Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 441–454 | Cite as

Are Poker Players All the Same? Latent Class Analysis

  • Magali Dufour
  • Natacha Brunelle
  • Élise Roy
Original Paper


Poker is the gambling game that is currently gaining the most in popularity. However, there is little information on poker players’ characteristics and risk factors. Furthermore, the first studies described poker players, often recruited in universities, as an homogeneous group who played in only one of the modes (land based or on the Internet). This study aims to identify, through latent class analyses, poker player subgroups. A convenience sample of 258 adult poker players was recruited across Quebec during special events or through advertising in various media. Participants filled out a series of questionnaires (Canadian Problem Gambling Index, Beck Depression, Beck Anxiety, erroneous belief and alcohol/drug consumption). The latent class analysis suggests that there are three classes of poker players. Class I (recreational poker players) includes those who have the lowest probability of engaging intensively in different game modes. Participants in class II (Internet poker players) all play poker on the Internet. This class includes the highest proportion of players who consider themselves experts or professionals. They make a living in part or in whole from poker. Class III (multiform players) includes participants with the broadest variety of poker patterns. This group is complex: these players are positioned halfway between professional and recreational players. Results indicate that poker players are not an homogeneous group identified simply on the basis of the form of poker played. The specific characteristics associated with each subgroup points to vulnerabilities that could potentially be targeted for preventive interventions.


Poker players Latent class analysis Gambling patterns Poker gambling problems Impulsivity Erroneous beliefs 



The authors wish to thank Jill Vandermeerschen, Sabrina Champoux and Patricia Auger for their contribution to the preparation of the manuscript. The authors would also like to thank the participants of the study and all members of the research team. This research was supported by Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine (Addiction Program)Université de Sherbrooke (Campus Longueuil)LongueuilCanada
  2. 2.Department of Special EducationUniversité du Québec à Trois-RivièresTrois-RivièresCanada

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