Given the prevalence of gambling and preponderance of gaming options, efforts to curb problem gambling and promote responsible play for recreational players are of value. The current experiment analyzed choice behavior in the context of blackjack, the associated odds produced by these choices, and the influence of accurate rules (instructions) regarding gameplay. Results found novice players deviate significantly from optimal strategy and adjusted payout rates change as a function of this deviation. For these players, the predicted losses incurred following such strategies deviated significantly from the anticipated outcomes predicted by the odds that are commonly advertised. Next, participants viewed a video that addressed common misconceptions about gambling e.g., “It is good advice to stay in the same seat when I am winning,” the chance nature of gambling, as well as strategy and choice behavior that does influence the odds. Following instruction, self-reported measures of superstition and illusion of control decreased while player choice and odds of winning improved. Simply educating individuals on strategy and expected outcomes may improve gameplay as well as reduce the role of superstition, inaccurate rules, and contextual variables that contribute to problem or pathological gambling.
Worley, Skyler; McClendon, Erykah; Mielke, Avery; and Speelman, Ryan, "Blackjack Player Choice, Superstition, and Calculated Odds of Winning" (2018). Paper Presentations. 17.