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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Archna
    • By MSE Archna 7th Aug 06, 3:28 PM
    • 1,874Posts
    • 6,140Thanks
    MSE Archna
    How risky are you?
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 06, 3:28 PM
    How risky are you? 7th Aug 06 at 3:28 PM
    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.
    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 07-08-2006 at 4:03 PM.
    Report inappropriate posts: forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com




Page 1
    • IvanOpinion
    • By IvanOpinion 8th Aug 06, 7:38 AM
    • 20,032 Posts
    • 19,864 Thanks
    IvanOpinion
    • #2
    • 8th Aug 06, 7:38 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Aug 06, 7:38 AM
    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 tosser 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
    Ivan has left the building ... but reserves the right of reply!
    Use PM to keep in touch
  • wigginsmum
    • #3
    • 8th Aug 06, 8:02 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Aug 06, 8:02 AM
    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.
  • Fifer
    • #4
    • 8th Aug 06, 8:52 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Aug 06, 8:52 AM
    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

  • GUMPO
    • #5
    • 9th Aug 06, 12:35 AM
    • #5
    • 9th Aug 06, 12:35 AM
    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
  • Fifer
    • #6
    • 9th Aug 06, 7:13 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Aug 06, 7:13 AM
    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

    • Tirian
    • By Tirian 9th Aug 06, 1:17 PM
    • 950 Posts
    • 365 Thanks
    Tirian
    • #7
    • 9th Aug 06, 1:17 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Aug 06, 1:17 PM
    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:
    by GUMPO
    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
    • aceandy79
    • By aceandy79 9th Aug 06, 1:41 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    aceandy79
    • #8
    • 9th Aug 06, 1:41 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Aug 06, 1:41 PM
    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
    • By aceandy79 9th Aug 06, 1:43 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    aceandy79
    • #9
    • 9th Aug 06, 1:43 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Aug 06, 1:43 PM
    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!
    by aceandy79
    No sorry, I'm being dumb! It must means you would win an extra months salary.
    • Detail Merchant
    • By Detail Merchant 9th Aug 06, 4:01 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Detail Merchant
    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.
    by Tirian
    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
    • webwiz
    • By webwiz 9th Aug 06, 5:01 PM
    • 209 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    webwiz
    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.
  • nelly
    You can toss a coin 14 billion times and it can come up heads each and every time.

    I wouldnt do it unless it was 100-1 minimum
  • GUMPO
    You can toss a coin 14 billion times and it can come up heads each and every time.

    I wouldnt do it unless it was 100-1 minimum
    by nelly

    Would be great if you called heads Nelly
    FREE THE WM3
    • yung
    • By yung 10th Aug 06, 8:06 PM
    • 674 Posts
    • 423 Thanks
    yung
    being a retiree on a meagre pension don't think I can afford the risk
  • cwep2
    Anyone who could live without their salary 'should' answer yes to anything better than evens. Of course if you couldn't then it is about sacrifice and how much the 'utility cost' of losing would hurt you vs the 'utility gain' of winning (ie it's not as simple as an equation). So if losig meant bread and milk for the next 6 months, and winning meant a nice holiday for a week, you may say well it's not worth it unless the chance of winning the holiday to 100 times more likely than the chance of living on bread and milk for 6 months.

    Anyone who answered evens - you could do get those sorts of odds in many places so do you actually bet that sort of money? Please note I'm not talking about roulette type bets where you have a built in (small) disadvantage.

    I can risk it so 2-1 or better is a no brainer - anyone want to offer those odds to me?

    CP
  • STEVEN ROBERT TUCKEY
    Anyone who could live without their salary 'should' answer yes to anything better than evens. Of course if you couldn't then it is about sacrifice and how much the 'utility cost' of losing would hurt you vs the 'utility gain' of winning (ie it's not as simple as an equation). So if losig meant bread and milk for the next 6 months, and winning meant a nice holiday for a week, you may say well it's not worth it unless the chance of winning the holiday to 100 times more likely than the chance of living on bread and milk for 6 months.

    Anyone who answered evens - you could do get those sorts of odds in many places so do you actually bet that sort of money? Please note I'm not talking about roulette type bets where you have a built in (small) disadvantage.

    I can risk it so 2-1 or better is a no brainer - anyone want to offer those odds to me?

    CP
    by cwep2
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but the real odds you would get in this situation are 5/6 which is a 109% book.

