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Gambling vs. Gaming

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by BeeeJay, Jan 8, 2015.

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  1. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    One of the most often dispensed pieces of advice, be it from fellow gamblers or "When The Fun Stops" casino pamphlets, is the advice to "Only gamble what you can afford to lose".

    This is good advice but I think it ignores one of the primary motivations of gambling in the first place.

    The RUSH

    My belief is that for some people this rush comes from RISK. And that risk inherently requires the gambling be at a level where at least some emotional pain is attached to the amount won/lost. Conversely, I believe other people are wired in a manner that they are more immune to this type of situation. They are able to maintain discipline, and their pleasure comes purely from either playing with an advantage, or realizing entertainment value from even the lowest of denominations.

    I can place myself firmly in the camp that requires sufficient stakes to bring enough risk into the equation to make the win/loss significant enough to at least get my attention.

    VMB members play at all different levels, and those levels aren't always related to income. I'd be curious to hear some opinions.....
     
  2. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    In my case, I am a Gamer because I love the challenge of mastering the game, but winning does not give me a huge buzz and I don't get bent out of shape when I lose. I can tell when the luck just isn't there, it's not my day, and I can move on, disappointed but not devastated. My goal is to break even.

    Gamblers do not consider the ramifications of their actions. They must win at all costs. It's an addiction no different than nicotine or heroin.
    Gamblers chase wins. Gamers are happy just having a good time with the thrill of playing with real money.

    An example is I never sat at a Texas Hold 'Em table until I had thorough knowledge of the game and it's nuances. I still have problems reading the up cards, but nowadays, I nearly always win something or just lose a little.

    I learned all of the games that way. I still won't sit at a Pai Gow table, even though I know it is fairly straightforward, because I don't quite grasp some of the rules.

    In my case, I know how hard it was to acquire the money to risk, so I protect it at all costs.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    The only reason I play anything is to get cheap/free drinks. (I don't drink a lot, maybe things would be different if I did.) I've tried a few different games and I settled on slow playing VP at the best pay table I can find at the time I want a drink. I don't get a big thrill when I win. I've had one or two Royals Flush, but no crazy excitement from it.

    Conversely, if I lose more than $100 in a day, I hate it a lot.

    I'm not a gambler, don't think I ever will be.
     
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  4. Fafa2e

    Fafa2e Low-Roller

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    So first I had to look up the difference between Gambling and Gaming. Per the American Gaming Association:

    Gaming vs Gambling

    While some people assume the word gaming was created as a way to “re-invent” the casino industry, history tells a different story. The word “gaming”—defined as the action or habit of playing at games of chance for stakes—actually dates back to 1510, predating use of the word “gambling” by 265 years. The words “gambler,” “gambling” and “gamble” all were considered slang when they came into use in the 18th century, implying that the activity involved unduly high stakes. The word “gamble” was essentially considered a term of reproach, according to The Oxford English Dictionary, and would only be used by those who “condemn playing for money altogether.”

    In 1891, even The Anti-Gambling Association referred to the activity as “gaming” in a publication: “Before the third crusade, there was no check upon the gaming vice, and no limit to the stakes. … During subsequent reigns gaming, although generally condemned, was vigorously pursued.”

    Casinos in Nevada have been referred to as part of the “gaming” industry ever since they were legalized there in 1931. As the industry expanded outside of Nevada, it continued to carry that name. As opposed to the business term “gaming,” the word “gamble” is now commonly used to refer to the actual activity. A 1987 reference dictionary uses the two terms interchangeably, defining gaming as “the playing of games of chance for stakes; gambling.”

    Sources: The Oxford English Dictionary, 1989; Fools of Fortune by James Philip Quinn, Chicago, 1891; Dictionary of Gambling and Gaming, by Thomas L. Clark, 1987


    I am in the same camp as Beeejay, I need the amount wagered to be enough to at least provide that rush of winning or despair of losing.

    I do, however, set a daily budget and try to stick to it (although I broke my daily budget on my last trip).
     
