Online gambling, regardless of the form and manner, is a highly volatile activity that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Regardless of whether you are a fan of online slots or you are a sports betting enthusiast, while online gambling is certainly fun and may seem harmless, in essence, things can get pretty serious overnight. In fact, if lacking the proper knowledge, i.e. failing to apply the basic rules and concepts for responsible gambling, it may be too late before you realize that you or some of your loved ones have a problem maintaining your gambling habits.
However, when done properly and with caution, online, and any form of gambling for that matter can be a rather secure and fun activity that anyone can pursue. But before you get to this level that requires you to be in control 100% of the time, there are two things you need to do.
The first is to understand that gambling is not a joke and needs to be treated with the utmost respect. The second is to follow the basic rules and guidelines for responsible gambling that will ensure you remain in total control and consequently develop healthy gambling habits.
1. Why Are You Gambling
The first thing you must do before gambling is to realize why are you gambling. While there are many people out there who claim to make a living out of online gambling, the truth is that this number is substantially smaller than they might have you think. Especially If we consider that the first gambling games in history are a product of enjoyment and weren’t created as a viable source of income.
Sure, there is a small percentage of people that are professional gamblers and that can call this activity a profession, but these people gamble in highly controlled conditions and circumstances, and they all started out from one basic principle – having fun. More importantly, even they understand that without these principles and basic rules for responsible gambling, chances are they wouldn’t have ever become pros.
This is why we advise you to view gambling as a fun activity that needs to be kept solely for your own personal amusement, similar to playing Monopoly or cards. You will find that not only you will be happier and more fulfilled, but any actual winnings will be only a bonus that you will cherish even more, and consequently put you in control of your gambling habits.
2. How Much Time You Spend Gambling
Since online gambling is a fun activity that should also be treated as a hobby, the best way to stay in total control is to set time limits on your gaming sessions. In some instances, such as online poker sessions where you may spend several hours at a poker table, setting a time limit may be a challenge. Yet, even if that is the case, you can always schedule the game in your spare time and play on smaller-paying tables.
Either way, one of the most effective and foolproof ways to ensure that you are always in control is to limit the time you spend gambling. Long gambling sessions can lead to a disrupted sleep cycle, impaired cognitive functions, health issues (both physical and mental) and even cause loss of sight over time. To avoid this, it is always smart to set time limits that you will try to abide by, and consequently remain healthy both physically and mentally.
3. Set A Reminder/Alarm
The honest truth about casino operators regardless of whether they are operating in the physical or digital realm is that they hope you will lose track of time when gambling. This is why you won’t find any watches or windows in land casinos. Even when gambling online, it can be quite challenging to keep track of time despite the clock on the computer on your smartphone, especially if we take into account all the captivating entertainment ranging from slots to sports betting websites.
This is why one of the basic rules to maintain a responsible gambling habit is to set a timer/alarm on how long your session is going to be. While it may sound funny and way too simple, believe us when we say that this little hack can be a true lifesaver, and one of the most foolproof ways to remain in control of your gambling session. It doesn’t cost anything, yet you will get a real sense of how much time you spend during your average gambling session.
4. Set A Budget And Don’t Overstep
One of the most, if not the most important rules that you can ever follow when gambling is to always remember to set a budget specifically for gambling. This means creating a detailed plan for your budget that will include your monthly, weekly, and daily expenditures specifically for gambling. We cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining your finances when gambling, especially since the source of income is directly connected with your livelihood.
Veteran gamblers know that setting aside gambling money is one of the most important aspects of the entire activity. Moreover, they view these funds as a one-time investment, and this way, even if they lose everything, their monthly income won’t be affected. Usually, they set aside around 10% of their total income for gambling, and they never allow themselves to surpass this limit.
Remember, being in control means monitoring every aspect of the gambling activity, and finances should always be viewed as a top priority.
5. Never Play With Money You Don’t Have
While you may think that this one is a given, you’d be surprised how many people are actually gambling with money that they do not have or have borrowed. This is why is absolutely crucial to set a playing budget and never overstep it. From here, we cannot stress the importance of always playing with your money, and never finding yourself in debt just to satisfy your gambling habits.
