Casinos are designed to entice players to part with their cash, and it's thanks to a variety of intricately-crafted casino psychology tricks that this is made possible. 

Eye-popping attractions, plush decor, and a dizzying display of audio-visual elements are employed to maximize the appeal of the casino. Interior decorators are an integral component of creating precisely the right motifs, milieu, and mice-en-scene for the casino. 

Their vision is tactically brilliant, strategically flawless, and geared towards attracting the right element needed to generate profits for the casino. The designer’s mandate is clear: fashion the ultimate gaming paradise for players. 

Intricately crafted chandeliers, wall-to-wall carpeting, expansive gaming tables with all the bells and whistles, nattily-clad dealers, and an immersive compendium of games are exactly what the doctor ordered!

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Casino design can make or break a venue. The premier casinos – The Bellagio, Caesar's Palace, and Wynn Las Vegas – spend a fortune on design, to ensure that every guest that walks through the doors is gob-smacked. 

The captivating appeal of these glittering locales is enough to make anyone want to try their luck on slots, card games, and table games. It's almost as if this lavish lifestyle can be yours to enjoy if you part with a few dollars. Casino psychology is designed to make it easier for players to gamble. 

The look and feel of a venue must not be too abstract that players cannot connect with it; it must be enticing enough to pique a player’s interest and function as a call to action at the video slots machines, blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and craps tables. 

Game design is sacrosanct as part of the field of casino psychology. During times of uncertain reward – such as gambling – the brain releases a chemical known as dopamine. In moderation, dopamine acts to elevate the highs when winning, and serves as a deterrent against further losses.

Once you've been wowed by the stunning beauty of a casino, your senses will be captivated by the sights and sounds of the gaming machines, and the tables. 

This is true at land-based casinos and online casino sites too; both venues maximize audio-visual elements to entice players. When all the proverbial ducks are in a row, the appeal of winning outweighs the risks of losing. The ostensible ‘reward uncertainty’ eggs us on. 


Knowing all of this, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that players believe they actually have a good chance of beating the house when every casino game has an inherent house edge built into it. The rationale behind such thinking is vested in casino psychology – this time from the player's perspective. 

Surely, we muse, not everybody can lose all the time because then casinos would be unattractive to players. ‘Maybe, just maybe, today is my lucky day and I will win the slots jackpot!’ Players understand the concept of an RTP and a house edge, yet the prospect of winning is impossible to resist. So, we play!

While we are playing, casino game psychology factors into the equation. We see evidence of this throughout the casino, particularly on slot machine games where a combination of symbols are just 1 symbol short of a jackpot being struck. 

The notion that a machine is ripe for the picking seems to fit the narrative, and so we play hoping to become the next winner. Experts caution that this falls into a psychological state known as a Dark Flow – complete immersion in the game with limited safeguards to prevent deep losses. 

The appeal of playing casino games with near misses is magnetic; players’ brains fill with fanciful ideas about wanting to play more, in order to win more. Players derive a certain degree of satisfaction from playing casino games, even while they are losing. There is the sense that players are finally getting an edge over the casino, creating an impression of skill where Lady Luck runs the show.


1. Casinos always blow jackpot wins out of proportion

2. Lots of visible ATMs

3. Hidden exits, elevators, and restrooms

4. Complimentary alcoholic beverages

5. You're in charge

6. It's so much fun to play and learn how to play casino games

As a player entering a casino, you are already on the back foot. You’re walking into an expertly crafted environment where everything is deliberately positioned to extract as much out of you as possible. 

To be fair, the pleasure of playing at these illustrious resorts is often worth every penny that you gamble at the tables, or the slots. What follows is a listing of psychological tricks used by casinos to attract players and keep them engrossed in the action:


when one jackpot is hit, news spreads like wildfire across print and online media networks. Casinos don't publicize all the losers that walk through their doors.


if there is one place that ATMs will always work, its casinos. And you won't have to look too hard to find one either. They're everywhere.


the next time you visit a casino, try and spot the exits, elevators, and restrooms. Case closed.


it comes as no surprise that casinos want to keep their patrons happy, and one way to do that is to keep them liquored up!


it's astonishing that players actually believe they have an edge when they are playing one-arm bandits, rolling the dice, or placing bets on the roulette table.


try this next time you're in Vegas; step into a casino and experience the atmosphere, then step outside. Chances are the casino is more fun.


In the 1990s and early 2000s, Las Vegas casinos typically followed a maze layout. As its namesake suggests, the maize layout was designed to confuse players to the point where they don't know how to leave the casino. 

To enhance the confusion, there are no clocks, no windows, and no logical flow to the design. Once you get sucked in to this type of casino design, you have no choice but to gamble or get utterly frustrated. 

By 2010, Las Vegas casino design had changed dramatically. New resorts feature high ceilings, lots of smaller machines, golden rays of sunlight, and an overall feeling of comfort and excitement. 

Rather than confusing players through the design, the playground-style casino design makes it easier for players to participate in a high-class gaming experience. Studies suggest that playground-style casino design actually encourages players to gamble more by reducing the negative feelings associated with losing. 

Players may believe that casinos are designed to be confusing, but new studies suggest that it’s the games which are simply too absorbing.

Nowadays, casino design favors clusters of slot machine games which are more social by nature. The old school approach of rows of machines were restrictive and less profitable for casinos. As for casino gaming tables, the more people the merrier. 

Clusters of people tend to invite curious players to participate in the gaming action. This is why casino psychology is so effective at craps tables, roulette tables, and baccarat tables. 


The notable absence of clocks on the walls of casinos has been a subject of intense debate. Are clocks really a deterrent to gameplay? The answer is unequivocal: if people see clocks, they are more likely to quit playing when it's late, interrupt their gaming sessions at mealtime, or plan to see afternoon and evening shows. 

The casino is naturally against interrupting gaming sessions for any reason – since profitability is derived from the table games, card games, and slot machine games. The use of colors is equally important; studies suggest that red lights and rapid-play music encourages more gambling per hour than white lights and little or no music.

Casino psychology is rooted in player numbers. But it's not quite what you are thinking – sometimes, the presence of fewer players encourages more gambling activity. Players with inhibitions feel free to play their natural game when fewer people are present. 

By the same token, there are certain games like craps and roulette which tend to attract large numbers of players when there are plenty of crowds present. The olfactory elements are also a powerful enticement for players. Believe it or not, casinos use scent to invigorate the gaming environment, attracting scores of players in the process.

That’s a wrap! The ins and outs of casino psychology for players who want to know how casinos really work.

About the Author

With digital marketing strategies in his blood, Louis Wheeler has traveled around the world, exploring gambling cultures and gaining experience in casino games from 2003. If you are in a casino anywhere around the planet, you may find him right next to you, playing blackjack, roulette or texas hold'em.