Brain Development and the Best Age for Gambling

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Brain Development. Image Credit: Shutterstock

A sound mindset underpins successful gambling, and the level of brain development interrelates with your best age for gambling.

To be an effective gambler, you must be sharp and astute.  This means that your success will primarily rely on good brain development.  A fully developed brain allows you to formulate sound gambling strategies, which do not come about spontaneously.    

Levels of Brain Development

Piaget’s theory states that children progress through four different stages of brain development. Expectedly, kids won’t gamble during the sensorimotor developmental stage, which is from childbirth to 2 years; or the preoperational stage, which lasts from the second to the seventh year. However, youngsters begin forming gambling frameworks and gameplay during the concrete operational stage, which happens between the ages of seven and twelve, and the formal operational stage, which exists from twelve years old and older.

Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking is vital when gambling. Strategic thinking is the ability to anticipate the actions of other players and respond to these after evaluating what move to make. The strategic anticipation of what another player might do differentiates a mature gamer from one who is not yet skilled in logical strategic thinking.

Strategic thinking is especially critical for gambling because it allows gamblers to assess their risk within a game. Strategic thinkers analyse risk and reward patterns and how specific moves can minimise or maximise their chances of success.

Finding the Sweet Spot

Researchers believe that the “sweet spot” in terms of gambling proficiency is in the mid-to-late-20s, since, at that age, there is a lessening tendency to act impulsively, such as gambling away money that you don’t have. This might not sound like an issue, but it is when you realise that adolescents have a problem with impulsivity and gambling.

Teenagers and young adults who have access to online gambling but have not yet gained the ability to assess risk have the biggest issues. This inability to evaluate risk contributes to mental health problems, difficulties with family, and substance abuse. Researchers noted that some young adults find it difficult to assess their actions before they act, leading to gambling problems because they do not analyse their gaming strategies.

Impulsivity

Adults from their mid-20s to late 30s appear to be more focused. Research indicates that individuals in early adulthood demonstrate less impulsiveness in three different areas than teenagers or young adults. Firstly, they showed a greater ability to pay attention to tasks. 

Secondly, older adults are less likely to act without first thinking, which is essential when determining strategy.  Thirdly, older adults always plan several steps ahead and prepare their moves in a strategy game, while younger adults struggle with planning and delayed gratification.

Middle-Aged Adults and Beyond

Middle-aged adults tend to be methodical in their approach to gambling and can strategise their gaming habits, which makes them potent players. Additionally, they are less impulsive and are ready to wait for gratification, even if this takes hours or days.

Also, older adults can focus on a task for long periods, meaning that they can sit through hours of games without losing their focus. Many middle-aged adults also enjoy gaming and the socialisation that goes with playing or talking to their friends about gaming.

What is the Best Age Group for Gambling?

Each age group has unique advantages over other groups. Adults in their 20s have quicker reaction times than other adults and are often more clued up with the latest technology. However, they tend to be impulsive and don’t evaluate strategies before acting on them.

Adults in the middle age bracket hold the sweet spot in gambling since they are less impulsive than young adults while possessing roughly the same reaction times. Seniors who play often have more wisdom and experience than others.  However, their emotional playing often creates vulnerability to gambling addictions. Whatever age you are, remember to go out and enjoy gaming solely as a form of entertainment.