The Betting Game

WE will never know exactly what that first bunch of cave people were thinking when the first fight broke out, but we can probably guess that there were a few shifty men in the back and one of them was saying, 'Grunt! Gruntgrunt a-gara-grunt ghoomfgrunt', which roughly translates to 'Dude! Half a side of Elk on the big guy.' And so it started…we think.


In modern, “refined” days, if there is a sporting contest, you can bet there is someone betting on the outcome. Sums reach huge amounts and a lot is at stake. So the practice of betting has given rise to controversies about fixed matches, where the gamblers pay off teams or players to “take a fall”, or lose, in the common tongue. Those who remember names like Hansie Cronje and Mohammad Azharuddin will remember the devastating toll match fixing took on Cricket.


Anyway, back to the point. Humans love to throw money at chance. And to feed that love, giant money sucking buildings [commonly called casinos] have sprung up in the big cities. Though, if you look closely, you can probably find a gambling joint on some tucked away corner of your home village. The purpose of casinos is to juice every penny from every mortal that walks through its doors. Of course, most of those sad mortals know that the casino has SOME advantage over them. But very few know to what extent. And of course, the casinos are so good at playing innocent, that no matter how calm and cool you are, it'll have you racing after that elusive shonar horin.


Business is so good, that an entire city has been dedicated to cater to the human intoxication with gambling. And this paradise city goes by the name Las Vegas.
So, what drives people to this madness? What drove Judhistir, that great king in Mahabharata, to bet his kingdom, his possessions, his brothers and even his [actually their's…long story, nevermind] wife? Well, a recent study conducted by a group of scientists led by Mathias Pessiglioneat University College London, UK, seems to point towards dopamine. It appears that when we guess correctly, or happen to win a bet, we get a sudden surge of dopamine. What does dopamine do? It gives us a “high”.


Cocaine and amphetamines creates artificial dopamine surges in the body. So, when people say gambling is addictive, they're not too far off.


This study also explains why people taking dopamine inducing drugs as medication [such as Parkinson's disease patients] are prone to gambling addiction. When they pick out a winning combination, they remember it better and are quicker to recognize another winning combination. However, please don't walk away with the notion that snorting cocaine will help you clean up a casino. Dopamine doesn't help you realize losing combos. Also, the effect of dopamine surges may explain why people suffering from schizophrenia have some delusions and mistakenly connect events that are completely ordinary and random.


We love our readers and would hate for them to go to Casinos, lose all their money and not be able to buy our paper. So our advice to you: stay away from Las Vegas and stick to Facebook poker. Ten bucks says you won't make one million points in the first two weeks.

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