Gambling can be a fun activity and a fantastic source of amusement for adults, but it may also cause lots of damage due to its addictive nature.
There are those who play casino games every so often with no actual harm besides the smaller sums of money they have probably lost over time, but some get truly hooked on gambling, which jeopardizes not only their cash and other resources but also their lives and the lives of the people around them.
Problem gambling is a difficult enemy to conquer when it grows, which is precisely why it’s better to avoid it in the first location. We’ve created this report to list numerous hints, which, if followed, will help players to gamble safely and decrease the possibility of becoming addicted. Hopefully, they can enable you to remain safe too.
You may find our safe gambling tips given below. Clicking any of them will take you to the portion of the article with more information about the chosen piece of advice.
Note: there’s no guarantee that following these tips will prevent you from becoming hooked. Even a tiny one-time mistake may result in an unhealthy dependence over time, and the only way to remain truly safe is not to gamble whatsoever. The next best thing you could do is to follow the hints in this report and do whatever you can to play with safely.
1. Understand that gambling is not a way to make money
Lots of men and women continue gambling with a view to winning money and getting rich or at least getting out of financial issues. This mindset is quite dangerous since the vision of a big win can get you hooked on gambling and make it effortless for gambling addiction to grow.
And what is worse, the’surefire’ life-changing big win never comes in the majority of circumstances, and people who wish to create money by gambling just dig deeper holes for themselves.
If you would like to gamble safely and decrease the potential for developing a gambling problem, you need to eliminate this mindset when possible. Gambling isn’t a way to generate money. All casino games are installed in a manner that mathematically favors the casino, meaning the odds are stacked against gamers.
Although it’s possible to beat the unfavorable odds in the short term by getting lucky, it is not possible to keep getting lucky forever. And what makes it even worse, the desire to win isn’t always satisfied by a wonderful one-off payout, making many lucky winners return for more, losing what they have previously won and much more.
Do not make the mistake of gambling with the objective of winning money, getting rich and/or solving all of your financial difficulties. You may only get into trouble if you gamble with this goal in mind.
2. See gambling as a form of entertainment that costs something
Rather than gambling to win cash, you need to see gambling as a form of amusement. As with most kinds of entertainment, you need to pay for it.
When you go watch a film, attend an event or enjoy a night out, you typically pay for your amusement by buying tickets, meals, beverages, etc.. When it comes to gambling, you pay for your entertainment by playing games at a disadvantage, while land-based or online casinos operate a profitable business that supplies you with entertainment.
Of course, money will always be a part of the picture, and the delight that has a chance of winning money is an inseparable part of it. Additionally, it increases the entertainment value. Though some folks enjoy playing casino games for free (e.g. our free games section), it’s safe to assume that most people today enjoy them more when cash is at stake.
As stated previously, money shouldn’t be the main reason you gamble even though it will add to the entertainment value. If you wish to gamble, do this because you like the games and the thrill, but do not do it because you would like to win money. If you do it for money, it is probably best to stop playing completely.
3. Gamble only when you can afford to lose
Getting into large financial difficulties is one of the most likely outcomes of gambling addiction. Problem gamblers often borrow money to gamble and do whatever they can to get more cash to play with.
It’s also quite normal for problem gamblers to cut back on other expenses merely to have more cash to gamble with. This often starts with unnecessary or luxury items, but after a fully-fledged addiction develops, it is commonplace to begin sacrificing necessities like food, housing, etc..
To remain safe, it’s imperative that you decide on a budget and only let yourself play with money which you could afford to lose, without sacrificing yourself, family, purchases, and savings.
If you end up spending more than the budget you have set aside for gambling-related activities or cutting back on other expenses in favor of gambling, it is very likely that you have already developed a problematic gambling habit. If that is the case, we suggest that you read our posts on problem gambling diagnosis and how to conquer it.
4. Do not chase your losses
Chasing losses, i.e. attempting to win back the money you have lost is just one of the surefire ways of losing everything you’ve got. It frequently turns short-term just-for-fun gambling sessions into big financial losses, which may develop into gambling addiction.
It’s correct that it is not a great feeling to drop money, and it is quite natural to want to win it back. However, it is important to get the perfect mindset when gambling, which brings us back to what has already been mentioned in this article: do not expect to win cash, and remember to see gambling as a form of entertainment that costs something.
If you expect to lose, which you should when playing casino games, you won’t hesitate to chase your losses as you expected to drop money in the first location.
