Gambling should be a fun pass time amusement. People who gamble and enjoy it as entertainment while not losing money they can't afford are doing it right. However, many people become addicted to gambling. And this is where this article comes in.
Being addicted to gambling often means that a person loses more money than they can afford. In turn, they are hurting not only themselves but also their family. It is tough to fight off a gambling addiction once it occurs, so it's best to avoid becoming addicted in the first place as much as possible.
If you read thoroughly through this page and understand and follow these tips. You will have a better time gambling overall and a minimal risk of having gambling problems in the future.
(Note: No one can guarantee for %100 that you will not develop a gambling addiction. The only way to %100 prevent gambling addictions is not to gamble in the first place.)
Gambling is not a way to make a living.
Many players play casino games to win the jackpot, become rich, and end their financial problems. While this is a nice fantasy, it isn't realistic. Playing casino games to become rich isn't the mindset you should have when gambling. Some have indeed won big on casinos. However, most don't. And when we say most, we mean that winning big is such a low chance that it shouldn't count for something you aspire to do.
If you want to gamble safely, your mindset should be - I am going to play games with some chance of winning, but I will likely lose. I am doing so to have some fun and feel that gambling thrill, and if I win big, that's a bonus.
All casino game providers create the games with a mathematical advantage in the casino's favor called 'the house edge'. The odds are against you. Even if you get lucky and keep on gambling, in the long run, you will lose. You can't stay fortunate forever.
We recommend players who win to withdraw their winnings. Unfortunately, most players don't. They want to win more significant rewards and keep playing, only to eventually lose.
Entertainment Costs Money
Almost all forms of entertainment, whether it's a movie, a night at a restaurant or bar, or anything else, cost money. The same is true with casinos, regardless of whether they are digital or land-based. Playing at a casino is purchasing your slight chance to win big while playing a luck-based game in a disadvantaged position. What you get in return is the thrill and the opportunity to win. But you must pay for that. If you keep that in mind and go playing with this attitude, you will stop playing once you lose the sum you decided would be ok. You won't feel obligated to win the money back. You won't feel like you must play more to win that big prize. You will stop when it stops being fun, which is the whole point in the first place.
The fact that money is involved makes gambling so fun and thrilling. However, it shouldn't be the factor upon which you choose whether to keep playing or not.
Only gamble money you are ok with losing.
Gambling addiction often leads to financial problems. Problem gamblers tend to use all the money available to them for gambling. Once they lose their money, they will usually loan additional funds. They often loan from family or friends, and in worst cases, from loan sharks or other criminal entities. Once they start lending money and preventing necessities from themselves, such as food or housing, the gambling begins to take dark turns. When problem gamblers start failing in returning money to loved ones, families could fall apart. And when the same is true with loan sharks, violence could get involved. Everything can happen when you owe money you can't pay back to people.
If you want to gamble, the only way to get around is to set a budget.
For example, let's say that you can spare $200, and this is your budget for the evening, that's great. Even if you lost it, no harm was done. This is where your self-discipline kicks in. Don't gamble with more than that in any case. Even if you lost it all on a roulette game within 10 minutes, that's it for the night.
If you start gambling with money, you can't afford to lose, and you cut down on other vital activities. Stop right there, and seek help.
Don't keep playing online to win back lost money.
Trying to win back lost money, i.e., chasing losses, is certainly not a good path to walk down. It happens mostly when you lose your funds rapidly and feel like you wasted your money. You feel as if you didn't have a chance to enjoy before losing. And you want to win it back. These situations often lead to losing a lot more than you first wanted.
We understand how bad it feels to lose money. We've been there. But to prevent problem gambling, you must have strong self-discipline.
Losing feels terrible, but if your initial point of view is that if you lose, you stop and that losing is a possibility, it feels less bad, which is why you should start gambling knowing that the odds are against you and that you can lose.
If you set a budget correctly and stop playing once that budget has ended, you will stay in control. So many people tried to win back losses before you and failed. If you remember that casinos are always making a profit over time, you will better avoid the desire to chase losses.
Don't borrow money for gambling.
If you need to take a loan to gamble, it often means that you are playing with money you can't afford to lose, which is one of the biggest no-nos.
Taking a loan to gamble means you are likely to lose twice. First, you lose the interest attached to the loan. Second, you are likely to lose money gambling. You lose way more than you expected.
We do want to point out that we don't mean you shouldn't loan some cash from a friend in a casino, that you can just stop by the ATM and withdraw it. We mean you shouldn't take a loan you can't pay immediately.
The most common thing people do is loan money with the intention of paying it off on the next paycheck. Doing so might seem reasonable to you when you want to win back some money at a moment of impulsive thinking. But on a grander scale, this type of behavior has gambling problems written all over it. Don't go down this road.
Track your gambling balance
Many gamblers think they are on an even balance throughout their gambling years. They won and lost some, and they feel like they are doing ok. That's fine, and usually, if that's a general feeling someone has regarding gambling, its ok to assume that they are not in a bad place. However, people tend to remember winnings over losses.
In reality, if most people kept track of their gambling balance, they would see that the truth is quite different. Many times, people will be shocked by what they have spent gambling. Keeping track keeps things in check. You may consider enjoying another form of entertainment tonight by knowing the truth. That is if you feel you have spent too much on gambling. And you would know that only if you kept a balance on your gambling.
