Gambling Do's and Don'ts

Gambling is an activity fraught with psychological traps. Most of us have experienced the empowering sensation of winning at gambling. Of course, most of us have also experienced the stomach-shrinking feeling of losing too.

Sometimes the irrational part of the mind takes over and tries to invoke the 'winning' sensation at all costs. Illogical thoughts like, 'it must be time my luck changed' or, 'surely it can't be red again' are signs that this is happening.

The smart gambler keeps this irrational instinct in check and understands that chance does not owe them a favour because of past sins. This section has a list of commonsense do's and don'ts that should be adhered to when involved in any form of gambling.


DO take breaks from the gambling activity you're involved in. There's a reason why casinos don't have windows or clocks! The less you think about the time you're spending at the tables and the longer you spend there, the more you'll lose overall, unless you're a professional gambler with the hard won knowledge to gain a statistical edge.

By taking a break you not only cut your turnover and therefore losses, you also refresh your brain (which may be relevant in games which require a degree of skill, like Blackjack). Finally, it gives you a chance to get your emotions back under control if you have been having a big winning or losing streak. Playing in the grip of strong emotions is a very dangerous pastime.

DO play within a fixed budget. Decide before you start what you can afford to lose and do not try to recoup your losses once your limit has been reached. That's how family homes are lost. If you have trouble stopping at your loss limit, then only bring the limit amount in cash and leave your credit cards at home. However, a person with such disciplinary difficulties should really not gamble at all.

Having established a budget, find a table limit appropriate for the amount of entertainment time you expect. If you want to make a night of it but can only afford to lose $100, then don't play at the $20 minimum Blackjack table. Find the lowest minimum bet table offered and wait for a seat to become available. If you're not sure which games offer the best returns, print out the table given on this site and take it with you. That way you will not end up playing something with disgraceful returns to the player like Keno or Twenty One.

DO keep track of your betting results. If you're trying a new form of gambling, you are well advised to keep written records of your returns from each session. Over a statistically valid period this will show you whether your 'system' works or not. Do not rely on your memory for such information. There is unfortunately nothing so easy to deceive as our own egos.

DO accept a loss. It is not a reflection on you as a person. It does not establish future 'credit' with the gods of chance. Statistically you are more likely to lose further money than you are to win it back. Let it go. Try and have a laugh about it, and preferably never give them another cent!


DON'T drink a lot of alcohol when gambling in a decision making environment. Many gambling pastimes require skill, and excessive alcohol will inevitably cause you to make mistakes and also perhaps become blase about losing money.

DON'T play decision based games unless you know the correct strategies. If you are going to play games like casino Blackjack, take the time to learn 'basic strategy.'

Games with zero skill (i.e. every bet has the same expected percentage return to the punter) are generally a worse proposition than playing decision based games well, but much better than playing those same games badly!



NEXT ... Gambling Scams

Home|FAQs|Disclaimer|Contact Us

©2000 - present Ozmium Pty Ltd. All rights reserved