FanPost

Which Emotion is Stronger: the Thrill of Victory, or the Agony of Defeat?

Fellow Alabamians (even those from the frozen tundra of the farthest north and the scorched sands of the uttermost west), I have a soul-searching question for you: do you enjoy Alabama's victories more than you abhor the defeats?

I am not a very smart man, so I like to tell stories and use analogies when I'm trying to explain complex ideas. So, after the jump, I will share a little story.

I have, on occasion, played cards for money. I'm terrible at poker, and don't particularly enjoy it, although most of the serious card-players I know will tell you that it's a sucker's bet to play against the house, because the house always wins. Next time you go to a casino, revel in the lavish surroundings, savor your free adult beverages, and ask yourself whence it all comes. Playing against other players, rather than the casino, makes objective sense. I simply don't enjoy poker.

I did, however, enjoy a good game of blackjack. Let me make this abundantly clear: I was decidedly NOT a good blackjack player, but I had fun at it. The house advantage in blackjack is significantly lower than in any other table game I know, and certainly lower than the one-armed bandit. Assuming some of the more common house rules, the hypothetical Player (over the long term) strictly following the basic strategy in a casino using a six-deck shoe will lose around 0.64 cents of every dollar he bets. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackjack. That same Player playing roulette on an American wheel (18 red, 18 black, 2 green) will lose 5.26 cents of every dollar he bets, regardless of how he bets, unless he places a five numbers bet, in which case he will lose 7.89 cents of every dollar he bets. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roulette#Bet_odds_table. That same Player playing a slot machine in Nevada will lose a maximum of 25 cents of every dollar he bets, and a realistic minimum of 2 cents of every dollar he bets. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slot_machine#Payout_percentage. Anecdotal evidence suggests that casinos might place machines with higher payout percentages in high-visibility areas, such as near entrances as windows, as it makes sense for the casino to want passers-by to see players winning.

It is possible for a player with a good understanding of blackjack and a decent memory to actually enjoy an advantage over the house. Contrary to popular belief, counting cards is not illegal. However, casinos obviously take steps to minimize their losses, including not playing the complete shoe (most casinos I've seen do this) or by using automatic shufflers after every game, and relatively few players actually know enough about blackjack to cause any real threat to the casino's profits. But I digress.

One day I had lost money playing blackjack, and I realized that I hated losing more than I loved winning. As such, I stopped playing. And now, back to the point: do you hate Alabama losing more than you love Alabama winning.

FanPosts are just that; posts created by the fans. They are in no way indicative of the opinions of SBN and the authors of Roll Bama Roll.

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