Catholic Church on Gambling, Dostoevsky on Problem Gambling, Scandal

Hey High Rollers, been working hard to upgrade our Did you know? section…six pages now, chalk full of poker/gambking tidbits.  Simply visit and click Did you know?  Plus, check out our interview with blackjack card counter Colin Jones, who was featured in the documentary Holy Rollers; the true story of card counting Christians….this guy’s a professional.  What do you do on a soft 18?  Be sure to listen.

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The Catholic Church on Gambling?

The Catholic Church holds the position that there is no moral impediment to gambling, so long as it is fair, all bettors have a reasonable chance of winning, there is no fraud involved, and the parties involved do not have actual knowledge of the outcome of the bet (unless they have disclosed this knowledge).


Many popular games played in modern casinos originate from Europe and China. Games such as craps, baccarat, roulette, and blackjack originate from Europe.  A version of keno, an ancient Chinese lottery game, is popular worldwide, in casinos and on scratch tickets.

Russian Roulette

The Russian writerDostoevsky (himself a problem gambler), portrays the psychological effects of gambling in his novella The Gambler. He associates gambling and the idea of ‘getting rich quick’, suggesting Russians have an infinity for gambling.  The association between Russians and gambling has fed legends of the origins of Russian Roulette.

Sports Betting 101


Banned from baseball, Pete Rose highlights our compilation of the biggest sports betting scandals ever.  Remember the ‘Blacksox’?

Tom McEvoy
1983 world champion, defeating Rod Peete heads-up in, what was then, the longest mano a mano battle in WSOP history.  The two played for more than seven hours.  He’s won 4 bracelets, written more than dozen poker books and is a newly minted member of the Poker Hall of Fame, Class of 2013:
Full Interview 

Suggested Listening:

Dan Lubin:  Inventor of EZ Pai Gow and a table games designer in Vegas.
Robert Turner: Inventor of Omaha poker and a 1993 bracelet winner.

Poker Quotes
Legend of the game, world champion Jack Strauss:
“I think Texans just got a lot more guts has a lot to do with it, most other folks just don’t take the heat when you start playin’ real poker. In Texas you grow up playin’ poker, it’s a Texas game.” 

Jeopardy & Poker?

Arthur Chu, a 30-year-old voice actor, won more than $100,000 in four appearances on the CBS game show Jeopardy.  Chu actively sought out Daily Double’s and abandoned conventional play by starting with the larger dollar values and working his way ‘up’ the board instead of the lowly $100 categories.  Some fans of the show were offended by his style while others praised his apparent understanding of Game Theory and concepts often employed in poker.  Here’s what this trivia whiz had to say about his approach:
     “Back in the day everybody kept their money.  It was like a cash game in poker. Once you’ve gotten enough money, why risk more money? Why make a big bet? If I know I’ve got $18,000 in the bank and someone’s like, “Hey, want to bet $8,000 that you know the answer to this question?” No. Why would I do that? Am I a gambling addict? Am I stupid?  In order to encourage big bets, Jeopardy! is now winner-take-all. Only the person in first place keeps their total at the end of the game. Everyone else gets the consolation prize. If you have $20,000 and someone else has $20,001, you get second prize, which is $2,000. If you are in third place and the two other players have $5 more than you, no matter how much money you have, you take home $1,000. There’s a very powerful incentive to be aggressive. You really do need to make sure you win the game. The most important thing isn’t the absolute number of dollars you have on the board. It’s how strongly you’re beating the other players. How far ahead are you? What’s the spread?”
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