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Hobbies 🪙 Gambling

Maister

Chairman of the bored
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30,162
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On occasion, I might indulge in paying the Stupid Tax (Powerball) along with coworkers when the pot gets into the multiple $100 millions, but apart from that my gambling is more or less limited to the rare scratch off lottery ticket impulse purchase every few years or so. My brother and SIL, on the other hand, go to the Native American gaming facility in the Town Next Door at least once a month. I asked my brother about his track record there and he was quick to recount the tales of how he got lucky at the roulette wheel or slots, but when pressed about losses admitted his overall track record is about an even wash. He told me he walks in with a predetermined limit of how much he is prepared to lose or win and afterwards walk away. I guess if you're going to gamble that's a rationale way to approach it. He explained that to him the outings represented entertainment.

Gambling at its heart is an emotional experience and folks that suffer from addiction issues want to repeatedly experience the neurochemical 'high' that risk and reward provide. Those with adequate self-awareness available would do well to recognize when a pattern of habituation starts to occur. Those with poor self-awareness in this respect can lose literally everything.

There is such a thing as a professional gambler, though. As I understand it, the act of gambling for these individuals exists on a purely rational plane and self-imposed rules concerning win-loss ratios are strictly adhered to. In addition, professionals introduce the element of skill into the mix. For example, while the game of poker relies on the luck of the cards drawn, professional poker players also rely on a combination of understanding of human psychology and probability. We know these are skills because the same individuals are found year after year winning the big poker tournaments.

Do you have any favorite games of chance? What's the largest wager you've ever placed?

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Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
3,887
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46
Nope.

I will never invest enough time into gambling to be "good." The few times I've tried it, I was relieved of my money so quickly it made my head spin. That isn't fun, it isn't entertainment, it's just foolish.

My mom goes to the casinos in Buffalo. She used to try to get me to go along when I was home for a visit, but in addition to my objections above, there's also the factor of sensory overload. I can't take all the noise and flashing lights and stuff. It's just not fun.

I was on a business trip to the UK once and there was a casino in town. It was just opening. We went in. One of my travel partners put some money down on the roulette wheel, I think on his wife's birthday. Just one number. Boom, it hit. He claimed it was his lucky number and it hits at least a quarter of the time (at 35-to-1), but he only tries it once per trip. Not sure if I believe him, but maybe with a small sample size it's possible.

I worked with a guy that had a doctorate in statistics. He tracked every single pull of the California lottery from the beginning, convinced that by doing so he could win. But here's the thing: He didn't play the numbers that came up most often; he did the opposite. His reasoning was that the numbers that didn't come up very often were "due." After several discussions with him about it, I gave up.

(The way I see it, there are two scenarios: 1. All balls have exactly the same odds of coming up and it is truly random, or 2. For some balls there is a physical difference that increases their likelihood of being picked. If they've come up frequently before, they are more likely to do so again. He seemed to think the opposite would happen: That the balls that came up most frequently would be replaced and that the ones that hadn't yet come up would therefore be more likely to come up. It made no sense.)

I think that's all my gambling thoughts.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
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14,267
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57
I play the lottery every once in a while.

As far as casinos go, I might as well just go to the cashier and hand them my money and walk out. It's quicker that way with the same results.
 

Gedunker

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I bet the ponies up until a few years ago. I play the Powerball when it gets to silly numbers. I used to play low stakes poker with friends, but we've drifted apart over the years.

The thing with horse racing is that there is a limited number of races on the card (usually 11 at Churchill Downs), so there's 30 or 40 minutes between races. Time to socialize with friends, have a drink, get a bite to eat, etc, before getting up to place bets. It's not the noise, lights, and smoke of a casino floor, because for the most part, you are outside overlooking the paddock, or in the grandstand. You can still lose your money pretty quickly, but not like with a one-armed bandit.

The most I ever bet on a single race was probably either 1993 or 1994 Derby. All totaled, I imagine I wagered about $200 on each race, but the max was $45 on one horse ($15 across-the-board [Win, Place, and Show] on Sea Hero and again on Go For Gin). Both of those horses happened to win and paid handsomely, Sea Hero was a hunch bet that benefitted from an awesome move by jockey Jerry Bailey heading for home, and Go For Gin was knowing how to read a racing form and perceive precipitation (he was a mudder). Generally, I'm a tight wad and over subsequent Derbies, I bet much, much smaller. Which is a good thing, since my horsemanship slipped.

My mother had "the touch" with slot machines. She loved to gamble, but didn't drive, so she would take a Casino Bus down to Atlantic City, gamble her little heart out for the day, then return home with a purse full of cash. She hated Trump's casinos because she thought his slots were too tight and didn't pay out well. She set a limit of what she would play with and when she reached it, that was it. But she very frequently would win a bundle, and play on the casino's money for the rest of the day.
 

Whose Yur Planner

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12,015
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I played the lotto once when my native state first approved. As I recall I got one scratch off. I took a class in finite math (probability) and that pretty much killed it for me. That and a public finance class. Gaming in considered a voluntary tax.

I've been to casinos before for conferences and just to dork around. They always seemed like soulless places.
 

luckless pedestrian

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When we were kids our parents used to pack a picnic lunch and we would go to either Vernon Downs or Finger Lakes to watch the races - my parents would get 2 dollar bets and they would let us each pick one - my Dad used to say "you only bet what you are willing to lose"

We also would get dressed up to do the Saratoga thing which was fun

I remember when APA was in Vegas in 2008 - I never spent less on attending a conference ever- I figured they must have lost money on that deal as, with I am sure some exceptions, most planners are not heavy gamblers - I played one slot machine with a dollar I had in my pocket and then walked away - on day 3 of walking the floors of the casino, I found it depressing and demoralizing - at first it seemed kind of cool and exciting but then sad

I went to high school though with a guy who became a professional poker player on tv and everything so I guess you never know

I bought lottery tickets once a month about 20 years ago for a year and then realized it was literally handing five dollars to the state for nothing
 

TOFB

Cyburbian
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3,007
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41
Casino gigs are the worst - - - next to country club weddings.
 

Big Owl

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2,861
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37
Lottery -- I have lost more than I have won. I am not sure of the amounts but around $25 - $50 a year. I don't play often and when I do it's with "found" money.

Casino -- I have only been 6 times. I am $300+ to the good. I stick to video poker and blackjack, very small stakes. I only enter the casino with what I am willing to loose.

I have played in a few charity poker games. I made it to the final table a couple of times and runner up once. None of the ones that I have played in were well organized and the blinds didn't escalate at all or quick enough. After a few hours of playing, I am just ready to leave so I get careless, sometimes it pays off sometimes it doesn't.
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,579
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21
My game is with a dreidel and the prize is gelt.

In college, we went to the nearest Casino while they were having a giveaway of two $50 passes. I walked away with $20, so in theory I would have lost $80. I know people that have won at gambling and even some professional poker players, but I don't have the heart or skill to gamble. I enjoy card games with family, but we only play for fun.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
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2,507
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35
Casino. I went to our local casino for the first time just before the Pandemic. I lost $172 in Mississippi Stud. I vowed not to turn until that equalized $.50 loss per day which would have been almost a year. $172 X 2 - 344 days. Well now it's down to about 40 cents a day so I guess I should get back there. But they aren't offering any promotions anymore. During the pandemic the casino was offering great deals in mailers they sent me, such as $60 in free play and $25 free food, but I was unable to get there before it expired. This was in March. I haven't seen mailer since.
 

The Terminator

Cyburbian
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1,742
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Gambling is how Mr. Satriale got his pinky cut off. I NEVER gamble!!

I pretty much agree with doohickie.
 
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