Critical Play: Games of Chance

For this critical play, I played poker online. I have played poker a lot in person, but this was my first time playing online. I noticed that the chat was an extremely important mechanic, since without it the size of bets is the only way to have any real element of skill in the game. Using the chat, I was able to manipulate other players, making them think I bluffed them when I didn’t, attacking their confidence, and riling up their emotions. One hand, I underestimated one of my opponent’s hands, and I all of sudden, I was all-in with only 5 outs on the river. Fortunately, I hit one of them, living to see another day. My opponent reacted strongly in chat, saying that the RNG was rigged and there was no way I should’ve won that hand. It reminded me of how, in Randy’s lecture, people don’t always think of probability in logical ways. When they win something with poor odds, it makes sense, but when they lose with good odds, it seems impossible. Being on either end of an unlikely interaction could make players more likely to continue playing and lose themselves in the game. Winning would make a player feel invincible, giving them huge rushes of dopamine, and losing would elicit and equal but opposite response, enraging the player and driving them into a sunk cost fallacy. However, the probability must be tuned in order to create these effects, because if a player loses in unlikely ways repeatedly, they can become disillusioned instead of just frustrated.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.