Gambling, like drinking is a way to get entertained and have a good time. And just like drinking, you can overdo it. A drink is fine, 10 drinks and getting sick in your friend’s car is too much. How can you gamble responsibly?
Remember the odds
Casinos are made to make money. Someone has to pay for the impressive building on Vegas’ Stripe, the million bulbs of lightening, the ”free” drinks and the lightly dressed waitresses’ salaries (although there are free things to do in Vegas too). Chances are you will go home poorer that night.
Take only the money you are prepared to lose.
Let’s face it, at the end of your night of fun, you will probably lose most or all your money. So only take what you can afford to lose. No credit cards, just cold hard cash. Or if you gamble online on sites like JackpotCity, fund your credit with what you can afford, and stick to that.
There are also sites like Bet Bind that can help you keep track of your bets, wins and losses to make sure you gamble what you can afford.
Last time we went to Las Vegas, we decided to hit the casinos one night, and spend no more than $100. The plan was to turn that into $1 million, you may guess it did not happen, but we had a great time and still made it out with $250.
Keep your focus
After spending the night in the casino, we were still in Vegas for a few days and we enjoyed the huge all you can eat buffets inside the casinos. They are super cheap and you can feast on oysters, sushi and ribs subsidized by the gamblers’ losses.
But on the way to and from the buffet, you will walk past hundreds of playing machines, and more than once, BF slipped a few dollars in. That added up to the price of our lunch.
If you go play black jack, play black jack. If you like the 1c machines, stick to that. Have fun with your game, avoid being tempted for more.
Easy on the drinking
There is a reason why casinos offer free drinks to players. Drinking will alter your judgment and make you sloppy with your moves. You pay less attention, lose focus, and before you know it, your money is gone.
During our casino night, we had too many drinks. It was BF’s birthday and we wanted to celebrate. The more we drank, the more we got caught in the game. I think we lost a good $30 on the drunk gambling. When I saw we were losing our straight thinking, I took back the $100 we had put in, so we could lose all the rest and it would still be a free night.
But this is not the point. For once, we were beating the odds, and we got caught in and lost in the end.
Know when to stop.
Put a time limit on top of the money limit. A couple of hours, once a month or once a year is great. Most of your Saturday nights is not.
In our case it was a once in a lifetime thing. We went to Vegas, drove all the way from Guatemala, and had to experience the Vegas life. We did, shook hands and parted friends. Gambling can turn into a really bad habit if you are not careful. The moment you stop having fun, just stop.
What about you? Do you like gambling or playing the lottery? Ever gone too far?