While people are all individuals with individual motivations and individual needs and wants, psychologists have identified 7 major types of people from a gambling perspective. While these are generalisations, and while most people tend to exhibit more than one of these types of behaviour, they do help us to understand just who we are playing with and can be useful to both our own style of play and interpreting, analysing and strategising when we’re playing against others.
These profiles are a true indication of the global reach of gambling and, wherever you play and whatever language you speak, our CasinoPlay.com crew are sure you will be able to identify these characters at your next online Live Casino game or real-life gambling event.
It may also be useful to our international audience to read this in conjunction with our articles on The Psychology of Gambling and the 16 Personality Types. As mentioned, people are unique, wonderful, strange, and difficult to figure out, but we all tend to share certain traits and habits. Knowing the different gamblers’ mindset helps us to grow as people and as players. And knowing that these personalities transcend borders, languages, and cultures really drives home just how much this industry has to offer the world.
Without further ado, CasinoPlay.com presents the 7 Gambler Profiles.
The Professional doesn’t believe in luck. For the Professional, luck is a concept for beginners and hobbyists. Even the word ‘gambling’ is something they will avoid because ‘gambling’ implies an element of chance.
The Professional is all about skills, knowledge, research, strategy, training and practice. They pride themselves on their intimate knowledge of, and expertise in, their chosen games. And their games are definitely carefully selected: no slots or roulette for the Professional, those games are far too uncertain. Blackjack and poker – particularly the Live Dealer version at online casinos or the in-person games at land-based casinos where they can put all their skills on public display – these are the games that the Professional takes on.
Some people may perceive the Professional as arrogant but nothing could be further from the truth. What others see as arrogance is supreme confidence in their abilities, in the homework they have put in, in their belief in their strategy and their skills.
The Conservative plays for fun. They are not the sorts of players you will find at a high stakes table. “With great risk come great reward” is not something you will hear them say. They prefer low stakes games and are quite happy to lose small amounts as long as they have a fun time while they play. But they will never put big cash on the table. They are totally risk-averse but, ironically, will have a good time on high volatility games like slots or roulette. Blackjack is another popular game for the Conservative.
Where the Professional knows every single aspect of a game the Conservative is not concerned with the rules. They feel that they can always ask a fellow player for a tip or two if they are really confused. It’s more about an intuition or a gut feeling than getting bogged down in details.
The Conservative will stop playing if they win. Getting one-up over the casino is reward enough and they will not push their luck for bigger wins at the expense of possibly losing at the end of the day because losing money is not fun.
The Escapist gambles to escape reality. Gambling and casinos – both online and land-based – give the Escapist a brief respite from the world around themselves and even from the world within themselves.
For them it’s not about winning or losing but rather about doing something that makes them forget about their problems or challenges and, as such, they don’t tend to favour any particular game. It’s more about the familiar and comfortable environment for them.
The Escapist doesn’t believe in luck because the win is not what they are chasing. They are looking for a way to achieve an inner balance, a channel to relieve pressure. Where some people might look for solace in drinking or drugs, the Escapist gambler uses the games to push reality away for a little while.
Unfortunately for the Escapist, this behaviour can lead to unhealthy gambling practices. The lack of concern over the ultimate outcome – the win or loss – can lead to massive monetary problems. The use of the gambling environment to achieve some semblance of ‘balance’ can also lead to isolation in their personal or professional life.
The Escapist does often recognise that the behaviour can become problematic and therefore less of an escape and more pf a prison and they will often seek professional help to break the cycle.
The Casual Social gambler, like the Escapist, is after some fun. Unlike the Escapist though, the Casual Social is not looking to get away from problems but rather spend some time with friends or family in a setting that gives them the chance to get out and be seen.
For them, the thrill is more about dressing up, going somewhere, socialising and maybe putting a bit of money on a game and seeing what happens. It’s about the group, the crew, the people, and being seen by other people.
The Casual Social doesn’t have a particular game but tends to prefer more ‘classy’ venues and games that have a social cachet like roulette or baccarat. Greyhound and horse racing is another place where they can achieve their social standing goals. Land-based casinos, especially high-class ones, are a favoured venue.
Being seen as a ‘problem gambler’ by family or friends is the ultimate no-no for the Casual Social so they do not gamble regularly but will take a chance on lottos – when they remember.
This is the Casual Social taken to another level, a sort of halfway between the Professional and the Casual Social. Gambling is a source of fun but also a way to make some cash. They will bet on pretty much anything – sports, slots, tables, even a comment in a bar.
They chase the challenge and do a lot of research into their games. Team analysis, statistics and trends for sports, strategies and tips for casino games.
The Serious Social has spare money to burn and will invest heavily in their favourite games. Much like a cyclist will spend happily on the latest bike and gear, the Serious Social will put up the cash to ensure they are having a good time.
What sets them apart from the Professional is that gambling is a hobby, a serious hobby but still something that is a companion to life rather than a driving force.
For the Personality gambler, gambling is life. Not so much in that it controls everything they do but more in that it is all they talk about. They see themselves as mavericks, as the bad boys of the chance world. High end casinos are far too mainstream for the Personality – if you’re not in a back room of a bar around a smoky table with a glass of rotgut whiskey at your elbow staring down a dude called ‘The Russian’ are you even gambling?
The Personality is all about the ego never about the fun. Gambling is serious and, while they will know the rules and strategies of their chosen game intimately, they will never waste time on pure chance games like slots. Texas Hold’em poker is their game of choice, where they can bet big, take risks, bluff and call and watch the other players’ eyes for the tell.
And then, of course, tell everyone else about their big games.
This is the most dangerous, and the most tragic, of the gambler types. The Compulsive is that player who starts out trying the games for fun and then spirals into a cycle of dependency and loss chasing that takes over their entire life.
The compulsive is a personality type that can be seen everywhere. It’s those people who let a compulsion completely dominate everything they do. For some it’s alcohol. For others it’s drugs. There are even compulsive personalities who let seemingly innocent or innocuous activities rule their ever day like religion or video games or collecting tattoos.
The Compulsive may have started out having fun and then hit a big win. Perhaps the thrill of that win causes them to gamble for longer than they should and leads to losses. The losses then lead to further gambling to try and make the money back and they are caught in a self-destructive cycle that can ruin lives, jobs and relationships.
The Compulsive often doesn’t even realise what the lifestyle is doing to them. Everything becomes secondary to chasing the win and the endorphin high. Every spin or hand becomes the ‘last one’.
Many Escapists find themselves caught up in their new worlds and graduate into the Compulsive personality, but this is more of an underlying tendency to compulsion rather than an escape gone wrong – and a very apt example of how overlapping personality types can often morph into a dominant one.
As an international gambler, do you see yourself in any of these 7 types? Maybe you’re a bit of one and a bit of another or a mix of all of them?
Whatever gambler personality type you think you are, always remember to play responsibly, to pay attention to what is happening, and watch what your bankroll is doing.
One of our recommended additions to this list of personality types would be the Responsible Gambler, the gambler who knows that there is always another day. The gambler who takes a break, walks away, and plays again another day when Lady Luck may smile on them.