While others go on vacation or have a shopping splurge whenever they’re stressed or bored, others turn to gambling.
Gambling is generally harmless. It’s a form of activity where you can have fun and forget your worries for a few hours. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. Some have developed an addiction towards gambling, to the point that it jeopardizes their social and professional life and put a strain on their relationships.
They say prevention is always better than cure. Before you dig yourself into gambling addiction, it’s important that you know how to have full control of yourself. Being a responsible gambler is what you need to master.
Below are some tips on how to practice responsible gambling.
Set A Limit
Before sitting down on the casino table or logging on to online gambling site, you should set a limit on how much you are willing to lose. Gambling is a game of luck and if luck is not on your side, you would need to stick to your limit. When you’ve reached this point, stop the game and call it a day. Don’t even attempt to chase losses as you may end up in bigger loss by doing so.
A responsible gambler knows when to stop.
Know When to Stop Even if You’re On A Winning Streak
Winning the game is exhilarating. Nothing beats the feeling of a high pile of money or chips stacked on your table. While it’s tempting to continue playing when you’re winning, know when you will stop. Decide beforehand when you would go home.
The universe may be on your side now, but it can easily turn around. Before you know it, you’ve lost all your winnings and end up losing a huge amount of money. Winning can be addicting so have the discipline to stand up from the table and go home even you’re ahead.
Set a Time for How Long You Will Play
15% of Americans gamble at least once per week and approximately two to three percent meet the criteria for problem gambling. That’s around 6 million adults and about a half million teens. Not having full control on the time that you spent gambling is a dangerous road to head on.
Create the habit of self-control and full accountability. Set a time for how long you will play. Say, you’ve decided that you will play for 1 hour today. Make sure to stick to this limit, regardless if you’re winning or losing.
Take Regular Breaks
Remember that gambling is not a race to Mt. Everest. You don’t need to play as fast and as hard as you can. It’s something that should be taken slowly and enjoy pleasurably.
If you’re playing on a live casino, take a few breaks and get up from your chair. Mingle with other people and share other interests and hobbies. If you’re playing online, walk away from your computer from time to time. Do some stretching or take your dog to a walk. Taking regular breaks will help you realize that there’s more to life than your cards or chips.
Gambling Should Not Be An Emotional Outlet
Addiction, in whatever form, is developed because some people find short-term relief or gratification when they’re using the substance.
Remember that gambling will never be a solution to your problem. Don’t gamble just to run away from depression, loneliness, anger, exhaustion or fear. Acknowledge what you feel and resolve the underlying issues right away. Examine why you are angry, lonely or afraid and act on it.
Gambling is a fun activity where you can find short-lived amusement and excitement. It’s not a place of solace that you can run and hide whenever you have problems.
Find Other Form of Entertainment
It’s understandable why others turn to gambling for entertainment. The bright lights and loud noises are attracting, plus winning is jubilating. Whilst it’s okay to gamble for fun, you should not rely on gambling as your only form of entertainment.
Find other forms of entertainment aside from gambling. Take on a new hobby or read a good book. You can also go to the park and do nothing but people-watch. If you have vast selections of entertainment, the probability of gambling addiction is significantly lowered.
Keep a Gambling Diary
Remember when you were in middle school and had to keep a diary?
Having a diary is fun and therapeutic. If you want to avoid gambling addiction, why not start having your own gambling diary. Right down all details about your gambling – how often and long do you play, what are your feelings when you play, what triggered you to play, etc.
Keeping a gambling diary will make you become aware of your gambling pattern. With all the information that you’ve listed, you can examine when you feel the urge the most. You can use this information to correct your behavior or address your issues that trigger gambling.
Avoid High Risk Situations
Going to casino with all of your credit cards and huge amount of money is like walking in to the lion’s den.
Even when you have set a limit amount that you’re willing to lose, it’s easy to fall into the trap if you have extra cash conveniently tucked in your wallet. Leave your valuables at home and carry just the exact amount that you’ve set to lose. After all, you have no choice but to stand up and leave if you have nothing to pull out of your pocket.
Avoid Too Much Alcohol When Gambling
Alcohol has the capacity to cloud your brain and impact your behavior even to the best of us.
Though alcohol is inevitable in casinos, limit yourself to a bottle or two. Being drunk while playing casino is one of the biggest mistake that you can commit. Your better judgments will be impaired when you are drunk.
Though being a responsible gambler is not an easy task, it is not impossible. Learn more tips about responsible gambling here.