Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by terosis, Jun 20, 2017.
have this at the ready
What actually happened tonight instead - I decided to do a tiny bit of gambling since it's my last night here. Despite my great disdain for casino gambling in general, I was bored and thought I'd have some fun w/my family remotely.
I told them I'd gamble $40 - $10 for each of us. Each could pick either roulette (and have a slightly less-than-50% chance to double their money), or go for slots and play until the money was gone - which meant almost certainly going to zero over a long period of time, but got you a very small chance of hitting some big payout. Mostly I was just curious how everyone would pick.
Both my kids played it safe with roulette, one wanted to bet on black, the other red.
On the first spin, black won - older kid now has $20.
Second spin, black won again - younger kid gets nothing.
My wife requested I find a machine where I could play her $10 in 25-cent increments. This proved to be harder than I thought... almost every slot machine is about 50-cents minimum now. I walked around for a half hour and finally found a sad row of slot machines way in the back of the hotel. I popped in the $10, and started pulling the lever... aside from about 3 very small payouts of a few quarters worth, it was a relatively quick plummeting of the remaining balance.
On literally the last pull, however (I was about 100% certain that it would just eat the last quarter and I'd be done), triple 7s lined up. It was actually the second highest payout you could get on that shitty machine if you were placing the minimum bet. It ended up paying out $135 - not a huge amount of cash, but still an assload more than I expected to walk away with. I texted my wife and told her what she won. I didn't even feel like gambling my own $10 since I felt like I already used up all our luck for the evening.
On the way back to my hotel room though, I thought fuck it - I said I'd play my $10, so I may as well do it. I found a machine that played $1 increments, and on my second bet, hit $68. I cashed that shit right out and then ran right back to my room before I got tempted to piss away any of my winnings.
TLDR: The moral of the story of my night's experiences in Vegas.... don't bet safe, ever. Definitely go with the riskiest bet Octavionn-style and you'll always walk away a winner.
Man I remember when I thought Kirstie Alley was just the hottest
Oh when I was younger and freshly 18, my mom used to drag me with her to the Native American Casinos. She was a gamblaholic. Well needless to say you could always find me at either the blackjack tables or the War tables (Yeh you could play war with the casino where the higher card wins). I'd usually bet big and either burn through the cash fast then bug her for more, or commandeer one of her slot machines (she always played 2 machines at once) and crank that baby up to max bets. The look on her face... haha. But she just let me keep doing it.
My favorite line whenever I went with her to the steak out at the casino... "Spare no expense! I'll have the most expensive thing on the menu." LoL! I had it in my mind that it was better she squander her money buying me filet minions & lobster tails than her burning it on slot machines.
My memory of her is "looks like a sloppy older version of my cousin", so it's hard for me to imagine that she was considered hot at some point. The Scientology indoctrination doesn't help matters.
We used to have a group of guys that would pile into a car on our lunch break and drive to the casino for shits and giggles every once in a while. It took 20 minutes to get there, and 20 back, meaning we only had 15-20 minutes to gamble.
Our strategy was always the same. We’d each put $20 each into a shared pot, go to the roulette table and take turns betting $20 (10 chips) at a time. Most guys would make fairly simple bets like all on red, or scatter chips on number splits. My boss was super careful with his bets though, covering as much of the table as possible with his chips, so his payout range was +/- $2. He would be very happy ending the day up $5.
I always found gambling boring as shit though, so when my turn to bet came, I’d always bet my whole stack on a single number. If I’m going to win, I want to win big, not just double my money. It drove my boss nuts, but against all odds I hit my number at least once 2 or 3 trips in a row.
The wins made my boss start tolerating my gambling style, but half the fun of my betting that way was watching him squirm whenever I plopped down the high risk bet. To get him uncomfortable with it again, I started betting the whole stack on whatever number had just landed on the previous roll. It fucking drove him insane, and he couldn’t explain why. He’s a smart guy. He knows how odds work. But it still made him go “what... no ... you can’t... it won’t.... fuck”.
i don't understand why anyone would ever want to play slots/roulette/blackjack/etc
gambling in a legitimate game of strategy like poker or something can be fun tho
"Gambling" is a bit of a vague term.
Sports betting (possibly) and poker (probably) can have positive expected value over a long period of time if you are good enough at it. It's probably not feasible for anyone but a small percentage of people to do this, but it at least provides an illusion of control over a large sample.
