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Can Gamblers Get Momentum?16 March 2005
Can gamblers also get momentum? Do they have it when they're "on a roll?" And, if so, is the concept of any value as the basis of a theory of gambling that'll assist in making such nettlesome decisions as sticking with a machine or table or moving to another, continuing to bet "do" or switching to "don't" at craps, or going from one to two or three blackjack hands to "change the flow of the cards." The gurus have pretty much quashed notions of cold games coming due and systems based on trends or streaks. Maybe momentum is the secret solid citizens have been seeking.
It might help to have an idea of what momentum really is. And, especially,
how momentum differs from simply "being on the move." With this understanding,
it'll be possible to examine if momentum is valid or only a figure of speech
when applied as it is to realms such as football seasons and elections, as well
as whether it's relevant to casino gambling.
Accordingly, heavier objects have more momentum than lighter for the same velocity, and faster more momentum than slower for equal mass. And if an external factor intervenes, the increase or decrease in momentum depends on the "impulse" to which it's subject ?? the strength of the force acting on the body and for how long. The metaphor in sports, politics, and gambling is that something making progress has a characteristic that keeps it doing so. The velocity aspect is clear. What of mass and impulse?
For athletes or sports teams, training, physical conditioning, and filling of rosters with an appropriate mix of talents are not only like the forces applied to an object but are also apt to bestow on it a form of corporeality or inertia. Attitude also has a substantive effect, inducing participants to try harder. When a winning trend can be ascribed at least in part to such elements, there is indeed a virtual momentum that may prove enduring.
Likewise, in politics, a candidate who begins to win for instance in primaries or polls receives media attention and attracts funding. These are like impulse. And their persistence, along with the image of credibility they engender among the voters, the penchant of reporters and contributors to jump on a bandwagon, and the display of confidence in public appearances, function as a type of mass.
In casino gambling, series of winning rounds on a machine or table can be considered comparable to velocity. By and large, though, nothing serves as equivalent to mass and endows a streak with the characteristics of momentum. Nor does anything act like an impulse which gets a trend started and somehow keeps it building. Skill and a growing bankroll superficially appear to operate in this manner. They may, to an extent, in live poker. Likewise, but to a far lesser degree, in craps for shooters able to control the dice and in blackjack when shoes become rich in 10s and edge shifts to the bettor. But not in any general sense.So, a player "on a roll" isn't like a snowball careening down a hill, gaining momentum by gathering mass and being propelled by gravity. Anyway, pressing the "roll" imagery would lead to a discussion of "angular momentum." And here, you only wanted a little advice about when to stick or quit at a machine or table, not instructions on how to build your own space telescope. Sumner A Ingmark, a muse of moment if not momentum, said it like this:
Experience teaches it's wise to be leery,
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