

     The reason why I played blackjack first was because the craps table was full, and a new one hadn't opened yet. But by the time I finished at blackjack, the new craps table had opened, and I went there, standing at Stick Left 1. It was a rockier start here than at the Palace. That was because I wanted to get a feel for the table before putting a whole lot of money out there. I'm glad I did that, for I crapped out early at first. But I decided to go for it the second time, and I barely got out of the hand before I crapped out. The next time, also using the Hardway dice set, I managed to get a 13-roller, enough to get my money back, plus $150. A total session win of $175. Nice.

     The last major casino to hit was Harrah's, and so that's where we went next. The first craps table I was on, I didn't even realize that it was a crapless table. I shot once playing at the end. I had bet a little on a previous shooter, and he crapped out before I got it all back. On my shoot, again, getting a feel for the table, I played it slow, not putting that much out there. I shot 10 times, and I was very close to getting it all back when I crapped out. However, by that time, I was informed that I was on a crapless, and I had a Whirl bet that had hit for a Yo. I didn't get paid on the Pass line, for 11 became the point, and I immediately crapped out. However, since the Whirl bet was a push on a 7, my Whirl bet was still up. The next shooter rolled a 3 first, and that got me enough to get my money back, plus $12. I left the table once the Whirl bet fell on the next roll.

     From there, I went to a traditional craps table, standing at Stick Left 1. Here, I didn't wait to get a feel for the table, before putting the big money out there, and I wish I had waited, for when I did my 270 across, I got the first hit, but not the second hit. I crapped out at that point. Even though I subsequently had a 16-roller, I never did recover from that loss, for I was gun-shy about putting that kind of money out there again just yet. I ended up losing $276 at that table, for a net loss at Harrah's of $264. At least I was still $66 ahead for the day.

     That was all the gambling I did for this day. The rest of our 5-year wedding anniversary was spent with some R & R in our room, then out in the hot tub, still at Golden Nugget. That night, we went to this bar and grill place called the Sand Bar, and that's also where they had karaoke. I started off with singing "Piano Man," since karaoke was due to start at 9:00 on a Saturday (the dee-jay was late). From there, I also sang songs like "One In A Million You" and "My Girl," the former is our theme song, and also was in the top ten the week Mrs. MusicalDice was born, and the latter, which was in the top ten the week I was born. We had a blast, although toward the end, the loud booming hip-hop dance music (which they played A LOT of) was getting too loud for my liking. Maybe I'm getting too old for this, but as my wife pointed out, they play the music louder than they do at the places we go to back home in Houston. We had a great time at the Sand Bar, but by the time we left, I was glad we left.

Day 5 -- I Had To Try It Again

     After all the excitement of last night at karaoke, Mrs. MusucalDice and I decided to sleep in. In fact, we slept so late that the first thing we did was check out, and check our luggage with the bellhop. Then we went to lunch off-property at Olive Garden. That was, because if I was to do any more gambling, it would be better not to do it on an empty stomach.

     We returned to Beau Rivage. There, I chose to play blackjack, since that game I can usually get in and out quickly--important, since we had limited time before our flight back to Houston. But I fell behind in this game, and it was a lengthy struggle to get it back, which I did, plus $50. Good enough.

     There was only time left to return to Golden Nugget (I originally wanted to do Harrah's before returning), and I only had time to play one more craps game. It was on a $10 table, and I was the only one at the table. I shot from Stick Left 1, using the Hardway dice set. Despite my 2566 Iron Cross strategy being shot down at Beau Rivage, I had to try it again before leaving Biloxi. This time, it was met with success. I was able to get out of the hand with two hits (rolling a 5 and a 6). I got a few more hits on the non-field numbers that made me the most money before crapping out on the 11th roll. I finished $77 ahead, for a total day win of $127, and a net loss for the trip of $1013.50.

     Overall, I'd recommend Biloxi as a gambling trip, but ONLY if you DON'T have to fly into the airport in Gulfport/Biloxi. It is a small airport, and only small very cramped airplanes fly into there. Our trip back to Houston was a hellified adventure in itself, which I'm not going to get into here, but if you're interested in finding out what happened, you can email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com, and I will tell you all about it. Until next time!

April 30 - May 2, 2024 -- LAKE CHARLES XXIX -- The Trip That Almost Wasn't

     Initially, my wife and I hadn't planned to come back to Lake Charles just yet, in light of the fact that we'd already planned a trip to Biloxi Mississippi May 13 - 16. But then we got an offer from L'Auberge to comp us for two nights, like they used to. So we jumped at the chance to go out there again.

     All that said, when we arrived at L'Auberge, the people at the front desk couldn't find our reservation. Mrs. MusicalDice showed them the confirmation, and much to our surprise, the clerk that took our reservation had entered it under a different name--a couple who lives in Huntsville Alabama!! The mess was straightened out, and we got our comps, fortunately.

Day 1 -- All At Home Base

     We has initially planned to go swimming before starting any gambling. That went by the wayside when we were told over the phone that we couldn't use Golden Nugget's hot tub anymore without being a guest there (we used to be able to pay a fee to use it, which was also our plan). But we decided to go over there to find out what the deal was, straight from the source.

     But before we made it to Golden Nugget, I played craps at L'Auberge. At first, I was at Stick Left 2. From that position, I used the Yo-Yo dice set, betting 176 inside with the intent of reducing to 88 inside after two hits. I crapped out after one hit. Fortunately for me, the player who was in Stick Left 1, left the table before it was my turn to shoot again, so I moved to Stick Left 1, and used the Hardway set. Using the same betting strategy, I made it past the second hit this time, reducing the bets to 88 inside. I rolled 17 times, making three points, en route to getting my money back plus $130. That was a nice start to the trip.

     Unfortunately, when we arrived at Golden Nugget, the people running the pool area confirmed what was told to us on the phone, that you are no longer allowed to pay a fee to use the pool and hot tub, and that you have to either be a guest, or a VIP player, which neither of us are. Definitely a policy change NOT for the better! So much for that plan. Then I tried to play craps and blackjack at Golden Nugget. But all those tables were full, so we decided to walk back to L'Auberge.

     The walk to and from Golden Nugget took a long time because Mrs. MusicalDice's leg was hurting, plus she was less tolerant to the heat (it got up to 86° today in Lake Charles). By the time we returned to L'Auberge, there wasn't much time to play craps before our dinner reservation at the Ember Steakhouse. So I opted for playing blackjack instead. I won a quick $150 before we went to the steakhouse for dinner.

     We had planned to try the hot tub at L'Auberge, but the pool area closes at 8 p.m. (compared to 10 p.m. at Golden Nugget). But by the time we finished (a most delicious) dinner, it was already 6:30, and we were both stuffed. It wouldn't be wise to go swimming on a full stomack, so we decided to play a little more at L'Auberge.

     I first played blackjack at one table, winning $160--blackjack at that table only paid 6-5. Then I went to the craps table, which by now was a $25 table, instead of a $15 table. Worse yet, I didn't get to play at Stick Left 1, but at the left end. The same low toss that has worked out so well lately from Stick Left 1, had up and down results from this position. At least twice, I tried 220 inside, trying to get two hits before reducing, but I would seven-out either immediately or after the first hit. Try as I might to get it back, it just didn't work, despite a 15-roller I had at one point using the 3V dice set (for me that is the 4/6-4/2 dice set). Ultimately, I decided to take the hit, losing $382. At least I'm still ahead for the trip, was what I was thinking. Yet and still, I decided to try for a win for the session. Fortunately, I succeeded at that, winning $250 at a second blackjack table, and winding up $28 ahead for the session.

     Although I wasn't too happy, losing at craps, the game I want to focus the most on, I have to remind myself that I have 3 session wins in a row, and I'm currently up $308 for the trip. Could be a whole lot worse.

Day 2 -- Given Where I Was

     To say the least, this second day would turn out to be a very rocky day in terms of gambling. But it wasn't all bad, as you'll soon see.

     After breakfast, I played blackjack at L'Auberge, given that the craps table was still a $25 table. Fortunately, I won $150 there. At that point, I was ahead $458 for the trip.

     Then I played at Golden Nugget. At first, the craps table was full, so I played blackjack. After a very rocky start, I left the table $12.50 ahead. At the craps table, it was a long rocky battle, with LOTS of point-seven-outs, including at least two of my rolls. I did get in a few decent rolls from Stick Left 1, using the Hardway dice set--a 9-roll, and two 14-rolls, but I kept getting sniped, crapping out early in between these good rolls. On my last roll, I was down at least $350 at the table. I was able to bring my deficit down to $172, but I could have kicked myself for not taking down my bets when I could have, to get my money back, as I had $90 bets on the 6 and the 8 (I was trying for that black chip payout). After I crapped out, I left the table $172 down, and a net loss for the session of $159.50. Given where I was earlier on the craps table, I'll accept that. Besides that, I was only down $9.50 for the day, and still ahead for the trip.

     We then went back to L'Auberge, where I played blackjack--the craps table was full, and I was a bit gun-shy about playing craps, given where I was earlier. After a rocky start at this blackjack table, I won $25, enough to get back ahead for the day ($15.50).

     From there, we went to the Horseshoe. I was determined to play poker there. It was a rocky start there too, with my not picking up much at first, and falling behind. I almost got my money back, when I got involved in a hand where I had Ace-King in my hand. One opponent raised to 20 pre-flop, I re-raised to 60, and a third person called, the initial raiser went all-in for 200, I called, and so did the third person, but he only had 189. The initial raiser had Pocket Queens. The flop included a trey and a six, but were all low cards. The turn card was a king, which was good for me. The river card was another low card. This looked great for me, right? WRONG!! The third person went all-in pre-flop with SIX-TREY!! He won the main pot with two, pair, whereas I picked up a small sidepot, losing way more than I put in. After that hand, I left the table $375 down.

     Needless to say, I was pretty upset about what happened at the poker table. I thought after having a very nice relaxing early dinner with Mrs. MusicalDice, I could play a decent round of craps, and maybe make up for what happened at the poker table. Wrong move! Apparently, I was still upset about what happened earlier, and none of my shoots lasted over 7 rolls, no matter where I stood, or which dice set I used. The move was not to play at all at that point, given where I was. I lost another $410. OUCH!! I went from being slightly ahead for the day, and ahead for the trip, to being down $461.50 for the trip!

     We then returned to L'Auberge, where I played blackjack--the only game I hadn't lost yet on this trip. I fell behind at this particular table at first, then I had a hand where I split 8's twice, then doubled down on one of the new hands. Of course I was happy when the dealer busted, and it was then that I tried to get a 500 Club, as I'd made up for earlier at the table. But I soon realized that that wasn't going to happen, and instead, I left $200 ahead. At least I chopped down my deficit by nearly half.

     From there, we returned to our room, where I crashed. I think I needed this to clear my head. But after about 4 hours, I discovered that Mrs. MusicalDice still had some energy, and I discovered a second wind too. So we went back downstairs, where I played blackjack again. Fortunately, the table was good, and on the last hand, I raised my bets on my two hands, and when the dealer busted, I yelled out in celebration, for what I'd tried to do several hours earlier, I was able to do here. I won $500 at the blackjack table. This got me out of the hole for the trip. Now I'm ahead $238.50. Overall for Day 2, I had a net loss of $69.50. But given where I was earlier in the day, I'll definitely take that.

Day 3 -- It Was A Dark And Stormy Day

     Here in Lake Charles, it was very dark, gloomy and rainy pretty much all day. My wife and I got off to a late start, given that we thought when we wokd up that it was about 6:00, but it was actually 8:00--it was just that dark. During breakfast, it was really pouring rain outside. After we got breakfast, we checked out, and it was still raining, though not as hard. It was only then that I decided to gamble one last time on this trip.

     I tried to get on the craps table, but it was full. I decided to play blackjack one last time. After a rough beginning, I won $100. I declared myself all gambled out, $338.50 ahead for this trip.

     Overall, for this year, I'm still down $1078, with only $240 of it now being in blackjack. I'm now down $943 in craps--something I'm not terribly happy about. However, I'm still ahead in poker, albeit $105. I have some things to work on regarding craps, but overall, I'm not doing too badly this year--I've done a whole lot worse. Stay tuned for my first-ever Biloxi Mississippi trip in just 11 days! ☺

April 23, 2024 -- Hawaii Craps Shooters Happy Birthday

     Today, the founder of Hawaii Craps Shooters, Bryan, has a birthday today! He has put out A LOT of useful and entertaining videos, which I'd recommend to any craps enthusiast. Happy Birthday, Bryan! ☺

April 11, 2024 -- Tornado In My Playground

     As many of you know, Lake Charles, Louisiana is my most frequent place to gamble at, since I live in Houston Texas. Given that, I was shocked to hear about the tornado that struck Lake Charles yesterday morning. To learn more about it, click this link. Fortunately, the damage appears to have been 20 or so miles west of the casinos. I am scheduled to be back in Lake Charles on April 30th. Hopefully, this won't affect my travel plans.

April 6, 2024 -- 52nd Street

     Lately, when I'd watch the live Crapsee tournament on Hawaii Craps Shooters, I'd be making the comment "52nd Street" when a 7 comes, particularly when it's a 5-2 7. The 52nd Street term refers to my all-time favorite album, and it's by Billy Joel (it contains the hits "My Life," "Big Shot," and "Honesty"). After several weeks of using the term, I decided to include the term in my Glossary Of Craps Terms. Check it out. ☺

April 6, 2024 -- Find Your Own Way To Throw

     For the past several years, I've been downloading craps videos, and making video clips out of rolls that last 20 or more -- the same criterion as for my Best Shoots Hall Of Fame page. Part of the reason for this was so I could try to study how others shot the dice and got those big rolls. But all of that went out the window on my last Lake Charles trip. The biggest take-away I got from that trip, was to find your own way of shooting the dice. Do what's most comfortable for you, and forget about how others shoot the dice, for what works for someone else may not work for you. This is a lesson I'd learned when I was bowling. Most people advocate a four-step delivery, but somehow, my delivery actually took six steps. Instead of trying to change that, I worked with what came naturally, and for the last 8 years I bowled, I averaged just over 200. Now you tell me who's wrong! It'll be the same when it comes to setting, gripping, and tossing the dice. Develop your own style, and work with what comes most naturally (best way to repeat the mechanics), and you'll see greater success shooting the dice.

April 1 - 4, 2024 -- LAKE CHARLES XXVIII -- C.R.E.A.M. (Comps Rule Everything Around Me)

     An overstatement? Probably, but the fact of the matter is, Mrs. MusicalDice and I are not rich by any means. We do like to travel, and we try to get good deals whenever we can. When we booked our Atlantic City trip, we were surprised to learn that we could have three nights comped at Golden Nugget up there. So we decided to try that in Lake Charles. We were able to get 3 nights comped, but only for this week, not for the 2nd or 3rd week in April, which is what we really wanted, since by that time, it should be warm enough to go swimming. But it isn't predicted to be quite that warm, but we decided to go anyway.

Day 1 -- Just Lock Up The Win!

     After some much-needed R & R in the room, my wife and I decided to go downstairs to start gambling. I got into a craps game. Here, I definitely learned the value of not sticking to just one strategy, especially if it's not working. That's the way it was, using the Progressive Come strategy, with my losing the big Come bet. I then switched to the Knock-Down strategy, which was treading water for a while, but then that starting going downhill. Fortunately, I didn't chase the numbers that weren't getting hit for very long. Meanwhile, my shooting was getting off to a shaky start. I was standing at the end, and I was using my usual toss with the Yo-Yo dice set. I only rolled a 5. Then the next time I got the dice, I decided to experiment with trying to get a good backspin on the dice when I toss them. This is something I need to work on, for trying it this way, the release always ends up awkward. But I did shoot a 9 doing it that way. It was a long battle trying to get my money back. Fortunately, I didn't have to re-buy at all. Eventually, I did my Route 66 strategy, and on someone else's shoot, managed to get it to the point where I knew I'd gotten my money back, provided that I take my bets down. So that's what I did, JUST ahead of the seven-out. I ended up $72 ahead for the session, which lasted nearly two hours, during which, I had 8 Hardway bets hit (3 Hard Fours, 3 Hard Sixes, one Hard 8, and one Hard Ten). Nowhere near my record, for sure, but it was an exhausting, but fun session, nonetheless.

     There's something I have to mention that happened to Mrs. MusicalDice while I was playing craps. She's more of a slot machine player, and she got on this one slot machine just after an Oriental guy had left it. She soon hit the bonus round, and the guy was really mad, harassing her, saying that that was HIS money. One of the attendants threatened to call security if he didn't leave her alone. I have to say this, right here and now: Once you leave a slot machine, that is it. You have no claim on what someone else wins on it, once you leave. It would be like, if I leave a craps table, and the table then goes on a good rally, and I try to claim some of those winnings. You see how absurd that is? I normally wouldn't mention this, but it was something that affected my wife for the rest of the day. She did win over $100 on that slot machine, BTW.

     As usual, we made reservations to have dinner at the Ember Steakhouse in the L'Auberge casino. By this time, it was getting somewhat close to time for our reservation, that when we got to L'Auberge, there wasn't time to play craps, so instead, I got into a blackjack game instead. Fortunately, this went fairly smoothly, and quite profitably, for I won an even $500 there. I now locked up a 500 Club for the month of April, keeping that streak alive. From there, it was on to dinner.

     The dinner at the Ember Steakhouse was especially good tonight, and the service was superb. We could hardly have asked for a better wedge salad and bone-in rib-eye steak meal. Over dinner, we discussed future plans for the rest of the evening. Our initial plan was to go to the Horseshoe, with me playing poker, and then coming back to Golden Nugget, and us getting into the hot tub, which usually closes at 10:00. But unfortunately, the hot tub only closes at 7, as the weather isn't quite warm enough. So the plans became, just go to the Horseshoe to play some poker.

     But when we got to the Horseshoe, we discovered that the Poker Room was closed. Apparently, I had forgotten that the Poker Room at the Horseshoe is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Teanslation: I'll have to wait until Day 3 to play poker there. So we went to the craps table instead. Instead of playing slots this time, Mrs. MusicalDice decided to watch me play craps. This was a hoot, for my wife can be a big cheerleader, which I think this table needed, for I got off to an even rockier start than I did at the craps table at Golden Nugget. I ended up buying in for a total of $700, instead of the usual $500. This time, I was standing at Stick Left 1, and at first, I used the Hardway dice set, with my backspin toss. Rolled a 6. Then I switched to the Yo-Yo dice set, keeping the same toss. That resulted in a PSO. I then switched to a lower toss, keeping the same dice set. Rolled a 9. During this roll, I had parlayed the 6 bet up to $90, as I'd rolled it 4 times already. I was getting excited at the prospect of getting a black chip for another hit on the 6, which would pay $105, and that would be enough to get my money back. Not to be. The very next roll was seven-out. Fortunately, there was another shooter, who was doing a little better that I was, and I bet 88 inside on him. I found myself counting down the hits I needed to get my money back. The moment I was sure I'd have my money back if I take my bets down, that's what I did, locking up a $29 win.

     By the time, we finished at the Horseshoe, we were dead tired, and when we returned to Golden Nugget, there wasn't even a thought of doing any more gambling. I was content to end this day ahead $601. Let's see if I can build on this tomorrow...

Day 2 -- TRIPLE HALL OF FAME DAY

     Anyone who has been following this blog for the past 2½ years knows that for the most part, I've been struggling with my dice setting and my throws, getting Hall Of Fame rolls (20-rollers minimum to make my page of My Best Craps Shoots) only occasionally. Today's title refers to the fact that I had THREE rolls of at least 20 today--something I don't think I've ever done before (I think I once had two the same day in 2017, but that was it). I have to say that I am cautiosly optimistic that I've found something that really works for me, as far as my toss goes--I would hate to think that my results today was merely a product of incredibly dumb luck!

     My wife and I got off to a late start this second day, not finishing breakfast until after 10:00. After that, we went into the casino at Golden Nugget, where I got into a craps game. Here, it was an empty table--something I don't usually like playing at, but this time, it provided the perfect place to test out my low=throw toss, getting the dice barely to the wall. I stood at Stick Left 1, and returned to the Hardway dice set. It was a $10 table, and I did a Split The Sisters betting strategy, doing 88 inside to start. I got past that, reducing down to 44 inside, then parlaying my bets up slowly. I keep a running tally of what I'm shooting in my mind, and you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that I'd rolled 28 times, at the end of the rally! Many of these rolls were non-productive horn rolls (10 of them, in fact), and I only ended up $190 ahead. Still, it was a very good start to the day.

     The weather forecast predicted scattered thunderstorms in Lake Charles for this day. And the skies were getting overcast. I figured we had time to do a relatively quick session at L'Auberge. The weather forecast and our desire not to get caught in the rain, were factors in some of my decision-making in this session.

     I first went to a craps table that was relatively crowded. I wasn't the shooter, but I managed to make a little bit, using the Split The Sisters strategy, doing 132 inside. I barely was able to get out of the roll before the seven-out. I made $43 at the craps table, deciding not to wait until it was my turn to shoot, due to the weather.

     Instead, I thought I'd play a quick game of blackjack before heading back to Golden Nugget. Bad move, Mr. MusicalDice. The cards were choppy at first, then they turned plain bad. At one point, I was down to just $75 of my $500 buy-in, and it came down to whether or not I was going to re-buy. Now I'd had four casino wins prior to this session, and I hated to have to snap this win streak, but again, thinking of the weather, I decided to take the hit, and make sure me and Mrs. MusicalDice got back to Golden Nugget without getting drenched. I lost $425 at the blackjack table, and the session, overall, was a $382 loss. At least I'm still ahead for the trip.

     Fortunately, for our walk to Golden Nugget, we only encountered a few tiny raindrops. But once we got into our room, it started raining more, but that didn't last long. And no thunderstorms came our way. We did decide to chill out for the next few hours, getting quasi-room service (Mrs. MusicalDice actually going downstairs to pick up the order from Claim Jumper), as a late lunch. This gave me the energy to gamble again.

     When we got to the casino in the Golden Nugget, I discovered that the craps table initially was full, so I played blackjack first. It took a while on a very choppy table to even win $25, but after that, I discovered an opening at the craps table, at the Right Inner Hook. I almost never play from this position! But surprisingly, it worked out. On a shooter I bet on prior to my getting the dice, I used the Knock-Down strategy, doing 66 inside (the table was now a $15 table). I made a little money, getting all the numbers except for 9 paid for, but one of the other numbers hit 3 times, allowing me to branch to the 4 and 10 for 15 each, and the 4 hit just prior to the shooter crapping out. So indirectly, the 9 got paid for as well. When I got the dice, I decided to use the Yo-Yo dice set in conjunction with my low-toss throw. I think I also used the Split The Sisters strategy for 176 inside. Much to my surprise, I ended up with a second Hall Of Fame roll, shooting 22 times. I won an even $300 at the craps table, for a session win of $325, almost making up for the blackjack loss at L'Auberge. Also, I was back in the positive for the day, being a net of $133 ahead for the day at that point.

     I wasn't even sure I was going to play again this day, especially since it was so late when we finally had dinner (close to 9 p.m.). But after a relatively light dinner at a Chinese restaurant at Golden Nugget, I decided to try it again.

     This time, I was able to play craps first, even getting my favorite spot at Stick Left 1. This time, Mrs. MusicalDice decided to play too. We were later told by one of the dealers that they love it when we come to the table, for we liven the table up with our antics. And this craps session was no exception. When I got the dice, I placed 20 on the Pass Line, and bet a 10-dollar Whirl. One of my come-out rolls was a yo. I, of course yelled out "Can you say yo-baby, yo-baby, yo!" with my wife chiming in, adding "Yo-yo!" to the end of her cheering. The next roll, in fact, was another yo! I yelled out "Who called that?!" before my wife and I both said "Can you say yo-baby, yo-baby, yo!!" After a point was established, I once again did the Split The Sisters strategy, doing 176 inside. BTW, hats off to Bryan of Hawaii Craps Shooters, for coming up with the Split The Sisters strategy. And there was A LOT of cutting up still to come. For one, I rolled each of the Hardways once, and I had bets on them each time. I was using the Hardway dice set, and I usually don't roll a lot of hardways with this set, but I did this time, as I did this morning on the 28-roller. You can imagine my surprise, when I discovered that I'd even topped that 28-roller, especially since this was on a different craps table from this morning! I ended up shooting 29 times, winning $467 at this craps table. Mrs. MusicalDice, who didn't play the Place bets as often as I did, only won $148. But that was still cool.

     I was so close to a 500 Club, that I decided to try to complete the task by playing a quick round of blackjack. That ended up being a longer than expected session there, for I fell behind there at first. I knew I wasn't going to negate the win at the craps table, no matter what, but I finally achieved my goal in a round where I was playing two hands. I had a hard 19 on the first hand, with the dealer showing a 5. My other hand was an ace and a 4. I was down $12.50 at that point, and I said at that point that I'd normally double down on this hand, but I instead decided to just hit it. This was because in case the dealer made a hand and won, I'd still not be far away from my goal. The card I took was another 4, and I stayed on a soft 19. Turns out, the dealer's other card was a deuce, and a 10 gave him a hand of 17. Fortunately, I won on both of my hands, and I stopped, $37.50 ahead. Good enough, for the total Golden Nugget session was a win of $504.50. A second 500 Club on this trip. Cool!

     I still am amazed that I was able to pull off THREE twenty-something rolls on the same TRIP, let alone the SAME DAY! And even with the loss at L'Auberge, I made slightly more today than I did yesterday. For overall, I won $637.50 for this second day, compared to $601 for the first day. Thus far, I am ahead a total of $1238.50. Will this continue tomorrow? Stay tuned!!

Day 3 -- When To Stop

     Coming into this day, I had four straight poker wins, as well as six straight craps wins. I was also so far ahead that I was determined to remain ahead on this trip, no matter what. This latter statement ruled my decision-making on this day.

     While My wife did some shopping, I played craps at L'Auberge. One thing I wanted to see was if this low-throw toss that had worked out so well at Golden Nugget yesterday, would also work out at other casinos. While I did shoot a 12 and a 15 using the Hardway dice set and the low toss, the problem was that L'Auberge especially frowns on people who shoot the dice without betting on other shooters, and wouldn't let me shoot if I didn't bet on other shooters. This particular table was crowded, and nobody else could really shoot for long. In the process of being a good little n***er, I bet too much on the other shooters. Ultimately, I left the table $229 down. But I did sufficiently prove to myself that I probably have found a good toss that works for me.

     I was determined to play poker at the Horseshoe, so that's where we went next. But once the game got started (after waiting around for some time), it was like I'd run into a brick wall. I could hardly do a damn thing against these guys. Yes, this streak had to end as well. I lost $502 at the poker table. It was then that I'd declared myself all gambled out for this trip.

     As I said, I was determined to stay ahead on this trip, no matter what, and I succeeded in that, for I still am ahead $507.50 at the end of all this.

Day 4 -- No Focus Change Here

     Since I'm already all gambled out for this trip, this section will be strictly analysis and after-thoughts.

     For those of you who had read my Atlantic City trip results, you know that I was wondering if there was going to be a shift in focus from craps to poker, given how well in poker I was doing up to that point. This trip to Lake Charles has shown me that there will not be any change in focus. My main focus will continue to be on craps. For one thing, on this Lake Charles trip, I ended up $872 ahead playing craps, and that was even with the loss. I even ended up ahead playing blackjack on this trip--$137.50 to be exact. Of course, I lost $502 in my one poker session in Lake Charles. In light of what appears to be a big discovery for me, regarding my toss, I am definitely NOT changing focus on this blog.

     Overall for the year, I am still down $1416.50. By game, the breakdown goes like this: I'm still ahead $480 playing poker. I'm only down $109 for the year playing craps. Of course, the big losing game for me this year has been blackjack (-$1787.50), and that's the game that I have the highest win percentage! Go figure!

     One final note: In light of what I called this trip, Mrs. MusicalDice and I discovered that L'Auberge is offering to comp us for two nights later on this month. In light of that, we already booked our next Lake Charles trip, and that's going to be for April 30th to May 2nd. Stay tuned for that trip's results! ☺

March 12 - 15, 2024 -- ATLANTIC CITY IV -- Overnight This Time

     Unlike the previous three trips to Atlantic City, this trip was not just a day trip, but for three nights. Apparently, all my play at the Golden Nugget in Lake Charles, led to my having three nights fully comped at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. So that's where me and my wife stayed.

Day 1 -- Now This Is A Room!

     To explain this reference, one has to know that this Atlantic City trip was not the first leg of my trip to the east coast. The previous leg of my trip was to my birth place of New York City. There, my wife and I stayed at a Double Tree hotel, that surprisingly, had very small cramped rooms. So when my wife and I arrived at Golden Nugget, both of our reactions were "Now this is a room!" Mot that this room was a luxury suite, but it looked to be at least twice as spacious as the room we had in New York City. It was comparable in size to what we usually get in Lake Charles. Yes. This will work.

     The gambling started after some time of much-needed rest. The first table I played at was a blackjack table, after seeing only a $25 craps table, where only one person was playing, and he seemed not to be doing well. Not willing to play at a $25 table initially, I played blackjack. I ended up $25 ahead at the table.

     The next stop was at the Borgata. I decided to play craps first, playing at a $15 table. I observed that the people were crapping out early. I'm concentrating more on observing how the table appears to be going, and bet accordingly. In this case, I decided to do a new strategy (for me), which is a variation of Pro Craps' Ladder Come Bet strategy. In my case, my first Come bet was $15, my second was $45, and the third and final $105 (instead of starting off with $25, then doubling the bet on susequent Come bets, like John from Pro Craps does). In my case, the Come bets traveled to the 5 and the 9, respectively. The second Come bet came when the point was made. The third bet of $105 was on the Pass Line to protect the two Come bets up there. The next roll was a 7 winner. I netted $45 profit because of that. I used $33 of that to place the 5 and the 8. Unfortunately, the shooter crapped out before either were hit. I still was $12 ahead at that point. I more or less repeated the process with the following shooter. It was only then that I really was playing crapless craps! For the first roll after the point was established, was a 3, and the Come bet was moved to 3, instead of just taken. The next Come bet had traveled to 8, and the next roll was a 7, and fortunately, I had a $105 Come bet out there. I netter an additional $45 profit, and decided to leave the table, since I hadn't intended to play crapless craps.

     The gambling started after some time of much-needed rest. The first table I played at was a blackjack table, after seeing only a $25 craps table, where only one person was playing, and he seemed not to be doing well. Not willing to play at a $25 table initially, I played blackjack. I ended up $25 ahead at the table.

     I then went to a regular craps table. There, I stood at Stick Lect 1, I felt it was decent, and dared play the Route 66 strategy. But immediately after regressing down to 66 inside (after betting 66 each on both 6 and 8, one of which hit), the shooter crapped out. Then I got to shoot. I placed $20 on the Pass Line, with a $10 Whirl bet. I used the Hardway dice set, experimanting with a relatively new grip for me, an ice tong grip. The first two rolls were both 2 craps. I made a net of $64 off those two rolls. I did establish a point of 4. I bet 24 each on 6 and 8, and placed 1X odds behind the Pass Line bet. I did make the point, then established a point of 9. Unfortunately, no other productive rolls came, and I crapped out after 7 rolls. I ended up $26 ahead at that table. A total of $83 ahead for the two tables.

     From there, I played poker, playing 2/5 No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em. After an hour and 15 minutes, I won $144, making a total session win of $227 at the Borgata.

     As far as gambling goes, there would be no more for the first day, for my wife and I were still very tired from our train trip from New York City to Atlantic City. I ended up $252 ahead for the first day.

     So what else happened that first day? Mrs. MusicalDice and I had a delicious steak dinner at Vic & Anthony's in Golden Nugget. Afterwards, we listen to a live musical show in a lounge. Mrs. MusicalDice recognized the husband/wife guitar-playing duo as the duo she had once seen in Vegas during one of our previous visits. But afterwards, we both crashed in our room for the night. More tomorrow.

Day 2 -- The Damndest Ways To Make Money

     Mrs. MusicalDice and I got off to a late start today. We were determined to do the boardwalk thing today. Plus, I discovered that I still had a $1 chip in my pocket from the Borgata yesterday. Apparently, I had under-stated my win at the second craps table, so actually, I won $27 there, for a total craps win there of $84, and a total Borgata win of $228, and a total day win of $253. With that out of the way, let's get into some Day 2 results...

     Things got off to a rocky start at the beginning, when we went to Bally's. The craps table wasn't open yet, so I played blackjack first. This turned out to be a bad idea, as I quickly lost $295. I hadn't gone into an additional buy-in, but by then, the craps table opened, so I decided to take the hit on the blackjack table, and hope I can do better on the craps table.

     Things definitely improved at the craps table. On the first person's shoot, I did the progressive Come betting strategy, getting three Come bets out there for $15, $45, and $105. I think the middle one got sniped with a craps roll. Fortunately, the number the big Come bet traveled to, and I believe it was a 10, hit again, and I made up for that. But he crapped out when I tried to capitalize on that with some of my profits. Then I got to shoot. I decided to use the Hardway dice set from Stick Left 1, using a somewhat big pendulum swing. This seemed to work out for me, for I had a big shoot this time, shooting 21 times, enough to make my Best Shoots Hall Of Fame page, and more importantly, get me out of the hole. Along the way, I hit the 8 seven times, and on three occasions, got to yell out "Bull-llackout!" for $105 payouts. The second of the three actually made me $150, for the 8 came hard, and I had $5 on the Hard 8. Altogether, I made $455 at the craps table, making for a total win at Bally's of $160. Cool.

     Let me quickly say that while I was playing craps, Mrs. MusicalDice made over $500 playing slots. I don't know how she does it, but somehow, it works most of the time. I wish I could get a 500 Club here in Atlantic City. It hasn't happened yet. Oh well, there's still time.

     From Bally's, we walked north up the boardwalk. Along the way, we ducked into a parlor, where Mrs. MusicalDice got a temporary tatoo of a butterfly on her left hand.

     While we were there, we were approached by a man who said that his company, a new hotel resort would pay us $125 for a tour of the place. Immediately, I was skeptical, for I suspected that this was some sort of a timeshare pitch, especially since we were told that the tour would take about 2 hours. My wife wanted to at least hear about it, so I reluctantly agreed to go along with it. The initial guy that talked to us even showed us to a nice diner, where my wife and I had a delicious lunch. Then it was in for the presentation, which was, in fact, a timeshare pitch. Although the resort was really impressive, ane the deal sounded tempting (by design), we still said no--at least 20 times. We did get the voucher for the $125, which we had to go to the Ocean casino to redeem. That was cool, for it was along the walk up the boardwalk. But this 2 hour presentation ate into time I would have much rather spent gambling at other casinos up the boardwalk. I also noted that it took only 45 minutes for me to make the $160 at Bally's. Mrs. MusicalDice was happy to get the money, regardless.

     For those of you who have read previous entries in this blog, I'm sure you've figured out that I use this green notation when I make at least $100, but less than $500. I'm sure you also know that I use the ice cold dice symbol when the dice are ice cold. Yes, both were in play here at the Ocean casino. So how the hell did I make money with the dice so ice cold? Nothing but progressive Come bets. Here, it was at a $10 table, and on two occasiions, I had to go to a Level 4 Come bet, which in this case was $150 (the first 3 levels were $10, $30, and $70), which won when the 7 was rolled. I ended up winning $110. But I even said after that win, "That was the damndest way to win money at a craps table." Of course, that timeshare voucher thing (which was redeemed at the casino) was also not a pretty way to make money. At least we're still making money on this trip.

     I'm sure Mrs. MusicalDice was happy when I decided to play poker first when we next went back to the Borgata. For the long walk up the boardwalk was harder on her than it was for me. Without getting into much detail, after an hour at the poker table, playing 1/3 No-Limit Hold 'Em, I won $62.

     Then I went to the craps table--only to discover that once again, I was at the crapless craps table! And I got off to a rocky start, for an attempt at the Route 66 strategy, led to an early seven-out before I got a single hit. I lost a little at first, playing the progressive Come bet strategy, but I stuck with it, even though one of my Come bets mobed to the 11 (as this is crapless craps, an is not an automatic winner on the Come). And my big Come bet for $105 was moved to the 10. Things didn't look too good, but fortunately, the shooter shot repeaters so that all three Come bets hit. When I got the big one back, I immediately colored up, winning $72, for a total session win of $134. And yes, I cashed in that leftover $1 chip for yesterday, which didn't count in this win.

     After a nice simple dinner back at Golden Nugget, I decided to play once more. I started off at the craps table, and got off to a rocky start there, with my big Come bet getting sniped by a craps roll. Then another Route 66 strategy ended with an early seven-out. But the table was still an enjoyable one, for there was a woman standing next to me that was great to talk to (strictly craps, people). She was a random shooter, but nonetheless, I bet 5-5-5 on the All-Tall-Small for her roll. She enjoyed my antics, especially when I said "Snowflakes!" when she rolled a hard 10, and I had 5 on the Hard 10 bet. She did make the small (paying 35 for 1, or $175 including my bet), just barely getting my money back, before she crapped out. I ended up $31 ahead at that table.

     Then I went to a blackjack table, where I got off to an even rockier start, losing the first six rounds, and forcing a second 500-dollar buy-in, before battling back to finally end up $50 ahead. A hell of a way to grind out $81 for the session. Overall, I ended up $485 ahead for the day, and so far, I'm now ahead $738 for the trip. Hopefully, I can continue this success tomorrow.

Day 3 -- Burning Desires

     Since this was my last full day in Atlantic City, I figured I'd play at places I meant to play at yesterday, but because of the wasted time at the timeshare thing, I didn't get to play at some places I wanted to. So how would that turn out? Let's find out...

     The first place I played at was Caesar's. I played craps there. At first, the table was choppy, which was okay for my progressive Come betting strategy. I was up nearly $100 at one point, but one of my burning desires was to try to get a 500 Club, since I never had one in Atlantic City. But then, things went south, and my Come bets started getting sniped (with crap rolls, and the 7 coming after the Come bets had all traveled to numbers). I then switched to Split The Sisters for 132 inside, and early seven-outs killed that. I ended up down $693 for the session. I had sic straight casino wins here in Atlantic City, and really, 10 casino wins in a row overall (including the last four from Lake Charles last month), and that all came crashing down here. ARGH!!

     I had never played at Harrah's here in Atlantic City. At the time, it seemed like the thing to do, since I've had big wins at three other Harrah's properties--those being in Las Vegas, Kansas City, and New Orleans. But it was like I ran into a brick wall there. Again, my Come bets were getting sniped, and my Route 66 and Split The Sisters strategies were not working out. To quote a song from 1975, I must have picked a bad time to play some dice (taken off of "Bad Time" by Grand Funk). I lost $457 at that table.

     I then played blackjack, trying to get the money back from the craps table. Sometimes, that works, but this time, I only succeeded in losing an additional $375. I lost my area code here at Harrah's! ($832)

     At this point, I felt I only had one final chance to get a 500 Club here in Atlantic City. And I was going to try with the one game that I've had the most success at lately, and sorry folks, it wasn't craps. I hadn't intended om playing poker again on this trip, but given my results earlier in the day, that was the only thing that made any sense, as far as what to play next. So I went to the Borgata, and played 2/5 No-Limit Hold 'Em. It soon turned out to be a wise decision, for soon after I sat down, I busted a player flopping a set of kings vs. a flopped set of 8's for my opponent. This led to a $523 win at the Borgata. Yay!!

     At this point, I was still down $264, and upon returning to Golden Nugget, I thought I'd try to win that there. Not to be. I lost $662.50 at the blackjack table. That convinced me to declare myself all gambled out for this trip. I ended up down $926.50

Day 4 -- For The Sake Of This Blog

     Since I had already declared myself all gambled out for this trip, Day 4 is only going to contain some analysis. The good news is that I won $729 playing poker on this trip, racking up my fourth poker win in a row, including one from Lake Charles. Of course, the bad news was what happened on the other two games. I ended up with a net loss of $398 playing craps, and a net loss of $1257.50. Do I detect a shift of focus for MusicalDice on future gambling trips? For the sake of this blog, I hope not.

     For now, it's on to Bowie Maryland to visit my aunt who is turning 95 on St. Patrick's Day. Stay tuned for future craps articles and trips. ☺

February 9, 2024 -- The Earthquake Roll And A Birthday

     Those of you who are familiar with me and the way I play craps, know that whenever a 9 is rolled, and I make $28 on the roll, I say "February 9, the Earthquake Roll!" As stated in my Glossary Of Craps Terms, I say February when I make $28 on the roll, since that's how many days February has in it (except for leap years, of course), and why I say the Earthquake Roll, refers to the fact that I was in a major earthquake on February 9th, 1971, which was the Sylmar California earthquake. So how does this relate to a birthday? I only recently learned that the singer whom one of her most famous songs is "I Feel The Earth Move," (a song that came out not long after the Sylmar earthquake), in fact, has a birthday today! That singer, of course, is Carole King! I mentioned her birthday on my Music Blog. Do I see calling this roll the Carole King Roll in the future? What do you think?

     BTW, I do have to mention that I actually like Martika's 1989 remake of "I Feel The Earth Move" better than the original by Carole King. Ironically, Martika's version was in the Top 40 at the time of the big San Francisco earthquake in 1989. Just thought I'd throw that little factoid at you. ☺

February 6 - 8, 2024 -- LAKE CHARLES XXVII -- Lake View

     Whether we stay at L'Auberge, or at Golden Nugget, in Lake Charles, we never had stayed in a room with a view of the actual lake--we'd usually get a view of the pool area, or the parking lot. This time, we got a view of the giant lake that is Lake Charles, and it was very pretty. I can only hope my gambling results here are just as pretty.

Day 1 -- At Least I Can Say...

     This time, we stayed at Golden Nugget. After a much-needed rest, we went downstairs to the casino.

     I first went to the craps table, where I played a new strategy I'm soon going to unveil on the site, called the Route 66 strategy. Here, I placed 66 each on the 6 and 8, and when one hits, I reduce the bets down to 66 inside. I'm out of the hand with an $11 profit right away. In this case, I got a few more hits on the inside numbers before the 7-out. I walked away from the table winning $65. At least I can say I didn't start off with a loss, and I may be on to something, as far as strategoes go. I did add another $12.50 at the blackjack table, for a total session win of $77.50.

     From there, it was to L'Auberge. The craps table was full, so I played blackjack. Bad timing there, as almost anything that could go wrong, did. I left there $875 down for the session. ARGH!!

     Back to Golden Nugget, I returned to the craps table. But the dice were ice cold. Early crap-outs marred this session, and it didn't matter whether I was using my Route 66 strategy, or Bryan (from Hawaii Craps Shooters)'s Split The Sisters strategy, where I'd invest the same $132 but on all the inside numbers. The dice were not nice, as Bryan likes to say. I was determined not to play scared craps on this trip, and unfortunately, that comes with greater risk. I shot twice in this session, shooting a 4 and an 11 from Stick Left 1, using the Hardway dice set--the second roll came too late to salvage a win. I will say that I had a great conversation with the dealers and a very knowledgeable pit boss about music. It helped take the sting out of a $585 loss. I did have fun at this table. At least I can say that.

     After a wonderful steak and wedge salad dinner at the Ember Steakhouse (on the L'Auberge property), the next gambling stop was at the Horseshoe. It was my intention to play poker there first. But for some odd reason, the poker room was closed! WTF?? Anyway, I then played at the craps table, which was a $10 table, compared to $15 for the other sessions. This time, I played from the left end, using my Yo-To dice set. When I shot the dice, I returned to the Split The Sisters strategy, only that I only invested $88 instead of $132. I just barely got out of the hand, shooting a 7 (some non-productive rolls came as well). There was another shooter there, who had a slightly better roll. On his roll, I used a variation of my Route 66 strategy, investing $48 each on the 6 and 8, reducing down to 44 inside on the first hit (this variation, I'm calling the 4X Reductio method). This worked well enough to yield a $51 profit by the time I left the table.

