Whether you have been playing at online casinos for years now or you are just registering for your first account, one thing is certain—you want to make the most of your bankroll. You might think the key to doing that is to understand strategies and money management techniques that can lead you to victory, and to some extent, that is true. But none of that is going to get you very far if you do not first understand yourself.
I have noticed that a lot of gamblers are dishonest with themselves about why they are playing. In some cases, this may simply point toward naiveté—a simple lack of self-examination. In other cases, it may be that they are in denial about some aspect of their motivation or essential nature (which can be doubly dangerous for their bankrolls).
Regardless, the more you understand about your own reasons for signing up at an online casino, the easier it will be for you to make sensible decisions that support your gambling and keep you profitable.
Technically, there is not a set number of “types” of online gamblers—it is a broad spectrum. To some degree, more than one of these labels may describe you. Or none of them could. Either way, hopefully this will get you thinking.
Here are 9 types of online casino players!
1. The Casual Recreational Gambler
The vast majority of online (and offline) gamblers fit somewhere in this category, whether or not they fit in one or more of the others.
Casual recreational gamblers are playing mostly or entirely for fun. They are more interested in entertainment than in cash. They are here to kick back and maybe make a little money if they are lucky. But they are not concerned with serious profit.
There are some benefits to being a recreational gambler. For one thing, you have less pressure and less to worry about. You do not have to win all the time. You can lose money and still enjoy yourself, so long as you are managing your bankroll wisely.
You also can enjoy more of what the casino has to offer. You can play games like keno and slots which pros and would-be pros have to largely steer clear of. These games have a high house edge and are not a reliable way to make money—but they sure are a lot of fun.
I would say that there are two very important things you should keep in the forefront of your mind if you are a casual recreational gambler.
The first is money management. Strategy may not be as important for you since you are playing online to have a good time, but money management still matters if you want to stretch your bankroll as far as possible before you bust.
You also need to make sure you are not allocating money for gambling which you would not normally spend on entertainment. In other words, the money for your rent should never go anywhere near your gambling bankroll.
The other thing that needs to be in the forefront of your mind is an acknowledgement that you are in fact a recreational gambler.
In my experience, one of the biggest reasons why online gamblers lose more money than they should is that they refuse to acknowledge the reality of their own motivations.
If you are a recreational gambler at heart, but you keep telling yourself you are a would-be pro, you are going to make dishonest decisions about bankroll and time management.
For example, one common pattern goes like this.
A gambler who tells herself she is striving to become a professional decides she needs to really commit to her cause by pouring her life savings into her account. But because she is not really a pro at heart, she continues to play with loose strategies or no strategies. She is still relying on luck to guide her to the wins she dreams of.
In truth, the idea of becoming a professional gambler is itself entertainment for her. She enjoys telling others about her dream, but she has no honest intention of doing the work.
So she continues losing money—and a lot more of it than she ever would if she were honest about the fact that she is simply entertaining herself.
This sort of behavior is of course unsustainable. Eventually she finds her funds have run dry, she is struggling to pay her bills, and she is exhausted by the effort of pretending. So she gives up and hopefully pulls her life back together.
Imagine how much happier (and financially stable) she would be if she had simply been honest from the off. Acknowledging herself as a casual, recreational gambler, she would never have been tempted to touch anything but entertainment funds. She would ultimately also have had a great deal more fun since she wouldn’t be torturing herself with a dream she has no real plans to achieve.
Gambling online professionally is a great ambition—but remember, there is nothing at all wrong with playing just for fun! Fun is just another kind of profit, and if that is the kind of profit that you are after, then you can maximize your success by acknowledging the fact!
2. The Cheat
This type of gambler is not interested in playing online games fairly for profit. He or she is looking to cheat the system and find a shortcut to making easy money.
Of course, this is not something I would expect the average cheater to mention to anyone else. If this describes you, however, it is something you already are doubtless aware of. Not a lot of people try to cheat on an unconscious level; it involves way too much effort and cunning!
