May 25, 2010

Is It Really Gambling...

...if you're going to win? Take Vegas for example. Not you in Vegas, but the House. They have the odds. So despite regular losses, over time, with millions of games, they're going to win trillions of dollars.

They'd be silly not to play when the odds are in their favor.

So, take poker for example. There's no house. It's you and 5-8 other people. If you're the best player at the table, is it really gambling? There's definitely a chance you can lose. There's significant luck involved. But since the odds are in your favor, over time, you're going to come out WAY ahead.

If Michael Jordan and I gambled on a game of one-on-one, he wouldn't be gambling. That would be a smart investment. We don't usually consider "anything that involves risk" as gambling. Stocks. Buying a home. Getting a college degree. In the past, we've considered those smart investments.

Now I think learning poker and playing well against inferior opponents might be a better way to go.


suzzy said...

To an enlightened mind the odds are meaningless. Just today I played a million to one long shot and it came in. I think it was Einstein who said,God doesn't play dice."

Matt J said...

In poker, you have to be more than just the best player at the table for it to be a good investment. For example, if 5 people are playing and every player was equally skilled, the chances of you winning would be only 1 in 5. So, you would have to be much, much better than your opponents for it to be a smart investment.

Or, the odds are meaningless because "God doesn't play dice".

suzzy said...

Hi Matt, You just said that to be nice.

Eric Olsen said...

If you were the best player at the table, even by a little, and you had a comparative advantage to everyone else, over time, you would still come out WAY ahead. Because out of every 100 dollars played, you'd get a little more than everyone else.