     After the Horseshoe, we returned to L'Auberge. I was determined to get into a craps game this time. I managed to get on at the end, but there were several shooters ahead of me. No matter. On this one shooter, I decided to try to tip-toe into the game, placing a $25 bet on the Field. Fortunately, a yo was the next roll, and I moved those chips from the field to the 6 and 8 for 24 each. Things just grew from there, as this shooter had a real good shoot. I soon managed to say February 6, Ronald Reagan, for a 6 roll that made me $28. What a coincidence! This day WAS February 6th, which was Ronald Reagan's birthday, but technically, I shouldn't have said that, since this year, being a leap year, February has 29 days. No matter. I was able to branch out to the other box numbers, and press some of them up, before the 7-out. I made $377 at that table. Score one for the Field Constructor strategy. I think there's a lot to be said for having multiple craps strategies in your arsenal.

     I added another $125 to that at the blackjack table, for a total session win of $502. If nothing else comes out of this trip, at least I can say that I got a 500 Club for a second month in a row. One of my goals is to get 500 Clubs in every month this year--I'd come close in 2002 and 2016, but never quite achieved that goal. Hopefully...

     Back to Golden Nugget one more time, I returned to the craps table, hoping to chop down some more of my deficit. But some early crap-outs quickly convinced me to stop, rather than risk totally negating my 500 Club. I left the table $336 down, and $1165.50 down for the day. At least I can say, it wasn't quite as bad as it was last time!

Day 2 -- Bailed Out!

     The only way I can describe what happened this day was by those two words. And I mean that in more than one way, as you'll soon see...

     The gsmbling portion of the day began after my wife snd I had breakfast at Claim Jumper. First was the craps table. I was playing cautiously, only occasionally betting on the other shooters. I was slightly ahead when the shooter before me was shooting. I was informed that in order for me to shoot the dice, I had to place a line bet with this shooter, since I was only tip-toeing into the game at times. WTF? Well okay. I did just that on this shooter, since it looked like he was doing good. So not only did I make a Pass Line bet on him, I made some Place bets as well. But then, he crapped out. Argh! Fortunately, I had a good shoot. I was standing at the Left End, and I used the Yo-Yo dice set. The roll was basically Deuces Wild, and I mean that in more than one way. I rolled each of the box numbers exactly twice, with three horn numbers, and a 7, for a 16-roller. One of the 4's I rolled was a Hard 4, on which I had a bet, and I got to yell "Deuces Wild!" As far as betting goes, I used the Split The Sisters strategy, and got out of the roll. There were some non-productive rolls, as I did have some horn rolls, plus I didn't have a bet on the 4 and 10 except when the point was 4 (I made the point on that hardway roll). So maybe that explains why when I was finished, I was surprised to find that I was only $20 ahead after I finished my roll. At least, I started to feel like a winner again. I did add another $25 to that after a choppy session at the blackjack table, for a session win of %45. Well, okay.

     From there, it was to L'Auberge. Apparently, the two tables were both quite choppy. Still, I managed to emerge from both a relatively quick winner.

     First was the craps table. There, I was the first shooter. I was playing from Stick Left 1, using the Hardway dice set. Once again, I used the Split The Sisters strategy, and I just did get out of the hand as far as the Place bets. But I crapped out just afterwards, so I was slightly behind due to my Pass Line bet, Odds bet, and Whirl bet (on the come-out). Fortunately, the second shooter barely got it back for me. This time, I used the Route 66 strategy. The shooter hit either the 6 or the 8, and I reduced down to 66 inside. He hit one more of those numbers before crapping out. I left the craps table only $8 ahead. But I did add $100 to that at the blackjack table, when I won $150 for the first round, and lost $50 on the second round. I didn't feel like risking any more on what seemed to be another choppy table. So I ended that session with a $108 win.

     I was determined to play poker at the Horseshoe today, especially since I found that the poker room was open already. But dammit, when I got there, I found that they didn't have enough players to start a game. So instead, Mrs. MusicalDice and I ate a pizza lunch (the pizza wasn't that good, and greatly over-priced), and when there still wasn't enough players to start a poker game, I decided to play craps.

     The big enemy of both regression strategies I've been using on this Lake Charles trip, is the early seven-out. That's what I ran into with the first two shooters I bet on. I think I used the Route 66 strategy on them, but both shooters PSO'ed. Then it was my turn to shoot. I had just established a point, and was placing my bets for a Split The Sisters strategy, when I heard that the poker game was opening. Oh great! I was deyermined to finish out my roll first. Unfortunately, that would also result in a PSO. I lost $527 at that table. ARGH!!

     The LAST thing I wanted to do was to start a poker session just after a disappointing loss. Fortunately, it soon became clear that this would be a good poker session. Flopping a set of 10's with two of them in my hand, and making a full house, and winning a decent pot, helped me focus on poker, and put the craps session in the rear view mirror, so to speak. Without getting into too much more detail on the poker session, I busted two players--one with a flush draw which hit, and the other, who went all-in pre-flop, against my Pocket Aces, which held. Bottom line: I won $532 at the poker table, completely bailing me out of a bad session at the Horseshoe. Yes, my overall win for the session was a mere $5, but at that point, I was glad to take it!

     Upon returning to the Golden Nugget, I got into a craps game. This time, I used the Split The Sisters strategy on another shooter. This time, I did 176 inside, instead of my usual 132 inside, this time, putting 40 each on the 5 and 9, and 48 each on the 6 and 8. The shooter hit once on each of the pairs of sisters, so I was able to regress to 20 each on the 5 and 9, and 24 each on the 6 and 8. Only one more hit, a February 6 Ronald Reagan roll (yielding me $28) resulted before the shooter crapped out. I made $52 on that table.

     For quite a while, I was in great danger of completely blowing it at the blackjack table. From a $500 buy-in, I was down to my final $200 before I started getting it back. When I did get it back plus $25, I left the table, booking a session win of $77. That was enough to get me out of four digits of red ink (I was still down $930.50 at that point). I definitely needed a rest after that session!

     Mrs. MusicalDice and I went back to our room, and rested for a substantial period of time. It's good to take some time away from the tables, and re-charge the battery. We decided that we wanted Chinese food for dinner, but were disappointed that the Chinese restaurants both at L'Auberge and Golden Nugget were closed on Wednesdays. So we decided to go to one off property, but nearby. That was pretty much a disappointment. My wife tried some sort of corn soup, but in her words, it looked like sh!t. It didn't tasted too good either. I had beef with garlic sauce. In my case, there wasn't nearly enough meat. Fortunately, the dumplings were quite good. Overall, I seriously doubt we'll be going back there again. We went back to Golden Nugget from there.

     Far and away, the big story of this trip was the craps session I had, once me and Mrs. MusicalDice returned to Golden Nugget from dinner. I was able to get on a craps table in the Left Outer Hook position. There were two random shooters in front of me that seemed to be doing good, but I was gun-shy on betting on them. By the time I got to shoot, I was about $100 behind, due to my waiting a bit too long before betting on the second shooter, before he crapped out. At this point, I didn't really give a damn. I was resigned to most likely ending up behind for this trip, but this seemed like a fun table, so I decided to have some fun. I bought in for an additional $200 (total buy-in: $700), and decided to play the ATS for 5-5-5. For my shoot, I used the Yo-Yo dice set. Fortunately, I had a real good roll. I played 6 amd 8 at first for four units each. and starting branching to the other numbers as they hit, and I got those bets paid for. The ones standing nearest to me enjoyed my craps terms--I said "February 6, Ronald Reagan term again, plus, much to my surprise, when I said February 9, the Earthquake Roll, one of the other players said that she too was living in the L.A. Area (Ojai) at the time of the Sylmar earthquake, which took place on February 9th, 1971. Anyway, at one point, I rolled a yo. The point was established by that point. Normally, a yo would be a non-productive roll, but in this case, it was anything but, for I heard this guy screaming from the other side of the table. I asked him if I had just hit the Tall, and he said yes. At that point, I yelled out "Shut the front door!" For I had just made $175 on that roll myself (counting the 5 that was returned to me), since my ATS was still up (I had almost forgotten about that). It was at that point that I knew that I'd gotten my money back. But that was only the warm-up act, for eventually, I did something I never did before, either as a shooter, or as a bettor. When I rolled a 5, I HIT THEM ALL!!!! I was awarded another $175 for the Small, and $880 for the All (including the 5 returned to me in both cases). Prior to this session, the most I ever made off a single roll of the dice was $550 for a Hard 4 I rolled back in 2002. But this roll of 5 yielded me $1073--$875 + $170 + $28 (for my Place bet). Boy was that table cheering!! And when I got the 880 payout with 8 black chips, I couldn't help but yell "BULL-LLACKOUT!!!" I ended up rolling 19 times, and I ended the session $1201 ahead--just $12 shy of this being one of my ten best gambling sessions ever! This was my second best session here at Golden Nugget, with my best session here was the $1800 win I had nearly three months ago. And just to think that when I started this blog almost three years ago, my best win here was a mere $701 from back in 2016.

     Not only was this session an awesome session, my biggest win of this year thus far, and my biggest win in nearly three months, this win also completely bailed me out of the hole I was in for the whole trip!!! I ended up winning a total of $1436 today, bringing me to where I'm now ahead $270.50 for the trip. Maybe I should declare myself all gambled out at this point, like I did when I won the $1800 here back in November. But I'm not ready to say that just yet...

Day 3 -- To Plsy, Or Not To Play...

     This was the question I asked myself, given that I had been given a reprieve yesterday, and I was determined to stay ahead. Ultimately, I decided to play a little more, with the idea that if I fell behind too much, I'd stop in time to retain SOME of my profits.

     First was the blackjack table at Golden Nugget, after breakfast. I won a quick $100, then it was time to check out. Once my wife and I did that, we waited for an Uber to take us back to L'Auberge, where our tour bus would eventually come to take us home to Houston. While we were waiting on the Uber, I figured out whether I was ahead or behind playing craps. I figured that I was $326 ahead playing craps on this trip. This figured in my decision not to play craps today. Instead, I played blackjack at L'Auberge. After winning a quick $200 at that table, I stopped, declaring myself all gambled out. I finished out the trip $570.50 ahead.

     Overall, I was pretthy happy with the decisions I made at the craps tables regarding the strategies I used (although I can probably use a good hybrid strategy for cold tables, that I can transition into playing the light side). Also, I have to remember to relax my throw when I'm shooting the dice (I realized that my throws were not relaxed when I observed how the shooter that won me the $377 the first night, was shooting the dice).

     That's all for now, folks! In the very near future, I plsn to put somr new strategies up on this site--some of which I'd used on this trip. Watch for them! ☺

January 7 - 9, 2024 -- LAKE CHARLES XXVI -- New Year, New Opportunity

     My wife and I were very excited to come back out to Lake Charles for the first trip of 2024. I was hoping to at least do better than my last trip out there. Would that happen? Let's find out together!

Day 1 -- Maybe I Should Have Waited

     We decided to stay at L'Auberge this time. However, when we got there, we discovered that unlike most times when we got there, the room wasn't ready. So I decided to play until then...Big mistake!

     We first went to a craps table at L'Auberge. There was hardly anyone at the craps table--just myself and the bus driver who drove us to L'Auberge. I got the position next to the stick man on the left. But finding a dice set and a toss that would work would prove a challenge. The Hardway dice set wasn't working. The dice set that worked out the best was the Crossed Sixes (6/2-6/4) dice set, where I shot a 9. But too many of the rolls were non-productive horn rolls. And the other shooter, he tries to be a controlled shooter, but his shoots were worse than mine. I experimanted with a lower toss, but that didn't seem to work. Ultimately, I left the table $598 down.

     I then tried my luck at blackjack, but that was even worse. I lost $775 at that game. I almost stopped there, but then it occurred to me that I didn't even try my 4X strategy. So I went back to the craps table for that one reason. And for the most part, it worked. It's just that my shooting was still rusty, and after one time that I wasn't able to get the one hit on the 6 or 8, I left the table $175 down. Well at least my total loss playing craps was still less than my loss at the blackjack table!

     After such a disastrous start to the trip, I decided not to do any more gambling until after dinner, at which point, we'd go to the Horseshoe, where I'd play poker. We were at L'Auberge 2 hours before the room was finally ready. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, and watching football. We'd already seen our Texans make it to the playoffs, courtesy of their win over the Colts. But then we watched the Texans win the division, courtesy of the Jaguars losing to the Titans. It was good not thinking about gambling for a while. And the dinner meal we had at the Ember steakhouse was especially delicious. I felt ready to take a chance again.

     As planned, we went to the Horseshoe after dinner. I first played poker. It started off good, but it's hard to win at that game when there are few players, like it was after my initial wins. After three hours, I ended up losing $279 there. Then, I played craps. I got off to a rocky start there, initially standing at Stick Right 2. I used my Yo-Yo dice set at that position. I shot a 6 there. Not enough to really do anything, since most of those rolls were horn rolls. I then moved to the end and used the same dice set, opting for a stronger toss. Finally, a good roll! I ended up shooting 17 times, making two points of 8, a point of 9, and a point of 10. I even was able to say "Snowflakes" twice, one of which was when I made the point. My roll was barely enough to make up for my rocky start at this table. I ended up $40 ahead at the table. Not much, but at least I felt like a winner again, despite a net loss of $239 at the Horseshoe.

     After we returned from the Horseshoe, we were both too exhausted to consider any more gambling. We'll be at again tomorrow.

Day 2 -- Nasty Weather/Are Flat Bottoms In?

     No, the last part of the title is not a reference to a certain part of the female anatomy, but rather, keeping the bottoms of the dice parallel to the surface of the craps table. The first part of the title was a reference to the weather in Lake Charles -- thunderstorms pretty much all day. Of course, one could easily argue that I had already been experiencing nasty weather at the tables, being already down $1787. I just knew that unless I started turning things around for the better, I was going to declare myself all gambled out sooner than I did on my last Lake Charles trip.

     In light of the weather forecast, my wife and I decided to stay at L'Auverge. When we first ventured into the casino, I got on to a craps table, at Stick Left 1. This time, I opted for the Hardway dice set. My first shoot was about a 6, but I felt comfortable with my toss, so when I got the dice back, I decided to stick with that dice set, concentrating on keeping the bottoms of the dice parallel with the table, so that they'd land solid. That worked out quite well, for I shot 19 times, including 7 rolls of 6 (including two hard sixes). I had alternately pressed 6 from 24 to 48 to 90, which meant that on the last three of those rolls of 6, I was getting paid $105 for that Place bet. Yes, I got to yell out "Bull-llackout" 3 times--the first time in quite a while I was able to do that. The roll was enough for me to win $370 at the craps table. I added $175 to that at the blackjack table, leading to a $545 session win. My first 500 Club of the new year, and the tenth year in a row that I've had at least one of them (the last year that that didn't happen was 2014, a financially horrible year for me). That makes me feel a lot better about how things had been going on this trip.

     After that session and a late breakfast, we returned to our room, and for the next several hours, watched as the weather, indeed, got nasty, with booming thunderstorms, heavy rain coming down in sheets, and gale winds.

     By the time we went back down to the casino area, the rain had stopped. I wanted to get onto a craps table, but it was full. Instead, I played blackjack, where I won $100. I'm cool with that, as long as continue to chip away at my deficit for the trip.

     We dared venture to the Golden Nugget casino, while it still wasn't raining. There, I got into a craps game, playing from the left end. There, I used the Yo-Yo dice set, again concentrating on keeping the bottims of the dice parallel to the table. But doing that, shooting from the end is much harder, and I only shot a 5, admittedly, not shooting the dice hard enough from that position. Fortunately, there were other shooters, who had long enough rolls for my 4X strategy to work, and ultimately, I ended up $64 ahead at that table.

     Once we returned to L'Auberge, we decided to have dinner at a Chinese restaurant, play a little, then watch the college football championship game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Washington Huskies.

     After having a good meal at the Chinese restaurant, we entered the casino area. I first got into a very dramatic blackjack table, where I felt lucky to come out winning another $100. When I got to the craps table, I played from the right end. I got off to a rocky start there too, also not realizing until too late, that this was a $25 table. Yikes! Fortunatelt, when I got to shoot the dice, I shot them the same way I did at the Horseshoe, using the Yo-Yo dice set. I won JUST enough on my 13-roll, to get my money back, plus $10. By the time I finished, it was getting close to time for the game to start, so I decided to stop gambling for the day. It was only on this session, which was a net win of R110, that my deficit for the trip was cut down to under four digits. I won a net of $819 for the day. Something to be proud of, for sure.

     We both wanted to watch the college football championship game not only because it was being held in Houston, where we live, but also because both of have a connection with Michigan. As some of you may know, Mrs. MusicalDice is originally from Michigan (Flint), plus, for a year, I went to high school with the Michigan head coach, Jim Harbaugh (he graduated from Palo Alto High in 1982, and I graduated there in 1983. Harbaugh and I were in a trigonometry class together -- he was a senior, and I was a junior). Anyway, we were pleased as punch when Michigan won the game 34-13, thus winning the championship.

     A minor point to be made here: The weather got nasty again! It started thunderstorming again, plus the temperature plummeted throughout the game. It was a comfortable 70° when the game started, but by the time it finished, the temperature was down to 53°, plus it's supposed to dip down to about 40°. At least my results on Day 2 wasn't as nasty as the weather. Hopefully, Day 3 will continue with good results. We'll see...

Day 3 -- Cold As The Weather

     As predicted, the temperature did dip down to 40° for a low in Lake Charles. Question would be, would I be able to make up any more of my deficit?

     That question was quickly answered at the craps table at L'Auberge after my wife and I had lunch. A string of people were PSO-ing. I shot 5 times, first from Stick Right 2, using the Yo-Yo dice set. Then I moved to Sticl Left 1 when that space was available. I switched to the Hardway dice set, but only a 5 did I roll then. After a long while, I decided that enough was enough. I left the table $620 down. I did gain $20 at the blackjack table, for a net loss of $600 for the session, and a total loss for the trip at $1568. Not good, but at least it wasn't nearly as bad as it was last time. And at least, I got a 500 Club out of it. I'll be at it again next month, if not sooner.

December 23, 2023 -- Two New Craps Articles

     Today, I came out with two new craps articles--the Field Constructor Strategy, and the 4X Strategy. Would these strategies have helped me on my last trip to Lake Charles? I probably would have lost less, if nothing else, for I'd use the Field Constructor strategy on other shooters, and I would have lost less overall, using the 4X strategy, especially on my rolls. Anyway, feel free to check out these new strategies. Also feel free to let me know what you think, by emailing me at musicaldice323@gmail.com.

December 20 - 22, 2023 -- LAKE CHARLES XXV -- One Final Time For 2023

     My wife and I decided to go to Lake Charles for one final time this year. After all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holidays, and after we got our Christmas shopping pretty much out of the way, we both needed some time away. So that's what this trip was intended to be. However...

Day 1 -- In Between Zoom Meetings

     We checked into our hotel room at the Golden Nugget casino -- fully comped this time. This time, there wasn't a whole lot of time for rest and relaxation, for I had a Zoom meeting early in the afternoon with a recruiter about a potential new software development contract. After that, my wife and I went downstairs to the casino.

     Unfortunately, the trip didn't start off as good as hoped. I played craps first. I managed to get a spot at Stick Left 1, and I shot a 5 using my Hardway dice set. I've been working on not using a pendulum swing, and I felt like I tossed the dice good, except for the fifth roll which I knew was too hard. It was on that roll that I sevened-out. The other shooters were hardly any better, and I admit to betting too much on them. I did use my Two-Hit Wonders strategy, which for me in practice, has had a 90% success rate, but after three straight PSO's, I abandoned that strategy, and had to go to a second buy-in of $500. I got a little of it back before I decided that enough was enough. I left the table $450 down.

     From there, we walked over to L'Auberge. The craps table was full, so I played blackjack. I ended up winning $175 there. I thought of trying to take things further, trying to make up for the craps loss, but I felt it was important to at least get a win under my belt first. So that's how I left it at L'Auberge.

     We returned to Golden Nugget, where I first got into a blackjack game. I ended up $27.50 ahead, chipping away 10% of my deficit at that point. It all helps.

     I then returned to the craps table, this time, standing at one of the ends. The shooter was at the other end, and I decided to try the Greenback Strategy, placing 30 each on the 6 and 8, and 20 each on the 5 and 9. I collected greens on each of the six hits I got, while using the residuals either for Hardway bets, or to press or place adjacent numbers. For example, I had two hits on the 8, each paying $35. I pressed the 9 by 10 on each of those hits. It would have been nice if the 9 had hit, but that wasn't to be. I did end up $50 ahead at this table. It was my initial intention to stick around long enough for me to shoot, but it was getting too close to my and my wife's dinner reservation at the Ember Steakhouse, which is at L'Auberge, so I left after that shooter crapped out. A total session win of $77.50

     Our dinner reservations at the Ember Steakhouse were for 5:00, but then I remembered the other Zoom meeting I was to be part of, which was to start at 6:00. If we were staying at L'Auberge, this would have been feasible, but on second thought, we decided to postpone our dinner reservations until after the Zoom meeting was over. The second Zoom meeting was a family Zoom meeting, where we were celebrating the birthday of my Aunt Elizabeth, who turned 87 today. It was a truly wonderful tribute, and I was amazed at all the people my aunt has touched. I even sang a piece of "The Wonder Of You" by Elvis Presley in light of at, when I got a chance to speak. We thought the meeting would last at most an hour. It actually lasted more than TWO hours, and the Ember closed at 9:00, so we had to high-tail it over there to get a table there. But we made it, and the meal was delicious.

     Afterwards, we discovered that the tables at L'Auberge were full, so we returned to Golden Nugget. Same story there too, and I didn't have the energy to either try to get into a poker game at Golden Nugget, or head over to the Horseshoe to try to get into a game there. So instead, Mrs. MusicalDice and I decided to call it a night. I was down $197.50 for the day, but I was glad to have knocked off more than half of my initial deficit. Hopefully, tomorrow, I can knock off the rest of it, and get into black ink.

Day 2 -- Brick Wall

     There is no better way to describe what happened this second day of this trip. I felt like I'd completely run into a brick wall, with my gambling results.

     After breakfast at the Claim Jumper in the Golden Nugget casino, I played craps, hoping to further chip away at my deficit. But quite the opposite happened. The table was ICE COLD!! I even switched to a Don't strategy, but NOT EVEN THAT worked!! My shooting wasn't too hot either, and I ended up $718 down. ARGH!!!

     I thought some rest and relaxation would be enough for me to do good at the poker table, which was where I went to for my next gambling session. I swear to GOD, this will be THE LAST TIME I play at the poker room at Golden Nugget! The management and staff have such f**ked-up attitudes, plus they couldn't have made it more clear that they didn't want to deal to me, and read the cards on the board when I'm in the hand (I am visually impaired). For I sat in one of the middle seats, and they put the cards on the board as close as possible to me, but at times, I had to strain to read the cards. PLUS, they put an extra person at the table, making as cramped and uncomfortable as possible. And of course, I ended up losing $698, snapping a win streak of four poker sessions in a row.

     I made sure to play craps at L'Auberge. I was hoping the tables there would be good, but it wasn't happening there either. The table was ice cold AGAIN!! I PSO'ed on my first roll when I had a substantial amount of money out there. The next time I had the dice, I rolled at least a 5, but there weren't enough productive rolls to get me out of the hand. From there, I basically played $30 bets on the 6 and 8, hoping the math would swing back in my favor, and I'd be able to do something, once I got two hits on those numbers. Only problem was, each time, the 7 came before I even got ONE hit. When I got down to my last red chip, after several early crap-outs, I decided that enough was enough. I left $545 down at that table.

     I said to my wife after we had lunch and took a breather back in the room, if I don't win at the Horseshoe, then I am DONE for this trip. So that evening, I played at the Horseshoe--poker, not craps. The vibes in the poker room were 180° different than at the poker room at the Golden Nugget. As always, the dealers and staff were very accommodating. In fact, some of the staff at the Horseshoe, used to work at Golden Nugget, and none had a nice word to say about Golden Nugget. Hmmmm...Anyway, all the good vibrations in the world couldn't change my luck, however. I lost a huge key pot, and I never recovered from that, losing $815. I declared myself all gambled out at that point.

Day 3 -- Wait 'Til Next Year

     No more gambling for me on this trip, even though I did have enough for one more buy-in, plus some, but I always make sure to return home with some gambling money, rather than none. It's easier to build on something, than to build on nothing. My wife and I still had a great time while we were in Lake Charles, for we always love to have a little getaway. But as far as gambling, it was the worst outing I had in over two years. The good thing is, I kept my total loss for the trip under $3000. And overall for the year, I lost a lot less than I did last year. And I'm sure that the game that I lost the least at was craps. I have to find the silver lining somewhere in all this, right? Seriously, I think 2024 is going to be better. I have a goal that each month next year, I want to get at least one 500 Club. Will it happen? Wait 'til next year, and you'll find out. In the meantime, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! ☺

December 5, 2023 -- ATLANTIC CITY III -- Losing My Area Code

     The main purpose of my trip to the east coast was not to gamble, but to see my 94-year-old aunt who has been very influential in my life, and who lives in Bowie, Maryland. My wife and traveled out to Bowie on December 3rd, and stayed until December 8th. We decided to go up to Atlantic City at least once to gamble.

     Like last time, we took an Amtrak from the New Carrollton train station (the nearest station to Bowie MD) to Philadelphia, then transferred to another train (now part of New Jersey Transit), which took us the rest of the way to Atlantic City. BTW, if you're able to drive, and you'd want to go to Atlantic City, I'd recommend flying into Philadelphia, then driving the rest of the way to Atlantic City. It's only an hour's drive, and it's a lot less nerve-racking than how we did it, for neither me nor my wife drive.

     The first casino we played at was Bally's. Apparently, we got there too early for the craps table to be open (it doesn't open until 12 noon, and we got there just before 11:00). So instead, I played blackjack, and won $75. Nice way to start.

     We then went over to Caesar's, and I got into a craps game, shooting from the end. I used the Yo-Yo dice set, and I shot two different times, shooting a 9 and a 10. That table was definitely a mixed bag, for some shooters were up, some were down, and I did some low-risk strategies, even on myself--more on that later. Bottom line: I ended up $34 ahead. Still just trying to get my feet wet at this point.

     The big story of this casino session was Mrs. MusicalDice winning over $500 on a slot machine, playing the Buffalos (from an off-the-cuff suggestion from me, after we watched a Bror Frederick video). Well damn, I've never gotten a 500 Club in all the 30 years I've been coming to Atlantic City, and here, my wife gets one on just the third trip! I'm not jealous, I'm very happy for her.

     By the time we returned to Bally's (I was determined to play craps there), it was time for lunch. We had pizza at this place on the upper level. The pizza was great, but the prices were atrocious. $47 for just two slices apiece plus two drinks??

     When I got to the craps table at Bally's, it was then that things started to go south. Once again, I shot from the end. At first, I used the Yo-Yo dice set again, but after a roll of 6, and a PSO, I switched to the Crossed Sixes dice set (6/2-6/4 in my case), but that only yielded a roll of 8. And nothing was working on other shooters either. I left the table $231 down. I did win $10 of it back after a long up and down battle at the blackjack table, leading to a session loss of $221. I went from being $109 ahead to being $112 down. Ugh!

     We then went to Golden Nugget, with the hope that I'd be able to make the money back there. I nearly did at the blackjack table, winning $97.50 there. Only $14.50 down at this point.

     But it was quite a different story at the craps table. Yes, I shot a 13 from Stick Left 1, using the Hardway dice set, but there were A LOT of non-productive rolls, meaning horn rolls, and 4's and 10's when I didn't have bets on them. At one point, I was one away from hitting the tall (needing only the 9), but then I sevened-out. I admit to betting entirely too much on other shooters, and I ended up $405 down at the craps table, leading to a total session loss of $307.50.

     The last casino there was time for, before my wife and I had to return to the train station to get back to Maryland, was the Borgata. I had never lost at this casino before, but unfortunately, that changed too. I played blackjack, since so far on this trip, I hadn't lost at that, but I quickly lost $412.50 at the Borgata.

     I stopped gambling at that point. I ended up down $832 for the trip, which matches the area code for my phone number! BTW, my highest 3-game bowling series is also 832 (this occurred 20 years ago at the Reno Hilton, before my eyes went bad) -- if you want details on this, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com, and I'll be glad to give you the details.

     I have a few take-aways from this trip. One is to not put a lot of money out there initially on other shooters. And two, since my shooting, overall, wasn't terribly bad, I think I need to switch to the kinds of strategies where I can get out of the hand in a short amount of rolls, which will involve risking more money initially, but then after a few rolls, regress down, and get into profit zone. One more take-away is, the next time I come to Atlantic City, I need to stay overnight for a few nights (like I now do with Lake Charles--I initially only did day trips there, with similar results). For I found myself taking bigger risks trying to get un-stuck quickly, and that is definitely a mistake. On that last point, my wife and I are tentatively planning another trip to Atlantic City around mid-March of 2024, just ahead of visiting my aunt in Maryland for her 95th birthday, which is on St. Patrick's Day. But on our Atlantic City trip, we do plan to stay a few nights.

     One final note: 2023 marked the first time I played at Atlantic City, Reno, and Las Vegas all within the same year. Hopefully, I'll be able to do that again next year, and get at least one 500 Club in each month. Those are my goals for next year. In the meantime, I have one more Lake Charles trip planned for later on this month. Stay tuned for it! ☺

November 15 - 17, 2023 -- LAKE CHARLES XXIV -- Mrs. MusicalDice To Play This Time

     Usually, when we go on these trips, I'm the only one who plays, since gambling is more my thing than my wife's. However, this time, Mrs. MusicalDice decided to bring some gambling money to play as well. This ought to be real interesting.

Day 1 -- Mrs. MusicalDice, You Are Blessed!

     We checked into our hotel room at the Golden Nugget casino. After some much-needed rest and relaxation, we started to play.

     We first played craps at Golden Nugget. I got to play at Stick Left 1, and I had a couple of shoots using the Hardway dice set. I shot an 8 and a 12. This was at a $10 table, and I was playing very cautiously, given that lately, my shoots haven't been too good overall. I'm experimenting with a different grip, with my fingers all the way down on the dice, locking them in place before tossing them. I was using the three-finger grip. It worked satisfactorily. Only thing was, I was betting on other shooters as well, including my wife, who is a random shooter. She's really a novice when it comes to craps, so sometimes I had to explain things to her. Bottom line: I cashed out $4 ahead. My wife, who colored up at the same time I did, ended up down $23, as she wasn't playing as many Place bets as I was, nor was she playing the Knockdown strategy (which I only did with the 6 and 8). Besides, I only wanted to get my feet wet at that point.

     Afterwards, we went to L'Auberge with the intention of playing craps there first. But the only live table available was a $50 table!! NO THANK YOU!! There was also one of those so-called modernized tables with the monitor screens with the glass surface, but I can't play on that. Later for craps, I guess.

     I did play blackjack at L'Auberge (my wife doesn't play blackjack). I won a quick $100 on a choppy table. From there, we decided to return to Golden Nugget.

     When we returned to Golden Nugget, the craps table was full, so I decided to play blackjack there. I thought I was doing well by avoiding a drunk player on one table, but instead, I ran into a horrible table, losing $462.50. I was hoping for better than this!

     We ate dinner at Vic & Anthony's, still at Golden Nugget. The steak dinner and the wedge salad were both delicious. We each had one adult beverage. From there, we decided to go to the Horseshoe.

     My plan, coming to the Horseshoe, was to first play craps, and then poker. We first got to the craps table, and we both got in on a shooter that was doing well. Apparently, my wife took a chance or two more than I did, that paid off, for when we both colored up, after that shoot, I was ahead $53, while my wife finished up $69 ahead! That kind of surprised me.

     The big story at this casino, however, was, while I played poker, my wife played the slot machines, and was repeatedly hitting bonus rounds. Apparently, she had w real good run of luck, for after I finished playing poker, 1½ hours later, winning $112 in the process (and a session win of $165), my wife showed me this big wad of bills from repeated cash-outs. That wad of bills was for just over $1000, and she had another two tickets to cash in, which was for another $400+. Overall, she had won at least $800, and probably closer to a grand at the slot machines! People were getting jealous of her repeatedly hitting bonus rounds. Me, I could be nothing but proud of my wife.

     My wife was still ecstatic when we returned to the Golden Nugget. But we were both rather tired, so we didn't do any more gambling on this day. Back at the Horseshoe, I had said that my wife was really lucky, but she prefers to call it blessed, instead of lucky. So when we returned to our room, I said to her, "Mrs. MusicalDice, you are truly blessed." As for me, I finished the day down $193.50, but our spirits are definitely up. That's all for Day 1.

Day 2 -- Thought We'd Died And Gone To Heaven

     Maybe, but as you'll soon find out, I had to go through some hell before I got there...

     We ate breakfast at the Claim Jumper, in Golden Nugget. At one point, my wife was listening to a woman chewing her husband out in the booth next to us. While Mrs. MusicalDice didn't catch all of the conversation, from what she told me, I figured out that the husband had gambled and lost way too much money, so much so that the wife had to pay for breakfast, and to say the least, she was not happy about it. I remembered this incident throughout the day, for I think it had some bearing on some of my decision-making later on. BTW, Mrs. MusicalDice happily paid for our breakfast before I could say anything (I paid for the other meals later on).

     After breakfast, we went into the casino. I first played blackjack, and I was hoping to win back enough to get out of hole I was in, which was less than $200. I was up $75 at one point, but ended up down $387.50. I did get $45 of it back at the craps table, afterwards. Here, I shot from Stick Right 1, using my Hardway dice set. That didn't turn out so well, as I crapped out after 3 rolls. Fortunately, it was another shooter that got my money back, with me playing the Knockdown strategy. I did hit 4 Hard Sixes along the way. Of course, the session still ended in red ink, with me losing $342.50, leaving me down $536 for the trip thus far.

     With the proceeds of what my wife won at the Horseshoe last night, she decided to have a facial and deep tissue massage. During that time, I'd decided I was going to play at L'Auberge first, then return to Golden Nugget, and play poker until my wife's appointment finished. That was my plan, anyhow...

     The craps table was full at first, so I played blackjack at L'Auberge. This turned out to be an even bigger disaster than it was at Golden Nugget! I lost $950 at that table! And blackjack is the game that I have the highest win percentage at. What GIVES here?? Anyway, I did play craps afterwards, and I got a spot at Stick Left 2. But I got off to a rocky start there too, with some shooters crapping out early. Fortunately, I was able to get into black ink, only at the craps table, on my shoot. I opted to use my Yo-Yo dice set from my position, concentrating on my three-finger grip, with my fingers all the way down on the dice, and I shot 23 times. I was playing my Knockdown strategy the entire time, and even though I never got the 8 paid for (I didn't roll a single 5 or an 8 on my roll), and I had a bunch of non-productive rolls (I had 7 horn rolls, and 3 sevens), I just did manage to eek out a $15 craps win. That roll was enough to make my Best Shoots Hall Of Fame page. Check it out.

     At this point, I was pretty much resigned to this trip being a losing one. Still, I tried to get some of it back at the blackjack table, and MAYBE get at win at L'Auberge. Well, the second blackjack table was much better than the first, and at times, it looked like I'd have a shot at making up for the loss at the first blackjack table. But when the cards started turning cold, I decided to leave the second table $200 ahead. So overall, I "only" lost $735 at L'Auberge. $1271 down for the trip at this point.

     When I returned to Golden Nugget, I tried to get into a poker game, but there was a waiting list. I got on that, and decided to head to the craps table. Under the circumstances, I wasn't about to have my head taken off yet again at the blackjack table. I thought of that couple that was sitting in the booth next to me and my wife at Claim Jumper. I figured that playing craps was the better decision, and I am glad I made that decision. BTW, I have a cardinal rule to always come home with SOME of my gambling money. In the 10 years that me and Mrs. MusicalDice have been coming to Lake Charles together, I have never violated that rule.

     Far and away, the big story of this trip was the craps session I then had at Golden Nugget. This started out rocky as well, with my having to invest $700 (instead of the usual $500) before things got going. This time, I was standing at Right End. When I shot the dice, I used the 3V dice set (in my case, the 4/6-4/2 dice set). With that, I used a different strategy where I placed $20 on the 5 and 9, and $30 on the 6 and 8. It's a variation of Crappy the Craps Man's Collect The Greens strategy, with the 5 and 9 added by Jeremy from Color Up (he only puts $10 on these numbers). I pressed the 9 a couple of times with the non-green proceeds from rolling 8's, and I even hit the 9 once, prompting me to start the 10 for 15. However, I crapped out after 8 rolls, before I could break even for my roll (just needed one more hit). Fortunately, there was another shooter, which I think I'd seen shoot the dice good before at this table. This time, he went on a SUPER MONSTER roll! I started off with 44 inside, and gradually parlayed the numbers to at least 8 units apiece. And the numbers KEPT hitting! And eventually, I started playing the Hardways, and on 10 different occasions, THEY hit! You can imagine that I was doing some major cutting up. That turned out to be an understatement, for the roll lasted EIGHTY MINUTES, as I would later find out. There were two occasions, in fact, when the shooter rolled a Hard 8, which was also the point, and I had #20 on the Pass Line, and 90 for odds, and a $5 Hard 8 for a bet, and when it hit, I'd yell out "SQUARE PAIR'S THERE! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!! BULL-LLACKOUT!!!" On those two rolls, each of them won me $173 (20 for the Pass Line bet, 45 for the Hard 8 bet, and 108 for the odds). On two other occasions, the shooter rolled a Hard 10, and I yelled out "SNOWFLAKES!!" winning me $113 on each of those rolls (I had 40 on the Place bet for 10, plus I had 5 on the Hard 10, paying off 78 and 35 res[ectively). All in all, I had two Hard 4's hit, one Hard 6, three Hard 8's, and four Hard 10's. I was yelling and cutting up so much that I nearly screamed myself hoarse (trust me, I wasn't the only one yelling and screaming at that table). But it was one heavenly craps session. And my wife got to see the tail end of it, having finished what she said was a heavenly facial and body massage. At one point, the shooter rolled a seven-winner. At that point, I thought of how far down I was, prior to this session, and how my greens were compleley filling up the bottom part of my rack. I figured that I must have made at least $1300, enough to get me out of the hole for the entire trip. So I made the most controversial decision of all, and took down ALL my bets at that point, and colored up--good thing I did, for the guy crapped out just a few minutes later. It turned out that after I tipped the dealers $20, I had colored up for an even $2500. I had won $1800 at that craps table, which not only was it my biggest win at any one craps table, it took down a 21-year record for my best win at ANY casino!!!! WOW!!!!

     From there, we went off-property and had a nice relaxing dinner at Olive Garden. It was at that point that I declared myself all gambled out for this trip. Yes I know, I still have one more day here in Lake Charles, but after how far behind I was, and the miraculous comeback I'd just had, I had decided not to risk falling behind again. I'm $529 ahead for this trip, and that's where I'm going to stay.

     The rest of the evening was spent with the two of us reflecting on our respective heavenly experiences, which we both said was as good as sex...only kidding! ☺ It's also worthy to note that this record-breaking win I had, occurred on poker vlogger Ben Deach's birthday! (I met him 4 weeks ago on the Reno trip). Oh, I should mention that while I rested in the room, my wife went downstairs to people watch, and play a little slots. She won an additional $400 or so. Clearly, Mrs. MusicalDice was the big winner on this trip, but I can be nothing but proud of my wife.

Day 3 -- Locking It Up, And Putting It Away

     One of the first things I said to my wife was, "I'm locking up this win, and looking forward to putting away the gambling money when we return to Houston this evening." I meant it, when I said that I'm all gambled out. But as I said, I'm going back home $529 ahead for this trip, which twice made up for the loss I had here in Lake Charles last time.

     Although I'm not happy about my blackjack results, I am very happy about the other two games. I've won four times in a row, playing poker, something I haven't done in a long time. Plus, I had absolutely no losses at the craps tables on this trip, instead, racking up five craps wins in a row, totalling $1917. Yes, four of the wins were for very small amounts, but hey, I'll take that over a loss anyday. Also, I'm happy about the fact that I may be on to something when it comes to how I grip the dice when I shoot. Maybe on my next trip, I'll try some of the riskier strategies on my shoots, since it seems likely that I'll once again have longer rolls. We'll see...

     Watch for a new craps article or two, one being a strategy I briefly did on this trip. That's all for now! ☺

October 23, 2023 -- I Thought...

     For the past three days, since I'd returned home from Reno, I thought I had a net loss at the craps tables, and that the only game I was ahead at for the trip, was poker. Well after really sitting down to do the math, I found out, much to my surprise, that I actually ended up ahead at the craps tables for the trip. It turns out, I actually finished a whole $13 ahead for craps! For poker, I was ahead $1294. The big losing game was blackjack, in which I finished $1024 down. That's how I ended up with a $283 profit for the trip. Kudos to anyone who had read this blog, and had already figured this out. ☺

October 17 - 20, 2023 -- RENO -- Back To My Roots

     In many ways, this trip to Reno Nevada, is a trip back to my roots. Why? In my early days of gambling, even before I started playing blacljack or craps, I gambled in Reno, for at the time (1996-2000), I was living in the Bay Area (first Cupertino--just outside San Jose, then Fremont). Back then, it was strictly slots at first, then I sparsely played blackjack. It wasn't until 1998 that I even started playing craps. Another way this trip is back to my roots was the fact that for about 8 months (late October 2002 - late June 2003), I actually lived in Reno. Overall, those were dark and reckless days, but some of my biggest wins occurred during this time. I had been back to Reno only a few times since I left in 2003, and not since 2011. I wanted to see how Reno has changed, and how I'd do with a whole new perspective on things since those days. Plus, this is the first time my wife has seen Reno Nevada, and I thought I'd give her a chance to see it as wekk,

Day 1 -- 11 Years, 11 Months, and 11 Days

     That's exactly how long it's been since I was last in Reno. For the last time I was in Reno was on November 6th, 2011. Back then, I was still living in Jacksonville Florida, and I had just broken up with this woman whom I realized was just using me. It was the last relationship I was in before I met my wife, which didn't happen until nearly two years later. And back then, there was no thought of my setting the dice, or any of the strategies I have up on this website. My, how things have changed!

     Anyway, we checked into the Nugget casino in Reno (technically Sparks). The room was surprisingly nice for the price. We first took time for some much-needed R & R, for the trip up here from Houston was very tiring and exhausting

     After having lunch, still at the Nugget, my wife and I went to the craps table. It was one of those tables where only one side was open, and the length was shortened artificially. The left side wasn't opened, but the right side was. I played there. I shot the dice first, playing my Knockdown strategy on a $10 table, doing 44 inside. Unfortunately, I only got one of my numbers paid for, hitting it twice, before crapping out on the fourth roll. Fortunately, on the end was another dice setter, who had much better luck, and thus my other numbers got paid for, after raising them to four units. Once everything was paid for, I was taking and pressing my bets the way I usually do. The shooter rolled a lot of 6's, and I was able to raise it to a 90-dollar bet, where it hit twice, and I was able to yell out "Bull-llackout!" I hadn't been able to do that in quite a long time, and it really felt good to be able to say that again. I think the first time I said that was in a Reno casino, although I'm at a loss as to where I first said it. Anyway, when the shooter crapped out, I left the table $593 ahead. I basically started this trip the same way I ended the last trip (my last session in Reno in 2011 was a 500 Club at El Dorado). Nice way to start off a trip!

     However, it didn't take long for me to get smacked back to reality. After the Nugget, we decided to hit some of the downtown casinos, where I'd did a lot of my playing in my early days of playing in Reno. We first visited El Dorado, which back in the day was my favorite Reno casino. But whatever magic I had was completely gone, so I soon found out. No craps tables were open, so I played blackjack, and i quickly lost $500. From there, we walked over to Silver Legacy, and the EXACT same deal there! No open craps tables there, and I played blackjack there, and lost another 500. What GIVES here?!

     My initial plan was tp play in downtown, then go down to the Atlantis, which is south of downtown, play there, and from there, go across the street to Outback Steakhouse, where I planned to treat my wife to a nice steak dinner. But we finished in downtown way too quickly, and I just wasn't feeling it anymore, as far as downtown goes. In fact, our Uber driver remarked that 20 years ago, downtown Reno used to be a real happening apot, but now, not nearly as much anymore, as many of the downtown casinos have since closed, and apparently don't have craps as often as they once did. It was only then that I thought of going to the Peppermill next.

     The Peppermill was the next casino my wife and I visited. This casino was where I have my biggest Reno win ($1451 almost exactly 21 years ago, just prior to moving to Reno in 2002). It also was where I had my first triple-digit gambling win (winning $110 at the craps table back in 2000--back then, I was a real low-roller).

