Mind Games and Online Gambling: The Role of Cognitive Biases

No matter whom you ask about gambling, you will hear this activity has one element that attracts them all. We are talking about uncertainty. Think about it: the biggest fear human beings have is exactly this. However, you will see this is the element that sparks the interest of so many people. Human beings are designed to pursue and discover while going through unknown waters. Therefore, nobody should be surprised why this is the case.

While we can draw a parallel with practically every game out there, saying this is on the same level as casino games is a mistake. The reason for this is quite simple: basic games cannot come with a monetary prize at the end. With that in mind, millions worldwide who enjoy gambling expect to reap some financial benefits from their bets. Sadly, this is not, and will not be the case, for most of them.

Today, gambling is more available than ever before. You can participate in your favorite games in numerous online casinos, such as But many are wondering what role our mind plays when we gamble. The human brain is still not explored completely, but we know a great deal. Today, we want to discuss the role of cognitive biases when we gamble.

Without further ado, let us begin.

The Culture

The first aspect we want to touch upon is the culture. Culture follows us everywhere we go, and it is impossible to avoid it, regardless of how hard you try. Numerous studies focus on this element, and all concluded that culture determines how well a person handles all the effects of gambling, no matter what the result is. For instance, not all cultures have the same ruling when it comes to gambling.

When you scratch the surface, it is more than clear that some of them look favorable to this activity. Furthermore, different understandings of conceptions and destiny can impact someone’s gambling quite a bit. Last but not least, some cultures believe players can influence luck by performing certain rituals, while others don’t believe in something like this. As you can see, culture is a complex subject, and its little elements can have a massive impact.

Illusion of Control

Humans adore the sense of control. Some psychiatrists say this is the fear of death every human experiences. But it is more than clear that having control over all the processes you experience is a mistake. Needless to say, gambling offers you no space for any control. The only game where you can expect some is poker. Still, this does not mean you can will every hand, no matter how good your hands are.

Despite this, many gamblers think they have control over these processes. The easiest way to describe this is to say that it is an egocentric feeling where there is a divine rule that will set the record straight. But this is not the case when you look at this element realistically. There is nothing that will help you do that, no matter how much you try. Some psychiatrists believe that the false sense of control is the biggest enemy of players.

The best example of this happening happens in sports betting. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the teams you bet on will score more points, no matter how open the game might look at the moment. In reality, it is much more likely that teams will embrace a much more careful approach that will not generate more points. Being extremely careful of these potential pitfalls is an absolute must.

Following the Feeling


Among the harshest mistakes gamblers make, you will find relying solely on their feeling. There is practically no gambler who has not experienced this occurrence. Thinking that something will happen just because you think it will has no basis. In fact, those who have experienced this will tell you that the complete opposite happens in most cases. Having a feeling about a bet can hurt your bankroll like nothing else.

While this happens in practically all cases, this happening in sports betting is number one. Why is this the case? Sports bettors usually follow the sport or club they bet on. They gather the information crucial for their decisions during the season. With that in mind, you will find numerous cases when bettors think their feeling is more important than the information they gather, which is highly problematic.

What About Emotions?

Another aspect that significantly impacts how we will bet is our emotions. They play a massive role but are not always visible since most gamblers hide them from potential spectators. It is not uncommon to expect a rollercoaster of emotions when you gamble. Of course, what you will experience depends on a wide array of smaller elements. If you are winning, the chances of you being in a bad mood are slim.

The main reason for experiencing all these emotions is the adrenaline we experience. When we win, the rise of dopamine will skyrocket. As you probably know, dopamine is something that will make you pursue the goal further. But when the opposite happens, there are two potential outcomes. Sometimes, losing will make you give up in the current session. On the other hand, it may help you pursue a way to return on your investment.

That’s probably the most dangerous stage. In that situation, the fear of losing motivates gamblers to take more risks to recover their losses. We cannot stress enough how dangerous this is for the bankroll. Your budget may start to decline at the fastest possible pace. Therefore, it is extremely important to undertake the most patient approach possible. Only by doing so can you remain calm and prevent the decline of your bankroll.


As you can see, countless elements may impact players while they play their favorite casino games. Our minds play tricks on us constantly, so it is essential to be careful. Here, you can find all the major roles of cognitive biases you can experience while practicing his activity.

Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]