While gambling is a concept that has existed for millennia (some historians and archeologists agree that it is as old as the primitive human pre-civilization societies), online gambling is a relatively new concept.
What does it change?
Well, quite a bit, actually. You see, online gambling is more accessible than ever before. You’re also not playing with a physical currency, which means that visualizing how much you’ve lost is somewhat harder. Among other things, the etiquette is different.
On the other hand, it’s still gambling, which means that some of the old rules definitely apply. With that in mind and without further ado, here are the seven dos and don’ts of online gambling.
Do: Read about gambling strategies
While it is true that all gambling games are luck-based, it’s also true that with the right strategy, you can manage your stakes and even stay calmer while gambling. Some of these strategies are known to give results. Some of the most popular (and statistics-based) are:
From a psychological perspective, changing your numbers every single time is a horrible idea. What if you play the same number for four rounds and change it, only to have the number come up on rounds 5, 6, or 7? How bad would you feel in this fictional scenario? By using a strategy, you can avoid it quite efficiently.
Don’t: Overestimate gambling strategies
Even though these strategies can give you more consistent results, they’re definitely not all-powerful. Believing that you can’t lose while using these strategies is one of the most dangerous things while gambling. This is something that can lead you on a downward spiral quite rapidly.
Games like Poker are incredibly reliant on skill but even here, no amount of skill can guarantee victory. Even if you have the best poker-face and decision-making, if the cards won’t go your way, you can either make a minor win or avoid losing too much money. There’s only so much you can do when you get a bad hand and you can’t bluff your way out of every situation.
Do: Prepare for a loss
While the mindset of a winner is important, expecting to win all the time and being surprised when you lose is outright delusional. Keep in mind that, mathematically speaking, with luck based-games you have at least a 50/50 chance to win/lose. Now, whether or not you get disappointed mostly depends on one thing – your expectations. Just because you are not winning, this doesn’t mean that the game is rigged. Doing some research on the odds of winning on a slot machine can also help you manage your expectations.
Another thing worth mentioning is the importance of preparing your budget. Like with investments, set a stop-loss order. Make a budget and determine how much money you’re ready to lose. That’s right, lose. Once you know what amount of money you can afford to lose without putting a dent in your household budget, you will develop a much healthier relationship with betting.
Don’t: Forget about your manners
In a casino, keeping your cool is incredibly important. There’s also casino etiquette to worry about, the custom of tipping the waiting staff and your dealers, for instance. With online casinos, the majority of these things are not a factor, due to the physical separation. However, yelling at the screen, damaging your property, or bullying other residents (family, roommates, friends) because you’re losing is never acceptable. A gambler should always be a gentleman, so keep this in mind at all times.
Do: Write down your record
Why is it so important to write down your gambling record? Humans are impulsive beings and they’re often under the impression of the last thing that has happened to them. When you win, you’ll be convinced that you’ve always been winning. When you lose, it will feel like you have never won before. When it comes to something as emotional and subjective as gambling, a lot of people have trouble being honest with themselves. This is what makes them miscalculate when making decisions. After all, you’re supposed to draw a conclusion based on previous events. How can you do this if it’s all murky or if your memories are all twisted?
Don’t: Gamble when stressed or exhilarated
Both being too happy or too sad can affect the way you gamble. So, when you know that your emotions are not in check, you should definitely avoid gambling.
Now, this sounds fairly simple but there are some people who choose to gamble when they’re in need of a win. With online gambling this is so easy, seeing as how they just need to click on the application, and there they are. The problem is that there’s no guarantee that you will get the win that you’re looking for. If you’re desperate, you’re likely to chase this fictitious win beyond your budget. Even if you don’t end up losing too much money, your mental state will be far worse than when you began.
Needless to say, you also shouldn’t gamble under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
Do: Gamble with your own money
The single most important piece of advice is that you should always, always, gamble with your own money. Once you start borrowing in order to gamble, you’ll know that you have a serious problem.
However, for this to work, you need to change your own definition of what your own money actually is. The money for the bills is not your own, it’s the money belonging to your family. The money from your pension fund, if spent on gambling, will postpone your retirement, potentially even force you to become a burden to your family. Even stealing money from your future self is something to avoid. Instead, only play with the money you can afford to lose at this very moment.
In order to gamble responsibly in the digital environment, you first need to learn how to gamble responsibly, to begin with. Then, you need to focus on one or two caveats that are unique for online gambling. While this sounds quite simple, it all requires quite a bit of self-awareness and self-discipline. Still, it’s crucial for all those who want to gamble responsibly.