Let’s understand the game…

I am very proud to tell you that the program has extended and psychological assistance can be provided to you in Cluj and Iasi…

By Leliana Parvulescu – Psychologist

I am so glad to be with you again, via this magazine that I am loving more and more and that I see as the messenger of my advice to you.

My discussions that I have with you on my couch, in my office, through the ‚Responsible Gambling’ program are an inspiration to choose the ideas I am about to talk about. Should you have any, I am looking forward to receive them.

I am very proud to tell you that the program has extended and psychological assistance can be provided to you in Cluj and Iasi. There are two offices there, similar to the one in Bucharest. And where the specialists welcome you, in a warm and friendly ambiance.

Our ‚Responsible Gambling’ program means business and it is the only in Romania that is very well structured.

Let me give you several details on how gambling works.

The terms of luck, lack of chance, risk involve that fact that coincidence plays a role in gambling.

There are no elements to make us clearly say that winning will take place or not when playing. If a woman is expecting, we can say that she will have either a boy or a girl, but we cannot be sure about its gender: 50% for a boy and 50% for a girl. If she is expecting a second child, the percentages above remain the sme. In other words, the gender of the second child is not influenced by the gender of the first one; the same thing for the third one (if that child is born): the events are independent from one another. If a woman already had seven children, all girls, the probability of having another girl is 50% again. The previous events do not influence the probabilities of the new event.

The same thing happens when you are gambling. You do not know when you win or lose. Because, every time you play, there is a 50% chance of winning or losing. And the situation stays the same all the time. Losing once does not mean that winning follows in the second round. Or third, fourth or hundreth time. It is essential that you become aware of this mechanism and stop yourself to ‚gambling for pleasure.’

„Gambling makes people misunderstand that things are not like the above and this belief is so frequent that statisticians have formulated the concept of ‚gambler’s fallacy’ (or Montecarlo fallacy) that can be thus described: the person making the Montecarlo fallacy believes that he can foresee a random event, such as a number drawing in lotto, based on the previous drawings. This can lead to two opposite and equally wrong consequences: a) based on the previous results, the event becomes more likely; b) based on the previous results, the event becomes less likely.

At the psychological level, the human mind is considered that is not able to correctly perceive and construe the phenomena lacking a structure and logic.

The human brain sees randomness as a well-defined structure. This is the reason why it is not easy for an individual to understand the mechanism I was talking earlier, regarding the fact that you can lose very many times in a row without winning anything, even though you pull the lever numerous times. But, at the same time, it is possible that every person be able to normalize what winning and losing in gambling really means.

The human inclination to perceive shapes and structures is innate: the newborns can smile when they either have their mother’s face in front of them or images, drawings that imitate – even sketchily – the human face. The distinction between the mother’s familiar face and the stranger’s will be made later, after a few months.

Gambling may be enjoyed more or less in terms of the entertainment provided, but expectation to win money from it is absolutely non-realistic: such feeling is rather dangerous as it pushes the player to insist on gambling until he hits the jackpot.
The jackpot that is likely not to be hit ever. This is when the vicious circle starts and the player cannot escape it very easily.
I want to tell you two stories, stories from the gambling room, stories on my couch.

F. has been gambling for two years – machines and sport betting. When he started, his girlfriend had been left him and cheated on him with his best friend. As the case history shows, the young man has not yet solved this issue and still feels strong resentments towards the two people. The activity of spending money in the gambling room is, on the one hand, a method to punish himself for something that he sees as an emasculation (to be better than the other one) and, on the other hand, it is a coping strategy, as he needs to feel a winner after that bad experience. Gambling provides him with the feeling of being a champion once in a while.
He joined the ‘Responsible Gambling’ program and the specialist on the other end of the telephone built mechanisms, along with him, that helped him stay in the ‘pleasure gambling’ area, to gain back his self-confidence, to open up his mind for a beautiful relationship with a girl who deserves him.

L. is from Brasov. He plays everything: roulette, sport betting, slot machine. He enjoys the feeling of being powerful when he is winning, loves the adrenalin of the moment. He comes from a well-off family, and they see his hobby gambling as a temporary whim. Recently, he lost a substantial sum of money, which is why he called our helpline. After discussion, the conclusion was that in his private life he feels totally obedient to the will of his wife, similar to his mother’s during his childhood. He was recommended to attempt a balance in the relations he has with the two women in his life. Afterwards, the obsessing need to feel strong will have normal sizes.
The strategy worked perfectly and he found the stability he had lost long time ago.

Until next time, live free!

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