Picture it: You’re at a luxurious casino. You’ve just won a large sum of money, and the boss turns to you and says, “Let’s play a game.”
You’ve just hit the jackpot, and the boss wants to keep up with the competition. You’re feeling lucky, so you decline the invitation. But he persists. He seems serious. You begin to wonder whether this is some kind of prank. Or whether you’re actually supposed to play along. So you agree. You take a deck of cards, shuffle them, and deal them face down on the table.
On the face of it, this is a fairly standard card game. Except that, between rounds, you have to make a “pitch,” also known as a “bets.” In this game, you bet on the outcome of a card game, using your winnings to fund the wagers. And the object is to accumulate as much money as possible. You’re playing for keeps. It’s a game of chance, and you have to be ready to win or lose big sums of money.
The rules of Pitch are simple. Each player is dealt two hands, one face up and one face down. (The dealer also has an extra hand, which he keeps face down.) The player with the highest card wins that round. So, for example, if you’re up against the dealer and you both have a 10 and an 8, your 8 would win the round. After the round, the player who has the highest total wins the game and gets to keep the pot. (The pot is money collected from rounds that have been won.)
In practice, this game is more complex than it seems. First, the object isn’t just to beat the other players; it’s to accumulate as much money as possible. And, yes, the game involves skill, too. But rather than beating the other players, your goal is to use your wits to outsmart them!
Why do people play Pitch? Well, for the same reason people play any card game: because it’s fun. But there’s also a psychology behind Pitch. Poker, for example, is also a game of chance, but it’s also a game of psychology. The same psychology that makes someone play against you, makes them want to play with you. (In fact, studies have shown that poker is more likely to create friendships than political or professional alliances.) So, too, with Pitch. It’s likely to create an uneasy alliance between two individuals, but it’s also the game that will make you feel like you’re best friends, even if you’ve never met before!
The Basics Of A Pitch
To start with, let’s examine the structure of a standard Pitch game. As stated above, each player receives two hands – one face up and one face down – and the game is over when one player wins four rounds. As a result, the game tends to last until one player has accumulated about $500 to $1,000 in winnings. At that point, the game ends, and the winner takes all!
Standard rules about betting and wagering apply. For example, you can’t take a hit on your winnings and must place all wagers within 30 days (or, if there’s no game within that time, you lose what you’ve bet). These rules apply whether you play online or at a land-based casino. If you want to make sure you know how the rules work, check the terms and conditions of the game before playing.
To begin with, we’ll assume you’re playing against the casino. (If you’re playing against another player, then the rules are the same, but the aim is to beat the other player, not the casino.) When you place your first bet, the dealer turns over the first card in the deck, and then he deals you a second card. (The dealer turns over the next card, and so on, until all cards have been turned over and dealt. Each round is then won by the highest card.)
Let’s say you’re up $300 against the dealer. You’ve won four rounds, getting $100 on each. Now it’s the dealer’s turn to bet. You can either place a bet on the game, which is how most people play, or you can bet on whether or not the dealer will hit a specific number, known as the “favorite number.” In the first case, if the dealer hits his favored number, you win only the $300 you bet. In the second case, if the dealer misses, you win $600. (By betting on the favorite number, you are not risking your winnings on the game; you are simply wagering that the dealer will or will not hit a specific number.)
The reason why most people prefer to wager on the game is that it’s less expensive than wagering on favorites. If you’re playing at a land-based casino, then this is likely to be the case, as long as the game doesn’t involve wild cards (which can help the dealer, but hurt the player). However, if the game does involve wild cards, then it’s better to wager on favorites, as this means you’ll be able to place a larger wager without risking too much of your capital. (Remember: You can’t take a hit on your winnings in most casinos. So, if you lose, you have to leave with what you’ve bet. This means that the more you wager, the more you’ll risk. It’s all about risk versus reward: you need to decide whether or not to take the risk for the reward.)
Why does poker work as well as it does? Well, for the same reason that other card games work well: it’s fun! But, in addition to being fun, poker is also a game of psychology. (As with all card games, the aim is to trick your opponent into folding, or otherwise giving you what you want.)
For example, when you show your opponent a hand containing a pair of 7s, he’s going to be inclined to fold. But if you show him another hand containing a pair of 3s, he’s going to have a much harder time packing up his cards. (In most cases, two 5s is the worst possible hand a player can show, as it’s usually a sign of weakness. But in some cases, such as when playing heads-up against the dealer, you can show the dealer your hand, as this will frighten him!)
There’s also research that suggests playing poker with friends is more fun than playing alone. As with all games that involve competition, it’s better to play with friends than against them. This is because the competition creates an uneasy alliance between two individuals, while playing with a friend tends to bring two individuals closer together. (It should be noted that, in most cases, people don’t feel comfortable playing against their friends. So, even when you’re playing alone, you’re usually playing against someone weaker than yourself.)
The Psychology Of Bets
What makes a card game interesting is not just the psychology behind the game, but the fact that you have to make a decision. As with all casino games, you have to decide whether or not to bet. So, let’s examine the psychology of betting in more detail.
The first and most obvious decision you have to make is whether or not to bet at all. If you chose not to bet, then that’s what you’d get. The fact that you picked not to bet does not mean that the game is any less interesting. It means that you were playing it safe. You probably didn’t believe you had a chance of winning. So, you decided it was best to wait and see what happens. This is known as “playing it safe.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have people who bet on every hand. These people believe they have a chance of winning on every hand. They bet because they feel like they have good odds of winning. Sometimes, they’re right; sometimes, they’re wrong. But, in general, they feel like they’re betting on a long shot, so they’re usually right. (This is also why these people are sometimes called “Bankers” – they like to bet with financial institutions, as they feel that they provide stability for the house. In some instances, they are correct in their assumption, but in general, the opposite is usually true: playing with larger sums of money gives the house a distinct advantage. So, if possible, it’s better to play against the Banker than with him!