What makes people risk their money? Why even not rich individuals wager their money earned by working hard? To be sure, we can call all fans of gambling addicted gamblers, but this explanation seems to be too simplified, and most casino visitors do not have any sign of problem gambling.
Let's try to figure out why we gamble. Fortunately, we do not have to reinvent the wheel. Psychologists, sociologists, and other scholars have performed numerous researches whose conclusions can help us in our attempts to find an answer to this question.
Let's consider four key hypotheses that aim at explaining why people attend casinos, slot halls, poker clubs, betting offices, bingo halls, and other facilities that offer different types of gambling-related activities. Keep in mind that we are talking about hypotheses that require further research and confirmation.
Gamble to Win
It is reasonable to assume that gambling facilities attract customers with the opportunity to become rich in the snap of a finger. It seems to be obvious that we go to casinos in order to win.
Almost all games of chance provide gamblers with the opportunity to obtain a huge amount of money extremely rapidly. In poker, if you collect a royal flush, you get a huge payout. When playing slot machines, it is possible to collect high-paying combinations, win free spins, or hit a progressive jackpot. Roulette allows sweeping the board, making a huge bet on a single number.
To be sure, the probability of winning the huge amount is infinitesimal, but this fact does not throw cold water on all customers.
Most regular casino visitors can be characterized by a feature that is usually referred to as excessive optimism. They ignore unfavorable conditions. They neither take into account the house edge nor want to remember the past losses. They think solely of potential gains, previous huge payouts, and even achievements of other customers.
Many customers considered gambling as a way to improve their financial situation or even as a source of stable income.
In reality, only some professionals have succeeded in making a living at casinos, but this is another story that is worth mentioning in a separate article.
Gamble to Lose
At first glance, this idea seems ridiculous. Who will wager money to lose it intentionally? However recent studies have demonstrated that this hypothesis is substantiated.
Experienced casino employees confirm that some gamblers enjoy the process more if they have to win back their funds lost in previous rounds. Each facility has regular customers who almost never are in the black, but they keep gambling.
Do you remember your own experience? What is more amusing: a quick victory shortly after the beginning of the gaming session or a success obtained as a result of a long struggle when you have changed dealers, tables, and even games? The latter seems to cause more pleasant emotions, make you feel like a winner and is memorized for a long time.
Some long-term research trials involved hundreds of volunteers have revealed that the users trying to win back were more excited than the winning customers. They had a higher level of dopamine, causing a sense of satisfaction. Its content increases as a result of the activity of the brain that tries to solve the problem that has arisen.
Thus, the pursuit of winning seems to be more attractive than the victory itself to casino customers.
Having received a large payout at the beginning of the gaming session, the user feels unsatisfied, because emotions are more important to him than money.
Gamble to Expect for the Victory
According to this theory, gambling games attract people by their uncertainty. Facing up the cards, watching a spinning ball or rolling dice, gamblers are rooted to the spot in anticipation of the outcome. Researchers believe that it is caused by a release of dopamine.
Thus, the expectation of the outcome attracts casino customers more than the opportunity to receive payouts.
According to psychologists, the sharpest increase in the level of dopamine is observed during rounds with approximately equal chances of winning. For example, it may happen when you bet on either red of black when playing roulette or when you try to double your payout in video slots.
Gambling software developers have noticed that models with the most unpredictable scenarios are the most popular. If the gameplay is predictable, customers quickly get bored.
This is one of the reasons why online gambling software developers release more and more new video slots.
Gamble to Enjoy
Many psychologists believe that most people gamble to have fun. In other words, customers of casinos, poker clubs and betting offices are concerned not mainly with the outcome but rather with the gameplay.
If you carefully inspect the behavior of casino visitors, this hypothesis will seem more than justified. They usually behave irrationally and even silly, intentionally make mistakes, deliberately risk in inappropriate situations and at the same time criticize their behavior.
How can one explain such attitude towards gambling? It can be only due to the desire to enjoy the process.
Many customers really gamble to have fun. Winnings seem nothing than a pleasant bonus to them. Moreover, negative outcomes do not upset them.
Casino operators are well aware of the psychology of customers. They try in every possible way to make gamblers enjoy the gameplay instead of trying to achieve a positive outcome at any cost. Colorful video slots with stunning graphics features, multi-level games of chance, show programs, systems of points, free tournaments aim at keeping customers inside the venues.
So, why do we gamble? Perhaps some gamblers may explain their addiction to such kinds of entertainments by one of the hypotheses mentioned above. However most gamblers are motivated by several incentives. If you play in order to win, you still want to enjoy the process.
What attracts you in gambling?