    Just look at the odds in real life situations, anytime you have an event with only two possible winners that are considered just as likely as each other those are the odds.
    For example, when a football match goes to a penalty shootout and it can go either way you will get quoted odds of 5/6 for both teams.

    I have never seen a 'two horse race' (for the uninitiated that doesn't mean a real horse race with only two horses, it's just a phrase used to describe an event with only two outcomes) where the odds on both were the same and it was not 5/6.
    Anybody else ever seen more than 5/6 for BOTH?

    Just found an example at Sky Bet:
    Henry Premiership Goals 2006/2007
    Under 26.5 5/6
    Over 26.5 5/6
    Most of the Premiership teams have a similar market with the same odds for one of their players.

    In answer to your question, I've never bet that sort of money on a single hand but I have wagered a combined total of a years income in probably about 90 minutes playing European Blackjack with a 99.7% payout.
    I think my record for a single days gambling is just under seven years.
  • STEVEN ROBERT TUCKEY
    You can toss a coin 14 billion times and it can come up heads each and every time.

    I wouldnt do it unless it was 100-1 minimum
    by nelly
    No you can't.

    Even if the coin was tossed once a second, it would still take you over 443 years; so you would have to live to several times the age of any other human being by which time you would have dementia and forgotten what you were doing, not to mention you would be too frail to even toss the coin because your bones would crumble under the weight of it.

    Besides, after being tossed that many times the coin would have worn away so you wouldn't be able to tell which side was heads anyway.

    Plus, by then the coin would be so old it would be a collectors item and you could just sell it.
  • cwep2
    To clarify - I know several professional gamblers that exploit the fact that bookies underprice favourites (because joe punter on the street backs the favourite more than the underdog) and use betting exchanges where they use laying and backing of other outcomes to get a consistent positive return (many making tens of thousands per year for a few hours a week) without insider knowledge of the sports involved.

    I didn't say you could walk into william hill and get better than a 50/50 chance - but there are plenty of articles on the net that give you the knowledge to gain a better than 50% chance in a gambling situation. There are also 'arbs' available to exploit if you are quick.

    You are never going to find a binary event priced at <100% by a bookmaker (especially if you look at only one bookmakers odds). Compare many and you often find 'choice' prices and as I said before even arbs if you are quick and know what to look for. The competition between bookmakers and demographics of different betting populations mean that for complex outcomes (ie not just two or three possible results where most arbers focus) gives rise to opportunities for those who want to take them.

    Sorry if this is too technical - I do not mean to patronise, but I was not exactly referring to a straightforward bet on sky-bet. Look on betfair and you will find plenty of two outcome examples at a 100.1% book, traditional bookmakers are only good for odds which they misprice.
    • irishwench69
    • By irishwench69 12th Aug 06, 9:05 PM
    • 794 Posts
    • 5,634 Thanks
    irishwench69
    I won't even pay 1 for a lottery ticket so you're not getting your hands on my month's salary
    by wigginsmum
    Very true.....there have to be more sure-thing ways to make your fortune......

    x
  • B4UgoZzz
    "Never, regardless" ? REALLY ???
    I find it hard to understand the choice to never risk regardless.

    Assuming, that most people's lives would not utterly collapse if they were to lose 1 month's salary, (if that's the case then fair enough) then to me it's just a question of where's the point at which it becomes tempting to you.

    For example,
    If you are risking 1,000 then it's likely that most people on this site would be too afraid to accept the coin flip for a chance to win 2,000.
    However, if you stood with Bill Gates and he said... "OK Fred, if you win I'll give you 100 million" would all those people who said they'd never risk it, still say no?

    If you would still say no, then what would you do if Bill said "Take the 100 million if you win and pay me just 10 if you lose? Surely, in this case everyone would say yes.

    Therefore, the issue is what are the 2 numbers which would tempt you to accept.
    I urge all those who's impulse was to vote 'never, regardless' in the poll, to re-evaluate their answer.

    I imagine that losing a month's salary to most here would cause financial difficulty. It would probably require the bread-n-milk lifestyle for a few weeks to claw back the loss. That's the worst outcome I can imagine for most folks. If that's your downside of losing and the upside of winning was to fix up the financial security of everyone you care about instantly; or save countless lives in Africa for example; is it hand-on-heart something you'd say no to?
    Last edited by B4UgoZzz; 13-08-2006 at 1:19 AM.
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