If we didn’t derive pleasure from gambling we wouldn’t do it. Or at least, that’s what logic would appear to detect. But what does science say about the effects gambling has on those who take part? And why is it that some who initially take joy from gambling ultimately fall into problematic and dangerous gambling habits?
Truth is, science can only tell us so much about the psychology of gambling. The reason being that as each and every human being is unique, we all respond to different activities in different ways. Nevertheless, there’s hard evidence to suggest that human beings in general are biologically and chemically pre-programmed to get a kick out of these kinds of activities.
The Thrill of the Unknown
A recent study carried out into the effects and appeal of gambling brought to light some fascinating findings about the human mind. Specifically, in relation to how our bodies and brains react to situations involving risk and the unknown.
It’s no secret that when a person strikes it lucky on the casino floor, they’re filled with feelings of euphoria. The brain releases all manner of weird and wonderful chemicals, resulting in the kind of sensation you’d quite like to bottle and carry with you at all times. But what’s interesting is the way in which our brains also produce and release torrents of chemicals when we fail to win. Even when you lose, you end up in a situation where you’re compelled to keep trying.
Research has shown that there’s a direct correlation between the enjoyment of a win and the nature of the process leading up to it. If you take a seat at a casino slot and strike it lucky on your first spin, you’re happy. If you enter a losing streak and suddenly hit the jackpot – turning things around and pocketing a profit – you’ll probably scream your lungs out and hit the ceiling. Despite the fact that you’ve technically won less and endured an unfortunate string of losses beforehand, the turnaround intensifies the ‘high’ that accompanies the win.
This is precisely where the science and psychology of gambling come in. Irrespective of the outcome, we naturally feel a certain kind of ‘high’ when taking part in these kinds of activities. The thrill of the unknown is appealing to most people. Even if on a subconscious level, there’s something uniquely enjoyable and liberating of our relinquishing control. You put things in the hands of fate, roll the dice (perhaps literally) and see what happens.
The web’s best online casinos and bookmaker websites are doing a great job bringing the all-round experience into homes (and pockets) worldwide. But when it comes to the real-life casino floor, there are benefits that go far beyond the gaming experience itself.
Human beings in general are social creatures. This is why even if we have no real intention of interacting with anyone, we still enjoy spending time in populated places. Consider a completely empty and silent pub, compared to the same pub with a fair few people hanging around and conversation in the air. Chances are, you’d argue that the latter had a better ‘atmosphere’ and ‘ambience’.
It’s exactly the same with the traditional casino. Heading out to a casino to take part in whatever games you’re into isn’t only about playing the games. It’s about the social experience that accompanies the whole thing. You take a seat at a table along other players, conversing if you choose to or keeping yourself to yourself. In any case, the presence of other people brings a sense of comfort, security and general social pleasure that’s appealing to almost everyone.
There’s much to be said for the online gaming experience, but it doesn’t tend to be quite as social. The closest approximation being the best live-dealer casinos on the web right now, which open the door to interaction between players.
Problematic Gambling Habits
Science has given us a good indication as to the reasons and extent to which we take pleasure from gambling. In addition, science also goes some way to explain why problematic gambling habits occur in some players.
Once again, it all comes down to the brain’s responses to the thrill of gambling. Irrespective of whether or not you win, you can expect your brain to release a ton of chemicals that effectively get you high. The problem being that as soon as these chemicals return to normal levels, you find yourself craving more. It’s exactly the same as with any other drug or addictive substance. The more you get, the more you want.
This is why it’s essential to ensure you follow safe and responsible gaming practices at all times. It’s up to you and you alone to ensure that you have the willpower and the bankroll to fund your gambling activities. If not, it’s advisable to abstain entirely. If the urge to continue gambling is overwhelming – even though you know you can’t afford to – it’s time to walk away.
The Importance of a Quality Casino
For the sake of both your enjoyment and your safety, it’s a good idea to work exclusively with a top-rated casino you know you can trust. Check out as many reviews and recommendations as necessary, in order to narrow things down to the leading brands on the web.
The same also applies for bookmakers if you prefer sports betting. Efirbet is a top-rated bookmaker review and tip site that includes a variety of quality sports betting choices.
Ultimately however, it’s up to you to oversee your gambling activities. Keep things balanced and you’re pretty much guaranteed one hell of a ride, irrespective of whether you win or lose. Nevertheless, you need to know when to draw the line and cut your losses. Even if your brain is practically begging you to stick around for another hand, you need to muster the strength and to do the right thing at the right time.
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