How smart are humans and is gambling all about the remembering?

How smart are humans and is gambling all about the remembering?  To get an answer to this we need to simplify the question with extreme examples. First let’s go to salmon. Born in a section of a river, they then swim around for up to seven years in the ocean until it is time to spawn. Somehow, some way, they have a sort of GPS that attracts them to their exact birth place. Could we humans do that? And what about robins? They fly south for the winter to the exact same tree each year. When it is time to go north, yes, they find their same tree there too. Could humans do that?

Let’s now head to the Kyoto Institute in Japan where the primates (chimps) performed a memory test. This test was created to measure short term memory, testing what they call “channel capacity”. And they discovered that if a chimp sees images of numbers on a screen and the squares of the screen go blank, they can easily remember the original placement.

Humans? Not so much. There are countless examples of humans getting wiped out by chimps on this test. Scientists believe that chimps have better short term memory than humans (about 20 to 30 seconds). As well, there are many written research papers that suggest that short-term memory is THE sign of intelligence. Oh dear! What are we to do with this information? Are chimps smarter than humans? Surely not, right? Let’s look at it this way. Chimps, salmon and robins each have specialty skills developed through years of evolution. Athletics tends to give us insight. Let’s go there. 

Would Michael van Gerwen be a good jockey? I guess he could carry the horse to the finish line but that would as usual, be a lot on his back. Can you imaginea jockey playing as a defender for a Premier League club? How about Lewis Hamilton being the anchor runner for the British men’s four hundred meter relay team? So there we have it. Some are simply better at some things than others. Specialty is key. This makes for some tough questions and even tougher answers for humans. Off to the casinos, card rooms and sportsbooks we go. The ability to be a successful gambler seems to be connected with skills of pattern recognition, maths skills, and the ability to live with (and in fact crave) uncertainty. We do not all excel in those areas.

For every action there are several opposite reactions …

Just consider, for every professional card player there are probably scores of recreational losing players. For every professional punter, particularly on exchange betting sites, there are sure to be dozens of losing punters.  As for online casino players, the ratio of big winners compared to simple winners will be equally skewed as memory loss will drive players to carrot of short-term gains as opposed to the sensible strategy of chasing life-changing progressive jackpot prizes. So what are we to do with this jumbled mess? What’s the underlying message here? It’s very simple. Choose your gambling genres and disciplines carefully, thereafter enjoy the ride. There’s nothing wrong with being a ‘fish’ particularly a salmon!