Gambling & Selective Memory


Heading out of the casino after another bad night of losses, a gambler tells his friend: “My wife has got the worst memory I’ve ever seen,” to which the friend responds: “Forgets your winnings, does she?”

It’s true, patrons either forget the winnings and concentrate on another loosing session, or they selectively remember “I won $100,” which is true – but at the end of the session they forget that the end result of the visit was a total loss of $400!

On one of Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast, Vito’s guest @AnnoyedPitBoss, whom you can follow on Twitter, told a story about a frustrated regular.  While working in the pit, he was approached by this player.  The the patron asked him “Does anyone ever win in this casino?”  @AnnoyedPitBoss replied, “yes, but they don’t always end up bring it home!”

We tend to remember what we are looking for, not necessarily what has all passed in our gambling experience. Why should we…..we there to have a good time, and with so many distractions, most of us could never keep track of everything.

The famous "near miss" on a slot machine.

The famous “near miss” on a slot machine.

Selective Memory – a path of denial that many casino patrons follow.  Have you heard these before:

  • “Every time the bonus symbol comes up on the first two reels, (slots) I NEVER get the bonus.”
  • “EVERY TIME I need a card for a four-of-a-kind, I ALWAYS get the same card I discarded, just in another suit!”
  • “I get 20 (BJ) and the dealer comes up with 21”
  • “EVERY TIME I need a point (craps) with that shooter, we seven-out”

Oh, the things we choose to remember.  Of course, these selective memories play a part in creating certain superstitions and behaviors, or do one’s superstitions open up road to selective memory?  Yes and yes!

Selective memoryBe careful with your selective memory and take time to realize it plays a part in your gambling decisions – rational or not.

That’s all for now




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