Science of pleasure in rewards
Almost all gamblers know that they will lose in the long run, and for many this is absolutely fine. People tend not to play in order to win money – although, of course, any wins will be gladly accepted and enjoyed! Instead, they play for the thrill, the buzz of potential that comes with every turn of the cards or roll of the dice.
These feelings of hopeful anticipation are emphasised when the game offers rewards and bonuses to keep players playing for longer than they might otherwise have done. Now, most people know that rewards like this would not be offered unless it was worth it to the casino in the long run, so why do they keep on playing, even though logic tells them that they are unlikely to win big?
It is very simple: as stated above, people love to play. Win or lose, that eternal hope keeps a player coming back for more and more – and having periodic rewards to enjoy and use along the way can make them feel as though they are winning, even if only on a small scale.
Receiving bonuses feeds our reward centre, and can even offer a greater rush of pleasure because the reward is ‘unearned’ – in other words, it has simply been given to us. Having now what the brain thinks of as ‘free’ chances to play, we are more inclined to stay on and play on, as our adrenaline kicks in, making us focus intently on the game – sometimes to the point of ignoring people talking to us during our turns!
Our brains, when on an adrenaline-fuelled high, do not take risks into as much consideration as they might otherwise do, and this drives us to take greater risks in order to win greater rewards. This explains why, with every bonus we receive, how we are more inclined to remain in the game, playing on and on, in search of the next gambling high and constantly in hope of the next big ‘win’ – even if we know logically how very unlikely it may be!
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