Baccarat, Probability & Randomness Thoughts
This are strictly my thoughts after many decades of playing the game of baccarat within B&M casinos.
* The highest amount of people will attempt to apply some type of mathematical and statistical "Mumbo Jumbo" to the game with & while extremely miscalculating math, statistics and probability.
* Important point: 'It's more random than we think, not it is all random.' Chance favors preparedness, but it is not caused by preparedness (same for all forms of hard work, skills, professions, scholastic degrees, etc.)
* As much as we want to 'keep it simple, stupid', it is precisely the simplification of issues that are actually very complex, which can be dangerous to ourselves when playing baccarat or in fact, anything to do with casino games whatsoever.
* Things that happen with little help from luck are more resistant to randomness.
* Mild success can be explainable by skills and labor. Wild success is attributable to variance and it does not matter if that is pertaining to baccarat, casino gambling or in fact, most any type of business.
* One common theory for why people pursue leadership as well as idols, is because of 'social emotions' which cause others to be influenced by a person due to physical signals like charisma, gestures, and stride.
* This has also been shown via evolutionary psychology: when you perform well in life, you get all 'puffed up' in the way you carry yourself, the bounce in your step, etc. From an evolution standpoint this is great because it becomes easier to spot the most successful/desirable person in no matter what you are doing, participating in or even playing within a casino.
* 'The concept of alternative histories is particularly interesting. If you were to relive a set of events 1000 times, what would the range of outcomes be? If there is very little variance in your alternative histories (i.e. You chose to become a dentist and you will probably make more or less the same amount of money and live a similar lifestyle all 1000 times), then you are in a relatively non- random situation. Meanwhile, if there is a very wide range of normal results when considering 1,000 variations (entrepreneurs, traders, etc.), then it is a very random situation.'
* The quality of a choice cannot be judged just by the result. (I first learned this in football. Just because a play you call doesn't work out doesn't make it a poor choice. It could have been the right call, but bad luck. Or vice versa. But actually and better defined is, that the other team just had something that outdid you or their moves just excelled and yours could not come forward and be probably executed.)
* Certainty is something that is likely to take place across the highest number of different alternative 'WHATEVERS'.
Uncertainty concerns events that should take place in the lowest number of them. IMO, applies to countless things in our lives, not just baccarat and gambling.
* We have a tendency to see risks against specific things as more likely than general risks (dying in a terrorist attack while traveling vs. dying on your next trip, even though the second includes the first). We seem to overvalue the things that trigger an emotional response and undervalue the things that aren't as emotional. What I am saying is, that the more spectacular something or some event that we participate in or we are part of, the more our response or perception of that event will be as compared to other events, even of greater importance overall.
* We are so mentally wired to overvalue the sensational stories that you can realize informational and financial gains by getting an insight or an advantage of some type, etc., that most times it will falsely influence you to make the wrong decision, applies enormously in gambling at baccarat.
* Every man believes that he is quite different, better, smarter, and as well just plain more valuable than the next. Almost all of us think that the next man can not offer anything of use, intelligence or benefit to them.
* It's better to value old, distilled thoughts than 'new thinking' because for an idea to last so long it must be good. That is, old ideas have had to stand the test of time. New ideas have not. Some new ideas will end up lasting, but most will not. Related very closely to the sensational stories right above this thought.
* The ratio of undistilled information to distilled is rising. Let's call information that has never had to prove its truth more than once or twice, undistilled. And information that has been filtered through many years, counter arguments, and situations is distilled. You want more distilled information (concepts that stand the test of time and rigorous standing) and less undistilled information (the news, reactionary opinions, and 'cutting edge' research, AKA 'Mumbo Jumbo').
* There is nothing wrong with losing. The problem is losing more than you plan to lose. You need clear rules that limit your downside. Almost all people gambling will have the toughest time understanding this as well as applying this to the game of baccarat. Why? Because it challenges their intelligence and emotions.
* Much of what is randomness is timing. The best strategy for a given time period is often not the best strategy overall. In any given cycle, certain places will be dangerous, certain strategies will be fruitful and countless ones if played on a regular basis (everyday) will prove themselves worthless or just plain wrong, etc.
* If you find yourself doing something extraordinarily well in a random situation, then keep doing what's working but limit your downside. There is nothing wrong with benefiting from randomness so long as you protect yourself from negative random events that will come with the game. They have to and they will, in complete contrary to what almost all players want, desire or are willing to accept.
