Twain shows humanity and lazy and cruel. The characters are looking for an easy buck at the expense of anyone else. The gag is the extraordinary lengths to which people go to be that lazy. Twain found gambling and financial speculation to be a crucial human weakness. The human desire to predict future events and get paid for this secret wisdom borders on hubris. He shows that for every crooked game of "chance" there are more than enough weak individuals who will eagerly risk their own for a chance at easy sweat-free money.