A Selective History Of Gambling

Fascination with games of chance and speculation on the results of repeated random trials appear to be common to almost all societies, past and present. It is temp е ing to view prehistoric existence as a continual series of gambles against nature with the ultimate stake, survival, as the nonnegotiable wager. With nature somewhat under control and a relatively predictable daily routine assured, the necessity to gamble is relieved. Some of the newly found leisure is used to recapture, act out, and celebrate those breathtaking earlier times.

The above is certainly a plausible scenario for the origins of games and gambling (and. for that matter, of art, poetry, politics, sports and war). While historical and archeologi с al evidence does not currently exist to support fully claims that gambling is a human instinct, the fact remains that gambling arose at a very early time and continued to survive and flourish despite legal and religious restrictions, social condemnation, and even very unfavorable house odds.

An early form of our six-faced die, found commonly on Assyrian and Sumerian archeologi с al sites, is the astragalus (the bone just above the heel bone) of sheep, deer, and other animals of comparable size. Babylonian and early Egyptian sites (circa 3600 bce) provide clear evidence that polished and marked astragali were used along with colored pebbles (counters and markers) and a variety of game-type boards.” A suitably chosen astragalus will fall with four possible orientations, making it a natural gaming device or randomizer. The fact that the orientations do not occur with equal like lihood and that each astragalus has different randomizing characteristics would have discouraged any general theory and analysis of its behavior. This has also been cited by some (and discounted by others) as one reason why even a primitive body of ideas on probability did not emerge in ancient times. Inevitably, the astragalus gave way to increasingly true versions of the modern six-faced die. but not without a number of offspring such as throwing sticks, other regular and irregular polyhedral dice, and various forms of purposely loaded and unfairly marked dice. By the time of the birth of Christ, humans find themselves well endowed with randomizers, board games, and the will and imagination to design and play an endless variety of additional games.

As F. N. David states in her book Games, Gods, and Gambling,

The idea of counting and enumeration is firmly established but not the concept of number as we know it now. The paraphernalia of chance events lias been organized for man’s pleasure and enter tainment. Randomization, the blind goddess, fate, fortune, call it what you will, is an accepted part of life.

Playing cards appeared in Europe around the tenth century and their evo lution has a colorful history. Especially interesting is the origin of the four suits and the royal succession of historical figures represented as particular jacks, queens, and kings. Having touched upon the beginnings of dice and cards, two staples of modern day gambling, we summarize in Table 1.1 data for other well known randomizing devices, some of the games played with them, and various other gambling activities common today. Since our overall interest is not simply in aspects of gambling but in the mathematics of practical and theoretical game situations, we also include information on games of pure skill (no randomizing factors involved) and on the theory of games.

With a variety of reasonably accurate randomizing devices and a newly emerging theory of probabilities to analyze them, gambling acquired new status in the seventeenth century. Indeed many of the finest scientific and philosophical minds of the times were excitedly engaged in discussing practical and theoretical problems posed by gaming situations. Cardano wrote The Book on Games of Chance in about 1520, though it was not published until 1663. Pascal and Formal engaged in their famous correspondence on probability and gambling questions in 1654. In 1658 Pascal proposed his famous wager (discussed in Chapter 2), which can be viewed as a game theoretic approach to the question of belief in God. The expec tation concept was introduced by C. Huygens in probability text. Calculating in Games of Chance. Throughout this time Leibniz made philosophical contributions to the foundations of probability. The remarkable development of probability theory in the latter half of the seventeenth century was culminated in Jakob Bernoulli’s Ars Conjectandi (written in the early 1690′s, published in 1713), a brilliant forerunner of the theory, practice, and philosophical complexities that characterize the subject today. All of this scholarly attention and reasoned analysis might be thought to have stripped gambling of its aura of mystery, irrationality and notoriety, but the nature of the beast is not to be underestimated. Fortunes continued to be won and lost, bets were placed on both sides of games fair and unfair, and officialdom was as zealous as ever at restraining the wagers of sin.

The situation today has evolved in somewhat predictable fashion. People gamble on a vastly increased variety of games, most of whose optimal strategies and odds have been analyzed completely on paper or to a high degree of approximation on digital computers. Gambling is still controlled and in varying degrees illegal in most countries and frowned upon by most religions. Nonetheless, large and lucrative gambling meccas have sprung up in Nevada , Monte Carlo . Atlantic City , and increasingly many other centers throughout the world. States and countries that restrict private gambling by their inhabitants sponsor a dizzying variety of lotteries and take a healthy cut from the proceeds of racetracks. In virtually all phases of this organized gambling, the odds are soundly stacked against the player, yet masses of people play happily, compulsively, poorly, and well. On the local level bridge and backgammon clubs flourish, often with master points and pride rather than money at stake. Church groups sponsor bingo days and Las Vegas nights (for worthy causes) with consistent success. Poker games (private, televised, or online), office pools, and organized sports betting are widespread. Mixing in with all of this and increasing dramatically, Internet gambling (with revenues estimated at 4 billion dollars in 2003) is readily available from sources all over the globe.