The same is true with your time. Many people spend more time gambling than they think. Spending so much time gambling is common because gambling is a highly dynamic form of entertainment. A lot is going on, and you are fully engaged. If you kept track of the time and tried to look at your clock from time to time, you may choose to play less. And playing less often means spending less.
One handy tool to manage your time is the reality-check tool, available in many casinos. This tool keeps you informed about the duration of your session and the balance from time to time. It also shows how much you have won, or lost, during the time spent. We recommend anyone gambling online to set up reality checks and stay informed on the current session. Unfortunately, this tool only gives you a specific view of how much you spent in a particular session. It doesn't give you the granular scope on how much you have spent overall. This is why it is helpful to keep a personal track of the time and balance.
Limit your spending
You can decide on a spending limit yourself and have the self-discipline to stop once you reach that limit. If you don't trust your self-discipline, you can use other tools to help as most of us.
Reputable online casinos offer a few tools to help limit your spending.
- Deposit limit - as the name suggests. This tool enables you to set a daily, weekly, or monthly deposit limit. Using this tool means that whatever you have set up will be the deposit limit you can make. Once you reach your limit, you can change it, but change will only take effect after a certain period, with the minimum being 24hrs.
- Loss Limits - Loss limits don't consider the amount of money you have deposited. Instead, it checks how much you have lost in a certain period. Changing it takes a minimum of 24 hrs as well.
- Session length limits - by limiting your session to a certain period, you can prevent gambling more than you first set out to.
Please Remember: These tools will prevent you from gambling more than you want on the website you are playing. However, they will not prevent you from playing on other websites, so it is crucial to have good gambling habits.
The Self-Exclusion Feature - Use it if you need
If you feel like using the methods above doesn't suffice, you can go ahead and use the self-exclusion feature. This feature will stop you from gambling altogether for some time you choose in advance. Once you have reached the time selected, you will be blocked from playing. This period can be a day, a week, or even years. However, if you ask the casino to lift the block period before it ends, you can. They will remove the block only after a certain cooling period has passed.
Like the other features mentioned above, this too is only casino specific. And you can quickly get around them by playing on other websites. Some tools give you the ability to block many websites at once. One example of such a tool is the GamBan. However, there are many more tools, and you can do some research on the subject. Whether you used a 3rd party self-exclusion or website-based, these tools only treat the symptoms. If you want to treat the problem at its core, and you feel there is starting to be one, you need to stop gambling completely.
Always gamble when you are sober
Gambling is not recommended when you are under the effect of any substance. It doesn't matter if its alcohol or any other type of drug.
Some people feel that when they are drunk, they have more guts and sometimes win more. That could be true in rare cases. However, most of the time, it would mean that you are making bad decisions that would cost you a lot of money. Not only that you could make bad decisions while playing, but you could also make the wrong decision to keep playing when you need to stop. It is harder to control our impulses when we are not sober. And if you have reached the threshold of your daily budget and want to quit, you might choose to keep going, which is not a good idea.
Drugs and alcohol are things that you should try to stay away from regardless of gambling. However, combining the activities might become a habit. Some habits are hard to control and change, and you must be aware of them.
Always gamble when you are feeling positive
Many people use gambling as a way of escapism. They gamble and forget about their troubles. Gambling is such a dynamic form of entertainment that you are focused solely on the game you play. This unique gaming rhythm can lead to gambling more than you ever wanted. It could lead to taking wrong actions and extended playtime.
Most importantly, gambling is no therapist. Your problems won't go away if you shut them out. They could only become worse.
Always keep gambling as a hobby.
A hobby is usually something you do weekly, sometimes twice, or three times a week. Most people don't practice a particular hobby every day. And while we don't want to tell you how to live your life. Many problem gamblers became such by gambling on a daily basis. It starts as a hobby, and little by little, it becomes more. You start prioritizing it over other important aspects of your life, spending time with your wife or kids, taking days off work. And so on.
If you feel like you are in control but gambling too much, try to reduce the number of weekly sessions. Try to include other hobbies. Please do what you can and don't gamble too much because it usually leads to gambling problems.
Get help if you feel you need it.
Preventing a gambling problem, and treating it as well, is easier with help. If you feel like you are starting to develop a gambling problem, you should seek help. Its easier to treat this problem when you tackle it in its early stages.
Even if you are unsure whether your behavior is considered problematic, the doubt in itself is enough to talk to someone. Stay on the safe side when it comes to gambling. It's for your own good.
You can talk to a family member, a good friend, or a professional. There are many professional help centers out there. You can simply type "gambling help in" and add your country to any search engine. You will find the results quickly.
Gamble at fair websites
Nothing can be more frustrating than doing everything right. Controlling your gambling balance, making sure you keep gambling as a hobby, and so on. Only to eventually play at a rogue website that will prevent you from withdrawing winnings. To avoid this, you should always play at reputable casino sites. All the websites listed on our website, and have a score over 4.5, are such websites. Websites that will payout and keep you safe.
If you want to do your research, read our guide on how to choose the best casino. Inside, you will find everything to know about making the proper selection.
In conclusion, make sure you follow the advice written on this page. You will remain safe and keep having a good time. Remember that a gambling problem is something that no one wants to have. A lot of lives have been ruined because of it. Most importantly, if you need help, go out and get it.