No matter what country you think of, chances are high that gambling is among its most popular forms of entertainment. And whether you’re stepping into the grand gaming halls offered by casino resorts or logging onto some of the best online casinos, it is also easily accessible in most countries.
The thrill of gambling, however, comes with unique risks. It is easy to get caught up in popular games such as Sweet Bonanza or become solely focused on a game of poker. When losing, it can be all too easy to decide to keep playing until you recoup your losses.
Doing these things could lead to excessive gambling and pushing aside other tasks as you strive for the entertainment and excitement that betting provides. When this happens, it is easy to create an imbalance between regular life and the activity of placing bets.
To prevent this from happening to you, here are a few simple tips to ensure your gambling doesn’t run away without you noticing.
Set a Budget and Expect a Loss
Setting a budget ensures you don’t harm your financials and limits your playing time. Once you’ve spent your budget, it is time to find another activity and step away from the tables or slots.
Setting a budget on how much you’re willing to lose is important, but setting a budget if you win is equally so. If you have a budget of $100 to play with and win an additional $200 early on (giving you $300 in total), stick to your original budget. This means walking away once you reach $200 (or have spent $100).
Equally as important as setting a budget is to begin any gambling session expecting to lose. While some say doing this can lead to more remarkable wins, there is no factual basis for this. However, it is vital because it allows you to stop playing without obsessing about recovering any money you’ve lost—which could be difficult if you’ve been expecting a win from the get-go.
Due to the comfortable seating in casinos and the convenience of online casinos that allow you to gamble from just about anywhere, you might find yourself quickly getting lost in the activity for hours without even noticing it is happening. When this occurs, losing the balance between your real life and pursuing significant wins is easy.
The best way to avoid this occurrence is to take regular breaks. If you’re in a brick-and-mortar casino, get up and walk around to stretch your legs—even if it may mean losing your machine. Alternatively, grab something to drink and watch other players for a few minutes to give yourself a break.
When playing at home, taking a break is even easier. You can do a quick chore, make a tasty snack, or even watch a short episode of a new TV show that features your favorite pastime. All these things help you take your mind off gambling so that you can refocus before returning to it.
Engage With Others
Nothing helps break a trip down a gambling rabbit hole more than engaging with others. This can include friends and family in your direct vicinity or strangers you met at the casino. And if neither of these are available, your phone can easily connect you to others via call, messaging, or even social platforms.
Engaging with others takes your mind off gambling and into your conversation. When speaking to someone else, you can focus on listening to them, sharing sympathy or joy as required by the flow of dialogue, or even confide in them something in your life.
This engagement with others balances your social life and pulls you away from gambling at the same time. In turn, this helps you avoid overspending or even playing for long periods without any other form of stimulation.
One of the worst words to hear as an adult (or someone old enough to gamble) is priority. The reason for this is simple: we all know what we should prioritize, yet doing this is much easier in concept than in reality.
However, priority is vital to have a balanced life that includes gambling. And while gambling is undoubtedly an incredible source of entertainment, stress relief (in most cases), and a way to unwind, unless you’re a professional gambler who relies on it for livelihood, it generally shouldn’t be a high priority.
The key to a healthy life balance is to have priority tasks in place. Some of the top priorities should be family and your relationships with others, work and any other tasks you may need to complete for your financial well-being, and self-care—such as getting enough exercise and eating healthy meals.
Although some people consider gambling a part of self-care because they use the pastime to relax and enjoy entertainment, this comes secondary to higher priorities such as your career and relationships.
Understanding these priorities, where gambling fits into them, and the risk that gambling could put on other priority activities can lead to a healthier and more enjoyable balance in life.
Find Additional Hobbies
If you genuinely enjoy gambling, there is nothing wrong with it being a hobby—an activity you regularly do in your spare time—as long as it remains a healthy hobby that brings you joy and entertainment without crossing any boundaries or upsetting any other areas of your life.
Despite this, one of the best ways to balance this activity and other areas of your life is to seek out additional hobbies. These don’t need to replace your gambling hobby, but they can supplement it and give you something else to do should you hit your budget or feel like you’re spending too much time trying your luck.
From taking up an activity like painting to learning to play an instrument or reading new books, there are thousands of hobbies to choose from. If you’re unsure what to try out, the internet, friends, and family should all be able to offer suggestions that will help you find a hobby you genuinely enjoy.