Gamble

October 20th 2015

Today I lost €30 in a casino in Monte Carlo. And when I say ‘lost’ I obviously don’t mean that I left it on a table somewhere. 

We day tripped to Monaco from Nice, and one of the things we wanted to do was go to a casino. I walked in to the casino fully prepared to lose €20, I would’ve been fan to walk out 20 down. It’s almost like, that’s how much I priced my fun at. A boat trip costs €15. A museum costs €8. A casino trip costs €20. I was happy with that. 

I think the most profit I had at any one point was about €6, the rest slowly dwindled. But it was a hell of a fun way to spend a couple hours. I’m clever enough to know the game I’m playing. I know how it all works. 

I mainly played roulette, right, and I spent most of my money betting black or red because the odds are as good as 50/50. Except they’re not. The green zero tile makes the odds of being correct if you choose red to be 18/37, which is like 48.6%. That being 1.4% below 50/50 means that the expected outcome is always in favour of the house. 

I know that. I had my strategy, though. I’d bet red. If it was red, I’d bet red again. If it was black, I’d double my stake and bet red again. And carry on doing that. It basically means your pot fluctuates up and down above and below your original investment, that’s basically playing it for fun, and for free. You only lose money when you get cocky and try to win money by betting on rows, or columns. 

Although, saying that, Alice walked in with a fiver, bet on packs of six numbers. 6/37 chance, and walked out with €25. 

I was trying to be smart, she was just going for it. 

And she came out better off. 

After my first stint, I went back in later with another tenner and tried more aggressively. Didn’t work, so I walked away. 

The problem is that I can see how easily people get dragged into gambling. 

Sitting at dinner I was €20 down and Alice was €20 up. I’d basically just given her a twenty note via a roulette machine. Anyway, she’s in profit and she wants to go back to make more money, she’s sure she’s got the system. I’m in the negative and I want to go back to recoup my losses. 

We both go back. We both lose money again. 

Until tomorrow, the house always wins. 

Jacn

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