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Dream a Little Dream with Me26 October 2006
There are really two types of casino games when you strip away all the strategies and vagaries and house edges and money management advice. There are games that fulfill the wildest dreams and fantasies of their players and there are games that fulfill a player's sense of self.
The fantastic dream type games are those that offer large payouts that can change our lives, if not forever, at least for the foreseeable future. The player who is pouring his money into Megabucks isn't thinking of just winning a couple of hundred or thousand dollars, he's thinking of hearing those bells go off, those symbols line up one right after another. He sees the people gathering around; he hears himself being congratulated.
The fantasy spins out even more as photographers take his picture for those oversized billboards on roads and in casinos; and newsman angle with each other to question him for the newspapers. He can see his family members cheering him. Whatever financial problems he might have, disappear just like that.
The winning of any big jackpot is a life-altering event. You don't win a million or several million or tens of millions and just go back home as if nothing really happened. The gods of chance smiled on you; Lady Luck fell in love with you and the world has been set right. Huge amounts of money are the stuff of dreams and big money often equates with big power.
The games that offer life-changing experiences are the progressive slot machines such as Megabucks and Quartermania and Wheel of Fortune. Caribbean Stud games offer big jackpots that can alter lives at certain levels. When you get a rush of $350,000, that's pretty damn good.
Players who play the games where massive jackpots are involved love to dream the big dreams. They want the fun of fantasizing on the epic scale. But none of the players would attribute their good fortune to their skill level or intelligence. Luck is the only factor and all gamblers know that Lady Luck is a fickle mistress indeed.
The second type of game requires a person to understand betting strategies and playing strategies. It is the type of game where a player's decisions have consequences. Certainly one can say a person decides to play Megabucks but, in truth, we don't think strategy has much to do with any Megabuck jackpot. The gods are with you or they aren't in those cases.
In games such as blackjack and craps, the betting and playing decisions are testament to a player's skill and understanding. It isn't blind luck but acumen that such players attribute their wins to. Certainly, at blackjack the decisions a player makes on each and every hand are the primary components in how much he wins or loses over time. Make good decisions, you lose less; make bad decisions, you lose more. The long run for a blackjack player is in his own mind. For a card counter at blackjack, his decisions and skills will decide whether he wins in the long run or loses in the long run. Luck plays no role in the long run for a card counter at blackjack. Skill is operant.
Yet, skill can rarely bring you massive one-night wins at games such as craps or blackjack. While you can have good nights at craps and blackjack certainly, the chances of winning a massive fortune would depend on massive luck and there is rarely massive luck at these games. A $10 blackjack player will find it quite unusual to win, say, one million dollars in a single evening. If he won every hand he played for an evening, he might win a few thousand dollars.
While craps has some interesting jackpot-type payouts of 30 to 1 on some numbers, even betting a hundred dollars on such propositions can bring you $3,000 if and when they hit. Now that's a lot of money but it isn't life altering. The best bets at craps return the least amount of money - they are one to one, or at most, two-to-one propositions.
People play craps and blackjack not for massive wins but for self-approval. When you play these games tight against the house, you get a feeling of strong self worth. You might not win a fortune, but you win a measure of self-respect when you play the games correctly. Indeed, craps players and blackjack players don't have to win anything to get a kick out of what they are doing. Just keeping the house edge at bay is victory enough.
A person playing Megabucks is not thinking in self-worth terms. He is not thinking of a house edge. He must win the jackpot for the machine to have any meaning to him - otherwise, why face such an outrageously high house edge of around 15 percent on such machines? Unless we postulate that Megabucks' players are completely deranged, there must be another reason for playing such machines. That reason is to dream those almost impossible dreams.
Some players, of course, do both. They play the life-altering machines and they play the self-worth games. The two types of gambling are not exclusive. Some players like to occasionally dream those wonderful dreams but at the same time they enjoy the self-worth that comes from handling the house edge at the contestive games of blackjack and craps. There are indeed two distinct types of games and both types have their appeal.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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