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Gambling's Seven basics Rules

Jun 17, 2008 7:02 PM

Keno Lil | This week itís gambling basics.

The Gamblerís Ruin: This problem was stated and answered several hundred years ago by the French mathematician DeLambert. It says that if you are wagering against an opponent who has a much larger bankroll than you, even if the game you are playing is "fair" (the odds of winning are equal for both players) that you will sooner or later go broke.

This is established fact. You cannot avoid it. Ignore it at peril to your pocketbook. There are many proofs available both on the Internet and in your public library.

Taxes: In keno you are required to report net winnings of $1,500 or more, or on keno machines winnings of $1,200 or more. This does not release you from the responsibility of reporting (and paying taxes on) winnings of lesser amounts. According to the IRS, all gaming winnings of any size are considered to be taxable income.

Winning streaks: These, along with losing streaks, are not uncommon. As a matter of fact, streaks persist far longer than most people would imagine. The good news is that if you are in the midst of a winning streak, it may continue for a while longer.

The bad news is it may end right now and the consequent losing streak will most likely last awhile. See "Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic." This topic is covered quite well.

Random numbers: In the world of computing, a truly random number is a rare commodity. In most cases what we see are "pseudo-random" numbers. These number sets are produced by mathematical algorithms. One characteristic of these pseudo-random sequences is that they repeat after a certain number of iterations.

A robust random number generator produces sequences that repeat after hundreds of millions (or many more) iterations. Can you predict such a sequence? Yes, in theory, if you know the algorithm and the initial seed number. Have there ever been "broken" RPGs in action? Yes. Are you likely to find one? No. See "Theory of Computation" by Knuth.

More taxes: Yes, you can deduct gaming losses if you itemize your deductions and the losses are greater than your standard deduction. You canít deduct gaming losses if you file a 1040EZ. If you donít believe me, call the IRS.

Professional gamblers: There arenít very many of these, really. Sleeping in the park gets a little old after awhile, even if there are pleasant interludes of good fortune.

Poker is skill: Tell that to my hold cards, they donít listen to me.

Winning keno books: My thoughts are to buy the book and follow the instructions. If you win. fine. If you donít, ask for your money back Ė in public. Or play these numbers: 1, 10, 15, 5, 75, 80. When you win, send me 10 percent of your earnings. If you lose, you donít owe me anything.

You see, itís easy! Yes, this is humor. Hyperbole. Donít send me money.

If you have a keno question, write to me c/o GamingToday
or email me at [email protected].