The game is serious, many psychologists will tell you and will be right. In psychology, sociology and political science, various game concepts of human behavior have long been studied and widely spread. I propose to focus on such a curious aspect of the game as the psychology of excitement. Despite the long history of gambling, as it turned out, this is a little studied area of the human psyche. What pushes players to the gambling table or slot machines? Today I will try to answer this question by decomposing everything on the shelves, or rather, on 4 reasons that explain the psychology of gambling people:

  1. I want to know everything.
  2. Searching for excuses under the circumstances.
  3. I’m the best.
  4. I remember a wonderful moment.

Reason 1: I want to know everything.

Scientists have established some evolutionary laws of human psychology and have found out that the psychology of passion is based on eternally inherent desire to understand the causes and consequences of events in the surrounding world.

For example,

you know exactly why the sky is blue and the grass is green. And a three-year-old child is absolutely necessary to know the answers to these questions and a thousand others. Those who have children will understand me.

Or a more complicated example: medieval chroniclers, telling about the battles, spoke about the results in approximately such terms: “And God gave victory to the prince” or “And God turned his back on the prince.” This interpretation of events is clearly not sufficient for modern man, he seeks to establish exact causal relations, and does not believe in chance.

Reason 2: Searching for excuses in circumstances

If the reason cannot be explained in the material world, various signs, predictions, astrology and other magical tinsel are used. Why can’t a person accept even the elements of uncertainty? The answer is obvious: we cannot control them, and therefore we lose control over our lives.

You will be surprised, but gamblers are often driven by the desire to find patterns in the game.

Everyone knows that there is no superstitious person than a player. Happy numbers, omens, small worldly rituals, even prayers – everything goes on, just to saddle fortune. Gambling in search of happy patterns reminds the passion of a scientist obsessed with the subject of his research.

Too wise, would you say? Perhaps, but only at first glance. Recently I wrote about a new study of the psychology of gambling and a method of combating gambling, proposed by scientists from Boston. In their research, they found that most patients had no idea about the real patterns of slot machines, roulette, card games. But they enthusiastically came up with their own:

  • a good place at the table,
  • the sequence of pressing the buttons in the machine,
  • lucky jacket for the game

and so on. During the therapy, doctors simply explained to patients how the random number generator works, what the probability theory is, how video game slots and other gambling patterns are arranged.

The results of such “math therapy” are simply stunning: 80-90% of patients were permanently rid of gambling.

Reason 3: I’m the best.

Psychological factor in casinos

Let us turn to another basic need of a person – the desire for self-affirmation. I’m good, aren’t I? Well, at least I’m the best at something, right? Probably, you have met on roads rattling with all giblets of domestic production with a proud sticker on the back window: “But not on credit”. It’s a very illustrative example.

Every person is confident in his or her exclusivity deep down. Some players are pushed to the gambling table by this very illusion.

Such a player knows perfectly well the mechanics of the gambling process, but still confident that he can win the slot, the theory of probability and overcome the law “casino always wins. Perhaps the rapidly melting stack of chips can convince him, but as practice shows, it is unlikely. After all, the belief in its exceptionality is not explained by logic and it is not refuted. In this case, the psychology of excitement of such a person lies in the irrational.

Confidence in their own ability to control the excitement is born from the same reassessment of themselves: “Gambling is not about me, it’s weak can not stop, but I – the best, I can always control myself. By the way, the same arguments are used by those who start smoking or taking drugsā€¦

Reason 4: I remember a wonderful moment.

“Our memory is as selective as an urn,”

S. Dovlatov once wrote.

Indeed, it has long been noticed that memory stores events with strong emotional feelings for a longer time, rather than those that we consider the most important. And where in normal life can you feel such a rush of adrenaline, as not at a gambling table or slot? Ah, what a barrage of emotions a player is experiencing!

But the curious thing is: despite the fact that, winning and losing, a person feels about the same intensity of passion. His memory more willingly keeps it “winning” emotions and sends them favorably, when the player wonders whether to make another bet, go to the casino or leave.

In turn, the gambling establishment will do everything possible to record in the memory of the visitor the moments when he smiled luck: congratulations, increased attention, free champagne – everything to enhance the emotional component of winning.

It is noteworthy that often novice casino workers are caught on these tricks, especially young croupiers. Ironically, their memory is also recorded on the big winnings of other players and carefully ignores the much more frequent cases of bad luck.

Many novice dealers have itchy hands to twitch the blue bird of luck’s tail, sitting at the gaming table in the player’s seat. Fortunately for them, this is strictly forbidden by casino rules.


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The psychology of excitement includes several components:

  • First of all – these are strong emotions that can rarely be experienced in everyday life. Gambling is a great remedy for boredom and moping.
  • The second component is competition. With the croupier, other players, the theory of probability, with himself, finally. All in order to prove to myself and the world: I am the best.

I do not pretend to fully investigate such a complex issue as the psychology of excitement, I just summarized the main points of modern research. I hope that understanding the psychology of gambling people will allow you to more confidently control yourself and your own game.

Psychology of Casino Gambling