Casino Gambling and The Tao

It may seem strange to equate casino gambling with Taoist philosophy, but it may be because gambling is so much a part of and widely accepted in Chinese culture.

The very first recorded history of playing cards date back to 9th century China which makes sense being that they were the inventors of writing paper. The first book written with reference to playing cards dates to the Tang Dynasty (618-907) called Yezi Gexi. By the 11th century playing cards could be found throughout Asia featuring many of the 108 heroes of Lan Shun found in the Chinese classic the “Water Margin.”

In the 16th century playing cards had made their way to France and it is there that they began using the suits of picture cards that we are familiar with today based on figures of French nobility.

Taoist philosophy is said to be nearly 6,000 years old and came to prominence with the teachings of The Yellow Emperor, Huang Ti, the first emperor of China. With many of their scientific discoveries such as mathematics and astronomy, there was also a deep connection to astrology, symbology (a science of symbols and their effects), numerology and many forms of mysticism.

In the 7th Pillar of Taoism, “The Tao of Mastery,” The symbol for water is K’AN and states, “to be successful and fortunate, risk must be taken.” Luck to the ancient Taoists was a form of control and timing.

Clearly in all gambling, timing is an important factor. Regardless of the type of gambling, all of it’s forms tend to run in cycles, both winning and losing ones. It is the skill which one navigates through these cycles that the player conveys their level of control over the outcome.

The first serious studies of gambling in the 20th century were done by economists who expressed their confusion that gambling is a losing proposition and in effect, irrational behavior. In 1945 William Vickery, a noted economist, concluded that gambling should be measured not in expected gains but by the money a gambler doesn’t have that appears to be more valuable to them than what he does have.

The typical view is that gambling is self-destructive, undermines the work ethic and removes money that could be put to better uses in the economy. The notion that most people tend to gamble beyond their means remains unproven and was disputed in research conducted in 1966 in the “Economics of Gambling” published in London, England. In this study it was found to be an affective outlet for frustration, a relief from loneliness and a leveler of inequality among the economic classes.

Many psychologists view gambling as a normal form of recreation and destructive only to the addicted. They stated that the solution lies in treating the gambler, not in the condemnation of gambling as a whole.

The casino patron is courted with opulent surroundings, swimming pools, shops, shows, night life and “comped” amenities. The attraction is undeniable as an escape from tedious and purposeless occupations. Being confronted with the myth of success, when faced with insurmountable economic and social obstacles, makes the whole casino experience much easier to understand.

My own opinion is that people who gamble solely for the thrills and excitement, with no care of the economic results, would do better to find a more fulfilling and less expensive hobby. Gambling is an isolated activity. It will not take the place of a meaningful relationship nor will it counteract feelings of alienation or loneliness. These are not reasons to gamble.

Using any type of gambling to fill a void in ones personal life, something which it cannot do, is the type of gambling that can lead to devastating consequences.

If you’ve ever been in a casino, there is one thing you’ve probably noticed more than anything else… that one thing is seeing people lose money. This happens because the amateur gambler enters into this competition without a basic knowledge of the odds of the games, a playing strategy or even a thought to proper money management. It’s a careless way to handle ones money and does little to change the inevitable outcome.

Casinos love this type of gambler and spend a fortune attracting their business. With the odds squarely in their favor, the casino operators know that even though there are highly effective methods of playing that can shift those odds to the player, very few of them will invest the time or effort to use them.

Common sense tells us that if everyone that gambles in casinos lost, they would cease to exist. In order to attract losers you must have winners and it is just as easy to win at many casino games as it is to lose.

I do not write for the weekend gamblers who are looking desperately to have a good time at any cost. Winning is not even in their vocabulary. They consider the possibility of winning to be remote as if being left completely to chance.

It is the individual who is determined to win at any cost that I feel are most like myself. It is to these individuals that I offer the following. There does exist many ways to achieve your goal. Resolve that you will learn everything you have to in order to win consistently when risking your hard earned money gambling in casinos. To me, nothing else makes sense.

In the words of the ancient Taoist, Lao Tse
“Fortune favors the prepared.”

The 10 Commandments of Casino Gambling

and I have spent the past 40 years studying and playing every form of gambling/betting systems in existence. From the time I walked into my first pool hall at the age of 16 I’ve been fascinated with every aspect of it. I guess that makes me somewhat of an expert, if there really is such a thing. It’s not just me that’s fascinated though.

According to government statistics, 86% of Americans have reported gambling on something in the past 12 months. Approximately only 1/3 of the population consists of non-bettors. They state that 46% of adults gamble in casinos and seven out of ten frequent non-casino gambling. The primary source of which is horse racing, sports betting, state lotteries and online or private card games.

