The Basic Rules of Gambling

People who are relatively new to the concept of gambling are often unsure as to the right and wrong ways to make the best use of their money. The idea of placing bets often leaves people wondering if they are doing the right thing or not.

rules of gamblingWhether you intend gambling in an online casino, a sportsbook or other betting related website, or in a brick and mortar establishment such as a casino, bookmaker or at the racetrack or even amongst friends and acquaintances, it pays to have a good understanding of what you are doing. There are some basic, yet golden rules about the process of gambling that, when followed, will increase the enjoyment of the experience and help prevent some of the problems that are associated with the practice.

This article aims to explore these rules and explain why they are what they are and why you should try to follow them wherever possible.

Rule #1: The Most Important Rule of All

If I had to put my hand on my heart and say with all my belief that there is one rule that stands out above all others it is this:

Only gamble money you can afford to lose.

It's short, to the point and should precede all other gambling concepts, rules and strategies. Why is this? The simple fact is that whenever you gamble money, it is by its own nature a risk. And the risk is that you can lose that money just as you can win.

So many people start to place bets with money they really can't afford to lose, believing they stand a good chance of winning. The truth usually hits home after they have lost all the money they had on them and the realization sinks in that they have no more to spend.

In this situation, the sensible person will take that as a certainty they should walk away and accept their losses, learning from the experience that next time they will only spend money they really don't need for anything else (i.e. they can afford to lose it).

Rule #2: There is No Such Thing as a Sure Bet

How many times have you heard someone say that they had a sure bet? They probably added that they simply couldn't lose. How tempting is it to be told this and to have the opportunity to bet some money on a sure thing?

Very tempting! The problem is that if there is less than a 100% actuality of a result occurring, it is not a sure thing! If there is only a 99% probability of a result occurring and a 1% chance it will not, there is an element of risk and you cannot be completely sure that your bet will win.

Of course, all bettors work on the concept of odds, with the best bets usually coming in at odds of 1:1 or a 50% chance of winning (or losing) the bet. Professional gamblers accept that odds this high are usually the best they will ever get and routinely accept them as significant.

Any bet you make is a gamble because it comes with risk. The risk is that you can lose as well as win and you should always remember that!

Rule #3: Be Patient and Stay Calm

It often happens that in the heat of the moment, an amazing betting opportunity arises that is so attractive you just have to take it. But there is a big difference between a careful, measured approach to batting and a rash, emotional approach.

The top professional gamblers tend to stay calm and emotionally neutral when weighing up a betting prospect. This is so they can act with a clear head and make the best decision based on their knowledge and experience that they can. This is a tactic well worth emulating!

Novice gamblers, on the other hand have a tendency to let their hearts rule their heads and allow emotions to colour their decisions. A rash or hot headed decision over a bet will invariably end badly. This is because the decision will have been arrived at in the heat of the moment and not though through properly!

If you want to maximize your betting strategy, always give yourself time to act calmly, as unemotionally as possible and with a calculated decision.

Rule #4: Don't be Influenced by External Factors

This doesn't tend to apply so much to Internet gambling, as you will generally be alone with your computer and not distracted by anyone else. But when in a group of people and maybe you're using a handheld device to play, it is possible to fall under the influence of distracting circumstances.

A common mistake is allowing the innate need to impress someone else with your betting or playing skills to colour your strategy. You may be in the presence of someone who is a successful gambler and want to show them just how good you are too, in an attempt to garner their approval.

Or you might start betting rashly to impress a member of the opposite sex (this generally happens when a guy is trying to impress a girl) and show off what you believe is your great talent at betting.

Don't do it!

Allowing this and similar distractions to influence your decision making process can only end in rash or hot headed bets being placed, with disastrous results! Be mindful of the previous rule and keep your mind calm, clear and decisive!

Rule #5: Manage Your Bankroll Sensibly

manage your bankrollYour bankroll is your bets friend when playing because it can keep you in check and dictate the strategy of your play when you work with it and manage it correctly. Yet how often do gamblers allow their emotions to take over and make a series of bad decisions that seriously depletes their bankroll?

It happens a lot, but more especially to newcomers to this arena. Occasionally, you will come across a professional who will make bad decisions. One rash bet can wipe you out! But this doesn't happen often.

See the first or golden rule above and make a point of keeping tabs on your bankroll so that you know what you can afford to lose and what you need to keep in order to stay in the game. Because getting it right can mean the difference from staying in that game longer with a better chance of coming out on top, or making an early exit, broke!

Rule #6: Enjoy Yourself

The last rule here is to enjoy yourself when playing. The whole idea of this pastime and probably the biggest attraction of gambling is that it should be a happy and fulfilling experience. This can happen when you follow the rules and stay sensible.

It's not much fun playing rashly like an idiot and losing all your money very quickly. It's even worse when you lose money you really needed for something else important, like your rent, your food or whatever. It's much better to not involve any of the money you need for other things and only spend money you really can call "spare cash".

So enjoy your game, use your money wisely and above all, have fun!

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