Pitch and Toss and Two-up are a couple of games of chance as old as the Australian outback but today's second npower Ashes Test match provides an even bigger gamble for both captains.
Ricky Ponting is in charge of the Two-up game - he is fielding an unchanged side in a bid to double the 1-0 lead gained so convincingly at Lord's.
With England also likely to remain unchanged it is a case of as you were at Lord's and, also for the home team, as they were originally selected before last week's local tornado threatened a soft pitch, and the Hampshire express - Chris Tremlett - nailed his captain's right elbow.
Or rather Vaughan was through with his shot too soon, hence the right elbow catching it and not the arm-guarded left.
Back to that game of chance "pitch and toss". The problem facing both captains concerns the surface and what choice to make for the toss-winner.
Last week's heavy rain had already put Steve Rouse's pitch behind its carefully scheduled preparation and that was before the three inches of rain seven days ago that accompanied the twisting tornado.
As with the fair sex and racehorses, pitches can be unfathomable as evidenced by Monday's call-up of Paul Collingwood once Duncan Fletcher and Vaughan saw the soaked strip.
Having spent the weekend explaining the rationale of picking an unchanged XII, chairman David Graveney and co-selectors Fletcher and Geoff Miller reversed their previous decision to exclude Collingwood, but only to cover all bases had the drying weather of the last two days not materialised.
Things improved so noticeably in the colour and texture of the pitch that Collingwood was sent back to Durham yesterday.
Graveney initially pointed out that "it would send the wrong signals to the team, particularly regarding the balance of five bowlers."
Which is why that vote of confidence remains after two good drying days have brought about a big improvement. Rouse has also thinned the even grass covering and it looks a good batting strip.
But both captains still have to leave too much to guesswork for comfort. How much moisture remains down under? And what if there is cloud cover when the coin goes up? Edgbaston is almost on a par with Headingley for swing conditions changing almost hourly, dependent upon whether the sun shines or is hidden.
Normally, it is a put-in job if there is cloud cover, except for the unknown amount of moisture. If the ball creates indentations on the first day or so, they tend to crust as the match unfolds - thus making batting last a tricky exercise, particularly if England take a punt by bowling first.
They saw enough at Lord's against the marvellous Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne to know that there is no better pair of bowlers in world cricket at exploiting any irregularity in the surface.
Conversely, if Vaughan wins the toss and bats first under cloud cover, he risks being shot out just as Darren Gough and Andrew Caddick did to Australia in 1997 in 31 overs.
Nasser Hussain scored a double century and Graham Thorpe weighed in with 138, with McGrath returning match figures of 39-9-149-2 and Warne 38.3-8-147-1.
Combined figures of 77.3-17-196-3 is a match return that present England batsmen can only dream of and have never been repeated since. Edgbaston is England's most successful ground with 20 wins from 40 Tests and, even against Australia it is even-steven with four wins each and three draws in 11 Ashes contests.
As with all statistics, there is a catch. Of England's 20 victories, 12 have been in the first Test of a series, often catching the tourists undercooked, as was certainly the case against Australia eight years ago.
The first four days are virtual sell-outs and tickets have already been sold for the fifth day.
The only good thing about back-to-back Tests - the third at Old Trafford follows within three days - is that the tiny gap must mean less chance of the seemingly endless verbiage spouted by some of the players.
It is all very well justifying the pay cheque for contracted columns but what has appeared in the last ten days goes beyond the bounds of acceptability. The players are not entirely to blame - what about the Lord's official who approves the moaning gush?
New Zealander Billy Bowden replaces Aleem Dar as umpire for this Test. Whichever captain sorts out the fascinating game of "pitch and toss" deserves an advantage. A home win would be a surprise but the priority must be to travel up the M6 next Tuesday no worse than 1-0 down.