Not only does playing with money you don’t have can be a sure way toward bankruptcy and debt, but it can also cause a rift between you and your loved ones, especially if you are playing with their hard-earned money without them knowing. Needless to say, once you are on that path it usually always ends tragically, and you start a vicious circle that you may have serious trouble stopping.
To prevent this, always play with your own personal funds, and always tend to set a playing budget that will help you monitor your spending, and consequently put you in total control of your habit.
6. Don’t Try To Win Back Your Losses
While it may seem tempting and even prideful to try and win back your losses, in reality, this almost never ends well. The truth is, online gambling includes both skill and luck, and some days you simply going to be less fortunate regardless of your skillset.
This is why the best course of action when on a losing streak is to simply stop, walk away, and save your strength and money for another day. You will find that being stubborn never pays off in the world of gambling and that it is one of the biggest reasons why people frequently lose their entire savings.
7. Always Gamble With A Clear Head
This one applies to several different things, ranging from playing when drunk or under the influence of a substance to playing upset, stressed, and even depressed. Either way, one of the basic rules for responsible gambling is to always play with a clear head, and never allow emotions or any substances to get the best of you.
Rember, gambling is all about being in control and aware of your activities, and the best way to ensure that this is the case is by always playing with a cool head, and with great caution. Bottom line is, do not allow yourself to play when you are feeling down, sad, or angered, and definitely avoid gambling when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
8. Use Facts And Logic
Sure, every single one of us has a favourite sports team or favourite online slot that we are frequently playing. And while you may feel enticed to frequently bet on your favourite team just because you are biased, or play at a certain slot just because you think it’s “lucky”, the truth is, playing on emotions instead of facts can hurt you greatly in the long run.
This is why the most successful gamblers frequently really on meticulous calculations and use complex equations prior to making a bet, regardless of whether we are talking about online slots or placing a sports bet. When it comes to gambling, facts are undeniable, and this includes conducting detailed research on the game you are about to play, prior to making a bet.
The bottom line here is to avoid relying on emotions and definitely avoid any kind of superstition. Gambling is all about making sure you know the facts beforehand, and this entails avoiding anything that is not under your control.
9. Quit While You Are Ahead
One of the golden rules, and definitely one of the basic rules of any form of responsible gambling is to quit while you are ahead. Considering the highly volatile and unpredictable nature of the art of gambling, it is always best to appreciate your winning streak and always quit when you are winning. We cannot stress enough the importance of this rule, since gambling is one activity where things can switch from excellent to abysmal in a span of just a couple of seconds.
For this reason, we advise that every time you are winning more than you have deposited, simply stop playing, withdraw your funds, and live to fight another day. Many players neglect this rule and start to feel invincible and euphoric after hitting a win, only to lose everything in a stubborn attempt to chase a fortune that has an expiration date. Quitting while you are ahead is a mark of professional gamblers, and as such, it is absolutely crucial to have the self-control to do just that.
10. There Is Nothing Wrong In Asking For Help
The world of online gambling includes a plethora of games that vary from one to another. Even the sports betting department has a multitude of different bets that can be tricky to master all at once. From here, it is quite easy to see that the vast number of games, combined with a streak of bad luck and failure to obtain proper knowledge can greatly contribute toward the downfall of even the most experienced gamblers.
Simply put, do not be afraid or prideful to ask for advice if you are not familiar with a particular game, or you simply feel like you are losing control over your gambling habit. There is a reason why each game comes with a demo version, and why there are a great number of gambling assistance websites and various tutorials available on the internet.
Regardless of whether you are going to ask a more experienced gambler, contact one of the websites for problem gambling, or educate yourself on a specific gambling subject prior to gambling, the bottom line is, do not be afraid to ask for help. There is nothing prideful in losing your hard-earned money, especially since there are a lot of ways that were specifically built to prevent this exact thing from happening.
To sum it all up, staying safe and maintaining responsible gambling habits depends solely on you and your ability to recognize the dangers of over-indulging in your favourite activity. Thanks to the advancements in the field of responsible gambling, today, there are a ton of different ways to educate yourself on how to gamble without jeopardizing your finances and develop conscious gambling habits. Gambling is meant to be recreational and fun, and as long as you approach it with the right mindset, you have nothing to worry about.