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How to Use Psychology to Your Advantage in Gambling

    Gambling is a general term used to refer to spending money playing casino online games and betting on sports. Whether you play online casino games, bet on lotteries, or wager on sports, you’ll be wagering on the outcome of an unknown event. Gambling and psychology go hand in hand. It’s, therefore, important to understand the effects psychology has on gambling if you are to improve your winning chances. 

    There are several psychological factors that directly impact your gambling. These include cognitive bias, the illusion of control, incentives, emotions, etc. On this page, we look at all these factors and how they influence gambling. While they can negatively affect gambling, we will understand how you can use them to benefit you. This way, you can improve your edge while playing against the casino. 

    Understanding Cognitive Biases

    By definition, cognitive biases refer to mental shortcuts your brain takes to make quick decisions. In online gambling, there’s a common cognitive bias referred to as the gambler’s fallacy. 

    Imagine you are playing online roulette, the live version of roulette, which is more realistic than the RNG-based game. You decide to take a paper and note down the game results. For the past 15 spins, the roulette ball landed on red. Every single time the croupier throws the ball, it lands on red without fail. On the 16th spin, you decide you want to wager on the outcome, so it only makes sense you wager on red, right? 

    The simple answer to this is “no.” What you are about to fall victim to is referred to as the ‘gambler’s fallacy.’ You’ve failed to understand the statistical independence of each spin of the roulette ball. While playing roulette, you have a 50-50 chance of landing on either black or red (excluding the zero). Every spin is new and independent of the outgoing one. 

    To overcome cognitive bias in roulette and any other online gambling game, you must understand that each spin, deal, or play is totally unpredictable and independent of the outgoing result. 

    The Illusion of Control

    The illusion of control is mostly seen at the poker tables; players’ choices are heavily influenced by their sense of control over the play. In roulette or lottery numbers, some people believe they can control their luck, which is why they’ll constantly pick a certain “lucky” number. 

    The problem with confirmation bias is that the illusion of control may deceive you into taking unwarranted risks and making poor decisions. It might make you feel you have control over a certain condition when you have none. 

    To overcome the illusion of control and become a better gambler, understand how it works and how it can influence your choices when playing casino games. While playing, always keep your prejudices in check. Whatever belief you have regarding a particular game or play, try to minimize it as much as possible. 

    Effects of Incentives 

    Incentives refer to bonuses, free coins, free spins, and many other freebies dished out by the online casino. The effects of these freebies have been studied exhaustively for many years, and the results depict what is expected; people will bet frequently and for an extended period when there are incentives. An online slot game that dishes out free spins occasionally is more likely to be played frequently compared to one that dishes out free spins less frequently. The logic behind incentives is that players believe with the freebies, they increase their chances of winning.

    It’s not wrong or forbidden for you to claim the bonuses and other incentives dished out by the casino or sportsbook. However, be wary that there are hidden conditions to some of these offers. Read through the T&Cs and take note of the wagering requirements. They are the ones that determine how much you must spend to redeem these offers. Regarding free spins and other bonuses offered during gameplay, you should also be wary of them. Remember, these games have been programmed to “feed” you with these offers so that you keep going and playing them. 

    The Role of Emotions 

    Emotions play a huge role as far as decision-making is concerned in gambling. The thrill of playing games such as roulette, slots, and blackjack is so alluring. It even gets better when one is winning rather than losing. With every win, your brain releases dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical released in the brain that makes you feel good. This hormone motivates you to do something to do when you’re feeling pleasure. And if you are not winning, fear and anxiety increase. Fear can lead you to bet more in the hopes you will recover the money lost, while anxiety might make you become cautious and make you avoid taking any risks. 

    In gambling, you must learn how to manage your expectations and emotions if you are to win any money. Know when to quit, even when you are winning. Have a bankroll management strategy and stick to it. If it dictates you play 20 rounds at 50 points, adhere to it whether you are winning or losing. 

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