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.”

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Online Gambling Causing Credit Card Debt

It is the latest craze at the moment and everyone seems to be enjoying gambling at home with the increase of poker sites on the internet, but its not good news if you are running up debts on your credit card. I don’t know about you but it seems that I have a misconceived perception of time when I am sitting at my computer; time just seems to fly by. The longer you are gambling on an internet poker site, the more money you are spending.

Online gambling is being seen as pushing up consumer debts and that’s not good for the UK economy. Figures from the government have revealed that the amount of money spent on gambling last year was £42.8 million; in 2001 that figure was only £8.6 million. It is a perturbing sharp increase. Internet sites that have been registered outside the UK have not been included in the government figures of money spent.

The glamorization of gambling, especially poker, by celebrities at the moment is partly to blame for the rise in gambling. Sitting at home on your computer can undermine your ability to spend your money wisely. Internet poker sites or casino sites allow you to insert your credit card details; once your details have been entered you can continue gambling up to your credit limit. Some gamblers are maxing out numerous credit cards at a time to try and win back money they have lost with the Debt Advisor group seeing some individual debts as high as £100,000. Casinos have a strong cash culture unlike internet gambling where it is your credit card that does the spending. Using cash instead of your credit card makes you more aware of the amount you are spending.

The growth of gambling online in the next five years is predicted to be around 22% a year while playing poker online is said to rise by 44% a year. Gambling through your mobile phone is now also being offered by companies which could see even higher debts being accumulated.

Gambling has always seen its fair share of creating debt problems but with easier accessibility it may cause more households to suffer from unmanageable debt. Other household members are usually unaware that there is a debt problem looming not realizing how much is actually being gambled, the more desperate people become to win back their money the higher the stakes become seeing people usually losing more and more.

If you are suffering form credit card debt problems through internet gambling there are many organizations that can help you. Seeking help sooner rather than later will prevent even more debt.

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