Spider Solitaire Addiction

Addiction: Merriam-Webster defines it as “Compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful”.

That’s right. People are addicted to cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. That’s why there are so many ways offered to wean yourself from these additions. People are addicted to other things too such as food (chocolate ranks up high in food addictions), and gambling. There are all these programs available to help people get weaned from these addictions — alcoholics anonymous, overeaters anonymous, gamblers anonymous…

A newer addiction is the addiction to the computer. People can spend hours surfing the web, or playing the latest computer games.

But the biggest addiction seems to be to Spider Solitaire. It’s so readily available. It comes for free with every Window’s installation. It takes just a few minutes to learn. You start with just one suite. Quickly move up to two suites. And then begins the challenge… Four Suites! That’s when the addiction comes. The game allows you to backtrack as many moves as you want — even all the way to the beginning of the game. You can spend hours just retrying the same game but when that game ends, whether win or lose, you’ll quickly press “new game” and start all over.

I have done a little research onto how the game has affected people’s lives. Answers I have received:

  • I stayed up all night playing
  • I didn’t take the dog for his walk (what a mess!)ï’· Supper burned (lucky for the smoke alarm)
  • Forgot to pick up my kids from school
  • Spent a full day at work just playing
  • Missed a full day of work
  • _______________________ Write in your own — no one’s immune.

The Solution

Everybody’s gone through it. There are no simple solutions. No special gum. No patches. No clinics. No support groups (who could pull themselves away from Spider to get to a group meeting). There’s only one solution. Delete the game from your computer. The one at work too. Do a good search to make sure you’ve deleted any instance of it. Then just pick up a new computer addiction (try Facebook). No other computer addiction is as bad as Spider Solitaire.

Why is Slot Machine Gambling Considered "The Crack Cocaine" of Gambling Addiction?

Why is slot machine gambling so addictive? Why is it coined the “crack cocaine of addiction”? Why is slot machine gambling considered to be the MOST addictive form of gambling that exists today?

I will try to answer these questions in this article. The questions are quite significant, and the answers can help to explain why so many people have gotten hooked on the “slots”, “pokies”, and “fruit machines”.

Slot machines use what is known to psychological behaviorists as “intermittent reinforcement” Basically, what this means is that a winning hand on a slot machine only happens sometimes.

This type of reinforcement is known to be very powerful because an individual is only rewarded at certain intervals. This can create an addictive reaction , resulting obsession quite easily. When you reward only sometimes., it is sure to create an obsessive reaction.

In addition, studies have shown that the neurotransmitter dopamine plays an important role in developing a gambling addiction. Dopamine is known as the “feel good” chemical. The illusions of patterns in slot machines, and the intermittent winning spins create a rush of dopamine in the brain that makes people desire continued play.

You have probably heard in the past that gambling addicts are “addicted to the action”and not really as interested in winning money like they may think they are. This is because the dopamine rush is so powerful and pleasurable, that the action of gambling becomes euphoric in its’ own right. It is a means it itself rather than a means to an end.

The role of dopamine is in the brain is very significant and powerful. Individuals with Parkinsons Diseases who were taking medications to increase dopamine in their brains were becoming addicted to gambling, specifically, slot machine gambling. Once these individuals stopped the medication, their addictive and obsessive gambling stopped. This happened to a significant amount of people taking these types of medications.

Slot machine addiction is considered to be the “crack cocaine” of gambling for a few different reasons.

Crack cocaine is one of the most highly addictive drugs that exists today. Slot machine gambling is also considered to be the most addictive form of gambling… hands down.

The two can also be compared to each other because of the very quick, accelerating progression of the addiction. A person can hit total despair and devastation with a slot machine addiction in one to three years. Other forms of gambling do not accelerate as quickly.

Another comparison is how both forms of addiction can create such debasement, despondency and despair because of the power and intensity of the addictive substance/behavior.

Stealing, prostitution, drugs, loss of job, marriage, and finances are common with both of these addictions. You may have heard horror stories of individuals with either of these addictions. These stories are all too common.

As you can see, it is very easy to compare slot machine addiction to crack cocaine addiction. The common characteristics of both addictions is quite impressive.

Why is Slot Machine Addiction Considered The MOST Addictive Form of Gambling?

This question is related to the above two areas that I have covered, except for a few other concepts which I believe are worth noting:

o Slot machines are designed by psychologists and other specialists who are specifically instructed to design slot machines to seduce and addict people.

o The new video mulit-line electronic slot machines have graphics and colors that are very compelling and stimulating to the eye.

o The music in video slot machines is very stimulating, repetitive, seductive , and truly reinforcing. There is strong subliminal suggestion in this.

o The bonus rounds in video slot machines can encourage continued play, even amidst great losses, since bonus rounds are very exciting and provide a rush.

o The speed of play, and the speed of modern slot machines keeps your adrenaline pumping, especially with all of the above factors.

o The jackpots in slot machines can be huge, however, the chances of winning these jackpots are equivalent to winning the powerball lottery, if not more improbable.

o Slot machines can be a place to “zone out”. Today’s slot machines can put you into a hypnotizing trance that is hard to break out of.

o Slot machines require little or no skill, making it easy to just sit there and push the buttons, without a thought, forethought, or contemplation.

o It is very easy to keep playing slot machines because all accept dollar bills, and give players coupons upon ending play. Money loses its’ value and becomes “monopoly” money.

o ATM Machines are usually in close proximity to the slot machines, again, encouraging continued play.

o Many slot machines use denominations of 1 cent to 5 cents. This fools the gambler into thinking that they are not spending much. What is not being said, however, is that the maximum bet can be as high as $15 to $20 per spin. Is this really a penny or nickel machine?

