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Party Poker wanted to raise their profile with online gaming influencers and news outlets by releasing content exploring the physiological reactions of the brain during a game of poker.

The hypothesis was that players of different levels of expertise would react differently to events in the game.

SimpleUsability invited players with a mix of experience and skill levels to take part in research sessions in which they would play online poker whilst wearing the Emotiv EEG headset.

The headset allows us to see which areas of the brain are activated during game play, and translate this into levels of excitement, frustration, and engagement.

To further showcase the work, we later carried out the same research with a journalistat the World Poker Tour in London, to play poker competitively at the table with some of the best in the game.

We delivered

One day of Emotional Response Analysis using EEG with 6 poker players.

2 Beginners
2 Amateurs
2 Experts

We discovered trends in the data which gave us insight into how different players respond differently to events in the game such as winning, losing, and raising the stakes.

Our report contained digestible points about the players’ emotional reactions during key events in the game, and visualisations from the EEG data:


Real-time maps of mental activity.


Graph showing levels of excitement over time.


The insights from our research contributed to the creation of the online visual experience ‘Your Brain on Poker’. The work has been featured by numerous sites and mentioned in publications across the globe.


Featured as a Staff Pick on Visually.

Website of the day on CSS Design Awards

Received an Honourable Mention from Awwwards.

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