Paste isn’t the sort of person to make a goofy bet.  He’s more the ‘tails I win, heads you lose’ kind of gambler.  And what sort of maniac makes the lunatic bet himself when there’s a patsy around to send in for you?

Also, Mal thinks the big end of the stick is just for counterbalance.  You have earned my admiration if you realized that’s what was going on.