Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to gambling

Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to gambling

Patience is a virtue, is a well-known Dutch expression. That certainly applies to roulette, poker and blackjack players , sports betting participants and many others who have a favorite game of chance.

In the late 1960s, Walter Mischel began researching willpower and patience. In 1972 this resulted in the famous Marshmallow Test. Which led to special conclusions through further research.

The Marshmallow Test

The Marshmallow Test was extensive. We give a brief description here to give you an idea. Walter Mischel started his research with 16 boys and 16 girls of about 4 years old. He gave each child the choice between a small instant reward or a slightly larger reward if they waited a while.

One of the rewards was a marshmallow, confectionery that in the Netherlands we can call a ’round bacon’. Mischel placed the child behind a table with a marshmallow on it. Then he left with the message, ‘if you don’t eat these, you will get another one when I come back’.

Years later, Mischel and his team members revisited the now adult participants in the study. Those who had patiently waited for Mischel’s return during the study were successful, athletic men and women with good jobs and income. The impatient children, however, turned out to be adults with a lot of overweight and unskilled work.

Patient gambler

Okay, we exaggerated the conclusion in the previous paragraph a bit. But Walter Mischel ‘s research did show a difference in the future. A difference between the strong-willed and patient toddler and the impatient toddler who wanted immediate results.

Are you less good at making (for example) strategic roulette decisions when you were impatient as a toddler? No, we will not easily draw that conclusion from the research. Because you may have become more patient or more impatient through later experiences.

But it is now clear that patience is a virtue for participants in games of chance. We are of course not talking about waiting for a lottery to be drawn. It is about games of chance where you yourself have some influence on the course of the game.

Patience when gambling

There is a lot to consider when playing casino games seriously . Looking for the right table, slot machine or sport. Knowing the rules of the game, improving the playing skills by reading about strategy , being able to calculate the winning chance and the like. But when that’s done and the game is on it’s all about patience.

Patience is defined as ‘being able to wait for something’. For games of chance, you could translate this into the ability to slow down, accept setbacks / losses and that without becoming emotional (irritated, anxious, etc.).

Randomness and luck

We’ve already written about gamblers’ fallacies , strategy and calculating odds. With that knowledge you can develop your own game strategy. Patience then turns out to be the most important trait for a gambler, in an activity characterized by randomness and luck.

An example of a game situation with the Marshmallow Test in mind: while you’re on a win, can you have the patience to continue, or do you grab that win? In other words, despite knowing that your odds of losing due to bank margin are greater than your odds of winning, you have the patience to rely on your gaming skills. The ability to beat the law of large numbers.

Stay patient

Actually, the question above is of course: do you stick to your own game strategy or do you deviate from it. It is a fight between your hopefully patient nature and that rational voice that constantly rumbles in your head.

That little voice that says, ‘You’ve been playing losing on red for a while, while on the roulette table next to you, red falls continuously. Go to that other table ‘. What are you doing? So the rational voice keeps nagging. Experienced players continue to play their own game. They know that impatience increases the number of irrational gaming decisions.

Harder to be patient

It is not made easy for us in everyday life to be a patient gambler. Many things around us are focused on speed, convenience and impatience. When after much deliberation we have ordered a product online, we can / want to have it delivered the next day.

We no longer have to leave the house for all kinds of activities. We no longer have to take the car or bicycle and drive a long way. Holding our cell phone is enough to order a product, pay a bill, etc.

And if the product is not delivered until the day after tomorrow or later due to circumstances? Then we are angry. We have lost our patience. Why? It is that wronged, rational voice that whispers something to us. Technological improvement has led to greater impatience. We’ve gotten used to instant gratification, we want to consume the Marshmallow right away.

Patience is a virtue in gambling

If you as a gambler do not participate in that herd behavior, you increase your chances of winning. We repeat the translation of the definition for a moment: patience in gambling is the ability to slow down, to accept setbacks / losses and without becoming emotional (irritated, scared, etc.).

A successful and patient gambler once said, patience is knowing that when a profit is expected and a loss is incurred, the law of large numbers teaches that a succession of losses ultimately yields a profit. Whether we agree? We have to think about that again patiently.

Impatient problem gambler

Do you think patience is not a virtue for a gambler? Then we would like to give you the following. Studies show that impatience is one of the hallmarks of many problem gamblers. That impatience leads to impulsive, thoughtless decisions and lack of self-control.

There are even therapists and scientists who advise problem gamblers to take meditation classes. That would help them become more patient. Meditation takes you to higher levels of patience, says Oliver S. Scott, for example, and it helps you function better in many ways.

It would benefit us even as patient gamblers. For the time being, we think playing roulette is a more pleasant form of meditation.