     Fortunately, there was a craps table open here, and I played on it. I didn't even shoot this time, but caught a decent rally from another shooter, while using my Knowkdown strategy for 44 inside (another $10 table), not even having to raise any of those bets before they were paid for. Along the way, I got to one of my bucket-list items taken care of. You see, the Peppermill was also the casino where i'd first heard the term "Snowflakes." This originally occurred in 2003 when I was at one end of the craps table, and the only other player was an eccentric poker pro (I learned that a year and a half later) named Paul Magriel. He had all this money on the Hard 10, as 10 was the point, and he also had all this money on the Don't Pass. He was the shooter. and every time he shot the dice, he'd yell out the word "Snowflakes!" Back to the present, I got the chance to tell this story, while at this table, for on two occasions, the shooter rolled a hard 10, and I had a bet on it, and I yelled out "Snowflakes!" (unlike Paul Magriel, who said that every time he shot the dice, I only do that if I have a bet on the Hard 10, and it hits). I asked the dealers if any of them remember Paul Magriel, but these were newer dealers, and none of them remembered him. Unfortunately, Paul Magriel died five years ago, before I got a chance to return to Reno and thank him for that special craps term. But ANYWAY, this craps session was profitable, with me winning $103.

     It still was pretty early, and I felt, a good way to pass the time was to play poker at the Peppermill (I was initially planning to wait until Thursday--Day 3 to do that). And when I got there, I put myself on the list for a $2 blind game, and a $5 blind game. I ended up getting on the latter game, buying in for $1000. Given my poker results earlier this year, this looked like a real foolhardy move that I did. Indeed, I quickly discovered that not only was the game including a $10 winner's straddle, so effectively, I was playing a 5-10 No-Limit Hold 'Em game, a level that I hadn't played in 12 years, just prior to my last trip to Reno, and the fact that I had one of the shortest stacks at the table, and that a lot of these players appeared to be pros, one can EASILY see why this appeared to be a REAL foolhardy move on my part to play at this table. Ah, but HOLD THE PHONE! I did manage to win two pots, the second of which came when I had Ace-Ten, and I flopped a full house. I had two opponents, and I slow-played the hand enough to get a good chunk from one opponent, and to bust the other opponent. After scooping up that large pot, and after 40 minutes of play, I left the table $900 ahead!!! I even added another 100 to that because my Aces Full Of Tens, was the high hand of the hour, and I got a bonus for that. That $1000 win at the poker table exactly made up for those two earlier blackjack losses. My total win at the Peppermill was $1103, which not only was my third 500 Club at this casino, my TWO biggest Reno wins were both at the Peppermill!! Not only that, I was back out of the hole for this trip, and I'd gotten my second 500 Club on the same day--something I hadn't done in six months.

     By this time, it was after 6:00 PT. We next went to the Atlantis. I tried to get into a craps game, but the table was full. I opted for blackjack instead. Fortunately, this was a relatively easy session, and I won $120.

     However, the big story at this casino was my wife, whom I'm going to refer to here as Mrs. MusicalDice. While I was cashing in my chips, Mrs. MusicalDice decided to play a Wheel of Fortune slot machine, and when I got back to her, she was in the middle of a huge bonus round. After that, she cashed out for $770, and had only put in $20. Mrs. MusicalDice won a whopping $750 at the slot machine!

     We really had a lot to celebrate when we made it to the Outback Steakhouse. For one, this was a belated birthday present from me to Mrs. MusicalDice, whose birthday was actually September 27th. Also, her $750 win at the Atlantis was a reason to celebrate, as well as my being $816 ahead for the day (even with the losses). We greatly enjoyed the food, and the service was superb. Hats off to you, Tina!

     By the time we returned to the Nugget, we both crashed. For it was after 10 pm CT, and we'd both been up since 1 am CT getting ready for this trip, and heading out here to Reno. Hopefully, tomorrow will be just as exciting and profitable.

Day 2 -- To Lake Tahoe And Back

     Our intentions for this day, was to spend it up in Lake Tahoe, which is about 50 miles from Reno. We took an Uber out to Lake Tahoe. Along the way to our actual destination, the Harvey's casino at Stateline, which we were told was adjacent to the lake, my wife got a number of great photos of the lake, as we passed by it.

     When we got to Harvey's, we got some info on some activities we could potentially do. Unfortunately, we came during the off-season (the summer and winter months are when Lake Tahoe is the most active). The activities that were available were either not until the evening (we arrived at about 10:00 in the morning), and/or was expensive as hell. Argh!

     Worse yet, the action at the casinos were equally dead. There were no table games open at Harvey's. We had to walk next door to Harrah's to get the first table action.

     I did get onto a craps table at Harrah's, standing at the left end. I did place bets on a shooter that appeared to be doing well. But he crapped out before I was able to get my money back. I used the Knockdown strategy, which included raising the bets of the numbers that didn't hit, when it came to my shoot, which immediately followed. I used the 3V dice set (4/6-4/2 in my case), and I shot 8 times, just enough to get my money back plus $21. Mrs. MusicalDice tried a slot machine at Harrah's during my craps session, but only succeeded in losing $60. Next!

     The only other casino action I got was at the Golden Nugget casino in Lake Tahoe (formerly the Horizons casino). I played blackjack at the only table open at that time. It was a 6-5 payout for blackjack (instead of the proper 3-2 payout for a blackjack), plus each round cost me $2 a hand for an ante (and I usually play 2 hands at a time). I did win $56 there, but I wish I hadn't played under those conditions. My wife, meanwhile was trying to get get more info on Lake Tahoe, and what there was to possibly do there in the middle of the day, but was getting nowhere.

     After going to Bally's (formerly Caesars Tahoe), and not seeing a single table game open, we decided to leave Lake Tahoe, and head back to Reno. We had been at Lake Tahow for at least two hours, and contrary to what we were told, the lake is NOT adjacent to the casinos at Stateline. I had driven out to the Lake Tahoe casinos on several occasions when I lived in Reno over 20 years ago, and I was really taken aback by how dead it was when me and my wife went up there. Obviously, we were very disappointed, and kind of tired from walking around.

     When we returned to Reno, we stopped at the Atlantis casino, one of my favorite go-to casinos when I lived in Reno, as well as the closest casino to where I lived at the time. Anyway, we first had lunch at the Manhattan Deli, a somewhat upscale deli, featuring automatic carts helping to bring the food to the customers. The lunch and the service was great.

     From there, I got into a craps game. This time, I was standing in my favorite position, Stick Left 1. Given that, you would think I was destined for greatness this session, right? Wrong! My Hardway dice set, was not working out, with a bunch of early crap-outs. I switched to the Crossed Sixes dice set (6/2-6/4 for me), and I also experimented with a very low throw to the back wall, to try to avoid hitting the spikes with the dice. Overall, this was more successful, with one of my shoots being 20 rolls (see the update to my Best Shoots page). However, the damage had already been done by that time. Nobody else really had a good rally, and eventually, I took the hit, losing $375 after a long exhausting session at the craps table.

     When we returned to the Nugget, we got in some badly needed rest and relaxation. Afterwards, we went swimming in the indoor pool they have on the 5th floor at the Nugget. The pool I found to be semi-warm and quite refreshing, while my wife spent the entire time in the hot tub. I soon joined her, and I think the hot tub did both of us a lot of good, for we had some aching muscles after Lake Tahoe earlier in the day.

     Before we called it a day, we visited one more casino, the Grand Sierra Resort (formerly the Reno Hilton). The first thing I did was get into a craps game. This time, I stood at the right end. It was a $15 table, and I played my Knockdown strategy with a shooter at the opposite end. Fortunately, he had a nice roll, long enough for me to win $365. Got all my money back at the Atlantis, except for ten dollars! I didn't even shoot this time, but quite frankly, I don't care who shoots, as long as I'm one of those making money at the table.

     We then had a late dinner at an asian restaurant. The food was delicious. Then I decided to play poker at a 1/2 No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em table. I know, in previous trips, if I played poker and won, the next time I'd play poker, I'd usually lose. I was determined not to let that happen, and I was also determined to get another 500 Club. This time, I was successful on both counts. Without getting into too much detail, I won $248 at the table, busting two players, playing a tret-deuce hand, commonly known in Reno poker rooms, as The Skinny! Yes I got danb lucky again. This led to a win at Grand Sierra of $613, a net gain of $315 for the day==even with the loss at the Atlantis, and a total profit thus far on the trip, of $1131.

     An interesting side-note on the breakdown on my profits for the first two days of my trip: Day 1 saw a net win in craps of $696. while my blackjack playing resulted in an $880 loss, while my poker winnings for the first day was $1000. On Day 2, I managed to profit from all three games. I only played blackjack once today, resulting of a $56 profit for the day. With craps, even though I lost at the Atlantis, I still mabaged to profit a whopping $11 for the day! Again, the big winner today was poker, profiting $248 for the day. Go figure!

Day 3 -- Bucket List Items

     Given that this day was the last full day for us in Reno, we decided to take care of bucket list items we wanted to do. For my wife, she wanted to shop at Hobby Lobby--she'd discovered the previous day that there was one in Reno, near where I used to live. For me, I wanted to meet poker vlogger Ben Deach, who often played poker at the Peppermill on Thursdays.

     So while my wife shopped at Hobby Lobby, I played at the Peppermill. I first played at the craps table, once again doing my Knockdown strategy. All the numbers got paid for, except 5, even though I raised it up several times. My shooting was not good at all, no matter what I did. And other shooters didn't help either. When the 5 was at the $150 level, and the shooter crapped out, I left the table $284 down. I then tried to get the money back at the blackjack table, but ended up losing an additional $200. I did manage to take care of another bucket list item while at the blackjack table. I do like collecting half-dollars, and for at least a year, was just three shy of making a roll of them. In Nevada casinos, when I get a blackjack on an odd number for a bet (e.g. $25 would pay $37.50 on a blackjack). I collecteed six half-dollars before I left the table.

     Then I went to the poker room, and I played in the $2 No-Limit Hold 'Em game, not willing to risk getting my head taken off at the $5 No-Limit Hold 'Em table. Near the end of my two-hour session, I went over to the other table, where Ben Deach was playing. We had a great conversation about poker, his vlog, music, and sports, since Ben Deach is passionate about sports, and he's also a sportscaster in Reno. My wife, by this time, had returned, and she got to meet Ben as well. He is a funny guy, pretty much the same as in his poker videos. I cashed out $46 ahead at the poker table. I was hoping the good feelings I had, would translate to getting the $438 I lost at the Peppermill back.

     Our next stop was the Atlantis casino. After having lunch at the Manhattan Deli again, I once again went to the craps table. Once again, I tried the Knockdown strategy, but the results were even worse. This time, early PSO's came before any number was paid for. Lastly, I shot the dice with the 3V dice set that I used in Lake Tahoe. I only succeeded to get one number paid for before I crapped out. I decided at that point that enough was enough. I left the table $410 down.

     At that point, I declared myself all gambled out. Now I was hoping to later hit the El Dorado casino, and play craps, for it was there that I first said "Can you say Yo baby, yo baby yo!" back in 2002. I was hoping to play at some of the other downtown casinos that I used to play at when I lived in Reno 20 years ago. I was hoping to play at the Baldini's casino, a sports-themed casino, while the Thursday night football game was on. But all these bucket list items will have to wait until a future Reno trip. For the biggest bucket list item was that to stay ahead for the trip. And that, I did, for even with the two losses on this day totalling $848, I still was ahead $283 for the trip. That even made up for my loss on my last Lake Charles trip. And this time, it was poker that kept me ahead. Go figure!!

Day 4 -- Reflection

     Since I'd already declared myself all gambled out, there would be no gambling on this day. However, I do have a thing or two to say before I wrap up this blog entry on my trip to Reno. The old me, the one who lived in Reno over 20 years ago, would have chased to try to get that money back, regarding those losses. There were times that chasing worked back in the day, and it was how I ended up having my longest win streak ever (34 gambling wins in a row in mid-January of 2003), but ultimately, it got me into a lot of trouble that the new me refuses to risk getting into again. I consider myself a wiser, more careful and disciplined gambler. One thing every gambler needs to know is when to stop. I have a much better idea on when to stop than I did 20 years ago. Yea, I only finished $283 ahead on this trip, but I'll take that over a huge loss anyway. Besides that, this actually was the second Reno trip in a row that I did finish ahead (on my previous Reno trip in 2011, I'd finished $162 ahead, after clawing my way out of a hole, following an initial loss at El Dorado).

     My wife and I returned home to Houston, and I was able to put my gambling money away. This is one of my favorite parts of any gambling trip. I feel that it is due to my discipline that I was able to stay ahead for this trip, and as a result, I have enough money to think about planning another major gambling trip--this one, I hope to be in Atlantic City, before the year is over. Stay tuned! ☺

September 24, 2023 -- Special Announcement

     Today, I have a very special announcement. For the first time in nearly 12 years, I am heading out to Reno Nevada!! I'll be out there October 17th to the 20th. I plan to visit some of the casinos where some of my craps terms originated. For example, it was at the Peppermill where the term "Snowflakes!" originated. And it was at the El Dorado, where I first said "Can you say Yo baby, yo baby, yo!" back in 2002. My wifr and I are really looking forward to this trip. Stay tuned for results from this trip!

September 20, 2023 -- Breakdown Of The Results At Lake Charles

     Well, the one game I ended up ahead overall at, was craps. I was $207 ahead. With blackjack, I ended up a net of $50 down. With poker, I ended up $418 down, for a net loss of $261. Maybe I should just focus on craps next time. LOL

September 17 - 19, 2023 -- LAKE CHARLES XXIII -- Don't Call It A Comeback

     It's been a very busy summer for me and my wife, and we finally got some time to go to Lake Charles for gambling and some R & R. It's been 2½ months since we took any such trip, and it sure feels good to be on this one.

Day 1 -- Comfort Levels

     This time, we had to wait about two hours before we could check into our room at L'Auberge. I did do a little gambling while we waited.

     The first thing I did was play some craps at a $15 table. I got my favorite position at the table, which is Stick Left 1. I used the Hardway dice set the one time I shot the dice. I also tried a couple of new strategies. One, I'm going to call in a future craps article, the Knockdown strategy, where I start out with the table minimum, and Martingale them up as they lose, but bring them down to base level, when they hit. Another feature with this strategy, is if you seven-out before all the numbers are paid for, I don't bet them again until the others are paid for. In this case, I started out with 66 inside, got the 6 paid for early, but the other numbers I had to bring up to five units, as an early seven-out came on another shooter. Fortunately, I got the other numbers paid for without having to raise them up further, but that's all I was really able to do before he crapped out. On the next shooter, I was hesitant to bet on him at all, but he was having a nice long shoot, and I tried to get in on it, but he crapped out before I could really take advantage. On my shoot, I went back to the Knockdown strategy, and of course, placed a Pass Line bet with odds. I think that's the main reason why I got most of my money back on my roll, for during my 8 rolls, I made a point of 4. Then I tried a different strategy on the next shooter, which is really a variation of Waylon Way's Two Hits To Glory strategy, only that I played two numbers, the 6 and the 8, and only at $30 levels, not $100 levels, like Waylon did in his video. I got one hit on each the 6 and the 8, then decided to take the bets down, netting a small profit of $45. At that point and time, I had only to get my feet wet a bit, and not risk booking a loss for my first session on this trip. I didn't feel comfortable going for more at that point.

     After adding another $125 at the blackjack table, for a $170 session win, the room was ready. By this time, my wife and I were both tired, and spent the next couple of hours resting on the very comfortable bed in the room.

     We went down to play before our reservation at the Ember Steakhouse at L'Auberge. Not enough time for craps, I felt, but I did get into a blackjack game, which I had to do a $1000 buy-in before getting my money back plus $25. I definitely didn't feel comfortable sticking around after getting my money back, given the circumstances. The steak dinner was delicious, as always.

     We then went over to Golden Nugget, with the intention of purchasing wristbands to use their hot tub the way we usually do. But then we found out that they don't do that anymore, and that we had to be a guest staying at their property. Damn!

     From there, we tried to get onto a craps table, but it was too crowded for comfort. Instead, we went to a blackjack table, which was pretty bad at first. During this time, my wife was talking to this woman at the table, who said that she'd lost over $2000 on her trip. Whether she had just started her trip, or this was over the course of several days, I didn't find out, but I felt this kind of talk made for bad vibes at the table, and it was for that reason that I colored up when I got my money back plus $25.

     The craps table was still too crowded for comfort, so I went into the poker room, where I played for three hours. I'm amazed that I had the energy for that, given that usually, after a meal like the one my wife and I had at the steakhouse, we'd be ready to crash. Anyway, I first was seated at one of the end seats at the poker table, which is very uncomfortable for me. It wasn't until I moved to one of the seats next to the dealer, which is way more comfortable for me, since the dealer can more easily tell me what the cards on the table are, since I am visually impaired, it was only then that I started to get my money back at the poker table, and start winning money. I'm not going to go into too much detail about what happened, since this is a craps blog, and I'm only mentioning this in this level of detail because it goes along with today's theme, comfort levels. However, I will say that my best two hands were my last two, after which, I left the table winning $282, for a session win of $307, and a total day win of $502. Not bad! I did say to my wife that to quote Vanessa Williams, I saved the best for last. And what was the name of the Vanessa Williams album that that song was from? "The Comfort Zone."

Day 2 -- Not In The Cards

     For this day and the next, I have to work my gambling around my work schedule, as I'm working a remote contract--which is part of why MusicalDice has been so busy lately.

     The first gambling session of the day was at the craps table, at L'Auberge. I started out shooting at the end, which didn't turn out so good, trying the Yo-Yo dice set. Then I moved to Stick Left 1, and my first roll with the Hardway dice set didn't turn out good either. In the meantime, I was playing the Knockdown strategy, raising the bet levels on the inside numbers from 2 units, to 5, and then 10 before my last shoot. Fortunately, the last roll was very nice, shooting 19 times, sticking with the Hardway dice set, but concentrating on keeping the dice parallel with the back wall, and gently lofting the dice. I was able to knock each of the numbers down to base levels, before pressing some of the numbers back up again. Overall, I ended up $190 ahead.

     But after lunch, the bubble burst at the blackjack table, with my losing $875. I was down $183 at this point.

     After work, my wife and I went over to the Horseshoe. My intentions were to play craps and then poker.

     I played cra[s. and I shot first, and that didn't work out too good. I continued the Knockdown strategy on the next shooter. I got the 6 and the 8 paid for, then after several rolls in a row that were not inside numbers, I decided to take all the bets down, locking up a profit of $28.

     It was my intention to then play poker at the Horseshoe, but the dealers were in the middle of a tournament. I did manage to see my favorite dealer, who used to deal at the Golden Nugget, and she liked my music ttrivia. I gave her one of my cards advertising this website, but as far as playing poker at the Horseshoe, it just wasn't in the cards. But here's a big shout-out to you, Ivy! You're the best dealer I know! ☺

     Since I didn't get to play poker at the Horseshoe, I decided to play poker at Golden Nugget. But another win there at the poker table was not in the cards. Without getting into too much details, bad beats marred this session, capping it off with kings getting cracked, and I lost $700.

     Given that stinging loss, I'm surprised I even considered playing blackjack back at L'Auberge. But fortunately, I was able to do something I wasn't able to do in 5 months--get a 500 Club. I won $525 at the blackjack table, at which time, I really did some celebrating.

     One more incident, going along with today's theme that I have to mention: We got back to our room, and our key cards didn't work anymore! At first the front desk thought that simply replacing the key cards would do the trick. But when the new ones didn't work, it was only then that they discovered that the batteries operating the lock for that room were dead. It wasn't in the cards after all. We got moved to a junior suite, which I have to say, is very nice,

     As for where I stand as far as the gambling, right now, I'm down $330 for the trip. Hopefully, I can make it up tomorrow.

Day 3 -- Taking The Hit

     After checkout, I decided to try to win back the money I was down. Did I succeed?

     I first played at the craps table at L'Auberge. I did the Two-Hit Wonders strategy on another shooter, with little drama. I won $136 at the table.

     I next went to Golden Nugget, where I got into another craps game. But the dice were not so hot at that table. The best I shot was a 10, but that wasn't enough to get my money back. I tried the Knockdown strategy at this table, but some early seven'outs caused me to raise the bets. After a while, the bets were getting high, and the two most difficult numbers in the Knockdown strategy, the 5 and the 9 still had to be paid for. After one more crap-out, I decided to just take the hit, and leave the table $192 down.

     We returned to L'Auberge for one final assault. I decided to play blackjack. I won $50 at one table, and $75 at another blackjack table. The tables were both drama-filled, and it was mentally exhausting. Ultimately, I decided to pull the plug, take the $125 session win, and also tahe the hit for the trip, ending it with a $261 loss. At least I won $69 for the day, and lost a little for the trip. I can't be too upset over that, especially since I finished up ahead for craps. Plus, I have two new strategies that I used on this trip, and they will be the subjects of two new upcoming craps articles. Stay tuned! ☺

August 26, 2023 -- Planning A Return

     I know, it's been about two months since I've been in a casino, and normally, my wife and I would be taking more trips to Lake Charles, for example, especially in the summer. But money's been rather tight for us this summer, and that's why we hadn't gone to the casinos in quite a while. That said, finances are now starting to look up for us again, and I can say with certainty that we will be heading out to the casinos again in the near future. Watch for future blog entries about them. ☺

August 21, 2023 -- Another Anniversary

     Today marks a very special anniversary for me. It was 30 years ago today that I first gambled in a casino. The first casino I ever went to, was the Bally's casino in Atlantic City (I was living in the D.C. Area at the time). The first casino game I ever played was roulette, where I lost $180. BTW, my first win didn't come until October 6th of that year, on my second trip, when I won $41 at the roulette table, at the Sands casino in Atlantic City. That's where it all began, folks, what can I tell you?

July 12, 2023 -- Anniversaries

     Today marks a very special craps anniversary for me. It was 25 years ago today that I played my first craps game in a live casino! It was in the wee hours of Sunday July 12th, 1998, when I went to a craps table at the Showboat casino in Las Vegas (before it became the Castaways, then demolished). I played at a $3 table, basically playing all the Place bets at minimum levels. I won $28 that morning. I loved it. The rest, as they say, is history. ☺

     I had several somewhat related anniversaries come up recently as well. For example, it was ten years ago on the late night of July 3rd, that I first started coming out to Lake Charles, Louisiana. I had gone to the Isle Of Capri casino that night (chosen only because I was familiar with the Isle Of Capri casino in Kansas City Missouri). I won $775 that first night, a session that lasted until 4:45 in the morning, making it technically, the 4th of July. That was also my biggest win in Lake Charles for over 8 years!

     Other anniversaries that came recently, include 10 years ago, July 6th, when I started going to L'Auberge, the property my wife and I stay at the most when we go to Lake Charles, and by far, the one where I've had the most success at. I first played craps there too. Also, it was 25 years ago, July 11th, when I first came out to Las Vegas! Ironically, it was a spur-of-the-moment thing, fueled by a very painful break-up, that prompted me to go out to Vegas for the first time. Ironically, when I first arrived in Vegas, I was taking one of those shared rides to where I was staying, at the Showboat, but on the way there, the driver was driving past the Fremont experience, and it was at that point that he asked where everybody had come from. My answer was "Fremont--Callifornia, that is."

     Arguably, the most important anniversary for me, personally, is coming up two days from noe, for it was on July 14th, 2013, that I first met the woman that is now my wife. Since how I met my wife is totally irrelevant to craps, if you want to know more about how I met my wife, just email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com, and I'll tell you all about it. ☺

June 26 - 28, 2023 -- LAKE CHARLES XXII -- Can't Escape The Heat

     Where my wife and I live, in Houston Texas, for the past week, nearly every day, it had gotten up to 100°. Even for someone like myself who enjoys hot weather, this is too hot. We went to Lake Charles, where the temperatures were "only" in the mid-90's. Regardless, we were happy to go, since we hadn't been to Lake Charles in nearly two months. We'd been really busy with other stuff, from which we finally had a break.

Day 1 -- Rest And Relaxation

     After we checked in to our room at the Golden Nugget, and after resting for a while, surprisingly, I decided to play some first. The craps table was full, so I played blackjack first. After a rough start, I managed to get my money back plus $37.50

     After that, we spent a lot of time in the pool at Golden Nugget. Both of us really enjoyed this. We met and talked with a number of people, something my wife enjoys a little more than I do, but I had lots of fun too.

     We had dinner at Vic & Anthony's, still at Golden Nugget, and the steak dinner and the wedge salad were both delicious, along with the bread. It is nice to have a day that isn't focused on gambling, but just the same, I was getting anxious to hit a craps table.

     I finally got my chance just after dinner. Still at Golden Nugget, I got on to a craps table, standing at one of the ends. But I didn't shoot. No matter. There was a shooter at the opposite end, having a good roll, and I got in on that, using the In/Out/In strategy. I ended up $160 ahead, coloring up after the shooter crapped out.

     After that, we rested up in our room, then went down to the cloverleaf-shaped hot tub they have at Golden Nugget. Since we were staying here this time, instead of L'Auberge, like we usually do, we didn't have to pay a fee to use the hot tub. That was very relaxing, but unfortunately, it took a lot of energy out of me. I didn't realize this until I tried to play some more in the casino. The craps tables were full, and so were the blackjack table. My best shot for playing would be at the poker table -- in retrospect, I should have only focused on craps and blackjack. Anyway, there was a wait to play poker as well, and it was while I was waiting that I realized just how tired I was. I decided to leave the poker room before my name was called. When my wife and I got back to our room, we both crashed for the night.

     I ended the first day $197.50 ahead. Not bad. Hopefully, I can build on that tomorrow.

Day 2 -- I Did Good, But...

     After a so-so late breakfast at Claim Jumper, still at Golden Nugget, we walked over to L'Auberge, where I got into a craps game. Again, it was another shooter who made me the money. Using pretty much the same In/Out/In strategy as last time, I won $140, putting my profit margin at $337.50 for the trip.

     Then the bubble burst.

     This happened after we went to the Horseshoe. I got into a poker game, and was holding my own for most of the 2½ hours I played there. Just one hand, where I appeared to have a monster hand, but someone else had an unexpected bigger monster hand, completely busted me, when I was about to leave. If only I'd folded that hand pre-flop (it was too strong to fold pre-flop). I lost $500 at that table.

     We returned to Golden Nugget. While my wife shopped at a nearby Hobby Lobby, I got into a craps game. This time, it was like nothing was working at first. This time, I got to shoot the dice, but the first three times, I crapped out early. I made an adjustment, putting the dice in the Pass Line area instead of the Don't Pass area before beginning my grip and my toss. That appeared to do the trick, using the Hardway dice set. At one point, I was down to my final $60 of my $700 investment. With the adjustment I made, I shot a 17. Then the next time I got the dice, I did even better, but in both cases, I was using my In/Out/In strategy, which is prone to a lot of non-productive rolls, given that I'm only betting on 6 and 8 initially. On the second shoot, to the left of where I was standing, Stick Left 1, there were three or four people really cheering, when I made the first two points (10 and then 9) quickly. They were cheering me even as I was setting the dice. This was a great motivator. I love being on fun tables like this. After I made the third point, a 6, they were getting even more raucous, with one barking like a dog. When I made the fourth point, They were really cheering loudly, and I couldn't help leading a cheer of "Who Let The Dogs Out!" I haven't had so much fun on a craps table in a LONG long time! In the end, I shot 20 times, but I didn't quite get my money back. I lost $196 overall, but I look at it this way, I parlayed $60 up to $504 on my shoots. I can't be too upset at that. In fact, the second shoot lands on my Best Craps Shoots hall of fame page.

     After breakfast and checkout, I played craps at Golden Nugget. There, I shot from Stick Left 1, using the same combination of the feed-the-outside strategy along with the Fibonacci strategy from the Pass Line. That turned out to be a bad idea, for crap rolls on the comeout quickly got me into trouble, and this, despite having two very good rolls. The first roll I had, I used the Hardway dice set, and much to my surprise, shot 21 times (003 740 61), with unfortunately, a lot of those rolls being non-productive ones. 7 of those rolls were either horn rolls or 7's. I experimented with a new dice set for me, the 6/2-6/2 dice set, thinking that I'll have more productive rolls that way. I shot 19 times (330 421 51) with that dice set, but 6 of them were non-productive rolls. No real difference. I was still behind even after that roll! At that point, I was thinking this was probably going to be my last session, for if I lost my buy-in on that table, I was going to declare myself all gambled out, and done for the trip. Fortunately, another shooter had a good roll, and I just did get my money back, winning $83. My first roll was good enough to make my Best Craps Shoots page. I wasn't done yet.

     From there, my wife and I went to have a late lunch/early dinner at the Saugrass steakhouse at Golden Nugget. I only had a burger, but it was good. I had a strong margarita with that. Nothing like a good meal and a good drink to help you forget that you lost $556 that day.

     We then spent an extra long time out at the pool, and then the hot tub at Golden Nugget. We had lots of fun both places, but by the time we got back to our room, we both crashed. No more gambling this day.

Day 3 -- How To Pay For Meals

     My wife was surprised when I told her that I wanted to play first and then go to breakfast. This was because I had little money in my wallet, separate from my gambling money. I thought I'd try to win the money at the blackjack table. This worked, for I won $75 there. This paid for breakfast back at Claim Jumper, which was much better this time.

     I tried to build on that win after breakfast, by playing at the craps table, the same one where I had those two good shoots yesterday. But absolutely NOTHING was working out this time. I left after a $469 loss at the craps table.

     After we checked out, we went to L'Auberge, where I first won $50 at a blackjack table, then went to a craps table. This time, I decided to do things differently. I was standing at the end on the left side, and when I shot the dice, I used my version of the 3V dice set (4/6-4/2). Again, I used the In/Out/In strategy, which took a while for things to get going, but I ended up with my best shoot of the trip, shooting 23 times. I ended up winning $166 at the craps table. I added $100 more at another blackjack table, for a total casino win of $316, my best win of this trip.

     Now why the hell did I play poker at Golden Nugget after that? Silly me! I played for 2 hours, and even though I played better at the Horseshoe yesterday, I will say that I lost less this time around, losing $304. I made sure I didn't totally negate the L'Auberge win I just had.

     The final assault occurred at the blackjack table back at L'Auberge. After a lot of up-and-down, I decided to leave $25 ahead, and declare myself all gambled out. That win was enough to pay for a quick meal at a deli inside L'Auberge. I had the money for a bigger and better meal, but we were running short on time.

     As a whole, I was down $715.50 for the trip. If I hadn't played poker, I'd actually be $88.50 ahead for the trip! I ended up with a net loss of $199 playing craps. I've done better, but I've definitely done worse. I think I'll only play poker on future trips when I'm sufficiently ahead. Hopefully, I can put this to practice the next time I visit Lake Charles.

     As a final note, going along with the theme of this trip, the bus that my wife and I rode back to Houston was almost unbearably hot! The AC wasn't working too good. Argh!!

May 26, 2023 -- Pro Craps Link

     Today, I added a link to the Pro Craps website on Patreon. You'll also see the new link on my Links To Other Craps Websites page. John, the man behind Pro Craps, is brilliant. He recently put out a video on YouTube, where he compared winning at craps to like being like a baseball game -- get 'em on, get 'em over, and get 'em in. What struck a chord with me about this, was, when I played softball in high school, I wasn't the kind to hit home runs often, but the team could usually count on me to get on base, and keep everything going. In craps, John talks about getting on base in craps being equivalent to getting your money back as quick as possible. This also struck a chord with me, because with a lot of my strategies, that is the goal as well. So all that said, check out Pro Craps! ☺

April 30 - May 2, 2023 -- LAKE CHARLES XXI -- Warm Enough At Last

     This was the first time in a real long time that the weather was warm enough for me and my wife to go swimming, so naturally, we were both real excited about going to Lake Charles. And we decided to stay at Golden Nugget this time, where they have that nice cloverleaf shaped hot tub, which stays open late. The big question would be, would I have the same good fortune as the last trip to Lake Charles?

Day 1 -- Off Kilter

     In the days prior to this trip, my wife and I were both very busy doing various things, and neither of us got much sleep the night before coming out to Lake Charles. I think this fact greatly affected how things went on the first day here.

     Once we checked into our room at Golden Nugget, we took a nice long rest, probably not long enough. The gambling started off with blackjack, where I fought a long battle just to get my money back plus $35. But things went downhill fast from there. The craps table was full, so I played poker. Admittedly, I didn't play well, and lost $653 at the table.

     At least, the steak and wedge salad dinner we had at Vic & Anthony's (still at Golden Nugget) was great. And the bread and butter was great too.

     Silly me, thinking that after dinner, I could try to turn things around at the craps table, which finally was available. Uh-uh! I was playing at the end, and nothing was working. I pretty PSO'ed both times I shot the dice, plus the building-the-outsides strategy, which worked like a charm on the last trip, wasn't working this time, as nobody had a good roll. I ended up losing another $430, for a total session loss of $1048.

     We went out to the hot tub, still at Golden Nugget, and that was nice and relaxing. We had some great conversations with another couple about our age. My wife, being a people person, more than I am, especially enjoyed this. I did too.

     After the hot tub, I decided to play blackjack again, still at Golden Nugget. Bad idea, for the table was really bad, as for some reason, it tends to be late at night. I lost another $500, for a total day loss of $1548. OUCH!!

Day 2 -- The Importance Of Feeling Like A Winner Again

     In light of what happened yesterday, I decided that I wasn't going to gamble at Golden Nugget again, until I at least gave L'Auberge, and maybe the Horseshoe a shot first. Also, I decided that I was going to do things to make me feel like a winner again.

     We had a late breakfast, due to us making sure we had a good long rest this time. Afterwards, we went to L'Auberge, where I played blackjack. I quickly won #100. I didn't stay that long, making sure I logged my first casino win of the trip.

     From there, we went to the Horseshoe, where I got into a craps game. This time, I was standing at Stick Left 1. I used my Hardway dice set, and for a strategy, I combined the building-the-outsides strategy (I've yet to come up with a good name for this strategy), with the Fibonacci strategy on the Pass Line at the $25 level. I shot a 9, more or less breaking even. The following shooter had an even better shoot, and I used the same strategy with him. Here, there were less non-productibe rolls (which happens a lot with the building-the-outsides strategy), and I was able to leave the table $212 ahead. I definitely needed that.

     We returned to Golden Nugget, and it was only then that I played there again, playing blackjack, seeing that the craps table was full. I won $115 at the blackjack table.

     Unfortunately, I suffered one big loss this day, and that was at the blackjack table back at L'Auberge. I lost $950 on a horrible table. Damn! And just when I thought I'd have some hope of getting it all back!

     Once again, I was in the mindset of trying to feel like a winner again. I achieved this in a small way, when I returned to Golden Nugget, and played craps. This time, I was standing at the left outside hook, but I didn't wait to shoot. Using the same strategy that I used at the Horseshoe, I won a quick $48 off someone else's shoot. Good enough at the time.

     I added another $50 at the blackjack table for a total casino win at Golden Nugget of $98. Not exactly breaking the bank, but enough for me to feel like a winner again.

     We then had a late lunch/early dinner at Olive Garden, which is off-property. As always, the meal was great there. From there, we returned to the Golden Nugget and hung out at the pool for the next three hours. It was good to relax and get away from the gambling for a while.

     But I wasn't quite done gambling for the day. We then returned to the Horseshoe, specifically so I can play poker. I wanted to see if I could get a win at that game before the trip ends. But before we even got to the Horseshoe, I was starting to get tired. I did play poker for an hour, and won $55. Good enough. My initial intention was to play craps afterwards, but the craps table was full when I left the poker room, and I was starting to feel like I was going to crash anyway. By the time Uber picked us up and returned us to the Golden Nugget, I knew any further gambling that night was out of the question, for when we returned to our room, we both crashed. I ended up losing a net of $370, but still feel like I can still win. How much will I win tomorrow? Just wait and see...

Day 3 -- Upshot

     I'd already resigned myself to being down for the trip. But I wanted to play craps at least one more time, especially at L'Auberge, since I hadn't played craps there on this trip.

     After breakfast and checkout, I played craps at Golden Nugget. There, I shot from Stick Left 1, using the same combination of the feed-the-outside strategy along with the Fibonacci strategy from the Pass Line. That turned out to be a bad idea, for crap rolls on the comeout quickly got me into trouble, and this, despite having two very good rolls. The first roll I had, I used the Hardway dice set, and much to my surprise, shot 21 times (003 740 61), with unfortunately, a lot of those rolls being non-productive ones. 7 of those rolls were either horn rolls or 7's. I experimented with a new dice set for me, the 6/2-6/2 dice set, thinking that I'll have more productive rolls that way. I shot 19 times (330 421 51) with that dice set, but 6 of them were non-productive rolls. No real difference. I was still behind even after that roll! At that point, I was thinking this was probably going to be my last session, for if I lost my buy-in on that table, I was going to declare myself all gambled out, and done for the trip. Fortunately, another shooter had a good roll, and I just did get my money back, winning $83. My first roll was good enough to make my Best Craps Shoots page. I wasn't done yet.

     From there we went to L'Auberge, where I finally got to play craps there. I shot a 9 from Stick Left 1, using the Hardway dice set. I almost broke even. Fortunately, there was another shooter who had a good roll. I made $146. It was then that I declared myself all gambled out.

     The results of this trip are: I won $229 for the last day, reducing my total deficit for the trip $1689. Although I'm down for the trip, my spirits are still up. I did have 4 casino wins in a row at the end, plus, I actually ended up ahead playing craps! ($59 ahead). Of course, I lost playing blackjack and poker. But I'm happy that I had those two long craps rolls near the end, and I have a better sense of what works for mem, and what doesn't, regarding the game of craps. Maybe I should concentrate more on craps, for future trips, huh?

April 23, 2023 -- HAWAII CRAPS SHOOTERS HAPPY BIRTHDAY

     In recent postings, I'm sure you've noticed that I've mentioned Bryan from Hawaii Craps Shooters, whom I'd had the pleasure of meeting, and playing craps with in Las Vegas last month. Today is his birthday!He is still one of the most prolific, informative, and influential vloggers in the craps community. Bryan, we, at musicaldice323.com salute you and your awesome content, and Happy Birthday to you! And as you like to say, may the dice be nice! ☺

April 13, 2023 -- REST AND RE-CHARGE

     Obviously, I've had some takeaways from my recent big win at Lake Charles. One has to do with the way I grip my dice. Another has to do with the toss, which I mentioned in the blog. But the biggest takeaway has nothing to do with anything I do at the tables. Instead, it has to do with making time to spend AWAY from the tables, giving your mind a chance to rest and re-charge. I noticed on my last Vegas trip that toward the end, my mind wasn't that well-rested, and I wasn't thinking as clearly as I should have. Bryan, from Hawaii Craps Shooters, more or less, said the same thing, regarding the latter part of his recent Vegas trip. He spoke of how mentally tired he was, and all that got me to thinking about how much time I spent in between sessions, giving my mind a chance to rest and re-charge. You see, when you're a controlled dice shooter (or trying to be), you are really concentrating at the craps table. That is hard mental work, and your mind needs time to rest, just like your body does when it does hard physical labor. So, my advice to you, is to always give your mind a chance to rest and re-charge, especially after a long gambling session, for if you don't, your mind will be tired, you won't be thinking as clearly as you should, you won't be making the best decisions you can make, and it's more likely that you will lose. That's my $.02 on the subject. Good luck! ☺

April 10-12, 2023 -- LAKE CHARLES XX -- Let Me Try Something Different

     This was the first time in almosf three months that my wife and I had been to Lake Charles. Me, I really wanted to finish this trip with a win, since the past few have not been that way. Coming to Lake Charles, I was determined to try some new things to try to turn things around for the better.

Day 1 -- Rush Hour

     Contrary to the title of this day, we were not in a rush to hit the tables. We rested for at least two hours before doing so (we'd gotten to Lake Charles early, due to the lack of Rush Hour traffic in Houston, and this time, our room was ready immediately). The gambling started at the craps table at L'Auberge, where we once again, have our two nights comped. I shot from Stick Left 1, using the Hardway dice set. I decided to experiment with a lower dice toss (Bryan from Hawaii Craps Shooters, coincidentally, had talked about doing the same thing). I shot a 10 the first time, noting how easy it was for me to throw them too hard. Unfortunately, I was playing only the 6 and 8, and none of them hit before I crapped out. Fortunately, my wife, who is a random shooter, got to shoot, and she made three quick points, en route to my getting my money back, plus $14. A win is still a win.

     I did add another $50 to that at the blackjack table. I didn't stay there that long, because I wanted to make sure my first session here was a win. Yes, $64 is still considered a win.

     From there, we went to the Golden Nugget casino. I first got into a blackjack game, where I won a quick $100. Again, I didn't stay there long, this time, due to a player who didn't know what he was doing (Dude, always at least hit a soft 17). Better to leave before he starts screwing up the cards.

     From there, I went to a craps table. Again, I shot from Stick Left 1, using the Hardway dice set. Again, I tiptoed into the game, so to speak, and despite shooting a 15 the first time around, I fell just shy of getting my money back. I did use my lower toss, shooting the dice a little softer, having them roll to the back wall under the spikes. But the rest of my rolls were mediocre, and I did have a PSO mixed in with that. I bought in for an additional $500, for a total buy-in of $1000. I tried my Fibonacci strategy with $25 Pass Line bets, but after going to level 3 before getting it back, I decided against going further with that. Things started turning around on another person's shoot. I decided to try this new strategy, I'd recently seen on YouTube by Crappy the Craps Man, where he starts off with $30 bets on the 6 and 8, and when those hit, place $15 on either the 4 and 5, or the 9 and 10, pressing them up, as 6 and 8 hit. But if one of the outside numbers that has a bet on it hits, take both bets down. I think Crappy calls this the Feed The Outsides strategy, where he places the 4 and 5 on hits of the 6, and places the 9 and the 10, upon hits of the 8. I used this strategy with two minor alterations: One, I fed the 9 and the 10 with rolls of 6, and fed the 4 and 5 with rolls of 8. The second alteration was, if I was able to build the outsides back up after taking them down the first time, I do not take them back down when they hit again, for I'd already made a profit by that time. This strategy proved very handy, as this shooter (even less marginally a controlled shooter than I am), went on a monster roll. As the numbers kept hitting, I pressed them up, getting to $90 on the 6 and 8, and $50 on the 9 and 10. I started playing the Hardway bets, and they hit 8 times, three of them being the Hard 10 (after which, I yelled out "Snowflakes!" after each hit). I even got to yell out "Bull-llack out!" three times, when the 8 hit at the $90 level (paying out $105). But probably what was the highlight of this craps session, was when the point was 9, and I also had $20 on the Pass Line, and the same amount for odds. The song "Rush Hour" by Jane Wiedlin (of the Go-Go's) was playing. I said to the shooter, "Make this a chart-position thing for this song," which was a #9 hit. I really was cutting up, when that 9 actually hit, and that made me a TRIPLE-winner! Made a total of $120 off the roll (not the most, since one of those Hard 10 rolls, actually made me $133 -- $98 for the Place bet, plus $35 for the Hard 10 bet). The shooter crapped out, as the song faded out. To my surprise, I'd gotten all my money back, plus an additional $692. A total casino session win of $792. I hadn't had a 500 Club in nearly six months!! And it's been even longer since I had a win this large at the craps table. Needless to say, I was all smiles, leaving that table!

     I wanted to kind of savor that big win at Golden Nugget, so when we got back to L'Auberge, we kind of chilled out for an hour and a half, until it was time to go to dinner at the Ember Steakhouse. There, the meal was especially good, with extra real bacon bits on the wedge salad.

     From there, we went to the Horseshoe casino (formerly Isle Of Capri). It was my intention to play craps there, then poker. But the craps table was full, so we went straight to the poker table. There I played 1/3 Texas Hold 'Em for two hours. I had somewhat of a different strategy for this table (which I'm not going to get into here, but if you want to know, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com, and I'll be glad to tell you what that strategy was). Anyway, I ended up $367 ahead at the poker table.

     Normally, at this point, I'd be trying to make another $133 to try to get to another 500 Club, but by the time I left the poker table, I was fast getting tired (I think the margarita I had with the dinner was really starting to kick in), and playing anymore tonight, wasn't even worthy of consideration. All things considered, it still was a great day, having won a total of $1223 for the day. I can only hope I can build on that for the rest of the trip. Meedless to say, when we got back to L'Auberge, we both crashed for the night.

