When I think about casinos and gambling in general, I tend to focus on the good instead of the bad. I find myself reminiscing about past successes, significant wins, and enjoyable nights at the tables.
It’s often more comfortable and more pleasant to recall these positive experiences than dwell on any negative ones. However, it’s impossible to deny their existence in my history of gambling at casinos.
Like myself, I find that both gamblers and the general public are prone to glamorizing the world of gambling. But the reality of it is that, for every gambler who hits the jackpot, several others are losing significant amounts of money.
It’s important to remind yourself of this unfortunate reality every so often. It will keep you grounded in reality and hopefully help you avoid any critical mistakes.
Gambling for real money should always be a source of pleasure, not distress. However, it’s far too easy to make a mistake that can put your personal life outside of the casino in jeopardy.
Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed several gamblers put themselves in financial turmoil. To avoid doing something similar, here are six mistakes that often lead to devastating gambling losses.
Counting on High-Risk, High-Reward Wagers
People approach casinos in very different ways.
Some prefer to play blackjack poker for hours, while others might do the same at a slot machine. Then, some prefer to hop between the exciting table games like craps and roulette.
The one thing that hopefully binds these different people together is their financial decision making. See, it’s entirely possible to make a bankroll last for as long as you need it to.
That often means gambling at a low stakes blackjack table or camping out at the casino’s cheapest slot machine. By playing conservatively and intelligently, there’s a decent chance someone could walk away with some money.
On the opposite end of the gambling spectrum are those who like to act recklessly. Instead of gambling with some semblance of financial responsibility, they prefer the riskier wagers.
These wagers typically vary based on the game being played, but they often involve a significant amount of money and longshot odds.
The excitement and adrenaline rush these kinds of bets cause might seem enjoyable at the moment. However, if you’re not on the receiving end of excellent fortune, that excitement will quickly fade into despair.
Drastically Increasing Bet Size After Major Swings
A significant change in the amount of money you’re gambling with often results in angst or jubilation. Whether it’s angst caused by consistent losses or jubilation as a result of quality wins, gamblers tend to react one way or another.
That sudden impulse to make a change to your plan is understandable. If you’re faring better than you expected, it’s natural to chase that feeling by increasing the amount you bet.
Additionally, emotions often run high, and there is little time to pause and collect yourself before acting.
Unfortunately, these knee-jerk reactions caused by significant swings rarely go according to plan. Any sizable gains can quickly disappear while efforts to restore bankrolls are ineffective. In situations like these, it’s always best to maintain consistency in the amount of money bet per hand.
Emulating Toxic Casino Gamblers
Gamblers and pop culture often glamorize toxic gambling personalities. Not many people aspire to be like the responsible gambler who occasionally wins a moderate amount of money.
Instead, it’s much more enticing to carry oneself like the reckless adrenaline junkies I referenced earlier.
I’m talking about the gambler who throws down stacks of money and places absurd bets that occasionally win. They might dress in a flashy manner and carry themselves like they own the entire establishment.
When they’re winning, the entire casino will likely hear their celebrations. However, those wins are infrequent.
This style of gambling is simply unsustainable for most casino-goers. It might seem exciting, but those occasional wins don’t make up for the sizable losses this recklessness often results in.
Acting on Impulse Before Weighing Implications
One of the best parts of gambling in a casino is how easy it is to get completely immersed in the experience. It’s easy to completely tune out everything and allow yourself to focus on the game in front of you solely.
Casinos use psychological tricks to create a gambling environment where the concept of time has little significance. This is a good thing for gamblers who are competent, responsible, and able to demonstrate some form of self-control.
When gambling, it’s easy to suspend normal decision-making processes because money can lose its value. It’s much easier to rationalize risky bets when you’re gambling with pieces of plastic instead of cash.
Once a sense of financial responsibility is cast away, gamblers can put themselves into precarious situations. While it might feel like casinos are isolated from the rest of the world, the decisions made inside them are not.
There’s a significant difference between enjoying a brief respite and acting impulsively.
Gambling Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Gambling can often be a social experience that’s best enjoyed with friends, family, and other acquaintances. As someone who appreciates the culture of gambling, I enjoy frequenting all sorts of casinos with all types of people.
Most of my experiences gambling with others have been pleasant. However, a few that occurred during the early parts of my gambling career were revelatory in the worst kind of way.
When you travel to a casino in groups, it stands to reason that different party members will gamble different amounts of money. Because of this, people’s perception of gambling and their approaches will also be different.
As someone who wanted to gamble with the friends I came with but lacked financial discipline, that fact was lost on me. I never even considered that my bankroll was significantly smaller than the others.
Combine that with my limited gambling experience, and I found myself being eaten alive at the casino tables. In a matter of minutes, my bankroll was gone.
Instead of trying to keep up with people beyond your means, it’s crucial to find a situation where you’re comfortable. That might result in you breaking away from the group to find a cheaper table, or a different game entirely.
Placing the Rest of Your Bankroll on One Bet
No one likes watching the house throw a wrench in their casino bankroll management. In situations where several losses follow every winning hand, it’s normal to feel a sense of desperation creep in.
At some point, a smart gambler might decide to abandon their pipe dream of recouping losses. They might pursue a different table, try their luck at a different game, or even call it a day.
If the bet wins, you might stand a better chance to get back to even. But it’s worth considering the fact that it might not be your night, and a big win isn’t in the cards.
Decisions made out of desperation rarely pay dividends. It’s always preferable to swallow your pride, admit the house got the better of you, and walk away with a portion of your bankroll.
Consider Your Gambling Decisions
The decisions made inside casinos shouldn’t impact your personal life outside of them.
Look, losing is never fun, but it’s excruciating when those losses involve cold, hard cash. Gamblers lose more often than they win; that’s just how casinos stay in business.
When gamblers find themselves on a cold streak, it’s essential to avoid making matters work. Minor losses can quickly snowball into significantly more devastating ones.
Before making a decision that goes against the grain of your normal gambling approach, consider the implications of your actions. If there’s a chance that a choice will have adverse effects on you after you leave the casino, the risk is not worth the potential monetary gain.