48 states have some form of legalized gambling with only Utah and Hawaii being the only two that do not. There are currently 13 states that have legalized commercial state sponsored casinos with a total of 443 of these establishments. The combined gross revenue for these 443 casinos was $30.74 billion annually.
The numbers are truly staggering.

Although I, like so many others, derive a great deal of enjoyment from it, any type of gambling that risks a person losing enough money to affect their standard of living (or that of their family) is self-destructive and should be avoided at all costs. I have personally watched a man lose his entire aluminum siding business overnight during a ridiculously extended session of heads-up gin rummy. Hard to believe, I know.

My attraction to gambling and casino table games in particular, is rooted in a deep desire to win every time I play. There is nothing compulsive about my approach to casino gambling. In fact, I do everything I can to take as much of the gamble out of it as possible.

The winning approach consists of only playing games that have no more than a 2% house advantage (Craps .60%, Baccarat 1.25%, Roulette 2.6% on even-money wagers and Blackjack, even money depending on the use of expert “Basic Strategy”) and rigorous adherence to an iron-clad set of precepts which are the “golden rules” or The 10 Commandments as I like to call them.

1. Never gamble when tired or depressed.

2. Never gamble with more than you can comfortably afford to lose.

3. Do Not drink alcohol before or during gambling sessions. It is the chloroform the casinos provide to separate the player from their money.

4. Keep playing sessions short.

5. Always preset a definite bankroll for gambling and Do Not exceed that amount.

6. If you are feeling “negative” about your surroundings (the table, dealers, other players or if in a losing cycle) stop betting and leave the table. The tables will still be there when your mood changes.

7. Avoid playing without a clear plan of action (betting strategy, min./max. wagers).

8. Do Not increase the size of your bets when losing. Increase wagers only when winning. This will limit losses and let winnings run up.

9. Know that the battle is not between you and the casino… it is between you and you alone. Always maintain your self-discipline.

10. Always quit when winning.

Winning consistently at these four casino table games is not that difficult. I do it all the time. There are playing and betting strategies that I believe shifts the advantage from the “house” to the player in any given short session of play.

The above 10 rules of gambling have been handed down to me by the most astute professional gamblers I have known over the years. They are essential to intelligent and consistent winning. Anyone who is not able to follow these rules has no business in a casino gambling with real money.

Life, like gambling, is a constant battle with the unknown. If you knew what the outcome would be in advance it would take all the fun out of it.

“The serious gambler is a man who is at war with chance. In the casino there is, whether he wins or loses, certainty… he consults the table, which speaks to him through the dice, as the Greeks consulted the oracles, and the oracle rewards him by telling him now, not next week or next year, whether the choices he makes are right or wrong.”

– William Pearson
“The Muses of Ruin”

Best of luck,
Ray W.

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Offline and Online Casino Gambling

Gambling – offline as well as online casino gambling – has fast become a leisure activity attracting a growing number of people. Offline Casino gambling is often combined with travelling and vacations to Las Vegas, Atlantic City and quite a few other cities in the USA, with an increasing number of Indian Casinos included. Casino gambling is also a popular pursuit in Europa as well as most parts of the world. However, for some the access to casinos are limited or absent. The internet however, offers a lot of gambling and gaming opportunities for those.

In USA we can identify at least five groups of casinos or casino gaming establishments

Luxurious land based casinos
Cruise ship casinos
Indian Casinos
Riverboat casinos
Local card gaming clubs

The first city that comes to mind when we talk about luxurious casinos is Las Vegas. There has been legalized gambling in Nevada for decades but the real boom has developed over the recent years. The growth of casinos and hotels in Vegas can seem out of control. Due to the invasion from gambling and entertainment hungry people from all over the world, Las Vegas has become the fastest growing city in the United States.

Though family resorts, with theme parks and other attractions for the juniors have popped up like toad hats over the years, developers in Vegas now tend to prioritize more adult oriented establishments. The opening of the luxury Wynn casino in May 2005 is a good example of this trend. Las Vegas – with all it’s casino gambling jet set pomp and glitter – belongs to the adult generations.

The Indian casinos as well as the riverboat casinos and local gambling clubs are more sober alternatives to the luxury in Vegas. As the demand for gambling adventures are booming in all regions of the country, these kinds of casino establishments has grown equally.

The casino gambling alternative that most people find their way to is, internet casino gambling. The availability is outrageous and it is you who decide when to play and you can play from any location on the globe that has an internet connection.

