Penny Up: Childhood Gambling...

I noticed this article about child gambling. It is the kind of game children play, or did. In these modern times they probably play a tenner-a-time competing on Wii. 

Child gambling. It makes for an interesting debate. So what are your thoughts on how to approach the subject of gambling for your children or views on it in general? 

Are you anti gambling for wee nippers or can they learn a valuable lesson? 

I can remember as a child going to the amusement arcade with my tub of coppers. It was fun at the time and in ways it was a good thing because I can't stand fruit machines now. 

In a world of gambling temptation - for young and old - is it wise to allow children to gamble? Or does stopping them just make it all the more interesting? Life is one endless gamble, hey. I don't fancy your odds of walking on the moon. I am sure many of you can relate to Penny Up, which brings back memories from dare I say it school day fun. I can remember a teacher catching us playing at break time and instead of going mad had a game himself. Oh' the good old days...  


Lesser Known Casino Games: Penny Up


Call it “Penny Up”, “Penny in the Crack”, or “Penny Up the Wall” - it’s all the same game. Take a group of people and toss a penny toward a wall. Whoever gets their penny closest to the wall wins!

Penny Up is the first “real” gambling game most people encounter in their lives. Hey, let’s face it - we all know about poker, betting on sports, and other common gambling games growing up. However, knowing about something and being able to play are two different things. It’s easier to carry a pocketful of pennies for Penny up as opposed to a deck of cards and Poker chips. And we’re pretty sure not many ten year olds are able to place a bet on the horses at the track.

The rules are so easy that a child could understand. Two people will stand next to each other. Both people are the same distance from the wall. Two pennies are tossed and if your penny is the closest you win the loser’s penny. Sometimes the rare “Stander” (a penny on its side) wins double.

Despite the usage of “Penny” in Penny Up, the game can be played with any coin. Toss two dollar coins and the game is still the same. Get closest and you win the other persons coin. Keep in mind that other people besides children can play. It’s just most adults don’t gamble for pennies. In this case, they will bet dollars (pounds, euros, etc) and pitch pennies.

Normally only two people will play at a time since tracking more than two pennies is hard. The game has no set limits - players will play as long as they like (or until the school bell rings in some cases.)

Although many of us enjoyed Penny Up growing up, it has its critics. Many parents and anti-gambling groups see it as a way to groom children for a life of gambling. The arguments for each side are as follows.

The “Nay” group feels “Allowing children to gamble teaches them it’s alright to do so and even encourages them. These children will grow up to be problem gamblers."

The “Yea” group’s viewpoint is: “Teaching children about gambling in a responsible setting removes the mystery and allows parents to educate their children about the pros and cons of gambling.”

Both sides have valid viewpoints and we’re sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle. We don’t want our children running mini casinos in the playground but we also don’t want to make something so forbidden it becomes irresistible.

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