The player in Dostoevsky’s story maintains his faith in his infallibility and continues to play with borrowed money in the certainty that he will win thereafter.
Most people experience from time to time this superstitious feeling of uniqueness, a belief that normal mathematical laws do not apply to them. It is a feature of the game enthusiast that such consciousness is permitted to color his whole personality and he risks everything on the basis of it.
There are various reasons why fewer people play. Some may sound fancy, and not all apply to all players.
Stinginess is, perhaps the most basic and minimal requirement explanation. Easy unearned money has obvious attractions. It’s also a main motive for low-income gamers, with little skills and little education, who see gambling as a route to riches.
Snobbery — the game is considered by some to be means to social added value or social admiration. Successes lead to identification by social superiors.
Apparently, there is a strong incentive to play among people of a low standard of living. It’s an escape to a kind of charm of a falling environment or a dull work routine.
Lightening boredom allows people to belong to a group and share a common interest or to cultivate it: the game has its jargon and hard stories of luck to share with sympathizers.
The pari-mutuel office and casino are sources of companionship: by providing friends with mutual interests they share the functions of taverns or clubs.
In skill games, like some card games, intellectual satisfaction gives the player the enjoyment of the game well. However, it can be even bigger money than winning. The money earned can be simply the measure of the skill used.
To the good bridge player, taking money from his friend can even inspire guilt and lessen the satisfaction of winning.
Players will rarely admit to being lucky, but many nevertheless play on the basis of faith in their own good fortune. Extremists become pathological gamblers like Dostoevsky’s character, firmly believing in their ability to personally influence the vagaries of luck.
Tired spirits can be bred by an access from the game. Joining the crowd at the races or around the roulette table, and wagering with them, is to join a group where ordinary existence is shipped up, however temporarily, by expectancy and tension.
Triumphs and disasters are in the sky. The player is where the action is, participating and making decisions.
The game provides opportunities to act a play: to be dominant or aggressive, to be sto ‘que que loser, charming and magnanimous if winning.
It offers a way of frustrations of loss to sublimate sexual commands. Some carefree players compensate for a repressed childhood or rebel against parsimonious education.