In my last article, I gave you the tell-tale signs of problem gambling. I also talked about setting limits for yourself. After reading this article, you will know a great deal about how to set limits for yourself when you’re going out to your local casino, or even if you’re staying at home and playing online.
Gambling can be an enjoyable pursuit, and provide a great deal of entertainment. Whether it’s a night out with your spouse or with the guys or with the girls, a trip to the casino can be exciting and fun. That’s where the key lies. Gambling, above all else, should be something that you do for fun, not because you need the money. There are numerous things that you can do to ensure that you don’t fall into the trap of problem gambling and make sure those trips to the casino remain enjoyable for you and everyone around you. Let’s take a look at some of those things.
1) Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money
Like any good business, a casino (whether land-based or online) is set up to take in more money than it gives out. Sure, when you get to the casino, you see pictures of people holding big cardboard checks with an obscene amount of money on it. What you don’t see are the dozens of people that lose a lot of money at the same casino so a big winner can hit every once in a while. A common trait among people that are problem gamblers is the steadfast belief that they will eventually be the ones holding the big cardboard check. Don’t let that happen to you. Gamble for fun, not as a means to an end.
2) Always gamble with money that you can afford to lose
I stressed this in my previous article, and I can’t possibly stress it enough, so here it is again. Gamble with money that you have set aside for fun and entertainment purposes. If you see a book or something about your game of choice that intrigues you, purchase it with that same money. Do not, under any circumstances, gamble with money that you would use to pay expenses like rent, utilities, insurance, or any other things of that nature.
3) Set a money limit
Decide ahead of time how much money you are going to spend. If you have played for a while and lost that money, stop playing. If you come out ahead, savor it. If you don’t feel that you can do this yourself, you can give your ATM card to a responsible friend, or simply withdraw your cash ahead of time and leave the card at home so you can’t take out any more cash.
4) Set a time limit
Setting a time limit can be just as important as setting a money limit. Don’t let gambling interfere with things you are required to do, such as work or school.
5) Never chase losses
When you lose what you were planning on spending, stop playing. Don’t go over your limits to try to hit the big score. It almost always leads to nothing except greater losses and more problems.
6) Don’t gamble when you are upset or depressed
It’s hard enough to make good decisions when you’re gambling. Feelings like anger or depression will only make those decisions that much harder to make.
7) Balance gambling with other activities
Go to the gym, hang out with your friends, go hiking, or do any number of other things. But don’t let your life center around gambling.
If you simply follow these rules, you can continue to have fun at the casino and not have to worry about incurring big losses. Like the old public service announcements used to say, the more you know, the better off you will be. Make your next trip to the casino an enjoyable one!