An observational investigation of poker style and the five-factor personality model

Steven Caldwell Brown, Laura A. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Little empirical investigation has been made of the relationship between personality and gambling play style. In an observation of on-table poker behavior, this study classified 44 players competing in an amateur league (43 male; mean age 32) according to two main dimensions of play style; tight or loose and aggressive or passive. Superstitious beliefs towards the game were additionally measured. The NEO-PI-R questionnaire (Costa and McCrae, Revised NEO personality inventory (NEO-PI-R) and NEO-five factor inventory (NEO-FFI) professional manual, 1992) was used to measure personality according to the five-factor model. Results showed players with superstitious beliefs to be significantly higher in neuroticism and lower in conscientiousness and than those with no superstitious beliefs. Results approaching significance showed players adopting an aggressive style to be higher in extraversion than passive players and superstitious players to be lower in extraversion than non-superstitious players. Analysis of play style according to age of player revealed a significantly higher mean age among loose compared to tight players. Implications of results concerning validity of these style classifications and potential development in future work are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of gambling studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2010


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