The Psychology of Gambling and Why it's so Fun

There have been numerous studies done on the psychology of gambling and why it is such an entertaining pastime for so many people around the world. In fact, gambling in some form or other has been around since ancient times and back then it was tied to betting different types of sports games and animal sports. As time passed gambling on various cards and dice games became a thing and this has continued to this day.

Over the years we have seen new forms of gambling come on stream and casino games, in particular, are ones that have been looked at and studied. They were developed for entertainment purposes and slots, in particular, are very popular at online casinos today with many folks using no deposit free spins bonuses to play them. What we want to look at in this article is the psychology of gambling and what attracts people to casino games and why they offer so much fun. What in the human psyche makes gambling so much fun? No Deposit Wow found that there are a number of different aspects which are explored below.

Psychology of Gambling

Need For Control

People who feel the need for control in life often indulge in gambling. In life, it is impossible to have control over everything which is why gambling can be appealing. Certain casino games allow for strategies and by partaking in casino games the illusion of control over the outcome is something that people feel. They use their skills and specific techniques to help them win and because of this, they feel a high level of satisfaction and in control of the outcomes of the games they are playing. This high level of satisfaction encourages them to play even more games.

The Role of Reinforcement

Online casino games are designed in such a way that after a certain number of losses, players tend to win. This can often motivate gamblers to keep playing games because of the expectation of winning. When they win, it reinforces the positive need to gamble and play more games. This is known as interval reinforcement.

Fun, Thrills, and Money

Online casino games are essentially games of chance and they tend to evoke feelings of fun, random luck, and in some cases collective engagement especially in terms of live dealer tables. Most people assume that people play online casino games for either pleasure, the chance to win real money, or the thrill of it. These generally are the reasons why people gamble at the start, but psychologists don't really know why gambling becomes compulsive for some whilst remaining fun for others. They often ask the question as to why people keep playing when the fun stops or why they keep playing games that are designed to make them lose. The answers to these questions can be found by studying the brain and understanding what makes gambling so compelling.

The Feeling of Winning While Losing

Casino games are set up in such a way that the house (casino) always has the advantage. Most players have infrequent wins and you might only experience the thrill of hitting a big jackpot on the very rare occasion. But the gambling industry has created a way to overcome this issue and over the past few decades, online slots have been upgraded making them more attractive and colorful. They have multiple paylines and while individual bets can be very small, a lot of people place bets on the maximum number of paylines available. This is a strategy players use so they can win on some paylines and lose on others. They might win less than their original bet, but they still experience the thrill of winning. Video slots also have bonus features built in to help players win more and some even have storylines that players can follow along with. The result is that modern video slots produce more fun and enjoyment and are the preferred choice for many online casino fans. With slots, there is an increased frequency of smaller wins and in the brain, this produces more satisfaction and the activation of the reward pathways in the brain. Video slots are fun and entertaining and will often see players become totally absorbed in the game for hours on end. This is also why so many people are hunting for no deposit bonuses.

The Near Miss Effect

The rise in popularity of online casino games and video slots means gamblers are not constrained by the physical arrangement of the reels and there are different possible outcomes programmed into the virtual reels. Game developers can program the slots to make certain outcomes occur more frequently than others. This includes near-misses where you just miss the jackpot. What these near-misses do is activate the areas of the brain that usually respond to wins and it increases the desire to play more. This can be a disadvantage for problem gamblers. They can increase player commitment to the game, and this results in playing for longer than you might have wanted and chasing your losses.

4 Facts About the Psychology of Gambling

Gambling is risky and addictive, but it can also be exciting and fun at the same time. It is a multi-billion dollar industry and this is due in part to the gambling and psychological tendencies of individuals. Below are 4 psychological concepts that can be observed in gamblers that help to show why they have so much fun.

