Are you looking for a new and exciting hobby? Need something challenging and fun that will test all your skills to the maximum? Now is the perfect time to give online gambling a shot. The industry is on the rise, which means you have plenty of casinos to choose from, with generous offers and special promotions that will spice up your gaming experience.
Before you try your luck at any of the countless online casinos that beckon you, check out our comprehensive guide to the do’s and don’ts of gambling.
DO: Accept losing
DON’T: Try to outsmart the casino
At some point, you’ve probably heard a character in a movie say that famous line: “The house always wins.” Although this is an overused cliche, it still has the unfortunate ring of truth. Just the fact that the casino is still standing – even when you withdraw a massive win – shows how much of an advantage it has over the little guy. You’re almost certainly not going to be the one who breaks the system and walks away with a huge prize. Best-case scenario? Your losses won’t be significant and you’ll enjoy some satisfying wins along the way.
What’s the point then? Why do people gamble at all if they can’t win in the long run? Well, the trick is to learn to accept your losses and enjoy the small victories. If you’re always chasing a big jackpot or special bonus, you’ll just feel disappointed in the end. A skillful gambler knows how to set realistic goals and how much he or she will have to lose to get there.
In games with a house edge, the more time you spend playing, the more likely you are to lose your money. The casino takes a fixed percentage out of every wager, so you might not even notice you’re losing funds before it’s too late. The first step towards smart casino gambling is being aware of these hidden “fees.”
DO: Set a gambling budget.
DON’T: Spend more than you can afford.
There’s no doubt that gambling is an expensive hobby, and you need to spend money to have a chance at making money in any game of chance. But don’t forget that gambling is famously addictive – it’s way too easy to get carried away sometimes. You cover one loss, then another, then dig into your savings, then your emergency funds… Before you know it, you have spent an amount you’re embarrassed to admit out loud. You might even need to borrow money to get out of debt.
Is there any way to prevent that from happening? The best gambling advice you’ll hear from anyone who means you well is to set up a budget beforehand. Whether you stick to it or not depends mainly on your character. Still, even if you stay in the ballpark of your suggested limit, you’ll be better off than if you were to just go in without a plan. Most casinos will let you set up daily, weekly, or monthly spending limits, but you’ll eventually need to take control into your own hands. This is one reason why gambling is good practice for home budgeting in general.
There is another benefit to having a set gambling budget. If you’ve put aside a specific amount solely for the purpose of gambling, you’ll end up playing much more freely and boldly. You won’t worry about jeopardising your household, your job, or your loved ones, so your mind can focus completely on the game. Discover new strategies, take on various challenges, and have fun within reasonable limits.
DO: Keep track of your spending.
DON’T: Rely on your memory
There’s an app for everything – so why not use technology to keep your gambling addiction at bay? Try a free budgeting app and take notes every time you gamble. Use analytics, charts, graphs, and statistics to figure out where and how you spend your money. Perhaps you’ll find out that you spend the most on weekends. You can compare that information against the casino’s promotions and see if anything in particular triggers your gambling. There’s plenty of information there – you just need to learn how to read it.
Even if you have an extraordinarily sharp memory, you still won’t be able to remember all of your casino transactions. Writing things down is one of the pillars of smart gambling. Not only is it easier to keep track of expenses, but it also has a sobering effect. When you see the actual numbers on paper, everything becomes a bit more real. Coming face-to-face with your expenses isn’t fun, but sometimes it’s necessary to help sort out your priorities.
DO: Research the casinos
DON’T: Fall for sweet talk
Gambling is a business like any other. Casinos are there to sell you a product and it’s up to you to determine if it’s really worth your time. If you want to know how to be smart about gambling, the answer boils down to one word: research. It may be tempting to pick the first casino you find and jump right into the action, but try to fight that urge. Take an hour to see what else the web has to offer. The industry is more competitive than it has ever been, so it might take some time before you find the perfect casino.
