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Thu 27 Apr 2017
A Game of Chance
Written by Gor   
Tuesday, 03 September 2002 00:00

Have you ever gambled? If you said that you have never, even a little, then I am sure you must be lying. But if you really really mean it, you must be one in a million. I can say that most people I know have gambled. Some of them do it as part of their life. I have gambled sometimes but only for fun. Whenever I played and I started to lose a lot, I stopped before I lost any more. I won’t take a risk because I have seen how easy it is for people to lose all of their money.

I like to play cards and the game I play is called Pok Deng. On my last holiday, I went to Nong Khai province on a coach tour with my family. I was sleeping on the coach and when I woke up, I saw that my mum and her friends were playing Pok Deng. I thought they were playing it for fun so I went to play with them. But when I looked closely, I could see that they were betting money as well. First, I decided not to play because I don‘t like gambling that much. So I just sat there and watched them but finally I couldn’t stop myself from playing. I was bored and didn’t know what else to do. Anyway, the bets were only 5 baht each.

I played cards with my mum’s friends for a very long time. I just played for fun so I didn’t take it so seriously and at last when everyone was very tired, I counted my money. I was shocked so I counted it again and again but it came out with the same every time. I couldn’t believe that even though I just played for fun I lost quite a lot. I lost about 400 baht. It was gone so fast. I should have thought about what my mum told me. She warned me before I played that this game is "easy come, easy go". If you are lucky you will get a lot but if you don’t have any good luck, you will lose a lot just in a second.

I learned how to play "Pok Deng" when I was a kid. It is very popular and easy to play. It is the game that most Thai people play when they want to gamble. However, when I was younger I didn’t know that it was illegal. I didn’t even know it was gambling. The game has no limits about how many people can play. You start with two cards each and then you can ask for one more if you want. The winner is the person whose card value is nearest to nine. If you have more than that you have to start to count from one again. You don’t have to use any skill when you play this game.

It was not right for us to play cards on the tour bus because we could have got caught by the police. But no one seemed to care about getting caught, they just played as they wanted. I think it’s maybe because getting caught playing cards isn’t really a big deal. Even if you bet money on it, some police might be too lazy to arrest you. But, you are still taking a risk when you play cards. You might end up in prison for one night at least. And that is why I sometimes tease my parents by shouting "police, police" which makes them jump out of their skins!

I will be writing more about gambling next week. I will talk about other kinds of illegal gambling as well as how students gamble at school. Find out how one of my friends lost a lot of money and nearly ended up in hospital.

Continued in Gambling Students