There is a certain mindset needed to play pokies and to gamble in general. It is a mindset that will make gambling fun, removing frustration and ensuring that problem gambling symptoms do not develop. Most of it is common sense, but that doesn’t stop millions of people all over the world developing gambling problems.
The Right Mindset
The right mindset when playing pokies, and the right mindset when gambling on anything for that matter, is to already assume you have lost. If you’re planning a trip to the casino and stuff $200 or so into your pocket, then treat it like you would if you were going to spend a night in the clubs. That $200 will be spent on drinks for you, drinks for your friends; it’s money that will go on cheap and terrible food at the end of the night when you’re too drunk to care, money that will go on stupid prop bets you make with friends and even money you lose down the back of a seat in a seedy bar. The point is, it’s money you don’t expect to still be there at the end of the night, and unless you plan on turning tricks then you certainly don’t expect to have more money than you started with.
A casino needs to be the same, because that’s the only way you’re going to have fun. Set aside some money for drinks (but never get too drunk) and some money for food, and then set aside some money for gambling in the same manner, knowing that it will be gone by the end of the night and all chalked up to the experience. Never go in to a casino, be it online of offline, expecting to be up at the end of the night. You might be, but you should never plan for it and you should always treat your winnings as a bonus, and one that could be lost just as quickly as you won them.
As with a trip to the nightclub, you should never take more money than you can afford to spend, or in this case, lose. If you have $100 a week left over after paying your rent and your bills, then it’s not sensible to be gambling that away. You might see it as a way of earning more money for an easier week, but you’d be an idiot if you did.
There is no set amount that you should gamble, but if you want to work it out then deduct all of your bills, rent, food, etc., from your wages and see what you’re left with. You shouldn’t gamble all of what’s left, just a small proportion of it. I gamble a huge amount, all of the writers on this site do. In fact, at the time of writing I have a blackjack game from Royal Vegas Casino open, and although I am up in that game, that isn’t always the case. Still, I try to make sure that I don’t gamble more than 25% of my expendable income, because I know that if I lost that percentage after every single paycheck, then I would care. And that, ultimately, is the goal. Gambling addiction is a result of chasing losses that shouldn’t have been in the first place. Anger that comes as a result of gambling is because of bad choices, because you have risked more than you can afford to risk and because you’ve just seen most or all of your expendable income frittered away.
The Wrong Mindset
As we have already discussed, the wrong mindset is to assume that you will win or that the money is yours. As soon as you enter a casino then the money in your pocket is no longer yours, as soon as you play on an online casino then you need to consider the money in your account as already gone.
One of the main issues that gambling causes is when people chase their losses. This causes many addictions and has been responsible for financial ruin across the world. As an example of a gambler chasing losses, if they lose $50 on a game, then they might risk $100 on an Evens bet on the next game in order to get all of their money back. If they lose that bet and continue to gamble like that, then they could be down thousands before they know it.
If you have an impulsive personality and are quick to anger and frustration, then you are more predisposed to such acts. In such cases you should try and gamble only a tiny fraction of your expandable income, ensuring zero annoyance if you lose.
Another thing to keep in mind when playing pokies is the progressive jackpot. This is a bonus and nothing more, and you should never play more to get to it. The same applies to bonus rounds and other special features that appear randomly and rarely. You might think that if you’ve played a few hundred games and haven’t hit a bonus round then it’s worth playing a few hundred more, as one is sure to appear (the odds would be on your side after all) but this is a very dangerous mindset and one that is sure to lose you a small fortune. What happens, for instance, when that bonus round does come and it fails, netting you nothing more than a spin or two worth of credits? The chances are you will be so angry and frustrated that you’ll play more and more, sending you on a slippery slope.