Gambling is such a lucrative multi-million dollar industry that every single aspect of play is analysed and used to give the house the best chance of making profit from its players. This includes using science and psychology to their advantage. Here are a number of those tricks casinos use.
Get Players Stimulated
The most obvious psychological technique used by casinos to keep players gambling is by stimulating them at the table. The minute players walk into a casino they are greeted by a thriving environment of sound, colour, and noise. The casino floor is somewhere that someone would never be able to sleep and that is exactly what the casino owners want. They want players switched on, they want players wired, and they want players that do not want to leave the venue.
Lose Their Way
One minute players are playing on the slot machines nearest to the entrance. Two hours later they are on their fourth casino game and they are now swallowed in the maze of table games, video poker machines, and fixed odds betting terminals. The maze-like layout of a casino floor is not just because the casino is trying to fit as many games into a small space. They want players to lose their way. They want players to be unable to find their friends or the exit. It is a gambling labyrinth and they never want you to leave.
Cash In The Chips? Not So Fast
It has come to that time in the evening when players are all gambled out and want to leave. They gather their chips and grab their coat before heading to the cashier desk. Wait a minute! Where is the cashier desk? Of course, it's only right at the back of the casino so players have to pass every single casino game on the way. It is a method that is similar to live advertising. Players will be exposed to every game in the casino and the management is hoping that one of them might tickle the players' fancy. It might not even be this time but next time they might remember what they have seen.
You're Not Immune Online!
Online gambling and casinos have seen explosive growth in the last few years, offering easy and 24/7 access to thousands of casino games via desktop and mobile devices. You might think that being away from the bright lights of a live casino would mean psychology wouldn't come into it - but you'd be wrong.
Websites are continually 'split tested' to see which graphics, colours and games work better. Enticing looks and interesting sounds are designed to keep players engaged and spending. Meanwhile, things like welcome bonuses can keep players spending so they can 'rake through' the amount needed to get their hands on the bonus money.
Games like online poker are slightly different, focussing more on the psychology between the players themselves. With acts like bluffing or 'levelling', the aim is to figure out the thinking behind the moves of each player. You can gain more information on Poker.de, which is a portal for online poker players in Germany.
Stop All The Clocks!
The illustrious poet WH Auden might have coined the timeless phrase of "Stop all the clocks..." but the casinos have taken it and made it their own. If players hope to find the time on the casino floor then they had better have packed their watch or mobile phone. There is never a single clock displayed in a casino simply because casinos do not want players knowing how long they have been gambling for. They want players to lose themselves in their play and lose all concept of time. Time flies when people are enjoying themselves. Even more so when they cannot keep track of time.
Free Food and Booze
Sorry, come again? Free food and alcohol? That is too good to be true, surely? Well, yes and no. It is true that a large number of casinos will offer players free food and drink. The simple reason for this is that casinos want their players to be satisfied. Happy gamblers do not leave the casino floor. Gamblers that are hungry or thirsty might stop playing. This might seem like a huge perk to some players but the majority of players will have paid for their food and drinks and then some by the time they have finished at the tables. It's psychological genius by the casinos.
This loosely relates to keeping players stimulated. The vast array of colour schemes used in casino carpets is similar to those that one might experience during an LSD trip (allegedly!). The bold colours and blends keep the brain ticking and this makes players more stimulated and eager to gamble. It could also be argued that the colour clashes cover up a host of stains and fluids... possibly.
Well, no daylight to be more precise. This touches upon the losing track of time aspect of things. Casinos know that players can use day light and night time to work out what time of the day it is. Banishing all natural light from the casino floor ensures that players have no idea what time of day it is. It also means that if players have been on the casino floor for a number of hours over the night then they will not know when the sun rises until they leave... which may be never.
So Near, Yet So Far
The biggest psychological trick casinos use is letting players feel that the big win is within touching distance of their grasp. Everyone has been there if they have gambled where they have been one number, one card, or one spin away from triggering a massive jackpot prize. Even though the odds of hitting such a gigantic cash pay out are so remote players are made to believe they can do it. Their optimism is charged and their desire to make the seemingly impossible become a reality is overwhelming. This is not luck. This is an intentional ploy by casinos. If players don't win then the casinos want them to believe that they almost won. These near misses are key to keeping players playing.