Attempting to win back the money you have previously lost is a surefire way to dig a deep hole for yourself, one which may be quite hard (or even impossible) to dig yourself out of. You’re playing at a disadvantage, so it is more probable you will continue losing more money rather than winning it back. Do not make the same mistake that many other individuals have already made. Set a budget for yourself and stop playing as soon as you hit it.
5. Do not play with borrowed money
Speaking of common mistakes associated with cash and gambling, it is vital that you don’t ever play with borrowed money. We’ve already mentioned that you should only gamble with money you could afford to lose, and how you will need to borrow cash to perform is a clear indication which you can’t really afford to lose it, despite the fact that you believe that you can.
Note: Of course, context matters here. There’s a difference between carrying out a loan so you can gamble before your next paycheck arrives, and just borrowing $20 from the close friend since there is not an ATM nearby (i.e. you have enough money, but no money). Although we don’t condone any of these practices, we’re mainly talking about scenarios closer to the prior example.
Perhaps the most common situation that occurs is borrowing money to bet before the next paycheck arrives, with the aim of paying the debt off right after the cashback. Though this may seem harmless, it is often the opposite, for multiple reasons such as:
- The fact that you will need to borrow money to gamble is an indication that you don’t have extra money which you could spend on gambling.
- Carelessly borrowing money can create a dangerous financial situation and, essentially, ruin somebody’s life.
- You may get tangled up with loan sharks or harmful individuals generally, which is a threat in itself.
- Playing with borrowed money can be stressful for many people, which may endanger your health, make you make bad decisions and get you into even more trouble.
And the dangers do not stop there. Irrespective of whether you think you’ve got everything in check, it is never a great idea to borrow money for gambling. Do not do it.
6. Keep track of the time and money spent while gambling
It’s quite easy to lose track of time when gambling. Especially with modern games, it may be an extremely engaging activity that keeps your mind entertained, which may make the time pass more quickly than normal. By way of instance, you might feel as if you have only been playing for thirty minutes, only to learn that it has really been two hours since you began.
And the same goes for cash. It is quite common to recall wins more than losses, making a biased overall image about all of the money you’ve dropped on gambling through the years. We’re positive that lots of frequent gamblers would be amazed if they found out how much money they have lost in their lifetime.
This is the reason it’s important to monitor how much time and money spent on gambling. Always focus on the period of your gambling sessions. Note the current time when you begin playing, and ideally establish a reality check that will keep you informed about the duration of your session.
At many online casinos, reality checks include information concerning the cash won or lost through the session, which can be quite valuable. However, these just inform you how much money you have lost in 1 session. For a general picture of your gambling-related spending, you’ll probably need to keep an eye on it yourself because not a lot of casinos exhibit long-term statistics to gamers.
7. Limit how much you can spend on gambling
You can go one step farther than simply keeping an eye on the time and money you spend on gambling by setting up limitations in your casino of choice. There are multiple kinds of limits provided by online casinos and, but not all can be found at each gambling site, you should be able to detect at least some of these.
For this purpose, we propose using the following combinations of these constraints:
- Deposit limits or reduction limits: Depending on which of these you use, these only let you deposit or lose a particular sum of money on a predetermined time period.
- Session length limits: These only permit you to gamble for a particular quantity of time on a predetermined time period.
By combining both of these kinds of limits, you may only be permitted to devote a limited amount of effort and money on gambling. But this certainly is not a bulletproof solution. These limits work just in the casino where you place them up, making them simple to get around in case you would like to gamble more. This is the reason you don’t need to solely rely on these to maintain your gambling habits in check.
8. Use self-exclusion options whenever you feel it is needed
If the aforementioned limits aren’t sufficient for you, and you want to stop gambling completely (at least for a certain length of time), try self-exclusion. This option is provided by almost all online casinos and lets you block yourself from playing for time intervals which range from a few hours for a long time.
After doing so, you won’t be permitted to play until the chosen time period ends. This having been said, some casinos may lift your self-exclusion when you ask them to, albeit not immediately, but after a cooling-off period.
Just like with the constraints mentioned before, the self-exclusion options offered by casinos just apply to this casino. It is easy to get around them by playing another casino. To overcome this complication, it is possible to either self-exclude yourself from all online casinos (which can be extremely unpractical and nearly impossible) or use programs that block gambling on a global level.
However good the tool or program is, bear in mind that these self-limiting and self-exclusion choices aren’t a standalone solution for safe gambling. They can be successful, but a person that fights with gambling can always find a way to get around them. Bear this in mind, and look for other options if you feel like your gambling is truly getting out of control.
