Special features of poker

Abstract

Poker is now one of the most popular types of online gambling, mostly because of its particular structural characteristics. This study aims to investigate the representations of regular poker players of the game's special features, along with their probable links with tilt (i.e. loss of control during the game) and problem gambling. Twenty-three regular poker players recruited online took part in a research interview. All interviews were recorded and fully transcribed. A quantitative lexical analysis was performed using the software AlcesteĀ®. Six classes were identified, encompassing 73% of the whole corpus. The main themes were chance vs. skill, sensations and emotions linked to poker, discovery of poker, tilt, differences between live and online gambling, and risks of excessive poker involvement. The experience of tilt appears to be an important feature of poker. Poker players also tended to report more emotional and social aspects of problem gambling than financial consequences. The results underline the structural specificities of poker through the player's representations. The role of emotions and sensations in poker, as they are both sought by the players and involved in the loss of control, may have an influence on the development and maintenance of problem gambling.

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