Day 2 -- Gently Now...

     After having a somewhat late breakfast, the gambling for this day began at the craps table at L'Auberge. This time, I decided to play at the end. I thought I'd try the lower toss from this position, using my Yo-Yo (6/5-5/6) dice set. That didn't work out too well, for I crapped out at about the sixth roll. I also started getting into trouble, as for a while, the table was cold. At first, I was playing the Feed The Outsides strategy of Crappy the Craps Man, but the other shooters were crapping out early too. I started using the Fibonacci strategy on the Pass Line, as a way to try to get my money back. I continued to use it on myself, when I got the dice back. This time, I decided to abandon the low toss, and opted for a higher but more gentle toss of the dice. This seemed to work, for I almost got all my money back, shooting an 18, still using the Yo-Yo dice set. I got the rest of it back on the following shooter's roll, where he started with two seven-winners. That was all it took to get it back, and I colored up $25 ahead.

     Then, we went to a blackjack table, where quite unexpectedly, I had a quick easy round, winning an additional $500, for the second 500 Club of the trip! $525, not a bad way to start off the day!

     From there, we went to the Golden Nugget casino. We first got into a blackjack game. After winning an initial $50, then a few rounds in a row of breaking even, I decided to color up, when there was a discrepancy on how much I'd bought in--I thought I'd bought in for $500, when I'd really bought in for $600. No matter. I cashed out for $650, abd a $50 win there.

     Then, I played at a craps table there. Like at L'Auberge, I opted to stand at the end on the left side, and use my Yo-Yo dice set. This didn't work here, and I quickly got into trouble. After another short roll from that position, I moved to Stick Left 1, bought in for a second round of $500, and decided to go back to the Hardway dice set, the next time I got the dice. When I first arrived, there was only one other shooter. But after I moved to Stick Left 1, several more players came. Two of them, including the other original player, had decent shoots, and I was starting to get my money back, but I was still significantly behind when I got the dice, just after those two good rolls. I thought to myself, this is going to be a tough act to follow. Indeed, I was fully prepared to take the loss, which would have been the first of the trip. But nonetheless, I concentrated on setting the dice to the Hardway dice set, and really concentrating on gently lofting the dice, tossing them softly so that they gently hit the back wall. This seemed to do the trick. I ended up going on a long rally, making four points in the process. I also went back to the Feed-The-Outsides strategy, and was building the Place Bets up that way as well. I was already doing some cutting up, hitting a bunch of Hardways on the previous two shooters, and I was continuing to cut up on my shoot, culminating with a "Bull-llackout!" whem I rolled a 5, yielding a payout of $105. Apparently, my rolls were really helping out a woman, who was one of the new players, for I'd hit a number of horn rolls, which she'd had bets on. At one point, when I rolled a 3, apparently, I'd hit the small, which yielded this player a lot of money. She was so overjoyed that she tossed me a $50 tip. When I did crap out, I figured out, much to my amazement, that I'd shot a whole 30 times!! (364305 72) I hadn't had a shoot like that in over six months! I not only got my money back, but made an additional $414. In some ways, I was even more proud of this craps session than the big one I had at Golden Nugget yesterday. For one thing, that shoot of mine, was one of my ten best shoots ever. Check out my Best Craps Shoots page. I was able to update it for the first time since my Vegas trip last September.

     At this point, I was just $36 shy of another 500 Club, so I thought I'd try to win the rest of it playing blackjack again. Silly me! I hadn't had more than one 500 Club in quite a long time; what the hell made me think I was going to get one now? I lost $175 at that table before I decided to stop. No 500 Club this time, but hey, $289 is still a good win.

     We went back to our room at L'Auberge, where we chilled out for the next 3 hours or so. At this point, I was just over $2000 ahead for this trip, and I wanted to savor that. After that, we went to a somewhat early dinner, where we ate at a Chinese restaurant still at L'Auberge. My wife had chicken Pho, while I had orange beef. There may not have been as much gambling as on previous trips, but under the circumstances, that was quite all right.

     After dinner, we played in the casino, still at L'Auberge. I got into a blackjack game. I usually play $25 tables, and two hands per round. At L'Auberge, I have to double the bets if I play two hands. Fortunately, the dealer busted each of the first three rounds, and thanks to a double-down on the first round, I was up $350. I think I shocked my wife, when I decided to raise my bets to $75 for the fourth round. Needless to say, we were both very happy when the dealer busted again, and I made my goal. I colored up $500 ahead. There was my second 500 Club of the day, a feat I hadn't accomplished in 16 months, in fact!

     At this particular point, playing craps in this session was out of the question, for I sure as hell didn't want to blow this 500 Club (it was a mute point that the craps table was full anyhow). At first, I wanted to go to the Horseshoe from there, but ultimately, I decided against that too. For again, I wanted to savor this victory, plus the fact that I actually did even better today, than I did yesterday!! I won a total of $1314 today, and thus, am ahead a total of $2537 for the first two days. Can I add even more to that? The answer lies ahead in Day 3.

Day 3 -- Bring It On Home

     By the time this day began, I was just determined to bring home at least a decent profit from this trip. For one thing, this blog and my ego are both in desperate need of a good win for a trip. But I wanted to play some more craps, and one more time of poker first...

     After checking out of our room, we went to the craps table. This time, I got a place at left end. When I shot the dice, I shot an 11 using the Yo-To dice set. It wasn't enough to get my money back, and in fact, I had to invest a total of $1000. Fortunately, one of the other shooters had a good rally, and using the Feed-The-Outsides strategy, I was able to get my money back. The highlight of this roll was when the point was 8, I had $20 on the Pass Line, $20 on odds, $30 on the Place bet of 8, and $3 on the Hard 8, and Hard 8 hit. I was really cutting up, yelling "Square Pair's there! Quadruple winer! Shut the front door!!" Made $106 off that roll en route to winning $155 total. I was just happy to get away from there with a win.

     Lastly, I went to the poker room at Golden Nugget. I won five small-to-medium sized pots, but then it was like the magic was slipping away. After 45 minutes, I decided to leave the table $70 ahead. At that point, I declared myself all gambled out.

     Yes, it was onlu 8 gambling sessions over the whole time I was at Lake Charles, but quite frankly, I'll take these 8 quality wins anyday. Yes, I only won $225 total today, but I'll take that over a loss anyday, especially since I ended up $2762 ahead for the whole trip ($437 poker, $1025 blackjack, $1300 craps). It's been a LONG time since I had a total win for a trip this large. That even beats any of my Vegas trips. Best of all, that more than made up for the huge loss I had in Lake Charles in January.

     One of my favorite parts of any trip, especially a profitable one, is when I'm able to bring the money on home, and put it away. And pretty soon, that's what I'm going to do. Later, everyone! ☺

March 26-31, 2023 -- VEGAS TRIP IV -- Bridges

     The analogy I'm making with this trip is to when singer/songwriter Billy Joel recorded his 1986 album The Bridge, he gave it that name because of his collaborations with other artists on the album (he had a duet with Ray Charles on the album, as well as another song which Cyndi Lauper did backup vocals, and yet another track that featured keyboards by Steve Winwood). Here on this trip, more than any other. my wife and I interacted and did things with other people, or created bridges between us and them. Hence, the title of this trip.

     This Vegas is kind of a belated birthday present for me. I wanted to come out here on March 23rd, which is my actual birthday, but due to a prior commitment my wife had, we couldn't make it out here until March 26th. We both were excited to start this trip, our first casino trip in 2½ months.

Day 1 -- A Win Is Still A Win

     Today, we took the early flight out of Houston, and got to our hotel, the Plaza casino, at about 8:15 a.m. We got an upgrade to a suite. which was very nice. We rested there for a few hours.

     The gambling started off at the Plaza, where I played craps. I debuted a new crape strategy, the Fibonacci Freeroll strategy. Here, I used $25 units on the Pass Line, got to 4 units ahead, and played with 2 of those units. During the time that I was getting to 4 units ahead, I shot the dice -- there weren't that many players at the table, and that fact influenced me to do this strategy from the Pass Line, instead of the Don't Pass Line. I shot 9 times from Stick Left 1, using the Hardway dice set. I made my goal, while still shooting. From there, I changed to only a $10 Pass Line bet, with a $5 Whirl bet. I then did 34 inside, leaving me with $51 profit, if nothing else. I did crap out immediately after I started playing on casino money, so that's all that win was. Oh well, a win is a win.

     From there, we went to the New York New York casino to have lunch. I had two Nathan's hot dogs (this seems to be a traditional first meal for me in Vegas), while my wife opted for a slice of pizza. She was appalled at how much ONE slice cost--$15, which was almost as much as I paid for both hot dogs and a drink. And the slice of pizza wasn't even all that good! I think she wished she'd stuck with the classic, like I did.

     From there, we walked over to the Excalibur, where I got into a craps game. This table was a $15 table, and I once again tried the Fibonacci Freeroll strategy, but with $50 units from the Pass Line. Admittedly, I deviared from the strategy, when I made a couple of Place bets on what SEEMED like a hot shooter. But almost as soon as i did, seven-out! To make matters worse, I started getting into trouble with this strategy of mine, when I crapped out after 3 rolls, and I had to raise my Pass Line bet up to $100, and the next shooter's point was a four! Things didn't look too good for me at that point, but fortunately, the shooter made the 4, and I got the money back. I was slightly ahead at that point, and I stopped betting until it was my shoot again. This time, I was once again at Stick Left 1, and I used the Hardway dice set. I had a $20 Pass Line bet, along with 4 units on the insides. I shot 11 times this time, just enough to win enough to cover the bets, and add to my profit margin a little. I left the table $45 ahead. Again, a win's still a win.

     We then walked over to the Tropicana. My initial intention was to play blackjack first, and then play craps. However the dealer's bad attitude really soured my mood over there. The issues were, since I'm visually impaired, I have to have the dealer read out her top card to me, but the dealer pretended like she didn't hear me. Plus, when I was doubling down on a hand, she jumped down my throat for apparently doing it in such a manner that I'd briefly covered my initial bet. Neither my wife, nor I took kindly to that. We left that table after only two rounds. Fortunately, I'd profited $50 in those two rounds.

     One thing my wife wanted to do is visit the Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio casino. So that's the next thing we did. My wife really enjoyed the plant and flower arrangements. Being visually impaired, I didn't see nearly the rich detail she did, and thus, this wasn't as enjoyable for me, but I'm glas my wife had a great tine. One thing both of us liked, was how friendly a number of other people were, and how they were happy to take our pictures with either clower arrangements or statues being the backdrops for the photos. I didn't think of gambling there because, among other things, I was getting pretty worn out, and I needed a rest to re-charge.

     We then went back to the Plaza, and crashed for a few hours. I don't think either of us realized how tired we really were after our flight out here.

     We went to the Fremont casino, first to have dinner at Tony Roma's. The beef ribs I had were great. My wife enjoyed her food too.

     From there, I went to the craps table. Once again, I did my Fibonacci Freeroll strategy. This time, I was using $50 units on a $15 table. I had gotten so close to achieving my goal, having gotten 3 units ahead. I needed just one more unit to make my goal, at which point, I was going to play with 2 of the units. But before I could win that fourth unit, the dice turned ice cold, and my strategy was losing. Worse yet, my shoots from the end were not happening, and that was the case whether I used the Yo-Yo dice set, or the 3V dice set (for me, that would be the 4/6-4/2 dice set). After trying other ways to get un-stuck, without success, I left the table $625 down. The blow was somewhat lessened by a friendly thirty-something-looking black woman at the craps table, chatting with me about things craps-related. She left the table for another craps table when things went south at this table.

     FORTUNATELY, my luck changed for the better at the blackjack table, although at one point, I was really teetering on the edge of disaster, in danger of losing the rest of my $1000 buy-in (at one point, I only had one 25-dollar chip left, in addition to the bets I placed for that round). But in the end, I won $626 at the blackjack table. Yes, that meant a profit at the Fremont of ONE MEASLY BUCK. But again, a win is a win.

     When my wife and I went to the cage to cash out my chips, I saw the woman from the craps table already there, with her significant other. We were happy to learn that the other had gotten his/her money back.

     We then went to Ellis Island for karaoke. There, I sang "Beautiful Sunday" by Daniel Boone, "Love On The Rocks" by Neil Diamond, and "Unchain My Heart" as done by Joe Cocker. I was surprised at the great response I got for the first song (in spite of messing up on the last two verses), but by far, the best response was for the last song. One of the others in the lounge even complimented me for the Neil Diamond song. My wife and I both had a great time.

     A side note on that: I had intended to sing "Sunday And Me" by Jay & the Americans, instead of the Daniel Boone song. The dee-jay greatly enjoyed my selections, plus he really liked my musical trivia (I told him that "Sunday And Me" was the first hit song Neil Diamond ever wrote). Big shout-out to Josh, the karaoke dee-jay!

     There would be no more gambling for the first day. For after we got back from karaoke, we were REALLY ready to crash. But even though my gambling wins for this first day only added up to a mere $147, I'll take that over a losing day, any day. I look at it this way: If I do nothing else on this Vegas trip, I still did a hell of a lot better than my trip to Lake Charles back in January, where I lost over $2500 on the trip. Which would you rather have?

Day 2 -- Change Of Plans

     Today, I was hoping to keep the win streak up, and maybe get some larger wins in the process.

     The first thing my wife and I did was have breakfast at this breakfast diner just a short drive from the Plaza, called Eats. We'd been there once before, nearly two years ago, and the food was great.

     From there, we went to the Paris casino. There, I first got into a blackjack game, where while my wife and I chatted with two others at the table, it was clear I wasn't going to stay there long, for they didn't know how to play. The moment I got my money back, plus $30, I left the table.

     I then got onto a $15 craps table. I used my Fibonacci Freeroll strategy, but took the money and ran when I got to two 50-dollar wins. The reason why I left before I could shoot, was, I felt it important at the time, to lock up my biggest win of the trip so far. So I left the table $100 ahead, and $130 ahead for the casino session. I was planning to go further with this strategy the next time I play craps.

     When I got to the Venetian, I was focused on playing 3/5 No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em. Maybe I should have played craps first, while my wife was out getting her nails done. At any rate, my win streak snapped, for I lost $423 at the table, which I suspect was full of pros, plus I didn't pick up many good cards.

     When my wife got back, we had a late lunch at our pizza place at the food court, still at the Venetian. It was there, that a friend of the family, the same one that we'd hung out with last time, for most of the day, called, and invited us over to her house. She wanted us to meet two of her friends. So we went straight there from the Venetian.

     It was great to see Marilyn again. Shortly after we got there, her other guests, Marie, and her daughter Chantel arrived.

     The reason why Marilyn wanted us to meet Marie and Chantel, was because Chantel's name is pronounced the same as my wife's (which is spelled Shawntel). Both Chantel and Shawntel have husbands named John!! And what's more, Chantel likes to sing karaoke like me, and she bible journals like my wife. Needless to say, we'll be keeping in contact with her!

     We had fun at Marilyn's but from a gambling pperspective, this unexpected change of plans shot the rest of my day straight to hell! It was late when we got back to the Plaza. I only had the energy for one more session before turning in for the night.

     I tried to get into a craps game, but the one open craps table was full. So my last game of the day was blackjack. After a mighty struggle, I got my money back plus $50. Overall, I ended up losing $243 for the day, and down $96 thus far for the trip. More tomorrow.

Day 3 -- Grind Your Way Back

     Those of you familiar With Jefferson Starship will recognize the play on words here. It indeed felt like a grind, battling to get back into the black for this trip. But I'm glad I was able to do it.

     My wife and I went out to the Green Valley Ranch this morning. We first had breakfast in a restaurant in the casino, and the breakfast was delicious.

     From there, I went to the craps table (while my wife chatted with our friends from the night before). I did the Fibonacci Freeroll strategy, making it to 4 $50 units ahead before playing with 2 of those units. But the moment I switched strategies was when the shooter crapped out. No matter. I still won $106 at the table.

     I added $25 to that, playing blackjack, after a very dramatic session where I fought back from a near-disaster to get my money back and get the win. Overall, I won $131 for this session, enough to get back in the positive for this trip, albeit by only $35.

     From there, we went to the Red Rock casino. This time, I played poker there, instead of just walking around, like we did last time six months ago. While I did this, my wife went shopping. Unfortunately, the cards weren't nice to me again, and I lost $328. So much for that pretty idea!

/

     We ate dinner at the Chophouse Steakhouse. The meal was superb, and the staff there was really nice. In fact, I got a rather pleasant surprise with a creme brule for a birthday cake, with a candle on it. I think my wife told the staff that my birthday was five days earlier, so this was their birthday surprise. I loved it. It helped take the sting out of that poker loss.

     After all that, we returned to the Plaza, and got some rest.

     From there. we went back to the Fremont, where I got on to a crowded craps table. This time, I didn't try for 4 $50 units ahead before playing with casino's money with the Fibonacci Freeroll strategy, but did that after getting 3 units ahead. This time, the shooter had a decent rally. and I was cutting up for a while. I ended up $189 ahead for the session.

     Upon returning to the Plaza, I was thinking, "I'm now only down $104. Let me see if I can erase that deficit."

     I first went to a craps table where I was the only shooter. I even used the Fibonacci strategy on myself. I had two shoots, shooting about 10 each time, using the Hardway dice set from Stick Left 1. I had parlayed my winnings to 2 units ahead, before losing one back when I crapped out. I decided not to go for more, and left the table $50 ahead.

     I then went to a blackjack table, and played one round only, having two bets of $50 each. When the dealer busted, I knew what I was going to do. The dealer and the pit boss both thought I had flipped when I immediately colored up after winning that $100. They had no idea that I was just trying to get myself out of a hole, which I'd succeded in doing for the second time today. That $150 win at the Plaza got me up for the trip $46. Even with the poker loss, I won a net of $142 for the day. What a grind that was!

Day 4 -- Early Birds

     There were some things I didn't mention yesterday, which were tied into the big surprise of this trip. But now, I can reveal the big surprise of the trip, for it's happened, and I wasn't sure it would.

     Here goes: The big surprise of this trip was that I got to meet Bryan, the brains and founder of Hawaii Craps Shooters! Over the past three years or so, Bryan has put out some awesome content, and I found a lot of his videos to be entertaining and informative. I was honored to finally meet him. He is a really cool guy, and a highly skilled craps shooter and player.

     What I had left out on Day 3 was the fact that we kept missing each other. My wife and I went to Green Valley Ranch where I knew he was going to be filming, but I didn't know what time. The filming actually took place while my wife had our dinner reservations at Red Rock. We tried to meet at the Fremont, but missed each other again. Finally, this morning after 6 am, we finally did meet. We talked for a little while, and then started to play (I was already there when he arrived). Bryan even gave me a Hawaii Craps Shooters chip, which looks so cool.

     The craps session itself was great. Prior to Bryan arriving, I had done the Fibonacci Freeroll strategy, but pulled out of it early, being up a little bit when Bryan arrived. I shot the dice, and he saw me shoot 18 times (026 123 31), from Stick Right 1 (a position I almost never do well at), using the Hardway dice set, making a point of 10 in the process. But since I was playing my strategy, and not on casino's money, I really only broke even on my roll. After I crapped out, Bryan rolled. The first four rolls were all seven-winners, which was great for me, since I was playing the Fibonacci Freeroll strategy from the Pass Line, and those four rolls put me up by four units, and it was then that I played on casino money with two of the units. Bryan shot 20 or 21 times, and when he crapped out, I colored up $370 ahead. That was by far the biggest win I had at the Fremont, plus it was the biggest win so far on this trip. Also my 18-roll was by far the best roll I ever had at the Fremont. Needless to say when my wife and I left the Fremont for breakfast at the Plaza, I was all smiles.

     After a most delicious breakfast at Hash-A-Go-Go, in the Plaza, my wife and I went back up to our room to rest. In fact, we rested so long that by the time we were up and moving again, it was time for lunch. We went to the Venetian, and at at Panda Express this time. The food was good.

     Then I played craps at a $25 table, still at the Venetian. I was the only player at that table, and I only had a mediocre shoot. However, it was enough to win $50 using my Fibonacci strategy, due to a couple of seven-winners on the come-out. I was at Stick Left 1, using the Hardway dice set. I decided not to go any further after I crapped out.

     From there, my wife and I went to Caesar's Palace. I first got into a blackjack game, where I won a quick $50. I didn't stay long because there was this guy there who didn't know what he was doing, and unlike craps, how you play affects everybody else at the table.

     Then I played craps at a $25 table, still at Caesar's. This time, I played the Fibonacci Freeroll strategy, switching to playing on casino money, once I got 3 units ahead. I was the shooter at this point, and from Stick Left 1, I used the Hardway dice set. Fueled by a couple of come-out Whirl bet wins, I ended up $151 ahead at the craps table, shooting a 13 in the process. My win for this casino session was $201. At this point, I was $667 ahead for the trip.

     However, the bubble burst when I next played at the Flamingo.

     There, the Fibonacci strategy went bad. I think if I'd played it from the Don'ts instead, it might have worked. I was up one unit before the dice went south. After losing my $250 Pass Like bet (Level 4 of 5 in the Fibonacci strategy), I left, down $500. As I later told Bryan, I could have gone one more level, betting $400 on it, but at that point, I was more concerned with staying ahead for the trip. I still was up $167 for the trip.

     After a loss, I usually try to take a break from the action, which is what my wife and I did, once we returned to the Plaza.

     My wife had her mind set on a Chinese food restaurant at the Golden Nugget, but when we got there, the place was closed! So we went across the way to the Fremont to eat at Tony Roma's.

     Quite surprisingly, before my wife and I made it to Tony Roma's, we ran into Bryan at the craps table. We didn't play with him this time, for we were both hungry. But we had a nice conversation, during which I told him about what happened at the Venetian, Caesar's, and the Flamingo. He mentioned bankroll management, which is something he talks about on his Hawaii Craps Shooters YouTube channel. Bryan also mentioned that he'd won two hats at the Fremont (awarded to shooters who shoot at least 25 times), the first one being just after I'd left this morning. Oh man! One of the disadvantages of being a hit-and-run gambler, which I am most of the time.

     Purely by accident, we ran into Bryan one more time, when we went back to Golden Nugget, this time to play some craps. Bryan, apparently, was at the end of a 20-or-so-shoot, and by the time I got in, it didn't help, for Bryan crapped out before I could get my money back. Worse yet, I tried my Fibonacci strategy from the Pass Line, and that was a disaster. I think, especially after that long roll Bryan had, I would have been better off if I'd played it from the Don'ts instead. Anyway the session was a long exhausting one, during which I got part of my money back, but ultimately, I ended up losing $561.

     Overall, I ended up losing $440 for the day, and as of now, I'm down $394 for the trip. But there is tomorrow.

Day 5 -- As Cold As The Weather

     Apparently, a late-March day in Las Vegas where the daytime high is only in the mid-50's is very unusual. Unfortunately, the day's cold weather mirrored most of the tables I played on today.

     As opposed to yesterday, my wife and I slept in today. We didn't get started until about mid-day. I was really hoping I could start the day fresh, and win back the money I lost yesterday.

     I went to the craps table, playing the Fibonacci strategy. After losing the first four levels, I abandoned the strategy, after which I had a decent shoot to partially get my money back. But after a quick next roll, I decided to take the $270 loss, and try to win it back at the blackjack table, since that worked at the Fremont the first night. No such luck today. I lost an additional $287.50 playing blackjack.

     After having Nathan's hot dogs for lunch at the New York New York, I decided to play the game that I'd lose the slowest at, which to my wife's surprise, was poker. I decided to play it back at the Venetian, and play it at a level where I'd never lost at there -- 2/4 No-Limit Hold 'Em. Surprisingly, after 2 hours, I won $203. At least I know I can still play poker. I even added $25 to that at a blackjack table. That game me SOME hope that maybe...

     The last casino I played at was the Paris casino, where both blackjack and craps were nice to me on Day 2. But both were not nice to me today. I first played blackjack, and lost $450 in near-record time; the cards were so bad. The dice weren't much better at the craps table. There, I didn't even play the Fibonacci strategy, and my shoots weren't good. After three short shoots, and losing another $343 at the craps table, I declared myself all gambled out.

     Overall, I ended up losing $1516.50 on this trip, the majority of which came on the last day. But I still enjoyed myself. Karaoke the first night was fun. Hanging out with Marilyn, Marie, and Chantel was great too. For me, the highlight of the trip was meeting and playing craps with Bryan at the Fremont. Apparently, the $370 win I had there was the best of the whole trip. Maybe next time.

     And it now looks like that next time will be back in Lake Charles. For after my wife and I left the Venetian, we made reservations to stay at L'Auberge for two complimentary nights April 10-12. I hope to have better results than this time in Vegas (although really I didn't lose as much in Vegas as I did in Lake Charles back in January).

March 25, 2023 -- NEW LOOK AND LOOKING AHEAD

     I am very excited to be unveiling a whole new look for this website. Basically, I added a lot more pictures, converted the HTML files to PHP, which is more dynamic, and was able to bring in my own custom page hit counters, instead of having to use those from a third party, which to me always looked absolutely hideous.

     I am also excited to be going to Vegas tomorrow for five days! This is the first real trip I've done this year (I'm not even counting that Lake Charles trip back in January). I definitely plan to play some craps, and hopefully use some of my newer strategies. I'm also hoping to bring a surprise or two to this blog, regarding this trip. All I can say, is stay tuned! ☺

March 9, 2023 -- New Craps Article, Plus...

     Yes, this is the first article I put out in about four months. But I believe this new strategy, which I call the Fibonacci Freeroll Strategy, is a real good one.

     Yes, I'd taken a hiatus from gambling for the past two months. But my wife and I plan to go to Las Vegas from March 26th to the 31st. I plan to have those results on this blog. I also hope to bring a special surprise to this blog, as a result of this trip. All I can say, is stay tuned! ☺

January 9-11, 2023 -- LAKE CHARLES XIX -- STOP THE BLEEDING

     This was the first time in two months that my wife and I went out to Lake Charles. We were hoping for a great new beginning to the new year, and especially since we once again have three casinos to choose from (instead of two, the way it's been since Hurricane Laura destroyed the Isle Of Capri casino in the summer of 2020). Unfortunately, things pretty much were the same as how things ended last year.

     Things started out okay, with my winning $50 at a blackjack table at L'Auberge, then winning another $50 at another blackjack table at Golden Nugget, plus an additional $68 playing poker afterwards, still at Golden Nugget. Two casino session wins in a row, and I was up $168.

     However, it was strictly downhill from there.

     Just before dinner, I played blackjack again (didn't have time to play craps), and I lost $500 there.

     After dinner, we decided to go to the Horseshoe casino, the casino that replaced the old Isle Of Capri casino. It was there that we decided to play craps. But that was a disaster. The dealers were going too fast, my dice shooting didn't go too good, and my wife was trying to follow my lead with the betting. Now I really wanted to try a riskier progressive Come bet strategy there, but I didn't because I knew my wife didn't have as big of a bankroll as I did, so I couldn't do that, and nothing went right. I lost $459 at that table. And I lost an additional $500 playing poker there. It was then that I remembered that my win percentage at Isle of Capri was lower than the other two Lake Charles casinos. Nothing's changed, huh?

     The next day, I started out winning $50 at a blackjack table at L'Auberge. Then I played some craps, where I got off to a rocky start with a five-roll only, using the Hardway dice set from SL1. Fortunately, the first three rolls were seven-winners, but then, I PSO'ed. Fortunately, I was able to use the progressive Come betting strategy, and I only had to go to two levels (this will be the subject of a future craps article). I felt like playing over at Golden Nugget again, and I wanted to make sure I felt like a winner again. For that reason, I was happy to leave the craps table $12 ahead, and $62 ahead for the session.

     However, that would be the last winning session I'd have on the trip.

     Things started off good at Golden Nugget. I won $75 at the blackjack table, then I won $37 at craps, doing the progressive Come betting strategy (after shooting a 6 and a 9, not quite breaking even because I'd bet on other shooters). Fortunately, that got my money back. But losing $513 at the poker table, turned this session into a $401 loss.

     My wife and I went back to the Horseshoe, and I played craps, playing my progressive Come betting strategy there at a $15 table. Now, I'd bought in for $1000, but in order to do this strategy correctly, I'd need $1800 for a buy-in, plus I needed nerves of steel, which I didn't have, as I was only able to place four levels of Come bets (15, 45, 105, and 225), and I think I needed at least six levels to pull this off successfully, given how the shooter's roll went. After losing those bets, I tried a 110 inside on my shoot, but I PSO'ed. I left the table $600 down, determined to try poker again. But after two hours, and being $290 down there, I decided to just stop the bleeding right then and there. I took the $890 loss for the session, and declared myself all gambled out for the trip, down $2520 total for the trip.

     Obviously, I was very disappointed, regarding my gambling results. Maybe I need to lay off of poker, and focus on craps and blackjack. More practice on my gripping and throwing the dice, is in order, plus I want to make sure that the next time I do this progressive Come betting strategy, I'm doing it on either a $5 or a $10 table. I wish I had better results to report to you, but the facts are what they are. Until next time...

December 5, 2022 -- A FEW THOUGHTS

     While I'm taking a somewhat extended break from the casinos, a few thoughts have occurred to me. First of all, early this morning, I was watching a YouTube video put out by Howard Rock 'N' Roll, and as I watched him toss the dice from the end, I noticed that he hardly did a pendulum swing. It confirmed something I'd been thinking lately, that maybe I shouldn't do one either. Then I remembered that the year I had my best gambling year (2017), I had some real great throws, and I didn't use a pendulum throw then either. I'm not saying that this is the way for everybody, just for myself. I need to stop trying to do things the way everybody says it should be done, if I have a method that works better for me. This is a lesson I'd also learned when I was bowling. My other thought is on strategy. I'm currently working on a new strategy, which is a combination of two recent strategies that I'd posted in articles. I am hoping to use all of thus at the craps table, when I do get back in the casinos. Stay tuned for it...☺

November 7-9, 2022 -- LAKE CHARLES XVIII -- THE OTHER SIDE

     How my wife and I are able to make so many trips out to Lake Charles, is because we get our room comped for two nights. Lately, it's only been the L'Auberge casino giving out the comps. Golden Nugget has been very stingy with the comps in recent years. But surprisingly, we got a coupon in the mail for two complimentary nights at Golden Nugget, so we decided to stay there this time. One benefit of doing it this way, is the fact that the cloverleaf hot tub that's for adults only is on this property, and unlike when we stay at L'Auberge, we don't have to pay to use it. That's what's kept us away from it all year. But this time, we're gearing up to use it this time. The weather in Lake Charles Louisiana is real nice, and this is probably the last time we'll get to go swimming or use the hot tub for the next several months. So off we went to Golden Nugget...

Day 1 -- Embrace The Struggle

     You can imagine our disappointment when we got to Golden Nugget, and we found out that the adult pool area, including the giant hot tub, was closed for repairs. Worse yet, I wasn't feeling too hot, for I had developed a slight headache. My wife was tired too (probably from getting caught up in all the hoopla regarding our Houston Astros winning the World Series). So we rested for a while, a little longer than normal.

     When I started playing, it began at the blackjack table, where a string of very bad luck with the cards, caused me to lose $300. I would usually re-buy once at this point, but I didn't want to start off that way. The craps table was full, and I came to Lake Charles with a slightly reduced budget for gambling. For those reasons, I decided to just take the hit, and head over to L'Auberge. My initial strategy was to play craps, and depending on how much I win at blackjack, would determine how much I'd be willing to risk on my shoot. But that will have to wait.

     Forgetting about said strategy when we got to L'Auberge, we went straight to the craps table at L'Auberge. And it was a $5 table, can you believe it?! But unfortunately, my shoots weren't that good. I had a mediocre first roll from Stick Left 1, using the Hardway dice set, and my second roll, this time, using the Even Crossed Sixes set, was even worse, with an early crap-out. One reason why this trip is called "The Other Side" is because I'd said that prior to this trip, that I was going to play the Don'ts on the other shooters. But most of the other shooters were also dice setters, and they had more success making points than I did, but as far as hitting other Place Bet numbers, not so at first. It was a struggle at that table, investing $700 total, before getting it back. Fortunately, two of the other shooters had long enough rallies to get my money back, and leave $28 ahead. Another fringe benefit from this session, was, I felt better after drinking some water. I may have been dehydrated. We would have stayed at L'Auberge, but we had to head back to Golden Nugget for our dinner reservation at Vic & Anthony's.

     We had a very nice steak and wedge salad dinner at Vic & Anthony's. Afterwards, I was determined to play at the poker room at Golden Nugget. For this night, they were running a free-roll sports betting promotion in connection with the Monday night football game. I figured that the game would be good, since a number of people would be better at sports betting than poker. That turned out to be true, but it turned out to be a struggle here too, for I initially got busted when I was forced all-in on a hane with a lot of draws, whicl all missed. Only after I re-bought, did I start to get my money back. It took most of the football game for me to finally succeed in getting it all back, plus $119. By that time, I was too tired, so my gambling ended there for Day 1. Overall, I was down $153 for the day, but I have been a whole lot worse. I think tomorrow will see more craps sessions, which hopefully will go even better.

Day 2 -- Head Above Water (Briefly)

     Being that I was only down $153 after the first day, I had high hopes of getting out of the hole, and possibly turning a profit for this trip.

     It started out good, winning a quick $25 at a choppy blackjack table at Golden Nugget, then winning $150 playing blackjack at L'Auberge, after breakfast. At that point, I was ahead $22 for the trip.

     From there, we went back to Golden Nugget. I first played craps on a $15 table. Again, my shoots weren't so hot, but I managed to finish $193 ahead on someone else's shoot. I added $125 to that win at the blackjack table. At that point, I was ahead $318 for the session...

     I tried to get a 500 Club at the poker table, still at Golden Nugget. Instead of winning at least $182, which was my goal, I lost $700 on a real bad cooler (straight vs. set), so I ended up $382 down for the session.

     Things really went south from there. I went to a craps table back at L'Auberge, and I quickly fell behind there. Because my shooting wasn't so hot at first, I played cautiously on my first shoot. Wouldn't you know it, that was the shoot where I shot 21 times, using the Yo-Yo dice set! I didn't get my money back, but I figured I'd try my Two-Hit Blackout strategy (220 inside on a $10 table), but I PSO'ed. Worse yet, I tried once more with the dice, only to PSO again! I left the table $438 down. I added $750 to that deficit on three blackjack tables (winning $100 on the first one prior to the craps game). I lost $1198 for that session. OUCH!!!

     After dinner at a Chinese restaurant at L'Auberge, I went back to a different craps table. At this point, I had given up hope of getting out of the hole for the trip, and decided to concentrate on having fun. Although it was a losing session, I did have fun, for the most part, especially when on one person's shoot, there was some hope of getting my money back, but in the end, I lost another $371, due to my being too far behind before the rally began. I only was able to win $25 of that back at the blackjack table. $346 down for that session.

     My last hurrah for this trip came at the poker table at Golden Nugget at night. That was when I finished ahead last night, so I figured I'd try it again tonight...Bad move! I lost another $852, and I decided to call it quits for this trip. I think $2756 down was enough of a loss, don't you think?

Day 3 -- Maybe Next Year

     No gambling on this last day, as I'd declared myself all gambled out after last night's disastrous poker session. No 500 Clubs this time around. Unless I get an unexpected windfall that gets me back into the casinos before the end of this month, there won't be any further attempts this year to get 500 Clubs every month this year. At least I could take some consolation that every month for the first ten, that I had at leadt one 500 Club in each month, which is the furthest I'd gotten in any year. Plus the previous 12 months in a row, I had at least one 500 Club in each. That's the longest such string I'd had. But I don't see it happening anymore this year. Maybe next year.

October 29, 2022 -- CASINO QUEST

     I just added Casino Quest to the Links To Other Craps Sites page. They put out some exciting content on YouTube. Check them out!

October 10-12, 2022 -- LAKE CHARLES XVII -- IF IT WEREN'T FOR POKER

     My wife and I discovered on this trip to Lake Charles that when we're away for a while, when we return, it's like we're making a comeback -- although in our case, it's only been two months since our last trip to Lake Charles. I'm on a quest to see if I can get a 500 Club for this month, continuing the streak for this year. Will it happen? Let's find out!

Day 1 -- Detours And Discomforts

     On our way to the charter bus station to catch the bus to take us to Lake Charles, we usually take a slight detour to the drive-thru at Jack In The Box near our place. We did so this time, but we discovered too late that our order was completely messed up, and I ate something that didn't exactly agree with my stomach. To make matters worse, my wife is battling allergies, and her voice was half-gone for this first day. Another detour I have to mention, the bus had to take a detour on a side road, due to a 10+ mile backup from the Texas/Louisiana border on I-10. That delayed us roughly 25 minutes. That may have worked to our advantage because the room was ready by the time we got to L'Auberge in Lake Charles.

     While my wife ran an errand, I played craps at a $10 table at L'Auberge. At first, I was at the end, where I tried my Even Crossed Sixes dice set. I PSO'ed that time. Then Stick Left 1 was available, and I shot at least three times using the Hardway dice set. Things got off to a rocky start there as well, but I was able to get part of my money back with a shoot of 19. The rest of it was gotten back on a random shooter's roll. I was using a hybrid of the 4 PM strategy as well as the Repeater's Regression II strategy, but I didn't play the 4 and the 10. Moreover, I couldn't bring myself to do the Martingale part of the strategy. This may be why it took a long time to get my money back, but I didn't feel like putting a whole lot of money out there so soon into the trip. Anyway, I ultimately won $42 in this session -- it took so long that my wife returned from her errand just before I finished.

     After a delicious dinner at Ember Steakhouse, I wanted to play poker at Golden Nugget. But before then, we detoured to play blackjack at L'Auberge. Bad timing. I lost $400. It was even worse when I actually played poker. I lost $944. That was it for the day. I ended up down $1302 for the day.

Day 2 -- A Slight Angle

     After yesterday, I was on a mission to try to chip away at what I'd lost. Will I be able to do it?

     At L'Auberge, after breakfast, I started out at the blackjack table. I won $125 there. Then, I went to the craps table, but unfortunately, I kept crapping out early from SL1 using the Hardway dice set. Nothing else was happening. I took a $347 loss, and went back to the blackjack table, and won $300 there after quite a battle. I ended the session $78 ahead, in spite of myself.

     From there, I went to Golden Nugget, with the intent of playing poker--yes, even after that big loss the previous night. I first played blackjack, and won $50 before getting an open seat at the poker table. There, I actually won -- $228, in fact. Then I went back to the blackjack table, and won an additional $47.50. At this point, I was ahead $325.50, and I thought I'd try to get that elusive 500 Club at the craps table. Unfortunately, the dice, once again weren't nice, playing the Hardway dice set from Stick Left 1, and I lost $261 there. I did retain a $64.50 win, again, in spite of myself.

     After a late lunch/early dinner (a "linner" as I like to call it) at Olive Garden, we returned to L'Auberge, and went to the blackjack table. There, we met a guy who told us that he'd lost $7000 that day, and he was planning to go back to get more, and come right back to do it again. Both of us believe that is a bad strategy. He didn't do any better while I was there at the table, but I managed to win $125 before leaving. In fact, he gave me crap for leaving the table ahead. Excuse me, but I'd rather leave this much ahead, rather than lose 56 times that. I'm only making a whole paragraph out of this to illustrate how some other gamblers think, and to bring home the point, not to be afraid to walk away when you're ahead. And trust me, this sort of thing also happens at the craps table.

     My wife and I then took a rest for a few hours (I think the meal at the Olive Garden had hit us). Afterwards, we went back downstairs, where I went to the craps table. This time, I stood at the end. I got off to a rocky start, betting on other shooters. When I finally got the dice, I used my Yo-Yo (6/5-5/6) dice set, shooting the dice from a slight angle, and I shot 13 times, JUST enough to get my money back, plus $9. But the big takeaway from this session was my discovering (or maybe re-discovering) what works best with this dice set. I added $75 to this win at the blackjack table, for a total session win of $84.

     From there, we went to Golden Nugget, where I decided to play poker, hoping to build on the momentum from this afternoon. Not to be, I ran into two huge buzz saws, and was quickly down $695. I left there to stop the bleeding! Another night game where I was torched. Ironically, my best win of this year was $898, won at a poker table at night. Go figure.

>

     We returned to L'Auberge, where I won $175 at the blackjack table before calling it a night. Overall, I ended up down $168.50 for the day.

Day 3 -- Just In Case...

     By this time, I saw my chances for getting a 500 Club for this month slipping away on this trip. So my wife and I agreed that if I didn't get one on this trip, we'd come back to Lake Charles toward the end of the month to try it again.

     After my wife and I checked out of our room, the first thing we did was go to the craps table at L'Auberge. Once again, I stood at the end, using my Yo-Yo dice set, I shot at a slight angle. This time, I shot 17 times, and not using any regression strategy whatsoever, I won $146. From there, I decided to make another try at a 500 Club, by going to the blackjack table. There, I managed to win $400, completing the task, winning $546 for the session. No need to come back to Lake Charles this month!

     Would you believe I went over to Golden Nugget with the intent of playing poker AGAIN? Maybe fortunately for me this time, that didn't happen. However, I did lose $442.50 at the blackjack table, playing from first base, which hasn't worked out well for me on this trip. Both my blackjack losses was from that position. I only bring this up here because position at the table is important in all three games I play at the casinos, including craps, where I use different dice sets for different positions, for example. Anyway, I stopped gambling for the trip, ending up with a net win of $103.50 for the day, and an overall loss on the trip of $1367.

     One more thing I have to say before concluding this entry on this Lake Charles trip: If it weren't for my poker results, I actually would have ended up ahead on this trip! Yes, only by $44 (I had a net win of $455 playing blackjack, and a net loss of $411 playing craps), but I would have been happy with that. My wife and I still had a great time on this trip. And the lessons I learned on this trip, I hope I can take into future trips.

September 25-29, 2022 -- VEGAS TRIP III -- EVOLUTION

     I feel like my gambling strategies, especially lately, are evolving. I've consciously decided to approach this trip to Las Vegas (for my wife's birthday) in a whole new way. Will it work? Let's find out!

Day 1 -- The Power Of 3

     Like our last Vegas trip, we took the early flight from Houston out to Vegas. We got there super early to our hotel at the Tropicana casino. But this time, our room wouldn't be ready until 12 noon (we arrived at 7:15 a.m.). So we had to check our stuff, and start our gambling earlier than anticipated.

     It started at the craps table at the Tropicana. My first bet was a $20 field bet on another shooter, hoping to build some Place bets, if that field bet hit. No good. The shooter sevened out on the following roll. Soon afterwards, I got the dice, and I got a couple of seven winners to make up for that--although I really didn't want to see that, since I was dice setting, using the Hardway dice set from Stick Left 1. I placed 30 on both 6 and 8, with the idea of regressing them both down to 18 on one hit. That happened, and after some non-productive rolls, I placed bets on 5 and 10, since I was rolling them. Overall, I rolled 12 times, but due to the non-productive rolls, I only ended up $3 ahead. Well, okay. I got my feet wet.

     From there, my wife and I walked over to the Excalibur casino. There I got onto a 10-dollar craps table, shooting from Stick Left 1. As before, I used the Hardway dice set, using my so-called natural grip, where my index and pinky fingers are gripping the sides of the dice, and my thumb is on the seam of the dice. I'd been practicing my toss a lot lately, and i guess it really showed this time, for I had a nice long roll this time. Not only that, I decided to play a tad more aggressively. This time, after establishing a point, I bet the equivalent of 88 inside, four units on each of the inside numbers, with the intent of taking two bets at a time down to two units, as they hit. This strategy is kind of a hybrid of two of my recent strategies, the Repeater's Regression II strategy, and the 4 PM strategy. Fortunately, I didn't have to use the Martingale part of the strategy, as the numbers were really hitting. At one point early on, I made a field bet of $10, with the intent of starting 4 and 10 as well, should that hit. The following roll was a 3, and that's what I did. Tuens out, 10 was the most frequently hit number, as I rolled it 8 times! It was the point three different times. I also hit the 8 seven times, and on two occasions, was able to yell out "Bull-llackout!" as those hits paid $105 each. But I crapped out when I pressed the bet up to 180 (hoping for a Double Blackout, if it hit). I didn't think I made enough for a 500 Club, but to my surprise, I found that I'd won $503. This was my first 500 Club at the Excalibur in 20 years! (I'd previously won $529 in early 2002). It also turned out that I'd rolled a whopping 32 times! That shoot was the best one I've had all year! I updated my Best Shoots page to include this shoot. And all this happened within the first hour of arriving at the casinos!

