Any responsible gambler will tell you that gambling is all about having fun, rather than making a profit. However, any gambler who’s 100% honest with you will also tell you that making a profit is indeed their ultimate goal. After all, there would be no appeal to the prospect of gambling whatsoever, were it not for the potential of pocketing plentiful cash.
The problem being that far too many gamblers do not know where or how to draw the line between enjoyment and chasing profits. Even if they don’t admit it, millions of gamblers all over the world are genuinely convinced that sooner or later, they will beat the house and make out like a bandit. Which is precisely why thousands also find themselves in a position where they completely lose control and end up going broke. Getting carried away can lead to anything from temporary overspending on the back of poor decision-making to the kind of debt that can be genuinely life-affecting.
By contrast, those who manage both their money and their time more meticulously tend to get the maximum possible enjoyment out of gambling for the long-term. Just as long as you remain in control of your spending habits, there is absolutely no reason why you should ever land yourself in trouble.
So for those who prefer to take a proactive approach to such things, what follows is a brief overview of just a few pointers on how to avoid going broke as a gambler:
Allocate a monthly budget
The single most important rule above all others is that of setting yourself a fixed and unbreakable monthly budget. Or if you prefer, a weekly gambling budget. Whether it’s £5, £50 or £50,000 doesn’t matter – it simply needs to be a sum you are happy to lose and can lose without it affecting your life in general. It’s then a case of disciplining yourself accordingly, in order to ensure that the moment this budget has been depleted, that’s the end of your gambling for the week/month. Setting a budget makes it so much easier to stay in control, while at the same time placing wagers more strategically.
Keep your gambling money completely separate
If gambling is something you intend to do on a regular basis, always ensure that your standard cash and financial resources in general are separated from your gambling budget. The reason being that if you are using the same pool of collective cash for everything, it’s inevitable that you will eventually find yourself ‘dipping into’ cash that wasn’t supposed to be used for gambling. A case-in-point example being use of a credit card for gambling activities – something that doesn’t come highly recommended at all. You may have allocated yourself a £10 weekly budget, but with a credit limit of £10,000 to play with, chances are you will think twice about throwing an extra £100 down the drain.
Consider the house edge
If casino gambling is your thing, always consider the house edge before selecting which games to dedicate your time to. Contrary to popular belief, the house edge varies significantly from one game to the next. Meaning that your likelihood of winning or losing also varies significantly from game to game. In fact, the house edge can also differ between competing casinos. Which means that if you do plan to hit a casino – particularly an online casino – you need to ensure you choose a service provider you can trust.
If you prefer to head to a traditional casino or bookmaker than to gamble online, one of the best ways of staying in control is to take cash with you. As mentioned above, it can be far too tempting when you have credit or debit cards to hand, which offer direct access to far more money than you can afford to lose. Take whatever your gambling budget is at the time and not a penny more.
Set strategic loss and win limits
When thinking about your budget and spending habits in general, it can also be beneficial to establish your own strategic loss and win limitations. Which again should not be exceeded under any circumstances. For example, if you are gambling with £50, you could establish a rule where just as soon as you blow £35 of it, you walk away with the remaining £15 and save it for another session. At the other end of the scale, if you strike it lucky and end up winning more than £100, you likewise walk away. Always remember that both wins and losses alike can have a dramatic impact on your ability to make rational and logical decisions.
Lower the stakes
One of the best ways of gaining maximum enjoyment from gambling while at the same time staying in control is to simply lower the stakes. That being – wagering smaller amounts of money on more games, sports or events at the same time. Simply by cutting things down 25% or even 50%, you can dramatically increase the scope of your budget in general. And once again, given the fact that gambling is supposed to be all about the enjoyment of it, lowering the stakes a little really shouldn’t make a huge difference.
Gambling as part of a group – or at least alongside one more person – can make it so much easier to stay in control. The reason being that when you team up with others, it is far more likely that at least one of those you are gambling with will serve as the voice of reason, should yours be silenced. What’s more, when you pool your resources rather than gambling alone, you do not have as much say in how much money you can and possibly will lose with each session.
Take regular breaks
Last but not least, one of the biggest mistakes the vast majority of gamblers are guilty of making on a regular basis is that of not taking regular breaks. The simple fact of the matter is that the longer you spend on any type of gambling activity without taking at least a short break, the more likely you are to begin making bad decisions. It’s important to ensure that every hour, you give yourself a few minutes to clear your head and give your mind a rest.
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