6 Types of Gamblers: Understanding the Science Behind Risk-Taking

by Stephen R. Tabone
12 Jul 2023

Stephen is a high roller. However, this was not always the case. First, he was a brick-and-mortar denizen. Then, he shifted to online gambling (and we all know why, don’t we?). With the rise of cryptocurrencies, Stephen realized how much more it could help him get the most out of his gambling experience. By trial and error, through multiple losses and seven-figure winnings, he finally has tremendous sway with high rollers. Learn wisdom by the follies of others as it will save lots of your time and thousands of your money.

Gamblers at a Roulette table 
6 Types of Gamblers

Each player chooses a certain playing style, even if they did not even spend time choosing it! The absence of a strategy is also a strategy, but will one or another path lead the player to fun and success? Is it true that professional gamblers are fearless and always remain in the black? Today we will look at the different types of gamblers and how games affect their lives.

We will discuss such types of gambling playstyles as:

  • The social gambler
  • The professional gambler 
  • The problem gambler 
  • The escape gambler
  • The compulsive gambler 
  • The casual gambler

Each of the gamblers has not only their specific style for online gambling but also their reasons for playing in general. Each type of player has different goals besides winning, and we will look into this in detail.

1. The Social Gambler

A social gambler came to watch the game and also placed a couple of bets
For her, the main thing is not victory, but participation and joy in the process

I would call social gamblers those gamblers who merely like to play. I understand that this may sound rather bland, but these players do not enjoy winning or their luck primarily. The most significant thing for them is the gameplay itself! 

So, big wins are good, but it is not their main goal. With social players, everything is not so simple, and they can differ from each other by several criteria. Dr. Robert L. Cluster, in his classification of the 6 types of gamblers, divided social gamblers into casual and serious gamblers. 

The casual social gambler

Casual social players have their take on online gambling; they get the most out of it. Such gamblers get the maximum pleasure from the game process. They consider online gambling as one of their hobbies, but nothing super important. Also, they rarely place bets, as this is just one of many forms of recreational activity. Casual social players will likely play for free with their friends or online. 

I would compare such gamblers to popular sports fans. They like to watch football and basketball matches without delving into details, and sometimes they make minimum bets to make watching the game a little more interesting. However, when a casual player places a bet, they are unsure of the result and do not focus on it since it is important for them not to win but to participate. Of course, if they win a major prize in a game, they will happily boast of their results. 

The serious social gambler

Unlike casual ones, serious social players gamble online because it is their main entertainment source. Because of this, they can be seen gambling much more often than the first type. An example is a person who has a certain hobby but needs a thrill and makes a bet. Or we can imagine a person who has little interest in anything that does not give an adrenalin boost, and therefore their only source of entertainment is online casino games.

However, the serious social gambler has a common characteristic with the casual social gambler. They have great control over their gaming habits. But if the first players get it by themselves, the second ones need to set a limit to not harm their finances. Without limits and other hobbies to enjoy their free time, they can lose control of themselves and spend more money than planned. That happens infrequently for a serious social gambler, but it is possible, so setting limits is necessary.

Social gamblers are completely safe as they are not prone to addiction to casino games. Thus, they enjoy victories, do not get stressed by losses, and use casino games for their intended purpose — entertainment and nothing more.

2. The Professional Gambler

Professional gambler came to win
He is completely confident in himself because he worked on the perfect strategy

We often see on the Internet such headlines as “How to be a pro gambler?”, “7 tips for becoming a professional gambler!” and stuff like that. However, is a professional gambler such a charming and attractive character?   

Let’s start with the fact that professional gamblers use casino games for money-making purposes. If we read the Terms and Conditions of any quality online casino, we will see that gambling is for entertainment, and players should not turn it into their main way of earning. Well, professional gamblers completely ignore this advice. Their goal is not a pleasant pastime but a big win for which they will play by building various strategies. For them, gambling is primarily a job that brings them money, not a way to relax or have fun. 

