The role of chips in poker gambling: An empirical pilot study


In the general consumer literature, it has been claimed that the more transparent the payment form, the less likely a person will spend the money. This means that people are more likely to buy goods and services with virtual representations of money (e.g., credit cards) than with real money. These observations have also been made in reference to people who spend money gambling. It has also been asserted that the psychological value of virtual representations of real money (e.g., chips, electronic cash [e-cash], tokens, smart cards, etc.) is less than real money. Therefore, this study examined how much money poker players {(N=40)} gambled when playing Texas Hold'em Poker using either chips or real money to make bets. Results showed that participants gambled significantly more with chips than with real cash. The finding suggests that it might be more socially responsible for gaming operators to provide the option for their clientele to gamble with real money rather than make them convert it to chips, tokens, credits and/or smart cards.

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