View Seven Types of Gamblers
and which One are You?

Frequenting poker tables at the local casino, watching the lottery every week, playing online casinos or betting on your favorite sports team – gambling comes in various shapes and sizes. So do the gamblers. Recent research have strongly suggested that that not all gamblers are the same.

Different types of gamblers exhibit varying social and personal skills. However, there are common patterns that can be easily spotted among a few gamblers more than others. Based on these behavioral patterns, researchers have found at least 7 gamblers types. Read on to discover where exactly you fit in.


01. Professional Gamblers

Poker stars such as Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu are prime examples of people who make a living by gambling. Since professional gamblers rely on gambling as a primary source of income, they don’t act plainly on intuition. They train themselves to calculate odds quickly and rely heavily on statistics to win consistently.

These kind of gamblers rely on calculative risks to overcome staggering odds. They usually possess high amounts of patience and the ability to avoid ‘tilting’ at times of loss. They also prefer to choose gambling mediums where the outcome is not purely dependent on luck, but also some amount of skill. It is quite easy to spot professional gamblers on TV and in magazines as many of them enjoy the celebrity status. One important thing to note is that majority of professionals in the field of gambling are not addicted to gambling. They fish for the best opportunities to beat the odds and apply their experience and skill to win big.

Casual Social Gamblers

02. Casual Social Gamblers

One can find social gamblers in casinos, social gambling events or even online gambling destinations. Such people usually look to gambling for recreational purposes such as meeting like-minded people, simply to relax on weekends or to catch up with old friends. They do not exhibit any symptoms of gambling addiction and certainly do not neglect their personal or professional duties in the process of gambling.

They perceive gambling as any other recreational activity and thus draw limits to the amount of money and time they invest in the activity. Their choice of gambling will involve games or activities that include other people to be involved. So, you may not find one of these types near the slot machine or betting on their favorite football team online. The frequency of their gambling activities in not really fixed or consistent, and long gaps away from gambling are not too uncommon.

Serious Social Gamblers

03. Serious Social Gamblers

Social gamblers who identify gambling as their primary source of entertainment or relaxation fall under this category. Though they may spend a lot of their time in casino rooms or other gambling venues, it must be noted that they still have a control over their habit. They still prioritize their personal, familial and professional duties and responsibilities over gambling. However still, they may be perceived by people around them as addicts due to the long hours they spend gambling.


04. Relief and Escape Gamblers

When experiencing anxiety, depression or some other sort of emotional distress, many people resort to drinking alcohol or taking drugs. There are also a certain section of people who take to gambling. To them, gambling is sort of a therapeutic experience rather than a euphoric one. However, they should not be confused with compulsive gamblers or similar addicted gambling characters.

They only feel the urge to gamble when faced with emotional turbulence. They usually quit gambling once they are able to sort out their emotional problems in a different way. Medical and psychological therapy can help such kind of gamblers to manage their gambling habits in a much better way while also dealing with their personal issues. Due to their emotional issues, such gamblers may not make the best use of their judgment while gambling and thus are prone to losing big amounts even in short intervals.


05. Personality Gamblers

People who gamble to make monetary benefits illegally are called personality gamblers. They may not be easy to spot unless you are a frequenter to their place of operation or roam in the same social circles. While they can’t be found in the casino winning hands on poker tables or collecting the jackpot at a slot machine, they spend their time fixing sporting events such as horse races. They are also known to host gambling games like poker in private rooms where they resort to using marked cards or sleight of hand to deceive unsuspecting players.

While not all personality gamblers may be gambling addicts, many of them try to abuse the legal system by stating gambling addiction as a reason for their illegal activities. Of all the gambling personality types, this is the one you need to stay wary of. DJ Campbell, an association football player who was convicted of fixing matches while playing for the Blackburn Rovers is an example of a personality gambler.

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06. Conservative Gamblers

The conservative type usually hit the casinos for the experience rather than the winnings. They tend to budget their gambles very sharply and choose games that don’t involve high stakes or high risks. They are far from being addicted to any kind of gambling and do not stray away from personal responsibilities for the sake of beating the odds. You will usually find these people around low-stake tables or penny slot banks. Some of them may even like to try new gambling destinations to add more flavor to the experience they so enjoy.

A lot of ‘gambling tourists’ fall under this category. Unable to gamble in their home countries due to legal issues, many tourists make it a point to visit casinos while traveling to other countries just to soak in the new experience. They usually earmark very minor amounts of money for the occasion and think of it as a once-only experience.


07. Compulsive Gamblers

As the name suggests, these gamblers have no control over their gambling urges. Having lost all control over their gambling habit, these people often give up on themselves after having failed to kick the habit a few times.  They prioritize gambling over all other activities in life, be it personal or professional. They may even disregard serious health issues to spend time at the casino. It is not uncommon for compulsive gamblers to display other signs of addiction such as alcoholism. Generally impulsive in their behavior, these gamblers find it very tough to stick to any job in their routine life and hence, can be found in financial turmoil most of the time.

Many compulsive gamblers at some point or the other, have been found to resort to measures such as lying and stealing to cover up facts or pay outstanding debts. A recent study carried out by researchers at the University Hospital of Bellvitge and the Autonomous University of Barcelona further categorized compulsive gamblers into four different types:

a) emotionally unstable and highly disorganized;
b) suffering from alcoholism:
c) poorly adapted socially;
d) globally adapted personality

They found that the third type (poorly adapted socially) are the most difficult to treat in the long-term. They usually relapse after short breaks and also display classic schizoid symptoms like anti-social behavior and alarming levels of harm avoidance. That, however, doesn’t mean that the other types of compulsive gamblers are easily treated. Any compulsive gambler requires enormous amounts of personal support and motivation to overcome the habit.

Unfortunately, some compulsive gamblers fall back into the habit even after a prolonged break from the gambling scene. American actor Ben Affleck had checked himself into rehab for his gambling addiction in 2011. Other famous personalities who have dealt with compulsive gambling include NBA star Charles Barkley and TV actor Ray Romano.


While it is true that you can earn excessive amounts of money in a very short period if you resort to gambling, it is also important to draw personal and professional boundaries around your gambling habits. Even if you are not addicted to gambling and participate in it only socially, remember to gamble responsibly as even one bad day can lead to financial trouble that will last much longer. Every year, thousands of families and homes are destroyed due to irresponsible gambling habits.

Amongst all the mentioned types of gamblers, no matter where you fall, make sure to gamble responsibly. If you know someone who is facing any kind of gambling issue, do recommend them to get medical or psychological help at the earliest, if necessary. And the next time you hit the casino, try spotting the various kinds of gamblers using the various personality cues you just read about.