  1. Risk Taking : Risk tendencies and reward delays are some of the reasons why people gamble even though they know they might lose money. It is the thrill and excitement of taking a risk. Scientists have proven through studies, that being in good mood can cause people to take more risks.
  2. The Illusion of Control : With online gambling you have a choice, and this makes you feel in control. Take roulette, for example, you choose either red or black. You have a choice, so you feel like you're in control. Regardless of your decision, your chances of winning are the same.
  3. Near Misses : This is one of the concepts that keeps gamblers playing games long after they should have walked away from the slots or tables. This aspect of psychology can be traced back to when people would have regarded near misses as a good thing and with optimism. The brain tells you that you were close, almost had it, and that it is worth pursuing because you've proven you can do it.
  4. The Gambler's Fallacy : This is the false belief that past trials have an impact on future trials. For example, if you toss a coin it will land on heads or tails. If you do flip the coin ten times, and you get heads the first three times, there is a good chance that tails will come up on the fourth toss. There is a 50/50 chance of tails coming up, but because heads has already come up three times you feel that tails is due next. In online gambling games, roulette is one of the best examples of where The Gambler's Fallacy comes into play. You are betting on black or red and if black has come up four times in a row, there's a good chance that you will switch your bet to red because this has to come up next. In fact, you still have a 50/50 chance that black will come up because the last result has no impact on the next one.

Gambling Mindset

The Brain and Gambling

MRI scans taken of those playing casino games showed that winning activated a part of the brain knows as the striatum. This area plays a vital role in an individual's perception of rewards and reinforcements. The striatum also reacts to natural reinforcers such as sex and food and the MRIs showed that indulging in gambling can create the same pleasure response in the brain that people get from their primary needs being met.

What the studies found is that online casino gambling can satisfy the pleasure-seeking part of the brain as well as the need for control that many individuals have. It makes sense then that those who play casino games experience the pleasure and thrill of winning. Online casinos provide a variety of games that players can enjoy for free using fun play options or for real money. The only thing they have to make sure is that they have control over their gambling and that it does not begin to impact on their everyday life. This is why more and more online gambling sites like Betway Casino and Fair Go Casino now include responsible gambling features whereby players can set limits on their deposits, limit their gaming sessions, and impose self-exclusion limits should they feel they need them.

Why Gamblers Have Fun Even When They Lose

Most people believe gambling is all about winning but a number of studies have shown that this isn't always the case and even when they lose gamblers still have fun. Now we know that no one likes to lose but gamblers do, and they keep on betting. If the house always wins, why keep spinning the reels or rolling the dice? For many online gambling fans, they keep coming back because they have fun. People don't just gamble so they can win money and there are a number of motivations. Even when you lose your body is still producing Adrenalin and endorphins. In a survey of more than 5,500 gamblers who were asked why they play casino games, the answers were because of the chance to win big money, because it's fun, and because it's exciting. People are joining online casinos because they are looking to be entertained. People are satisfied with small wins and most don't mind small losses. Losing can also boost the positive response to the win that comes after it. It has also been proven that when players lose a number of times it lowers their expectations of winning and this, in turn, increases how happy they feel when they do finally win.

Psychology of Gambling and Addiction

One of the primary elements of gambling is the uncertainty that comes with it. Whether it's the probability of winning or the size of the jackpot up for grabs, reward uncertainty can play a crucial role in gambling addiction.

It was also discovered that dopamine which is released during enjoyable activities is also released during situations where the reward is uncertain and the dopamine release increases even more so in the moments leading up to a potential reward or win and the levels of dopamine released tend to correlate with a person's level of gambling high and this, in turn, can help determine the level of a person's gambling addiction.

Studies have shown that the dopamine released while gambling occurs in the areas of the brain similar to the areas activated when taking drugs and repeated exposure to gambling and the uncertainty of winning causes lasting changes. The reward pathways become hypersensitive. Repeated gambling and uncertainty can change how people respond to losing and for individuals with a gambling problem, the studies have found that losing money can trigger the rewarding release of dopamine they crave and that the amount of dopamine can be the same as the release felt when winning. As a result of this, in problem gambling, losing creates the urge to keep playing rather than a feeling of disappointment that would cause other players to walk away. This is known as chasing your losses and is a well-known psychological gambling trait.

Research suggests that most gamblers who play responsibly enjoy the experience and never have any problems. These are players that set limits on how much money they are prepared to lose and how must time they can spend playing casino games. These are players who are in control and they play for fun. These are known as positive gamblers and they are buying entertainment from online casinos. They also like the idea of possibly winning big, but they are not attached to it. Gambling is usually only one of several leisure activities they take part in, and it is a form of entertainment. Positive gamblers are in control and they play for fun and enjoyment only and if they win it's an added bonus. If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, a couple of helpful sites you should visit are Gamblers Anonymous and GamCare.