[POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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If you gamble for actual money, what do you prefer to play?

Poker
30
30%
Blackjack (or variant)
24
24%
Roulette
4
4%
Slots
9
9%
Other gambling (horse racing, sports, etc.)
13
13%
I never have/never do gamble for money
21
21%
 
Total votes: 101

nomadgecko
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[POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by nomadgecko » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:22 am

Clearly this community does not gamble with portfolios, but I'm curious if there's an interest in gambling as a hobby among any of us. Clearly there were a number of us logical folks who were drawn into the entertainment value of the recent $600 million lottery.

I have gambled for money the 3 times I've been in Vegas; I haven't gambled for money outside of that. I played, and really enjoy, playing blackjack. I like the premise of basic strategy and the decision-making in the game. I consider myself lucky; I made ~100% return on my $100 buy-in that I played at $5 tables. I've played poker a few times for chips with friends but just never really got into it. And other games just don't appeal to me.

xerty24
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by xerty24 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:23 am

Do individual stocks count?
No excuses, no regrets.

bourg
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by bourg » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:28 am

Craps. Blackjack is boring once you get into craps. :)

Craps has the only bet in the casino with no house edge (odds bet).

Renaissance Man
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by Renaissance Man » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:30 am

Used to play a monthly poker game with my college friends with a $10-$20 buy in. I like poker because I am in control of my destiny (at least more so than other games :D ). Still waiting to make it out to Vegas and try craps and blackjack.

BuckyBadger
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by BuckyBadger » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:54 am

I enjoy blackjack a great deal.

Bourg, doesn't the house still always have an edge since most wheels are double zero? I don't think I've personally seen any wheels that WEREN'T double zero, but I don't hang out around the craps table a lot.

jaxxmjd
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by jaxxmjd » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:59 am

While I enjoy Blackjack periodically, Poker is the only game where you're not competing against the house which has a statistical edge. In Poker, you're playing the other opponents at the table. Thus, your ability to profit is directly proportional to your skill in Poker.

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HomerJ
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by HomerJ » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:03 pm

Poker, blackjack, and craps.

Oh how I love craps.

But it's usually too expensive to play correctly. I can take $50-$100 to a $5 blackjack table and have some fun, but I need about $300 to play $5 craps.

ANd lately even $5 tables are getting hard to find sometimes... Most blackjack tables are now $10.

I think it's about time for me to give up gambling... Too expensive as entertainment. :(

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HomerJ
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by HomerJ » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:07 pm

BuckyBadger wrote:I enjoy blackjack a great deal.

Bourg, doesn't the house still always have an edge since most wheels are double zero? I don't think I've personally seen any wheels that WEREN'T double zero, but I don't hang out around the craps table a lot.
You're thinking of roulette... Craps is the one with the dice.

Never play roulette by the way... Terrible odds there. Every once in a while I'll do a $5 bet for fun.

Passenger 57 - terrible movie - one great line... Wesley Snipes gets in a fight with a bad guy in a casino... Beats him up, slams him down on a roulette table... turns to the little old ladies sitting there...

"Always bet on black!"

So I do... whenever I play roulette for 5 minutes of fun, I always bet on black. :)

bourg
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by bourg » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:11 pm

BuckyBadger wrote:Bourg, doesn't the house still always have an edge since most wheels are double zero? I don't think I've personally seen any wheels that WEREN'T double zero, but I don't hang out around the craps table a lot.
Roulette is the wheel with the 0 and 00. Craps is the dice game where the shooter is trying to not roll a 7 (most of the time).

And yes the house still technically has an edge because the "odds" bet where the house has no edge isn't "unlocked" until you make another bet (although it can be small) where the house does have a minor edge. Most casino's limit how much you can put on the "odds" bet vs. the other required bet. Like some casino's will say "your odds bet can't be more then 5x the other required bet (pass, don't pass, come, don't come)".