However, the designation of this type of gambler appeared for a reason, because they perfectly understand what they are doing. That is a full-time gambler who is well-versed in casino games, chooses the best online casino sites, uses proven strategies, creates their own ones, and treats them responsibly. No passion, just cold calculation and waiting for the best bets to get the maximum win.

Of course, professional gamblers may get upset if their strategy does not work out as they expected. However, they will not continue the game and harm their wallet as they understand this will not bring them the desired result. Instead, they will stop to gamble online, analyze their actions, build a new, more successful strategy, and return with renewed vigor to achieve their goal.

Is becoming a professional gambler worth it? Their professionalism and experience can be envied because they deserve to be called professionals due to their incredible skills. However, since they see online gambling as their job, they do not get due pleasure from gambling. I would not recommend making it your work where the “salary” mostly depends on your luck. 

3. The Problem Gambler

The problem gambler cannot bear the stress of gambling but still playing
This will continue until his stress levels peak

Problem gamblers have one of these types of gambling playstyles where the game has negative consequences due to their lack of control. Such players begin to get involved in gambling online for various reasons, and it is often difficult to stop them from harming themselves financially. Of course, their situation is not as terrible as that of compulsive gamblers since they get more stressed and nervous during the game. The online gambling process for such players has two outcomes: they postpone the game due to failures (often accompanied by high levels of stress, anger, and uncontrollable aggressive behavior) or continue to play further to win back. 

If they decide to postpone the game because they get angry, they will return to it after a while to try again. Casino games are dangerous for such players, as uncontrolled emotions often lead to irrational actions. Accordingly, it stresses players and can also lead to losing an unplanned amount of cash and wasting time.

There are different types of problem players:

Emotionally vulnerable gamblers:
As a rule, such players have a form of emotional dysregulation. They are easily “flammable,” and their reactions are overly intense. They might experience challenges with decision-making. 
Behaviorally conditioned gamblers:
These gamblers start gambling for social or recreational reasons but continue to play because of conditioned behavior that makes it difficult for them to stop.
Antisocial impulsivist gamblers:
They have anti-social personality traits and are impulsive, as a result of which the game can bring them even more stress instead of entertainment. Such players also might avoid difficult emotions, which makes them “skip” the analysis stages. So, they will likely make the same mistake twice, thrice, and more times. 

Problem gamblers usually do not use any strategies and play without getting much pleasure. That is because it is difficult for them to concentrate. After all, they experience a lot of negative emotions during the game. 

Due to certain behavioral and emotional problems, they only worsen their condition and can become addicted to casino games. If you have acquaintances, relatives, or friends who are problem gamblers, then you should talk to them about it to prevent the development of gambling addiction. 

4. The Escape Gambler

The escape gambler is completely immersed in the process of the game
He does this to forget about his pain for a while… 

The escape gambler is another type who needs help and support. That is one of the types of gambling playstyles when players start gambling online not because they want fun but to escape reality. 

So, people who experience stress, depression, anxiety, loneliness, or boredom look for a place to “escape” from the problems that consume them and often find solace in casino games. Such players do not want to learn how casino games work or adhere to certain rules. They do not go into details about this but still spend quite a lot of time on this activity.

Escape gamblers do not use any strategies and do not strive to win. They prefer to play only casino games of luck, such as slots, lotteries, or keno. If social gamblers see this as a way to have fun, then for these players, it is a way to forget about the situations they suffer from. 

However, it is also difficult for such gamblers to stop, not because they crave big wins or are interested in the game process, but because this is the only way for them to “hide.” The only saving grace is that these players rarely bet big and do not overspend as much as problem gamblers. Their dependence lies in the gameplay, not good results or certain aspirations. 

Escape gamblers who get rid of their physical or emotional suffering often lose interest in casino games and never return to them. Or they become casual social gamblers who perceive online gambling as a way to have fun. If you suspect your friend or relative is an escape gambler, please help them get the proper psychological and physical support. 

