Gambling Tilt Part 2: Social Science Theory of Gambling Tilt
- Tilt is the poker phenomenon of playing poorly due to emotional distress, usually anger, caused by a combination of any number of events: bad beats, bluffs gone awry, long stretches of being card.
- Automat Club or Videomat Casino: encompasses a gambling venue like an arcade, bingo hall or slot hall that provides automatic games where there is not a necessity for a casino operator. Examples: slot video machines or horseracing. Bankroll: term for total funds available to support betting action.
My previous post attempts to explain why gamblers tilt. Basically, gamblers tilt primarily because of social reason or personal reason or a combination of both. This is best explained by applying the the social science theory of tilt on one hand and the psychodynamics theory of tilt on the other hand. Most of you know what is psychodynamics therapy because cognitive behaviour therapy is the bread and butter of practising psychiatrists of the medical profession throughout the world.
In this post, I will discuss the social science theory of tilt. I will explain how it can be used to elucidate why gamblers tilt.
In poker, the term “tilt” is used to refer to the state of frustration or confusion in which the player tends to adopt a less-than-optimal strategy due to emotional reasons. Being on tilt usually makes players hyper-aggressive, however the term may also refer to overly cautious play. Tilt is a part of poker, just like bluffing, bad beats, and everything else, so you need to accept this reality of the game if you want to succeed. You shouldn’t feel bad when occasionally.
In order to appreciate this, you have to know the “ground theory” and “emotion work”. Ground theory is the brainchild of Glaser and Strauss whereas emotion work is the brainchild of Hochschild. You would not be able to understand tilt unless you know both.
Ground theory method was developed by two sociologists or social scientists, Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss. Their collaboration in research on terminal hospital patients under hospice care led them to write the book “Awareness of Dying”. In this research they developed the constant comparative method, later known as Grounded Theory Method.
Grounded theory method is a systematic methodology in the social sciences involving the discovery of theory through the analysis of data. It is mainly used in qualitative research, but it can also extend to quantitative data. In my opinion, grounded theory is a powerful research methodology for complex social systems because it can kill two birds with one stone.
Grounded theory method is a research method, which operates almost in a reverse fashion from traditional research and at first sight may appear to be in contradiction to the scientific method. Rather than beginning with a hypothesis, the first step is always data collection, through a variety of methods. From the data collected, the key points are marked with a series of codes or keywords, which are extracted from the text. The codes are grouped into similar concepts in order to make them more workable. From these concepts, categories are formed, which form the basis for the development of a theory, or a reverse engineered hypothesis. This contradicts the traditional model of research, where the researcher chooses a theoretical framework, and only then applies this model to the phenomenon to be studied. Sounds interesting. Yes, creative and innovative as well.
(In a similar way, you are using ground theory to do niche marketing when you start with keywords research and data collection. If your niche marketing theory work, then you make a lot of money).
Emotion work is the brainchild of Hoschschild. Arlie Russell Hochschild is a professor emerita of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of several prize-winning books. She introduced into the discipline of sociology the ideas of “feeling rules”, “time bind” and “emotional labour”.
Hochschild earned her M.A. and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, where she later became a professor. As a graduate student at Berkeley, Hochschild read the writings of C. Wright Mills. In White Collar, Mills argued that we “sell our personality.” This resonated with Hochschild, but she felt that more needed to be added. As she writes,
“Mills seemed to assume that in order to sell personality, one need only have it. Yet simply having personality does not make one a diplomat, any more than having muscles makes one an athlete. What was missing was a sense of the active emotional labour involved in the selling. This labour, it seemed to me, might be one part of a distinctly patterned yet invisible emotional system– a system composed of individual acts of ’emotion work,’ social ‘feeling rules,’ and a great variety of exchanges between people in private and public life.
Hochschild starts with the thesis that human emotion and feeling—joy, sadness, anger, elation, jealousy, envy, despair—is, in large part, social. Each culture, she argues, provides us with prototypes of feeling which, like the different keys on a piano, attune us to different inner notes. Tahitians, she points out, have one word, “sick,” for what in other cultures might correspond to ennui, depression, grief or sadness.
