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Pandora's box30 May 2011
In Greek mythology, the most "gifted" woman of the ancient world was Pandora. Indeed she was the first woman ever created by the gods, who were ordered by the father of the gods, Zeus, to each give her extraordinary charms and talents, the better to seduce and destroy men. Her name itself can also be translated as "endowed," which means that both physically and sexually she had, well, what it takes.
As with many myths coming from ancient history, Pandora might well have been endowed and irresistible to men but she was also the cause of all the evil in the world. Like Eve, who was blamed for the fall of Adam in the bible, Pandora brought forth all the evils of the world due to her curiosity and cunning nature. (Why is it that in many of the creation myths a woman is the cause or contributes to the cause of all the evils in the world? My wife, the beautiful AP, is not happy with those myths.)
Pandora was given a jar, which over time became known as the "box," and she was warned never to open it. But being a woman, she was consumed by an insatiable curiosity and did indeed open it. And out flew all the evils of the world -- hate, war, disease, jealousy, anger, dishonesty, greed and casino gambling. Once all the evil came out of the jar, we heard a little flutter and the only thing remaining was "hope."
Emily Dickinson, one of the world's greatest poets, framed the concept of "hope" this way:
Perhaps Zeus decided to give man something good from the jar or perhaps "hope" was merely an illusion to keep us going in the face of inexorable adversity. In short, was "hope" actually just another evil?
In casino gambling, hope is an operant condition for men and women to bet their hard-earned money in the face of casino advantages planted not in the jar of divine magic but in the jar of math. Casinos are truly the Olympus of mathematics, not created by the mythological Greek gods, but created by man understanding the laws of the universe and how to apply them to get more than man gives. That's the nature of casinos. The casinos take more money in than they give out.
Players know the games favor the house. They know this fact either strongly because they have studied the games by reading books or magazines, or they vaguely know this because after awhile they must grapple with a nagging thought, "Hey, I'm losing. I don't think these games can be beaten."
So what keeps casino players going? What entices them to come back time and time again knowing they face unbeatable games? One word: hope. Before a casino visit, the heart of a casino player thumps with the rhythms of hope. Visions of wins, big, small, medium or monstrous fill the players' minds and ignite his fancy. Each trip is built on the hope that today, this afternoon, tonight will see such wins coming the players' way. And on some occasions such wins do happen -- flaming the players' hope still more for subsequent visits.
Still those "some occasions" are not enough to give the players any real hope of beating the house in the long run. We all know this fact.
Now there is nothing wrong with such hope, if we keep that hope contained in our own little jars. In the long run, almost all casino players will be losers. That is no secret. If the hope a player experiences doesn't throw him into careless play or harmful overindulgence, there is nothing wrong with flirting with a chance to win a few bucks. Feel free to court Lady Luck in the casinos, be it the Greek version known as Tyche or the Roman version known as Fortuna, but keep in mind that, in all of her versions, Lady Luck is fickle and can turn on you in the blink of an eye or the spin of a roulette ball.
In short, don't trust your luck in a casino and go overboard by thinking this Lady is your mistress; and don't throw everything you have into those hopes you fantasized before your trip. Keep a level head. Have some fun but stay in control.
Casino gambling may not be, as I joked above, one of the world's evils, but you can make it such if you don't play the games correctly. You can't allow greed to overcome your common sense. You can't allow jealousy at high rollers' bankrolls and the awesome accord they get by the casino personnel to make you bet more than you should. You must play your games intelligently, using the best possible strategies, and be content to have some fun that doesn't cost you too much of your money.
Pandora's Box did give us "hope," but if Zeus made hope merely another evil to fool us into ever greater foolishness, then we must tread carefully. Casino gambling is fun, but it is not fun when it wreaks havoc with your emotions.
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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