Essay Example on the Balinese Deep Play

2 pages
544 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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Odds and even money

There are two sorts of bets. One is the single axial bet on the center between the principals and the other is the cloud of peripheral ones around the ring between members of the audience.

Odds-takers are the backers of the underdogs while odds-givers are the backers of the favorites.

Side betting normally takes place once the center bet has been placed.

Odds calling tend to be consensual since all callers are calling the same thing.

When cocks are mismatched, then there is no movement upwards at all.

The Balinese regard a large bet, a well-made match as real cockfighting.

All bets are paid immediately a fight ends. IOUs are not allowed.

In a large-bet fight, the pressure to ensure that the match is genuinely fifty-fifty proposition is enormous.

It is difficult to make precise and complete recordings of the side betting.

The paradox of fair coin in the middle and a biased coin on the outside is an apparent one.

Although the two systems of betting are formally incongruent, they are not contradictory to one another.

The Balinese attempt to create a deep match.

Playing with fire

In a deep play, the stakes are high. Irrational men engage in it from a utilitarian standpoint and thus an ethical problem.

In Benthams The Theory of Legislation, he concludes that deep play is immoral and should thus be prevented legally.

Bentham notes that the people who engage in deep play are irrational, addicts, fools, savages and should be protected from themselves.

The Balinese, however, do not formulate many words. To them, a deep play is a measure of utility, had or expected then it is a symbol of moral import that is either perceived or imposed.

The graduated correlation of status gambling with deeper fights and on the other hand money gambling with shallower bets is quite general.

There are individuals who fight cocks in small medium matches but do not have the status to join the large fights.

Balinese members of high status bet on large fights and bet on the side.

What makes Balinese cockfights deep is not money but more of what is involved. Money makes it happen.

It is the prestige and the necessity to affirm it and defend it that make the Balinese bet.

Dramatization of status concerns by the Balinese

A man never bets on a cock that is owned by a member of his own in-group as one may be biased in deep play.

The principle is extended logically as one is obliged to support an allied kinship against an unallied one.

All matches are sociologically relevant.

There is a special word for betting against the grain mpura.

People involved in the center fights are normally leading members of their kinship or village.

Money is normally the secondary matter. It is the status and attitude towards the bet that recognizes the prestige of the high members of the society.

All Balinese, even peasants, agree that they are aware that cock fighting is like playing with fire and not getting burnt.

Betting accelerates or activates rivalries and hostilities among different kinships and villages, and it is during these times that the sense of play comes in handy. After all, it is only a cockfight.


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