Apr 29, I have always considered casino gambling the ultimate hospitality Video poker: There is no such thing as a bad video poker machine, only. Casino Bad Reichenhall by night Wittelsbacherstr, Bad Reichenhall If you stay longer than 60 minutes in the gambling room the Spielbank will. May 10, Are there good casino players and bad casino players? Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge written by my favorite gambling author (me).
Gambling is depicted here as a ritual that pits the human intellect against the unpredictable forces of chance that surround us.
It is a concentrated form of the risk-taking behaviour we carry out every day, where luck deals us different talents and circumstances but we must use our intelligence to turn these to advantage.
Gambling trains the mind to handle risk. Many gaming boards, dice and images of people playing games of chance and skill have come down to us from the ancient world.
Board games, in particular, are shown as the warrior's recreation, training him in the complex judgments needed in the chaos of battle when unpredictable factors interact with his skill and judgment at breakneck speed.
A spectrum of skill runs from games of pure luck, such as dice or the Lotto, to games of pure intellect, such as chess. But even games of pure luck challenge our judgment.
They test our ability to wager only what we can afford to lose and to know when to walk away with our winnings, or to cut our losses and stop playing, a skill we need in more calculating ventures.
Leave the greater part at home: Gambling on the horses is, likewise, a "game" that mimics the real wagers made by venture capitalists of all kinds.
Horse breeders trust their money to the quality of their bloodstock in every race without ever needing to place a bet; investors judge that the skill of the manufacturer they back will outweigh the vagaries of chance - and so trust their money to their own good judgment.
Gambling can thus train and exercise the mind in taking real-life risks. But as its ancient symbolism shows, it is also a ritual honouring the dual influences of chance and skill in our world.
When you consider how anti-gambling our society was in or even , it is amazing how the landscape has changed since then.
So long as a Casino can be said to be "good for business" or a lottery "helping the schools", then these forms of legalized gambling can be sold to the public.
I will not address the political implications of these actions. It is the human suffering caused by gambling that is the subject of this article.
Gambling acts as a stupidity tax, which means that it is a tax on the poor. And if you are not poor when you start gambling, you soon will be.
It is an unfair tax, in some ways, as it panders to the weaknesses of the human psyche, weaknesses that are often caused by more by chemical imbalances in the brain than by any moral failings.
As noted in that article, it has been discovered that certain chemicals, when given to people, cause them to gamble their life savings away.
It has less to do with self-control than with chemicals in your brain. The mythology of gambling is shrouded in style and class. Not a James Bond movie goes by without Bond, in his evening jacket, playing Poker or Baccarat in some elegant Casino, with stylishly dressed women sipping champagne or exotic cocktails.
The gambling industry plays up this angle, trying to cloak "gaming" as they euphemistically call it in a shroud of elegance and class.
If rich and sophisticated people gamble, it must be good, right? The reality, as anyone who has been in a Casino knows, is that most people gambling are middle class or lower.
The mythology of the "high roller" coming to Vegas to gamble away a million bucks or more is just that - a myth. The rich didn't become rich by pissing away their money on games or playing games with their money.
Most of the folks in the Casinos are regular folks, usually lower middle class or poor. There are a number of forms of gambling, of course, and each has its own proponents and arguments why their form is a "good bet" compared to the others.
But in reality, they are all losing bets. Wheel games are considered the ultimate sucker's bet. These include the roulette wheel, the wheel of fortune type or money wheel vertical wheels, and the slot machine.
All of these games are pure probability. You cannot put "English" on the wheel or otherwise alter the outcome. Studying the wheel or machine cannot improve your odds.
For every dollar gambled on such machines, the house pays out less than a dollar. Thus, over time, if you gamble on one of these fixed-odd machines, you will eventually leave with nothing.
This doesn't stop people from claiming to have "a system" for gambling with such machines. Slot machine mavens will follow you around the slots, and if you play a machine for a while and it does not "pay off", they will jump in behind you, convinced the machine is "due" for a payoff.
In reality, each spin of the slot machine, like the spin of a roulette wheel or wheel of fortune, is probabilistically independent from its preceding roll.
There is no system, period. If you flip a coin 9 times and it comes up heads every time, what are the odds it will be tails the tenth time?
Each flip is an independent event. If you fail to grasp this, then you shouldn't play with your money by gambling. Slot machine players would argue that the coin is "due" for a tails, as there was so many heads before.
But coin flipping and slot machines don't work that way. Gamblers, of course, deny all this. They may gamble at such machines for a period of time and walk away with money on some days, and walk away without money on others.
They remember the days they win, and conveniently forget the days they lose. If you gamble consistently, however, you'll lose, all the time.
Note, of course, that cheating is one way to win, but probably not a very good idea when you consider that the casino might have ties to organized crime.
If you count cards at Blackjack, you'll be asked to leave. Similarly, the idea that you can "figure out" the flat spot on a Roulette wheel will also fail, as the house will change the wheel once you start winning.
That is the ultimate irony of gambling - even if you did have one of these mythical "winning streaks", or if you could find a way to cheat, the casino would usher you out the door before you won too much!
There are other games where your intelligence, and your interaction with others can help you win. Poker and even blackjack, have some interactive features which make it possible to "beat the house", although blackjack remains mostly a probability game.
In Poker, you can "game" your opponent and bluff them and win. Thus, in an informal setting with friends or acquaintances, it is possible for a sharp card player to make money at poker.
However, for the sharp poker player, playing poker is anything but a game, and it is not gambling. As I noted in another article, I had a chance once to meet such a fellow, and it was an education.
He lent me a book about playing poker, and I presumed it would tell me about odds of playing hands, card strategies, and things of that sort.
Surprisingly, the book was mostly about how to rope losers into games and keep them there, how to collect on gambling debts, and generally how to use psychology to make money from the game.
The book suggested getting your opponent drunk - making sure his glass was always full, while you drank watered-down drinks. Once your opponents starts playing sloppily, encourage him to stay in the game, saying things like, "Well, you could always win it back in the next hand!
If that is your goal in life, to con others out of their money from poker, then go for it. However, don't expect to be too popular a guy.
Eventually, folks get wise to your game and stop playing. In the old West, they'd shoot you. It's not much of a life.
If you play poker with such folks, expect to lose and lose heavily. They have all the cards sometimes literally and you have nothing.
They will play on your fears and greed like a violin, and fleece you for every nickel. Needless to say, after losing a few times, I dropped out of "Poker Night.
And he was really no friend, as it turned out. Being an amateur poker player is like being a new car customer. The new car showroom is a machine designed like the slaughterhouses of old Chicago - designed to fleece the customer for his every last nickel.
Sharp poker players are the same way. You may think you can outsmart the car salesman or the card shark, but odds are, you can't.
The only way to "win" is not to play in the first place, period. Casinos are also designed like slaughterhouses. One casino in Vegas even had a conveyor belt to haul people off the strip and deep into the bowels of the casino, like cows to the butcher.
Once inside, you are assaulted with a cacophony of noise and lights and cannot even begin to think straight.
Start drinking, and well, you're done for. Trying to get out of a casino is never easy, which is why fires, such as the MGM Grand, can be so fatal.
Exits are not clearly marked, as they do not want to encourage people to leave. Sporting events, such as football games, horse and dog racing, boxing matches, and the like are other areas where the law of probability might be trumped by experience or knowledge.
Some racing fanatics claim they can study the racing form and figure out who will win a given race, based on the history of the horses, track condition or the like.
The problem with sports betting is that a lot of other people have the same knowledge, and as a result, the odds are always set by what people smarter than you are thinking.
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