You Can’t Beat the Casino (Unless you’re Rain Man)

We’ve all dreamed of hitting it big at the casino, online or off, but we tend to avoid serious attempts because we understand the odds. At least, that’s the case for most of us.

I’m a big streaming guy, both in terms of watching and (to a much less successful extent) broadcasting, and recently I noticed a few anomalies which led me down a rabbit hole I didn’t quite expect. I found that a few of my favorite streamers had apparently up and left and, not one to let my curiosity go unsatiated, I had to find out why.

As it turns out, more than one of them had moved on from traditional video games, and over to casino game streaming on the website CasinoGrounds.

Being middling success on the video game front, they all actually performed better in terms of number when it came to casino games. Some of them now managed thousands of viewers per stream, and videos with a million hits, exceeding their previous records by over ten times.

This made me curious. Why is it that people love to watch games so much when the chances of winning are not based on skill, but luck? Of course, there are exclusions to this, as a blackjack strategy chart (also on CasinoGrounds) informed me. On this particular page, there are two charts, effectively confirming the reaction most likely to yield a positive outcome in each scenario. They aren’t perfect, but at least they would give players the most statistically viable courses of action.

Putting a little more thought in, I realized that I had been approaching this from the wrong angle. In some ways, gambling and its streaming can be related to how professional level video gaming tournaments operate.

For this example, we’ll use the idea of non-sponsored professional players. These players compete at the highest level, which means traveling around to attend tournaments in person. As competition in video games is international, these can easily mean flying across the country, or even into other continents.

The kicker here is that this type of competition is not cheap. Aside from the travel costs themselves, you also have to factor in the entry fee, hotel costs, food expenditure, and the loss of profit from any other jobs a player might have on the side.

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That’s one of the reasons why these tournaments can be such a monetary and emotional investment for these players. The reward comes from more than just cash, it can help sustain a lifestyle. With this in mind, the hype becomes so much more understandable and relatable.

Sure, this isn’t an exact parallel to casino streaming, where players have a strict limit and are responsible enough to never approach big losses, but the idea of financial involvement driving excitement certainly carries the same weight.

The thing about gambling is that it shouldn’t be done to make money – it should be done for the thrill. It’s the line between this thrill, adventurousness, and responsibility which acts as the draw. It’s another arm of the exciting world of competition with a financial element which can make a player’s dream come true, and in some ways in a more responsible method than with traditional pro gaming.

There are some good reasons why these types of streams do so well on Twitch and now, finally, I think I understand why.


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