In my Wayward Youth, I published a book titled Games of Fortune.
It was a survey of all games played in casinos and other gambling venues throughout the world.
It included a system to beat the roulette before it beats the S out of you.
And at the very end, there was a very unprofessional, non-rigorous, non-normatively validated, non-clinically tested test to determine whether you were a compulsive pathological gambler or whether you could ultimately make it into the exalted, rarified atmosphere and club of professional gamblers.
I spent two years in casinos and other gambling venues, private apartments, you name it, clubs, and I had observed gamblers, professionals, compulsives, obsessives, pathological gamblers, desperate people, those who do it for entertainment and those who do it for living.
And two years is a long time and I distilled all of this into the following test.
So I'm going to read the test to you, take it and see if you could one day find yourself being a pathological gambler or a pro.
So here's the test.
Answer all the questions, either yes or no.
Do not try to guess what a compulsive or pathological gambler would have answered.
Simply be honest with yourself. Tell yourself the truth.
At the end of the test, I will give you a key and using this key, you'll be able to determine to which of the two camps you belong naturally.
A compulsive, obsessive, pathological, increasingly more desperate gambler or a cold blooded, cool-headed, nerves of steel pro.
Let's then write it, ladies and gentlemen, "févos jus malcevo jus".
Number one, when you play the roulette, do you bet on the same number all the time?
Number two, if one of the numbers in the roulette comes up, does it usually come up when you did not gamble on it?
Do you have bad luck this way?
Number three, did it ever happen to you that you were absolutely certain which number is going to come up?
You told your neighbor to the left, you informed your neighbor to the right, and lo and behold, the number did come up.
Only you didn't bet on it.
Did this ever happen to you?
Therefore, every time you win in the roulette, for example, every time you win, are you sorry that you didn't gamble with a much bigger amount, that you didn't place a much bigger bet?
Number five, did you have lucky streaks, lucky evenings where everything goes your way, unceasingly, uninterruptedly, and you're on a wave, and on a streak, and you are happy, go lucky forever?
Did you have such evenings or such cases?
Number six, are you capable? Can you just stop gambling when your luck had abandoned you?
After having had a very successful evening, in which you have had a lucky streak of winnings, so are you capable of calling it a day? Are you capable of cutting, stopping, just packing your winnings and walking away? Are you capable of doing this when your luck turns and begins to betray you?
Number seven, at the blackjack table, 21, do you immediately identify the bad hands, those who screw up the table's odds by making erroneous decisions, thus helping the house, the casino? Can you immediately tell which of the players, which among them, who among them is a bad player?
Number eight, are you constantly anxious that your luck is about to turn, is about to betray you, about to be over? Are you constantly anxious?
Number nine, is the size of your bed determined by your intuition and gut feelings? Do you decide how much to place on the table based on your instincts?
Number 10, do you use any system, mathematical or otherwise, when you gamble, a mountain guy as it's called, or a mathematical system? Is your gambling structured in any way dictated by any external algorithm?
Number 11, do you usually get bad cards, or do you usually throw bed cubes?
Are you unlucky?
Can you characterize yourself as unfortunate in gambling?
Number 12, do you believe that the casino workers, casino stuff, is cheating, deceiving the gamblers?
Number 13, you've had a horrible night with a huge loss. Suddenly you're beginning to recover.
Do you retire once you have recouped all your money, once you've gone back to your initial position, once you have recovered all the principal?
Do you then call it a day and walk away?
Or do you continue to gamble?
So the question is, do you walk away?
Number 14, you're seated next to a gambling table and you're having the day of your life. Nothing goes wrong. Everything goes right. You're winning constantly. You could do nothing wrong.
And then you receive a phone call and you're invited to attend a very, very important meeting, professional business meeting.
Would you get up and attend the meeting? Or would you pre-varicate and invent some excuse or simply ignore the message?
So would you ignore the message? Would you postpone the meeting? Would you not attend the meeting?
That's the question.
Yes or no?
Number 15, once you have left the casino, once you've walked away from the gambling venue, do you always calculate in your head how much more money you could have made had you stayed?
Number 16, do you think your success in poker crucially depends on your skill, the quality of your game, how good a player you are?
Number 17, when you have a good hand in poker and you call bets or you increase your bet, do you usually lose them?
Is it a rule that once you increase your bets in poker, you lose?
Number 18, in poker, is luck much more important than skill?
Number 19, in bagammon, is luck much more important than skill?
Number 20, if your chances to hit the jackpot in a slot machine, are they higher than your chances to win a number, to bet correctly on a number and to relax?
I repeat the question.
Your chances to win to hit the jackpot on a slot machine, are they higher than your chances to correctly pick up a number at the roulette?
Number 21, are you angry at yourself for gambling? Do you dislike your gambling?
Number 22, are you angry at yourself that you don't know when to stop gambling, when to call it a day, when to back your things and go? Are you angry at yourself?
Number 23, do you think that you're entitled to win, to gain? Do you consider yourself entitled to some gains or some winnings in gambling?
Number 24, in a day that you had won, in a day that you had gained and made money, again, a gambling day, which proved to be profitable, you ended it richer than you entered it. Was this kind of day worth it? Would you have liked to have many more days like this? Was this day worth it?
Yes or no?
If you responded positively to the following questions, then chances are that you are a compulsive, obsessive, pathological gambler or a gambler at risk with a propensity to become one.
These are the numbers, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 4, 2, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18 and 17.
If you answered in the affirmative, if your answer was yes to all these questions, then in all likelihood, you're a pathological gambler or if you pick up gambling as a habit, you're likely to become compulsive, obsessive and pathological and you're likely to lose your shirt and many other, many other possessions except your shirt.
I hope this has been helpful.
A reminder, it's not a recognized psychological test. It's not rigorous. It's not clinically validated or normatively validated. It's just fun. It's just my observations, encapsulates my observations in gaming halls throughout the world.
And more general advice, just stay away.
Simply stay away.
The house always has the advantage.
That's a fact.