Are Women Better Gamblers than Men?

Although we all know that gender bias should be a thing of the past, from time to time, we’re all guilty of pitting the two sexes against one another. While you might think that gambling has nothing to do with gender, you will be surprised at the worthwhile comparison. Men and women adopt different strategies and approaches towards gambling. 

So, do women make better gamblers than men? That is what we’re here to find out. In this article, we will analyse how the two genders differ from one another and whether this is a gender thing or a cultural thing altogether. 

What’s the difference?

We do not want to turn this article into a battle of the genders. There is compelling research that examines the behaviour of men and women gamblers at playing at a list of top online casinos. The way that they approach games of chance is considerably different to one another. 

A study by Winters K indicates how popular online gambling is with 91% of college men and 84% of college women having come in contact with some form of gambling. When it comes to exposure, both genders seem to be on par with each other. 

In a research paper called ‘Does gender moderate associations among impulsivity and health-risk behaviours?’, author Stoltenberg S argues how men and women participate in online gambling differently. The paper concludes that men in America tend to gamble more frequently, win bigger, both also register for higher losses. 

Things get interesting when we talk about gambling problems. Around 4.2% of men show signs of irresponsible gambling as opposed to 2.9% of women. Men tend to be more inclined to take up some form of gambling when compared to women. 

Who’s a better gambler? 

Although both genders are exposed to gambling on the same lengths, we will have to take some real-life examples to figure out the better gambler here. If we look at the all-time poker live winnings list in The Hendon Mob, it is Daniel Negreanu who takes the prize, with his fortune sitting at $42 million. 

Who’s the better bluff?

While some games at online casinos are social in nature, like lottery and bingo, some games are about ego. A case in point is the game of poker. Male gamblers are statistically less likely to admit defeat to women in this game since they take it as a stab against their masculinity. 

Gender and gambling addictions 

This is the area that has bee researched the most when it comes to gender and gambling. A study done by Shaffer H in 1999 has found that 20.1% of make gamblers experience symptoms of problem gambling with females only lying at 7.1%. 

Women tend to be less vulnerable to gambling addiction. The United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission conducted a survey and found that 1.2% of males qualify as pathological gamers while only 0.2% are female. In Australia, 1.5% of men are problem gamblers while only 0.8% of women qualify as such.

The reason for this does not necessarily depend on character flaws but rather on a combination of factors such as sociological impact, exposure, and genetic predisposition. In fact, Dr Robert Lefever found that men tend to have an ingrained need to put on a bravado attitude. This attitude is instilled in boys as they grow up while risk-taking is also considered to be a ‘manly’ action. 


The question of whether women make better gamblers that men is an interesting one as it explores the two genders in a different manner. The one thing that we know for sure is that men tend to gamble more than women. 

Whether they do so to cope with social anxiety or out of a bravado attitude, science still has to look into this deeper. Both sexes are capable of delivering to the best of their ability in a game of chance, so the battle of both genders continues. 

Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

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