     At this point, we still had a lot of time before our room would be ready, so I decided to play a slower-paced game, which was poker. We made our way to Caesar's Palace, where I got into a 1/3 No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em game. After an hour and a half, I won $227. My wife was getting a massage from the massage girl in the poker room, which she found most relaxing. That killed enough time so that we could go get lunch, and then get our room.

     We then went to the New York New York casino, where I had my biggest casino win ever ($1756 back in 2002). But I haven't gambled there since then. We ate Nathan's hot dogs, which as always were top-notch. From there, we walked back over to the Tropicana. By this time, it was almost 12 noon, and our room was ready. Once we got there, we both crashed for a while, for we'd gotten very little sleep the night before, plus little sleep on the plane.

     After a nice rest, my wife was determined to get her nails and toes done for her birthday, which is on Tuesday the 27th. I, meanwhile, played 2/4 No-Limit Hold 'Em at the Venetian (Yes, that is 2/4 NO-Limit Texas Hold 'Em, a very unusual game, which I only see at the Venetian). After 2¼ hours, I won $303 (again, 76 big blinds minus 1 -- not intentional). Even after all that, my wife still wasn't done at the nail shop. It would be an hour after I returned back to the Tropicana, when my wife got back. It took 3½ hours to get her nails and toes done, but from what I could see, they looked nice, and my wife was very happy with the results.

     From there, we had dinner at a restaurant in the Tropicana called Irvine's. We had pizza and some sort of lemonade concoction with rum in it. It was great. But afterwards, I didn't feel like doing any more gambling that day. I'd racked up a total of $1036 in winnings, and I didn't feel like putting that at risk. So we went back to our room, and called it a night.

Day 2 -- Still Ahead

     The first thing we did today after we got ready, was go to the Flamingo casino. After a lousy breakfast, we went to see the flamingos my wife wanted to see last time, but couldn't. She wouldn't be denied today. She loved seeing all the flamingos, ducks, and fish, and took plenty of pictures. I enjoyed it too, but to a lesser extent. I was more interested in playing.

     I didn't get to play at the Flamingo, as the one craps table open at that time was full, so we decided to go to Resorts World, which was a new casino for us. There, we went to a craps table, which may have just opened, as we were the first two there. This time, my wife decided to play too. As before, I stood at Stick Left 1, setting the dice to the Hardway set. Things got off to a rocky start at this $15 table. I crapped out almost immediately. My wife, when she shot the dice, didn't do much better. When I got the dice back, I think I concentrated on a landing closer to the back wall. And when I bet, I only put four units on the 6 and 8 to start -- no hybrid strategy this time. It was only then that the numbers started hitting. At first, my wife was playing the exact same strategy as me, but then played more conservatively. On this shoot, I ended up making six points -- a 4, four 9's, and a 10. I had another monster roll -- 30 rolls in all when I crapped out. I won $281 at the craps table. My wife won $156. It would have been more had we not gotten off to a rocky start.

     I added another $229 at the poker table, playing 1/3 No-Limit. Again, 76 big blinds, but plus 1 this time. My wife, meanwhile, added $260 to her winnings at the slot machines. I ended up with my second 500 Club of the trip, winning a total of $510 at Resorts World. My wife won $416 there herself. Not too shabby!

     Afterwards, we went to have lunch at Olive Garden, which was superb, and a very welcome change from breakfast. The meal was very filling, and I even had an adult beverage with that.

     In retrospect, that heavy meal may have been a mistake, for then I went to Caesar's Palace to play some 2/5 No-Limit Hold 'Em, the poker game level I wanted to play this entire time. My wife, during most of this session, shopped at the nearby Ross. But the players were better, and it was more of a grind. This eas a very long session, and I guess I got tired, for I made the mistake of thinking I had pocket 9's on my last hand, when I obly had 9-7. The flop came out nine-high, and I thought it was showtime. I went all-in, got snap-called by a guy who had two aces in his hand, and I ended up with only $75 left in my stack. I'd bought in for $500, so I lost $425. I left the table at that point.

     We returned to the Tropicana, and I took this time to regroup and reflect. In spite of the loss at Caesar's Palace, I was still ahead for the day, albeit by just $85. Overall, I'm still ahead, but by $1121. After an okay chinese dinner at the Tropicana, I was debating whether or not to play some more. The decision was complicated by the fact that the games were shut down this day, due to the Tropicana going under new management, and everything was being switched to a new system. BTW, Tropicana will no longer be on the MyChoice network, which was why we chose to stay here, using our comps. So anyway, when I was bouncing off ideas of where I may want to play next, my wife told me that I really look tired. Yes, that poker session had taken a lot out of me, so I decided just to make sure I stayed ahead for the day. That's it for Day 2.

Day 3 -- Birthday Wishes

     This day was my wife's birthday, and I focused more on that, rather than the gambling. But I do still have stuff to report, so here goes...

     After a nice hearty breakfast at Robert Irvine's, where we had dinner the first night, we went to the Venetian, where we took a gondola ride, something we both wanted. It was very nice and romantic, as always. Afterwards, my wife made sure to buy the photos from the gondola ride, which cost $70. She doesn't mind using her gambling money on non-gambling things, since she's not nearly as big of a gambler as I am. Plus, she wanted the photos, and she got them. Her gambling money is down to half of what she had at the start, but she doesn't mind. She bought a lot of souvenirs for members of her family in Houston, and that's what she likes to do.

     Afterwards, we went downstairs, still at the Venetian, where I got to play. First, we went to the craps table. I shot the dice from Stick Right 1, using the Hardway dice set. This wasn't nearly as comfortable as shooting from Stick Left 1, my favorite position. For that reason, I played cautiously, and only bet on the 6 and 8 at first, branching out a little before crapping out after my 15th roll (with a lot of non-productive rolls). I ended up $63 ahead there. I added $30 to that, playing blackjack, but lost $313 playing poker. That convinced me to stop playing poker for the trip. For I'm now 3-2 when it comes to poker, which is a 60% win rate, which is slightly higher than my overall poker win rate. Plus, I'm now only $21 ahead, regarding poker. Overall, that -$220 session made me ahead only $901. I'm still ahead, but I hope this doesn't begin a trend, like what happened last time in Vegas.

     During the time that I played poker, my wife went shopping to get us something nice to wear for our dinner date this evening. However, this meant that she had to do a lot of walking in order to catch a cab, since in Las Vegas, they are not allowed to pick up passengers unless they're at a hotel or at a casino. And it got up to 98° this day. My wife did not get heatstroke, unlike last time, but it still affected her, for after we left the Venetian, we went to the New York New York to eat a light late lunch, consisting of Nathan's hot dogs, which were delicious, as always. From there, we walked back on the overpasses back to the Tropicana. Our initial plan was to go swimming, but my wife was dead set against that, since it was still 98° out there. We opted to take a load off in the room.

     By this time, the games at the Tropicana were back in operation (after being inactive for 36 hours, while the casino switched to a new management system). I got to play some before getting ready for our dinner date. I first played craps, playing at the end. At first, I used my Yo-Yo dice set, but I quickly crapped out. Then the next time I got the dice, I switched to the Even Crossed Sixes (6/2-6/4) dice set. That worked out well enough to barely get my money back plus $19, after about ten rolls. I added $100 to the win for this session (for a total session win of $119) by playing blackjack. I'm glad to once again be over a grand ahead for the trip ($1020).

     We were about 20 minutes late for our dinner reservation at SW Steakhouse at the Wynn casino, but we were still seated immediately. We both were dressed nicely. The dinner was great. The staff even gave my wife a little care package and some chocolate cake with a candle on it, after we finished eating the steak and wedge salad, which was awesome. But judging from my wife's reaction, the best part of the dinner date, was when I serenaded her by singing "One In A Million You" by Larry Graham, which is our theme song, and plus, it was in the top ten on the pop chart the week my wife was born (at its high spot of #9). She was very happy afterwards, and that was what I was aiming for.

     I had the option to gamble at the Wynn after dinner, but I decided against that, for I'm just that determined to finish this Vegas trip ahead this time, plus the craps tables at the Wynn are too bouncy, plus playing at $25 tables at that point and time, was not what I had in mind either. So instead, we went to the Bellagio to see the fountain show, and from there, the Mirage, to see the volcano show.

     We hadn't seen either of these shows in 6½ years, not since our first time coming to Vegas together for Valentine's Day back in 2016. Anyway, both shows were awesome and spectacular. My wife got plenty of video footage. As great as the shows were, they each lasted only four minutes. And we were kind of sad that they are soon going to take away the volcano show at the Mirage, as they were bought out by the Hard Rock casino. Everything's changing in Vegas.

     My wife and I, as we live in Houston, are still on central time, meaning that it was rather late when we got back to our room at the Tropicana, even though it was only about 9:30 pm (Pacific time) when we got back. My wife said this was the best birthday she's ever had, and that was what I was aiming at. By this time, I was dog tired, and there was not even a thought of gambling that night. I just ate the $101 loss for the day, and crashed. More tomorrow.

Day 4 -- Decision-Making

     This day, more than any other on this trip, was driven by crucial decisions I made. Here goes...

     It was thunderstorming half the morning here in Vegas. That would figure in decisions made later in the day. It didn't matter for breakfast, since we both wanted to eat a delicious breakfast similar to the one we had the previous day. So we once again ate at Robert Irvine's. The breakfast, once again, was superb. Afterwards, we decided against going swimming early (which was our initial plan) because of the rain. But the rain had stopped by the time we finished breakfast, so we decided to hit some downtown casinos. I had decided earlier that if it was still raining, to hit the Fremont first, but if it wasn't raining, to hit the Plaza first, and then walk to the Fremont. We ended up doing the latter.

     When we arrived at the Plaza, the craps table was full, so I played blackjack, instead. I made a quick $52.50 there. When I finished playing blackjack, I saw that the craps table was still full, so I decided to move on to the next casino.

     My wife knew that I'd taken my Golden Nugget player's card (which I use in Lake Charles) with me. As we were walking toward the Fremont, she pointed out the Golden Nugget casino, and I decided to play there next, and then go to the Fremont. I got into a craps game, where I got off to a rocky start, as I lost money early crapping out early on my shoot (using the Hardway dice set from Stick Left 1). Fortunately, one of the other shooters got hot, and by using a hybrid of the PM 68 with an abbreviated version the Repeater's Regression II strategy, I got my money back, plus $185. Nice.

     From there, we went to the Fremont. The craps table was full, and I was not going to play blackjack there under strict Boyd Gaming rules restricting how many times one can split and double down. So we decided to have lunch there instead. We were hoping that Tony Roma's was open, but we got there four hours before it was due to open. So we ate at the Second Street Grill instead. The food was good, but the service was lousy. Moreover, there seemed to be a distinctively negative vibe at the Fremont, for in addition to the service we got at lunch, afterwards, we tried once again to get onto the craps table. It was still crowded, but I could have taken a place at one of the ends. But there was a very negative vibe coming from the table, as if the dice were not being nice at all. For that reason, I decided against playing at the Fremont at all on this trip. Maybe next time.

     We returned to the Tropicana, where I decided to play some before going swimming. Maybe that wasn't such a good decision, for at the craps table, whatever shooting and betting magic I had earlier in the trip, was gone here. Nothing I did was working at this table. I decided to leave after losing $253. I played blackjack to try to make it up. I ended up losing there too, dropping another $525. It was then that I made the most crucial decision of the entire trip. After losing $778 on this session, I decided that I was all gambled out. I was determined to remain ahead for this Vegas trip, so that's what fueled this decision. I am still $479.50 ahead, and for the first time in 14 years, I'm leaving Vegas ahead (that wasn't the case on my last four trips to Vegas).

     A relative of my wife's had flown into Vegas this evening, and she took us out to dinner at the Palms casino. Our initial plan was to wait in this humongous long line to eat at this really popular buffet, but after 23 minutes, I was given the choice to either opt out and eat somewhere else in the casino, or stay in line. My aching feet made that decision easy. So instead, we ate at this barbecue restaurant. I was in the mood for beef ribs, which I would have ordered, had we gone to Tony Roma's. There was this item on the menu for one big beef rib, and I decided to try that. This beef rib was enormous, and it had so much meat on it, I couldn't eat it all, but it was delicious. Tony Roma's wasn't even missed.

     That meal had filled me up, and by the time we left the Palms to return to the Tropicana, I was fast getting drowsy. So when my wife and I got back to our room, my decision to crash on the bed, was pretty much, a no-brainer.

Day 5 -- Hangout

     Nothing to report as far as gambling goes, on this last day, only that because I didn't gamble this last day, I remained ahead for the trip. My wife and I spent the day hanging out with the same person who took us out to dinner the previous night. It was great. She took us all over town, including the Red Rock casino, which is in Summerland, where our hostess lives, coincidentally. I was thinking of going to the Red Rock, had I not stopped gambling earlier. They have a huge poker room and casino. Maybe next trip.

     As for a summary of results: I had a net win of $21 playing poker, a net loss of $342.50 playing blackjack, and a net win of $801 playing craps. Moreover, I know I gambled much less on this Vegas trip than on my previous trips to Vegas in recent memory, but this may be one of these cases where less is more. Profiting $479.50 is not bad at all.

August 9-11, 2022 -- LAKE CHARLES XVI -- ROLLING THUNDER

     My wife and I found out after we made the reservations to go to Lake Charles that it was predicted thunderstorms each day we're there. But we decided to go anyway, due to our room at L'Auberge being comped. And yes, we ran into a big thunderstorm on the way there.

Day 1 -- 'Twas Good In Practice

     Our room wasn't ready when we got there (and we were a half hour late due to the weather and other traffic delays). So I played blackjack for a short while, enough to win $52.50. After I finished, the room was ready.

     After some R & R, we decided to go swimming. But I insisted on getting a practice session first. But it took so long that the session had to be done in two parts, for I shot 19 times, and left the game unfinished until we got back from swimming (the pool was kinda cold for my wife's liking), when I shot 27 more times. A practice session of 46! I can only hope I have a REAL session that good!

     My first craps session of the trip ended in a positive note, although not really due to my shooting. I shot an 8 from the end, using my Yo-Yo dice set. But it was someone else's shoot that got ma into the black, winning $151. As long as I win the money, I don't care who shoots.

     After a delicious dinner at the Ember Steakhouse, I went to Golden Nugget. I first played craps, winning $65 on someone else's shoot, tip-toeing into the game with a Field bet that hit. I decided not to shoot this time. opting for blackjack and poker instead. Boy was THAT a mistake! I lost $450 playing blackjack, and another $648 at the poker table, for a total loss of $1033. OUCH!!

Day 2 -- White Liar

     Just after breakfast, I played craps at L'Auberge. After being stuck about $100, I got my money back using my Yo-Yo dice set from the end. I shot an 11, using a modified version of my Two-Hit Blackout strategy, meaning in this case, 220 inside for three rolls before regressing. I ended up $28 ahead overall.

     We had gone back to our room, and were preparing to go to Golden Nugget, when I got a call from a supposed debt collector, whose name she said is Miranda Lambert. She claimed that I had an outstanding medical bill dating back 6½ years for $513. My wife talked to this person and asked what is the contact info for the debtor, and she didn't tell her. That made my wife think the call was suspicious. I'd already figured out as much. This person happened to call someone very knowledgeable in music, and who knows who Miranda Lambert really is. In fact, the one song by her that I like is "White Liar." My wife told her to send us the info, if this is legit, which of course it isn't. Yes I had a medical emergency 6½ years ago, but ALL medical bills regarding that were resolved years ago.

     Nonetheless, the call was still quite upsetting, and I think it affected things with my next gambling session. This was at Golden Nugget. I did win $62.50 at the blackjack table. Then I lost $196 at the craps table, doing my Hardway dice set from Stick Left 1. I PSO'ed on my shoot. Then I returned to the blackjack table, hoping to make up for that, but instead, lost $272.50 more there. I did win $48 at the poker table after 3 hours there. But the session was a net loss of $358.

     On the way back from Golden Nugget back to L'Auberge, it started to rain, destroying any thought of us going swimming like we originally planned. In fact, a big crashing jolt of lightning struck what looked like the top of the L'Auberge hotel and casino. My wife freaked out a bit. The only reason why I didn't was because I'd seen the flash of lightning a split second earlier. We hurried up and got inside before the rain got real bad.

     After a late lunch at a sports betting bar in L'Auberge, I played at a craps table, which was only a $10 table. Only thing was, only Stick Right 1 was available. Well okay, I decided to try a grip I hadn't really used in nearly seven years. I used the Ice Tong grip, gripping the dice with only my thumb and middle fingers, on the outsides of the dice. Well, surprise, surprise, in conjunction with the Hardway dice set, this worked! After falling behind prior to my roll, and my not playing any regression strategy, I only won $125 despite rolling 22 times. It was enough to make my Best Shoots page, however. And hey, a win's a win.

     After a long break from the action, my wife and I went back downstairs to play some more. I first won $150 at a blackjack table. Then, I went to a craps table. I had a mediocre shoot, but since I wasn't playing any regression strategy, when I crapped out, I had lost money on my shoot. Fortunately, there was another shooter who did good, good enough to get my money back. Interesting feature here was that I was playing the Hardways, and 10 came hard three separate times. Yes, I, three times, yelled out "Snowflakes!" Ended up winning $60 at the table. I added another $100 at another blackjack table. I was so determined to get a 500 Club on this trip (and keep my monthly streak for this year alive) that after we had dinner, still at L'Auberge, we went back into the casino, and to yet another blackjack table, and I won $200, and got the hell out of there, $510 ahead for the total session. At this point, I was still down, but only by $524.50.

Day 3 -- Scene Of The Crime

     After my wife and I checked out, I was on a mission to try to get the rest of that money back. My quest began at the blackjack table at L'Auberge, where I won $50. Then we went over to Golden Nugget. I tried to get onto a craps table, but it was full. Same with the poker table. I did manage $102.50 at the blackjack table. Interestingly enough, as I was cashing in my chips, a cute black girl in a blue spandex outfit talked to us, remembering me from that craps session last night (apparently, my yelling out "Snowflakes!" had gotten her attention). She asked if I was going to be playing craps again, and I said that I plan to. Truth of the matter was, I am reminded of why I've been trying to find alternative places to play besides Lake Charles. It's because there really aren't that many choices I have here regarding places to play craps, as they usually have only one table open at both Golden Nugget and L'Auberge.

     Upon returning to L'Auberge, I was surprised to see that the sports bar was already open. So I decided to go there to play craps, since it was a $10 table yesterday. Today, it was only a $5 table. I tried to take advantage of that, doing a scaled-down version of my Two-Hit Blackout strategy, doing 110 inside with the intention of taking those bets down after two hits, regressing to 27 across. Instead, I PSO'ed. I was shooting from the end, using my Yo-Yo dice set. Then I decided to switch to my Crossed Sixes (6/2-6/4) dice set. If only I'd done a similar betting strategy this time, for I ended up shooting 21 times with this set. But the amount I made wasn't quite enough to get my money back, as there were a lot of non-productive rolls (9 of them were horn rolls). So I decided to use a 220-inside strategy for the next time I rolled, using the same dice set. My intent was to take those bets down after two hits, regressing to 54 across. I got past the first hit, but crapped out before the second hit. I ended up losing $310 at that table.

     I tried to get that back at the blackjack table, again, returning to the scene of the crime (where I'd completed my 500 Club last night), but only succeeded in losing $530 there. I lost $840 for the session. I finished the trip down $1212.

     Overall, my shooting wasn't bad at all (I even have two new entries on my Best Shoots page). I can take some comfort that by far, I lost the least amount of money on this trip playing craps ($77, compared to $535 playing blackjack, and $600 playing poker), but I really have to work on my timing, regarding placing those big bets.

July 16, 2022 -- CONFIDENCE AND PRACTICE

     After the results of my going back to my natural way of gripping the dice, I think I have the confidence to once again go back to some of my more riskier strategies, like the Two-Hit Blackout strategy, which would have made me more money on this last trip. But this also requires me to practice this grip and toss more, so I can better perfect my technique for the next time I'm at the craps table. But that's all right, for practice makes perfect, and that builds confidence, and that can only help increase profits at the craps table.

July 12-15, 2022 -- NEW ORLEANS -- COOL CHANGE

     Over the past few weeks, since the last Lake Charles trip, I'd been pondering the question, why am I still doing this. I decided I really needed to change some things. Regarding craps, I decided to change the way I grip and shoot the dice. I decided to return to how I naturally grip the dice, which apparently, involves putting my middle and ring fingers in the front of the dice, my index and pinky fingers on the sides of the dice, and my thumb down the seam of the dice. Also, I've been working on some new strategies which I intend to use at the craps tables, next time I play craps.

     For this trip, we decided to go to New Orleans, not so much for a gambling trip, but more, a nice getaway to celebrate the anniversary of our being together (we met July 14, 2013). There is only one casino in New Orleans, which is Harrah's, but with this new perspective, let's see how I do there. Why am I calling this trip "Cool Change?" Because of the changes I'm making, going forward, plus, in light of the current heatwave going on in Houston, and how it's not expected to even hit 90° in New Orleans, I figured, like the old Little River Band song, time for a cool change.

     Each day we're in New Orleans, the weather has been predicted to be thunderstorming. It was cloudy when our plane landed, but just before we got to the B & B place we're staying at, it started pouring, and we were drenched getting inside the house! This was at about 12 noon. Fortunately, the room was ready, so we didn't have to wait. So that's where we stayed for the next few hours, until the storm passed.

     After a refreshing dip in the pool, we had a somewhat early dinner at Copeland's, where I had a Copeland burger, which still tastes great (BTW, the same people who own Copeland's, also owns the Popeye's franchise). It has been seven years since my wife and I had been to New Orleans. I'm glad some things don't change.

     The first gambling session of the trip wasn't until that night. And all that was available at the craps tables were $25 tables. I didn't feel right playing at that high of a level to start off, so I played poker instead. After 2½ hours, I won $44. Not much, but I needed to feel like a winner again, and this was good enough.

     My first craps session actually came the morning of the second day. I was determined to play craps after breakfast, thinking I'd be able to play at a lower min-bet table at that time...no luck there. It was still a $25 table. Oh well. I decided to stand at the end on the left hand side. I used my Yo-Yo dice set, combined with what I call my natural grip. I put 25 on the Pass line, backed up first with a $5 craps check, then a $10 C & E. The first point was 6, and I placed 50 on the 5 and 60 on the 8, with 1X odds for my point. My intention was, if any of those hit, I'd regress to 5 units on two Place bets. Yep, I was playing scared craps to some degree, but fortunately, I made my point, and I was able to regress. My next point was 4, but before that was established, two come-out yo's hit with the C & E bets on the come-out. So when I regressed down, I put 30 each on the 6 and 8. I later added the 5 to that for a quarter, after making the point of 4. The last point was a 9, and I had just pressed the 6 up to 60, when I crapped out. But I did manage to shoot 15 times, and I ended up $220 ahead. Well, all right now!

     I did add another $578 to that win at the poker table after almost 2 hours of play, for a grand total of $798 for the whole session. What a morale booster that was! Plus, I think this was my second biggest win this entire year. Plus my string of getting at least one 500 Club each month this year, remains intact. I'm going to try to get another craps session in before the end of this trip, but the urgency isn't so great anymore, given what I'd accomplished with this win.

     We went for a dip in the pool, once we got back, then went to dinner at a nearby pizza place on 1068 Magazine Street, just two blocks from where we're staying. The pizza and the garlic cheese bread were both superb. Then we socialized with some of the other guests when we got back, and hung out at the pool yet again. We're all kind of sad that the Greenhouse Inn, where we're staying, is going to be no more at the end of this month. There is no other place like the Greenhouse Inn in New Orleans. Anyone who is familiar with the Greenhouse Inn, knows what I'm talking about -- I'll leave it at that.

     After that, we made another trip to the Harrah's casino. I got into a craps game there. Still, a $25 table, and it would be a long time before I'd get the dice. Here, I'd have to use some of my strategies I've been developing these past few weeks, for other shooters. For the first shooter, I didn't bet at all, and I'm glad I didn't, for he PSO'ed. The second shooter, I was hesitant to bet on at first, for he was one of those that even though he was setting the dice, he was chucking them down toward the opposite wall faster than a random shooter! But he did make two points. The third point was a 9, and I decided to try to bet on him. I placed bets of $60 on each, the six and the eight, with the intention of regressing down after one hit. Well, after several rolls, those numbers didn't come up, and when he made his point, I took the bets down (something I didn't practice for such a scenario). But then, I put 25 on the Pass line, and place 10 on the C & E (I'd usually do a $15 Whirl, but they wouldn't allow anything less than 25 for that bet). The next roll was an 11. This elicited a "Can you say Yo-Baby, Yo-Baby, Yo!" from me (an expression I've been using for 20 years now). When the next point, a 6, was established, I placed the 5 and the 8 for the minimum -- the yo paid for it. I think I was able to add 9 for a Place bet, and put odds behind the Pass Line bet, before the guy crapped out. But I ended up making $155 off his roll. I decided to color up at this point.

     I did add another $100 to that win at the blackjack table, but then lost $316 at the poker table, booking a small overall loss of $61. I'm still $781 ahead for this trip, and most likely, that's where I'll stay, for again, this trip wasn't meant to be a gambling trip, per se, but rather, a getaway to celebrate nine years of us being together. If I don't gamble again on this trip, I can say that I made the most money playing craps -- $375 total, compared to a net gain of $306 at the poker table, and $100 playing blackjack. I'm happy for that, in addition to still being with my wife after all this time.

     Thursday July 14th was our nine-year anniversary of being together. We had quite a busy day. First, we went to the waterfront, did some walking, and got some beigners that my wife had been craving since our last visit about seven years ago, when we couldn't get them because the place was closed. The beigners were delicious, and my wife was very much pleased. Then, we went to the World War II Memorial museum, and that was nice. It made us appreciate what our soldiers had to go through just to fight to keep our freedom, which was very much in jeopardy after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The experience we had really made us appreciate how good we have it in the U.S., and how lucky we are to not have to fight in a major war (yet). We then had lunch at Dukie Chase, and the food was great, but the service was very slow. When we got back to the room, we both crashed, especially when a rainstorm ran through, and thwarted our plans to go swimming at 3:15 p.m., for that's how we met nine years ago this day. After resting for several hours, we went to Ruth's Criss Steakhouse, for a great anniversary meal.

     Apparently, the steakhouse was across the street from the Harrah's casino, so that's where we went for one final time on this trip. I first played craps at a $25 table. I was standing at Stick Left 1, and I was using the Hardway dice set with my so-called natural grip. I shot several times, shooting 7-11 times each time. But i was, for the most part, playing scared craps, and I struggles to get my money back, which I did, plus $42.

     I did add $100 to that win at the blackjack table, and $104 at the poker table. I ended up $246 ahead for the session, and $1027 ahead for the trip as a whole. I still can say that I won more playing craps than any other casino game on this trip -- $417 for craps, $410 for poker, and $200 for blackjack.

     Once we got back, we took one last dip in the pool (mind you, this is at about 11:30 at night). It was a nice way to cap off everything.

     No gambling on the last day, as our plane leaves a bit early to head back to Houston. As far as craps goes, the biggest takeaway from this trip is, find a grip and toss that comes most naturally, and is easily repeatable. This was a lesson I'd learned in bowling, and without it, I wouldn't have been able to average just over 200 for the last 8 years I bowled, nor would I have been able to bowl 15 perfect games. And also, just like bowling, it takes LOTS of practice -- in the days leading up to this trip, I'd spent a lot of time working on my grip and my toss, striving to keep the dice together as much as possible. As they say in French, c'est tout.

June 15-17, 2022 -- LAKE CHARLES XV -- WHY AM I STILL DOING THIS?

     To be honest with you, the past five days leading up to this trip, I had been in a real funk, for reasons I can't get into here, but if you want to know more, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com, and I'll tell you what got me into this funk.

     My wife hadn't been much better, for two of her relatives are in the hospital, and are not expected to make it. And a third, who was the father of a former aunt of hers, passed away while we were on this trip, after a long illness.

     To say that we both needed this trip to get away from everything, would be a gross understatement. So why did I give this trip the title what I gave it? To be honest with you, I had a hard time deciding what to call this thing, but early this morning (June 18th) when I woke up, I was thinking of this Rod Stewart song, "Reason To Believe," and it made me wonder, why that song? Then I realized that it may answer the question to something I've been asking myself lately, regarding more than one aspect of my life--Why am I still doing this? So there it is...

Day 1 -- False Alarm

     The trip started out good. Once my wife and I got some rest after an unusually long bus ride to get to Lake Charles, we went down to the casino floor at L'Auberge, where we stayed this time, like usual. I made a quick $100 total at two blackjack tables, after not being able to get onto a craps game, because the table was full.

     We walked over to Golden Nugget, where I'd gotten on the list to play poker. In the meantime, I played blackjack, once again, not being able to get onto a craps table. I got a text from what I thought was the poker room, while playing blackjack. I left the table $97.50 down to head back to the poker room...only to find that it wasn't they who sent the text, which would have been that a seat had become available. Of course, a seat was still NOT available. I tried again to get into a craps game. No dice. And the blackjack table I was at was now full as well. So nothing left for me and my wife to do, but walk back to L'Auberge to go swimming--that was the initial plan.

     It was like things really started going wrong after that false alarm. For one thing, it was oppressively hot in Lake Charles (94° and very humid). My wife, who had gotten heatstroke while in Vegas last month, wasn't up for risking another episode of that, by being out at the pool at L'Auberge, with very little shade. So scratch that idea.

     So instead, I played blackjack back at L'Auberge, after ONCE AGAIN not being able to get into a craps game. And this time, the cards were horrible! I lost $650 at that table before saying enough is enough. From there, my wife and I went to dinner at the Ember steakhouse at L'Auberge. The meal was delicious, as usual. I thought maybe my luck would turn around for the better, once I had a good meal inside me.

     No such luck, only that I FINALLY DID get to play craps, but for this entire session, my timing was all off. I had some mediocre rolls (6-10), but I didn't put the big money out there on my shoots, since I was still trying to get a feel for the table. Plus, when I did try to make a move (like playing my Sweet Sixteen Don't strategy, or when I tried an Iron Cross strategy on other shooters), I always got the wrong result. I left the table $487 down. And when I tried to get it bacl at the blackjack table, I only succeeded in losing another $525, due to badly timed splits and double-downs. I lost $1012 total for the session, and the day ended with $1659.50 of red ink. OUCH!!

     On top of it all, my wife and I walked back to Golden Nugget with the intent of purchasing wristbands so we could do the late-night giant hpt tun thing over there. However, by the time we got over there, it was close to 9:00, and we found out that the whole pool area closes down at 10pm on weekdays. We both decided it wasn't worth it to go there for just one hour. Scratch that too. To say the least, things were really not going my way the first day!

Day 2 -- Rained Out

     I woke up on this day, thinking, somehow, someway, it's got to get better than this. Did it? Let's find out...

     Let's just say that things didn't start off better at the craps table--it was in the wee hours of the morning when I got to play at one. My shooting was even worse this time, crapping out very early both times I had the dice. Another shooter got reasonably hot, and I thought I'd gotten my money, forgetting that I'd invested $700 total, instead of my usual $500. So instead of leaving the table $22 ahead, I left the table $178 down. But I did have fun at this table, regardless. And fortunately, I made up the other $200 by winning it at the blackjack table, so I really did end up with a $22 win for the session.

     After a quick $100 win at the blackjack table, my wife and I had breakfast at L'Auberge. Then, we went swimming at the adult pool, still at L'Auberge. This we did early before it got too hot. We got into an interesting conversation with some women, one of whom loves playing craps. She started gravitating toward me when I started mentioning some of the craps terms I use at the table (she calls a hard 10, a Texas sunflower, but she loved the term I use, which is snowflakes). My wife didn't get jealous (she saw that I wasn't interested in this other woman, for I am happily married to my wife). We didn't stay out in the sun too long, for it was starting to get really hot again.

     Then I went over to Golden Nugget, while my wife went shopping. While waiting to play poker, I played blackjack (not being able to get into a craps game). I lost $202.50 playing blackjack, and by the time my wife returned, and my time at the poker table ran out, due to plans my wife and I made, I was down $169 at the poker table, for a session loss of $371.50. At least this day wasn't as disastrous as the first day.

     We walked back to L'Auberge with the intention of putting on nice clothes for our dinner reservations at Vic & Anthony's, which is in the Golden Nugget casino, head back over there, and while there, get the wristbands for the hot tub that night, go back to L'Auberge, change into swimwear, and get back to Golden Nugget early enough to spend a few hours in the pool/hot tub area. However, the moment we got back to our room at L'Auberge, we decided not to even change clothes, for it had unexpectedly started thunderstorming. That really rained out our plans, for we decided to stay put at L'Auberge, due to the weather.

     We decided to have dinner at a sports bar at L'Auberge, which recently added sports betting kiosks as well as a few blackjack tables, and a craps table. The dinner was good, though not as good as what Vic & Anthony's usually is. But afterwards, I did manage to squeeze in at this craps table, playing from the end. And surprise, surprise, this was only a $5 table, the first I'd seen at L'Auberge! After losing some money on another shooter, I got to shoot, and it was here that I had my best shoot of the trip, shooting 13 times, using my Yo-Yo dice set, and getting my money back plus $13. Well, okay. A win's a win. Fortunately I was able to greatly add to that at the blackjack table (this one was not inside the bar), winning $512.50 there, for a total session win of $525.50. My streak for this year continues--having at least one 500 Club each month of this year. I guess it was a good thing that plans at Golden Nugget got rained out. And coincidentally, my sister (my only other sibling)'s birthday was this day. And what is her name? Lorraine.

     Afterwards, my wife and I went upstairs back to our room, and I decided to take a nap. I later learned that while I did this, my wife went downstairs back to the casino floor to do some people-watching, one of her favorite things to do in Lake Charles. She observed this young man around 18 years old, outside the casino room, looking for something church-related, and since my wife is deeply into God, the Bible, and the church, she helped him out with what he was trying to find. They then got into a conversation about the Bible. All was fine until his wife, whom my wife said, looked to be 17 or 18 herself, came along and got jealous because she thought my wife wanted her man! My wife told her that that clearly wasn't the case, and that she was just helping him find out information about a church in Dallas, and they happened to start talking about the Bible. Quite a stark contrast to how my wife reacted to a woman gravitating toward me, when I was talking about craps terms! If this jealous woman only knew that my wife is married to someone more than triple her husband's age!!

     My wife and I decided to walk over to Golden Nugget some time after the rain had stopped. By that time, there was no question as to whether or not we would do the hot tub. It was already well past 9pm, plus they'd shut everything down once the thunderstorm hit. I tried to get back onto the poker table, but all the tables were full. So I played blackjack, ONCE AGAIN, unable to get onto a craps table at Golden Nugget. I won $87.50 playing blackjack, but what really turned me off was waiting in that long-ass line just to cash in my small profits. During this excessively long wait, it really reminded me of why my wife and I wanted to travel to other places besides Lake Charles. It's because we want more choices than the few crowded tables we always have to deal with in Lake Charles. While in line, my wife and I talked about going to New Orleans next month to celebrate nine years of being together (we met July 14th, 2013). We also talked about a new casino opening in Lake Charles in November, to take the place of the Isle Of Capri casino (the first Lake Charles casino I visited, coming out there for the first time just 10 days before meeting my wife), the casino that shut down when the pandemic started, and totally went out of business, due to damage done by Hurricane Laura. I hope we'll have more choices when Caesar's opens up in November. But for now, it is what it is.

     We returned to L'Auberge without further incident. And surprise, surprise, I ended up ahead for this day--$363.50 to be exact. That still leaves $1296 of red ink. Hopefully, I can knock some more of this deficit down the next day.

Day 3 -- Too Little, Too Late

     After my wife and I checked out of our room, she decided to go shopping, while I decided to play poker again, getting there when the poker room opened. My intention was to play there first, then try to get into a craps game. Unfortunately, I was card-dead for the first two hours I was at the table, only winning two small pots. At one point, I was down as much as $700 before I started winning pots. But at the 3½-hour mark, that was all I could play for my wife and I needed to get lunch before our bus ride back to Houston. And I didn't get all my money back. I was still down $253 at that point. Total deficit for the trip: $1549. So why was I focused on poker this last day? That was the game where I'd lost the least amount of money. Even with this loss, I only lost $422 playing poker on this trip, compared to $475 playing blackjack, and $652 playing craps.

     Despite the losses, my wife and I still had a nice time in Lake Charles. But for sure, our next trip won't be to Lake Charles. I think New Orleans or Biloxi or Reno will be next. Stay tuned.

May 15-20, 2022 -- VEGAS TRIP II -- SWEET INSPIRATION

     Well, it's finally happening! My wife and I are back in Vegas for a five-day stay! We're celebrating our third wedding anniversary on the 18th. I'm hoping this is going to be a tradition with us. As for why I'm calling this trip Sweet Inspiration (yes I know, it's also the name of one of my music articles), I intend to try out two strategies I'd seen by different craps vloggers (ProCraps and WagerMeThis). How will I do on this trip? Let's find out together...

Day 1 -- Give it A Rest

     There is more than one reason why I gave my first day in Vegas this title. To understand one of the reasons, one has to know that my wife and I didn't get much sleep the night before. We were planning to sleep until 12:30 a.m., but at around 9:30, my wife's sister paid us a visit, and she brought with her, her youngest son, his girlfriend, and their baby, which is almost 10 months old. The baby was fussing a lot, and we knew we weren't going to get any more rest before we had to take our early flight into Vegas.

     It didn't help matters that TSA and airport employees at both Hobby Airport in Houston, and Harry Reid Airport in Las Vegas, really pissed me and my wife off. My wife was able to get a bit of a nap on the plane, but not so much with me. But by the time we reached the Tropicana casino (where we're staying for the first three nights), I was able to give all that a rest. We were able to check into our room, which we got upgraded, at still reasonable rates (due to Tropicana being in the MyChoice group, along with the L'Auberge casino in Lake Charles LA). It is a lovely spacious suite. After we had a light breakfast at Starbuck's in the casino, we both had a nice rest.

     The gambling didn't start until after we had a rest. We went downstairs to a craps table, and I got to play my favorite position, Stick Left 1. My first shoot was an okay 9. Only problem was, most of the rolls were non-productive rolls--I was only betting 6 and 8 initially. I didn't get the courage to use the Three Unit Challenge from ProCraps, where I would have played a strategy (I was thinking 220 inside for three hits, then figuring it out from there), nor was I up for any Don't strategy. I did fall behing some, but my second roll got it all back and more. I have to say here that my grip on setting the dice was inspired by vlogger Howard Rock N Roller (a third source of inspiration for this trip). I used the 3-Finger grip, with my thumb all the way down, on the seam of the dice, and my fingers only gripping the top of the dice, with my index and ring fingers at the corners of the dice, and my middle finger on the seam of the dice. This seemed to provide a bit of a natural rotation, something I think has been missing in my tosses. Anyway, I ended up shooting 26 times (a hat trick, if I'd done this at the Fremont), and ended up $321 ahead. Probably the best part of that was, my wife telling me that a couple that was standing on the other side of her was telling her that I really seemed to know what I was doing. I couldn't help but smile at that. ☺ This was my best shoot so far this year, and for the first time in three months, I was able to up my Best Shoots page. And as for the dice set, it was the Hardway set (4/2-4/2).

     After a quick blackjack session at the Excalibur, where I won $66, we had lunch at Nathan's (in the New York New York casino), and the hot dogs were superb, as always. From there, we went swimming back at the Tropicana. By that time, the temperature was approaching 100°, and we partied with some folks for about two hours. I had one drink, and my wife had two. After that, we took a short rest before heading out to Caesar's Palace.

     My biggest win of the day came at the poker table at Caesar's. After just over an hour of play, I managed to win $553. I had never won that much playing poker in Vegas! That shocked the hell out of me. Maybe I am getting better playing poker (maybe Brad Owen will be a fourth source of inspiration on this trip). Anyway, we decided to have an elegant steak dinner, in light of this big win, and so we ate at the Homestead, which is in Caesar's Palace. The steak dinner and salad was awesome!

     However, when we got back to our room at the Tropicana, it really hit us how tired we really were. The moment we got inside, we basically crashed. I said that maybe we'll be able to hit the tables later on in the night. However, when I woke up, it was close to 11 p.m. (Vegas time), and I knew there'd be no more gambling for the first day. But hey, I made a total of $940 the first day. That's good enough. Time to give it a rest.

Day 2 -- Encore!

     The initial reason why I gave this day this title, actually refers to something that happened more than once yesterday at the craps table, after I had that big roll. While we were in the pool, one of the guys came up to me and my wife, and told me what an awesome shoot I had, and how he hopes he's on the table next time I play there. Also, after my wife and I had left the pool, she had to use the ladies room, and couldn't wait to get back to our room first, so I waited for her, and while I was waiting, three more people came by and asked me if I was going back to the craps table. They said pretty much the same thing as the guy in the pool did, after I said that I'm not going back there just yet. And this morning, as my wife and I returned back to the Tropicana from breakfast at Denny's, we passed by the craps table, and one of the dealers said to us "We could use a good shooter." Clearly, the dealer wanted an encore from me. Did I deliver? Let's find out together...

     After returning to our room first, to semi-plan out our day, among other things, we went back downstairs to that craps table. This time, things got off to a rocky start, as on my first shoot, I sevened out immediately. On my second roll, I shot a 16, but so many rolls were non-productive rolls (horn numbers mainly), that I don't know if I made any money off the roll. My wife had a so-so roll after my second roll, and oddly enought, I'm pretty sure I made a little money after that roll. Still, I had to buy in for a total of $900 (my initial buy-in usually is $500). My third roll was a 15m with a lot more productive rolls, and I made enough to get back to where I was behind by less than $150. Then my wife got the dice again, and she went on a tear! I kept the bets low, for my wife is a random shooter. I didn't keep track of how many rolls was in this whoot of hers, but I'm sure she greatly overshadowed anything I did today. We were definitely cutting up and having a grand old time. I even said to one of the other players, "I'm being overshadowed here, but I don't mind. I don't care who's the shooter, as long as I make some money." I only wish I'd played more aggressively, because after all that, I only ended up $57 ahead. They wanted an encore performance, they got one, but it came from my wife, not me. Who would have thought that?

     From there, we went to the Encore casino. This was the same casino, where last year, we went there, but I didn't play at all, because the stakes were too high. This time, I was determined to play at the Encore, and not be intimidated by the higher stakes. Fortunately, I was able to get onto a $25 blackjack table, which reminded me of L'Auberge in Lake Charles. After a drama-filled session, I left the table $50 ahead. From there, I played poker for an hour, at the 1/3 level, just like at Caesar's Palace yesterday (I wasn't aware that they had poker at the Encore last year). I got the feeling that I was dealing with much better players than the ones I'd run into at Caesar's yesterday. Without getting into too much detail, I'll say that I won several small pots, didn't play too many hands, but this one hand, where I had Pocket Kings, which turned into quads, I won a fair amount of money because my opponent flopped a flush, and the last king came on the turn. After that hand, I figured my wife and I were overdue for lunch. I left the table $172 ahead, and $222 ahead for the whole Encore session. Surprisingly, while I played poker, my wife profited on the slot machines, making $138. I guess you can say that my wife and I did a complete 360 at the Encore!

     From there, we went to the Venetian, so we can take a gondola ride on the inside, and have lunch. The last time we did both these things, was on Valentine's Day back in 2016. Back then, we were only celebrating being together exactly 31 months. But now, we're celebrating being married for 3 years (and being together for 106 months now). We first ate lunch at an Italian pizza shop that reminded up of Maude's Pizza back home in Houston. I made sure I got a sausage and pepperoni pizza with pesto sauce, with extra sausage and pepperoni. The pizza was so good that I remarked to my wife, "Now this is a f***ing pizza." My wife had the same comments about hers. From there, we eventually got on the gondola (after waiting in a long long line to get the tickets, and then waiting another 45 minutes from there to actually ride). As before, the ride was wonderful and very romantic. We both reflected on how far we've come since the last time we did this. Also, this reminded me that there are more important things in life than playing craps and gambling.

