Critical Play: Chances

I played Club MatGo developed by HanGame, which is an online version of the traditional South Korean gambling game, GoStop.

The game operates in a simple way. You can win points by matching chips in the same set, and there are 12 sets of four. If you score 3 or more, you can choose to either ‘Go’ or ‘Stop’. If you Go, the stake increases (with you still ahead of others), if you stop, you stop there and win the reward.

GoStop depends heavily on probabilities.

Playing this game, I noticed a very distinct manifestation of a dual mentality, both in the way that players said it on the chat and the way I reflected on the game.

  1. Once you win, you attribute it more towards your skills and strategising abilities. (“I’m glad that I Go-ed which doubled my rewards.”)
  2. Once you lose, you think about what would have made you win, and attribute it to the luck and probability element of the game. (“I lost because of that moment when there was a third card in my flip, which prevented me to score, how unlucky of me.”)

Comparing this with other games

I think it has more agency element to it compared to games like BlackJack, but the predominant element that determines the winner of this game is what cards you draw. This game does a masterful job at creating the illusion of agency, adding to its addictiveness. While it may be possible to have sense of what cards are remaining based on the cards drawn so far, it is very difficult for ordinary people to strategise based on precise probabilities.

I thus found this game to be vastly more addictive than other gambling games that I have learned so far.





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