I was once at a casino where they had a promotion allowing 200x odds bet - never seen that before or sense. Problem was it was a $15 minimum table so even if I just put the minimum $15 on the required bet that means to take full advantage of the promotion I would have to put $3000 on odds! :P Too rich for my blood! So I settled for ~10x odds and ended up making a decent amount of money off a hot shooter. Which I then lost plus more on a cold shooter. :P Yay gambling!

BuckyBadger
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by BuckyBadger » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:38 pm

Haha! Obviously I should stay at the blackjack table!!

Now that I'm thinking of the right game, craps is scary to me. There is SO MUCH GOING ON!

Thanks for correcting me, you guys!

FireProof
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by FireProof » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:43 pm

Only poker - maybe I'm too boringly logical, but I just can't find entertainment value in a game where I have an expected loss.

MathWizard
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by MathWizard » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:09 pm

I used to play draw poker and pinocle (quarter a game, dime a set) at a local
saloon. I'd come out ahead by a couple of bucks after 2 enjoyable hours. Of course,
I spent more than that in beer.

I no longer play poker because I'm not a big fan of no-limit Texas Hold'em, and that's
all anyone here seems to play. Locally at least, you buy in with X dollars, and it's go till someoe
has all the chips, and early losers have to just sit and watch. The one with all the chips
get all the dollars. The games take way too long, it's boring if you are out early on,
2nd place is no different than last, and too often you have to go "all-in" or give away the pot
on a good hand.

It must be that the all or nothing mindset seems so stange to me. Of course, I say
the same thing about lotteries, and they sure seem to be popular too.

dad2000
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by dad2000 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:13 pm

I was a blackjack counter. Played over 100,000 hands in NV.

The money was ok, but I got tired of the lifestyle.

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HomerJ
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by HomerJ » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:28 pm

bourg wrote:So I settled for ~10x odds and ended up making a decent amount of money off a hot shooter. Which I then lost plus more on a cold shooter. :P Yay gambling!
Always leave the table after a hot shooter!! :) :)

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Ketawa
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by Ketawa » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:29 pm

I've only played blackjack with basic strategy and card counting. With the right rules, you can get the odds barely in your favor, especially if you can do things like surrender. Even then it's a high variance and low return. Really just did it for the entertainment, and that entertainment was expensive! Probably down about $800 over my lifetime.

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HomerJ
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by HomerJ » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:31 pm

dad2000 wrote:I was a blackjack counter. Played over 100,000 hands in NV.

The money was ok, but I got tired of the lifestyle.
Really? Was this before they went to multi-deck shoes? I learned to count cards in the early 90s, and I made some decent money in Vegas when I could find single-deck blackjack, but that's pretty much disappeared now.

bourg
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by bourg » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:55 pm

rrosenkoetter wrote:
bourg wrote:So I settled for ~10x odds and ended up making a decent amount of money off a hot shooter. Which I then lost plus more on a cold shooter. :P Yay gambling!
Always leave the table after a hot shooter!! :) :)
I would say I stuck around to avoid market timing and hold out for long term gains. But then I remember long term the casino is the one with the edge. So I guess I won't say that. :P

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SpecialK22
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by SpecialK22 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:59 pm

FireProof wrote:Only poker - maybe I'm too boringly logical, but I just can't find entertainment value in a game where I have an expected loss.
The problem with this statement is that you assume you are an above average poker player, and everyone at the table also assumes they are above average. :wink:

I don't gamble like I did in my early 20s, but I like poker, blackjack, craps and sports betting. I also enjoy playing in office pools like March Madness Brackets and Fantasy Football.

Craps seems to intimidate a lot of players, but it's really a simple game; it just has a lot of betting options. Some options are terrible in that the house has some of the highest vig, but other bets have some of the lowest vig. As one poster mentioned, taking/laying the odds has 0.0% house edge. You still must have a pass or don't pass bet before you can take/lay the odds, so the casino still maintains an overall edge as you play.

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deanbrew
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by deanbrew » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:30 pm

The odds are not good if you figure in what is taken out for the "take" (taxes and the track expenses), but my favorite gambling is horse racing. I love to go over the stats and odds and pick horses. But with a 15% take off the top, plus money for the program and parking, it's hard to come out ahead.

