At the risk of contradicting the title, we’re not fans of pigeonholing people. However, there are certain common character traits among some people that are impossible to deny.
Bad gamblers are a prime example, who in all instances exhibit very similar behaviours.
Of course, the definition of a ‘bad’ gambler is open to debate. If you have unlimited cash reserves, regularly blowing a fortune is fine. If you can afford to make bad decisions, fair enough – go right ahead.
But if you have a finite bankroll, it’s an entirely different story. In this case, bad gambling means just that – making bad decisions and subsequently paying the price.
With this category of gamblers, you tend to see the same mistakes being perpetuated across the board. Hence, if you’re guilty of any of the following, you may wish to rethink your approach to gambling in its entirety:
1 – A Lack of Self-Control
Telling yourself to do something and actually doing it are two entirely different things. Discipline isn’t something that comes easy to some people, but is essential at the casino. Self-control and self-discipline mean establishing rules for your gambling activities and sticking by them.
How much you are willing to spend, how much you can afford to lose, how much time to spend playing casino games and so on. If you cannot follow your own rules, you’re destined for disaster. Precisely why those who lack self-control are typically advised to avoid gambling altogether.
2 – A Tendency to Take Unnecessary Risks
Good gamblers are those who know how to analyse the risk-reward ratio when placing wagers. Bad gamblers are those who take unnecessary risks, chasing unrealistic outcomes. Those in the latter bracket tend to have a high-risk, high-reward approach to gambling. They fail to acknowledge or accept that in doing so, they’re almost always likely to lose – all of the time.
One of the many hallmarks of a good gambler is a surprisingly conservative approach. They don’t pursue instant gratification of glory – they set themselves on the slow path towards it. And in doing so, they face a lower risk of catastrophic losses and stretch their bankroll much further.
Though again, none of this supplies if you literally have a limitless bankroll to play with.
3 – An Inability to Walk Away at the Right Time
It takes courage and conviction to quit while behind. Something a surprising proportion of gamblers simply cannot do. Quitting while behind means accepting you have lost and walking away worse off (financially) for the experience. Understandably difficult, but the only alternative to overspending and hopelessly chasing losses.
In practice, this is something the overwhelming majority of gamblers do on occasion. Even if you know it’s a bad idea, the temptation to chase losses is undeniable. Even if you just win a tiny amount of your money back, it’s better than nothing. Though chances are, you’ll end up losing even more.
Incidentally, not knowing when to walk away after striking it lucky at the casino can be just as hazardous.
4 – Pumping Money Into the Wrong Games
What constitutes the ‘wrong’ game at a casino? Two things – a game you don’t particularly like, and/or a game where the odds are well and truly stacked against you. Taking slot machines as an example – RTP rates and volatility vary massively from one slot to the next. Pick a high-variance slot with a low RTP and you can kiss most of your money goodbye pretty quickly.
In terms of enjoyment, playing games you’re not really into in hope of winning money defies the purpose of casino gaming. It’s supposed to be about fun and enjoyment – prizes are a secondary issue. This therefore means that if you’re prioritising finances over fun, you’re gambling for the wrong reasons.
5 – A Tendency to Gamble on Credit
Funding gambling activities with a credit card or overdraft is a bad idea…period. This is because you’re technically gambling with someone else’s money, and may have access to more than you can realistically afford. With many gamblers, it’s a case of thinking “I’ll play now, win money at some point and pay it off later.”
Sadly, this rarely turns out to be the case. You play with money on credit, lose, play with more borrowed money and the downward spiral continues. It’s a nasty trap that can result in both excessive debt and further costs by way of interest payments. Even debit cards can be risky business when heading out to a casino.
It’s always better to take the exact amount of cash you can comfortably afford to lose – not a penny more.
6 – Gambling While Intoxicated
Is it fun to enjoy a few libations while gambling? Surely it is! But at the same time, it’s important to know where to draw the line.
If inebriation in any way influences the decisions you make, you’re in bother. Even so, it’s remarkable how many people in the average casino are under the influence of alcohol while gambling. Again, there’s nothing wrong with wasting money this way if you can afford to do so. Assuming you’re not looking around with bottomless pockets, it’s a terrible habit to avoid at all costs.
7 – Blaming Others for Their Own Mistakes
Last up, something every bad gambler has in common is the inability to accept shortcomings. You play, you lose, and you immediately find someone or something to blame. Somebody at the table distracted you, the dealer put you off or the game is rigged. However ludicrous, you’ll come up with any excuse not to own your mistakes.
Meanwhile, good gamblers know that mistakes are nothing to be ashamed of. Quite the contrary – they’re important opportunities to learn and develop new skills. When you lose, you lose entirely due to your own actions and decisions. No exceptions and no excuses.
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