The effect of the ‘near-miss’ as a potential conditioned reinforcer in slot machine play has recently been the subject of behavioral research on gambling. The present study extends prior research by examining this effect during the game of blackjack. Participants consisted of college undergraduates with no history of problematic gambling. Their verbal ratings of closeness to winning were recorded and examined for each of 50 hands of standard blackjack per session. Results indicated that as the number difference between the dealer and player’s hands decreased, closeness to win rating increased. Also for each participant, non-bust losses were rated closer to winning than losses where the player busted.



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