You Know My Game – Part 2: The Game Is Afoot

Previously on You Know My Game, I went over the main aims and specifics. I am to attempt to raise £300 to buy a Nintendo 3DS, by gambling on Roulette tables. The rules are as follows;

– I will start with £20 and only £20. Once that has gone, it’s game over.

– I will only be allowed 5 hours to reach my goal.

– I can only bet on either Red, Even or two of the Dozen columns (Based on the gambling habits of James Bond in the novel Casino Royale)

Today was the first day. I had already worked out that I had needed to win £60 at least per time to reach my goal, as 300 divide by 5 is 60. That was my target sum each time. I would need to triple my starting money to begin with. This was a big ask. Luckily, earlier on in the week, Nintendo helped me out.

A bad financial report of sales of the 3DS, and general performance of the company, lead Nintendo to take some drastic action never before seen in the Gaming industry. The President of Nintendo took a 50% pay cut, along with other Nintendo executives taking cuts of between 20-30%, because they feel they have let down the people who have already bought a 3DS, and are disappointed at the sales of the product since it was launched. To encourage more people to buy the console, they have decided to cut the price of the console, still within the first year of launch, from $249.99 to $169.99. They have yet to confirm what price that will become in Europe, but I would expect it to be a £30 price cut at least. Many stores have already started to reduce the price, with Game offering 3DS’ for £150. Was this a sign? A personal omen for me and my task? This was a lovely bit of help from Nintendo.

I had to use all my resolve to not buy the console straightaway from Game. That price is unbelievable, but I wanted to play this game properly. I wanted you to share this ride with me, not skip straight to the end with the cocky logic that it’s a mere matter of time. Because it wasn’t.

I walked into the Casino, nervous. I never had to gamble to a goal before. Previously, it had been for fun on a night out. If I won, I won. If not, C’est la vie. This time was different. I cashed in my £20 for five pound chips, as that was the minimum stakes for the outside bets. I assessed the history of the previous results, knowing that it was a pointless religion. The ball does’t hold a memory, so the chances of the next result were every bit as random as it’s forebears.

The bet. Doesn't seem like a lot for £20, does it?

I placed my first bet on the first and last two of the dozens. My mouth was dry, but I didn’t want to drink. I wanted to be fully aware of my actions, and not let anything cloud my judgement. The first result was 34. All was good to begin with. A random man walked up to the table declaring out loud “The Doctor is playing all on his own!”. I felt flattered to be compared to the great man, but it turns out he was talking to a sexagenarian gentleman beside me. (That means he was in his 60’s, you dirty minded people!) I was £5 up already, so I repeated my initial bet. 5 came up this time. Excellent. My plan was succeding. I decided to take a chance on the Red for my next bet, in addition to the same Dozen bets. My confidence was punished. 17. This reduced my stack to £15. I decided to wait the next result out, as the frequency of the Dozens were changing. Good job I did too, as the next result continued the trend of the middle Dozen column. I now had a problem, as I didn’t know which of the other columns to bet and which to remove. I waited out again, to see the next result lie in the early part of the dozens. I could now reset my bets to the first two Dozens. Sure enough, another middle Dozen result arrived. I was back to £30. Half way there. I decided to leave the colour bets out, as the numbers were not looking good for my strategy, and continued my first two dozen bets. Then, disaster hit home. 0. I was back to break even once more.

I took some time out to lick my wounds and asses my strategy. I was not getting anywhere fast. I then realised my problem. I was only making a profit of £5 each time I won, not including the money I would get back. This meant I would need to win 8 times in a row. This very unlikely, as the best I got using my strategy was maybe a streak of 3 or 4, before a loss. When the loss came, I would lose £10. This effect was what I called the Paula Abdul Principle, as it was basically taking two steps forward (if I’m lucky, three steps forward) and then two steps back (or if I’m unlucky three steps back). I needed to alter my playing style.

During this time I was postulating this new theory, I had managed to double my money and get to £40 using the £5 bets on Dozens. I knew my luck was about to change soon. To reach my goal though, I had to change my playing style. Thoughts were going through my head of the three options I had; I could continue as I am, leave with just double my money, or take the gamble of increasing my bets to £10 per stake. This meant that I would be putting down £20 now on the table. As I had £40, this would leave me with my original bet, which I had resolved to walk home with and think myself lucky to escape with that. I put down £10 on each of the first and last Dozens, as that was the play of the current board. My mind was shouting out “PLEASE BE VERY LOW OR VERY HIGH” . The croupier released the ball and declared his final warning of “No more bets”. The ball ceased. 6. YES, I thought to myself. My bet paid off, and I was now on £50. I knew my luck was due to run out, but I also considered the very obvious fact- I was only £10 away from my target.

I placed my bet, the same as before. This time I had agreed with myself, that whatever the outcome of this final bet, I was going home. If I was lucky, I was going home with my goal. If not, I was going home with £30, which was still £10 profit. I had resigned myself to this fact, to prevent myself taking any stupid risks. The croupier set the wheel spinning once more, and released the ball to spin around and around the wheel, as if it were Superman reversing time around the Earth. As it lost momentum, the ball began it’s fateful dance amongst the randomized numbers. The time this dance took seemed like quadruple the normal time it usually takes. Then, silence. The chosen number was hidden from my view at first, and I had to wait longer for the wheel to spin around and reveal the chosen number;

It was a 4. I had succeeded! I had won and achieved my goal. £60. Three times my original stake. As soon as I was given my winning chips, there was no doubt what my next action was; cash in and go home. I’ll not lie, a part of me did wonder how far I could push my luck, but that part was drowned in the overall relief of my achievement.

The first stage was complete. I have £60 now towards my fund. All I need now was another £240. Or maybe £140. Thanks Nintendo!

Don’t forget: I am a trained idiot and professional fool. Do not copy me, however cool I may look (which isn’t a lot apparently!) Gambling can become a serious addiction and should not be treated lightly. If you intend to gamble, please use caution at all times. If you are worried and think you may have a gambling problem, please click on this webpage for help and more information;

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/addiction/Pages/gamblingaddiction.aspx

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