The Psychology of Gambling

As most gamblers know, winning or losing at game of chance largely depends on luck. But while good (or bad) fortune is by far the biggest factor governing whether you win or lose, it’s not the only factor in play.

Psychology can also play its part, even in a casino game. As we’ll explain in the following guide, the psychology of gambling revolves around two categories of psychology: the science of psychology, and applied psychology.

Science and Sociology: dualistic traditions

a busy casinoHuman beings tend to view gambling in one of two different ways. Some take a dim view of games of chance, considering them to be deviant in nature; whereas others see them as simply being an extension of human nature. The majority of people see playing for money in a negative light. They generally believe it’s either illegal, or morally dubious.

These people tend to have a risk-averse mentality both to gambling and the wider world. Such individuals prefer to keep their money securely in a bank, or invest it in property or the stock market – even though fundamentally, these are just as much about chance as a game of roulette or keno.

Such people tend to also view gambling as a form of pathological behaviour that cannot be controlled. They may even have feelings of pity for gamblers, and consider them to be ill.

Those who consider the act of gambling as a natural part of our way of life, tend to see it as a rational and instinctive process rather than a form of illness or deviant behaviour. They regard gambling as a healthy recreational activity. For them, it is similar to going to the cinema, or watching a sports event. This does not mean that these players are dependent on gambling. They consider online gambling as a part of a balance life.

Neither point of view is fundamentally right or wrong, of course.

Practice the art of self-control

When playing, you should always try to avoid losing control of your emotions. Gambling requires a clear mind, and letting your emotions take over will impact your ability to think rationally.

It may be tempting to push on when you’re on a winning streak. And likewise, the urge to play on when losing in the hope of recouping your losses can be equally strong. But a successful player will go into a game know exactly how much they are prepared to win or lose - amounts they'll stick to.

Controlling your emotions can be tricky though, especially for those new to online gambling. Human beings are emotion creatures. But learning how to keep these emotions in check while at the table is essential.

The best way to do this is to find a way to vent stress, anxiety, hatred or anger while staying focused on the task in hand. Feel free to express and vent your emotions retrospectively, once you are no longer at the table, or before you approach it.


This concludes this series of guides. Return to the start of the newbies section.

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