The Ethics of Gambling

Gambling has been part of the human experience since there was a human experience to begin with. Despite that, gambling does not exactly have a very good reputation. It is often seen as, at best, an unpleasant habit, and at worst, a sinful vice. Even then, the gambling games played in casinos, such as poker, roulette, craps, blackjack, and gambling machines like the slot machine are considered legitimate and legal forms of gambling in most countries. Betting on the horse races is also one legal form of gambling. Entire cities have been built on this pastime; offering millions a means of livelihood, and millions more, an enjoyable way to pass their time and spend their money.

As with everything, there are benefits and disadvantages to gambling. In any gambling game, for example, regardless of how skilled you may be, or how familiar you are with the rules of a particular game, many gambling website with a list of gambling tips will suggest that you go into a game expecting to lose. For games that require strategy and tactics, such as Texas Hold'em and blackjack, for example, regardless of how well you keep your poker face or how shrewdly you play your cards, your success or failure will still hinge heavily on what kind of cards you might draw. Whatever game you might choose, as long as you are gambling, you cannot completely predict whether you win or lose. The results of any kind of bet will always be subject to the randomness of luck and probability.

It can be tempting, therefore, to cheat, especially if the stakes are high. But as with any activity; a person involved in gambling must be in possession of a code of ethics -a set of guidelines on how to go about a certain activity in a way that is morally correct. Every person must adhere to a personal code, but in any situation, there has to be a certain way of applying their principles. To practice ethical gambling, it is very important to keep the rules of fair play in mind. An ethical gambler, for example, must never cheat. Victory is to be decided by the player's own skill and legitimate knowledge of a game, and by the winds of chance. Aside from cheating being punishable by law, it robs fellow gamblers of the chance for their own victories. It is also important to practice restraint when gambling, in order to avoid becoming reckless and suffering from too great a loss. This also ensures that a person has the chance to recoup their losses and keeps them from causing trouble for the people around them, should a situation get out of hand.