     We returned to the Tropicana, and spent 1½ hours at the pool before it closed. Then we decided to go to the Paris casino to go to the Eiffel Tower there. We got to see a good view of the city, but to be honest, we'd seen better views at the Linq, and especially at the Strat. The latter we plan to do on a later day.

     After that, I played at the craps table, still at Paris. This time, I got off to an even rockier start, again, sevening out immediately on my first shoot. Worse yet, I decided to try the 3-Unit challenge, which meant for me, doing 220 inside with the intent of collecting on one hit, then taking the bets down, and repeating the process on other shooters twice more--that was my intention. Unfortunately, my timing was lousy for such a strategy, for both times I tried this, the shooter crapped out before a single hit. Things had gotten so bad that I had bought in for $1000 total, and was down to my final $300 or so. Then I remembered Bryan (from Hawaii Craps Shooters)'s video on a Hail Mary strategy. When I got the dice again, I decided to try such a strategy. For me, that meant doing 220 inside on my shoot, and keeping the bets up for three hits. Fortunately, that worked, and I regressed down to four units all the way across. Also fortunately, I had a great shoot this time, shooting 21 times, sticking with my Hardway dice set. I played more aggressively than I did this morning, and I went from being about $700 down to finishing $141 ahead.

     My final gambling session of the day was at Caesar's Palace. Maybe I was hoping for an encore performance from myself there, but I think I failed to recognize how mentally exhausted I was after that comeback win at the craps table. I didn't play as well at the poker table, which this time was a 2/5 table--something I wanted to do at least once while I was in Vegas. The table broke up after 2½ hours, and I ended up losing $307. Fortunately, I was still able to salvage a net win of $113 for the day, which means I'm now $1053 ahead for the trip. Hopefully, I can add to that tomorrow.

Day 3 -- Henderson

     A big chunk of this day was spent in Henderson Nevada, about 13 miles from Las Vegas. My wife wanted a special charm for her bracelet for an anniversary present, and for what she wanted, I knew there was an outlet stort very close to the Green Valley Ranch casino. So that's where we first went.

     Unfortunately, the dice didn't go my way at the Green Valley Ranch. I had two mediocre rolls (7 for both), and not enough productive rolls to be profitable. I admit going on tilt after a while, and I ended up $662 down when I left the table.

     The next stop for us was the M Resort casino, also in Henderson, but roughly halfway between the Tropicana and the Green Valley Ranch casino. The first thing we did was go to the pool there, something different from the pool at the Tropicana. It was definitely different all right. A lot more kids at this one, plus a lot more women wearing thongs. In my opinion, if I was a parent, I wouldn't want my young child to be seeing women in thongs, but also, in my opinion, kids don't belong at casinos, as to me, casinos are adult playgrounds. The worst part was the fact that the lifeguards didn't do anything about a group of kids running around the pool (what if one trips, hits his/her head, and starts drowning as a result?). Despite all that, my wife and I still enjoyed ourselves, for the people were friendly, and we had nice conversations with several of them (even a few of the thong girls LOL).

     After the pool, I played at the craps table, which was a $10 table. There, I shot the dice from the end, and, using my Yo-Yo dice set. I ended up shooting 20 times. I started off slow with the bets, but still ended up $270 ahead. I lost $225 of that at the blackjack table, but I thought I'd take a shot at maybe getting a 500 Club out of the session. Didn't happen. $45 was the net win there.

     We had dinner at the Vig Deli, still at the M Resort, and it was then that we noticed that the theme of this casino is the Las Vegas Raiders with all sorts of memorabilia from previous great Raiders players to the Super Bowls they'd been in. And the food there was pretty good.

     After returning to the Tropicana, and getting some rest, we decided to play some more. First, it was the craps table. I shot from the end there too, but whatever magic I had at the M Resort from that position, just wasn't there. I only shot a 3, a 7, and something in between. Eventually, I left the table $359 down. Fortunately, the cards were kind, for I won $425 at the blackjack, salvaging a $66 win for that night session at the Tropicana.

     That ended up all the gambling I did that fell on May 17th. I only say that because I started a poker session at the Venetian, but it ran well past midnight, so the results from that won't be counted until the next day. As for this day, a net loss of $551, still leaving me in the black by $502.

Day 4 -- Anniversary

     Today is me and my wife's three-year wedding anniversary. As far as gambling, the day didn't start off too good, for that session at the Venetian ended up going until almost 3 a.m., and I ended up losing $322 in the process. Now my profit margin for this trip is only $180. Hopefully, I can stay in black ink, and not fall into red ink. We shall see!

     Unfortunately, for most of the day, my wife felt over-heated and tired. I figured that that was due to my late-night playing poker at the Venetian, and she staying up with me. But throughout the day, she didn't get much better.

     I did get to play some this day. I had one last session at the Tropicana, after we checked out, but before we went to the Plaza casino to check in there. I did have a mediocre shoot at the craps table, but enough to win $55. I thought I'd add to that by playing blackjack, but ran into one of the coldest deck ever. I lost $1000 at that table, making for a losing session of $945. I am now in red ink for the trip. But that seems like a small matter, given that my wife was not feeling well.

     We ate at Nathan's, and my wife barely touched her hot dog, which was very unusual. And after we checked into our room at the Plaza, she started breaking out in a sweat, and was feeling nauseous. I thought maybe she was about to throw up, but it turned out, per a question I asked her, she was feeling constipated. She didn't throw up, but whatever it was, it came out the other end. She felt better, but still tired. I think it was a result of being out in the heat for so long yesterday, plus she drank more than I did, and she had a lot of the fries at the M Resort, which may have clogged her system.

     Once I was assured that my wife was past the worst of it, I played some, letting her rest. Prior to dinner, I played craps, and had a bad shoot, but two shooters that I bet a little on, got me ahead $35 before leaving the table. I added $80 to that at the blackjack table, for a win of $115. I needed a win like this, for I needed to feel like a winner again.

     Fortunately, my wife was well enough to eat at Oscar's Steakhouse, for our anniversary dinner. It was very nice and elegant, and we had a great time. She ate some, but not too much. I had New York steak, which we split, and I had a lobster tail. It was all delicious.

     While my wife rested in the room, I played once more. Back at the craps table, I shot from Stick Left 1, using the Hardway dice set. After I established a point, I bet 220 inside, with the intent of keeping the bets out there for two hits. I had one hit, then I rolled at least three non-productive rolls in a row. I decided to take the bets down, and do 64 inside instead, since the one hit I got, was for $70, which covered the 64 inside. The point during most of this, was a 6, and I rolled an 8 six times, the last two times of which, I had $90 on the 8, so I was able to yell out "Bull-llackout!" both times. I ended up shooting 16 times, and left the table $250 ahead. This time, I decided not to try to add to this at the blackjack table.

     As for final numbers for the day, overall, I lost $902, and now I'm exactly $400 down for the trip. Hopefully, tomorrow, we will be rested up, and able to do more. And hopefully, I'll be able to pull out of this red ink.

Day 5 -- Hottest Day, Coldest Day

     In terms of temperature, today was the hottest day of the trip. It got up to 102°. As far as my results go, today was the coldest day, though it wasn't all bad. My wife and I still had plenty of fun. Well, here's what happened...

     After breakfast at the Plaza, I decided to play there again. This time, the dice were ice cold, and I got smacked whenever I tried to make a move. I left the table $579 down, and tried blackjack. Added $351.50 to the loss column. It occurred to me that this Vegas trip would yet be another one coated in red ink, but I decided that I was going to have fun even if it kills me, and play how I want to play.

     From there, we went to the Aliante casino in North Las Vegas. For me, this was a new casino, my 63rd Vegas casino that I've been to since I first visited Vegas in 1998. Anyway, I got to a craps table, and I got my favorite position, Stick Left 1. I used the Hardway dice set, and placed all the numbers with minimum bets, with this being a $10 table. I had pretty much a monster roll. I ended up making three points of 6, and two points of 4, and was alternately taking the winnings, and pressing the bets. In this manner, I got up to a profit of $270, shooting 29 times. This was my best roll of the entire trip! I even added $273.50 to that at the blackjack table, culminating with my splitting treys twice, and doubling down on at least one of the new hands. A new casino, and I ended up with a 500 Club -- $543.50 to be exact. Wow!

     Unfortunately, I wasn't able to build on that win, for when I next visited the California casino, back in downtown, the dice weren't very nice to me. From my favorite position, I pretty much PSO'ed. Then on the next shooter, I tried to make a move with 220 inside with the intent of taking the bets down after one hit. Seven-out on the next roll. I decided not to continue there -- a better play may have been to try to shoot again first, but I just wasn't feeling it. I left the table $342 down. So I tried my luck at blackjack. I lost another $100 there. I decided that was all I was going to lose there (booking a total loss of $442 for the session), for I had one more property I was determined to visit before I was due to leave Vegas tomorrow.

     The other property I was determined to visit was the Fremont casino. This time, I was shooting from the end (just like I was at the Plaza). But again, it wasn't happening. The best roll I had out of at least four was seven, according to the counter, which I think is a cool feature at the Fremont. But after losing $342 at that craps table, I tried blackjack. There, I discovered that Boyd Gaming rules dictate that you cannot double down after splitting cards -- something that I was also told at the Cal, another Boyd Gaming property. Well damn, that's how I made my 500 Club at Aliante! I sure know where NOT to play blackjack! I lost an additional $272.50 at the blackjack table, for a total loss at the Fremont of $614.50.

     By this time, it was in the afternoon, and we took a much-needed break. We decided against going swimming, for it was already up to 102°, and we didn't want to risk another episode of what we now figured was heatstroke, being what my wife had. I needed a chance to take a break and lick my wounds.

     Afterwards, my wife and I went to the Venetian to have a late lunch at the pizza place we both loved. I now discovered that the pizza place is called Social Life Pizza. I had the same pizza as last time, only that I added bacon to mine. My wife opted for a nice salad, still leery of eating anything heavy, in light of what happened the previous day. We both greatly enjoyed our meals.

     Still at the Venetian, I decided to play poker again. This time, I played 2/4 No-Limit Hold 'Em -- this is not a typo (usually, 2/4 is Limit Hold 'Em). Without getting into detail, I'll say that I won $174 after 2½ hours of play. That felt good, being able to win again. At least I'm still ahead for the trip playing poker!

     From there, my wife and I visited the Strat, like we usually do on our last full day in Vegas. It was very romantic. And oh yeah, I did win $100 at the blackjack table prior to going up to the observation tower. But no more gambling I'd do for that day, for by the time I returned to the Plaza, I was all crapped out physically and emotionally. After a late dinner, we returned to our room, and I crashed. For the day, I ended up down $1169.50, and $1569.50 down for the trip.

Day 6 -- One Last Shot

     Today is the day my wife and I return home to Houston. However, I felt I had to give this one more shot before I declare myself all gambled out. For one thing, I only had 20 sessions on this trip, and on last year's trip, which was a day shorter, I had 21 sessions. So I at least wanted to match the number of sessions. Let's see what happened...

     My initial plan was to win a fair amount on the blackjack table, then do my risky betting with the profits from that. Well, I only won $87.50. Not much I could do with that. But I went to the craps table, got my favorite position, Stick Left 1, used my Hardway dice set, but I had two very short rolls. I left the table $295 down. Then I went back to the blackjack table. It was only then that I had my sizeable win--$325 this time around. But now, I'm all gambled out. I cashed in these chips without returning to the craps table. I booked an overall session win for $117.50. The only reason why this paragraph is written in red ink is because I lost at the craps table.

     Overall, my wife and I had loads of fun, even though I had an overall loss of $1452. I still have plenty of gambling money left, and it will be used to fight another day on another trip. Stay tuned, and I'll tell you all about it! ☺

May 9, 2022 -- BEST WIN OF THE LAST DECADE

   My best win of the 2010's occurred exactly 10 years ago today. And it happened on one of my best gambling days period, and all during a tense time in my life. I'll explain. I was living in Jacksonville Florida at the time, and the whole Trayvon Martin thing was a huge deal at that time. In fact, there was talk about moving the trial up to Jacksonville, and there was even talk of the judge maybe even throwing the case out. Of course, neither came to fruition, but I was thinking, if the judge threw out that case, there'd be massive riots. But something told me not to stay inside that day, and as a result of that decision, I had one of my best gambling days ever.

   Initially, I'd only intended to play poker, which I did at the Best Bet Regency poker room, where I won $920. For some inexplicable reason, I decided after that, to go on the casino boat, then-called Jacks Or Better, in nearby Mayport. There, I played craps. At first, things weren't going my way, and I ended up investing a total of $1500 (my initial buy-in was $500--I rarely chase like this anymore). Then, the big rally came, and I was cutting up like no other time before or since, among other things, yelling "BULL-LLACKOUT!" at least a dozen times. At the end, I had nothing but black chips to take to the cashier. I was shocked to learn that I had 30 of them in my possession. In other words, I'd cashed out for $3000, making a profit of $1500. A total combined win of $2420 for this day exactly ten years ago. Yes, I was a happy man.

April 27 - April 29, 2022 -- LAKE CHARLES XIV -- WARM-UP

   My wife and I came back to Lake Charles for what I consider a warm-up trip to Las Vegas, which we're taking in the middle of next month. My hope is that this trip turns out profitable, like the last one did. Moreover, this month has turned out to be a very busy and very expensive one, so that's why it's only now that we're coming out here, plus I hope to recoup some of the money I had to spend on other things. But at the same time, I'm probably going to play somewhat cautiously, for the last thing I want to do is lose a ton of money before Vegas. Let's see what develops...

     This time, when we arrived in Lake Charles, our room wasn't ready yet, so we waited for an hour before checking into our room. In the meantime, I briefly played blackjack, unable to get onto a craps game, since the table was full. The session was brief, but filled with drama, from which I ended up winning $25. I didn't want to stay there too long anyhow, as I regarded that session as a warm-up to the rest of the trip.

     After checking into our room, and getting some much-needed R & R, we went downstairs to the casino floor, and this time, I got into a craps game. I got to shoot from the end. I used the Yo-Yo dice set, and I ended up shootin 13 times, hitting the 5 six times! I had pressed that number up to $75, and was ready to get a black chip for a payout, when I crapped out. Playing scared craps, it wasn't until that last hit on the 5 that I even got into the black. So when I crapped out, I only ended up $11 ahead. I did add $37.50 to that at the blackjack table, for a total session win of $48.50. Hey, it's better than losing.

     We then walked over to the Golden Nugget casino. Along the way, we both decided that despite it being sunny and a predicted high temperature of 81°, it still was not warm enough to go swimming, or to the hot tub at night over there. But I did get into some games over at Golden Nugget. The craps table was full, so I opted for blackjack. There, the table was somewhat better than the ones at L'Auberge, and I won $112.50. Then, in a twist, I opted against playing craps, when a spot became available. Reason being, I saw the table thinning out, and the players not looking happy. It gave me a bad vibe, and I decided not to play there. So instead, I opted for poker, despite it being after 3 pm, not leaving much time to play before our dinner reservation at the Ember Steakhouse. I got onto the poker table just before 3:30, and I'd decided I was only going to play for an hour and a half at most. Very fortunately for me, I only needed half that time, for I won two big pots, getting involved in little else, and I ended up winning $563 at that table! $675.50 for the whole session! I did want to get at least one 500 Club for the month of April, so I accomplished that on this trip. Now, let's get ready for our dinner date!

     After a very delicious meal at the Ember, we went into the casino, still at L'Auberge, to play once more. This time, I got onto a craps game, and I got to shoot from Stick Left 1. This time, I used the Hardway dice set, and I shot 10 times. But again, playing scared craps, I only ended up winning $53, and that much only because I had a couple of come-out winners which my Whirl bet covered. I could have stayed longer, or played a little more loose, now that I'm ahead, but after a nice hearty meal, I wasn't exactly feeling it. I did tack on an additional $25 at the blackjack table, in another drama-filled session. The session as a whole, netted me $78, and my profits for the trip thus far, totalled $827.

     After watching Temptation Island, which ended after 10:00, we were about to go back downstairs, when my wife noticed me yawning repeatedly. I decided against playing any further tonight, for I don't play well when I'm tired. So I'll wait until tomorrow. $827 ahead for the day is good enough.

     I was hoping to expand on my success of Day 1. But after a $175 win at the blackjack table, bringing my profits up to $1002, I had considered stopping there, saving my strength for Vegas. I was shocked to learn that I had 16 casino winns in a row ay that point! That would have been a good stopping point. How I wish I'd done that...

     After a late breakfast, my wife and I walked over to Golden Nugget. I got into a craps game, where I first was shooting from the end. I used the Yo-Yo dice set, and point-sevened-out. Then I moved to Stick Left 1, where the next time I shot the dice, I used the Hardway dice set. Again, a PSO. The third time I got the dice, I used the same Yo-Yo II dice set that I'd used in Tunica. I shot an 8, but by that time, it was too late. Things were going horribly at the table. The dice were not nice, to say the least. I left the table $643 down. Unfortunately, things just got worse, playing blackjack. I lost another $305 at that table. $948 lost. I still was ahead $54 for the trip. My wife suggested I take a break, which I did.

     My wife and I went out to the pool back at L'Auberge, which was very enjoyable and relaxing. I figured this was just what I needed to forget about what happened at Golden Nugget.

     I thought the two hours spent at the pool at L'Auberge would be enough of a break, regarding the gambling. But apparently, it wasn't, because I suffered a terrible loss at the blackjack table at L'Auberge. I'm pretty sure the craps table was full. Anyway, the cards were horrible, and I chased too much. I lost $1400, after which I decided that I'm all gambled out. I am done gambling for this trip! $1346 in red ink is enough, thank you very much!

     I woke up this morning feeling kind of sorry for myself, after what happened yesterday. But then I watch Bryan's video on how he and his kids were stuck in Vegas for several extra days because they got sick, and as strange as this sounds, that put things in perspective. For one's health is infinitely more important than losing money at a casino. I'd rather have my situation than Bryan's. Hope you and your family get well soon, man! ☺

     However, that does not change my mind, regarding being all gambled out for this trip. I am done. Next time I'll be gambling won't be until May 15th, when my wife and I will be in Vegas for our anniversary trip. Until that time, folks!

April 24, 2022 -- LINKS

     Today, I added a new Craps Article, which is really just links to other craps websites. Hope you like it!

April 23, 2022 -- HAWAII CRAPS SHOOTERS HAPPY BIRTHDAY

     In the Craps world, one of the most prolific and influential vloggers is Hawaii Craps Shooters. The man behind this, his name is Bryan, and he's having a birthday today! He's in Vegas right now with his crew, and I hope he's doing great, winning big, and most of all, having a great time. Bryan, we, at musicaldice323.com salute you and your awesome content, and Happy Birthday to you! And as you like to say, may the dice be nice! ☺

March 20 - March 24, 2022 -- LAKE CHARLES XIII -- EXTENDED STAY

     My wife and I had only planned to come out to Lake Charles from Tuesday the 22nd to Thursday the 24th to celebrate my birthday (Wednesday the 23rd). But the weather report has been predicting severe thunderstorms going through Houston and points east on Monday and Tuesday (the latter day would be when we'd be traveling). So we decided to travel to Lake Charles on Sunday the 20th, and stay until Thursday the 24th.

     There are two reasons why I gave this day the title that I did, and neither have anything to do with gambling. As the bus driver was pulling into the driveway of the L'Auberge casino, a driver shot clear across the road right in front of our bus, to make a left turn--not even looking! The bus driver had to jam on brakes to avoid hitting this damn fool! The second reason came when we were getting off the bus. My wife and I, as usual, sat in the second row. I stepped into the aisle, and thought my wife would be right behind me. But instead, a bunch of people pushed in behind me, not letting my wife get in the aisle behind me (some courtesy, please?). Unfortunately, there are people on this bus, who are pushy, rude, and seem to be in a rush, but they were especially so today, so when I got off the bus, and was waiting for my wife, I got my raz game on, calling after them "Hurry up! The casino's running away! It's about to set sail!" When my wife did get off the bus, my wife and another woman were talking about how rude these people are. My wife and I said that we are not in any hurry. I even added "Let the damn fools go first!" That, by the way, was something my dad taught me when I became old enough to drive. Anyway, we checked into our room without further incident. We even have a view of the pool, and it's predicted to be 78° today in Lake Charles. Hmmm...

     Anyway, the gambling started at the craps table at L'Auberge. It was a $25 table, and I played the 6 and the 8 on another shooter for 30 each. On the third hit, I placed the 5 for a quarter, but then the shooter crapped out. I ended up $20 ahead. I decided to stop there, being content to just get my feet wet at that point.

     From there, we walked over to Golden Nugget, where I first got into a craps game. It was a $15 table, and I got to shoot from Stick Left 1. The first time around, I used the Hardway dice set, placing the dice in the same starting spot as I would at the tables at L'Auberge. For some reason, that angle for my arm felt uncomfortable, and sure enough, I crapped out on the third roll. When I got the dice again, after falling further behind, I was about to re-buy for another $200 (my initial buy-in was $500), but I decided that I was only going to do that if I didn't do well on my second shoot. This time, I used the same dice set, but set the dice on the felt at an angle that felt more comfortable for my arm to make the the toss. The second roll ended up going 19 times, making points of 6 and 8, even rolling a hard 6 in the process. I just did get my money back plus $40. I did add $127.50 at the blackjack table, but then lost $155 after four hours at the poker table. I did manage to salvage a $12.50 casino win.

     Apparently, there came a third reason why I called Day 1 what I did. While my wife and I waited to get a Lift from Golden Nugget to the Texas Roadhouse steakhouse to have dinner, we saw this guy getting arrested, for what others told us was drunk and disorderly conduct. But this guy was seriously resisting the other officers, to the point that we heard him screaming like a banshee, and we also heard a lot of banging from within the paddy wagon, like he was struggling fiercely against the officers, like maybe the guy was seriously hopped up on some drugs. My wife even said that she'd seen him in the poker room at a different table from me. We have no idea what all that carrying on was all about, but I remembered my dad's advice to me, and we just left it at that, as we went to a very delicious dinner.

     One final gambling session took place, once we returned to L'Auberge. I won $200 at the blackjack table. I finished Day 1 up $232.50. Hopefully, I can add to this tomorrow.

     Again, the title to this day has nothing to do with gambling. I'll explain. You see, I'm about to start a new remote contract software development job, and I also need to be on site for the first week (up in Rice Lake Wisconsin, no less!), and I spent a good part of the day getting the paperwork, as well as coordinating with the folks at the client site, on how the hell me and my wife are supposed to make it out there. In between all of that, I did do some gambling, however.

     After breakfast, before I started to tackle the paperwork, I did play blackjack, after failing to get on a craps table. I did get a nice win there--$525 to be exact. Sweet!

     After getting the process for the background check started, and starting to get the ball rolling on travel arrangements, my wife and I walked over to Golden Nugget. It was very cloudy in Lake Charles on this day, and we decided that after this session, we'll remain at L'Auberge until the storm passes. In the meantime, I did get onto a craps table, where I shot a 10 from Stich Left 1, barely making up for other shooters crapping out early, when I was playing 6 and 8. I made $10 at that table before trying poker again. There, I played for 2 hours, while my wife went shopping. I was ahead for most of the session, but two bad beats before my wife came back, left me down $246 for my poker session, making that Golden Nugget session, my first loss of the trip, losing $236. Fortunately, I'm still ahead for the trip.

     I had an epic struggle some hours later at the craps table, after my wife and I had lunch, and I got some more business taken care of. I played at a $25 table at L'Auberge, getting my Stick Left 1 position again. I stuck to the Hardway dice set. I got to shoot the dice five different times. On my first three shoots, I shot a 5, a 6, and an 8. I think I was paying more attention to my landing zone and how I was releasing the dice on my last two shoots, and that, I think, is why I did much better on them. I shot a 19 on the fourth shoot (336 221 11), and I shot a 15 on the last shoot (114 122 31). It was a major struggle, for my money was going up and down (mostly the latter, betting on other shooters), so I had to buy in for a second round of $500. But on that last roll, I did something I hadn't done in ten years. I bet the ATS, and I hit the tall, winning $175 (I bet it 5,5,5). That helped get all my money back, when I did crap out. I was happy to win just $58 and get the hell out of there, for that was an exhausting experience! Rememberin what Bryan (from Hawaii Craps Shooters) said about his last Vegas experience, I feel you, man!

     By the time we had dinner, which was late because we had a late lunch, it was about 10:30 at night. Afterwards, I tried to get onto a craps table, but it was too crowded. It was no better at the blackjack tables, so we both decided to call it a night. Even with the loss today, I still won $347 for a trip total profit of $579.50. Hopefully, I can add to that tomorrow.

     I was initially thinking of calling this day either "Through The Storm" or "Breezin'" (of course, two songs--the latter of which is done by George Benson, whose birthday is today), but the big thunderstorm that rolled through Lake Charles, really didn't last that long. And I wasn't exactly breezing through these gambling sessions. But the actual title is a reference to one of the sessions I had today, coupled with the fact that all my craps sessions so far on this trip, resulted in wins less than $100.

     Before brunch, I played blackjack, and ended up going into a Round 2 buy-in before I got my money back plus $75.

     We initially weren't planning to walk over to Golden Nugget, given the storm and all. But after the storm was over, and the skies were clearing up, we decided to take that walk after all. But after failing to get into a craps game or a blackjack game, I got into a poker game. I played for two hours, during which I had to re-buy for an additional $500, but then I slowly got my money back plus $160. Made up for one of the poker losses earlier on the trip.

     After having dinner at the Olive Garden, my wife and I returned to L'Auberge. I was able to get onto a $25 craps table at Stick Left 1. But this time, I point-sevened out, falling behing. Fortunately, I was betting on another dice setter who was on a hot roll. I was slowly getting my money back, and I was very mindful of how much I had. This was because I was focused on getting some green ink--that is, winning at least $100 playing craps. I took my Place bets down the moment I reached that goal. I probably would hand reached 500 Club status, if I'd kept those bets on longer. But was making sure I got the green win, winning $105 at the table.

     I did add another $100 to that win, by playing blackjack at a very drama-filled table. That $205 win pushed me over the grand mark for profits on this trip.

     From there, we were planning to walk over to Golden Nugget, since it wasn't raining. But as soon as we opened the door to step outside, we felt how windy and cold it was, and we instantly changed our minds. We walked back into the casino at L'Auberge. I tried to get back on the craps table, but it was full. So I played blackjack one more time tonight. I was very soon reminded why I don't like playing blackjack in prime time. Without getting into too much detail, since this is a craps blog, I'll just say that I tend to run into more players who don't know how to play, and it messes things up, and that's what happened at this blackjack table. Once I realized that, I got off the table as soon as I was back in the positive. I left the table $25 ahead.

     We went back to our room, and called it a night. I ended up $465 ahead for the day, and so far, I'm ahead $1044.50 ahead for the trip. Hopefully, I can add to that on my birthday...

     Today is my birthday, and I was hoping things would go my way, as far as gambling goes. It started off good after we had breakfast. We first went into the casino at L'Auberge, where I played blackjack. I ended up winning $275 at the table.

     The big story of the day was what happened next in the session. I next went to the craps table. It was a $25 table. I got to shoot the dice from the end. I got off to a rocky start at first, shooting only a 3, using the Yo-Yo dice set. Then for my next shoot, I adjusted my stance at the table. For some reason, I felt good about the new stance, so much so that I decided to try a risky regression strategy, as well as bet the ATS for 5-5-5. I figured I might as well try it, since I'm still a grand ahead. I bought in for an additional $500, and after establishing a point of 10, I went for 330 inside (instead of my Two-Hit Blackout strategy, which would mean 440 inside for two hits). I kept the bets out for two hits, which I got, then regressed the bets down to 136 across (including the buy on the 4). I soon made the point of 10, then later made a point of 5. I ended up shooting 16 times, and got to press some of the Place bets up, and they hit. And what's more, much to my surprise, I hit the Tall again! A $175 bonus came my way. By the time I crapped out, I knew I'd gotten my money back, plus a little--so I thought. When I subsequently colored up, it shocked the hell out of me when the dealer announced that I had $1352 in chips. I'd only bought in for 1000 total! I made $352 at the craps table. Add that to the $275, and I ended up with a 500 Club on my birthday, winning a total of $627 for the session! This was the first time in 14 years that I'd gotten a 500 Club on my birthday! (the other time was when Easter Sunday fell on my birthday, and I was in a casino in Bartlesville Oklahoma, when I won $734 at the poker table). At any rate, that made for an excellent birthday present!

     From there, after some down time, we went to Golden Nugget. I first played blackjack there, and won $62.50. Then I spent 2¼ hours playing poker. I got off to a rocky start, but fortunately, another bonus bailed me out. Without getting into too much detail, I made a steel wheel, which paid me a $100 bonus for the straight flush. That helped me get my poker money back plus $13. A total win at Golden Nugget of $75.50.

     We had a nice romantic birthday dinner at the Ember Steakhouse at L'Auberge. The steak and the salad were both very delicious. Afterwards, we ventured into the casino to try to play some more. But even before I saw that the craps table and the blackjack tables were full, I was already thinking, maybe I should just lock up the birthday win for today, and untimately, that's what I did, even though a blackjack table was about to open. I decided to conclude the gambling for today $702.50 ahead for the day, and $1747 ahead so far for the trip. One more day...

     I had one final goal to make before I left today. I wanted to make at least $2000 for the trip. I am presently $253 shy of that goal. Will I able to make that goal? Let's find out...

     After my wife and I checked out, we went down to the casino at L'Auberge. The craps table was full, so I played blackjack. The dealer had a bad attitude, and as soon as I got my money back, I left the table, $75 ahead. We then went to Golden Nugget, and basically, the same thing happened--another bad-attitude blackjack dealer, and the same dollar amount for a win, $75. And of course, the craps table was full. At that point, I was up $1897 for the trip.

     Try as I might, I couldn't avoid red ink at the craps table. When my wife and I returned to L'Auberge, the craps table was open, and I even got my favorite spot at the table, Stick Left 1. But dammit, the dice were REALLY not nice! NOTHING went right at that table, and when I lost $569 at the craps table, I decided, enough was enough. I took my remaining $431, and went to the blackjack table. FORTUNATELY, I was able to parlay that to $1006, salvaging a $6 win at the casino.

     We went to Golden Nugget, and there, was my final assault on my goal. No space at the craps table, where I'd feel comfortable shooting the dice. I played blackjack, and this time, I got onto a decent table, and after three or four rounds, made $100. Everybody else was surprised that I'd leave so quickly, but I had made my goal. I ended up $256 ahead for the day, and $2003 ahead for the trip. I declared myself all gambled out at this point. Very nice to book a win on a trip for once!

February 28 - March 2, 2022 -- LAKE CHARLES XII -- BACK AGAIN

     After what happened in Tunica, my wife and I decided to go back to Lake Charles, and we decided to do it at the end of February. This was because of something I'm trying to do, something I haven't been able to do before--have at least one 500 Club in each calendar month. I came close in 2002, where I missed by two, and again in 2016, where the only month that year when I didn't get a 500 Club was in October, coinciding to when my wife's dog died, and it affected us both. Will I be able to get a 500 Club for February? Will I be able to get one for March as well? Keep reading, and find out!

     The title of the first day may seem strange, since this is a craps blog, not a poker blog. But hey, I can't help that a good craps shoot was overshadowed by a very big poker win. At any rate, here goes...

     The gambling began at home base at L'Auberge, where I was the shooter, at a craps table I was barely able to get on, shooting from the end. I used my Yo-Yo dice set, and I shot 16 times, making two points of 6 and one of 8. I even rolled two hard 6's and a hard 8 in the process. It reminded me that I'd thought of using this dice set from the end specifically to allow for the dice to Y-off, for one pitch of the left die to the left, and the right die to the right would yield a hard 6. It was my first roll of the day, so I was playing somewhat cautiously. I ended up $198 ahead. A nice start.

     From there, I am quickly reminded of why I wanted to go to other places besides Lake Charles. For I wasn't able to get onto a craps game for the rest of the day. I did get on to a blackjack game at Golden Nugget, where I struggled to get my money back, plus $50. Little would I know that this would only be the beginning of my struggles regarding blackjack. For the next time I gambled was back at L'Auberge, where I ran into some horrible cards, losing $1000. God-dammit!

     Fortunately, when I returned to Golden Nugget, I got into a poker game, and it was here that I had the big poker session I'd referred to earlier. Without getting into too much detail (again since this is a craps blog, and not a poker blog -- if you want the details, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com, and I'll tell you more about it), I'll just say that over the course of about an hour, I won five hands, winninh a whopping $898 in the process! By just $5, that was my biggest win ever at Golden Nugget!!

     Mow as for this thing called the Poker Killer, that came from the fact that about 15 years ago, when I used to frequent a casino boat near where I used to live in Jacksonville Florida, they used to have No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em on the boat, and I had an uncanny ability to bust people. Someone had nicknamed me the Poker Killer, for that reason. In those five hands I won, I had busted three people, and that brought me back to those days on the Sub Cruz.

     Anyway, that win was enough to get me back in the black by $146. Moreover, that win got me the 500 Club for February, with just 4 hours left in it. From there, my wife and I ate dinner at the Olive Garden, near the casinos (our usual Ember Steakhouse reservation wasn't until the following night). When we returned to L'Auberge, we both decided to call it a night.

     After breakfast, I got into a craps game at L'Auberge. This time, I didn't even shoot, but playing it slow and cautious, I managed to get in on someone else's good roll, where I picked up $133. I was ahead $279.

     My wife and I then went to Golden Nugget, where I got into a craps game there, but this time, the table was very choppy, and the dice weren't very nice, no matter what I tried. I have to mention, I thought of a Don't strategy that I call the 35XDP strategy, where I'd put multiples of 35 on the Don't Pass line, then hedge it with multiples of 10 on Big Red, and maybe some on the yo and midnight. That strategy had worked in previous sessions out here on this trip, but in this case, with the table being so choppy, someone would make the point, and whatever money I'd have out there on the Place bets, would soon be wiped out with a subsequent Point-Seven-Out. As for my shooting, I was first standing at Stick Right 2, the only spot at the table that was available, and on my first roll, I only shot 3 times, using the Yo-Yo II dice set that I was so successful at the Hollywood casino in Tunica with. Not this time, however. On my next shoot, I was able to shoot from the end, and I switched to my original Yo-Yo dice set. However, the dice kept veering off to the right, and after four rolls, I crapped out. From there, things kept getting worse, with nothing working with my betting on other shooters. I did get the dice one more time, and I switched to a Crossed Sixes dice set, upon recalling something Beau Parker said on one of his videos about how to adjust when the dice are veering off to the left or to the right. I did manage to shoot a 12 with this dice set, but it wasn't enough to get my money back. Eventually, I booked a $575 loss at the craps table. I lost another $325 playing blackjack, trying to recoup my craps loss. I had gone up from being $279 ahead to $621 down.

     Things just got worse from there, for later at L'Auberge, I tried playing blackjack, and I lost another $875. I couldn't even do anything at the poker table that night at Golden Nugget. I lost $500 there too. It was like the cards were laughing at me the whole day!

     One highlight of the day was the fact that the time my wife and I spent away from the tables was great, and the dinner at the Ember steakhouse was great as always. But winning for me just wasn't in the cards this day.

     What was particularly upsetting about that last loss was the fact that prior to the poker room, I'd won $41 at the craps table, and $125 at the blackjack table. I had then turned a $166 win into a $334 loss.

     The above title refers to what happened in my first session on the last day of me and my wife's trip. In this case, I went downstairs to get into a craps game, and to try to get on the table at my favorite position, Stick Left 1. That didn't quite happen, however. I shot from the end, and I decided to use the same Crossed Sixes dice set that I'd used the previous day at the Golden Nugget. I call this set the Even Crossed Sixes, for it is the 6/2-6/4 dice set. I shot another 12 with that set,, but since I was only playing the 6 and the 8, I only won $58. But as I was subsequently playing at an adjacent blackjack table, for what would be my only big win at that game on this trip, the pit boss informed me that I'd left a 10-dollar Whirl bet out there, and the shooter had rolled an ace-deuce, which won me $22. The pit boss gave me the entire $32, making my craps table win $90, instead of $58. That made a huge difference, for I ended up winning $425 at the blackjack table, making a total session win of $515. So now I have a 500 Club for the month of March as well. Cool.

     After my wife and I checked out, we went back to the casino floor at L'Auberge. Somehow, I did manage to get into a craps game, shooting from Stick Left 1. Well, all right now! I went back to basics, using my old familiar Hardway dice set. This time, I paid more attention on where the dice were placed before I picked them up to begin my toss. It seems that the outer of the Pass Line area was under the seam of the two dice. That seems to work for me. I shot a 16 with this dice set, again playing cautiously. I ended up $145 ahead once I colored up. I get a sense of re-discovering what works for me as far as dice setting goes. Maybe I'll gp back to riskier regression strategies now that my rolls are getting longer again.

     From there, I played blackjack at the same casino. After a long struggle and a Round 2 buy-in ($1000--each round of buy-in was $500), I got my money back plus a quarter. I made $170 for the session. Then I tried for 2 hours to get into a poker game at Golden Nugget. They kept saying they were going to open a new table, but too much time went by before that happened. I was very short on time before my wife and I were due to head back to Houston. We left Golden Nugget, and went back to L'Auberge to play on a couple of $15 coupons my wife had gotten for me. I won on one of them at a six-deck blackjack table (I usually play two-deck blackjack), but then got into trouble. I decided enough was enough, and stopped after getting $305 down. I declared myself all gambled out, and ended things $1450 down for the trip.

     Despite the loss for the trip, there is definitely a silver lining to all this. One is the fact that my wife and I did have fun. Two, I'm getting a better sense of what works for me as far as dice setting. Three, there was only one game out of the three that I played, where I ended up with a net loss. With craps, I had a net gain of $32, and with poker, I had a net gain of $398. Of course, with blackjack, I had a net loss of $1880. Seven years ago, I had re-discovered the joy of playing blackjack, but lately here in Lake Charles, I'm beginning to see why there was a huge amount of time (over a decade in fact) that I hardly played blackjack at all. Maybe I ought to focus on the other two games, even though blackjack is the one that I have the highest win percentage, and more of my 500 Clubs have been achieved with blackjack than with either craps or poker. But again, I need more choices as far as casinos go (which was why I tried Tunica). I'm hoping my next trip will be where I have more choices. Maybe a trip to Vegas or Reno or even Biloxi should be my next trip. What do you think? Leave me a comment at musicaldice323@gmail.com.

February 26, 2022 -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A POKER VLOGGER??

     This entry will undoubtedly seem strange to some of you, since this is a craps blog, not a poker blog, but I'm giving Happy Birthday wishes to a poker vlogger, whose honest and candid style of telling us his thought processes as he goes through selected poker hands, has definitely influenced my telling you my thought processes as I do each craps session. That person's name is Brad Owen, and he turns 34 today. Happy Birthday, Brad! Keep up the great content! ☺

February 18, 2022 -- TRANSPORTATION CLARIFICATION

     It occurred to me after I made the last entry in this blog about my recent trip to Tunica Mississippi, and I was mentioning the problems my wife and I had getting transportation at first, that someone reading this may ask "Don't you two drive?" The answer to this is no, and for those who don't already know why not, here's the explanation: I am visually impaired. I used to drive up until 2005, when I lost part of my sight due to glaucoma, and I was forced to stop driving. My wife is hearing-impaired, and she doesn't drive either.

     Now that doesn't stop us from doing what we want to do. We always feel, where there is a will, there is a way. For my part, my disability has only stopped me from doing two things: driving and bowling--the latter of which was strictly my own choice, and that was because I had done so well in bowling that I wouldn't be able to get to the level that I was at (averaging just over 200 for the last 8 years I bowled), now that I'd lost part of my eyesight. But everything else I want to do, I still do. When I set the dice, for example, I pick up each die so I can see the dots, then after I set it, I place it back on the table. In life, everybody has obstacles we have to overcome to achieve in life. In me and my wife's case, our disabilities happen to be our obstacles, which we overcome on a daily basis. The key is, instead of focusing on what we can't do, we focus on what we can do.

February 13-17, 2022 -- TUNICA -- SOMETHING NEW

     As my wife and I were coming home from our last trip, I had expressed to her a desire to try a whole new place to gamble, one that had more than just two casinos, like they do in Lake Charles. My wife later thought of Tunica, Mississippi. I'd heard of Tunica MS some years back, when I bought a World Poker Tour DVD, and one of the tournaments was played there. But I had no idea how to get out there, so the idea of going out there was shelved, until my wife discovered that Tunica is less than 40 miles from Memphis TN. With this information, plus the knowledge that there are at least five casinos out in Tunica, we booked the trip to come out to Tunica, and that Valentine's Day would be one of the days we'd be out here. This would be a new experience for both of us.

     Unlike previous trips where my wife and I would leave home early in the morning, and get to our destination by noon, this time, we left in the afternoon, and didn't reach our final destination until just before 8:00 at night. That was because the only non-stop flight on Southwest Airlines from Houston to Memphis, didn't leave until the late afternoon.

     Let me first say this about Tunica: It appears to be out in the middle of nowhere! Where we're staying, there are two casinos near each other. One casino is Sam's Town, and the other one, the one we're staying at, is the Hollywood casino. One observation we both made, is that like the L'Auberge casino in Lake Charles, it's on the MyChoice network. For that reason, I took with me, the player's card that I use there. The only reason why I mentioned that, was because when we got to our room, it looked almost exactly like our room at L'Auberge in Lake Charles looked! Maybe it's a MyChoice thing--you tell me, since I'm sure some of the Las Vegas casinos are also on the MyChoice network. The decor and layout was VERY similar to L'Auberge. But these rooms do have a refrigerator, whereas L'Auberge doesn't.

     We didn't gamble right away. We were both pretty tired from our trip out here, plus we wanted to watch the last quarter of the Super Bowl. I was pleased as punch to see my Rams win the Super Bowl for the first time in 22 years. After that, we went downstairs to get something to eat. It took forever to get our order. I was wondering how much time or energy would we have to do any gambling at this rate?

     My first and only gambling session came after we ate. We went to a craps table that had no players on it. Let me first state that one new strategy I was going to try, was to set up the Iron Cross strategy on certain other shooters, and pull my bets down after one or two hits, with the idea of accumulating enough money so that when I do my regression strategy, I'd only have the big bets out there for just one hit, before regressing. Of course, that idea went out the window, since there were no other players. I was the only player (my wife decided not to play just yet). So I shot the dice, and yes, I was playing scared craps, as I call it, only betting on the 6 and 8. Hey, this is a new casino, and I had no idea how the dice were going to react. On my first shoot, I shot from Stick Left 1, and I used my old familiar Hardway dice set (4/2-4/2). I shot 6 or 7 times, with only two rolls being productive. On my second shoot, I used a new dice set I thought of at home recently, which I call the Yo-Yo II dice set. I thought of the set specifically for Stick Left 1. It is a 5/6-6/5 set, where the fours are kissing (unlike my Yo-Yo dice set, where the treys are kissing). Anyway, I still was playing scared craps, playing the inside numbers, not just 6 and 8, plus I was only putting single odds on my Pass Line bet. This was the time I wished I had the balls to do my Two-Hit Blackout strategy, for I, apparently had a mini-monster roll, shooting 24 times! Again, many of those rolls were non-productive horn numbers, or 4's or 10's. I did make two points, and by the time I crapped out on that $10 table (they rarely have this at L'Auberge), I ended up $56 ahead, overall. I know, but at least I got my feet wet, and if I concentrate on a nice easy toss, like I did, I think I'll have more decent rolls, and I'll be able to take more of a chance in future sessions here at Tunica.

     It was getting late, and we were both tired, so I didn't do any more gambling the first day. I was very happy to be able to enter this shoot into my Best Shoots page on this website, something I hadn't been able to do in nearly five months. Anyway, tomorrow, I hope will be even better.

     This morning, I woke up with the songs "Coming Around Again" by Carly Simon (1987), and "Bad Time" by Grand Funk (1975) on my mind. I'm sure the former was referring to my dice shooting last night. I hope the latter will not be indicative of how things will go today. Which song will apply to that? I guess we're about to find out...

