The Little Known Psychology of Playing Roulette

The mesmerizing visual of walking into a room of well-groomed gentlemen and stunning women in evening gowns is effortless to imagine. That was, and in some places, the scene around a Roulette table. Especially in a fancy casino.

Little wonder that the trance-inducing gameplay of Roulette has deep psychological underpinnings. For example, let’s take the game as a whole. Betting on Lady Luck comes with a bit of suspense. This uncertainty acts as a solid psychological pull for more. Mirroring life in a game filled with uncertainty and surprises are hallmarks in giving the “Perpetual Wheel” of Roulette a spin.

Roulette wheel - ok

More Psychology to Roulette

Sex, Drugs, and…well, we know the rest of the saying. It is funny how these three activities have a powerful influence on a neurotransmitter in our brains. A specific neurotransmitter (DOPAMINE) has been coined the pleasure neurotransmitter. This is because it is released during pleasurable activities. Interestingly, Dopamine is also released when the reward for something is uncertain. For some, the uncertainty experienced with every roll of the wheel in Roulette spells out a Dopamine release that parallels drugs, sex, and of course, a good rock and roll song.


But that’s not all. Have you noticed that when playing Roulette online, the amount of near-wins is more often than at the physical casino? Perhaps you have not noticed, as it is tricky to pick up on. This near-win response likewise has a strong psychological pull. You see, near-misses, as compared to full-misses, are more pleasurable and increase the desire to spin the wheel again.

After all, a near-miss is proximate to the actual win. “Oh, I was so close.” Or “Wow, I’m going to win next time.” This all adds as a psychological trigger, shooting you towards another and finally, another spin. It is true that while playing Roulette at an online casino, the loss by a long shot is more frustrating. However, this usually spurs on the dedicated gambler to a more profound commitment to winning.

Natural “High” From Personal Choice

Another psychological factor in playing Roulette online is the appearance of having a personal choice. The exciting part is the exciting part of which color, numbers a person chooses, and the ability to spin the wheel themselves. The same neuro-pathways are activated in our brains when playing Roulette as when choosing adrenaline entertainment. It is this same pathway that lights up in drug addiction too. Pretty powerful stuff.

You see when the online gambler has a significant advantage in the chosen category. With their press of a button, they now have spun the wheel themselves. This, again, has a psychological factor. Seemingly, the online gambler is using “personal skill” or strategy to cause the outcome of the “win.” Making online Roulette entertaining.


This personal choice factor brings another dimension to the mass appeal of online Roulette. Unlike Poker or Spades, Online Roulette is a competitive game against yourself. It is your internal competitor and “Lady Luck” you are playing against. Once that wheel is spun, the only thing you are playing against is the fate of what color or number your ball falls on. Not another person holding an opposing hand. A huge plus for many online gamblers.

Enjoying a few moments of online Roulette, without a doubt, is enjoyable. Now you understand a bit of the psychological reasons as to why. So give it a spin and have a relaxing time.

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Sean O'Connell

Content Writer

Sean grew up in a small town in County Kerry, Ireland. He always had a love for storytelling and writing, which led him to pursue a career in content writing. He currently lives in Dublin, where he spends his free time exploring the city and visiting different casinos.

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