The Context of Choices in Gambling

The psychology behind gambling has been discussed over and over again. What makes people gamble? What pushes them to bet more money? How do they decide their next move? Which thoughts lead to errors in judgement and memory?

Understanding Gambling Psychology

These are all legit questions that are embedded in psychology of the human mind. They decide on their future actions based on superstitions, odds, or simply – their gut. All this falls under and can be described with the psychology of gambling. 

Understanding how your brain functions can help you place a link between gambling and rational choice. For that purpose, we’ll refer to the work of a bestselling author and a Nobel Prize winning economic expert, Daniel Kahneman. 

His book Thinking Fast and Slow will change how you view betting, help you develop critical thinking in gambling, and assist you in changing your bad behaviors.

Explaining Thinking Fast and Slow

This book shows readers two systems in a brain i.e. a dual-process model that explains the control over actions or behaviors. Essentially, his book teaches you many ways in which the fight of these two systems leads to errors in judgement, mistaken decisions, and errors in memory. Of course, it also gives unique, helpful tips on fixing this. So, before you start gambling or rush to get your bonuses by the link, you should definitely explore his great insight and ideas. 

Let’s have a closer look. 

According to Kahneman, all bad decisions people make in life and in gambling can be explained with the dual process model. These two different thought modes are referred to as ‘’system 1’’ and ‘’ system 2’’. 

System 1

The first system is fast thinking. It’s associative, intuitive, automatic, metaphorical, and impressionistic. It’s also one that you can never switch off. Operations guided by it don’t involve any intentional control. When you play gambling games and make an automated choice based on your gut or simply the mood you’re in, you’re thinking fast. This means that you’re using the system 1. 

According to the author, when you make gambling casino games decisions based on this system, you’re basically using a: ‘’secret author of many of the choices and judgments you make’’. 

System 2

The second system of our thinking is deliberate, slow. Decisions made with it require attention and careful thinking. When things get harder to handle with intuition or speed, system 2 takes over in the human brain. 

This happens, for example, when you need to make a math calculation while gambling. If you have to calculate the RTP of a game, you need to use a formula and do some math. This is where the conscious part of your brain takes action, rather unwillingly, with a goal to resolve an issue.

Because it is more complex, system 2 tires easily (something that the author calls ego depletion. When it is tired, it simply accepts decisions made by System 1. 

Yes, System 1 is intuitive and often right, but when the second system is too tired, we are no longer focusing too hard on making right decisions. When it comes to statistical thinking, System 1 is hopelessly bad at this. It jumps wildly to irrational conclusion and is subject to different biases and interference effects like the Florida effect or Halo effect. 

What You Can Take from the Book

Once you understand the difference between these systems, you’ll understand how susceptible we are to being puppeted and influenced by the features found in our surroundings. Casinos have invested a great deal of strategies that will make you act intuitively and fast. In fact, many of the games require fast thinking and don’t really leave much room for you to turn on the System 2 in your brain. 

If you want to make the best possible decisions based on more than just your gut, you need to take a step back and analyze. Sure, System 1’s work is exceptionally important because the role of chance in our lives is enormous. 

However, if you want to win big, you need to use the best of your abilities when gambling. Also, you need to understand that including both fast and slow thinking is crucial for making right decisions. As Daniel Kahneman says:

‘’Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it.’’

With this in mind, there are two things you should know about your gambling choices:

  • The brain works mostly on System 1, which is a lazy part. This keeps you from using the power of your intelligence in full. 
  • When you’re gambling and making money decisions, you cannot have your emotions clouding you. Leave them at home and activate System 2.

Many times, you’ll pick System 1 thinking that it can handle a task. At times, you’ll be right but when you’re in the thrill of gambling, you might end up making a mistake.

Gambling is basically a test of luck, which is where System 1 comes really handy. People survive based on their instincts. They jump away from vehicles when they honk and respond to fear because of this system. Choosing one dollar deposit casino, players consciously avoid big loses but during a game a point shifts and can end up with even higher stakes.However, you cannot base important money decisions solely on fast thinking. You need a combo of intuition and conscious thinking, which involves two systems of your brain.

Be aware of the systems. Know that your emotions may try and confuse you when it comes to making money decisions Try and consider probability, odds, and statistics. Once you determine your odds, act accordingly. Emotions cannot and should not have a role in your gambling endeavors. 

Written by Austin Crane

Austin is the principle web director for Untamed Science and Stone Age Man. He is also the web-director of the series for the High School biology, Middle Grades Science and Elementary Science content. When Austin isn't making amazing content for the web, he's out on his mountain bike or in a canoe.

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