How to gamble responsibly (and stop when you need to)

Gambling is a fun form of distraction, but it’s important to think of it in the same way you might buy a movie ticket or a fair ride. It’s exciting during the experience, and if you happen to win something extra, that’s great. But the point is to enjoy the core time and experience.

It can be hard to keep track of money in the heat of the moment. That’s why it’s important to set a gambling budget, one that still gives you plenty of cash for your normal expenses, and stick to it. If you go through all the money, it’s time to stop.

Whether you’re winning or losing, time seems to run at a different pace when you’re gambling. Make sure that you set a time limit for your gambling, making time for other exciting or important activities.

Some days you’re up and some days you’re down. As long as you stay within your gambling budget, it should still be fine. It’s important you avoid gambling more in the hope of making back lost money. This is called chasing losses and can lead to problem gambling.

Prefer a lucky table, or keep playing the same game where you won big? No problem! But remember that gambling is all about luck and chance, and no amount of superstition will alter the outcomes.

Some games are more entertaining than others for some people, no matter the odds. While blackjack or poker might have some of the best odds, they can still have certain bets with the worst odd in the casino. Slots or Keno might not be as reliable, but people can still win big and have tons of fun. Learn the rules and understand the odds of the games you enjoy.

How to Stop Gambling

The first step to overcoming your addiction is acknowledging that you have a problem, which isn’t an easy thing to do. You will feel emotionally confused: the rational part of your personality will be telling you to stop because you know it’s destroying your life, while the other side of you will be craving the highs of gambling.

It is important that you confide in someone who you feel comfortable talking to and who will be able to offer you emotional support. Together you can create a plan of action.

Delete any gambling apps, block any gambling websites, and leave any tip forums that you think could tempt you to relapse.

Ask your supportive friend or family member if they can administer your finances for you, at least for a month or two while you deal with your addiction. This does not mean asking them to pay off your debts but instead means giving them control of your money.

Like any addiction, withdrawal is the hardest part. To overcome it you need to keep busy. We suggest picking up a new hobby, like a physical activity that can give you a rush – rock climbing is a great option.

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