Twitter Dating and Gambling

Gambling on Tinder: What Are the Odds You'll Get a Match?

How a social engineering experiment on pigeons became the world's most downloaded dating app in history. Learn what Tinder really is.

Ask your friends how many of them are on Tinder and get ready to hear that they have never even heard of that. Check how many of them:

  • Blush
  • Touch their nose or throat
  • Raise their eyebrows

Some of them will pretend that they never heard of the most popular dating app of all time.

Unless all your friends use Windows Mobile (in this case, Tinder-related questions should be the least of your worries), they are hiding something.

They know what Tinder is, they are likely to have an account there, and they have also shown you what are commonly seen as the most common sign of lying in body language

Bingo.

With more than 10 million daily active users, more than 1.6 billion swipes per day, and over 1 million dates arranged through the app every week (Source: MuchNeeded.com), Tinder revolutionized the world of online dating.

Some love it. Others hate it. Or at least they pretend to.

Vanity Fair believes that nothing good came from the tiny app and holds it responsible for a 'Dating Apocalypse' that not even the good old 'Poke' feature on Facebook was able to create.

Not that I would know anything about this sort of stuff, of course.

Ask Google what people think about Tinder and you’ll get suggestions like:

How many marriages did Tinder ruin?

But then, download the app, sign up for a profile, and start the swipe game.

Why does everyone in there look so happy if the app makes them feel so miserable?

How Hard Is to 'Win' At Tinder?

As a married and naive non-Tinder user (obviously, duh!) I decided to discover what is that makes this dating app so attractive.

Some say adult sites use it for advertising their paid services; others believe it's the easiest way to score a one-night stand.

The Global Web Index believes that companies should consider jumping on the platform because their consumer-base is there, waiting to be seduced.

Views of Tinder Users

To know more about the app everyone tries not to talk about - except YOU, Windows Mobile people - I downloaded Tinder on my iPhone.

Yes, I signed up for a free account, I created a dating profile with a catchy bio about myself, and I added a bunch of lovely photos of myself.

I even connected the Tinder profile to my Instagram account. Somehow, I think the ladies might like the mix of pets and gambling photos I have there.

Let the Swipe-Game Begin

Look, Mom! I am on Tinder!
Look mom! I am on Tinder too!

It’s Saturday, I am travelling for work, and I am bored in my hotel room. To me, it looks like the perfect time to run a quick Tinder test.

I fire up the app, and I begin the Swipe-thing.

As a Slots player, the feeling is somewhat familiar: it's fun, it's fast, and it's addictive.

And it's intended to be like that.

Back in 2018, Tinder's CSO Jonathan Badeen explained that the app "was inspired by a famous psychological 1948 experiment that 'transformed pigeons into gamblers'."

Started in the 1940s by American Harvard psychologist B.F. Skinner, the psychological experiment "conditioned hungry pigeons to believe that food delivered randomly into a tray was prompted by their pecking.

The pigeons began pecking more in the hopes of earning extra food, essentially turning them into 'gamblers'."

Here's a four-minute clip that better illustrates the human engineering experiment:

Within a few minutes, I am turned into a pigeon and I get my first match, Halyna.

She is a pretty Ukrainian blondie who lives in London and, like me, is travelling solo.

And has no one to go out. Just like me. Wow.

Perfect.

Her pictures are quite lovely. She's good looking, but she doesn't look like a one-night-stand kind. But again, what do I know?

We talk a little, but the fact that she uses more smileys than words annoys me.

She's 31, I am 37, and I can see how terrible it would be for two people like us to go on a date.

Would she go all "LOL!" after one of my proverbial mediocre jokes? Is she one of those obnoxious people who say "wink-wink" when they wink?

It's time for me to go all-in with my Sheldon Cooper's attitude and do the inevitable.

Unmatch. Next.

While I was messaging with Halyna, the app gave me another match.

A Laura swiped right on my photos. I feel popular and appreciated — kind of like when I hit a bonus round on Slots.

Tinder Gif

Laura is 28, and she writes that "elegance tends to be mistaken for superficiality and mere appearance," on her profile. An attractive and deep person. I like that.

"Hi," I go. "how's the weekend treating you?"

Silence.

I like to think that her phone went off or that maybe she dropped it from the edge of a fancy infinity pool right as she started to tap her reply to my message — because that one stayed the only message in our conversation.

Or perhaps I should work a bit more on my opening line. Who knows.

For about an hour my matches and I do our very best to destroy everything that Tinder tries to create.

My opening lines don't seem to get better, the conversations are not impressive, and most people seem to be on a personal crusade against grammar and punctuation.

Be it as it may, I started my adventure to understand how Tinder works and perhaps find someone interesting for a drink...

...and one hour later all I've got was a bunch of boring conversations and two ladies who invited me to discover more about them. On a different website. At $4.99 a minute.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Tinder
(Image:betches.com)

Sixty minutes after I decided to start my journey on Tinder, my dreams about a crazy night out with a terrific match are gone.

