Gambling can be a fun and rewarding experience but it is also risky. It can cause harm to your health, relationships and finances, and can result in legal trouble or homelessness.
It can be addictive
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gambler, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from gambling addiction. The first step is to understand what gambling is and how it can affect your life.
Understanding how gambling works will help you make better decisions about your time and money. You will also be less likely to get involved in gambling activities that aren’t in your best interests.
Set a limit
Before you start gambling, decide how much money you’re ready to lose. You’ll know when you’ve reached your limit if you start to feel pressured or anxious about your losses. If you do go over your limit, stop and create boundaries for yourself.
Avoid gambling when you’re depressed or upset
Depression, stress, and other mood disorders can trigger or worsen your gambling problems. You may feel like you need to gamble more or spend more money to relieve these emotions. Instead, try a healthier alternative, such as exercising, spending time with friends who don’t gamble, or practicing relaxation techniques.
It’s important to recognize the signs of problem gambling and get help if you think you have a gambling disorder. The signs include using gambling to cope with emotions, having a hard time stopping, and thinking about gambling more than you do other things.
Don’t try to win back what you’ve lost
It can be easy to want to win back your losses, so make it a goal to never try to do this. If you do this, you’ll be more likely to lose your entire bankroll.
Don’t keep betting until you run out of cash
If you’re going to play blackjack or poker, make sure you don’t spend all your money in one hand. If you do, you’ll be more likely to overspend and eventually lose all your money.
You can also use a betting system to improve your chances of winning. However, these systems don’t eliminate the house edge and you’ll still lose money in the long run.
Don’t go to a casino or online gambling site alone
If possible, go with friends who don’t gamble. This will slow down your speed and make it harder to overspend, and you’ll be more likely to stick to a fixed amount of money.
Have a time limit
Before you go to a casino or a poker game, decide how long you’ll play and stick to that limit. If you’re tempted to stay longer, call and tell someone you need to leave.
Have a support system
If you have family and friends who are worried about you, listen to them carefully. It can be helpful to discuss your gambling with them and ask for their advice.
Be realistic with yourself
When you’re starting out, you might have a lot of money to spend on gambling. But over time, your losses will add up and you might have to make choices about how much you can afford to spend.