Rise Of The Gambling Apes

Rise Of The Gambling ApesThe ability to calculate odds is important in poker for knowing when to gamble and when to make the most profitable decisions during a game.
Oftentimes, a player may be berated by his compadres as playing like an ape or worse when he makes a stunningly bad decision around the poker table with no regards for the odds and probabilities involved, only to hit a long shot. Interestingly there are rarely any complaints when he loses the hand.
However, it now appears we may have been overly harsh on our primate cousins after a study recently concluded that they often calculate odds before taking risks. Apparently, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orang-utans all share this ability, although chimps and orang-utans seemed to enjoy taking the biggest risks.
The study involved offering the apes a small piece of fruit (safe bet) in a cup, or the chance to gamble for a larger piece of fruit which may or may not be hidden inside upside down cups.
Subsequently, Daniel Haun of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics observed that the apes were prepared to gamble at least 50% of the time, but became more cautious as more cups were added to the experiment.
Therefore, Daniel Haun concluded that the apes were calculating when the odds were in their favour. However, the canny apes were then prepared to up their risks to 100% whenever the difference in size between the pieces of fruit on offer were at their greatest.
Summing up his remarkable experiment, Daniel Haun commented:
“Our study adds to the growing evidence that the mental life of the other great apes is much more sophisticated than is often assumed.”

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