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Playing It Safe: When to Wager or Walk Away While GamblingBy Shane Addinall May 27, 2022Is there a good or a bad time to gamble? We discuss important factors players should consider before placing a stake and how to know whether or not they should gamble.
Some gamblers have a list of superstitions and create habits around these as they believe it will increase their odds. The truth is that whether you believe in lucky charms or cross your fingers before clicking spin, your probability of winning doesn’t change.
Yes, some games have better odds than others, and certain online casino games allow players to use their skills and increase their chance to win, but the one certainty in gambling is that the house always wins.
That being said, there are approaches you can take to improve your experience and minimise your risk. Navigate your gambling activities according to the best and worst times to wager, as the wisest of gamblers do. Let’s explore when it is safe to place bets and when you should rather watch your favourite series.
To Bet or Not to Bet? That is the Question!
One way to approach gambling is to consider whether it’s the best or worst time to make a wager. An important deciding factor here is whether you have access to licensed and regulated online casinos. When the answer to this is yes, the following points can direct your decision.
Good Times To Bet:
✓ You Have Money You Can Afford to Lose
Thanks to the golden rule mentioned earlier, the only time it makes sense to gamble is when you have money you can afford to lose. Always consider the house-edge rule before having a flutter, and understand that you may lose everything you bet, regardless of the game you choose.
Once you are comfortable with losing the money, go ahead and pick games with better RTP ratings. With Online Slots, the average acceptable rating is 95% and above. Table games like blackjack have better odds, and so do other online casino games. Take a look at our gambling strategies for the best options.
✓ You Have a Budget and a Target
So, you have established that you are ok with losing the money you bet, and you know which games you prefer. The trick to staying in control of gambling is to manage your bankroll effectively. This advice will come up time and again from anyone who understands sensible gambling. If you want to gamble, it must be part of your budget, and it is paramount that you stick to the budget. When you reach your spending limit, it is time to walk away.
Similarly, players must have a win limit in place. If this sounds bizarre, that is probably because it seems counter-intuitive. Don’t we play casino games to win money and lots of it? Yes, but a winning streak can just as easily turn into a losing streak and players get caught up in chasing the losses. Without a win limit, the risk of losing everything becomes much more likely. A win limit makes it easier to know when to walk away.
✓ Operators Have Promotions
With steps one and two in place, punters can confidently find fun games to play at the best online casinos. On affiliate sites like GamblersPick, players get information on the newest and top offers from operators available in their region. These include deposit match bonus offers and free spin offers. Depending on the time of year, it may also include tournaments with massive prizes.
Use the tools at your disposal, like news articles and community updates from affiliates. If your casino of choice has an option for a newsletter, sign up. This way, you stay ahead of the best promotions and get the first option in participating. Loyalty programs often include attractive offers that improve as your membership status grows. Find the best VIP offers and take advantage of them.
✓ It’s the Holidays
The holidays make people more generous, except Ebenezer Scrooge, of course, which makes it a great time for online gambling offers. Most providers have tournaments with exciting prizes to give away during the holidays. International and local celebrations often inspire software providers to release aptly themed games, which makes it so much more fun to play.
With a responsible plan for managing your bankroll, there are few other times of the year where it is as much fun to gamble. Because celebrations tend to include alcohol, we suggest you continue reading this article for advice on drinking and wagering.
✓ You Are in High Spirits
Because casino games vary in outcomes, gambling may sometimes feel like an emotional roller-coaster ride. For this reason, it is wise to wager only when you are in high spirits. This is simply because winning triggers positive feelings, and losing potentially does the opposite, especially when you are feeling down. When you are in a good mental space, it is easier to remain in control of your emotions throughout the win-lose ride of gambling. This empowers you to walk away when the time comes.
When in a negative mindset, gambling can be a slippery slope. When players make wagers and hope the outcomes will improve their emotional state, they become susceptible to gambling harm by chasing a big win. If you are having a great day and you have responsible wagering measures in place, it is a good time to bet. If not, rather choose a different way to pass the time.
Betting for the Right Reasons
- To have some fun
- To switch off for a few minutes
- To enjoy a game you are skilled at
Don’t Bet When:
➀ You are Cash Strapped
As previously mentioned, to have an enjoyable casino experience means having a well-planned budget. Therefore, if your bank balance is low or you haven’t covered all your monthly expenses yet, it is a bad time to gamble. Researchers found that those who find themselves in a financial predicament and turn to gambling as a solution or distraction are twice as likely to suffer from gambling harm.
Some may think that ‘smart’ wagers can turn their situation around, and if lady luck smiles on them, the difficult times are over. In reality, there is no way of telling whether you will win or not. When in doubt, refer to step 1 of the previous section. Only gamble when you can afford to lose.
➁ You are Chasing a Loss
This is easy to fall prey to when it has been an especially lucky gambling session. When we’re on a winning streak, and suddenly our luck turns, we often continue gambling hoping the tides turn again. This is where the loss and win limits become extremely helpful. Regardless of your game of choice, call it a day once you reach your loss limit.
Because gambling has a way of evoking powerful emotions, limits have to be predetermined according to your budget. Do not give in to thoughts of adjusting your limits during gameplay. Take control of each gambling session by knowing your budget and limits, and stick to it.
➂ You’ve Had Too Many Drinks
Let’s be honest. We are talking about online gambling, and it isn’t like you will stumble onto a casino floor from a night out at the hotel club or cocktail bar, but online gambling is accessible anywhere, anytime. Studies revealed that when gamblers use alcohol excessively or wager while intoxicated, the likelihood of getting themselves into a financial pickle is quite high.
The well-documented fact that alcohol and other narcotics impair our ability to make reasonable decisions is a guiding factor. If you are planning to let your hair down by having a few drinks, leave the gambling for another day.
➃ You’ve Been Gambling For Too Long
Gambling is meant to be a fun pastime and should not take time away from important areas in your life. Unless you are a professional poker player, it is advisable to use time limits. Many operators have responsible gambling tools that can help players with this. Use the time limit tool to ensure you don’t lose track of time.
A healthy gambling regime comprises limits for spending, winning, losing, and time. Whichever one shows up first is your cue to walk away.
Reasonable time limits depend on the game you choose to play. Those with quick or instant results like online slots, video poker, craps, and the like can quickly become dangerous games if played for too long. Strategy games like live blackjack and live poker require players to pay attention while applying their skills, and once exhaustion kicks in, poor decision making follows. Set your time limit and end your session once the buzzer signals.
➄ You Have a History of Compulsive Gambling
If you have ever been diagnosed by a professional or show any signs of gambling addiction, there is no good or right time to gamble. The best approach for anyone who displays signs of gambling compulsion is to stay away from all forms of gambling through self-exclusion programs and seek counselling for support on the road to recovery.
If you or anyone you know is having a difficult time with responsible gambling, reach out to your national gambling support program. UK players have BeGambleAware, GamCare, and GameStop to turn to, and players from other jurisdictions can contact their local health systems for guidance.
Betting for the Wrong Reasons
- Chasing a Loss
- To make up for a short
- To turn your luck around
- To Improve Your Mood
At the end of the day, gambling must be a fun activity used for entertainment and not to make money, unless you are Phil Ivey. The most responsible approach to wagering includes the above measures. Focus on making these habits and walk away when the game isn’t fun anymore.
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