Altered State: Mesmerism in Casino Games

Altered state of consciousness

Altered states of consciousness can be experienced in various situations, including while playing casino games like roulette. Some casino players have reported feeling a sense of relaxation and timelessness during their gaming sessions, particularly when placing even-money bets. This article explores this phenomenon and its potential connection to the concept of mesmerism, a precursor to hypnosis.

Mesmerism and Hypnosis

Mesmerism, an early form of hypnosis, was a technique used by a mad doctor in a 1953 black and white horror movie. The doctor used mesmerism to control people, putting them into an altered state of consciousness. This concept sparked curiosity about whether people in London who committed murder were also mesmerized.

Altered States of Consciousness in Casino Players

In recent years, some slot players have reported feeling transported into an altered state of consciousness while playing. These players did not win or lose more money than regular players, but their mental states were different. They felt as though they entered a meditative state while playing the machines, with the world they knew disappearing and the slot world consuming them. Upon stopping, they returned to the regular world, feeling pleasant.

Roulette players have also reported experiencing an altered state of consciousness. However, this phenomenon does not seem to affect players who bet on numbers straight up, as they need to be aware of their surroundings. Instead, it appears to be more common among even-money bettors.

Even-Money Bettors’ Experiences

Even-money bettors who reported experiencing an altered state of consciousness while playing roulette described feeling relaxed and not thinking much when placing their bets. They also felt a sense of timelessness and a dream-like state during play.

For example, Paulie D only bets on black and feels cool and laid-back while playing. Marge F prefers even-money bets and feels refreshed after her session, while her friends feel exhausted. Dinah T watches the wheel spin and tries not to think, feeling free from everything else.

These players’ experiences suggest that playing roulette can induce an altered state of consciousness, particularly among even-money bettors. They seem to be in a special world, with time becoming irrelevant. However, they remain aware of their wins and losses and stop playing at a certain point.

It is important to note that these players were not hooked up to a brain-wave machine to measure their consciousness levels. Instead, their experiences were gathered through a series of questions about their mental state during play.


Playing roulette can induce an altered state of consciousness, especially for those who place even-money bets. These players feel relaxed and free from their normal world, with time becoming irrelevant. The phenomenon is intriguing and could be further explored to better understand its potential connections to mesmerism and hypnosis.

Future research could involve using brain-wave machines or other methods to measure the consciousness levels of players during their gaming sessions. This would provide more concrete evidence of the altered states of consciousness experienced by some casino players. Additionally, investigating the potential benefits or drawbacks of entering such a state while playing could be valuable for both players and the casino industry as a whole.

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