5. The Compulsive Gambler⚠️

The compulsive gambler has lost everything and does not plan to stop
Even if he decides to stop himself, it will not be easy

The Compulsive Gambler differs from other players because they cannot control their game process AT ALL. Online gambling is the most important thing for such players, and they are ready to sacrifice everything just to play a little longer. In this case, gambling is an addiction that only progresses since such a player cannot control themself and often does not even want to make an effort. Therefore, a compulsive gambler is ready to give up family, work, friends, and any other joys in life just for the sake of games of chance, as apart from that, they are not happy with anything else.

The compulsive gambler also sees online casinos as a way to make money. However, they differ from professional gamblers, especially regarding game control. For professional gambling enthusiasts, this activity is a job. Yet, it is a direct addiction with horrible consequences for the compulsive gambler type.

Compulsive gambling is also called ludomania. Such players are willing to risk something dear to them, hoping to get something even more valuable. Gambling can stimulate the brain’s system in the same way that drugs or alcohol can, leading to addiction. 

Compulsive gamblers differ from all other types of gamblers because they can harm themselves and those around them. And I am talking not only about relatives and friends but also about people completely unfamiliar to them. These players may resort to stealing and fraud to support their addiction. 

Like any disease, compulsive gambling has certain symptoms you should consider:

  • The need to constantly raise the rate not to lose the thrill.
  • The player constantly talks about games and plans something. Always strive to win more and more; they have no limits. 
  • They experience anxiety and irritability when trying to reduce their gambling. 
  • Loss chasing is their main pastime. 
  • They lie to friends and family to hide their losses.
  • Risk of job loss due to gambling online.

If you know such a person, you should contact certain organizations that can provide them with proper treatment.

6. The Casual Gambler

The casual gambler having a great time
He is here to have fun, so why worry about anything else?

I would describe the casual gambler as between a casual and serious social gambler. That is the so-called golden mean to which all responsible gamblers strive! The casual gambler plays outside of a professional or competitive environment and simply enjoys gambling online as this is their way to have fun, like casual social gamblers. However, they bet much more often, but this is not their only way to entertain themself. That is a harmless way for them to add excitement to their lives and enjoy casino entertainment.

Unlike social gamblers, they may get upset if they lose, but they will not adopt the habits of compulsive gamblers and will be able to stop in time. They start gambling online with clear limits on bets and winnings, which protects them from unplanned expenses. 

Such players rejoice in their winnings but do not strive to win more. Gambling online gives them positive emotions; if it happens otherwise, it is not a problem for them to immediately stop the game. In this case, they will return to gambling when their good mood returns. While problem gamblers increase their stress levels by playing games, casual gamblers, on the contrary, decrease it.

Casual gamblers pay attention to games that suit their interests and do not focus on games that can bring more money. Their goal is entertainment and nothing more; winning will be a nice bonus for them. If an online casino has a chat that allows them to communicate with other gamblers, they will gladly make new friends! 

That is one of the best types of gamblers, as they get all the greatest emotions online gambling can give a player. At the same time, they will not suffer from this due to good self-control and understanding of their goal. If you visit an online casino website to have fun and do not have any certain expectations from the results, then you are guaranteed a good time. 


Each gambler has different reasons for gambling online and experiences different emotions from playing, winning, or losing. 

I want to note that social and casual gamblers play correctly among all the listed types of gamblers. These types adhere to all the rules of gambling, allowing them to get positive emotions while avoiding unpleasant situations. They may lack the professionalism of the pro gambler, but casino games are primarily fun, and it is not that important. 

Do you recognize yourself or someone you know by reading about such types as escaping or compulsive gamblers? In that case, please talk about it with family and friends. Gambling addiction should not be a stigma; people care about how you feel. Here is the responsible gambling guide if you need more resources that can help you overcome this challenge. 

And on this note… May all the gods of luck be on your side during your next session! 

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What ORDB focuses on during trying, testing, and trialing a casino for review.

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