Questions and Answers
These are my personal set of general "Do's & Don'ts" for gambling on the internet:
· This actually applies to all forms of gambling... Only bet (spend) what you can afford to lose. Gambling is risky. You can lower the odds that you will lose or raise the odds that you will win but there is always the possibility that you will lose. You have to be able to literally say "Oh Well, No Big Deal" after you lose and walk away (at least for the time being) without it severely impacting you emotionally or financially. Look at it another way - Let's say you are going to go on a date and you expect to spend $100 that evening (I know... cheap date, eh? LOL). You expected to spend that $100 and when you go home at the end of the evening, that $100 was spent (maybe even a little more). When you gamble, you expect to spend $100 and, when it is gone, your expectation was met. You go into it with that attitude and you won't be severely disappointed that you lost and you will be pleasantly surprised if you have more than $100 when you stop gambling.
· Set a limit on both your acceptable loss (low) and your profits (high). Know when to walk away. If you are losing and the loss goes below your low limit, walk away without hesitation. Correspondingly, when you have reached a certain preset amount of profit, you should consider walking away. Why? No matter how much we want to believe that we can't lose or the lucky streak will never end - it will. And trust me when I tell you that when you have won a certain amount but start losing again, you will keep playing to try and get back to that level of profit you were at once again... unless you learn to stop while you are ahead. Constantly reevaluate that low and reset it when necessary. For example, let's say that your original high and low was a profit of $200 (plus) and a loss of $100 (negative) respectively. While playing, you hit a jackpot and are already profiting by $500 now. That is now $600 more than your original acceptable low of losing $100, and $300 more than your original profit ceiling (high). I mentioned (above) that you should consider walking away but you considered it and don't want to walk away. Then, you should change your low and high limits to something like a low of +$250 and a high of +$750. Now, here is the kicker - it is OK to keep playing, keep reevaluating, and keep changing your limits when you are winning. It is NOT OK to keep changing those limits when you are losing - that is a sure-fire recipe for disaster where you end up losing more than you can financially afford to lose.
· Seek help if you believe you have a problem with gambling (e.g. an addiction). There are many places available that can help you and you can find those on the internet just as easily as you found the online gaming site you have been playing on. Just "Google" it!
· My number one rule when gambling online or offline is - DON'T DRINK WHILE GAMBLING! Those limits you set will be gone. Your mental edge is gone. And, sooner or later, your money is gone!
· Don't borrow or lend money when it comes to gambling. When the money is not yours, you don't tend to care as much and your betting habits are looser than when you are playing with your own money. You may not think that you would play anything any differently and you can tell yourself whatever you want (like "I wouldn't do that") but you do. If you don't believe me try it sometime. Play with someone who knows you well and what you would play / bet on verses what you would not - do it with a small amount that you can afford to cover when (notice I didn't say if?) you lose. When done, ask that person if they think you played any differently... you will be surprised. With your own money, you might not chase that inside straight or flush to the river while playing poker. And you wouldn't play that 7/4 when raised in the blind. With someone else's money, you will find some way of justifying it like "I had 12 outs", "The Odds Were In My Favor", or "They were suited" (my personal favorite). As a lender, pretty much count that money gone and good luck on getting it back (even if they won). Now, let me just say that I do have some friends that simply don't have the money to gamble. Every once in a while, I "loan" them some money because I want them to have some fun and I enjoy their companionship while playing together at the tables or slot machines but it wasn't really a loan - I never expect it back.
· Don't gamble when you are emotionally down (sad or depressed) - I personally battle with depression every day and have learned (over many years) to recognize when I am depressed. Trust me when I tell you this... when you are sad or depressed, you do not care as much about losing. When you are sad or depressed, you expect to lose. And, when you lose, your expectation was met and you don't mind sinking more money into losing. Stay away from all forms of gambling when you are in a funk and, as a personal aside, alcohol really doesn't help either.
Those are my three big "Do's" and "Don'ts" but there are several others that you learn as time goes by, especially "Do's" and "Don'ts" for specific games. Here is a link to some more general and game-specific "Do's and Don'ts"