Heredity or environment?
  • My mother and father were both gamblers -- poker, blackjack, the track, you name it... I grew up playing and betting on cards, horses, or dogs. My Mom just turned 84, and and plays blackjack on the gambling ships with me every week. My wife's family, on the other hand, would never think of placing a wager of any kind, and my wife's interest in blackjack is minimal at best.
    My question is this: Were your parents or relatives gamblers? If not, why do you think you have an interest in blackjack or other forms of casino gaming?
  • No one in my family ever wagered on anything. My first gambling experiances were at the race track in Hot Springs Ar in college, when I was devestated and ashamed when I lost 6 or 10 bucks. I go deer hunting in Wisconsin every year with the relatives and one cousin always wanted to head to the Indian casino to play BJ and I couldnt understand why. Then along came Tunica and I still couldn't understand why all my friends wanted to go. After a few times there I realized the slots were for suckers and did some research into what games were 'playable', of course Blackjack and a poor substitute, craps, rose to the top, and now its a true hobby. Now I'm looking at poker. But the answer to the question has to be enviornment Walter, because I still find it very difficult to 'get the money out there', I'll go buy a 6k 4 wheeler and a 1k deer rifle and not bat an eye, but betting green chips makes me squirm. Thank goodness I'm getting to my son early, he already understands implied odds, basic strategy, progressions and is getting good at counting. Gotta raise em right.
  • I started playing blackjack on a family vacation to Atlantic City on a family vacation and loved it. My entire family gambles and we take semi-annual vacations to Las Vegas for a week of decadance :wink:
    I think environment influences a persons attitude towards gambling, similar to smoking, drinking and any other vice. Those that are exposed to it at a formitable age are more likely to take up the habit.
  • Here's an interesting one- My father/mother divorced when I was 8. Pops moved to Tennessee. Very little contact. Niether mother nor stepfather gamble at all, I'd be surprised if they know how many cards in a deck. As I grew into my twenties, I got into gambling. When I told my father about it, he admitted to me he had been gambling for years and knew Basic for BJ. We soon went to tunica on his comps.
    Maybe the gambling itch is a small component of the many, which make up a personality, and can be passed along?
    Come to think about it, I was betting football games dating back to Junior high.

    Any Psych majors/Dr.s know if this is acquired or inherited?
  • I grew-up playing nickel/dime five card stud and 9 ball pool. It's what
    the other guys did. I got pretty good and continued same all thru the
    service. I used to practice my break shot for hours in the army day rm.
    Later I went to school under the GI bill and without pool as an income I
    don't know how I could have made it.

    As for blackjack, I was at a science and technology show at the Conv. Cntr
    in LV, got bored and went up on the strip. You can guess the rest.

    With me it's all about the task of winning, If it was invented by man,
    I think I can understand it, and beat it if its a game. The money
    don't matter as much as just the fact that I can and will beat these
    dudes. I'll do what ever it takes.....

    Ray
  • My dad is a mad gambler, my mom not so much... although my mom's dad used to be a mad gambler as well, so that's where I pretty much get it from... my dad plays BJ (it's the only thing he plays!), but he doesn't believe in BS no matter how much I tell him it's the best way to play, etc. Oh well, guess you know how hard it is to re-train an aged vet!!
  • I guess I have the gambling gene also. My grandfather made his living off poker, (along with gin during prohibition and numbers) and my father made enough off poker during WW11 that he sent home money for a house and all the furnshings ($6000 to $7000). After the war he still enjoyed poker with friends but never more than friendly games. Myself I would love to play poker more but it's hard to fing a game in my small community, the nearest cassino poker game is close to 3 hours away, so I've taken to BJ a couple times a month for 4 or 6 hours at a time. I'd play more except I'm at least 1 1/2 hour from the nearest cassino....Shredder
  • My folks never made a bet in their lives, that I know of. My first bets were in 8 ball pool. I shot a pretty decent game. Of course the older I get, the better I "was" at everything. :wink: It was an Aunt that talked me into going to Vegas the first time.
  • Midnite and I were just discussing this over the weekend. My father was one of the best card players I have ever seen, and if there is such a thing as a "natural" it would have to be him. I would guess that by the time I was twelve or so he had taught me how to play poker, euchre, pinochle, double deck pinochle, hearts, and of course blackjack.....note they are all games you gamble on :wink:

    Grifter
  • My father played craps with the other guys during World War II and found certain side bets worked best, because the others didn't realize how favorable the odds were on some of them. I think that was the end of his gambling days. His attitude toward Vegas during my upbringing was "Why support the Mafia?"

    He regards himself as morally superior to his brothers (my uncles) who used to go to Vegas a lot, and who have money riding on every football and basketball game every weekend. One uncle used to receive regular Xmas and birthday gifts (at his office, before he retired) from his bookie. "He must be such a nice man", said my uncle's very proper British secretary, as she unwrapped one of those gifts.

    They're all still around but getting well on in years, so they don't travel much now. The fact that Vegas is now corporate rather than mob-run wouldn't make any difference to my father at this point.
  • Looks like about 70% of those who responded have some family ties to gambling.
    Thanks for your posts!!

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