Gambling doesn’t come up all that often in conversations about fiscal responsibility—that is, unless you count the stock market—but the truth is that in certain places in the world, gambling (particularly the electronic variety) is more popular than it’s ever been. With this growing interest, it might be time to have a conversation about how to take part responsibly.
Below are FIVE tips to help guide you through your next casino vacation. Gambling is a great way to spend time with family or to make new friends, and you’ll enjoy it even more if you know how to do it responsibly.
One: Always Remember That the House Wins
You’ve heard it so many times you probably don’t take it seriously anymore: The House always wins. While the laws of probability and chance are mathematical constants and not generally open to interpretation, it’s fair to say that the people who designed your favorite casino games have a better grasp on these constants than you ever will.
So in practical terms, the advice here is not to get swept up in minor victories, or to sit through a series of disappointments waiting for your luck to change.
Two: Don’t Gamble More Than You Want to Lose
It’s a familiar trope in TV shows and movies: the main character bets their last stack of chips, loses miserably, and then goes in search of friends or family to beg money from them instead. “My luck will turn around on the next hand—you’ll see!”
One of the most important things you can do when en route to a casino is to simply allocate a fixed amount of money to your gambling exploits. It should be a sum that will let you enjoy yourself for a while, but not so much that it will bankrupt the rest of your vacation fund. If you don’t trust yourself to stick to this amount, leave your credit cards with someone you trust, or leave it in the car altogether.
Three: It’s Easier to Gamble Responsibly in a Social Setting
Many of life’s best pastimes are social by nature. A morning run is refreshing and rewarding, but a morning run with your significant other is even better. The same thing goes with gambling.
Unless you need to travel alone for business reasons, there’s a good chance you’ll be taking your next trip with friends or loved ones. It’s important to include them if you’re planning to hit the card tables while you’re out on the town. Limiting your gambling to social situations is a great way to stay in touch with your self-control.
Remember: gambling is first and foremost about being entertained, rather than pursuing the next windfall. By keeping your friends close, you’ll remember what you’re there for in the first place. And always remember: if you (or someone you know) is suffering from any of the symptoms of a gambling disorder, it might be time to consider seeking help from a rehabilitation clinic near you.