In summary, the phenomenon of gambling is ubiquitous, recognizing no geographic, social or intellectual boundaries. Its mystery and appeal are a somewhat random mixture of superstition, excitement, hope, escapism, greed, snobbery, and mathematical fascination. Gambling is a vital part of some lives and an important sideline for many others. It is in some cases destructive and potentially addictive, and in others a delight and a diversion. Gambling is, in mild forms, an almost universal childhood activity. Its play is characterized by extremes of rationality, rationalization, and irrationality. It is a serious, large, and growing business. Gambling, with all of its diverse, paradoxical, and fascinating qualities, is here to stay.

Gambling Industry Expanding And Players Who Use Gambling Strategies

What does the word Gamble” mean to you?

For the average player the word gambling” means much more than a risky bet. It can stand for just about anything from vacationing, Las Vegas, and even fun. Devised earlier than 3000 years ago, gambling was well documented to have existed in many civilizations. The games we know today are the incarnations of former ones, with adjusted rules. For the length of time gambling was invented, players have always seemed obsessed with trying to use various gambling strategies for games. However, Casinos have always had the mathematical advantage along with an adamant need for stopping the smart player. It has forever become a vicious cycle of exploitive players vs. casinos catching up.

Today, gambling doesn’t even need to be played at Las Vegas or any other casino chains.

Now for those of you who live under rocks or live in a time warp may say, Wait….outside of Casinos?”

Well you see…

1.In-flight Gambling: Eflyte has been developing in-flight gaming and continues to spread its influence on many airlines. Currently they have the world’s first Multiplayer Poker Tournament along with over 60 games for airplanes. Ceo of Ryanair will also attempt use in-flight gaming by next year. Now casino gambling may be common on cruises, but it’s a breakthrough for airlines.

2.Mobile phones can also be used to buy lotteries and sports betting nowadays. If certain restrictions are lifted, it could even mean much more growth in its use.

3.Internet Casinos are also another medium in which gambling doesn’t seem to stop growing; despite being forced to open offshore from the US. This isn’t necessarily bad of course.

The gambling industry is on a growing trend and it doesn’t seem to stop anywhere in sight. Of course, this naturally means that more and more people will be hooked and continue losing to the casinos.

Even the strategic players are screwed over at times with certain technologies being developed. Some casinos even started to implement tracking devices in chips to catch card counters. Those days of Ken Uston and counting machines are getting harder to come by since casinos already know about the gambling strategies used. New mediums such as electronic gambling can stop card counting dead in it’s track.

Winning through strategy can still be done, just as internet marketing can still make some rich. Yet being particular savvy to news and gambling strategy alike can immensely help the professional gambler. That is, unless gambling is only treated as a simple recreation. Otherwise, the best a player can do is to read up on forums and reference news sources for any changes in their gambling strategy.

Causes And Symptoms Of Compulsive Gambling

Compulsive gambling is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to gamble despite the toll it takes on a person’s life. People, who take part in compulsive gambling lie, hide their gambling activities and sometimes steal to support their addiction. As with other gambling addictions, compulsive gambling can destroy lives. Searching online for gambling information can help with the addiction and is a good start to recovery. The more gambling information gathered, the more likely a person is to find help. The best way for others to understand the addiction and help others understand, is to share the gambling information about addiction.

Gambling information tells us that compulsive gambling most often begins in the late teen years. It is rare, but a person’s compulsive gambling can begin with their very first wager. However, gambling information gathered on compulsive gambling reveals that the addiction generally develops over time. In fact, many people can enjoy occasional gambling for many years before becoming addicted. When studying gambling information, it is found that the frequency of gambling along with stress many times is at the root of the gambling addiction. The addict becomes preoccupied with gambling and money and will do anything to satisfy their need to bet.

Compulsive gambling is characterized by many symptoms. Gambling information gathered tells us that anyone engaged in compulsive gambling will lie, steal and spend the majority of their time consumed in their addictive behavior. People suffering with compulsive gambling get a thrill from the activity, use the gambling as a means of escape, continue to make bigger risks and will most likely feel some sort of remorse after gambling. Being educated about the addiction is one of the best ways to help the addicted person. Gather as much gambling information as you can to help you learn what to look for and how to help the addict. The internet has many resources and sites offering gambling information and help for those seeking a way to break their compulsive behavior. Knowledge is the key to getting help.

If suspect you or a loved one has a problem with compulsive gambling, look for gambling information to find resources that help the addicted. Some signs of compulsive gambling include hiding the gambling from family and friends, devoting the majority of your time to addictive behavior and unsuccessfully trying to stop or cut back. Compulsive gambling not only causes financial problems, but gambling information tells us it also affect the addict’s family and work life as well. If a friend or family member expresses concern about your behavior, listen to them. You can find help by searching for gambling information websites for helpful resources. Denial is also a characteristic of addictive behavior. For this reason, the addict cannot admit to having a problem and most likely needs professional help.

When searching gambling information, you will find that the causes of compulsive gambling are not completely understood. There are many biological, environmental and genetic factors that contribute to compulsive gambling and addictive behaviors.