  5. LoveDowntownVegas

    LoveDowntownVegas Low-Roller

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    Same here. I can't sit at a $5 BJ table and be "as entertained" as I am when sitting at a $25 table. same game, different stakes.
    I will occasionally play $5 BJ, but I will press that $5 bet until the win/loss is significant enough to get my attention (I like how you phrased that).
     
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  6. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Well described BeeeJay...

    I'm definitely in the second camp. I play significantly under what I could afford to lose. I've often described it as not having a gambler's "mentality" or "stomach"... it's just not "in "me to consider risking serious money on a game of chance. I play for the entertainment. Now... I've owned businesses and taken plenty of risks in life on myself and my skills. I'm OK with that, because I can assess my potential risk/reward based on numerous factors. Though I've not always been correct, I felt I had a better chance of succeeding than failing before I entered into "whatever".

    I dislike the feeling of losing far more than I enjoy the feeling of winning.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  7. lithium78

    lithium78 High-Roller

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    I suppose I see it as gaming rather than gambling, because I go into the casino fully expecting to lose my entire bankroll. I budget with that in mind. When I win, it's a great thrill, but I don't get bent out of shape when I lose because it's just to have fun. I can have that kind of attitude, because I know how to do math. Some people I see in casinos, though, look really desperate and pathetic and it can make it sad to be around them.
     
  8. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    Definitely play for the rush and excitement, but it really doesn't take much.
    I will admit my allowance increases slightly with each trip.
    My first trip to Vegas and my limit was about $300/day.
    Now its over $1K which is probably only a single bet for many but works for me and if not i will just increase the limit...again.
     
  9. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Until I read that blurb that fafa2e posted I was one who thought "gaming" was just a sterilized way to say gambling. I've never referred to it as gaming and think of myself as a gambler.

    When I go on a casino trip, whether it be Vegas or to a local place, I have an amount I am expecting to lose. Obviously, like all of us, I would prefer to win as much as possible but if I do go bust-o then I am not beaten down because it was budgeted as a loss.

    Have I been reckless a couple times? Yeah. Early on in my gambling experiences I went past my comfort zone and I didn't like that feeling. So I make sure to stay within my budget.

    I definitely enjoy the rush of a hot craps table or a insane shoe of cards or watching a ballgame and hoping my teams covers or wins outright.

    When I began gambling my bankroll was a couple hundred bucks a day and over the years it has increased to 1500 to 2000 a day - but I still stay within my boundaries I have set. I can play at a $5 craps table but I will always bet at least like I was playing on a $10 table or more.
     
  10. PayTriple

    PayTriple The Cucumber King

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    I'm a gambler, trying to become a gamer.
     
  11. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    +1, but m not trying hard enough :)
     
  12. Harry Lyme

    Harry Lyme Low-Roller

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    Good thread. I think there's definitely something to the risk/reward piece, and factoring in what your willing to lose, but I think that you can determine that. My defining moment came a few years ago when I put $20 into a TableMaster blackjack machine and won $200. Then lost it trying to win more. Then wash, rinse, repeat. My loss out of pocket was only $40, but that cemented the belief of getting out having a stone cold leave point and time and sticking to it.

    My bankroll has grown due to more table action, but I still have some general, and some specific, guidelines. I've only once (on a Vegas trip) budgeted more than $500 a day and 3/4 of the way into it I closed up shop as it was just a bad day. My normal bankroll is $100-300, with hit and run trips to the local. I've also come to the conclusion that I don't need huge initial wagers to get a rush. The short time period and modest bankroll is the rush, so I get happy when chips are slid my way. If I'm up big, then I'll swing for the fences. If it's a bad day, I'll go home 20 minutes after getting there. Heck, if it's bad after two hours I'll leave with $5 left of my bankroll. I don't need to keep playing or give them another dime today. There's always another day.

    Don't know which category I fall under. Guess a bit of both.
     
