How NOT to gamble

To say that gambling is risky is obvious. To say it is dangerous is also, I hope, an obvious point. Gambling is addictive and is no doubt a problem in our society, but, in moderation, it does bring a lot of enjoyment there’s no doubt. The feeling of your 10p accumulator bringing home a return of £8.50 can’t be matched, and is often a sight to behold. There are many lows that come with this as well, when you’re relying on a useful Sheffield United side to beat Villa, and at 3-0 up in the 82nd minute it would be farcical to cash out, only for you to be left in tears and a £5 free bet worse off when Andre Green equalises in the 94th. The trials, tribulations, rises and falls of the betting world. However, I aim to help you avoid losing money, avoid addiction and hopefully get full enjoyment out of something that, when done properly, can be great fun.

The first way that I’ve seen gambling done horribly is in a casino. I think this is often down to overconfidence. A player at a blackjack table could start with £20, get that up to £60, yet leave the institution having lost the £20 they went in with. There is no shame in walking out 5 minutes after you have walked in with more money in your pocket. That seems obvious, yet apparently it isn’t as you can see by the number of people who started with profit and ended with a big loss. This leads me on to the idea of the hot streak.

“Beware the person who is on a hot streak”

James Cook
Don’t throw your money away by being overconfident

I take this quote as saying beware, because they will soon crash. In gambling, taking your money off the table in the middle of a “hot streak” seems ridiculous. In my head, it seems sensible. Your hot streak is not changing the odds, meaning it is bound to end. Hence, time to get out while you’re up. If I gamble my money, I try my best to cut my losses as much as possible, and hold onto the winnings I make as soon as I make them. You may only win a little, but you also never lose a lot, and on top of this, you’ll enjoy it much more than walking out £60, £600 or £6000 down.

Education is vital, even the lowest form

If you are not educated on the game, sport or anything you gamble on, you put yourself in a dangerous position. You might, per se, walk into a casino with no idea of blackjack strategy. This leaves you and your money vulnerable, and could lead to you losing that money before anyone else has even started playing. To educate yourself is to put yourself in the strongest position possible. To avoid education is to play into the dealer or the bookies hands.

To sum this all up, here are my tips on avoiding losses, enjoying yourself and stopping yourself from making stupid decisions when you’re betting:

  • Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose
  • Don’t bet while you’re intoxicated
  • When you’re up, take it out
  • When you’re down, don’t try and win it back
  • When you’re having fun, don’t let yourself get carried away
  • Educate yourself on the game you’re playing

Now, on a more serious note, gambling addiction is a huge problem across the world. It’s always good to see steps being made to cut the high level down, but not enough is being done. In my opinion, the way to tackle the problem is to get gambling advertising taken off our screens. You see them on your phone, your TV, your laptop and everything else. On top of that, there needs to be more awareness for those struggling with the problem. The support given for alcoholics and drug addicts is fantastic, and the awareness is huge, meaning more and more alcoholics and drug addicts are being saved. Gambling addiction doesn’t have this same awareness, and so the problem will continue until it does.

If you know anyone with a gambling addiction, go to the link below for more information on how to donate to gamcare:

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