Culture guides the act of recognizing a feeling by proposing what’s possible for us to feel. In The Managed Heart Hochschild cites the Czech novelist Milan Kundera, who writes that the Czech word “litost” refers to an indefinable longing, mixed with remorse and grief—a constellation of feelings with no equivalent in any other language. It is not that non-Czechs never feel litost, she notes; it is that they are not, in the same way, invited to lift the feeling out and affirm it—instead of to disregard or suppress it.”
So, now you understand what Hochschild means by emotion work and feeling rules.
Using the social science approach, you will now apply the ground theory to tilt. Remember, grounded theory is mainly a qualitative research methodology. It is a descriptive approach that starts with data collection. Applying the grounded theory, tilt, is used to describe the process of losing control in various gambling situations. Although some problem gamblers and most compulsive gamblers did not use this term, they described the same process. Then, you define tilt and break it down into its various components. This reverse engineered hypothesis then attempts to explain the elements of tilts, the source of tilts and the process of tilts. A well known social scientist, Hochschild invented this concept of ’emotion work’ and ‘feeling rules’ often referred to as Hochschild’s concept. It can be used to describe how successful professionals stay off tilt. The major contention of her research work is that all gamblers experience tilt through their reactions to tilt and tilt-inducing situations. Their reactions determine whether gambling will become a major problem, whether gamblers will become recreational gamblers, problem gamblers or compulsive gamblers.
Basil R. Browne, another social scientist from the University of California, Berkeley, has identified that good gamemanship consists of three elements:
Tilt Gambling Slang
Avoiding financial crisis requires gamblers having a complete game.
In games of skill, financial crisis results from a defective relationship between your strategy of play, your money management and your emotion work.
In games of chance, gamemanship helps in not becoming a problem gambler. More importantly, you have to recognize that there are no playing strategies that result in one winning all the sessions.
(The aforementioned last statement is of utmost importance. I will elaborate on this in a separate post). Good gamemanship will help you to decide not to play games of chance frequently or not to play such games at all.
Here, in gambling tilt, ground theory can help you to describe tilt as the process of loss of control.
Gambling becomes a problem for gamblers who are on tilt frequently. Problem gamblers are characterized by tilting rather than by chasing. It is usually while gamblers are on tilt that they lose large amounts of money. Gamblers can go on tilt for periods lasting from a few minutes to days and even months.
The term tilt implies deviation from a norm. Of course, there are gamblers who do not play well to beat the game. They are prime candidates to become problem gamblers because they have not yet learn the game. Good money management and emotion work can delay the onset of crisis from gambling for gamblers with bad playing strategies. But if the gambler continues to gamble it is only a matter of time before a crisis occurs.
Tilt Gambling Terms
Basil R. Browne has identified seven situations that have the potential of putting a gambler on tilt. These are:
Once you have identified the situational triggers for tilt, you then effectively come out with preventive procedures and measures to stay off tilts.
So, you have a glimpse of the social science theory of tilt. I will discuss the psychodynamics theory of tilt in my next post,
Below are the prize winning books written by Hochschild.
Playing games and gambling in casinos has been a pastime of people for many centuries. In its impressive and varied history casinos have grown and expanded with the number and types of different games available growing year upon year. As the casino business has developed so has its language with many interesting terms and jargon being used to describe games, betting types and actions commonly found in the industry. In modern times the industry has enjoyed continued growth, and now you don’t even have to enter a casino to play the games with a wealth of them available to play online, either by yourself, or interacting with other players from across the globe.
If you are an avid casino game player you may be familiar with some of the terms that are used, whether specific to a particular type of game such as poker or blackjack, or more general terms used in the gambling world. However those who are new to the thrill of the casino may not be so familiar, and it is easy to get confused when these terms are used, so it’s good to familiarise yourself with them to make sure you stay on top of your game! Below we have listed some of the most common slang terms used in the casino which you can study, memorise, or print out and keep with you to use as a handy reference guide when playing. You can also visit onlinecasinobluebook.com for more casino explanation on terms and slang! Once you have studied up on your casino slang terms why not take the Lingo of the casino quiz with Ladbrokes?!