  13. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    Thanks to fafa2e for the interesting research. Etymology can be fun.

    Nowadays, it is a distinction without a difference. "Gaming" sounds a little classier and is therefore preferred by the industry. Nobody, after all, is ever called a degenerate gamer unless maybe they spend all day in their pj's playing Xbox.

    The term "responsible" gambling is a perioxymoron. I like to risk enough so it stings if I lose but doesn't burn.
     
  14. Bossplayer21

    Bossplayer21 Low-Roller

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    I would say Im a ittle bit of both. The poster smartone said it best "I dislike the feeling of losing far more than I enjoy the feeling of winning. "

    When I lose I feel sick to my stomach and get a little depressed. Its not that I cant afford the loss, I can, its just this feeling of extreme guilt that I get. I beat myself up for days/weeks. When the pain subsides Im ready to get back in the action and start gambling again. I too can no longer sit at a $5 BJ table. Betting $5 or $10 a hand doesnt do anything for me anymore. Sit at a table and grind away $5-$10 bets and after 4 hours be up like $70 used to be how I did vegas. I rather be at work than be a grinder anymore.

    I need that sweat. I like betting bigger ammounts (>$50) and while waiting for the cards to be dealt I stand up out of chair because I cant sit still. When the dealer starts drawing cards I shout "bust, bust, bust!!!" as I pace back in forth.
    A $5 bet and I couldnt care less what the dealer does, ill sit there with my hand on my chin and a poker like face half asleep.

    So I have a gamblers mentality with a gamers stomach..
     
  15. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    +1 Pretty much the same with me. The problem is, at least with table games, its virtually impossible to win a meaningful amount of money without risking an even more meaningful amount of money. A slot player can argue that they can win a huge jackpot with a small bet but table game payoffs are more balanced.

    I want to win as much as anyone, but I have a hard time getting past the fact that it is a losing proposition and at the end of the day we play the same game whether its at table min or table max. The latter is just paying more for it.
     
  16. VegasGarden

    VegasGarden Low-Roller

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    I am with Beejay.

    Quick way to tell? Which do you prefer 4 hrs at qtr VP or 1-2 hrs at $1? Ya I prefer higher stacks with a greater risk of ruin vs playing all day.
     
  17. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    My view is that if one is playing with "scared money" then they are definitely gambling. I also believe that if someone has won a lot of money and are wagering amounts that could significantly impact their lives in a positive manner back home they are also gambling. I'll never do the former but once in a while I'll do the later.

    I get the rush from trying to win and avoid losing. As my bankroll has increased I still feel the adrenaline is the same if I'm betting nickels, quarters or blacks.
     
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  18. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

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    I feel the exact same way these days. Maybe more consecutive trips with big losses have sour'd me on risk.

    When I saw my Win Loss statement for 2012, and realized I could have put a new deck and roof on my house for some of my trip losses, I woke up.
    It hurt even more when I saw what my actual comp percentage was for that play from CET for the year.

    Less risk, lower bankroll, and better front end comps has been driving my play going forward. A couple of Hail Mary hits that put me in positive territory also helped keep me away.
     
  19. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

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    Isn't that where locking in a winning session win comes into play. Knowing at what stop limit is + and -, before you start playing. Lots of people hit short term wins, but fail to have the ability to walk away with the money. The pisser for me, when I claw back to even, and then dump a losing session. Those really sting.
     
  20. NickyDim

    NickyDim VIP Whale

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    I consider myself a gamer. I love the thrill of the bet and want to do it as many times as I can, but I can bet minimums for it to last and last and last. I use a budget that is predetermined as cost of entertainment and wont be pained if I come home without it. It also makes partial losing feel like a win when I still have 1/2 my money at the end of the day and consider it a success. A gambler would never consider losing 1/2 his buy in a success. And if I'm on the + side for the day it's a big success and thrill, but I'm not thinking of parlaying it into an even bigger win. So again, I guess I'm a gamer, a gamer who like to game 8+ hours a day.
     
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