Why Optimists Don’t Win At Casinos

Indeed, each of us hopes that sooner or later he will be lucky and win good money in the casino. There is a certain percentage of clients for whom the process is more important, but even those who are ready for losses and come purely for pleasure are still happy that they managed to stay in the black. But let’s try to figure out how important optimism is in modern gambling and what to do if the hopes were ultimately not justified?

Being overly optimistic is not always a good thing

In modern psychology, there is a term – optimistic bias. Experts use it to describe people who are not as influenced by negative events as positive events. Especially often, optimistic bias is characteristic of gambling addicts.

It is human by nature to remember the good and forget about the bad. So, you yourself probably know how long solid winnings are remembered. At the same time, all the negativity remains far in the past, losses are forgotten in just a few days. Actually, this is the clearest expression of the bias we are describing.

Note that this works not only with gambling. People who abuse drugs or alcohol rarely position themselves as sick people. Why go for an example – smokers with great experience also do not admit any thought that in the future they may have serious problems with the lungs.

But one has only to touch on this topic, a huge number of examples of elderly musicians who have managed to live to a solid age will fall on you, while abusing everything they can. These most incorrigible optimists live by the principle “this will not happen to me”.

When the desired turns out to be valid

There are people in society who perceive their own wishes and dreams as reality, transferring it to the real world. Note that such an attitude towards their life is relevant for a sufficiently large number of game addicts who confidently drown all kinds of doubts and various unpleasant thoughts about whether they are doing the right thing.

Let’s take a living example. A person with a cool head weighs the expediency of his time in the casino, the pros and cons. However, if you ask a person who is addicted to the game to analyze his leisure time, then in order to continue it, he will focus only on the positive aspects.

What will not be said in its defense – “the device is about to give”, today luck is destined by the stars and yesterday’s win has not even been lost. As a rule, an incredible number of arguments are given – how many specific advantages can be found in this gambling marathon.

This is the best confirmation that it is important to plan a gaming session in advance, effectively managing not only your time, but also your bankroll. If you even managed to clean your pockets for the previously agreed amount even at the beginning of the evening, give up the game and leave here.

The probability of your winning the lottery

If you have never dreamed in your life of getting rich unexpectedly, you will not be able to understand the whole idea behind this article. In particular, the logic of people who play casinos and the lottery. Quite a lot of people by the word “get rich” mean winning the lottery or casino with their incredible jackpots. In this article, we will consider the lottery – their popularity is only growing from year to year (and PowerBall in the USA is a clear confirmation of this) and there are more and more dreamers.

Yes, most of the buyers realize that the chances of winning are not so great, however, at the same time, not everyone who likes this kind of gambling entertainment does not realize how insignificant the probability of winning and getting jackpot. But the factor that no one at all ever thinks about is the psychological problems that arise for those who want to catch their luck by the tail, turning it into a fanatical hobby.

Actually, the question arises – what are these people guided by, what exactly they can count on and what, in some cases, the pursuit of easy lottery money leads to.

Optimism and nothing else

Going a little deeper into the depths of modern psychology, we note that it contains the so-called term “cognitive distortion” – thus, psychologists designate irrational human behavior in a number of situations. Exactly excessive optimism, in fact, in some cases makes people act contrary to common sense.

So, many people think that only good things await them in the lottery or in the casino. “This will not happen to me” – do you agree, familiar? Indeed, many of us think that the chances of negative consequences from one or the other actions are much lower for him personally than for other people. They say that the average indicators for diseases and other troubles do not apply to them and they are an exception.

Projecting the situation on the lottery – almost every keen gambler is sure that sooner or later he will definitely get lucky, despite the discouraging small chances. Nobody hides the statistics, and everyone really understands that most of the players who buy lottery tickets never win serious money.

Actually, the same optimistic bias is described above that makes you spend money on tickets week after week, throwing, subsequently, into the trash can the very pieces of paper that have brought so many disappointments.

What are the chances of success?

Psychologists say that most people simply cannot assess the probability of certain events that, according to statistics, happen very rarely. At one time, a noteworthy experiment was conducted by Daniel Kahneman, a famous psychologist. In his research, he planned to reveal the irrationality of decision making when it comes to incidents with a minimum probability of occurrence.

So, a group of people took part in the experiment. They were tourists who were traveling from the United States to Europe, and they were offered 2 types of insurance. The first group was asked to purchase insurance that guarantees payment in case of death due to a terrorist attack. The remaining people were offered insurance, which provides for payments to the loved ones of the deceased for any reason. The package prices were identical.

Despite the obvious disadvantage of the conditions for the first group, these people bought insurance more actively, since the chances of falling victim to terrorists are minimal, however, nevertheless, emotions prevailed over reason and very few people assessed the chances of this or that event.

A person who plays the lottery also has a similar thinking. The chances of winning are very small, however, at the same time, the total amount of the jackpot offered by the organizer has the same effect as the terrorist attack described above. All these zeros in the column stimulate the gambler to try his luck.

The Cambridge-University of Nottingham Experiment

At one time, scientists from these universities also studied the behavior of players, conducting a series of practical experiments. On the agenda is the deep conviction of a particular category of players that games that obey a purely probability theory require certain skills from the players.

As it seems to the person, he was as close as possible to success and, despite the fact that very little was enough to win, the game must be continued, because “a start has been made” and the chosen strategy of actions must be adhered to. But, according to the theory of probability, the results of the previous hand or spin cannot be applied in relation to the next game session.

Scientists recruited a group of participants in the experiment who did not suffer from the problem of gambling addiction. The subjects included women and men who had to place bets, take part in raffles, play slots, and play scratch cards.

During the game, the subjects were connected to special systems that allowed them to scan the activity of the brain. The results were amazing – even people who had never visited a casino reacted extremely animatedly to unsuccessful rounds, and there was even a tendency that if the game was at higher stakes with higher risks, luck would turn its face.

Scientists have found that players are very pleased with these “almost wins”, they are ready to continue the game at any cost. Despite the fact that the “blow” was “off target,” people think that this is the same “bell”, a signal that you are improving your own skills.

You don’t need any skills on roulette and the slot, a seasoned professional and a beginner who visited the casino for the first time will have the same chances of winning, and “almost won” will not have any effect on the next gaming session.

And the results were no different from the previous experiment we described – the closeness to success, “almost a win” affected individual parts of the brain, which, in one way or another, are related to reward. For gamblers, these will be activated much more strongly than, for example, for a person who has no experience of playing in a casino.

But scientists from the Donders Institute have formed a simpler explanation of this phenomenon. In an ordinary situation, in everyday life, mistakes close to the goal indicate that this time the person is not ready yet, but he is on the right path and training will bring success. When faced with setbacks, the player becomes inflamed and stimulates himself to keep making efforts.

A similar situation with casinos, with the exception of one important point – there is no place for any regularities and the very situation when a person “almost won” has nothing to do with other aspects of real life (for example, he almost reached the finish line in the indicated period).

The best way to prevent harmful consequences is after you “almost got the jackpot”, but one desired object did not fall on the machine, forget about this annoying incident and remain sober.