9. Do not combine gambling with drugs or alcohol
It doesn’t take lots of imagination to comprehend that gambling while drunk or on drugs is never wise. When under the influence of any material, your judgment is clouded and you’re not able to make good decisions.
Bad decisions can cause losing more money than you would when sober, but that is not all. A clear conclusion is also needed to prevent gambling from getting out of control. Playing under the influence may cause a one-off reduction, but it may also wind up causing wider gambling addiction.
Alcohol and drugs are not a great idea, but if you start gambling along with these, many serious problems can arise. You might find the urge to gamble each time you’re out with your friends and having a few beers, and the psychological link between gambling and alcohol or drugs rarely turns out well.
If you wish to gamble, do this with a clear mind.
10. Do not play when depressed, angry or anxious, and do not play to escape additional issues
Negative mental conditions like feeling depressed, angry or nervous generally make you emotionally weaker, and frequently also physically weaker. It’s tough to keep a clear mind, which is at least a part of the reason you don’t need to play in a bad frame of mind.
Firstly, you’re prone to making bad choices, just like gambling when drunk or on drugs, but that is not all. Negative feelings or mood disorders can cause enormous damage in themselves, so you need to look after this. Attempting to curb them by gambling won’t lead to anything positive, and your mental health will probably only get worse.
What is more, gambling to escape other issues usually ends up creating more problems than you started with. Gambling can be a fun activity if performed in a secure way but bear in mind that it’s not a good solution to any of your issues, nor a means to escape them.
11. Balance gambling with other activities
Gambling too much may result in a gambling issue. It may also be a sign that you are a problem gambler and should do something about it, as problem gamblers often prioritize gambling over other activities or even the people in their own lives. They begin neglecting their hobbies, work or even family, all in favor of gambling, which has become too important to devote time to anything else.
If you would like to gamble safely you will need to do other things also. It’s important your life is not just about gambling. Devoting a sufficient amount of effort for your job, spend some time with your loved ones, and set aside some time to your hobbies and free-time activities.
If you find this hard to perform and feel like gambling is becoming a predominant element in your life, it is time to do something about it. You could start by reading our article on the best way best to overcome problem gambling.
12. Look out for the symptoms of problem gambling
As with the majority of biological and psychological problems people face, it tends to be easier to conquer problem gambling in the event you detect it in its earlier phases. If you realize that you’re creating a gambling addiction (or have already developed one), you can take steps to overcome it before it does even more harm to your own life and the lives of those people around you.
This is the reason it’s essential to be on a constant lookout for signs and symptoms of problem gambling. Read our informative article on this subject and educate yourself on what a gambling addiction looks like. You will then have the ability to keep an eye on your gambling habits and do it when you notice that something does not feel right.
13. Do not be afraid to talk to someone and get help
Getting over gambling addiction is not simple once it grows, but it is often beneficial to turn to a relative or friend who you can trust, or perhaps a professional. Talking to someone is almost always better than keeping everything to yourself, as it makes the whole situation easier to take care of.
This is the reason you shouldn’t be afraid to seek help whenever you have the slightest suspicion that your gambling habits may be problematic. It’s far better to be safe than sorry, especially if the prospective issues are as crucial as they often are with problem gambling.
We’ve listed multiple possible sources of help which you could turn to in our post how to overcome problem gambling, so be certain you check out these resources and discover the most acceptable choice for you if you feel like it may be beneficial. To locate specific help centers, sexy lines, therapists or rehabs out there in your country, use our list of problem gambling help facilities.
14. Gamble only at reasonable casinos
Last but not least, safe gambling isn’t just about gambling responsibly and preventing addiction. To truly gamble safely, you also need to choose a neutral and reliable casino.
You can be a perfectly accountable participant who gambles just for pleasure, controls their costs and makes sure everything is done properly, but if you opt for a bad online casino which will try to screw you over at any price, nothing can help you in the event that you are able to win big and need to cash out your winnings.
To remain secure in online casinos, pay additional attention when making a choice, read the testimonials, and observe the complaints made by other players to view how the casino treats them. Also, check out our honest gambling codex to find out about problematic situations that frequently occur between players and casinos, to comprehend how to do everything properly and avoid breaching the casino’s terms and conditions or any other applicable rules.
Most of all, don’t forget to follow the advice contained in this report. Problem gambling is something that could completely ruin your life and the lives of everyone around you, so be certain you gamble safely and responsibly, and to search for help as soon as you feel something may be wrong.