The Effect of Skilled Gamblers on the Success of Less Skilled Gamblers


  • Nigel E. Turner Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, E-mail: <email xlink:href=""></email>
  • Barry Fritz Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut, USA



This paper uses computer simulations to examine the effect of highly skilled gamblers on the success of moderately skilled gamblers. It shows that skilled players negatively impact the outcome for less skilled players. A player's winnings are not only affected by the house rake or vigorish but also by the skill of other players. It is concluded that less skilled players are often better off playing a game of chance than a game of skill.

It is our contention that professionals in the field of gambling studies can gain a great deal of insight into problem gambling by closely examining the games gamblers play. The purpose of this article is to examine some differences between games that involve some skill and those that involve only chance in order to help treatment and prevention workers understand the dynamics of these games. For example, understanding the nature of the game and its effects on the individual gambler can help a therapist understand a client's motives and beliefs, which may facilitate a more individualized, client-centered approach to the treatment.






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