If you are a cheat, there are a few things you should know.
The first is that you probably are not going to be successful. Online casinos take a lot of measures to protect the security and integrity of their games. If you try to hack those games in some way, you will be found out sooner or later.
You also should know that there are no patterns to how these games operate. You might be under the delusion that if you play a slot game long enough, you might un-riddle its secrets and figure out some way to predict its outcomes. But this is not the case, because it is not a mechanical device at all. The results are generated by a random number generator (RNG), and random means random.
If you do manage to somehow succeed at cheating while playing online casino games (or offline games for that matter), you should know that you are spoiling other peoples’ chances at fun and profit. If you are antisocial enough to do it anyway, I do not expect you to listen to this. But I will say it anyway. Spoiling other peoples’ fun is totally uncool, and it gives the entire industry a bad name. So don’t do it.
3. The Gambler Looking for Eye Candy
One type of gambler I have seen in other peoples’ lists is the social gambler. The social gambler kind of makes sense online—there are gamblers for example who play partly because they like talking about gambling on forums. But you cannot really socialize while you are playing at the online casino. There is a chat window if you are playing a game like online poker, but that is still pretty restricted. You probably are not going to meet new friends this way.
So I have decided to replace the social gambler in my list with another kind of gambler—the one who is looking for eye candy.
You may be familiar with live casinos. These are casinos where you can play a table game like roulette or blackjack with a live video feed running. At the other end is an actual dealer. You can see the dealer, but the dealer cannot see you.
Typically online casinos hire beautiful women to work as dealers for their live games. The reasons for this are obvious—they appeal to a certain type of gambler.
Live casino games can be a lot of fun, and if you are smart about how and what you play, they can also be quite profitable. The main thing to keep in mind when you are playing live casino games is whether you are playing mainly to make money, or mainly for entertainment.
Either way, try to ascertain just how big a distraction these lovely ladies are. Remember, they serve two purposes. The first is to get you to the virtual table. The second is to make sure you are paying attention to them, not to your gambling decisions. That way you will lose money.
Being honest about your motives helps you to be honest about your level of distraction. If you are telling yourself your primary interest in live casinos is profit when really it is to ogle the beautiful dealers, you are also not going to be honest with yourself about just how distracted you are. And that means you may not realize your judgment is compromised. This could result in larger losses.
But if you acknowledge you are here mainly to enjoy the lovely dealers, you will be more conservative with your bankroll—and may remember to snap out of it now and again and think a bit harder about the play you are going to make.
4. The Escapist
While entertainment is one of the most common reasons for gambling online, there are some other emotional needs which are served through gambling as well—one of which is escapism.
The online gambler who plays for purposes of escapism is trying to set aside difficult or painful situations or emotions—or find a way to release them. Which emotions these are can vary tremendously from one person to the next. One person might gamble because his or her spouse just left, while another might do it (ironically) to forget that he or she does not make enough money. Still another might gamble to try and escape the reality of being bored with life.
Escapism drives all kinds of recreational activities, and is not in itself necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, taking a step back from our problems allows us to approach them anew with a fresh perspective.
But if you are an escapist gambler, it is important to acknowledge that fact. Otherwise, the same emotions which drove you to get online and gamble may actually cause you to make poor decisions while you are playing. Any emotion that we are desperate to escape is a powerful one, and any potent negative emotion can cause you to go on tilt.
5. The Addict
Researchers are still not in full agreement as to whether gambling is technically a form of addiction or not. Regardless, there are gamblers who exhibit addictive-type behaviors while they are playing.
Whether you call this “addiction” or “problem gambling” or something else altogether, it is imperative to recognize whether you engage in these types of behaviors.
Some people are more prone to addictive behaviors than others. Nonetheless, many gamblers who are usually not compulsive may go through phases of it depending on other factors in their lives.