     Unfortunately, the latter song fit in too many ways. After breakfast, we caught a Lift to Binion's Horseshoe. I got into a craps game there, where there were only $25 tables. There, absolutely NOTHING went right! When I played the Don't, the shooter (a random shooter) would make his point. I'd leave the Place bets out there, and the shooter would immediately crap out. My shoots were okay at first, but again, playing scared craps. Then they got worse. At length, I decided I was going to go for my Two-Hit Blackout strategy (with the intent of regressing to 135 across plus the buys after two hits), but I crapped out before I could get the first hit. I left that table down $1162. OUCH!!!

     From there, we went over to Gold Strike. The craps table there was a $15 table. I had a decent shoot there, shooting 16 times on one of my shoots (shooting from the end, just like at the Horseshoe, using the same Yo-Yo dice set). The problem was my betting too much on other shooters. I was starting to get it back, when something else my wife and I were supposed to do got in the way. I decided to take the hit, and leave Gold Strike $330 down.

     One thing we learned today about Tunica, it USED to be a real happening spot, especially around the time that I bought that WPT DVD where I first learned about Tunica. There used to be a shuttle that took people around to all the casino properties. Not anymore. And after we finished at the Gold Strike, we found out how difficult it was to get a Lift down in Tunica. For most of the Lift drivers around her are based in Memphis. It took so long to get a ride, that we couldn't even get what we wanted to take care of, out of the way. After a long while of waiting, we managed to get a ride back to the Hollywood casino instead. If I had known it would take this long, I would have stayed longer at Gold Strike to get the rest of my money back. I had a much better vibe at that table than I did at the Horseshoe (two cute black women standing near me at the table helped partly LOL).

     We wanted to get a ride to a steakhouse in Memphis to celebrate Valentine's Day, but we couldn't get a Lift ride, no matter what we did, so we had to settle for a mediocre meal back at the Hollywood casino. Worse yet, the craps table that was open last night here, was closed today, and wouldn't re-open until Thursday afternoon; by that time, we'd be back in Houston. Unfortunately, that's the way things are for all the fine restaurants at these casinos in Tunica. We decided that this will most likely be the last time we will ever travel to Tunica.

     I played blackjack some this evening, managing to cut the deficit down to $1208.50, but overall, I am very disappointed with this trip. It's times like this that I really love my wife, for she's been a much better sport about this than I've been. Fortunately, she doesn't have real expensive tastes, and even though I wasn't able to do more for her on Valentine's Day, she was cool with that. Just getting away from home on this trip was enough for her. As she said, maybe tomorrow will be better. I sure as hell hope so!

     Today, I had quite a different tune on my mind when I woke up. This time, it was the instrumental "Feels So Good" by Chuck Mangione. Hopefully, this is a good omen...

     The morning started off not so encouragingly, not because I lost, but because I couldn't play ANY table games! First of all, my wife and I went across the street to the Sam's Town casino after breakfast. While we found what's sure to be a good alternative place to eat breakfast tomorrow, over there, there were NO table games open on Tuesdays or Wednesdays!! And when we got back to the Hollywood casino, we found that the blackjack tables wouldn't open until 11 a.m. And of course, the craps table wouldn't open again until Thursday afternoon. Gee whiz! Part of the reason for coming out to Tunica was so I'd have more playing options than I did at Lake Charles. I never dreamed that I'd end up with LESS options here!!

     Fortunately, my wife had gotten from the hotel front desk, a card from a guy who runs a transportation service. He charges more than the lift drivers, but he is far more reliable. We both decided that paying extra for transportation to get us around would be better than being stuck at this one casino where I wouldn't be able to play any more craps, due to my leaving Thursday morning. So we booked a ride through this guy named George. He turned out to be very reliable and professional, and just what we needed.

     The first place we went, courtesy of George, was the Gold Strike casino. By the time we arrived there, it was after 11:30. I got into a craps game, and this time, it was a $10 table. It was a choppy table at first. I had a decent 11-roll shoot (again from the end, using my Yo-Yo dice set)--only that VERY few of my rolls were productive (mostly horns, 4's, and 10's). This older lady shooter, I noticed, usually had longer rolls, and I'd get close to getting my money back with her. I did, barely after my first shoot, then stayed put basically until my second shoot, where I crapped out on my third roll. Argh! But where I really messed up was on the following shooter, where I did the Iron Cross setup on him, with the intent of taking that down after one or two rolls. The result of his roll, unfortunately, was a Point-Seven-Out. OUCH!! But fortunately there came that older lady, who shot next. I decided to bet on her shoot, and it paid off. I started off with four units on each of the inside numbers, and they were hitting. I was able to press each one up to eight units, and they kept hitting, and in fact, I pressed 6 up to 15 units, hoping to get a black chip for part of a payout (that would be $105, if it hit)...Let's not get carried away here. The lady crapped out before that could happen, but I still ended up $271 ahead at the end of the session, which took about 2 hours. By that time, my wife and I were ready to eat, and George was ready to take us up to Memphis.

     We ate what turned out to be a late lunch/early dinner at the Blue City Cafe in Memphis. This restaurant I'd recommend to anyone. The food was awesome, and they serve you big portions. I got a 24-ounce T-bone steak (which I couldn't eat all of, but I was able to save until later, courtesy of the fridge we have in our room at the Hollywood). And the meal was reasonably priced too. Because I was able to run an errand I had intended to do yesterday, but couldn't because of the unreliability of Lift, we also paid for a tour around Memphis. My wife enjoyed this more than I did, although the rich history Memphis has in music, architecture, and civil rights, I did find interesting. Memphis, of course, was where Martin Luther King was assassinated, plus that was where, at Sun Recording Studio, where Elvis Presley made a lot of his recordings. It is now a museum. We briefly went inside, and even saw an I.D. made out to one Elvis Aaron Presley. I even impressed the people running the museum with a piece of trivia: What year was it that both the Beatles and Elvis Presley each had a song that landed among the ten biggest hits of the year as a whole? The answer, I'll have up on my music blog. By the time we got back to the Hollywood casino, it was almost 7 p.m., and my wife and I were both tired, so we rested up for the next hour and a half.

     We went swimming in the indoor pool at Hollywood, but spent most of the time in the hot tub because the pool water was too cold. Okay, enough about that; you want to know if I had any more gambling sessions today right? The answer is yes, one more. I played blackjack after we finished up at the pool. I won $112.50 at one table, and $142.50 at the other table. Not bad. $255 for the session. I won $526 total for today. Yes, I'm still behind for the trip, but $682.50 down feels a lot better than over $1400 down, which was where I was after playing at the Horseshoe and at Gold Strike yesterday. Maybe tomorrow, I can chip away the rest of this deficit. We'll see...

     Today, I had hopes of completely erasing this deficit, and getting back into the black.

     Herem I admit that I could have played things differently. After a decent breakfast at Sam's Town, we got George to take us to the Horseshoe for four hours. I had inteended to play poker, then play craps there. It turned into a long poker session, for I spent most of it trying to get my money back, losing #260 in the process, with all the time gone. Not very smart, John. From there, it was back to the Hollywood, where the power was out to the whole hotel except for the casino floor, which had a backup geneerator. The extra food we brought from the Blue City Cafe yesterday, we had to throw out because the rooms had no power for several hours. I made one last effort to try to reduce this deficit at the blackjack tables. I won $25 at one table, but lost $480 at the second table. At that point, I declared myself all gambled out. The power came back on about 15 minutes later, but my wife and I already had dinner (chips out of the bags). Needless to say, we were not happy campers, and we won't be coming out to Tunica again!

     No gambling today. I'm content to finish this trip $1397.50 down, under the circumstances. But there is a silver lining in all this. I did have some good shoots in Tunica, including one at Hollywood that made my all-time Best Shoots page, which is now updated. Plus I think I learned that shooting from the end, I do better with the 3-finger grip, and from Stick Left 1, perhape the 4-finger Yury grip is best (that's what I used when I did my new Yo-Yo II dice set). We plan to go back to Lake Charles 10 days from now. I'll just have to play more in the wee hours of the morning, when they are more likely to have open spots at the craps table. Another part of the silver lining was the fun my wife and I had especially in Memphis, and at the Gold Strike casino on Tuesday. Tunica wasn't a total waste of time, but just the same, I don't think we'll come back to Tunica again. George recommended Biloxi MS, and the Beau Rivage casino, as a possible trip. Hmmm...

January 17-19, 2022 -- LAKE CHARLES XI -- TO BUILD A BETTER MOUSETRAP

     My wife and I went to Lake Charles with the hopes of starting the new year off in positive territory like we did last year.

     However, fate had other plans.

     My wife and I were staying at L'Auberge, like we usually do. But quite unusually, the gambling began at Golden Nugget. That was because the tables were full at L'Auberge. And things weren't much better at Golden Nugget. I was only able to get onto a craps table there in Stick Right 3, a very uncomfortable position for me. I shot twice, using my Yo-Yo dice set. But I had two early crap-outs. Ended up $192 down for the session. My favorite positions at the craps table are Stick Left 1, and either end. It's times like this that I wish I had more casinos and more craps tables to choose from (L'Auberge and Golden Nugget usually have only one craps table open at any given time, plus the Isle Of Capri casino has been out of commission since Hurricane Laura 1½ years ago).

     We returned to L'Auberge, where I quickly made up for the loss by winning $200 playing blackjack. $8 ahead I was at that point. But that would be the only time I'd be ahead for the trip.

     After having a very delicious steak dinner with a salad with plenty of real bacon bits, I went to the poker room. After 5 hours, I lost $800. Admittedly, I was tired, and I should have rested first. I ended up down $792 for the day.

     At about 5:30 in the morning, I went downstairs to the casino at L'Auberge to try to get into a craps game at a more comfortable position. In that, I succeeded, shooting from Stick Left 1. I shot an 11 using my Hardway dice set (4/2-4/2). I decided that a stronger throw, but not so hard was what was needed. I didn't use any regression strategy, and I hadn't for the past two months (ever since my disastrous trip in mid-November), plus I did bet some on other shooters (necessary at L'Auberge so I could shoot). End result: I won $13 at the craps table. But I did add $525 to that, playing blackjack. A 500 Club, as I call it, the first of the year. This session would be the highlight of the trip.

     After breakfast, I played a quick blackjack session, winning $50 at L'Auberge. Then my wife and I walked over to Golden Nugget, and it was there, it was like a bomb went off. Nothing turned out right over there. First, I got into a craps game, where I did manage to get to play from Stick Left 1. But my first two shoots were both PSO's (Point-Seven-Outs), using the Hardway dice set. For the next two shoots, I switched to my 3V dice set (4/6-4/2), and I shot 9 times both times. But since again, I was not using my regression strategy, opting to go with a 6/8 strategy, producing a lot of non-productive rolls, and my not having much luck betting on other shooters, I lost $454 at the craps table. The loss was compounded, losing $450 at the blackjack table, and another $426 at the poker table. $1330 for a loss. Not good! But I did notice that maybe adjusting dice sets for different tables may be in order (although I don't think the craps table at L'Auberge was much different from the one at Golden Nugget).

     Once my wife and I returned to L'Auberge, I got on to a craps table, standing at Stick Left 1. However, this time, the table was full with me there, and it was taking a long time for the dice to come my way. I bet on some of the other shooters, falling behind at first, but ended up winning $46. I enjoyed this craps session best of all on this trip, for I was cutting up with some of my antics. There was a couple standing just to my left that really enjoyed my antics. They were disappointed when I decided to leave the table before it was my turn to shoot. At that point and time, I felt it was important to just get back on the winning track again. I did add another $100 to that win at the blackjack table.

     After taking a rest from the gambling, my wife and I went back down to the casino at L'Auberge, and got on to a craps table. This time, I was shooting from the end. There I used my Yo-Yo dice set (6/5-5/6). I shot at 15, which would have been great, if I had more productive rolls. I was using a 6/8 strategy, which I'd previously called scared craps, and here, it wasn't doing me much good, as I was rolling 9's and 10's, and horn numbers. I think Bryan (Hawaii Craps Shooters)'s Quarter Pounder With Ease (a modified Iron Cross strategy) would have been much better here. I shot once more, and didn't do much well, observing that my Two-Hit Blackout strategy would have barely made it, had I used it, but again, I was playing scared craps. I would have stayed longer, had my wife and I weren't yelled at for only betting on our shoots, not anybody else's. I left the table $199 down. I did make up for that by a single dollar, by winning 200 at the blackjack table.

     After dinner at Golden Nugget, I got onto a craps table, this time at the end. Just like my last session at L'Auberge, I was playing scared craps on my shoot. I shot a 9 using my Yo-Yo dice set, but that wasn't enough to make up for other shooters that I bet on (I didn't want to get yelled at here, for only betting on myself). I lost $306 at the craps table. Things got worse, as I lost $447.50 playing blackjack, and an additional $501 playing poker. OUCH!!! That $1254.50 loss was all I could take for this trip. I declared myself all gambled out at that point, having lost a total of $2641.50.

     No gambling today, even though I did have enough left to give craps another run at it (which I almost did). But this day was designated for my wife and I to just hang out and enjoy each other's company. We've been together 8½ years, and that's one thing we do best.

     I decided on a few things for the next trip. One is that I'm going back to my regression strategy, or to use an Iron Cross-type strategy. If I'm going to lose this much money, I may as well do it using the strategies that I enjoy the best, and give me the best shot for winning, since scared craps isn't cutting it. Also, I'm going to focus less on poker, since I think the others have seen me play, and are familiar with how I play. And finally, I'm going to try to play at a place where I have more choices than just the two casinos at Lake Charles. Maybe a trip to Vegas, or maybe a place like Tunica Mississippi, which my wife suggested, after we got back home. Hmmm...At any rate, based on future adjustments to my game plan, I hope to build a better mousetrap for future blog entries.

December 31, 2021 -- RESULTS FOR 2021

     Well, as I'm sure you've already figured out, I ended up behind for the year. The exact amount I ended up down for the year, was $855.50. But how this breaks down, is a bit surprising. I ended up slightly ahead for two of the three different casino games I played this year. Specifically, I ended up $90.50 ahead for blackjack, and $92 ahead for poker. Of course, that means, I ended up down $1038 for craps--mainly due to that disastrous trip I had in mid-November.

     As for win percentages, for all three games, the win percentages were pretty good. In blackjack, my win percentage for the year was 81.3%, bringing my overall win percentage up to 77.4%. For craps, my win percentage this year was 74.7%, bringing my overall win percentage up to 69.2% for craps. For poker, my win percentage this year was 56.5%, bringing my overall poker win percentage up to 55.0%. Overall, it wasn't a terribly bad year, but of course, I'm going to try to do better for 2022.

December 27-29, 2021 -- LAKE CHARLES X -- LIMITED AVAILABILITY

     My wife and I went to Lake Charles because we were told when we booked the two nights there that they were complimentary. However, when we got to L'Auberge, we were told that they could only give us a reduced rate, due to limited availability, but to check back when we check out, to see if they could comp those nights (I think based on my play). Since we were already there, and since I'd recently gotten an increase on my credit card limit, we agreed.

     All through this trip, I had to struggle with limited availability on the games I wanted to play. Often times, the craps tables were full, and the only blackjack tables that were available were either the $50 tables or highter, or the ones where blackjack only pays 6-5 instead of the usual 3-2. Because of the post-Christmas crowds, I had to get in where I could fit in. I didn't feel comfortable starting off at at $25 craps table, so I started off at a $25 blackjack table, and lost $975. The cards were horrible!

     After going to the Golden Nugget, and not being able to get into a suitable game, because everything I wanted to play was full, I went back to L'Auberge, and reluctantly got onto the $25 craps table. I didn't get to shoot, plus the table was very choppy. I stayed on just long enough to win $10. That's it.

     My wife and I had dinner at the Ember Steakhouse at L'Auberge. As usual, the dinner was delicious. We made a point of having extra bacon bits in our salad, because these were real bacon bits, and they were the best part of the salad. Nothing like a relaxing dinner to re-charge the battery.

     Instead of facing another crowded $25 craps table, I decided to play poker. Without going into too much detail, I'll say that I was there for 4¼ hours, and I won $315, making this the biggest win I had on the entire trip. Got into some exciting hands. If you want to know the details, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com and I'll give you the details. I won't do that here, since this is a craps blog.

     I was hoping to chip away at the deficit from the previous day ($650 in all). In the morning, I got on to a craps table, which was a $15 table, still at L'Auberge. I played there, and ended up $31 ahead. I basically used the same strategy I used yesterday, just betting on the 6's and the 8's until they're paid off, and I can branch out to the other numbers. But the table, once again was too choppy, and I didn't get very far.

     Then I went to Golden Nugget, and finally was able to get into a craps game--only that things didn't go good. I crapped out immediately on my first shoot, shooting from Stick Left 1, and using my Hardway dice set. Yes, I was probably rusty. Then I switched to Stick Right 1, and experimented with a new way of tossing the dice from that position--instead of standing, facing the left wall, standing facing the dealers, and basically tossing the dice across my body. I used my Yo-Yo dice set for this experimant. I shot 6 times with it, not making much, if any, for I wasn't using any regression betting strategy. In retrospect, I probably should have stayed longer, to see how I'd do with that dice set on subsequent turns, but I was losing too much, for the table was pretty cold for everybody, and also, I wanted to get into another poker game. So eventually, I left the table $357 down. I did manage to get $55 of it back at the poker table, for a total session loss of $302.

     As far as craps goes, the biggest story of this trip, occurred when I returned to L'Auberge, and I got on to a $15 table. There was one shooter ahead of me that made me a little money. This time, I was determined to shoot the dice, and I was standing at the Right End, where I used my Yo-Yo dice set. I ended up shooting a 16, but I didn't feel ready to try my regression strategy, sticking to minimum bets on the inside numbers. As a result, I only ended up $116 ahead, but hey I'll take it at this point. Afterwards, I thought to myself, if I was in Vegas, it would have been a lot easier to get on to a craps game, and practiced more. Maybe then I'd be able to use my Two-Hit Blackout strategy again. But I was too far behind to feel comfortable doing that, and the last thing I needed was another disastrous outing like the one I had in mid-November.

     Apparently, a profitable trip for me was just not in the cards--literally, for afterwards, I played poker again, at L'Auberge. Whatever magic I had the previous night, just wasn't there, and I lost $318. To make matters worse, I tried to make it up at a blackjack table, playing the game that gives me the highest win percentage. But I stil had yet to have a winning blackjack session on this trip, for I lost an additional $875, for a total loss on the session of $1193. My total deficit for the trip at the end of Day 2: $1998. Not good!

     I felt I had something to prove regarding blackjack, so at about 5:30 in the morning, I went down to the casino, and got on to an uncrowded blackjack table, and finally had a winning session, winning $125. I felt like maybe I was going to get back on track. I wanted to get into a craps game, but at that time of the morning, the only craps game available was a new electronic craps game, recently acquired by L'Auberge, which I don't trust to save myself. Later for that.

     My wife and I then had breakfast, then checked out of our room. It turns out that both nights were able to be comped--well damn, I dropped nearly 2 G's there, so those nights had better be comped!

     Afterwards, I went to Golden Nugget, while my wife did some shopping. I played some blackjack, and won $100 there. I got onto a waiting list to play poker over there, and in the meantime, played some craps. I didn't get the chance to shoot the dice--there were too many people in front of me. And the table was cold at first. Then came this one player who looked to be a controlled shooter. I was determined to lose at most $100, since that was what I'd won at the blackjack table. I had only enough for one Place bet, which I put on the 8. Fortunately, the shooter soon rolled an 8, enabling me to place the 6. Then he started hitting that too, and I soon had the inside numbers all covered. The shooter hit enough of them to get my money back at the craps table, plus an additional $85 before I had to bee-line it to the poker room to grab my seatt. There, I won $41 after an hour, for a total session win of $226 at Golden Nugget.

     After a delicious but long lunch at Saugrass (which is in Golden Nugget), my wife and I returned to L'Auberge for one final assault. I was only able to get into a blackjack game. It was a struggle, but finally, I ended up $125 ahead (again today). I wanted to play craps, as there finally was a spot open on the craps table, but by that time, it was too close to the time my wife and I were due to leave Lake Charles on the bus to head home to Houston. So I declared myself all gambled out at that point.

     On the last day of the trip, I won $476 altogether, but ended up $1522 down for the trip. I couldn't stay ahead for the year either. But still, I did have fun, and maybe this experience will encourage me to try other places besides Lake Charles, where I'd have more choices and availability to play the games I want to play. Plus, out of that $1522 loss, only $115 was due to craps. I even was $93 ahead, overall, regarding my poker playing. Go figure.

December 9, 2021 -- My 100th Lake Charles Trip

     Just this morning, I wrote a Python program that enumerates my Lake Charles trips, and outputs how well I did on each one. The program does the same thing for my Vegas trips (I keep records of my gambling results in a database). When I finished the program, and ran it, I was surprised to learn that this last trip to Lake Charles was actually my 100th trip there--and that's over the span of only 8 years. Compare that to 26 Las Vegas trips in 23 years. Just a thought. ☺

December 5-7, 2021 -- LAKE CHARLES IX -- LEARNING HOW TO HAVE FUN AGAIN

     I have to admit, my last trip to Lake Charles, from a gambling aspect, was not fun at all. There were at least two occasions that I was getting really upset from losing, and I realized, upon returning from that trip, that I have to find a way to make this fun again, or I may as well not do this again. So I set out on this trip to Lake Charles, three weeks later, to make this trip fun.

     After making sure I was sufficiently rested from that three-hour bus ride from Houston, which could be exhausting at times, my wife and I went down to the casino at L'Auberge, where we stayed. Unlike previous times, where I'd give her some money to play with, so she can shoot the dice, my wife came with her own bankroll, and at the craps table, we both bought in for $500. This table was a $25 table, and I was not up for trying any risky regression strategy, especially early on, when I hadn't even gotten a feel for the table. Good thing I only played the 6's and the 8's because I really struggled, shooting the dice. My wife had the better shoots, and she is the epitome of a random shooter. We didn't exactly bet the same--I would stick to the 6's and the 8's, while she'd have only one place bet out there, and she'd change it from time to time. Somehow, when we cashed out, we both cashed out for $510. Only a ten-dollar profit, but it was enough to get our feet wet.

     As far as craps goes, the biggest story of this trip occurred when my wife and I walked over to the Golden Nugget. There, the craps table was a $15 table, but there was only one spot open on Stick Right 1. My wife let me take that spot. It was going to be a while before I was to get the dice, but I decided to bet a little on some the other shooters--part of my way of having fun again. I was betting 6's and 8's on those shooters who were setting the dice, but for the first three shooters, that was not working at all, for they all crapped out before a single 6 or 8 was rolled. Still I didn't panic, for I was barely 100 in the hole. Then a thirty-ish black female, became the shooter in the right hook, two spots from me. And when I placed my sixes and eights, immediately, they started hitting, and after the third such hit, I branched out from there to the other numbers. And they were hitting too. Then I pressed them up, on every other roll. I even was playing the hardways, something I usually don't do on my own shoot, but after I did on this shooter, six hardways hit, and I was really cutting up, much to the shooter's amusement, as well as her boyfriend's amusement, and the amusement of my wife, who was watching from a nearby vacant blackjack table. After one particular hardway hit, I pressed 6 up to 90. That hit three more times, each of which, I was yelling out "BULL-LLACKOUT!!" meaning that I could get a black chip for a payout, since those rolls each yielded $105. I felt like I hadn't had this much fun at a craps table in a long time. It brought to mind something I used to say a long time at a craps table: "Doesn't matter who's shooting, as long as I make the money." I ended up making $893 at that table, and I didn't even shoot the dice. That was the biggest win I ever had at Golden Nugget (previous best was $701 from 5½ years ago). This win reminded me why craps is my favorite casino game.

     We then returned to L'Auberge, where I won a quick $100 at the blackjack table, putting me into four figures as far as profits goes. Then my wife and I had a delicious steak dinner at the Ember Steakhouse at L'Auberge. Afterwards, I decided to play some poker, which I did for 2 hour, winning $226. From there, we went back to the craps table. Again, I struggled with my shooting, and my wife had somewhat better shoots. But my bets were hitting a little more than hers were. She lost $85, while I won $67. Then I played blackjack, where I won another $300, for a total casino win of $593. I finished the day $1596 ahead. Not a bad haul!

     After having breakfast at L'Auberge, my wife and I returned to the craps table. There, things got off to a rocky start, as we both struggled with our shoots. I ended up losing $244, and my wife, aboyt 100. Fortunately for me, I made mine back at the blackjack table, winning $312.50, turning the session into a $68.50 win.

     My first session loss occurred at the poker table at Golden Nugget where I lost $178 after 2 hours. fortunately, I won $225 at the blackjack table back at L'Auberge. It wasn't until after we had a late lunch off-property, that we returned to the craps table at L'Auberge. This time, again, my wife and I both struggled with our shoots, but we had a little better luck with our betting. I ended up $18 ahead, while my wife won $58. I think the main difference was that on two occasions, I had $20 odds bets that didn't hit, that she didn't have. From there, I won another $150 at the blackjack table. Then I decided to play poker in the poker room.

     I'm going to try to keep this next part as brief as possible, since this is a craps blog, not a poker blog, but I feel it is important that I mention this, because this session at L'Auberge, ended up easily being my biggest win of the year. Apparently, this poker room on Monday nights, has a free-roll contest where if you choose a slot that coincides to the last digit of the football score of both teams playing, at the end of each quarter, you win $250. And that also applies for the final score. Whatever. I entered at the last minute, during the first quarter of the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills. Again, whatever, I was there to play poker. After a little over 2 hours, I was over $400 ahead, and it was getting late, and my wife and I hadn't eaten dinner yet. As for the sports betting aspect of this, nobody won for the first three quarters, and it was down to the two-minute warning, and people were mentioning that some guy with the initials JSS could possibly win the whole thing, if the score remained 14-10 New England. I then said that MY initials are JSS. In other words, I was the one about to win the whole thing! About the same time, my wife came back (after winning $200 at the craps table, while I played poker) to get me, so we can have dinner, but I and another person had to explain to my wife that I had to be there until the time ran out in order to win the prize money. Se we stuck around until the clock ran out, then I ended up winning the whole prize pool--$1250 in all! Again, the whole sports betting thing made me no nevermind, since I was there to play poker, and apparently, I had profited $450 at the poker table, which by itself, brought my current session at L'Auberge to a profit of $618. I would have been happy with that, but then I had this other money to deal with. I only ended taking $875 of the 1250, due to state and federal taxes they had to take out. Again, the whole thing made me no nevermind, since I didn't come to the poker room to try to win a free-rolling sports betting contest, which I had to be seated at a poker table to win--it was interesting to see how quickly that poker table completely emptied out, once I was declared the winner, plus it was interesting to see how mad some of the others were at me for winning it. Come on, guys, it's not that serious! But it was very nice to put that extra $875 in my pocket, boosting my session win at L'Auberge up to $1493, easily making this my biggest win at L'Auberge (my previous best was the $950 from this past July), and also easily my biggest win of the year. You can bet that when my wife and I had dinner at a Chinese restaurant on-property, shortly thereafter, I was on an incredible high, having won $1608.50 for the day, being up $3204.50 for the trip!

     Something else I have to say here, in light of the last paragraph: I am not a sports bettor, and I never will be (for an explanation on how I reached this conclusion 10 years ago, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com). Upon returning home, I learned that many poker players are also hard-core sports bettors. That's just not me. As I said, my favorite casino game is craps. Plus, the whole sports betting thing was just like a pick-two thing for me, and the two digits I chose were completely at random. Now how about this for a pick-two: My three biggest wins on this trip all ended in 93 ($1493, $893, and $593). Crazy, huh?

     Of course, I had to come down from my euphoric state the previous night, didn't I? After my wife and I ate breakfast at Starbuck's in the Golden Nugget, we both played on the craps table. There, the betting worked out pretty badly for both of us, but in the two rolls I had, where I shot a 7 and a 9, I re-discovered a dice grip, which I had started out this year, before switching to another grip. To me, the four-finger grip, with my pinky and index fingers on the outer corners of the dice works best for me. I discovered this too late to save this session, for I lost $272. Although my wife lost less than that, she declared herself, all gamvled out. I would play one more session before I'd declare myself all gambled out.

     I would have continued the last session, if my wife and I didn't need to check out of our room at L'Auberge. But after we did, we retuendd to the craps table--only I played, for my wife was already all gambled out. At this table, I shot from the end, using my Yo-Yo (6/5-5/6) dice set, and my four-fingered grip, and I shot an 18, making points of 5 and 9, and rolling hardways of 4 and 10. Of course, I would have made more than just $144 if I was betting my Two-Hit Blackout strategy. But since my shooting had been at best shaky lately, I decided against that. Maybe next time, now that I've gotten my grip back.

     I tried to build on the craps win, playing blackjack, but ended up getting smacked (I think the cards are always bad at mid-day at L'Auberge, come to think about it). I stopped, losing $662.50, once it really started not being fun anymore. I didn't want to go back to how I was when I stopped gambling on my last trip. So with a net loss for the session of $518.50, I declared myself all gambled out.

     Even with the two losses I suffered on the last day, this trip still ended up being the most profitable of the year, for I ended up $2414 ahead for the trip. That was enough to pull me out of the hole for the year, for I'm now ahead $666.50 for the year, which was, more or less how I started this year. I would never have thought after the last trip, that I'd pull myself out of the hole for the year with just one trip. Maybe this should be the last gambling trip I do for this year...? Anyway, my main goal was accomplished, learning how to have fun again on these gambling trips. I am still smiling now, as I write this. ☺

November 14-16, 2021 -- LAKE CHARLES VIII -- 100 MONTH ANNIVERSARY -- SO MUCH FOR THAT PRETTY IDEA

     Today, November 14th, 2021, marks 100 months exactly that my wife and I have been together (we met 7/14/2013). So this trip was meant for us to be together, and to celebrate our time together

     If only the gambling had cooperated.

     At L'Auberge, after winning $125 at a blackjack table, then I played craps. My shooting was terrible, always sevening out early. My wife, the epitome of a random shooter, was nonetheless the better shooter. I "only" lost $174 at that table. I managed to eek out a win, winning $60 at another blackjack table, for an overall win of $11.

     From there, my wife and I went to Golden Nugget. There, I played poker, winning $111. I then played blackjack, waiting for a spot to open up at the craps table. Turned out to a big mistake, for the cards were horrible, and I lost $800. After dinner at Vic & Anthony's (a very nice steak dinner, BTW), the craps table opened up. Again, my shooting was not good, but another shooter's roll netted me $114. Silly me, thinking I could make up the other $575 at the blackjack tables, thinking the cards had changed. Instead, I lost another $412.50, for a net loss at Golden Nugget of $987.50. Blackjack, my highest-winning percentage casino game, ruined a perfectly good win.

     We returned to L'Auberge, and I got onto a craps table. At times, just at the previous craps tables, I was using the Quarter Pounder With Ease strategy (thank you, Bryan for developing this strategy) for a roll or two on other shooters, and it would work out, minimizing the losses on my rolls. On someone else's roll, I ended up winning $169 at the table. What also made that table enjoyable was a colorful black woman named Lily, whose commentary made me laugh from time to time. A lady after my own heart, only that it's already taken. Anyway, if only I'd stopped there. But I HAD to try for a big win at the poker table. At one point, I was ahead over $350, but then I lost several big pots, and eventually busted out for my $500 buy-in. Worse yet, I lost another $925 at the blackjack table. Day 1 ended on a VERY sour note.

     It wasn't until mid-day that I even started gambling again. It was at the Golden Nugget on the craps table that I played. Again, I was plagued with early crap-outs, although I had ONE time that I was able to regress down, after doing 220 inside for two rolls at the $10 table. I got most of my money back on someone else's shoot, but then I just had to try to get the rest back on my next shoot. Point-Seven-Out again!! I ended up $342 down there. After losing another $500 at the poker table at L'Auberge, I was through for the trip.

     As far as gambling goes, this was my worst trip to Lake Charles in about 6½ years, for I ended up down $3012 altogether. So much for that pretty idea of finishing up for the year. I'm now down $1747.50 for the year.

     There would be no gambling on this day. Yes, I still had some gambling money left, but I didn't feel like risking any more of it. For some reason, I'm just plain off on this trip, and I need to head home, re-charge, and try it again at a much later time.

     One of my other hobbies is writing fictional stories. About 3½ years ago, I wrote a story, in which one of the scenes was that of a female dice controller who was very much off for a long trip to Vegas, only to find out that she was pregnant. She had this totally befuddled look on her face as she kept crapping out early. But now it is me who is befuddled. Since I'm not gambling today, I'm creating this entry into the Craps Blog. My wife and I still have a few hours before our bus is due to leave, heading home to Houston. We still have time to spend together, and enjoy each other's company, the way we always do. My wife loves people-watching, and she saw a man, who was at the same craps table as I was on Sunday, get thrown out of the casino for trying to take pictures on his cell phone, something he was trying to do on Sunday, as well, apparently. My wife had told me then that he was going to get thrown out, and apparently, she was right. She also said that she thinks he had come to Lake Charles on the same bus as we did on Sunday. I hope she's wrong.

     Since I'm not gambling today, I'm creating this entry into the Craps Blog. My wife and I still have a few hours before our bus is due to leave, heading home to Houston. We still have time to spend together, and enjoy each other's company, the way we always do. My wife loves people-watching, and she saw a man, who was at the same craps table as I was on Sunday, get thrown out of the casino for trying to take pictures on his cell phone, something he was trying to do on Sunday, as well, apparently. My wife had told me then that he was going to get thrown out, and apparently, she was right. She also said that she thinks he had come to Lake Charles on the same bus as we did on Sunday. I hope she's wrong.

     With nothing else left to say, I'll just conclude this blog entry here. Hopefully, I'll have better luck the next time I come out to Lake Charles.

November 6, 2021 -- ENUMERATION AND RENUMERATION

     It occurred to me after finishing the blog entry regarding my latest trip to Lake Charles, that I really need to enumerate these trips, since there are so many of them in the blog already. So I assigned roman numerals to each of the seven Lake Charles trips I have in the blog (I decided against emumerating them based on the total trips I made to Lake Charles in the past 8 years, which is actually 95). Also, on the multi-day trips where I had the last day first, I re-organized those entries too, so to the reader, it would make more sense. I hope you like the changes. ☺

November 3-5, 2021 -- LAKE CHARLES VII

Day 1

     Unlike previous trips to Lake Charles. where I also had to work, I didn't have to, this time. That's because my software development contract had emded five days earlier. So I had a lot more time for actual gambling.

     At first, I couldn't get onto any craps tables, so I played blackjack first, winning a semi-quick 50 at L'Auberge, theh winning $17.50 combined at two very choppy blackjack tables at Golden Nugget. Then I played poker. still at Golden Nugget, winning 148, for a combined win of $165.50, and a total profit margin so far of $215.50. After dinner, I played blackjack at L'Auberge once again, winning $200, extending my profit margin to $415.50. But dammit, I still wasn't able to get into any craps games!

     After my wife and I took a rest, we decided to go back into the casino, still at L'Auberge, and finally, I got into a craps game. Lately, I'd been experimenting with a lower toss, but when I tried it, it was like a bomb went off, and I kept crapping out early before I could regress with my Two-Hit Blackout strategu. I ended up losing $1013 at that table. Oh sure, I got $12 of it back at the poker table after 5 hours (I do admit also, paying more attention to poker lately as well), so my loss for the session was $1001, making me down $585.50 for the day.

Day 2

     After breakfast, I got into a craps game at Golden Nugget. This table was a $10 table, and here, I used half of my Two-Hit Blackout strategy, doing 220 inside for two rolls, then regressing down to 2 units. That lasted long enough for me to win $64 (I crapped out not long after the regression). Then I won an additional $112.50 at the blackjack table, for a combined win of $176.50, chopping my deficit down to $409.

     My biggest win of the trip was at the blackjack table, when my wife and I returned to L'Auberge, where I won $537.50, getting me out of the hole.

     What seemed to be the highlight of this trip, regarding my craps shooting, occurred in the mid-afternoon, when I got onto a $15 table at L'Auberge. I shot a 17 from the right end, using my Yo-Yo dice set, with the lower toss. I also used my Two-Hit Blackout strategy, but instead, regressing after only one roll. That's because initially on the come-out, I had a seven-winner, plus two snake-eye rolls, which the Whirl bet (part of my strategy) covered, making me a net of $84 for those 3 rolls. Plus I was still gun-shy about leaving those bets out there too long, after getting smacked the previous night. There were a lot of horn rolls in that set of 17, but I still ended up $231 ahead, when I crapped out. I did win $40.50 more at three very choppy blackjack tables, but then lost 210 playing poker. I did manage to salvage a total win of $61.50 for the session, making my profit margin an even $190.

     We then had dinner at Charlie's, off the casino property, and I got stuffed, having a verg delicious burger with three different cheeses, but the potato skin appetizers was really what did it. They were great. The only place where I had better potato skins was at the Peppermill restaurants in San Jose and Daly City California (this was over 20 years ago, when I used to live in the Bay Area). They don't have these at the Peppermill in Las Vegas, and I'm hoping to see in the near future, if they have them at the Peppermill casino in Reno.

     Okay, enough digression, back to the casinos! After dinner my wife and I went to Golden Nugget. There, I got into a $10 craps game. Initially, I was doing my Two-Hit Blackout strategy, scaled down to half the risk, due to it being only a 10-dollar table. But after four rolls in a row of being non-productive horn numbers, I took the bets down, and did 2 units inside instead. I soon crapped out. It was only because I bet on a random shooter at the right time, that I was able to get my money back at this table, plus $23. Then I went over to a blackjack table, which was pretty good. At one point, while the dealer was shuffling, I had time to think. I was up $187.50 at that table. I added the $23 I won at the craps table, and I figured, that made up for the 210 I lost at the poker table earlier. With that in mind, I left, booking a $210.50 win at Golden Nugget, boosting my profits up to $400.50. And that's where it ended for the day

     However, that would be the last time I would be ahead for this trip.

Day 3

     I was hoping to increase my profit margin early this morning, so I went to the craps table at L'Auberge, where my wife and I were staying. But this session would prove disastrous. Three different rolls, I crapped out early, using my aforementioned strategy here on a $15 table. I lost $1083 at the craps table, which was probably the same one that I'd lost at earlier at L'Auberge (the dice were really behaving weird). Nack in the hole again, this time for $532.50.

     After breakfast and checkout, I thought I'd try to win back the money at the blackjack table, still at L'Auberge, just like I did the previous day. But this table was absolutely horrible, and I, instead ended up losing another $925. That loss really stung!

     From there, my wife and I walked over to Golden Nugget. There, I got into a poker game. I decided to play this first, mainly to calm my nerves, since it is a slower-paced game, and I'd lose my money slower. Coincidentally, after 2 hours, I won the exact same amount here that I did in the first poker session--$148. Lots of exciting highlights from these poker sessions, which I won't get into here, but if you want to know more details about what happened, email me at musicaldice323@gmail.com, and I'll tell you all about it.

     I had one final session back at L'Auberge. First of all, I won $200 combined at two blackjack tables (175 + 25). Then, I went to a craps table, which I think was the same one where I'd won $231 at the previous day (and also where I'd won $950 at back in July). I felt I had something to prove there, so I did my full Two-Hit Blackout strategy, shooting from the end, using my Yo=Yo dice set. This time, hitting two 9's for my two inside hits, I was able to regress. I did press the 9, since I had already rolled it twice. However, the next roll was seven-out. I won $88 at the craps table, for a final session win of $288. I finished the trip down $1021.50, but fortunately, I still am ahead $1264.50 for the year.

     I think the big takeaway from this trip is that I need to practice more. And since I have a lot more extra time, I will.

October 30, 2021

     At least for now, I anticipate having a little more time to go to Lake Charles, and travel more because my contract ended yesterday. I have a Lake Charles trip planned starting Wednesday next week. Stay tuned for those results!

October 23, 2021 -- ATLANTIC CITY PART 2

     Today, my wife and I returned to Atlantic City for another longer day, and more of a chance to enjoy the sights and sounds (and more time to play). The Amtrak train schedule is much different on the weekend than it is during the week, and we took full advantage of that. Instead of just 4 hours, we had 11 hours to work with. How did I do this time? I'm about to tell you...

     Like on Thursday, the adventure started at Bally's. This time, I started at the craps table. I shot from Sticl Left 1, using the Hardway dice set. I used a two-hit regression strategy, but only 220 inside, instead of 440 inside, as per my Two-Hit Blackout strategy. It was a 15-dollar table, so when I regressed, I went down to 3 units across with 2X odds. I rolled 10 times, enough to make $133 by the time I crapped out. I made an additional 200 at the blackjack table, for a total win at Bally's of $333.

     After quite some time on the boardwalk and on the beach, where my wife took lots of pictures, we ducked into the Wild Wild West casino. There. I played craps, shooting from the end, using my Yo-Yo (6/5-5/6) dice set. Unfortunately, more went wrong than right. Here, I tried the Two-Hit Blackout strategy, and point-sevened out the first time I got the dice. The second time I shot, I rolled 10 times, which partially made up for the last shoot, but then I point-sevened out again when I got the dice for a third time. I left the table after losing $635.

     From there, it was next door to Caesar's for the next part of this adventure. After having lunch at a Chinese noodle restaurant, I played craps at a 25-dollar table. Again, I shot from the end. From the beginning, I was not getting a good vibe from the dealers at the table. Worse yet, when I tried to do a 15-dollar Whirl bet, part of my strategy when I play at other 25-dollar tables, they wouldn't let me do it, stating I had to bet at least $25. I only play the Whirl bet to hedge my Pass Line bet on the come-out. Why bet $25 to hedge a 25-dollar bet? Anyway, I skipped the Whirl bet, established a point of 10, and did 440 inside, attempting my Two-Hit Blackout strategy, with the intention of regressing down to five units across after the two hits, not taking odds at first (my adjustment for a 25-dollar table, using this strategy). However, after just one hit on the inside numbers, I crapped out. I left that table down $325. The only reason why I was able to salvage a win at this casino was because of an epic back-and-forth battle I then had at the blackjack table. In the end, I won $350 there, for a net win at Caesar's of $25.

     From there, my wife and I walked up the boardwalk, taking quite some time to take pictured. Eventually. we got to the Resorts casino. where I got into a craps game. This time, I shot from Stick Left 1, and using the Hardway dice set, I shot 12 times, using pretty much the same betting strategy that I used at Bally's, not feeling ready yet to try my Two-Hit Blackout strategy again. Here, I had more non-productive rolls than at Bally's, and I only made $90 at the Resorts. Still, that was enough to chop my overall deficit for the day by about one-third (-$277 down to -$187).

     By this time, it was getting into the evening hours, and I was looking to get into a poker game. We next went to the Hard Rock casino, where I'd once played poker back in late 2010, the last time I was in Atlantic City, prior to Thursday, and back when this casino was known as the Trump Taj Mahal. But much to my surprise, they don't have poker there now. So instead, I played blackjack at the Hard Rock first. They have plexiglass there, which was a big turn-off, for since I'm viaually impaired, I need the dealers to read to me their top card, and it's harder to hear them through the plexiglass. I did manage to win $47.50 before I went to the craps table. They have plexiglass there too, but only at the positions closest to the stick man. At first, there was someone shooting the dice from the right end, and someone else standing at the left end, whereas I was standing at Stick Left 1. I was totally prepared to shoot from that position, but after the shooter crapped out, the player at the left end left the table, and I immediately moved to that position, where there was no plexigkass to get in the way of my shooting the dice. There, I dared try the Two-Hit Blackout strategy. using my Yo-Yo dice set. I felt like I had something to prove to myself, given what happened earlier. I made an adjustment to how I was releasing the dice, and I did just well enough to regress down to 4 units across after the two hits. But shortly thereafter, I crapped out, but I made $135 at the craps table, for a total Hard Rock win of $182.50. My deficit at that point was only $4.50.

     I did manage to play poker at the Borgata, which seems to be the mecca for poker players in Atlantic City. I'm proud to say that after only 45 minutes of play at 1/3 No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em, I won $230. I know none of this is relevant to craps, but this I have to mention because of what happened next.