What should you look out for? First, read up on the casino’s history, find out if it has a licence, and check out other people’s reviews. Sometimes the venue might boast impeccable casino etiquette but have a horrible reputation for not paying out winnings in a reasonable time. This is basic research to make sure your chosen casino isn’t trying to scam you. After that, you can focus on the offers themselves – the bonuses and the selection of games. It might be a good idea to write down some pros and cons for each casino so you can compare them.
DO: Read the fine print
DON’T: Presume you know everything
One of the biggest incentives casinos have to offer is the welcome bonus, which generally matches a percentage of your deposit with bonus funds to play with. Keep in mind that all of these promotions come with certain gambling rules that are easy to miss if you’re not paying attention. For example, you deposit $100 and the casino matches 100%, you end up with $200. Sounds great, doesn’t it? It is – until you read the fine print and learn that these funds aren’t actually yours until you fulfill the wagering requirement. Usually, you’ll need to wager about 40 times the bonus amount, and sometimes you’ll also need to wager your initial deposit before you can withdraw those “free” funds. In this worst-case scenario, that would mean wagering a staggering $8,000 to get access to the hundred bucks.
Fortunately, most of these casinos follow some type of gambling etiquette, so if you ask them a straightforward question about conditions, you’ll get a direct answer. Ultimately, it’s all about asking the right questions. Take your time and make sure you understand every single part of the casino’s offer before you accept anything.
DO: Find the games you like
DON’T: Play what you don’t understand
Every now and again you should stop and ask yourself one essential question: Why are you gambling in the first place? If your answer is for any reason other than fun, you should consider quitting. The whole point of playing games in an online casino is to have fun, acquire some new skills, and maybe even meet some interesting people. Even if you learn how to gamble smart and improve your chances of winning, it’s still very unlikely to become a career or a steady source of income.
That’s why it’s essential to opt for games that you fully understand and enjoy. Rookies often lose heaps of money gambling on unfamiliar games. By the time they learn the rules, their funds have run dry. To avoid that, make sure you learn the game first. Most online casinos offer demo versions of games to help you figure out the mechanics. Use these as much as possible to master your strategy before going in with real cash.
As corny as this online gambling advice may sound, you need to do what you love. Pick the games you really enjoy playing and you’ll learn the rules in no time.
DO: Know when to walk away
DON’T: Chase losses
Chasing losses is one of the biggest problems gamblers face, and it often leads them down a rabbit hole. Increasing your bets to make up for previous losses is an incredibly bad idea and it rarely works as it’s supposed to. Consider the following – if you win, you’re back at square one, but if you lose, you’re in a lot of trouble. It simply isn’t worth it.
Learning how to gamble properly is important, but so is knowing when to walk away. If you’ve earned a couple of hundred dollars in a few hours, it might be time to call it a day. You know the house always wins in the long run, which means if you keep playing, you could lose everything. In the end, all your early success will be in vain.
One method you can use to help you come out a winner is to set yourself milestones. For example, when you earn $100, you could take $50 out of the game and continue wagering with the rest. Repeat the process as many times as you want until you lose the betting amount. This is one of the simplest online gambling tips that really work.
DO: Keep a cool head
DON’T: Play when you’re nervous or angry
Both online and offline gambling require a steady hand, focused attention, and a cool head. If you want to be successful, you need to make good, sound decisions all the time. Don’t give in to your emotions after losing a hand or hitting an unlucky streak. Getting frustrated and angry at the game will yield poor results, leading to harsh reactions and bad mistakes. One bad day when you’re not yourself and your bank account can suffer.
Keep in mind that your behaviour also affects other players. Most online gambling rules prohibit verbal attacks and profanities in live casino chats. If you’re nervous and annoyed, try not to take it out on other players. There is never any need to be unpleasant, so make sure you’re not creating a toxic environment. Not only is it bad for the gaming community, but it might also get you banned.