So when it comes to casino games, is it possible to define which gender has the skill, the commitment, and the ability to win? Is there a pattern to spot when it comes to winning? And is it related to gender at all?
The biggest ever win recorded is that of Archie Karas, who enjoyed a three-year winning streak that turned $50 into over $40 million. And according to this list of biggest Vegas casino payouts, men are winning bigger jackpots hands down. Five of the six top winners are men, with just one female mention. We’re sure she’s not complaining with her win of over $8 million in her seventies, but why are the results so disproportionate? Is it because of biased reporting or is it simply that women are trailing behind when it comes to winning casino games?
It’s all in the brain…
Some psychologists believe the main difference between men and women at the tables comes down to basic instincts. All people experience desire, such as the desire to gamble, and this is usually based on the idea that a perceived risk will achieve a certain reward. For example, lying about something might be wrong but it could help prevent a best friend getting into more serious trouble, a job interview may end in failure but it might lead to the perfect job – or at the very least, increased confidence. Likewise, gambling may lead to money loss, but it might also lead to winnings.
When it comes to applying these principles at a casino, research seems to show that on average, women have a more calculated view of the risks involved and play more cautiously. This means they see casino games differently. In general, women are less thrill seeking – they enjoy gambling as entertainment, and an opportunity to interact socially. On the other hand, findings suggests that men are more inclined to try and dominate their rivals and prove their worth in a competitive manner which leads to more aggressive playing – and bigger stakes.
So who plays what?
All of these internal shenanigans are thought to impact the type of games that men and women play. Land-based casino research suggests that women tend more towards slots and keno – straight forward games, played against the house that require little concentration so the social element can be enjoyed. On the other hand, men prefer games with a more competitive element such as Blackjack or Poker, with bigger bragging rights attached. There are always exceptions to the rule, of course, but these are the average findings.
Another aspect is intimidation; studies have shown that women may feel uncomfortable in the male-dominated environment of table games in a casino, and that’s partly why some women prefer to stick to the Slots areas. Interestingly, both men and women enjoy Roulette, but on the whole, men still tend to play for higher stakes.
But it’s different online…
Online casinos have brought a different element to playing casino games – they allow for anonymity. This means that the way men and women are seen to play is changing. Statistics show that four times as many women are playing online, compared to just a couple of years ago. Why? Partly anonymity, and, it seems, partly convenience.
When you play online via a username, there is no indication of what gender you are unless you make it obvious. The availability of low stakes games and 24-hour provision available online could be part of the reason behind why women are becoming increasingly interested in casino games as a form of entertainment.
But this could also impact the suggested stereotypical behaviour in male players. Without the face-to-face elements that research suggests inspires dominant behaviour, male players that edge towards more competitive play can also enjoy anonymity – so can also enjoy a more relaxed, lower stakes games.
So who wins?
Unfortunately, we’ll have to sit on the fence with this one. It seems that where people play has more of an impact on winnings and attitude than gender.
More women are definitely starting to play, and also more frequently, and it’s worth noting that the biggest wins displayed online by casinos often go by Username, with the gender of the person remaining anonymous – so it’s no longer as easy to determine who is winning the most in terms of cash.
Of course, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below!