In the casino, I'll play blackjack, poker and a little roulette. Can't stand slots.
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CABob
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by CABob » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:58 pm

I've done them all at one time or another.
I was part of a monthly poker game for about 30 years. Since it was with friends and a zero sum game it was enjoyable. I have played casino poker a few times, but, usually look around the table and can't identify who the patsy is. :) Besides I haven't learned the strategy for Texas Hold em which is the current most popular.
Many years ago I developed an interest in horse races which lasted a couple of years.
As far as casino games my favorite is probably craps, but, the table minimums are a bit too high for me now. Pai Gow (sp?) poker is nice when I want to sit down for a while after standing at the crap table for too long. Blackjack and roulette seems boring to me, but, not as bad as the slots.
Bob

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Random Musings
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by Random Musings » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:11 pm

For the few times I've been to the casino's, my preference was blackjack since one can count cards. By the time I was able to play, books like "Beat the Dealer" were out for a long time - hence, with a limited bankroll you could more or less breakeven. But you would still have to play quite a bit of hands to see that result. By that time, the number of decks in the shoe were increased plus the casino's dealt far less into the shoe.

Of course, there are various levels of sophistication with respect to counting cards. I tended to go the medium route.

RM
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Buster
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by Buster » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:12 pm

I used to play 8-ball and 9-ball (pool) for money, but only if asked. Sure learned a lot about how irrational people can be.

chaz
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by chaz » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:16 pm

Craps.
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MattE
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by MattE » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:28 pm

I was really, really heavily into Texas Hold 'Em for a while during my freshman\sophomore years of college. I did alright, but lack of time killed that during my junior\senior years, and the lack of people to play with (aka never any games) and the death of online poker in the US has pretty much killed the feel for it that I once had. I've only played maybe a half dozen times in the past two years or so, and felt rusty and out of my element when playing with people who were legitimately good. My wife and I tend toward cruises for vacations though, and I do still like to play in the casinos on the boat - it's mostly middle-aged to elderly people that are there to just throw money at the table, and you can do quite well if you just play extremely patiently.

Beyond that, I'll make sports bets maybe two or three times a year, only when the over\under or line on a game seems gratuitously out of touch with reality. I can't take any joy in other casino games and whatnot - as someone said earlier in the topic, I can't enjoy it when I know the odds are never in my favor.

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JupiterJones
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by JupiterJones » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:12 pm

BuckyBadger wrote: Now that I'm thinking of the right game, craps is scary to me. There is SO MUCH GOING ON!
Craps is a lot like investing. It's overwhelming when you look at all of the options and all the conflicting advice out there.

But when you ignore the rotten bets, which are most of the bets on the layout--and ignore the people who are betting on thsoe rotten bets--it gets much, much easier and a lot more fun.

Kind of like how investing was overwhelming until you learned to ignore single-stocks and market timing and technical analysis and gold speculation and Jim Kramer and actively-managed sector funds, etc... and just focus on the few good bets.

JJ

P.S. All that said, I don't really play craps that much. I like games where you have more of a decision-making role. So poker, blackjack, and mostly video poker.
Stay on target...

tim1999
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by tim1999 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:37 pm

I enjoy roulette, despite the odds/house edge. It's entertainment. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. Nobody buys a trip to Disney World expecting to get paid by Disney.

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zzcooper123
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by zzcooper123 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:42 pm

Craps for sure. Pass line and two come bets, best strategy? Anyone use 41-no ten?

Atilla
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by Atilla » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:45 pm

I get kinda the same thrill buying an individual stock as I do gambling in Vegas. Vegas has topless pools, endless drinking and hot sunshine.