If you are a newbie you can now train yourself to become an professional casino gambler from the comfort of your home. It’s good not to feel the pressure from other players when you are experimenting with different strategies and gaining your basic gaming skills. Your best teacher is your mistakes; do them peacefully from your home, without any critical I-know-best voices. Another reason for playing casino online is that you save money on a hotels, restaurants and airfares. It is also easier for disabled persons to access an online casino than an offline. Remember that an online casino is like a real casino – it has the same games; black jack, poker, roulette, baccarat, craps and others – the same excitement and you can win real money.

Just one final advice: The internet is overloaded with gambling and casino websites. Among such a big crowd of gambling offers, there has to be some bogus ones Stay away from those and keep to recommended online casino gambling websites. Good luck!

A Global Phenomenon

If you check to see where the headquarters of the online casino gambling establishments that you like to visit are located, you’ll discover that a great percentage of them are based in the Caribbean (there and Gibraltar) — on the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, specifically. But as of late, a global pool of lawmakers and online casino gambling detractors, including the WTO (World Trade Organization) itself are trying to get these establishments shut down.

Fortunately for us players, the boom in online casino gambling has a life of its own — one that will not so easy be quashed. In fact, a panel investigating the dispute ruled that the U.S. was in violation of its own financial regulations when it gets in the way of American financial institutions engaging in transactions with Antigua-Barbuda online casinos. Score one for online casino gambling.

Actually, score more than that. Numerous countries are starting to face facts about the lucrative business of online casino gambling and finding ways for their local economies to capitalize on the craze. Not only does online casino gambling provide to the local communities that license and regulate them enormous sums of money in the form of tax revenues, but the online casino gambling industry also fosters huge job growth in whatever geographical areas it touches. Consider Antigua-Barbuda, where 30% of the residents are employed by online casino gambling establishments.

It is surely with incentives like those in mind that Prime Minister Tony Blair is trying to enact new legislation in the U.K. that will likely encourage more casinos to be built and a rise in casino gambling throughout the country. Supported by 53% of British voters polled, the new Bill if enacted will, among other things, remove all slot machines from around 6,000 different places and allow them to be placed together in new casinos with extended hours of operation. This legislation may even coax existing online casinos to move their bases of operations to Britain. Many observers and analysts believe this will inevitably lead to other similarly supportive measures aimed at online casino gambling as well.

Meanwhile, the French reportedly gamble 2 times more and for 3 times longer than their British counterparts. France’s citizens have been enjoying online casino gambling for years, especially since a loophole in European Union policy that heavily restricts land-based casino gambling (essentially requiring any French citizen who wishes to gamble to do so exclusively in state-run operations) has no bearing on online casino gambling, practically ensuring the industry a steady stream of eager participants. In fact, many believe that the popularity of online casino gambling is responsible for the skyrocketing demand for high-speed, broadband internet service.

The Australian government is getting into the action as well, granting an online casino gambling site a license to open a customer service center in the state of Tasmania. Recruiting has already begun, and an estimated 300 jobs will be created in the high-unemployment area.

A growing interest in online casino gambling in Asia has led to one of China’s most popular pastimes – the 4,000-year-old card game Mahjong – being offered as a multiplayer online casino game. Approximately 45% of Chinese people polled report that they play Mahjong regularly for money and whether China permits online casino gambling or not, there will be no shortage of players worldwide flocking to any site that offers the game.

Recently a campaign has been put into motion to legalize online casino gambling in Japan as well, supported by the country’s Liberal Democratic Party, currently in power. Several departments in the government have been brought in to figure out how to make this work for Japan’s economy, and it is expected that online casino gambling operators may be invited to contribute to the talks in due time.

And online casino gambling may be right around the corner for Israel, the country’s social and economic cabinet having just given permission for two horseracing tracks to be built, equipped of course with full-fledged betting. In order to make this work, the Israeli government will be obliged to lift its long-standing ban on sports gambling.

Shifts In Casino Gambling Trends

The internet’s ability to blur boundaries and society’s acceptance of casino gambling and sports betting ultimately shed light on the inconsistencies and loopholes of American gambling laws. From the makeshift sports book stalls in Nevada, most sports betting activities shifted operations and exploited the possibilities of cyberspace in the mid-1990s. At present, there are numerous online gaming sites catering to sports betting and casino gambling based in countries like Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Ireland.

Despite overseas-based operations, the lion’s share of the revenues and clients of these sites come from American states. In fact, recent studies show that these online casino gambling and sports betting sites earn more than legal casinos operating in Nevada. The profits of online gambling and betting sites are estimated at $70 billion for 2005 alone. This is a staggering amount compared to the reported $2 billion from Nevada casinos. This is enough to overthrow the three-decade reign of Nevada casinos from the 60’s to the early 90’s. Considering that sports book and casino sites have been operating for less than two decades, they are clearly a threat to the thriving Nevada gambling scene.

