Tips for Managing Your Gambling Effectively
Beyond the platitudes of slogans such as ‘When the fun stops, stop’, there are several simple steps punters can take to better insulate themselves from the pernicious harms of gambling. Let’s take a look at some of these below.
Make Use of On-Site Limiters
Betting sites themselves include tools to help their customers manage their gambling habits, including the use of on-site limiters. Punters can restrict the amount of funds they’re able to wager on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and will be locked out of placing any more bets if they exceed their own self-imposed limit. On-site limiters also extend to include time limits.
Make Use of Self-Exclusion Tools
If a person’s gambling habits are starting to become a serious issue, on-site limiters might not be sufficient to curb the problem. To go one step further, betting sites also include the option of self-exclusion tools – a means in which customers can lock themselves out of their own gambling accounts for weeks, months, or even years at a time. Both on-site limiters and self-exclusion tools are now a requirement of gambling sites under the regulations set out by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and other regulatory bodies. Additionally, GAMSTOP is a centralised service you can use to block yourself from all licensed online casinos and sportsbooks.
Only Bet What You Can Afford to Lose
On-site limiters won’t be very effective if the person in question has set their limits too high. Before you begin any gambling session, conceive in your mind how much you can afford to lose, and what you would consider a successful return. Then, stick to these limits by making use of on-site limiters in the event of a loss, and know when it’s the right time to walk away from a good run.
Never Chase Your Losses
The brain’s promise that a dopamine release is just around the corner of a successful wager often makes it tempting to chase losses, but this is precisely how gambling sessions can spiral out of control. Chasing losses is often tied to the faulty logic that your luck is about to turn; before applying this fallacy, it’s important to remember that gambling is an exercise not predicated on luck, but on probability.
Every casino or bookmaker in the world is a business seeking to make money – as such, these businesses have developed an inherent advantage in the way they manage their games and sportsbooks. Known as the house edge, this advantage means that the phrase “the house always wins” is not just a cliché, but a statement of fact. That’s why chasing losses is never a good idea, particularly if you feel you’re deserving of a change of fortune. Ultimately, the odds are always against you.
Never Gamble Without Sound Judgement
Punters must be mindful of how marrying drinking and gambling – both of which rely heavily on dopamine releases – as it can be a dangerous mix. You should never place a bet without sound judgement. Following the advice laid out above, particularly the urge to chase losses, becomes considerably more difficult if a person is tired, angry, upset, or inebriated.
Don’t Bet on Markets, Sports, or Games You’re Unfamiliar With
There’s no need to overcomplicate gambling by betting on markets, sports, or games that you’re not used to. If you’d like to branch out into other areas of gambling, make sure you first spend some time researching the area you’re interested in.
If you’d like to place a bet on a new sport, then read up on the rules and take a detailed look at the recent form of the teams and players in question. There are thousands of advisory sites offering their own takes on betting markets, but it’s always valuable conducting your own research first.
And if you’d like to wager on a casino game you’ve not tried before, then you’ll need to know about how the game functions, its numerous variants, and how players can maximise their chances of winning. Most online casinos run parallel free-to-play versions of their games alongside the real thing – it’s important to make use of these before committing any money to your bets.
Always Seek Help When Needed
Most importantly of all, never suffer in silence. A gambling addiction is a serious health condition, and one that requires professional care to treat. Please know that if you, or someone you know, are suffering from problem gambling, you’re not alone and there are lots of charities and organisations offering friendly support, advice and treatment.