But the thrill during the transaction is the same. :sharebeer
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JPH
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by JPH » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:58 pm

I have never had any desire to gamble. In college I would try to paly cards with friends, but I could never even pay attention to the game. I also hate to lose money on a wager; I'm a real bad sport about it.
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nisiprius
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by nisiprius » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:58 pm

So I was at a business meeting in Reno, at a big casino-hotel where they put all the elevators way in back behind a casino floor--there was literally no way to get to your room without walking past the casino. I made the mistake of trying to get a little walking-around money from an ATM machine and was nonplussed when it spat out exactly one crisp $100 bill. Anyway, on this visit, I had to decide whether or not I should stick a quarter or whatever it is slot machines do take, into a slot machine, just for laughs and because I've never done it. I reasoned as follows:

a) Either I will not enjoy it, in which case it will have been a mistake, or
b) I will discover that I do enjoy it, in which case it will have been an even bigger mistake.

So I didn't do it.

Burton Malkiel describes himself as "having been smitten with the gambling urge since childhood." I don't think gambling is in my makeup, but if it is, I see no compelling reason to find out.

I didn't do any of the other things you can do in Reno that I can't legally do at home, either. I admit I was tempted to cancel my room at the meeting hotel and check in at a gloriously tacky "adventure"-themed motel that featured, yes, an outer-space suite. It really looked cool, in a cheesy way, in the brochure. But I don't think this inn was really aimed at people who wanted to sleep.

I did take a long walk around the meeting hotel in quest of a bookstore. I didn't find one.

I did go to the dog races once. I didn't bet, I just wanted to see what it was like, and I have to say, I'm sure the anti-greyhound people are right, but the dogs I saw looked fine and looked as if this was really something they loved to do. I really did enjoy watching them run.
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by Default User BR » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:57 am

I'm too cheap to gamble.


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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by Radnog » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:06 pm

Voted other because I like to play craps when the opportunity presents itself. I usually just see how far $100 or $200 will get me on a the lowest stakes table... nothing serious.

FireProof
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by FireProof » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:22 pm

SpecialK22 wrote:
FireProof wrote:Only poker - maybe I'm too boringly logical, but I just can't find entertainment value in a game where I have an expected loss.
The problem with this statement is that you assume you are an above average poker player, and everyone at the table also assumes they are above average. :wink:
I don't think that;'s true - plenty of people come to to the table drunk just to play a lot of hands/bluff/even show their cards during the hand without assuming they're any good. As long as you play reasonably tight aggressive, you'll be above average at the lowest stakes. Plus, I have a large enough sample size online to know I'm a winning player at the lowest stakes.

Althogh I don't even think it matters whether you are deluded - as long as you THINK you are above average, there feels like a reason to be playing. I'll go even farther - even if you think you are below average, at least you can feel like you are improving. On the other hand, at a table game, you know that you're slowly draining money, and there is no hope of improvement ever - it just seems entirely futile to me (but I'm not a natrual gambler).

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FlyHi
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by FlyHi » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:49 pm

I have never been much of a gambler since my poker playing days as a kid. I have played penney a point double deck pinochle. When I traveled to the Orient I went into the casinos to pass the time and I always played blackjack. My wife and I went Vega about 20 years ago. I sat next to her whlle she played slots and I put some money into the machine. I went up to bd and she stayed on the machine until she lost her money.

A new racino , they only have, machines, just opened nearby and I plan to treat my son to a night out there.

I guess when I spend my money I want something tangible for it like a guaranteed to win mutual fund. :shock:
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by BHCadet » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:49 pm

Craps - but, it isn't one of the choices.

Cyclone
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by Cyclone » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:53 pm

Sometimes you can bet on a sporting event with no house percentage, if they are trying to attract money to another side.

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rdmayo21
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by rdmayo21 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:56 pm

I almost always do video poker. When playing proper strategy with a Deuces Wild or Double Bonus machine that has the proper payout table, the return exceeds 100%. Blackjack has kind of gone downhill IMO. More and more tables are having 6:5 blackjack payout.

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JupiterJones
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by JupiterJones » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:03 pm

rdmayo21 wrote:I almost always do video poker. When playing proper strategy with a Deuces Wild or Double Bonus machine that has the proper payout table, the return exceeds 100%. Blackjack has kind of gone downhill IMO. More and more tables are having 6:5 blackjack payout.
My thoughts exactly. And, with slot club benefits and free drinks, even machines with sub-100% payouts can be quite worthwhile! :sharebeer

When I first started "gaming", I was all about house edge. Now I realize that the key factor for me is cost-per-hour.

