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Mechanics of Play

Only one player at the table has control of the dice at any one time, and the numbers he throws with the dice determine the payoffs of all bettors at the table.

The shoot, as a series of rolls is designated in casino parlance, goes around the table in clockwise fashion, with each player in turn having an opportunity to roll the dice. Once a person is the shooter, he has control of the dice as long as he doesn't seven out, that is, roll a 7 after a point has been established. A player may voluntarily relinquish the dice prior to any come-out roll and doesn't have to stay to the end of his shoot if for some reason he wants to get away from the table.

Players need not become shooters when it is their turn to roll the dice. Some players never care to throw the dice; others are wrong bettors and never want to bet against the roll when they are shooting. For whatever reason, a player simply may refuse to roll by merely shaking his head when the dice are offered to him.

When a new shooter is ready to roll the dice, or come out, the stickman pushes several dice toward him with his stick. The shooter selects two, and the others are returned to the stickman.

Before a player can roll the dice, he must make a line bet, either pass or don't pass, at the table minimum. After this bet is made, the holder of the dice may throw them onto the layout, and he will hold these dice until he sevens-out or relinquishes them voluntarily.

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Betting Patterns
I successfully "called" Chris "Jesus" Ferguson's cards on the final hand of the 2000 WSOP. I whispered to an onlooker that "Chris has A-9." (See page 327 of James McManus's best-selling Positively Fifth Street, the 2004 paperback edition, for confirmation), I didn't have a tell on Chris (sure wish I did: he's one of the most talented players on the planet); there was just a very narrow group of hands that made sense, given the betting patterns and the time he was taking to make the call.

Especially when you combine knowledge of exactly who raised when with how a player tends to play certain hands (is he a trapper, a check-raiser, an all-out aggressor with strong hands ...?), it becomes much easier to figure out whether that raise on the turn is a level one thinking "I'll wait until the turn to show strength, because that's where I can collect doubled bets," or a level two "by betting on the turn, it looks like I'm weak because I would have shown strength earlier."
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