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Instinct or intellect: Which should rule your game?

Instinct or intellect: Which should rule your game?


It isn’t just the monetary incentives that draw people into the world of online casinos and betting. The innate appeal of these pastimes is deeply connected to the rush of emotions you feel when placing a bet and the feeling of triumph when the odds work in your favour. Although this emotional aspect gives bitcoin casino games much of their lasting appeal, letting these emotional highs and lows control your strategies in your chosen game is a sure-fire way to accrue losses and take away your enjoyment in the long run. In this short article, we will give you an overview of the emotional side betting and how to use both instinct and intellect to your advantage when formulating a playing strategy.

Emotional decision making – what to avoid

Impulsive decision making is linked to several factors, both physical and emotional, and is particularly likely in times of high stress or cognitive load. These create conditions where your willpower, especially as it relates to your ability to stick to a chosen strategy, is seriously depleted. When bitcoin gambling online, the following behavioural patterns often lead to making instinctive decisions.

Thinking the odds are in your favour. Often, the successes of players in specific games leads them to think that the odds are somehow stacked in their favour. In games of pure chance, this is an unrealistic, and potentially negative, mindset to have, as it could lead you to become overly optimistic in your strategies. As such, it is important to not let emotions cloud your judgement and to keep your overall strategy in mind to ground you.

Managing your emotional instincts

Psychological studies have supported these patterns of behaviours among live casino players, with subjects tending to make instinctive or impulsive decisions when there is increased activity in the parts of their brain dealing with emotions. For this reason, it is important to develop good playing habits that allow you to manage both your emotions and instincts.

Experiencing the lows of defeat. The reverse is also true, and sometimes when you have a few bad hands or turns, it is easy to get sucked into “chasing your losses”. This sort of instinctive playing can quickly derail your progress, and in such circumstances, it is wise to sit out for a few turns while you rethink your strategy.

Experiencing the highs of a winning streak. When you are experiencing the emotional highs of a winning streak, it is easy to let your instincts get the better of you. In such circumstances, you could find yourself willing to place more bets or to make more moves than you ordinarily would.

Managing the peaks between emotional highs and lows is crucial to long-term betting success, which requires a balance between strategy and instinct. Generally, players will feel unstoppable when on a winning streak and erratic when the odds reverse. In both circumstances, less-experienced players will be tempted to go with their instinct and stray from the strategy that got them to win in the first place. In such moments, it is vitally important to take a step back from the decision and consider it in the context of the bigger picture – how does this decision fit into your grand strategy?

Becoming a more strategic player

Setting out a few simple rules or betting principles that you won’t deviate from does much to lessen the chances of instinctive or impulsive betting. To this end, setting out elements of your strategy, such as bankroll size, your unit size and which methods you will use to choose bets, are all good options to start with. Setting your own personal rules within which you will play a game will go a long way to lessening the risk of impulsive decisions.

To this end, the following ground rules can act as a rough guide to help you formulate a basic strategy.

  • Never increase unit size because of recent losses – be consistent
  • Give yourself a cooling-off period after each bet – win or lose
  • Pause for a moment before placing a bet, reflecting on how it fits your overall strategy

When to leverage instinct – the upsides of emotion

Although much of this article has focused on the potentially negative side of using emotion when making betting decisions, there are some surprising upsides to using an instinctive strategy that you can leverage to your benefit.

Often, an apparently instinctive playing style can mask a much deeper reality. Over time, your brain will archive a vast amount of data and information deep within the innermost recesses of your subconscious. The human mind has an incredible ability to parse through this and choose the right decision in the heat of the moment, often entirely subconsciously. In such circumstances, it is sometimes better to trust your instinctive judgement rather than suffering from paralysis by analysis. Indeed, the moves made by a rookie player are going to be much different from those made by a seasoned veteran. One caveat to bear in mind, however, is that this applies only to more experienced players with a good grasp of the game, as newer players simply have yet to build up the same level of experience. Over time, you might find yourself much more comfortable relying on your instincts when formulating a playing strategy.


Anyone who has been betting for any length of time knows how difficult it can be to control emotions during an exciting game. For many, this is precisely what keeps them coming back to the table – virtual or otherwise. Knowing how these emotions are affecting your playing style, however, is crucial to long-term success. With the above tips, tricks and strategies, you will be better equipped to do this and to use instinctive playing to your competitive advantage. With that in mind, follow the link and get started playing with Bitcasino today!

Words: Sean McNulty
Images: Shutterstock


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Instinct or intellect: Which should rule your game?
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