Practice Makes Poorer: Practice Gambling Modes and Their Effects on Real-Play in Simulated Roulette

Jana Bednarz, Paul Delfabbro, Daniel King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine the role of free-play modes on gambling behaviour in computer-based roulette. Eighty participants were randomly allocated to one of four pre-exposure conditions: no exposure (control group), a loss condition, a break-even and a profit condition in which the return to player was greater than 100 %. Behavioural persistence and betting behaviour was subsequently monitored in a period of regular roulette play. The results showed that players given opportunities for free-play sessions bet significantly more per spin and wagered more credits in total than the control group, although no significant group differences in behavioural persistence were observed. The results suggest that the role of free-play modes, as they commonly appear on some Internet gaming sites, may need to be investigated further because of their potential role in altering player perceptions of the activity and their influence on risk-taking behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-395
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Online gambling
  • Persistence
  • Practice modes
  • Risk-taking
  • Roulette


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