It is one of the stranger aspects of casino gaming that players will look at every aspect of a game, such as slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, video poker and more, in order to try and gain any glimmer of advantage from the knowledge they acquire.
Yet, the biggest determining factor about whether you enjoy a profitable session at a casino or not, is often not what you know about any particular game, but rather your own mental approach to playing at the casino.
When we talk about the psychology of casino gaming, it is much more than simply understanding how a game works or how best to approach playing it. It is about your own attitudes towards how you play at a casino and understanding how you play can influence greatly whether you stand a chance of a profit or a loss on any given session.
That does sound somewhat complex and perhaps a little unusual. After all, some games are entirely random and you cannot influence their outcome. However, you can influence your behavior when you play these games and it is this which can be of great benefit to casino games players.
What Do We Mean By Casino Game Psychology?
In short, what we are talking about is how you approach playing casino games in terms of your mental state and your behavior when you either land a win on a game, or have a losing run. What you do in these situations will have a greater influence on your chances of a profitable session more so than the game you are playing.
That sounds like a scarcely believable statement, but let me explain how your mindset shapes how you play.
To understand this, we need to first understand a couple of key things about all casino games.
Those key things are :
All Casino Games have a house edge built into them
The house edge is simply the more chance the house has of winning the bet compared to the player. All games at a casino are skewed in such a way as that over time, the casino will make a profit on the game. This is the house edge in action.
Now I hasten to point out, there is nothing wrong with this at all! Casinos have to make a profit in order to operate viably as a business. It is also important to point out that the house edge can vary quite considerably from one game to the next.
Games like blackjack and some bets on games like roulette and baccarat, tend to have a lower house edge. Other games and bets have a much higher house edge.
This brings us very neatly onto point two.
The more you play a game, the more likely it is the casino will win.
Any house edge means that the more you play a game, then the more likely it is that over time, the casino will come out on top.
Sure, there may be times that the player lands a big win, but if you play a game long enough, then it is designed so that the casino will always ‘win’ in terms of taking more money from you, than you do from it.
Once we understand these two key concepts, then the importance of your psychological approach towards casino gaming becomes clearer to understand.
Let’s explore this more by means of two examples.
How Different Approaches To Casino Gaming Can Determine Your Chances Of Profit Or Loss
Example One – The Wrong Psychological Approach
Let’s say the first casino gamer in this first example is someone who doesn’t have a strategy to play, doesn’t set any limits on their gaming and tends to play through the money they have in their account and how they win.
Their psychological approach is that they are spending their money at the casino, so they may as well enjoy doing so by playing until their cash has gone.
This player’s mental approach to gaming is almost certain to see them end up making a loss on most sessions they play at a casino, unless they are fortunate enough to land a rare big money win.
That’s because they will always likely hand back to the casino any wins they land when playing games as they simply continue to spend the cash they win back. The lack of structure about how to manage their bankroll also means that they will likely deposit more often at the casino and, if unchecked, this approach to gaming can lead to problems later down the line.
In truth, it doesn’t really matter what game this casino player plays. They are always likely to spend all the money available to them in their account, and from any winnings they land in a session, so that at the end of the session their account reads $0.
Furthermore, even if they do land a big money win and make a profit on a session, they may well, over time, simply gamble that big win at the casino and eventually give it all back to the casino over a longer period.
Worse still, they may even increase the size of their bets markedly and lose that money they won more quickly.
It is easy to see that if you approach casino gaming in that mindset, you are always going to struggle to have success on any session. So what is the answer?
Example Two – The Right Psychological Approach
Now let’s say customer two has a very different mindset to the first customer in our first example. This customer imposes limits on their gaming. Only using a small percentage of their bankroll for bets in a single session, limiting the size of their bets and the time that they play at the casino.
They also are not willing to keep all the money that they win in their account, especially if they win a significant sum of money and will withdraw that cash from their account to their standard bank account or back onto their credit card etc.
By imposing limits on their play like this and being able to adhere to them, win or lose, this player does stand more chance of at least enjoying some profitable sessions. For example, if they decide to spend $50 of their bankroll in a session on the slots, but on one spin win $100. Then when their $50 spend is up, they are going to have made $50 on this session.
Furthermore, if they then decide to withdraw that $50 in winnings, their balance remains the same as it was at the start of the session, but they can now get the benefit of that win in other areas of life, rather than keeping it in their account to wager at the casino in future.
Casinos can and do promote responsible gambling a great deal nowadays and it is more than just lip service to authorities. Following good gaming habits and having the right psychological approach to gaming can not only help you avoid problems, but it also increases your chances of enjoying any wins you do land more and possibly gaining from them in other areas of your life.