* Randomness means there are some strategies that work well for any given cycle, but these cycles are often short to medium term successes, all of course in time relevance. More importantly, the strategies that work for a given cycle in the short term may not be the best for long term. That is what the masses of baccarat players will not subscribe to or accept and believe. The same can said for setting huge goals. Unsustainable and sub-optimal for the long term.
* Important point: you can never affirm a statement, merely confirm its rejection. There is a big difference between 'this has never happened' and 'this will ever happen.' You can say the first, but never truly confirm the second. It just takes one counter example to prove all previous observations wrong. We never know things for sure, only with varying degrees of certainty. Which is exactly the way it is. And when dealing with baccarat, getting 85 wagers correct and 15 incorrect can also be applied and do it without conformation and proof.
* There are only two types of ideas. Those that have been proven wrong and those which have yet to be proved wrong.
* Science is speculation. This is important to remember. Scientists are simply creating well-formed and well-educated conjectures about the world. But they are still conjectures that can be proved incorrect by one random event. Does that mean the other 49 out of 50 was wrong or false? Same with the theory and the application of mathematics. As that too may not apply to every situation or event.
* It's a difficult standard to demand that you can actually implement ideas and not merely share them (there have been many brilliant philosophers and scientists who have had great ideas they didn't personally use), but is an idea really that great if you can stick to it? Obviously, everyone has different skills and circumstances apply, so maybe someone can use your idea even if you can't. But generally speaking, I think you should be able to live out the ideas you share.
* Pascal: 'the optimal strategy for humans is to believe in the existence of God. For, if God exists, then the believer will be rewarded. If God does not exist, the believer will have nothing to lose.' My first thought: Yes, but what if you believe in the 'wrong' God? Should you play a numbers game and believe in the God most people believe in? Or, can we safely assume that of the infinite number of possible Gods humans could have designed? To me, it is unlikely that any of the ones we worship are actually the God? So, just believe that a higher power exists? Whew. Tough call here. IMO and only IMO. But I am writing here and you are reading. Again, you do not have to believe me or anything I write. You write and give it a true. Whew, another thought I had to put out there.
* Social treadmill effect: you get rich, move to a better neighborhood, surround yourself with more successful people, and feel poor again. Then you accomplished a false positive goal and you have to work even harder to move on once again to a higher and a better plateau. That is why I wrote many things about plateaus and levels, remember?
* Remember that nobody accepts randomness in his own success, only his failure. Simple, true and applies to most all of us baccarat players.
* Skewness and expectations: you can't just look at the odds of something happening, but also the payoff you receive if it works (and the cost of it failing). A bet on something very unlikely can be smart if the payoff is large and you have rules to limit the many small losses that are likely. When you hit the win with the huge payoff, you never did anything wrong or negative. LOL, but so true.
* Minor stalemates in life can often be solved by choosing randomly. In many cases it doesn't really matter so long as you choose something and move forward.
* We follow rules not because they are the best options, but because they make things fast and easy when others are involved, otherwise it would always be mass confusion, arguments and stalls.
* Humans are inherently flawed. The cognitive biases that we have are simply a result of how our brains work. Sometimes these biases help us rather than hurt us. But they are always a result of how we are built. That makes them particularly difficult to avoid.
* We seem to focus too much on local changes, not global ones. That is, we care too much about the latest change rather than the overall trend. Same as what is happening in the shoe of baccarat.
* 'Wealth does not make people happy, but positive increases in wealth may.'
* Emotions are 'lubricants of reason.' We actually need to feel things to make decisions. We do not think so, but that is not the way it works.
* Emotions give us energy and they are actually critical to life in the day-to-day world. In other words, the goal here is not to become a robot who can analyze everything with perfect logic. If you did, you would have no time to actually employ or live the things you so desire.
* Even if you know about randomness and cognitive biases, you are still just as likely to fall victim to them. Which so many gamblers will never ever understand or adhere to.
* How to overcome these biases? We need tricks. We are just animals and we need to re-structure our environment to control our emotions in a smart way.
* Most of us know pretty much how we should behave. It is the execution that is the problem, not the absence of knowledge.
* Do not blame others for your failures. Even if they are at fault. You executed the move that you failed at, not them.
* The only aspect of your life that fortune does not have control over is your behavior.
* Repetitiveness is key for determining if you are seeing skill or randomness at play. Can't repeat it? Not skillful. It takes skill to realize when that something is there to act on and how you will act successfully on it.
* "We favor the visible, the embedded, the personal, the narrated, and the tangible. We scorn the abstract. Everything good 'aesthetics, ethics and wrong, fooled by randomness with us in baccarat, seems to flow from just that."
* When baccarat players win, they suddenly begin to black out all reasoning, past mistakes and negativity until they begin to lose once again.