The games you mentioned have a provably negative expected value, outside of casino error, and it really only makes sense to frontload it like a lottery. Otherwise, you are guaranteed to lose over a period of time. But I guess it's fun to "play".
But I'm not sure that is different from the way financial markets operate (which is why I analogize them).
It's questionable that stock-picking can provide positive expected value versus a random control (most evidence I've read suggests that it can't, but it's hard to study amongst the elite). If positive EV *is* achievable, it's certainly not by more than a minuscule percentage of people. But there's enough of an illusion of control that Joe Average thinks their micro-decisions matter.
I think trying to pick early-stage moonshots, whether it's in crypto or the stock market, is very likely a negative EV proposition for most people (although I can't prove that) and it's basically the lottery. It just FEELS like "I believe in this tech" is more valid than "I believe "red" is going to hit", even if that is not the case statistically.
i think negative EV is a very different concept from agency/control in a game
and that the depth of the game is also very important. trying to 'read' a person in poker is a much more difficult strategic modeling task than shifting probabilities around in the sterile way that roulette let's you do, or that slots don't even let you do
wat is an EV
Expected value, a kind of "average" value. The net value of each game outcome, weighted by its probability. Casino games are designed to have negative EV (for the players).
EDIT: Apparently Kanmuk already elaborated on this above, was reading on my phone. I've always thought that it's strange that expected values don't feature more prominently in basic education.
Hello Neighbor... Have you heard of the great Chainlink Prophecy foretold in the Book of Nazarov?
People gamble for all sorts of reasons though:
-Some want to maintain a fantasy of getting rich and feel a lottery is their only way, i.e. they are basically paying for hope.
-Some gamble primarily as a means to socialize (c.f. EQ downtime + party chat).
-Some are just mesmerized by the blinking lights and somehow enjoy the mechanics (c.f. traditional gameplay).
In practice it is likely some combination of the above.
When I was in Vegas, I just tried it for the novelty + free drinks. In my quest to find the video slot with the most obnoxious special effects, me and a lady friend went pretty much break even and picked up some 10+ drinks. That's the only way you are going to be +EV against a casino without cheating.
I think everything you said is correct. I'm mostly just piggybacking your post to asset my own points.
But I think EV and agency/control are related. I think that anything that fails to alter EV over a large sample is indistinguishable from randomness and can't be reliably labelled as "agency" or "control". And in some of these more "complex" games, a couple of things happen:
1) A lot of "strategies" people employ don't actually alter EV as much as we think they do when compared to pure randomness. And agency and control can effectively "cap" in a game. It's easy to see when that occurs in something like Blackjack or Roulette, but it's more ambiguous when it occurs in something like poker or stock-picking. And it can be different for different people depending on other variables like time, income, IQ, etc.
2) People confound short-term variance with decision-making that actually alters EV. E.G. someone hit the crypto-bullrun (or tech bullrun) and now thinks they can predict the future above chance.
None of that contradicts what you said, but they are underlying premises to my meta-points in this thread, which are that I"m not sure how many people can actually raise EV by reading white papers or analyzing earnings reports or studying P/E ratios. I think a lot of that is just noise, and the equivalent of saying I knew the wheel would land on red because I analyzed the velocity at which the ball was released and the way the breeze was blowing from the vents.
2 disagreements w/ this:
a) EV's just one property of the payoff distribution; strategic choices could also alter e.g. variance, skewness, kurtosis, higher statistical moments, or some other property of the payoff probabilities that isn't a standard statsy term
b) I think agency/control aren't about whether your strategic choices alter the payoff distribution in practice, but about whether they could have altered it if made differently. that kind've counterfactual analysis is difficult to accumulate evidence about tho (i spose this point is less a disagreement & more a clarifying comment)
i agree w/ your meta-points / your general argument re: crypto, white paper stock picking, etc fwiw
just nitpicking individual ideas because if i dont my purpose in life is lost
1) I think I use “expected value” in a very imprecise and amorphous way (aka dogshit). I use it to absorb a lot of different “outcomes” in a manner that likely isn’t warranted. So I should probably not do that.
2) I tried to sidestep this point when I referenced individual variables like “time” and “IQ”. It’s hard to know what “could have” means. We could work through this, but I don’t think it’s going to alter the underlying point. So I will opt for laziness.
3) I can’t decide whether numbers or letters are better for labeling new points, and I actually have wasted a good deal of time thinking about it.
letters sound more aggressive
Separate names with a comma.