For decades, Las Vegas is the only place legal for gambling operations. Atlantic City followed suit and made casino gambling legal; the following decades saw the proliferation of state lotteries, card clubs, gaming ships, Indian casinos, and off-track betting salons across the nation. But still, these developments are not enough to compete with online gambling. The industry of online gambling is not even swayed by staunch opposition from legal US casinos. The gambling laws of the United States of America do not help, too. They vary widely from the different states. Most states ban all forms of gambling while some make exceptions. Inconsistencies like these make it easy for online operators to find and use loopholes in the law. The American Gaming Association maintains a defensive stand regarding online gambling. The association pushes for federal laws on the regulation of online gambling. According to them, the unregulated nature of the online gambling industry is its advantage over traditional casinos; regulating it puts both camps on even footing.

But despite this stand, some Nevada casinos are following the old stand-by: if you cannot beat them, join them. November 1998 saw the start of a new trend; traditional casinos started acquiring off-shore online casino gambling companies to improve their profits. An affiliate of the Hilton Hotels absorbed the Australian sports book Centrebet.com. Other Nevada casinos followed and this cycle again spawned a new barrage of debates.

Contrary to their earlier dislike of the online gambling industry, the traditional casinos set their sights higher. They are now pressuring the Congress to pass a law that legalizes online gambling. This is done in an effort to lower production costs; legalization means that they could now shift their operations in the US. Harrah’s and MGM Mirage, the two leading casinos in Nevada and undoubtedly owning their own online gambling sites, lead the casinos in requesting for the regulation of online gaming. Clearly, this move requesting for regulation does not intend to put traditional casinos at par with online sites anymore. The competition shifted between independent online sites and Nevada casino-owned sites. A move to regulate translates to double profits for the Nevada casinos.

Whatever comes out of this new development in casino gambling, gamers are still assured of their gambling fix. Possibly, if the proposed regulation is approved, there would be more security in betting online since it is now under US laws. Like before, casino gambling proves itself to be a dynamic and ever-changing industry.

7 Indicators That You May Have a Problem With This

Casino gambling problem(s) can affect many people throughout the world with easy access to casino gambling everywhere, including on the internet. These problems seem to getting worse over time, as you see the online trends of people searching for the term “gambling addiction”.

This problem(s) can truly become all encompassing and can affect your life in many ways. If you do not stop gambling when you have this type of problem the situation can become pretty dire pretty fast.

Problems with casino gambling are becoming worse and worse throughout the world because slot machines, pokies, and fruit machines are highly addictive and can addict people very fast. Most casino gambling establishments are filled with these types of addictive slot machines. These gaming machines are fast moving, seductive, and hypnotizing. One can lose a lot of money on slot machines extremely fast.

Slot machine addiction is a big part of a casino gambling addiction and casino owners know this. If you have a casino gambling problem, you may keep going back regardless of the consequences. Slot machines are truly a big part of the problem. They do not call slots addiction the “crack cocaine of gambling addiction” for nothing.

So how would you know if a gambling problem is ruining your life? What are some of the indicators that things are spiraling out of control, and that your life is truly becoming unmanageable?

1. You are visiting casinos more and more frequently. You have tried to stop gambling by promising yourself that you would not go anymore, but it never works. You keep going back to the casino, regardless of the negative consequences.

2. You bring your ATM card to the casino with you and max it out each time you go to the casino. You may also bring your credit card and take out credit card advances in the hundreds or even thousands in just one visit.

3. You may drink at the casino so you can zone out and enhance your casino gambling experience. You may also drink in excess so you can numb out your feelings.

4. A problem with addictive gambling in a casino (s) usually is characterized by gambling at the casino more than you planned. You may stay for several hours after losing hundreds or thousands of dollars.

5. You know that you need gambling addiction help while driving to the casino, or even while you are gambling. You do not get help for gambling, despite this need.

6. You want to quit gambling after your casino gambling experience because you are so laden with guilt, self-reproach, despair, and self-disgust.

7. The casino gaming experience is such a big high for you and gives you a vacation away from your problems. If you stop gambling, you know that you will have to give this us, but truly do not want to.

It is hoped that these indicators help you to identify whether or not you have a casino gambling problem. There is gambling addiction help, and you can stop gambling and reclaim your life. Quit gambling now, and you will see your life get better in all areas.

Remember that life is better when you stop gambling.

Michelle Tee is a gambling self help coach and author who specializes in how to casino gambling problems and how to stop gambling.