Logic vs. Feelings When It Comes To Games Of Chance

We all LOVE to win and seasoned Powerball and Mega Millions lottery players will vouch for this remembering when they entered their lucky lotto numbers into the record-breaking $1.6 billion draws.

The sheer excitement we feel when taking risks for the chance of winning money can be very exhilarating. But, there’s also the ups and downs of winning and losing. We naturally feel happy when we win, and if the win is significant enough we can even experience genuine elation. Of course, the flip side to that are the negative emotions we feel when we lose. Overall, though, the emotional thrills that taking a chance can offer are positive for most people.

logic vs emotions when it comes to games of chance

Roulette players will know the chances of hitting either red or black are 50/50 every time. But even if they watch the ball land on black 15 times in a row, they still think that this time it has to land on red.

The truth is, that’s a gambler’s fallacy’ and a failure to understand statistical independence as every time the wheel spins, it is a singular betting occurrence and the odds are the same every time.

The same goes with playing the lottery. Hardly anyone will pick consecutive numbers, incorrectly assuming they are less likely to hit than those more randomly spaced. The truth is, there have been numerous winners who have won the jackpot on consecutive numbers.

Trust the Force

Chance has a seemingly magical power to excite our brains.

Star Wars fans will remember the episode where Luke Skywalker turned off his targeting computer and heard the voice of Old Ben Kenobi saying, ‘Trust the Force Luke.” With seconds to go and just one shot to save the universe, he destroyed the Death Star.

Trekkies boldly go where no man has been before. In episode 21 (Patterns of Force) in 1968, Spock who is a character-driven by nothing other than pure logic realised just how exciting gambling can be.

While on paper, you would think that Spock would consider gambling illogical but after seeing what Luke Skywalker did, he said, “Captain, I’m beginning to understand why you Earthmen enjoy gambling. No matter how carefully one computes the odds of success, there is still a certain… exhilaration in the risk.”

And it is that ‘exhilaration’ that blurs the edges of logic and strengthens the influence of feelings.

The Monaco Example

At Casino de Monte-Carlo, in Monaco, wealthy casino players witnessed an occurrence that was a 136,823,184 to one shot.

While gathering around a roulette table, more and more people started converging as the ball kept on landing on black. The more the ball landed on black, the higher the bets became for the ball to finally land on red. Bets got larger and so did the crowd. Unbelievably, the ball continued to land on black 26 times!

Naturally, it was an amazing night for the house, as more and more people wagered on the red.

This just goes to show that people believed that red was due for a run. In the end, it’s a prime example of feelings trumping logic.

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Superstition is another paradox and is another example of logic vs emotions.

While there is no factual evidence that blowing on the dice increases the likelihood of a successful roll, gamblers still can’t help themselves by doing so. They believe that by doing so, it will influence Lady Luck on their side.

Card players are among the most superstitious of all and seasoned gamblers will tell you that they will not cross their legs or play with a cross-eyed partner or opponent.

A dropped card is also a sign of very bad luck. Some gamblers wear a pin in the lapel for good luck. Some walk around the table before a game to increase their luck.

Studies have shown that players who are allowed to throw the roulette ball are likely to bet more on that spin. In reality: personal human contact does not influence the outcome.

Poker Face

Poker is a game where logic and feelings are incredibly important. Your body language and facial expressions could easily let your opponents know what’s in your hand without having to look.
That’s why maintaining a killer poker face is your number one strategy to winning a poker game.

Poker players will understand the statistics of every hand; the probability of drawing a winning card. However, poker is about playing the man – not the hand.

There are a lot of different ways to tell if someone has a weak hand. Here are some of them:

  • Fake smiling
  • Lip biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Eye rolling
  • Excessive blinking
  • Holding breath
  • Tense mouth
  • Forcefully putting chips into the pot
  • Treating hole cards without care
  • How to tell if a player has a strong hand:
  • Acting weak
  • Pointing things upwards
  • Taking big breaths
  • Not blinking
  • Impatience
  • Looking at stacks of chips a lot
  • Sliding chips into the pot with care
  • Being too relaxed
  • Sudden sitting up

At the end of the day, one of the best pieces of advice we can give you for keeping a great poker face is to respond the same way, no matter if you win or lose.

Keeping it fun

What’s important to remember is that playing games of chance should be a form of entertainment. Players should enjoy all the thrills, excitement and adrenalin rush that comes with playing all these various games.

As long as you never let the logic go, feel free to take a shot like Skywalker but remember to keep a little Spock in you at the same time.

This post was written by
Jason L - who has written 2987 articles
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