Is Vegas in the Cards for You?
New Study Finds Personality Type is a Key Predictor of Success at Poker
The Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking published a study this month that examines the connection between personality type and gambling, Specifically, the question they wanted to answer was this: Do people that are successful at poker share a common personality type? Not surprisingly, their study found that there was a clear link between personality type and winning at poker.
The study determined that people that are the most successful at poker exhibit the following personality traits:
- Cool under pressure
- Doesn’t take things personally
- Tends not to dwell on negative emotions
- Copes well with change and instability
Filtering the findings into the language of DISC, it seems clear that the personality type being described here is the “D-style” personality.
This makes a lot of sense. People with personality type D are risk-takers that can make quick decisions under pressure, are naturally assertive, and can easily adapt to change. Their extroverted nature would make them eager to engage in the face-to-face dynamic that’s involved in Vegas-style table games, and due to their bold and daring style they wouldn’t be scared off by confrontation or fear of failure. D personalities like to take charge and go “all in” at work, so why would it be any different at the poker table?
Of course, winning at poker isn’t the same as liking to play poker. I personality types, for example, share many of the personality traits that would suggest an affinity for poker. They’re extroverted, outgoing, and crave excitement and change. But, the natural impulsivity of an I could sometimes lead to rash decisions, or questionable choices based on the thrill of the moment. Also, the I’s need for excitement and desire to prolong the thrill of the game could make them unwilling to cut their losses and stop when the cards weren’t in their favor. As the study from The Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking points out, people with traits associated with type I personalities may also have a hard time bouncing back from the negative emotions associated with losing at poker.
Other personality types, too, have traits that don’t lend themselves to success at poker as strongly as the D. For example:
- Someone with a C personality wouldn’t be drawn the randomness and lack of control involved in the game. (Unless, for example, they could assert control by learning to count cards.) As introverts, they would also likely shy away from the face-to-face interaction of live poker.
- An S wouldn’t enjoy the instability of the game. The potential for a rapid reversal of fortune and ongoing change within the game would likely cause an S to steer clear of table games.
So in the end, the success you have at games like poker might not be tied to luck or chance. Personality might play as big of a role as the cards you’re dealt.