When it comes right down to it there are two types of gambling:  gambling where the main intent is to benefit financially (at a sportsbook, race track, casino, online), and then there is the ‘friendly wager’ (you know, the bets you make with your buddies).

Although both types revolve around something similar: trying to win something, they also differ dramatically. When you step into the casino your goal is very clear – you are trying to win the casino’s money. Sure playing the games or watching the events you have a bet on is fun but the main reason for the fun is in the hope of winning the money. When it comes to the ‘friendly wager’ however, the money (or the beer, or the lunch, or whatever the stakes you have agreed upon) is often times secondary.

Let’s be honest, the best part of winning the ‘friendly wager’ isn’t the actual winning, but instead getting to watch your buddy lose – to YOU! An unexplained phenomenon, yet a truism to mankind. Having bragging rights over a friend is a powerful thing. While most posts to this site revolve around online or casino gambling, I want to highlight and give some props to the power and fun of the ‘friendly wager’.

This came to mind recently as I was at a baseball game and witnessed four guys having a WAY better time than pretty much everybody else in our section. Our home squad was getting pummeled as usual, but these four were still having a blast.

I had to know why.

Turns out they were not allowing the fate of their team to be responsible for their good time – they were taking matters into their own hands and using the ‘friendly wager’ as their guide. One of them had recently purchased a gambling chip passing game that tied into what events were actually taking place during the real baseball game they were watching. The game is called Pass The Chips Baseball and is produced by a Minnesota-based company that has a variety of wagering type games for different spectator sports (baseball, hockey, and football).

After taking a look at the site for myself (www.passthechipgames.com), I gotta hand it to them. They’ve really hit on a core value – people want that extra element so these spectator sports are more fun. Look what fantasy football has done for the popularity of NFL football. Having something ‘extra’ going with your friends makes the games you are watching that much more enjoyable. Period!

Watching those four guys at the ball game solidified that point for me. I was envious that their experience was that much better than mine while watching the same game. Again, they had incorporated the ‘friendly wager’ to guarantee their fun.  I just got to endure a 12-3 home team defeat.   They were smart.  I felt dumb.

You hear it all the time, “life is about having fun”. Getting some skin in the game by making a little ‘friendly wager’ with your friends flat out makes things more fun. So as spring turns to summer and you are spending time with your buddies watching the Stanley Cup playoffs at the bar, taking in a ball game, or out on the golf course, remember the power of the ‘friendly wager’. Wanna make a bet you’ll be glad you did?