It is interesting and instructive to look at the differences between
disease and addiction.
Getting a disease, of course, like cancer or alzheimer's, appears
to be non optional.
Addiction to cigarettes, alcohol
and gambling is choice driven and, while it is argued by some
to be genetic based, it is far more likely to be "brain driven".
Do people who are long term "users"
no longer respond to cost and benefits information?
In fact, the observations by many
researchers indicates that the longer term users of drugs
have a better chance of quitting than short term users.
What's all this got to do with gambling
and how you how should gamble, you ask? Read on.....
A lot of gambling and other behavioural
patterns of "addiction" are voluntarily self destructive
and are harder to deal with. People and gamblers don't make all
choices based on economic rationalism and a lot of the decisions
we all make may not be being made with long term objectives in
We foolishly decide, often on the
spur of the moment, what is the best thing to do "right now"
- which may not be the best thing to do for the overall
result of the day or the week or the month or the year.
We live under these overlapping circles
of time in which we make choices, which may be in direct conflict
with long term benefits and, in conflict with other "time
For example - look at the choices
made by people who smoke cigarettes. They're not smoking in order
to get cancer.
They're smoking in order to make
the next five minutes more pleasant. If you're asking what's the
best way to spend the next ten minutes and you're a smoker the
answer is have a cigarette - especially if they haven't had a
cigarette for an hour.
However, if you asked the same person
do you want to be a lifetime smoker with a 50% chance of getting
a smoking related disease well naturally they're going say "of
When they're smoking, they're not
making that long term rational decision -- they're just having
one more cigarette. The same applies to everyone who's going on
a diet - it's always going to be tomorrow.
So if you're a gambler - what are
your objectives? What decisions are you making NOW?
Are you trying to achieve a positive
result over the next year or are you trying to achieve a "quick
fix winning high" right now? Do you want to win over the
space of today and "let tomorrow take care of itself"
or are you serious about winning long term this year?
People being people, we always take
a little too much of whatever we like the best and that doesn't
matter what it is - cigarettes, alcohol, surfing the net, shopping,
sex, gambling - you name it - if we like it, we always want it
Thousands of years ago the ancient
Greeks put forward the view that moderation is the best policy
and probably moderation is still the best approach to betting
on horse racing for pleasure. Don't bet in every race - that is
a loser's game.
Be selective in which races are good
enough to interest you and claim part of your staking effort and,
above all else, have a long term view of what you are trying to
achieve and not just be looking for a quick fix.
Any betting methodology that is non
selective in the races you invest on MUST LOSE and that is the