Gambling: Fun That Leads To Addiction?

Is gambling really just innocent fun? We all know that many are addicted and that casinos make billions of dollars. Every addicted gambler started out with the idea of risking a little bit of innocent money, with the idea in the back of their mind that they might rake in a big win. After all, the winners are advertised with a big smile on their faces. Why not me? And when you have beginner’s luck, then you want to experience that again. After so many losses you know that some luck is bound to come your way. And you start liking the clinging of the coins and every time that happens, you feel, or think to feel a bit of paradise. Your money for nothing and your chicks for free. Hooray! By then you stubbornly ignore the fact that you are beginning to get hooked. You do not count what the losses amount to. You do admit that in the end the house always wins, but you keep hoping for that one big bang. Except if that should occur, you would gamble with even greater antes. This may serve to illustrate what has happened to countless poor souls.

The combination of gambling and psychological pain is the most dangerous one. People lapse into spending sprees out of pain, or into binging. Others into alcoholism or a gaming addiction, or even an innocent looking sports mania. Again others start experimenting with drugs, or sex. Many develop dependencies of several of these. Once you are trapped, you are caught by a vicious circle of temporary relief and the subsequent hangover. Only to try it again. The longer this cycle persists, the harder it is to break. Realize that you are fleeing into a surrogate and seek help to get to the causes. In many cases an antidepressant might help. But get over your shame and find professional help. Above all pray to the Lord Jesus for rescue.

Gambling on websites at home is inviting the devil. People run up high costs on their credit cards and the owners laugh all the way to the bank. They do not care about your losing your home and even your wife and children. Many gamblers develop co-morbidities such as alcoholism and drug addictions. Prostitution is a ‘normal’ thing in such circles. Most governments have legalized some form of gambling and many clubs, charities and shops offer tickets to lure prospects to their goods or services. I do not condemn these forms of gambling. I myself once won an expensive computer with all kinds of accessories. Also I won some small prizes with bingo. But at a certain moment I began buying more and more lottery tickets. And from there the step was small to try my hand at one of those one armed thieves in restaurants. The next step was to try out the casino. After a number of years I realized that I ran the danger of getting dependent permanently. So I stopped abruptly and started praying for total deliverance and having somebody else pray for that. I felt that I got out no day too soon and I have to admit that when I see one of those machines, I experience that it still attracts me. Gambling is one of the most stubborn addictions. Stop radically while you can. Or else find help.

Let us analyze gambling from a Christian perspective. We lost paradise and now we desire to compensate. This is called the pursuit of happiness. However there is only lasting happiness in a close relationship with Christ Jesus. Most gamblers develop a superstitious habit or even think that they have found a way to beat the machine. Many books have been written that advertize supposedly clever ways to turn the odds around in your favor. Except the only person to benefit from such a book is the author. Then there is the autotheistic attitude that makes you believe that you can best the odds. Also gamblers play god as if they have all the money in the world. Let the money roll, you have enough of it! One gambler ran five machines automatically by jamming the buttons after having filled them with much cash. He let them run till all his money was gone and then he went home broke to beg his mother for some bucks to buy a pack of cigarettes. Like little gods they think they can transcend chance and machinery as if they were magicians. This is the sin of the garden of Eden in which Eve was made to believe she could be like God. People get used to the surroundings and all the gambling appurtenances in casinos. This is my home. Here I belong. Here is my family. In Vegas there is even a priest that blesses the gambling machines with holy water. Unholy! Talk about surrogate religion…

Many people gamble at the stock market. Others gamble at women. Some Christians claim that a game of cards is from the devil and even that when you have it in your home, you are not a Christian family. It is the devil’s picture book and the joker represents the devil and other such tales. This is a bounce reaction of course. Some even go so far as stating that playing yahtzee is evil as one uses dice. They claim that the soldiers that gambled over Christ’s robe at the cross, used dice. Some think that the Urim and Thumim of the high priest, used to consult God, were actually dice to determine a lot or decision. In this context one can also think of the stone with seven eyes in the book of Zachariah. However that may be gamblers start believing that life is a bet and that in fact everything is. Gambling as religion, philosophy and lifestyle.

Solomon stated that “wealth gotten out of vanity, diminishes; but he that gathers handful by handful, increases.” Money should go where it should go, but society has become sick with financial buggery. Many resort to chain letters. Others to pyramid schemes or other criminal activities. We must strive to build something up patiently, for most of us will not come up with something that turns into something big overnight. Paul warns: “Love of money is a root of all evil” and “They that desire to become rich, fall into a trap and many temptations.”

Instead of all this, let us direct our hearts heavenward and seek true and lasting joy. The prophet stated that our joy in the Lord is our strength. And we need strength to make it through this world. We have a race to run and therefore must not be distracted by unnecessary business, let alone sins. Also we are called upon to fight for the faith once delivered to the saints. Let us admonish, exhort and encourage each other!