I am still on the same couch, with the same perspective of a lonely evening at the hotel bar and the feeling that I may have just wasted an hour of my life.

Did I Do It Wrong?

Although the guys at the Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, do not like to share numbers - I found some stats showing that I might not have been particularly unlucky.

According to Nick Bilton from the New York Times the app used to generate approximately 1 billion swipes / 12 million matches a day back in 2014.

Today's Tinder press pack shows that the app has kept growing during the past five years, with more view and an even better swipe-to-match ratio.

SourceSwipes/dayMatches/day
New York Times1,000,000,00012,000,000
SourceViews/dayDates/week
Tinder2,000,000,0001,000,000

In his 2014 article, Bilton also shares that "The company said that, on average, people log into the app 11 times a day. Women spend as much as 8.5 minutes swiping left and right during a single session; men spend 7.2 minutes. All of this can add up to 90 minutes each day."

Tinder’s founders, Jonathan Badeen, left, and Sean Rad (KENDRICK BRINSON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES)

Provided that you can afford to spend up to 90 minutes on Tinder every day, I believe it's time to do some math and calculate how easy is to find the right Tinder match for you.

The numbers we know:

  • 1.400.000.000 total swipes every day
  • 12.000.000 right swipes (likes) every day
  • 1.388.000.000 left swipes every day

So, let's play.

Right swipes / Total swipes = Chances to get a match
12.000.000 / 1.400.000.000 = 0.857%

Even better:

Left swipes / Total swipes = Chances NOT to get a match
1.388.000.000 / 1.400.000.000 = 99.14%

Wow.

Stats show that you have 0.857% chances to find a match (not even the right person!) every time you swipe right.

But the game is dramatically harder if your photos, your facial hair, your clothing, and your job don't play in your favour.

According to a post published on Bustle.com in 2018, women are more likely to swipe right when they are offered to meet:

  • An Interior Designer
  • A Pilot
  • A Physician's Assistant
  • A Lawyer
  • A PR/Communications Professional
  • A Producer
  • A Visual Designer

And it's not going to get easier if you are a lady looking for company on Tinder, as the boys have their preferences, too!

Do you want to get a lot of matches? You better be:

  • A Registered Nurse
  • A Dentist
  • A Photographer
  • A College Or Graduate Student
  • A Pharmacist
  • A Teacher
  • A Flight Attendant

In other words, if you are a male plumber or a female doctor - don't bother. No one wants you on Tinder.

That's not all. Not only men account for 62% of the total number of users, but some interesting stats from TheChive show that women are also a lot less likely to swipe right than them.

Gender stats on Tinder

And, when they finally do so, they do it when their potential match shows some facial hair.

Beard on tinder
You know what? I am done shaving!

"Women will swipe right 74% of the time when shown a man with well-groomed facial hair. These men also receive 37% more matches than men without facial hair." (Dating Sites Reviews).

There's more. According to the NYT "the style of clothing, the pucker of the lips and even the posture," are also elements that people consider in that tiny fraction of a second when they decide if they like a person or not.

Result: as a semi-bald male journalist who likes to shave his beard - I stand no chance at the Tinder game. Do you?

Conclusion

It’s Saturday, I am still alone, and my adventure on Tinder didn't go as planned.

As a gambling writer and a player, I am used to thinking about odds and probabilities all the time.

That’s why I don’t like what I found out about the popular dating app.

People say online Casinos are rigged, and gambling is bad because the players never win - but:

What about Tinder-dating?

When I play Blackjack, I like my odds. I know that I can win if I play my cards well.

I know that when the dealer stands on a soft 17, the dealer will bust about 29.1% of the time.

I know that if the dealer chose to hit on a soft 17, the percentage of the dealer to bust goes up to 29.6%. And I like that.

When I sit at the Roulette table, I like my odds too.

I can place a crazy straight-up bet and win (BIG) 2.7% of the times, or I can choose to play it safe and go for colour bets, even/odd bets, or low/high bets and win 48.68% of my games. That's nearly 50%!

If you rely on Tinder to find the love of your life, there are good chances that you will stay single forever.

If you use Tinder to find someone to spend the evening with, the chances are that you'll spend more time on Netflix than you imagined.

If you use Tinder to kill time - you are doing it right.

If you are one of those who believe that online Casino gambling is rigged and that players stand no chance to win, think about Tinder.

Look at how many matches you get during your daily 90-minute swipe, and then look back at the numbers in this article.

Going out to meet people in real life has never looked more comfortable.

Lead image courtesy of: Mashable


P.S. After my miserable attempt at dating on Tinder, I did what I am used to: I went to the Casino, I ordered a drink, and I started to play slots.

Guess what? I won.

Olympic Casino Vilnius

Take that, Tinder app!

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