Send to

Choose Destination
J Behav Addict. 2016 Jun;5(2):155-68. doi: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.035. Epub 2016 Jun 27.

Psychopathology of Online Poker Players: Review of Literature.

Author information

Laboratoire OCTOGONE, Université de Toulouse , France.
Laboratoire de Psychologie des Pays de la Loire, Université de Nantes , France.


Background and aims Online Texas Hold'em poker has become a spectacular form of entertainment in our society, and the number of people who use this form of gambling is increasing. It seems that online poker activity challenges existing theoretical concepts about problem gambling behaviors. The purpose of this literature review is to provide a current overview about the population of online poker players. Methods To be selected, articles had to focus on psychopathology in a sample of online poker players, be written in English or French, and be published before November 2015. A total of 17 relevant studies were identified. Results In this population, the proportion of problematic gamblers was higher than in other forms of gambling. Several factors predicting excessive gambling were identified such as stress, internal attribution, dissociation, boredom, negative emotions, irrational beliefs, anxiety, and impulsivity. The population of online poker players is largely heterogeneous, with experimental players forming a specific group. Finally, the validity of the tools used to measure excessive or problematic gambling and irrational beliefs are not suitable for assessing online poker activity. Discussion and conclusions Future studies need to confirm previous findings in the literature of online poker games. Given that skills are important in poker playing, skill development in the frames of excessive use of online poker should be explored more in depth, particularly regarding poker experience and loss chasing. Future research should focus on skills, self-regulation, and psychopathology of online poker players.


gambling; literature review; online poker; pathological gambling; problematic use; tilt

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center