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Online gambling in all sizes

Gambling takes on many shapes and sizes, online gambling is one of them. The world of online gambling originates from a vast variety of cultures and histories, which began with simple card play and dice games.

Today, within western society and culture, online gambling has an economic definition, which refers to that of wagering money or something of material value for an event where the outcome is unknown, expected to win an influx of money – this all done online. The final outcome in online gambling is usually determined within a short fixed period of time unless vying away in online tournaments.

When playing for money or some other material value, there are online gambling variables, which one must take into consideration. There are three main variables that pertain to all forms of gambling, including online gambling.

One of those such factors is that of how much money is being wagered or what is really at stake. Next, the gamer will want to determine the predictability of the event. Obviously in some online gambling games such as slots, bingo or various lotto games, the results are random and therefore, predictability of these games is void. There is no amount of such great knowledge that can give someone engaged in online gambling the advantage. Then again for gambling involving sports events it is different. The last, but definitely not least form of variables are the odds between two or more parties involved in the wagering. This results only when the house or bookmaker is involved. The odds then are more often than not arranged in favor of the house and it is a legal move for them as well.

The expected value, positive or negative, is a mathematical calculation using these three variables. The amount wagered determines the scale of one’s individual bet.

Predictability in online gambling determines the frequency of success. The frequency of success times the payout minus the amount wagered equals the "expected value." The skill of a gambler lies in understanding and maneuvering your moves with the three variables so that the "actual value" is positive over a series of wagers in online gambling.

There are also psychological aspects to take into consideration when involved in online gambling.

Though many participate in online gambling as a form of recreation or even as a means to gain an income, online gambling can become a psychologically addictive and harmful behavior to some people.

The Reinforcement phenomena may also make gamblers continue in online gambling even after repeated losses. This happens because of negative connotations in the word "gambling," casinos and race tracks often use the euphemism "gaming" to describe the recreational gambling activities offered in online gambling.

The Russian writer Dostoevsky portrays in his novella The Gambler the psychological implications of gambling and how gambling can affect gamblers. He associates gambling in general to the whole “get rich quick” scheme of things. This has led to the famous Russian legend of Russian roulette on their frivolous relationship to gambling.

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