Saturday, February 16, 2008

Travelogue: The drain in Atlantic city…

The problem is with setting a loss limit; our human nature is such that once we get optimistic we always keep hoping that our fortunes will change even when we are in deep loss. We hope that the next spin will yield a fortune only to end up losing the money. Those who are in the stock market would have learnt this lesson – especially those doing very short term trading; the prices fall but you believe even against all odds that something dramatic might happen to turn it all around. But here it was worse that the stock markets – hardly any logic and such a short time.

I observed the same phenomenon happen when we, or rather my colleague, played a few more rounds. He made a decent amount of profit in the first few machines (I won’t disclose amounts here! Golden rule: When you go to a casino you don’t tell anyone what you made or lost; everything that happens inside is buried inside).

Soon my colleague started losing; his fortunes reversed and he also didn’t feel his usual self – he was a regular slot player but today his mood wasn’t that enthusiastic. Maybe it was to do with his mood – the way you feel influences a lot of things. Roulette was interesting to watch since it had a colorful board with a colorful wheel and a bright LED display screen. My friend explained how roulette was played – you bet your money on what will happen (you actually stack a few coins but you pay for those coins). There is a large circular board on which a ball is placed and the board is spun; there are many numbered slots on the board and the ball will settle in one of them. You place a bet saying which number it will land on; or you can place a bet saying whether it will be even or odd. There will be a number of players playing each round. Ah; you might think that one can indefinitely keep playing the game by placing 50% coins on even and 50% on odd for each round. But you have to place a bet in odd numbers ensuring that no one plays indefinitely. It was fun to watch – but slot machine was more appealing to me – maybe because it was secretive J

I developed a liking for casinos – it seemed a good way to spend a day once in a while as long as you had control over your temptation (which is pretty hard)! It was past midnight and my colleague urged me to play and try my luck. I searched for the lower range slot machines - $20 to start with. And the start was perfect – started with a loss; my friend’s luck today was rubbing onto me as well. Played another machine and lost in that as well. We decided to take a break and switch casinos.