There are plenty of places where you can get incredible amounts of information about gambling from people who know much more about it than me. I’m not anywhere close to being an expert, but I do like the experience while still being extremely conservative with money.
Finding a balance of both is tricky, which is why I stick with the following guidelines whenever I decide to gamble.
Here are five tips that hopefully help you have success.
It’s amazing how many people will blow money playing games they don’t even understand. If you don’t know how to play craps, don’t think you can just sit down at a craps table at a casino and expect to have as much fun as the people at the table beside you.
For me, this means focusing on sports. I couldn’t tell you the first thing about most card games, but I’ve got no trouble finding a sports line I’m comfortable with.
You increase your odds of success when you know your game - and knowing the odds is always important.
2. Plan Your Steps
This is huge. It’s important to have a plan for failure and success because it keeps you in control. Have a plan for how much you’re willing to spend and stick to it. Make up your mind beforehand of when you’ll walk away. Don’t let the emotion of a moment dictate your decision. The “house” has no emotion - you shouldn’t either.
3. Ask Questions
Asking questions goes with the point No. 1 about understanding the game. If you don’t understand how something works, ask for help.
This is a trillion dollar industry. You should have confidence if you’re going to jump in the pool.
People in casinos want you to spend money. People that run online gambling sites want you to be a regular participant. Most of the time, they’re willing to invest a few minutes of time to get you comfortable and answer your questions because it makes you more likely to spend your money.
If you aren’t at a casino, take advantage of the mountains of information available on other sites. Being ignorant about how to gamble will kill your odds. And we always want the odds to be ever in our favor.
4. Have a Purpose
Lots of people gamble for the heck of it, which is fine if that’s their intention. If not, it’s foolish.
If you’re going to spend $100 in a casino for a night of entertainment, play something that will entertain you and enjoy the experience. At that point, coming away with winnings would just be an added bonus.
If you’re going to bet on a football game with some friends, enjoy the experience with your friends. Again, this is about staying in control.
As long as you’re in control, you can accept losing. When you can’t, you’re done.
5. Remember the Opponent
As much as you think you know about a game, never forget who you’re playing against. This is especially important if you’re confident in your ability.
When I bet on a line for a basketball game, I’m not really betting for one team over another. I’m essentially betting that I know more about a particular game than the sophisticated algorithm and team of experts that predicted the outcome. Most of the time, they know much more than me.
So...play smart. Stay under control. And have fun. Good luck! You’ll need it.