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The 9 tribes of gamblers

They all want to try their luck? But each one is different. There are so many different reasons, mentalities, systems and aspirations connected with gambling as there are gamblers.

There are so many types of gambler, but which one are you? To some gambling is a hobby or a form of entertainment. For a select few it is their primary source of income.Without further ado, here are for your enjoyment, the nine tribes of gamblers as we know them and have met them again and again in our questionable endeavors in every gambling establishment imaginable.

The Casual

Most of you are probably the casual gambler, which is someone who gambles typically once a week, usually on an impulse. They want to feel more invested in the game to give them more of an interest in what’s happening, typically in sports betting.

In terms of casino betting the casual bettor often goes for the experience and the thrill of the environment around them; because bets actually have more of a meaning and value when you place them in person. When a bet is made online it is often less meaningful or enjoyable, which is why a lot of casuals love to go to the casino really get the rush.

The Bored

There is some overlap here with the casual guys. These are people who are bored of their usual life and want something new and invigorating to really make their blood boil.

It is basically a hobby to them where most of them are expecting to lose their money. Yet they see it as an expense that is worth it buying a small chance to hit it big. They are always dreaming it will happen and wishing they will be the next one to hit the jackpot.

The Newbies

A great example of a newbie is someone who is visiting Las Vegas. Once they arrive they are enthralled by their surroundings and want to get involved in the culture, which in a city like Las Vegas means to gamble it up. Whether that is placing small bets all day on the slot machines or putting it all on black on the roulette wheel, something’s going to put you on cloud 9. Often they follow some classic betting systems they read about on the internet.

The possibilities are endless and everything is designed to persuade you to get involved and jump right in. Getting immersed in the experience and the lifestyle is the sensation that they want.

The Rich

The rich are usually in it for the same reason as most others, the thrill and the –remote- possibility of the big win. However, since they are placing big bets consistently, they are being looked after a lot more by the casino with complementary drinks and meals and maybe an extravagant suite. Indeed some of them could actually enjoy the “baller” lifestyle.

Usually these guys have so much cash they don’t know what to do with it except gamble and throw it all around themselves. They are often lead on the course due to western culture and the image of rich guys gambling big in the world’s most luxurious places .That stereotype is often presented in movies and TV shows. They do want to experience these huge wins and once in lifetime moments for themselves; so they go chasing their luck with that desire in mind.

The Hobbyist

They are usually gambling on sports they are watching and it gives them more of an interest and passion. Usually their bets are relatively small and with little knowledge or information behind them to back them up.

Most hobbyists will lose money in the long term but for them it is an entertainment charge that they love to and are very willing to spend anytime that they feel like it. Their rational may not always be the best but for them it’s their heart and commitment to their sport or whatever they happen to be wagering on.

The Math Whiz

Ed. Thorp mah wiz gambler
Math professor Ed. Thorp (Life magazine 1964)

A math whiz once told me that Lotteries are a tax on people who are bad at math!
These guys know exactly what they must be doing in order to win and all of them have a strategy that is designed to make them the winner in the long run. Consistency is essential to them.

These types of gamblers are often common place in the world of poker. Most on lookers of poker players will see them as gamblers. The poker players that earn a living will know differently, they will know if their opponent have xx hand and their own hand is xx they have a 80% chance to win. They will commonly think on these terms and expose the opponent’s weaknesses constantly allowing them to win much more than they lose.

Let me give to an example to help you understand how a math whiz’s brain thinks. In roulette there is a strategy where you can bet on red or black consistently and after each bet if you lose you double your previous bet until you win. Mathematically this system is a winner. However if you try to use this strategy in a well-established casino you will get asked to stop playing – in fact that’s why casinos introduced the table limits.

But the most amazing use of mathematics and physics in order to beat the game is probably the roulette computer developed by doctor Eduard Thorp and professor Claude Shannon in 1962 – the first ever wearable computer.

The Professional

poker magazine cover
Pro poker legend Stu Unger

They are usually extremely experienced in one area like in a sport, with many years of experience and even sometimes with inside information to give them even more of an edge. They are called professionals because they rely solely on gambling for their income and take every small detail into consideration before placing their bets. It is not uncommon to be thrown out of casinos and removed from betting websites because they win all the time. The bookmakers and the casinos are always watchful and will not hesitate to ask someone to leave when they believe they are a pro.

A great example of this is counting cards in the game of blackjack. Being able to do this approach properly will allow you to take the advantage away from the casino and into your own hands. Even though this is not illegal it is highly frowned upon. You are going to have big balls of steel to pull this off. That’s exactly the reason casinos in Europe have introduced the automatic (and continuously) shuffling machines.

The Exploiter

Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo
Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo took advantage of the biased roulette wheels in various European casinos

The exploiter is often using techniques that are usually deemed cheating by the casino. Cheating is a big risk when playing because if you are to get caught you will have more problems than simply losing a bet. You can end up in jail or banned from every major casino in the world. Usually the exploiter will be taking advantage of electronics or how a game works and using it to make the most profit possible. These guys really are next generation wizards.

One of the more simple exploits for a slot machine would be known as shaving coins. Shaving coins is when a coin is altered so that once the coin enters the machine it registers the credit. Then the coin will come out as refund again meaning you can use the same coin for unlimited uses, pretty neat right? This technique doesn’t work anymore with newer types of slot machines. The newer types have an optical sensor which is basically a lot more sophisticated than the physical mechanism used in older machines. The gambling industry always has to be on their toes and one step ahead to prevent people from cheating them out.

Some people may question the ethics of people who do this. My view is that the casinos themselves are fraudsters. They only allow people to bet when they know they have the advantage and cannot lose in the long term. The only difference between the exploiters and the casino is that the casinos have a license to do it and the exploiter doesn’t. With these guys they are always looking for a new technique of how they can game the system.

The Addict

The person who doesn’t know when to stop placing bets even though they often can’t afford to be placing any more. They will often maxing out credit cards to their limit just to feel that high, to fill their need. They lose control of themselves. Gambling is known to have the similar effect of drugs on the brain triggering the reward mechanism of the brain. This can easily lead to a compulsive addiction.

This person is prone to gamble nonstop. If they are losing they will try to chase their loses. If they are winning they will want an even bigger pay day. It’s a vicious cycle which can be very difficult to exit when you have that state of mind. Research has shown that one in seven gamblers develops a gambling addiction. My money’s on David.

Conclusion

All gamblers want to win money and really live and enjoy the experience while trying to do it. There are people gambling to entertain themselves. There are people earning a living by doing it. There are people who want to make a sporting occasion more enjoyable. There are people who want to socialize. There are people who want to really chase the jackpot. They all want the same thing, that chance to hit it big.

The most common thing with all of these players is that the vast majority of them are losing players. It is a proven fact that 90% + of gamblers are losing players. The real winners are the casino owners and bookmakers and rarely the gamblers. The question is do you have what it takes to be one of the very select group of winning players? There is only one way to find out for sure: Bet!

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