Action – this is a casino term used to describe the placing of bets by player(s) in a game. It is most commonly used in card games and is easily remembered as the betting is the ‘action’ that the players have to make to be in the game. Alternatively a dealer in a poker card game can use the term to refer to which player is now in a position to bet.
Ante: This is a very useful phrase to know when it comes to gambling! The Ante is a bet that a player must make before other players can bet, so there is always money in the pot. It is used to force action by other players and keeps the game moving. Without the anti no one would be forced to bet so hands could be played where no money is won or lost which is not the point of the game!
Bankroll: It’s a good idea before you enter a casino or start playing online to have a bankroll. This refers to the entire sum of cash that you are willing to gamble with. A top tip is to never go over this to ensure you are always gambling within your means! If you don’t do this you might be referred to as a Pigeon, Plunker or Steamer – a person who continues to chase his or her losses.
Betting Limits -a fairly self explanatory term used to describe the specific limit that a player can bet with. Slotting machines often have betting limits i.e. 10/20 cents or $1 a go, and the ‘max bet’ is the multiple of this that you can bet up to, for example there may be a betting limit of $1 and the max bet is 5 x this, so $5.
A Blind bet -another easy term to remember that you will often hear in poker games where a player bets without knowing what card will come up next.
The Cage -this is where the casino keeps all its money!
ColourUp – this refers to chips you get at a casino to use in a variety of games. If you colour up, you are asking the dealer to exchange smaller value chips for larger ones. Often people do this at the end of their games to make it easier to exchange their chips for cash!
Eye-in-the-sky – these are the surveillance cameras that keep an eye on everything going on in the casino. Although casinos have many staff members and security guards who watch over players ensuring that they spot anyone who may be cheating, or behaving inappropriately, surveillance cameras are used as an extra measure to keep everything safe and secure.
Tilt Gaming Term
Fish – if you are new to gambling you may well be referred to as a ‘fish’. It is a cheeky (but affectionate) way of describing someone who is new to the gambling world.
Hit me – used in blackjack to indicate to the dealer that the player wants another card
Junket – if you hear this term being used then keep your eyes peeled! A junket refers to a group of big, experienced, high rolling players who have been flown in especially on a charted plane at the casinos expense.
Overlay – if you hear this word you are in for a treat! Overlay means that the gambling situation is in favour of the gambler i.e you are more than likely to receive more money than you bet, if you win.
Shill – this is an interesting one. Essentially a shill is a filler player. They are paid by the house to sit in on games to make up numbers. They are commonly used in poker games. This is also called a ‘prop’ or ‘proposition player’.
Toke -A tip for the dealer. This is customary in larger casinos, and is expected if you have done pretty well while gambling at that particular table. Often dealers make the majority of their wages this way, so it is important to remember that if you leave with a good return on your investment. You might also hear someone being referred to as a George which means they tip well, or a Stiff for someone who does not!
Whales – a fantastic term used to describe players that are so rich they can happily lose millions in the casino seemingly without a care in the world. You rarely see a Whale around a regular casino playing table, and, as with actual Whales they are a very rare breed with only around 250 in the world!
Turkey – another term that you certainly don’t want to be called in the casino, or anywhere for that matter! A Turkey refers to someone who acts unpleasantly towards the dealer, usually because they are losing or think they know the rules better!
86’d (eighty-sixed) – Let’s hope you don’t hear this term being used too often! To be 86’d means getting thrown out of the casino for underhand or undesirable behaviour!
Of course these are just some of the most commonly used slang terms you may hear while in a casino, or playing online. While there are many others, hopefully by understanding these you will have a better idea of how to play the most popular games and what to look out for to make your gambling experience an even more enjoyable and successful one.