If you cannot gamble without compulsiveness, you probably should not be gambling at all. If however you are going through a temporary phase of some sort, one of the best solutions is self-exclusion.
Self-exclusion is a program that many online casinos offer. When you apply for self-exclusion, you make an agreement not to gamble at that online casino for a certain period of time (six months for example). During that time, the casino will not allow you to log in. That way, you can take some enforced time off. Sometimes, this is all it takes to hit reset on your behavior, and get back to gambling without compulsion.
6. The Ego-Driven Gambler
While escapism as well as compulsion are two oft-discussed emotional needs driving gamblers, one which I do not see a lot of discussion surrounding is the need to prove oneself.
Yet this is surprising, when you think about it. Most of us can easily call to mind more than a few examples of ego-driven gamblers we have known. These are the players who talk a big talk at the table, but not simply out of a desire to manipulate others. They really are desperate to prove that they have what it takes. When they lose, they often go to pieces emotionally.
Another good place to look for them is on internet forums. You will see them here boasting about their achievements and their strategies, trying to one-up one another. Many of them may cite lofty goals to gamble professionally. Each of them is trying to appear smarter and more competent than the rest— not just to each other, but to themselves as well.
Oftentimes, I think that this ego motive is what leads to dishonesty in various types of gamblers. Previously, I mentioned an example of a gambler who is playing recreationally, but claims to be working towards playing professionally. It could very well be that such a gambler has an intense need to prove herself, and thinks that is impossible without becoming a pro. As such, even though online gambling is not really her occupation of choice, she will continue to assert it is the reason she is playing.
There is nothing wrong with trying to prove to yourself that you are capable of something great. But you do need to be aware of that motive so that it does not muddle your thinking.
You also need to be aware that a strong emotional thirst to prove yourself may cause you to make irrational decisions if you do not keep it in check. It may compel you to stake money you cannot afford, or call when you should fold.
7. The Pro
Finally, we are getting into some less common categories of gamblers online. In fact, the smallest category of all is this one—accounting for only half of one percent of all gamblers, according to data from the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey. Professional gamblers are few and far between, and more often than not, are fairly quiet about how they make a living.
Whether or not they have an ego-driven needs, their main goal at all times is to make money. That often involves equal parts pride and humility. Likewise, it involves a lot of work—not a lot of talk.
Gambling professionally is a wonderful way to gain financial independence, but you should not make the mistake of thinking that it is easy, or that it is something that anyone can do. Very few people actually have the mindset to take on the job. If you are among those few, count yourself lucky indeed.
8. The Would-Be Pro
A much larger group encompasses would-be professionals. These are gamblers who hope to one day gamble either full-time or part-time professionally, but still have not reached that goal yet.
This is a particularly wide spectrum, because would-be professionals include newbies who are at the very start of their journeys, intermediate gamblers, and even advanced gamblers who still have not quite mastered the art.
Would-be professionals are also diverse in terms of their levels of commitment and seriousness. Actually, the vast majority of them probably fit into one of the other categories above better than they fit into this one. They may be recreational or ego-driven, and our lying to themselves about what they really want.
A few however are very committed and quite serious about their intentions to go pro. These gamblers usually are facing a long path ahead with many ups and downs. While self-examination is important for all types of gamblers online, for would-be professionals, brutal self-honesty is an indispensable trait.
Once You Know Why You Are Gambling, You Can Better Manage Your Bankroll, Strategies, and Choices
In many cases, it takes time to get to know yourself and understand what it is that drives you to log in to your online gambling accounts and play each day. Some players who start out dreaming of making a living gambling discover over time that they really are there to have fun. Others who begin casually are surprised to find out later along the line that they actually have what it takes to go pro.
Regardless of what you discover about yourself, the more you understand yourself, the better position you will be in to make smart choices about your bankroll and strategies, and how you manage your time, energy and commitment to online gambling.
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