Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Think Bingo is Nice

Occasionally, despite being in my early twenties, I like bingo. I like the little thrill when you only need one more number and you're just waiting for it to be called so you can collect your winnings. It's fun if you're lucky enough.

And yet, it occurs to me that the game is completely unnecessary. When you buy into bingo, you have the exact same chance of winning that everyone else does. The only way to increase your odds is to buy in multiple times. There's no way of improving your chances of winning apart from buying more cards, even being particularly attentive only improves your odds if you're more attentive than the people around you. Assuming that most bingo players are able to competently daub their cards, then being attentive just ensures that you don't diminish your chances.

So, really, every game of bingo is, from the point of view of your odds of winning, the equivalent of giving everyone in the room their own randomly chosen number and then calling out a randomly chosen number. One could even, occasionally, hand out duplicate numbers to simulate the occasional bingo tie (at my last game, in a room of thirty people, there was a six way tie on one game). The entire game, as far as the gambling aspect is concerned, could be over in less than a minute.

And you know what? I like that. I like the fact that bingo is a purposely inefficient method of gambling. You could be cynical and say that it's inefficient to get more people to throw their money away on it, but I don't really think that's the case. When I play, anyway, I never get the feeling that anyone is there to profit. They just play for the fun of the game. The money is just there to give the victory weight, to make it more exciting when you get close to a bingo, almost no one who plays regularly wins back what they pay out anyway (I would say that no one does, but, I know of at least one person currently who has won more than they've paid. Give it a few weeks, though). From a financial point of view, bingo is completely irrational. From a gambling point of view, bingo is completely inefficient. Really, the only reason it exists is because it's kind of fun.

And I think that's nice.

Also, some superstitious part of me hopes that the bingo gods will read this and look upon me favorably next Thursday, because I'm getting real fucking sick of losing every goddamn week.

That's Moloch, by the way
If the blog doesn't work, then it's time for some old fashioned infant sacrifices

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