The Psychology of Gambling (And What You Need to Know)

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Gambling is an inherently emotional activity. Yes, you can try to reduce it to pure numbers. But that takes away the main part of the experience, the rush of the unknown and the potential for your life to change on every spin or card.

This is also what makes it a risky pastime and one that’s not for everyone! However, the best gamblers – and there are definitely some people worthy of that title – know how to use those emotions for enjoyment, while controlling them when they’re negative!

This advice is especially valuable in gambling games of some skill like poker, or blackjack.

Tilt

This leads us to our first point. When things don’t go our way in gambling, and in other areas of life like sports and general decision-making, people tend to make worse decisions.

The number one classic rule of gambling, for many, is don’t chase your losses. Going on tilt can make do just that. It’s like falling down a tilted slope of emotional play, going from bad to worse. Once you start on tilt – often the only solution is to take a break!

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Come back refreshed in a different state of mind, maybe with a different game. If you find yourself constantly getting tilted while playing poker or blackjack? Maybe it isn’t the game for you!

However, there are loads of casino games out there that aren’t really affected by tilt. Specifically, super-popular slots!

Despite what some people think, there’s zero skill involved in playing 99% of online slots. This means you have no chance to affect the outcome, you just observe the results after each spin.

However, it also means going on tilt isn’t really a thing – because there are not many decisions to make.

The only way tilt might affect you on an online slot is if you up your bets to chase a loss. However, the chances of winning are the same regardless of your emotion. So, you could just as easily win it all back by wildly upping your bet!

You can try this theory out for yourself (or not), at a $1 deposit casino site in new zealand for new zealand players right now. 

The Gambler’s Paradox

There is a psychological principle that fits right here, and it’s called the gambler’s paradox.

It’s the observation that humans naturally tend to believe the previous outcomes of a random event will affect future events – when in gambling this is often not the case at all.

Just because you’ve lost 10 spins in a row on a slot, you’re no more likely to win (or lose) the next one.

Especially over the hundreds of millions of spins, popular slots can see played in a day across the world. It may be as likely as hitting the jackpot, but you could see 100 dead spins in a row – just as much as you could see 100 wins in a row, too.

This kind of info might put some slots players off. However, you might also be intrigued by the incredible randomness of online slots, and that tiny chance of a life-changing session or win?!

Developers, though, generally don’t want you to know this. So, they have a few tricks up their sleeve to make you believe it’s not so random!

Game Developer’s Tricks

For example, slots developers will sometimes:

  • Set up bonus round structures to tease you with the highest amount, when the outcome is predetermined to be lower
  • Add more lines and reels, but make sure a few of the extra symbols are low paying
  • Make those low paying wins occur more often, so you think you’ve won – but it’s actually less than you bet

Slots can still be excellent fun – and you can win a lot of money. But it’s always completely random when your next win (or loss) will be!

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