JJ
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SpecialK22
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by SpecialK22 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:53 pm

FireProof wrote:

I don't think that;'s true - plenty of people come to to the table drunk just to play a lot of hands/bluff/even show their cards during the hand without assuming they're any good. As long as you play reasonably tight aggressive, you'll be above average at the lowest stakes. Plus, I have a large enough sample size online to know I'm a winning player at the lowest stakes.
Okay, so absolutes can almost always be proven false. For one thing, I've never considered myself an above average dresser (in reference to Mr Bogle's comment on why people think they are above average investors). I will agree that at the lowest stakes tables it is easier to be above average, but as you observed most people are playing for entertainment.

FireProof wrote: Althogh I don't even think it matters whether you are deluded - as long as you THINK you are above average, there feels like a reason to be playing. I'll go even farther - even if you think you are below average, at least you can feel like you are improving. On the other hand, at a table game, you know that you're slowly draining money, and there is no hope of improvement ever - it just seems entirely futile to me (but I'm not a natrual gambler).
If being deluded is your goal, there are plenty of other games to select from as well. You can delude yourself into thinking you are effective at card counting. Yes, under the right circumstances card counting will turn blackjack into a postive expectation game for the player, but there are a lot of people that "think" they can do it. With things such as multi-deck shoes and automated casino security the way it is, it is almost impossible to both gain an advantage and go undetected. You can delude yourself into thinking you are some sort of expert dice controller and can roll certain combinations of numbers at greater frequencies than randomness would suggest. In theory then you can also turn craps into a positive expectation game. The list goes on and on as far as specious arguments for winning at gambling. Poker was one of my favorite forms of gambling, but it is still gambling.

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bru
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by bru » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:17 pm

Blackjack was/is my game of choice. Did well in tournaments which requires a bit different type of strategy. Got in to craps a bit later. Although as I get older I find standing at the craps table can get tiring.

During Spring Break with the family I went to a casino for a few hours and lost at blackjack, won a bit back at craps but overall was down for the visit. That was probably my one trip for the year. Before we had a kid we used to go a lot more.

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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by GregLee » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:45 pm

In case you're interested in both poker and spies, you'd find The Education of a Poker Player interesting. It's a memoir by Herbert O. Yardley with intermingled reminiscences of his introduction to poker, growing up in a small Indiana town toward the end of the 19th century, his adventures as a code breaker and poker player in China and elsewhere during WW I and after, and some practical instruction in the math you need to know for poker.

Herbert O. Yardley Image
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wander
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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by wander » Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:00 pm

Roulette is my first choice, then blackjack.

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Re: [POLL] If you gamble, what do/did you play?

Post by FireProof » Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:04 pm

SpecialK22 wrote: If being deluded is your goal, there are plenty of other games to select from as well. You can delude yourself into thinking you are effective at card counting. Yes, under the right circumstances card counting will turn blackjack into a postive expectation game for the player, but there are a lot of people that "think" they can do it. With things such as multi-deck shoes and automated casino security the way it is, it is almost impossible to both gain an advantage and go undetected. You can delude yourself into thinking you are some sort of expert dice controller and can roll certain combinations of numbers at greater frequencies than randomness would suggest. In theory then you can also turn craps into a positive expectation game. The list goes on and on as far as specious arguments for winning at gambling. Poker was one of my favorite forms of gambling, but it is still gambling.
Well, and yes, I could imagine myself counting cards, because that offers a hope for profit and improvement. I don't think I could buy advantage-play craps. Which isn't to say I don't understand perfectly well why someone who imagines he has a foolproof roulette strategy enjoys playing, but since I don't believe that, I am restricted to poker (and maybe blackjack). The nice thing about poker is variance is low enough that you find out relatively quickly whether you're actually doing well - counting cards it's hard to ever know.

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