     There was a long line of people waiting to cash in their chips at the cashier. It was rather warm inside the Borgata, due to it being really crowded. While my wife and I were in line, we heard this loud thud in front of us. Apparently a woman. waiting in line, dressed unusually warmly, had passed out and fallen to the floor. The security was able to revive her (she had no pulse initially), but my wife told me that they handled things all wrong. For the woman had gone into a hypoglycemic shock, due to low blood sugar, and collapsed. While they were right to give the woman orange juice initially to get some sugar into her, they kept giving her orange juice, when they should have given her water instead, for the woman, who was sweating profusely, was also dehydrated. My wufe, a trained nurse, offered to help the situation, but the security said that they got it. Needless to say, my wife was pissed off! What pissed her off even more that it wasn't until after I had cashed in my chips, and we were stepping out of the casino to catch a cab back to Bally's, when we finally saw the paramedics arrive. And this was at least another 20 minutes later!

     What was almost lost during all the excitement, was the fact that I had finally pulled myself out of the hole, and was up $225.50 at that point.

     Our initial plan was to walk back up the boardwalk to an eatery we had come to earlier, when we walked up to the Resorts casino. My wife had gotten a funnel cake earlier, and we wanted to try the pizza there. But when we arrived at the boardwalk just outside Bally's it had started raining, so we ducked into Bally's, and fortunately, found an indoor eatery similar to what was outside. After we ate, we decided to get souvenirs at the gift shop, still in Bally's. once that was done, I tried to get into one final craps game. But the table was full, so I, instead, played blackjack, and won another $200. That finished the gambling. I ended up $425.50 ahead for the day, and $971 ahead for the two trips to Atlantic City. That increased my profit margin for the year up to $2286.

     Despite a long four-hour layover in Philadelphia, which turned into five, because the train was late, we were both quite happy, having done what we'd set out to do. Unfortunately, there was little time to rest, once we got off the train at New Carrollton, and got back to our hotel in Bowie, for we had to get ready to check out, and visit my aunt one last time, before flying back to Houston. You can bet we're going to crash, once we get home!

October 21, 2021 -- ATLANTIC CITY PART 1

     My wife amd I flew out to the D.C. Area to see a beloved aunt of mine who is 92 years old, and in an assisted living home. I wanted to make sure to see her, just in case...Well anyway, while we're out here, we decided to take a couple trips to Atlantic City. This is my wife's first time in Atlantic City, and it is my first time back there in over 10 years.

     We rode into Atlantic City on Amtrak, a train ride that took almost 4 hours. When we got there, we took a shuttle bus out to the Bally's casino. For me, it all began there 28 years ago--that's where I'd placed my first bet in a real live casino--on a roulette table. No roulette today, however. I have quite a different game plan these days.

     After winning $100 at blackjack, I went over to a craps table, and stood at the end. Where the dice were, it would take a while for them to come around to me, and time wasn't my most abundant resource today. Fortunately, the shooter that held the dice was pretty good. I eventually tip-toe'd into the game, placing the 6 and the 8 for $12 apiece (it was a $10 table), and when those hit, I started branching out to the other numbers. I was able to get all the numbers covered, and press most of them up to 3 units before the shooter crapped out. I ended up $103 ahead. It may not seem like much, but up until that time, my biggest win in Atlantic City was only $121, and that was at Bally's the last time I was there in late 2010. So I'll gladly take this $203 win.

     Prior to this trip, I wasn't even aware of the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City (I knew of, and playes at the ones in Lake Charles and Las Vegas). After finishing up at Bally's, that's where my wife and I next went, with me having my Golden Nugget players card. This time, I went to the craps table first. This table was a $15 table, and I got to shoot the dice from Stick Left 1, my favorite position to shoot. Since this was my first time shooting the dice in Atlantic City, although I was tempted to use my Two-Hit Blackout strategy, I couldn't do it. How was I to know I was going to shoot an 18 using my Hardway (4/2-4/2) dice set? I ended up winning $105 before crapping out. I made 4 points (4,6,9,and 10) along the way, but little else as far as hitting box numbers. I played only the inside numbers at first, which didn't help, for five of those 18 rolls were 10's. Next time I come to Atlantic City, which will be on Saturday, I'll have more time, and will take more risks. But I ended up winning $317.50 at Golden Nugget, due also to a $212.50 win at the blackjack table.

     After a quick $25 win at Caesar's (another casino I'd never been to before in Atlantic City), my wife and I had to head back to the Amtrak station to take the train back into the D.C. Area (New Carrollton MD was the actual stop). I ended up $545.50 ahead for the trip, bringing my profit margin up to $1860.50 for the year as a whole. Not bad at all.

     Stay tuned for Part 2 of this trip, which will be on Saturday 10/23. Hopefully, I can build on this success.

October 18, 2021 -- A MUST-SEE FOR DICE SHOOTERS

     Last night, I saw a video uploaded by Hawaii Craps Shooters (and BTW, they put out awesome content). I am really excited about this particular one, for it is really informative about dice shooting. Bryan's special guest, Howard Rock 'N' Roll goes into how important the toss is to dice influence (he, like Beau Parker, the Dice Coach, does not call it dice control). Here's the link: Hawaii Craps Shooters / HowardRockNRoll In the video, you'll see Bryan along with Mar and Cory, taking Howard's class, and Hpward working with each of them on their grip and their toss. Watching that really made me think about how I'm gripping and tossing the dice, and for anyone serious about dice shooting, it will make you think too. I think the video is so important that I decided, strictly on my own, to provide a link to it. Good luck! ☺

September 16-18, 2021 -- LAKE CHARLES VI: AFTER THE STORM

     Lately, my wife and I have been very busy with various projects. Plus, we were worried about how much the route we'd travel on was affected by Hurricanes Ida and Nicholas. But we decided to go this past Thursday until Saturday.

     We arrived at L'Auberge in Lake Charles in the afternoon, and after taking some time to unwind, we went to the casino floor.

     After winning $75 on a blackjack table, I went to a craps table. There, as in all my craps sessions, except the last one, I played at Stick Left 1, using my Hardway dice set (4/2-4/2). On this first session, admittedly, I was playing cautiously, or scared craps, as I sometimes call it. I did shoot a 13 on my first roll, but a lot of those rolls were rolls that I didn't have a bet on (4 and 10 came up a lot, along with a lot of horn numbers). I was surprised to come out only $15 ahead.

     I decided to play another round of blackjack before my wife and I went to dinner. I had a more substantial win there--$150, in fact. So we went to dinner $240 ahead.

     The weather was quite iffy the first day, so we had decided not to walk over to Golden Nugget, or go swimming yet, like we usually do. I spent the rest of the first day at the poker table, from 8pm until 1am. Without getting into details, I got my money back plus $26.

     I had to work on Friday, but it wasn't that busy of a day, so we managed to squeeze in some gambling sessions as well as some time at the pool.

     I'd won $125 at the blackjack table before coming back to the casino to play craps. I was thinking about playing my Two-Hit Blackout strategy, but I started out with two 7-winners on my shoot. I didn't feel comfortable putting out a lot of money on the inside numbers, and I'm already rolling 7's. So I played cautiously again, though not quite as cautious as the previous day. I did shoot a 20 this time, but again, a lot of non-productive rolls. Beside the three 7's on my shoot, there were also 6 horn rolls, and some 4's and 10's that didn't help. But I still ended up $104 ahead, plus that shoot was just good enough to make my Best Shoots page. Check it out.

     The weather was better this day for a walk over to Golden Nugget. There, I got into a craps session on a $10 table (the previous ones at L'Auberge were at $15 tables). There, at first, I did a scaled-down version of my Two-Hit Blackout strategy--meaning I'd only do 220 inside, instead of 440 inside, and then regress the bets after two hits. Such was my intention, however, on my first two shoots, I pretty much point-sevened-out both times. Then I decided to do my full Two-Hit Blackout strategy (designed for a $15 table), which involved putting $20 on the Pass Line, and 440 inside, regressing to 4 units all the way across. That worked for about 10 rolls. Fortunately, just before that last shoot of mine, there was a guy who was on a long roll, and I was betting on the latter part of it. Still, when I cashed out, after my last shoot, I was surprised that I'd gotten all my money back, plus a whopping $6.

     We went back to L'Auberge to rest for a bit before deciding to go back to Golden Nugget to get our wristbands, needed to use the big cloverleaf hot tub at the Nugget at night. I decided on a couple of quickies before also us eating dinner at the Nugget. At L'Auberge, I won a quick $100 at the blackjack table. However, at the Nugget, prior to dinner, I lost $412.50 at the blackjack table there. Damn! But we got the wristbands, and ate at Lily's, a nice Chinese food restaurant.

     We returned to L'Auberge to rest up before doing the late night hot tub thing at Golden Nugget. But before we got to our room at L'Auberge to rest up, I decided on another session first. I won $175 at the blackjack table. Then I got onto a $25 craps table. There, I used a modified version of my Two-Hit Blackout strategy. I did the same 440 inside for two hits, but upon regression, I did across for 5 units, instead of 4, because of the table minimum. However, I didn't put down any odds at first because that way, I made sure I had at least $100 in profit after regression. I built up my odds after the next two hits. That was all I could do, for I then crapped out. Still, I made $136 at the craps table, for total win of $311 for the session. That would turn out to be my best session of the entire trip.

     We went to the hot tub that night, and it was great. Got to talk to some interesting people, and I saw some nice eye candy. It was a very relaxing time. No more gambling until the next and final day.

     Boy did I get smacked on that final day! First of all, I lost $1000 at the blackjack table. Then after breakfast, I went to the craps table. I first did my old 220 inside regression strategy at the $15 table, with the intention of regressing down to three units across with 2X odds (netting a profit of at least $9 after regression), but I crapped out after one hit. Then on my next shoot, I decided not to B.S. around, and do my full Two-Hit Blackout strategy, doing 440 inside, etc. That ended in a PSO! I lost $672 for that session. THAT really stung!

     We checked out of our room, then went over to Golden Nugget. We decided that for our last meal before we head back, we would eat at this bar and grill there, like we did the last couple of times. But before all that, I played some blackjack there, and won $225. Then I played some poker there for 2½ hours. If I had more time, I would have played longer. I did all right at first, but one bad decision on an all-in, soured everything for the session, as I lost $384 at the poker table, for a net loss of $159 for the session.

     After eating a late lunch at the bar and grill at Golden Nugget, we returned to L'Auberge for my final session of the trip. First, I played craps at a $25 table. This time, unlike the previous craps sessions, I shot from the end, and I was using my Yo-Yo (6/5-5/6) dice set. Again, I didn't place odds after regression at first, ensuring at least a $100 profit. I rolled long enough to make $157. Then I played one final round of blackjack, falling behind at first, but getting it back plus $25. The time was drawing near for us to leave, so I stopped there, with the final session being a win for $182.

     Of course, I ended up booking a losss for the trip (of $1149.50). But at least I'm still ahead for this year ($1315), and it was a fun trip. Plus, as my wife pointed out, at least I ddn't blow my entire bankroll--the majority of it is still intact. She told me that some people who come to these casinos, have businesses, and they put them up for collateral, so they can gamble. My wife had also observed a woman who told her that she'd lost her mortgage payment on the slots. It is times like this that I am reminded to never gamble with money that I cannot afford to lose. Sometimes, one might argue, I play a little too cautiously, for in a way, I treat this gambling thing like a business (going on the philosophy that winning is the most fun), and I think that's how I've been keeping my losses to a minimum.

September 1, 2021 -- IDA

     I was hoping to go to Lake Charles on maybe September 7th to the 9th for another gambling trip, and have those results in the blog. But as many of you are aware, Lake Charles Louisiana took a pounding from Hurricane Ida a few days ago. At this point, I don't know just yet when I'll be able to go back to Lake Charles. Just thought I'd let you know.

August 8-10, 2021 -- LAKE CHARLES V: ONE DAY WITHOUT WORK

     For this trip to Lake Charles, I was determined to have at least ONE day, where I'm not working. So this time, my wife and I decided to go to Lake Charles Sunday to Tuesday.

     Gambling didn't begin right away, for my wife and I spent a lot of time at the swimming pool at L'Auberge (where we're staying). We met a group of cool people, including Tammy, Carrie, and their husbands. Big shout to the four of you!

     After winning $125 at the blackjack table at L'Auberge, we walked over to Golden Nugget, where I got into a craps game. It was at a $15 table, but I did NOT use the Two-Hit Blackout strategy, because it was only my first shoot of the day, and I didn't feel like putting $440 on the inside Place bets, like I normally would at first, if I was using that strategy. Also, I used the Hardway dice set, not the Yo-Yo dice set, as I was standing at Stick Left 1, instead of the end. I opted for three units on the inside, instead of doing a regression betting strategy. If I only knew I'd shoot a big roll! I ended up shooting 26 times! Had I done my Two-Hit Regression strategy, I would have made much more than just $200, but I am not complaining. $200 is still a good win. I made 4 points (4, 5, 6, and 8). And I was using a pendulum swing when I was shooting the dice. Lately, I've been using the pendulum swing, whereas when I started dice setting, I wasn't using a pendulum swing. Am I on to something? Stay tuned for more!

     Around 4:30 in the morning of August 9th, I played blackjack, and won $525. Then about five hours later, after breakfast, and the first of my three Skype meetings, I played blackjack again at L'Auberge, this time with my wife by my side, and won another $550. Yes I know, this is a craps blog, but I play blackjack too on these gambling trips.

     After the last of my three Skype meetings, I played blackjack, and won another $25. From there, I played craps (still at L'Auberge), and virtually nothing went right with the dice. To be fair, I may not have been at my best because I was hungry. I ended up losing $382 at the table, due to early crap-outs before I could regress. I couldn't win 'em all.

     After an early dinner, my wife and I walked to Golden Nugget, where I got into a craps game at a $15 table. I tried my Yo-Yo dice set from Stick Right 1, with very mediocre success (of course, I wasn't using my Two-Hit Blackout strategy, for I was rolling too many sevens on the comeout). I got into some trouble, betting on other shooters, who were crapping out too early. I invested a total of $1000, and at length, I decided to get back to basics, meaning standing at Stick Left 1, my initial favorite position, when I started taking dice setting seriously, and doing the Hardway (4/2-4/2) dice set. Again, I was rolling too many 7-winners, so I didn't do the Two-Hit Blackout strategy, for that reason (fear of rolling another 7 too quickly). I put 4 units on the Pass line, and did a 10-dollar Whirl bet to hedge it on the comeout, like I usually do. Once a point was established, I covered the inside numbers for 4 units, and did 1X odds. In this manner, I slowly made money on the roll, which was surprisingly long. Eventually, I got 4 and 10 in the act, plus I was able to press 5 and 8 up from 4 units to 8, then 15, and then 30. I made points of 4, 6 (twice), and 8. I was even yelling "Bull-llackout!" for rolls of 5 and 8, which each made me $105. And when I pressed them to 30 units, those two numbers each hit once more, allowing me to say "DOUBLE BULL-LLACKOUT!!!" on each of those two rolls. In fact, on the 8, it came hard, and I had a 5-dollar bet on the Hard 8, so I made $255 on that one roll! Including the comeback I had to make, I ended up winning $595, and I ended up rolling 45 times, which obliterated my old best of 35 rolls. WOW!!!!

     The last day, 8/10 started with a before-breakfast blackjack win of $75 at L'Auberge. I hit the craps table after breakfast and checkout. There, it was a $15 table, and I finally got the nerve to do the Two-Hit Blackout strategy. After establishing a point of 9, and after two hits on the inside numbers for $140 each, I regressed to 110 across (including the buys on the 4 and 10), as per my strategy. I was $100 up at that point. I was able to make it $254 ahead before I crapped out on the tenth roll.

     If only I'd stuck to craps! From there, I played blackjack, still at L'Auberge, where I lost $500. I only gamvled twice more, playing blackjack for two drama-filled small blackjack wins; one at Golden Nugget for $50, and finally back at L'Auberge for $25. Altogether, I ended up $1542 for the whole trip. Overall, a nice profitable trip.

July 20-22, 2021 -- LAKE CHARLES IV: MIXING BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE

     Nowadays, I am working from home. But my wife and I get comps for free two-night stays at the L'Auberge casino in Lake Charles Louisiana, just as long as the nights are Sunday through Thursday. So my wife suggested that we head out there for Tuesday and Wednesday nights, coming home Thursday evening.

     After this, I told my wife that I'll pay the $200+ per night to stay at L'Auberge on Friday and Saturday nights, because on the weekends, I am not working, and when I'm working, I'm focused on work, and it's hard to switch back and forth between work and play, especially since I have to collaborate with others to help meet a Friday spring deadline. So for most of the time, I was gambling distracted, which was not good.

     In fact I had four sessions in a row, where I absolutely got clobbered!! This even includes a $350 loss at the craps table, where I had a 15 roll from the end, using my Yo-Yo dice set (6/5-5/6). Problem was, I was using my old 220 inside, regressing to three units across strategy, which leaves me only a small profit upon regression. The money I made on that roll wasn't enough to make up for the loss I'd suffered with an early crap-out. Suffice to say, after losing $625 playing blackjack, then losing another $645, which the craps loss was a part of (also included a $295 loss playing poker), I was not too happy a camper. But at least my wife and I had a great steak dinner at the Ember Steakhouse inside L'Auberge.

     The second day was when I suffered the third and fourth straight losses. However, I can say that a decent craps session came out of it. For during the third straight loss, I was still at L'Auberge, and I played craps, playing from stick left 1. This time, I used the Hardway dice set (4/2-4/2 in this case). I shot 19 times, making $332 in the process, using the same regression stategy as above (I was gun-shy about trying out my Two-Hit Blackout strategy, given how far behind I was). So I won $332 at the craps table, so what was the problem? I'd lost $387.50 at a blackjack table, just prior to playing craps. Then I tried to crawl out of the hole playing at a different blackjack table, but instead ended up $400 further behind, for a total loss of $455.50. I then went over to Golden Nugget, thinking that a change of venue might improve my luck. The craps table was full, so I tried blackjack. Lost $212.50 there. Now, I REALLY wasn't a happy camper, especially since there were technical difficulties coming up at work.

     I didn't even get my first win of the trip until after all the major technical difficulties work-related were resolved, and I was able to get a lot of work done. But even that first win was a struggle. I was in fact planning to launch my Two-Hit Blackout strategy on this $15 table. Problem was, by the time the dice came to me, the table had changed to a $25 table, and I had a change of heart. I played scared craps, instead, only betting on the 6 and the 8. From Stick Right 1, I shot a 10, using my Yo-Yo dice set. But my rolls were all over the place, covering all six box numbers, but very few 6's and 8's, where my bets were. I crapped out before I got all my money back. Fortunately, I got it back on someone else's shoot, playing the same way. I ended up $129 ahead for the session. It's a start.

     Early the next morning (the last morning) before work, I went back to the Golden Nugget. This time, I was able to get onto a $10 craps table. There, I was planning to do a half-sized version of my Two-Hit Blackout strategy (which I apparently did at the Golden Nugget on my last trip to Lake Charles). But I knew I wasn't going to throw any major money out there, upon my first two rolls of the dice. I was doing the Hardway dice set from Stick Left 1, and I rolled two seven-winners. Not what I wanted to see. I established a point of 9, did 34 inside, but my very next roll was seven-out. Fortunately, I barely got my money back on another shooter, cashing out $13 ahead.

     When I returned to L'Auberge, I got into a poker game, and they closed down the poker room a half an hour later, when I was down $187. Wiped out those two craps wins.

     The big story of this trip occurred after the morning work meeting, and after breakfast, and after my wife and I had already checked out of the room. After we did that, we went to the craps table. This time, it was a $15 table, and I was standing at the end with my wife next to me. At that point, I decided I was going to go for it. I was going to do my Two-Hit Blackout strategy, and if I crapped out before I could regress down, I would be done for the trip. When I got the dice, I established a point of 8 and I put 320 inside, plus 120 for odds. My wife and I were both sweating blood at that point. I then rolled a 6, collecting $140 for the roll. Then the next roll was a 9. I joked that that roll was a chart position thing, since the song playing was a #9 hit (the song was "Oops I Did It Again" by Britney Spears). When I took those huge bets down (doing my regression), my wife breathed a huge sigh of relief. Inside, I did too. I replaced the Place bets with 106 across, including the Buys, meaning 4 units on the Place bets. I also replaced the huge odds bet with 2X odds, or $40 in this case. I was already $104 ahead for my shoot (including a $10 Whirl bet I did at the start). From there, using my Yo-Yo dice set, apparently I had only just begun. I made the point of 8, plus three other points, those being 5, 9, and 10. And there were a lot of box number hits in between making the points. And boy were me and my wife cutting up! I got to say "Shut the front door!" when I made each of my points, plus twice I yelled out "Snowflakes!" when I rolled a hard 10, and had bets on each of the hardways (only did that after regressing). At one point, I rolled a hard 6, and I yelled out "Diagonal Pair's there!" Then I told my wife (who loves saying "We love our greens!" which she did quite a bit during all this), that I'd made $74 off that roll. For I had pressed my 6 bet from 24 to 48 by that time, so I made 56 off the Place bet, plus another 18 for the Hardway bet. But then, I ended up making 99 for that roll, for someone had tossed me a green chip for a tip! (that's only happened to me only once or twice before). I took that opportunity to press 6 up to 90 by adding that green chip plus an additional 17 to the Place bet. The next roll was another 6, and I yelled out "Bull-llackout!" because I made enough off that roll to get a black chip for a payout (I made 105 off the roll). That happened one more time, off another roll of 6. I wasn't sure how much I was winning, but I was sure it was over $500. I was also keeping track of the rolls I was making, and at one point, I realized I had rolled over 20 times. When I did crap out, my final tally for the rolls was 145573 61, with the first six digits representing how many Place bet rolls of 4-10 respectively I had made. The second to last digit represents the number of horn rolls I'd made, and the last digit was the number of 7's I'd made. 32 rolls in all!! I hadn't had a roll that long in over two years! (my best roll setting the dice was 35, which I'd done twice) Plus, as it turned out, I'd won $950. This was easily my best win at L'Auberge (topping my previous best of $625, which I'd done on three separate occasions). Plus it shattered my old best win in Lake Charles (previously, it was $775, which I'd done at the Isle of Capri casino on the Fourth of July, 2013, just 10 days before I'd met my wife). And that win was easily the biggest win I had since my wife and I had been together (shattering the old $701 record at the Golden Nugget from 5 years ago). In fact, I'd have to go back over 9 years to find myself having a win that large! Needless to say, my wife and I were very happy campers at that point! And the others at the table, cheering my every roll, was great too.

     No, it wasn't enough to make up for the earlier losses. I only gambled once more after that, winning $100 playing blackjack at the Golden Nugget. I ended up $933 down for the trip, but that huge win at the craps table, using my Yo-Yo dice set, and using my new Two-Hit Blackout strategy, made it all worth it. I can still say that I'm ahead for this year ($922). But as I said, I think the next time my wife and I go to Lake Charles, it will be on the weekend, when I don't have to work.

July 12, 2021 -- THE LEARNING NEVER ENDS

     As of early this morning, July 12th, 2021, I have been playing craps for exactly 23 years now. I remember when I first dared play at a craps table, in the wee hours of the morning of July 12th, 1998, at the Showboat casino in Las Vegas. I played at a $3 table, bet on all the Place bets, and was just randomly chucking the dice to the opposite end. And I didn't even give a thought to pressing those bets, as they hit multiple times. Fortunately, I ended up $28 ahead for that very first craps session.

     Obviously, I've learned a hell of a lot since then. But I've also told people that I'm still learning new things about craps, and I can truthfully say that I'm still learning 23 years after I played my first craps game in a casino. This is especially true, as I've recently developed a new strategy that I plan to try in 8 days, when I travel to Lake Charles. I will tell you how that goes in a future blog entry.

     It also occurred to me that this concept of the learning never ends, has applied to other aspects of my life. For example, I learned how to bowl when I was 9 years old, but it took 22 years for me to bowl my first perfect game. And up until the time that I stopped bowling by the end of 2004 (my eyes were getting bad due to glaucoma at that time), I was still learning and trying new techniques. The same is also true about playing poker. I've been playing Texas Hold 'Em off and on ever since August of 2002, and to this day, I am still learning new things about that game. And in life in general, I am always learning new things, and ways to be a wiser and better person in general. The truth of the matter is, the day you stop learning, is the day you die. I find that a very valuable lesson to learn and keep in mind.

July 7, 2021 -- DICE ROLLS AND MUSIC CHART PEAKS

     Anyone who knows me, knows that I like to talk about music--more precisely, music trivia. That goes for whether I'm at the craps table, the blackjack table, or the poker table.

     Sometimes when I'm at the craps table, and a certain roll comes up on the dice, and a song that happens to be playing at that time, it its high spot on the Billboard Pop chart matches that roll, I like to say "So that's why that roll came up; because this song got up to this spot on the chart." For example, I remember saying something like that when a 9 was rolled, and "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey was playing, for it peaked at #9 on the chart back in 1981. I said a similar thing for "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar, for it topped out at #9 in 1980. I seem to remember saying that sort of thing when a 4 was rolled, while "California Dreamin'" by the Mamas & Papas was playing (#4 in 1966). I also seem to remember saying that for a roll of 10 when "Don't Do Me Like That" by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers was playing (#10 in 1980), as well as a roll of 5 on "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates (#5 in 1981), a roll of 6 for "Little Red Corvette" by Prince (#6 in 1983), and a roll of 8 for "Jet Airliner" by the Steve Miller Band (#8 in 1977).

     However, there is a group of songs, in which I will never point out the dice roll matches the song's chart peak. Those songs, among others, include "Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson, "You May Be Right" by Billy Joel, "Sunglasses At Night" by Corey Hart, "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks, "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty, "I'm Alright" by Kenny Loggins, and especially "Tumbling Dice" by the Rolling Stones. Why won't I do that for these songs? Because these 7 songs all topped out at #7 on the chart, and it's considered to be bad luck to mention the number 7 at the craps table. So at no time will you see me saying that a roll of 7 matched a song's peak on the chart, even if that was the case.

     But you can take note of the fact that I am posting this entry to the Craps Blog on 7/7. I only wish I'd thought of doing this 14 years ago today. ☺

June 19, 2021 -- A TAKE-AWAY FROM LAKE CHARLES

     Although I did sufficiently well at craps to make some money, I felt there was something missing with my throws. As I rode home from Lake Charles, I realized that I hadn't practiced much prior to the trip, unlike previous trips to Lake Charles this year, and unlike my trip to Vegas. I'm making this entry into this blog to stress the importance of practice, practice, practice, when it comes to dice-setting, gripping the dice, and tossing the dice. Only through hours and hours of practice will anyone be really good at dice influence. I tip my hat to such YouTube vloggers and shooters like Big AZ Craps Guru, BoneThrower, Bryan, Mar, and Mel from Hawaii Craps Shooters, and Rick and Josie from LetItRoll. They all have craps tables in their houses where they can practice their techniques. I don't have that luxury. I only have part a floor in the bedroom of an apartment that I share with my wife. But where there is a will, there is a way, and I'm going to try to make of find a better throwing area. Practice does make perfect, as I'd proven for myself, back when I was bowling, for ALL the hours I'd put into bowling, led to a 200+ average the last 8 years I'd bowled, and 15 perfect games.

June 15-17, 2021 -- LAKE CHARLES TRIP III

Day 1

     At first, it was hard getting onto a craps table because they were full, and at both L'Auberge (where me and my wife are staying) and at the Golden Nugget, only one craps table was open. By the time I got to play craps, I had already won $225 at blackjack at L'Auberge, then later returned there for another session, by this time, it was getting close to time to get ready for dinner. So the craps session that followed was a relative quickie. On three occasions, I used what I call an up-and-down strategy. On one shooter, I did an effective 160 across, which hit once for $35, then I took the bets down. Then there was another shooter, with which I employed Bryan (from Hawaii Craps Shooters)'s Quarter Pounder with Ease strategy, making $35 on each of two rolls of this shooter before taking the bets down. Apparently, this was a hot shooter, making at least 8 points, and I felt like a fool not being in on most of his rolls, so eventually, I put some of those profits out there on bets, but he crapped out soon afterwards. I ended up $56 ahead. The dice were taking so long to get around to me that my wife and I decided we couldn't wait that long because of our upcoming dinner reservation. So we left the craps table and headed up to our room, but not before I won a quick $200 at the blackjack table.

     After dinner, my wife and I returned to the craps table, and I finally got to shoot. I used my Yo-Yo dice set (6/5-5/6) shooting from the end. I was playing at a $25 table, and I used a 440 inside regression strategy, keeping the bets up for two rolls (the only reason why I had the balls to do that was because I was slightly over $440 ahead for the trip thus far), then regressing them down to 132 across (the point was 8), with 2x odds. This left me with a $58 profit, which I was able to parlay up to $132 before crapping out on the 7th roll. It was my intention to stay longer, with my wife shooting. But prior to that, it was just me betting, and I told the dealers I was placing a bet for my wife so she can shoot. But the dealers didn't allow that, since she hadn't played prior to this--this is the first time we've ever encountered this. As a result, I colored up, and we left.

     No more craps for this day. I played poker for 4 hours, winning $76, making my total winnings for the day $689. That's all for now.

Day 2

     After winning $150 before breakfast, I finally was able to play craps at the Golden Nugget, which I did after breakfast. I played at a $15 table, and did a 220 inside regression strategy, regressing down to 81 across with 2x odds after two hits. ended up shooting 15 times, making $220 in the process.

     After my win streak of 10 casino wins in a row (shich included the last five from Vegas) came to an end, and I lost $850 playing blackjack, I played craps later, still back at L'Auberge, I won $95 at the craps table. I only stayed for a few rolls, taking my bets down. I think I was trying real hard not to lose more money.

     Afterwards, I had a quick craps session at Golden Nugget, shooting 7 times, enough to do my regression betting successfully, plus a roll or two extra. Then at L'Auberge, it was pretty much the same deal, winning $35 at the craps. The overall win was only $11, however, as I won $125 at the blackjack table, but lost $149 playing poker. Hey, at least it was a small win. I finished the day still ahead, but by $371

Day 3

     As far as craps goes, the last day of the Lake Charles trip got off to a rocky start. I didn't play craps until after breakfast and after my wife and I checked out of our room. By the time I had hit the craps table at L'Auberge, I had won $537.50 playing blackjack, losing 90 of it back just before breakfast. But at the craps table, it seemed like nothing was working. I had used my 220 inside regression style betting, with the intention of taking the bets after the second roll, but I crapped out before that could happen. And nothing I tried on other shooters was working either. I left the table losing $523. But fortunately, I did win all of it back at the blackjack table, where I won $575, to salvage a $52 win for the session.

     Then my wife and I walked over to Golden Nugget. I got into a craps game there. As before, it was a $10 table. It was there that I had my best shoot of the trip, although my profit margin doesn't necessarily reflect that. I shot a 16 on my roll, doing the same 220 inside two-hit regression strategy. This time, it worked, with the two hits being both times I made my point of 6. I couldn't do it the third time that became the point, but I elicited a lot of cheering because I rolled three hard 6's. The dice legend for this shoot was 215010 43. Four non-productive horn rolls may be why I only won $126 this time, compared to $220 yesterday, when I had horn rolls on the comeout making me money, since I like to hedge my Pass Line bet with a whirl bet. Nonetheless, a win is a win.

     I told my wife, as we returned to L'Auberge, that this would be the "final assault" on the tables. Somehow, I found myself on a $10 table at L'Auberge, where they only had $25 tables at first, then $15 tables. I shot from the end again (not one of my shoots on this trip was from my favorite position, Stick Left 1), and that shoot lasted 11 rolls, making a point of 6, but missing on a point of 10. I left the table $95 ahead. I declared myself "all gambled out" after winning an additional $75 at the blackjack table.

     Again, a win is a win, and I will definitely take my $1241.50 total profit for the trip, although I only made a net of $292 from playing craps (I made a net of $1022.50 playing blackjack, and had a net loss of $73 playing poker). My wife and I had a blast. Suffice to say that we did a number of things not related to gambling that we greatly enjoyed. Anyway, we were both sad to have to leave and return to Houston. We will be back for sure!

May 18-22, 2021 -- VEGAS TRIP

Day 1

     After a very hectic start, we managed to check in early at the Plaza, and that's where I gambled first. It was a $10 table, and at first I was placing very little on the board in terms of Place bets--mainly just 6 and 8, and I started off with the hardway dice set (4/2-4/2 in my case) from stick left 1. After less than satisfactory results with that set, I switched to what I call the yo-yo set (6/5-5/6), the set that had worked out so well for me in January and March in Lake Charles. I was still playing scared craps with this dice set, but I ended shooting an 18, enough to get my money back plus $37.

     We went to the Wynn, partially so I can play there, and partially because my wife wanted to shop for a crucial clothing item she needed for the photo shoot. I thought I'd try a regression strategy that worked out for me in Lake Charles. That being doing 220 inside, regress the bets down to 81 across with 2x odds behind the Pass Line. But I kept point-sevening out! That table was more bouncy than at the Plaza. I lost $914 before I stopped playing craps. I won $62.50 back at the blackjack table, but that loss stung, especially since my wife and I were planning to have our anniversary dinner at SW Steakhouse, which is in the Wynn.

      Later in the day, after we got elegantly dressed for the steak dinner, we decided to get back to the casinos somewhat early. I first played at the Cromwell, a new casino for me. There, I decided to do the 220 inside, regressing down to 81 across. Fortunately, at the Cromwell, I had a great shoot, the best of the whole trip. I shot 21 times. If you ever get to see me play, you'll find out that when I'm shooting, I'm saying three different numbers, like in this case, after my last roll, I said "412 323 24." That's just my way of keeping track of what was rolled. The digits of the first number represent the number of times 4, 5, and 6 were rolled respectively, and the digits on the second number represent the # of rolls for the 8, 9, and 10 respectively. The digits of the last number represent the number of horn rolls and the number of 7's rolled respectively (I did have 3 come-out 7's in a row at one point). I press up the numbers as they are hit an even number of times (a variation on the Take And Press method). I ended up winning $300 at the Cromwell.

     Then we went back to the Wynn, an hour or so before our dinner reservation at SW Steakhouse. Once again, I got shot down early trying my regression strategy. But just before time to go to the steakhouse, I made an adjustment, shooting the dice at a lower angle. I got all but $69 back from that session. Then me and my wife had dinner (and it was delicious). Once we finished, we went back to the craps table, where I continues with this adjustment to how I was shooting the dice. I won $144 on that shoot, turning a $69 dollar loss into a $75 win. There would be no more gambling that day, for my wife and I had romantic things planned for our anniversary.

Day 2

      I did an early morning session at home base. Since the table was a $10 table, I decided to do a lesser regression strategy, doing 154 inside (7 units each), as opposed to 220 inside, which I did at the Cromwell, on a $15 table. The strategy worked long enough to do the regression, plus get a few more rolls before crapping out. I finished $39 ahead.

     While my wife was still looking for this article of clothing she just had to have for the photo shoot later in the day, I played at the Excalibur. I tried the same strategy there that I did at the Plaza. But dammit, I ended up getting shot down again! And nothing I tried as far as adjustments, was working. When my wife met me at the Excalibur, after reaching her goal, we left, with me taking a $500 loss.

      Only one more gambling session happened on Day 2. This was at the Venetian, where the photographer would meet us for our photo shoot. The craps table there was the only one out of all the craps tables I'd played in Vegas where they had the plexiglass. I shot a couple of mediocre shoots, just barely enough to complete the 220 inside regression to 81 across. At this table, my mistake was betting too much on a shooter that I thought was a "control" shooter like myself. My wife, who epitomizes the term random shooter, was the better shooter, shooting SIX Pass Line winners in a row at one point, including three straight winner-sevens! She helped get most of my money back. We left the table with me losing $32 at the craps table, but making up for it plus $23 at the blackjack table.

Day 3

     I started things off at the Golden Gate casino--I thought for some odd reason I was at the California casino. The Golden Gate had am extra long table, which really threw me off. I made an adjustment to my throw by using more of a pendulum swing than I usually do, plus I got better results using the hardway dice set from SL1. But these adjustments, resulting in three rolls in the teens, came too late to stop a loss, as I was really getting shot down initially, I left the table $735 down. I did win $117.50 of it back at the blackjack table.

     My wife suggested that I leave craps alone for a while, and focus on blackjack (I have a slightly higher win percentage at blackjack than I do with craps, but craps is much for fun in my opinion). I then won $105 at the Plaza playing blackjack, and that was the game I played when I won $125 at the Tropicana, $97.50 at the Green Valley Ranch, and $150 at the Fremont. I did win $25 at the Excalibur but that was only playing off another shooter for a little bit.

      I did play one more craps session that day, and that was at the Plaza. I did not do my regression strategy, but fortunately, held on to the dice long enough to get my money back. And my wife had a decent shoot too. Together, we won $104 to close out the day.

Day 4

     Another early morning session at home base. I first won $75 at the blackjack table, then went to the craps table. I ended up shooting an 18, returning to my Yo-Yo dice set (6/5-5/6), playing from stick right 1 this time. However,half of those rolls were either 7's and horn numbers. Still, I won $86 at the craps table, booking a total win of $161 for the session.

     We returned to the Golden Gate, which turned out to be a mistake. Basically, nothing was working, and I lost $603 at the craps table, gaining $37.50 at the blackjack table, for a total loss of $565.50

     The rest of the day was a mixed bag of games that I played. I won $100 at the Tropicana playing blackjack, then won $110 at Caesar's Palace, with 10 of it being at craps (off someone else's shoot), and $100 playing poker. Without doing regression, I won $9 playing craps at the Linq, and another $60 playing blackjack. After relaxing in the observation tower at the Strat, I won $130 at the blackjack table. Then my wife and I returned to the Plaza, where I played one final craps session. By this time, it was Friday night, and a new craps table was open, and it was the bounciest craps table I'd ever seen. People were crapping out early right and left. Fortunately, I didn't bet on any of them. I did a very low angle throw, and did a 220 inside regression down to 81 across, for it was a $15 table. I shot long enough to regress down, but crapped out soon afterwards. I was surprised when they told me I'd won $90, but then I remembered that at the start of my shoot, I had piut $20 on the Pass Line, and did a $10 Whirl bet, which hit for an 11 on the comeout, making me $42 of that $90 profit.

      I stopped there, for it was getting late, and we had an early flight back to Houston. I ended up $794 down for the trip, but it didn't put too big a dent in my bankroll, plus we had a fantastic time.

March 27, 2021 -- LAKE CHARLES II

     I went out to Lake Charles again. Decided to continue my new Yo-Yo dice set. But for the first two sessions, I was playing scared craps, reluctant to put much money out there. In both sessions, I fell behind at first, but got the money back on someone else's shoot. In the first session, my wife had the better shoot. I won $126 there. In the second session, I won $90, $75 of which was actually at the blackjack table. Both sessions were at L'Auberge.

     When I was finally able to get on to the craps table at the Golden Nugget (I tried earlier, but failed, which was why I had back-to-back sessions at L'Auberge), I decided not to play scared craps, and to try a 220 inside regression strategy, keeping the big bets out there for two hits, and regressing down to three units on the Place bets, and 2x for odds. I played my Yo-Yo dice set from the end, and despite it being nerve-racking, having all that money out there for the first two hits on the inside numbers, I made it through, regresses down to 81 across (the point was 10), and put $30 for odds ($15 table). Including a $5 crap-check I used to hedge my Pass Line bet on the come-out, once I regressed down, I was already up $9. I ended up shooting a total of 27 times, my best shoot from the end, and I ended up $433 ahead when I crapped out and colored up. For good measure, I won another $100 at the blackjack table for a session win of $533, and a total win of $749 for the trip.

January 16, 2021 -- FIRST TIME BACK AT LAKE CHARLES, AND WITH A NEW DICE SET

     Of course, since this pandemic began, I hadn't been able to go to the casinos. I felt it was way too risky. But today, I felt it was time to take the risk, for once.

     I went out to Lake Charles, mainly to try my brand new dice set, which I call the Yo-Yo dice set, so-named because it has a yo on top, and a yo facing me. It's really the 6/5-5/6 dice set. I had practiced with it at home with a good deal of success, as if I was shooting from the end. But when I got to L'Auberge, the first casino I visited, the only position available to me at that $25 table, was stick right. I shot with the hardway set the first two times I'd gotten the dice. After only shooting a 6 and then a 7, I decided to go to the Yo-Yo set. I was shocked when I shot a 25 from that position! I ended coming back from about $150 down, to winning $325. I had three more sessions with this dice set, from three other positions, and shot at least a 12 from all of them! I shot a 12 from the right outer hook at the Golden Nugget casino, then switched to the right end at the same table, shooting a 13. Afterwards, I went back to L'Auberge, and shot a 13 from stick left. Could this be the dice set for me?? I ended up winning a total of $434 playing craps that day, and $659 overall (including $225 total at blackjack). Am I on to something? Stay tuned!

August 25, 2002

     My biggest gambling win came not even 12 hours after my close call at the Sahara. And I'd even suffered my worst craps loss in between! When I arrived at the New York New Tork casino at about 9:30 in the morning, I was on a mission to try to get that money back. I first played blackjack at the New York New York, and won $225. I then took $200 of it to play at the craps table. After quite a while of basically getting nowhere, I decided to just go all-out, and place $50 on each of the Place bets (I must have been slightly ahead at that point). Fortunately, there was a shooter who had a very long roll. I can't say that it was as long as the roll I had back in December at the Monte Carlo, but I can say that I was pressing my bets up more aggressively than I did back in December. I had 30 units ($150 on the 5 and 9, $180 on the 6 and 8) on the inside numbers at one point, getting $210 for each payout. When the shooter crapped out, I left the table with $1731. My total profit for that casino session was $1756, which to this day, is still my best!! All that, and that, by only $6 was half of the money I'd lost about 8 hours earlier (I did get the rest of it back, plus an additional $276, but it took all day).

August 24, 2002

     Played tonight at the Sahara Casino. At first, it was a major struggle at the craps table. I eventually went to a Round 6 Buy-In. Along the way, there was a shooter who was setting the dice, and he kept on "Come on, snake!" when he shot the dice. Apparently, he had a bet on snake-eyes every time, and it even hit six times! It didn't help me out too much. At one point, I had $50 on the Pass Line, and one of the dealers told me, after I put 10 units on each of the Place bets, that I could bet up to 5 times my Pass Line bet for odds. I decided at that point to give it a shot, because I was so far behind, I figured I was going to lose anyhow, so why the hell not? To make matters worse, the point was 4, one of the worst points to try to make. You can imagine my surprise when four came the hardway! I made $550 off that one roll, which was the most I ever made off of one roll of the dice. The Pass Line paid $50 or even money, and I got paid 2-1 on my odds bet, making an additional $500. Apparently, that roll was the turning point, for my Place bets were hitting, and by the time the shooter crapped out, I got all my money back plus an additional $150. WHEW!!

December 8, 2001

     One of the most magnificent moments OF MY LIFE occurred this particular night at the Monte Carlo casino in Las Vegas. After winning $115 at the blackjack table, and losing $100 of it at a craps table, I was about to leave $15 ahead, when I decided instead to buy in for another 100 at a different table. I got the 100 I lost back, plus maybe 30 or 40 more, and I was about to leave, when the dealer pushed the dice my way, and asked if I wanted to shoot. Since I was a little bit ahead overall, regarding craps here, I said "Why not?" That's when it happened! I held the dice for a super long time, apparently. I started out with 5-dollar levels on all the place bets, then pressed them up to 10, then 15, then to 25, where they stayed for quite some time, before finally pressing them up to 50. I kept my total initial investment of $200 in the top groove, and the bottom groove was where I kept my profits. I was astounded to see that bottom groove filling up with mostly green chips! Even better yet, especially in the last half of my time holding the dice, there were at least a dozen people cheering my every roll of the dice, even cheering me on, as I was shaking up the dice! The way they were cheering, every time I rolled everything but a losing 7, I felt like I was a rock star, or something. The only other time I'd felt like this, was over a year earlier, when I bowled a perfect 300 in league, and the whole house erupted in cheering. When I finally crapped out, the pit boss told me that I'd held on to the dice for 40 minutes, which I'm sure meant that I'd shot over 40 times. I haven't yet been able to match that when I started dice-setting, years later. I ended up leaving the table with $1650, for a total profit at the Monte Carlo of $1565. At the time, it was my biggest win, but that changed 8½ months later, but this is still my best gambling moment!