How risky are you?

in Money Saving Polls
23 replies 3.5K views
Former_MSE_ArchnaFormer_MSE_Archna Former MSE
1.9K Posts
MSE Staff
Poll Title: Poll Started 7 August 2006: How risky are you? If I offered you a wager on a month's salary on the single toss of a (fair) coin, what's the lowest odds at which you'd take the bet? For those who don't understand gambling odds, 2-1 means you bet a month's salary and if you win you get back your salary plus two times your salary - but if you lose it all goes. Traditionally a coin toss would be evens (1-1) as it's a balanced chance, so anything higher is, odds-wise at least, a good bet.

A. Evens
B. 2-1
C. 3-1
D. 5-1
E. 10-1
F. 20-1
G. 50-1
H. 100-1
I. I would never risk a month's salary regardless.

Click reply to discuss or vote here.
«13

Replies

  • IvanOpinionIvanOpinion Forumite
    21.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    If I can do the tossing (oooo errrr missus) and the calling then I would go for whatever odds I could get. Tossing a coin is not balanced if you are the !!!!!! and the caller ... apparently, and I have no idea how this works but it does seem to, position the coin, look at which side is showing and then call the other side ... improves the odds significantly

    Ivan
    Board sex symbol
  • wigginsmumwigginsmum Forumite
    4.2K Posts
    I won't even pay £1 for a lottery ticket so you're not getting your hands on my month's salary :)
    The ability of skinny old ladies to carry huge loads is phenomenal. An ant can carry one hundred times its own weight, but there is no known limit to the lifting power of the average tiny eighty-year-old Spanish peasant grandmother.
  • FiferFifer Forumite
    59.4K Posts
    If I can get odds of 2-1 or more every month for at least a year, I'll take the bet.
    There's love in this world for everyone. Every rascal and son of a gun.
    It's for the many and not the few. Be sure it's out there looking for you.
    In every town, in every state. In every house and every gate.
    Wth every precious smile you make. And every act of kindness.
    Micheal Marra, 1952 - 2012
  • GUMPOGUMPO Forumite
    376 Posts
    This shouldn't even need thinking about. If you know the odds are fixed and that your return is going to be greater than it should be gamble every time.:confused:
    FREE THE WM3
  • FiferFifer Forumite
    59.4K Posts
    Not necessarily Gumpo. If you only get one shot at the bet and you cannot afford to lose the stake, it would be crazy to take a 50:50 gamble at any odds.
    There's love in this world for everyone. Every rascal and son of a gun.
    It's for the many and not the few. Be sure it's out there looking for you.
    In every town, in every state. In every house and every gate.
    Wth every precious smile you make. And every act of kindness.
    Micheal Marra, 1952 - 2012
  • TirianTirian Forumite
    959 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    GUMPO wrote:
    This shouldn't even need thinking about. If you know the odds are fixed and that your return is going to be greater than it should be gamble every time.:confused:

    Gambler's logic. And utterly false.

    If you could make the bet an unlimited number of times then it becomes a different matter, but even then it's possible that you will just lose lots and lots of money.

    If you only have one bet, no matter what the 'odds' are, it's still a 50% chance that you're throwing away a month's salary. Personally, I think anyone who would take that chance is a complete fool.

    Tirian
    For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also ...
  • I've noticed that 4% of people who've taken part selected 'Evens'. I'm not an experienced gambler but surely evens means is that if you win, you get what you would have had without even taking the bet!
  • aceandy79 wrote:
    I've noticed that 4% of people who've taken part selected 'Evens'. I'm not an experienced gambler but surely evens means is that if you win, you get what you would have had without even taking the bet!

    No sorry, I'm being dumb! It must means you would win an extra months salary.
  • Detail_MerchantDetail_Merchant Forumite
    130 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Tirian wrote:
    If you only have one bet, no matter what the 'odds' are, it's still a 50% chance that you're throwing away a month's salary. Personally, I think anyone who would take that chance is a complete fool.

    I'm not so sure.

    It's fairly common advice that one should have about six months income as savings as a kind of emergency fund.

    If I lost a month's salary, it would be disappointing, but it wouldn't be life changing.

    However, if I won a lump sum of 100 times my monthly salary, I could pay off my mortgage and still have most of the money left, which would be life changing.

    So I would consider this bet given odds of 100-1.

    Of course you are right that it is 50% likely that I would lose 1 months pay. But if I did, I think I would not regret taking the chance of a life changing event.

    Regards,

    Detail Merchant
  • webwizwebwiz Forumite
    213 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I would take 3:2 which was not in the list so I said 2:1. It's true that provided you could keep repeating the bet then any odds greater than evens should be accepted. It is also true that for a one-off non-repeatable bet you should not accept if you cannot afford to lose unless the odds are really in your favour - say 5:1. But although this may be a one-off there will be many one-offs in life which can be aggregated.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Who can suggest a top-notch bed?

This Forumite's mattress is in need of a base

MSE Forum

Top theatre lotteries

How to grab £10-£25 tix for Cabaret, Matilda etc

MSE Deals