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When To Take A Break From Gambling
Millions of people all over the world regularly enjoy gambling. Whether it’s betting on sports, playing casino games, buying lottery tickets, or one of the many other forms of betting and gaming, gambling provides a lot of entertainment for a lot of people.
One of the most appealing things about gambling is, somewhat obviously, the fact that it offers the chance to win money. It is even possible to make a regular income from certain forms of gambling – such as sports betting or poker for example – and there are plenty of people around the world who do exactly that.
For most gamblers, however, gambling is a hobby or a pastime rather than a source of income. Of course they all try (or hope!) to win some money, but it’s primarily about the entertainment factor. The fact that there is money at stake does make gambling different from many other hobbies or pastimes though. It is all too easy to get carried away and gamble more than you should.
This is why it’s so important to gamble responsibly. The vast majority of gamblers do, but it is possible for things to get out of control. A good way to avoid this happening to you is make sure you take a break from your gambling from time to time.
There are certain times when it is a particularly good idea to take a break, and I’ve highlighted these below. Please note that this advice is based on you generally being in control of your gambling. If you feel like you don’t have control, you might have a problem. You should stop immediately and seek some help. Please see our article on responsible gambling for more information.
When You’re Not Enjoying Yourself
As I’ve already mentioned, gambling is a form of entertainment for most people. It can certainly be a lot of fun but, like anything, it can get boring every now and then. There is little point in spending money on gambling if you are not enjoying yourself, so it’s a good idea to take a break if you ever find that you are not having as much as fun as you’d like. It doesn’t have to be for long, and you might just find that you enjoy things a lot more after a little break.
Obviously this point doesn’t necessarily apply if you are gambling for a living. If you are a profitable sports bettor for example, or play poker as your full time job, then you don’t absolutely need to enjoy what you’re doing. With that being said, even professional gamblers should take periodic breaks to avoid getting burned out.
When Your Social Life is Suffering
Have you ever said no to going out with friends because you’d rather stay at home and play online casino games? Or missed a big social event because it interfered with your betting schedule? If you’ve answered yes to either of these questions, or simply recognize that your gambling is interfering with your social life, then you maybe need to think about taking a break.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with spending some of your spare time gambling. It’s a perfectly acceptable hobby, and certainly not one you should feel ashamed of. However, like any hobby, you need to find a balance between the time you spend on it and the time you spend on your social life.
Of course, gambling can be a social thing anyway. If I’m visiting a land based casino I usually go with a group of friends, and I have a number of poker playing friends I enjoy regular home games with. I find these are great ways to combine my gambling with spending time with my friends.
When You’re On a Losing Streak
Every gambler hits a bad losing streak from time to time, even those that are very skilled and gamble for a living. If it happens to you, it’s not necessarily something to worry about too much. You might be making all the right decisions, but just not getting any luck. In every form of gambling there is at least a bit of luck involved, and if it’s going against you then there is very little you can do about it.
The problem with losing streaks is that they can easily spiral out of control. It is all too tempting to try and chase the losses, and this can then lead to even greater losses. Many gamblers have blown through their entire bankroll as a result of chasing losses after a bad run, and it’s something you really want to try and avoid.
There is no guarantee that taking a break will turn your luck around, but it should prevent you from losing control and incurring even greater losses.
When You’ve Had a Big Win
This is probably one of the last times that you’ll feel like taking a break from gambling. If you’re lucky enough, or good enough, to land a big win then the chances are you will want to keep on going and try and win even more. This is not necessarily the wrong thing to do, but you might want to consider taking a break instead.
After a big win it can be very tempting to increase your stakes, either because you feel like you’re on a roll or simply because you have more money to gamble with. The problem with increasing your stakes is that you may well end up giving all your winnings back – and possibly more on top too.
Losing all of your winnings, and having nothing to show for it, will almost certainly cause some frustration. This is easily avoided though; all you have to do is take a short break from your gambling, and find something to do with the money you’ve won. You may well want to put some of it back into your bankroll, which is fine, but you should take some out for yourself. You could buy yourself something special, treat a loved one, or even top up your savings.
The point here is really that you shouldn’t gamble away your winnings after a decent win. You will feel so much better if you have something to show for it.