Poker is a highly entertaining, fun and exciting game enjoyed by millions all around the world. As with any enjoyable game, especially one that involves money, it can become highly addictive and unfortunately, some individuals may develop gambling problems which can cause serious damage to their well beings.
We at MoneyPokerSites try our utmost to promote safe and responsible gambling, and highly advice all our readers to enjoy the game of poker as a form of entertainment only, and be wary of any potential issues that can arise by keeping tabs of their own actions and habits.
To help make sure you gamble safely and responsibly, please read through this page to familiarize yourself with what safe gambling is, and how to spot early signs of compulsive gambling as well as how to resolve them by yourself, or for more serious cases, where to find professional guidance.
The very first thing you need to check and verify before you start gambling is that you meet the minimum legal gambling age requirement for wherever it is that you live. For the United States, the minimum legal gambling age is 18, but this differs from state to state with some being 21. So make sure you consult your local jurisdiction authorities to find out for definite what the minimum legal gambling age for yourself is.
What is Responsible Gambling
Follow the following guidelines to stay in control of your gambling entertainments:
- Only gamble with what you can afford to lose without affecting your other financial responsibilities like rent, mortgages, bills, food, daily expenses, family expenses, etc.
- Gambling is a form of entertainment, so only play it if it makes you feel happy and that you’re enjoying the process.
- Set a limit to when and how long your gambling sessions should be.
- Don’t chase your losses. It sucks to lose, but everyone loses from time to time. So, make sure that these are losses that you can afford, and therefore are not pressured into trying to win it back.
- Do not treat gambling as a way to get rich. If you win, then good for you. But as with all gambling, nothing is guaranteed.
- Do not view gambling as a way to make money to cover your other expenses. There is an inherent risk with any form of gambling, and you should not rely on it for anything other than entertainment, and a possibility of winning.
Signs of Gambling Problem
So, what is considered to be a gambling addiction? In its most basic definition, it’s an uncontrollable and unexplainable urge to gamble despite its negative effects on other aspects of your life.
Most people are aware of their gambling habits and can adjust their actions accordingly. This is a good thing and vital to not letting this form of entertainment get out of hand. However, there are some that are less sensitive to their own actions and therefore find it harder to notice early on if gambling is causing them issues. For those individuals, ask yourself the following questions, and if you answer “yes” to any of them, then it’s possible you might indeed have compulsive gambling issues and it’s time to take action and address them.
- Do thoughts of gambling cross your mind while you’re busy doing other things, like when at work, or school, etc?
- Has gambling made you feel unhappy? Stressed?
- Have you lied about your gambling habits to friends or family?
- Have you lost sleep over gambling, be it from losing or winning?
- Do you feel like gambling is the answer to your other financial responsibilities, like rent or bills?
- Do you gamble outside of your means by having to borrow money?
- Has gambling made you less sociable, and taking away time from you participating in other activities that you used to partake in?
- Has gambling caused issues in your relationship with colleagues, friends, or family?
- Has anyone told you they think you have gambling issues?
- When you win, do you have an urge to keep gambling because you think you could win even more?
If you answered “no” to all the above questions, then congratulations! You have nothing to worry about. But, even if you answered “yes” to some of the questions, there’s still no need to be too concerned. The most important part is being aware of that fact that you might have some gambling issues, but now that you know, you can start taking action to address them.
Overcoming Problem by Yourself
If you’ve discovered the signs early, then there’s likely no need for you to seek professional help. Some small changes to your gambling habits might be all you need to get back in control of it.
- Be open about your gambling issue, and ask for help from family and friends – This is the easiest step to take to regain control of your gambling. The fact that you’re able to acknowledge that you have some slight gambling problems and that you’re able to ask for help could in itself be enough to trigger a positive change in your gambling habit. Also, knowing that you have close family and friends to offer you support will help a lot.
- Manage your gambling funds – start making physical notes of how much you’re spending on gambling on a weekly basis. Work out whether or not this is too much and reduce the amount you gamble with until it gets to a level where you are comfortable with.
- Spend more time doing other things – If you’re busy doing other activities, then you’ll have less time to gamble. Go out with friends, spend time with family etc.
If you think you’re gambling problems are more serious and that you need professional help, there are many resources dedicated to helping you. Many gamblers regain control of their lives with the help from these organizations, so you’ll be in good hand.