In popular depictions of gambling, enjoyment and accountability are typically seen as mutually exclusive. Trips to Sin City and other well-known gambling hotspots are frequently filled with foolish wagers, excessive alcohol consumption, and outrageous acts like stuffing small Asian men in the trunks of cars, as seen in movies like “Vegas Vacation” and “The Hangover.” Casual players’ perceptions of these extravagant works of pop culture fluff have been permanently altered, and every year, waves of tourists arrive in Vegas with the conviction that they must be seriously screwing up their lives if they don’t end up getting drunk and marrying an exotic dancer or blowing their entire bankroll on a game of keno. But this is not the case, and I’m here to tell you that responsible gambling and moderation can combine to produce an experience that is both enjoyable and not at all illegal.
Gambling Addiction Warning Signs
Even though I am aware that a section on problem gambling isn’t “fun,” I feel compelled to include it in any post about ethical casino gaming. I advise reading this information even if you only play occasionally because you may be able to spot the warning signs and symptoms of someone close to you. An individual should gamble responsibly for two main reasons. First, make sure that the session concludes with enjoyment rather than financial ruin and personal hardship. The second is to keep yourself from developing a gambling addiction, a debilitating condition that can rob a player of their money, self-respect, and loved ones. These warning signs point to a potential gambling addiction in a person: (If you notice these signs in yourself or a friend, please remember that numerous programs exist to provide assistance.)
Lack of Self-Control
The average gambler has no trouble leaving a blackjack table or slot machine and getting up. However, the problem gambler frequently remains in the casino until they have completely lost everything. One of the primary indicators of addiction is the inability to make rational choices when confronted with certain triggers, such as alcohol or gambling.
Gambling as an escape
When a player is under stress or trying to forget about daily issues, they turn to gambling as a coping mechanism. For a while, this helps them feel better, but eventually their constant need to gamble leads to yet another challenging circumstance.
Always Thinking About Gambling
The player constantly considers gambling, even when they are not in a casino. They might spend all of their free time reading books and articles on how to beat the house or they might constantly regale friends, family, and complete strangers with tales of their previous exploits. As they are constantly attempting to experience the rush they have come to associate with gambling, they may also try to place bets on the results of unimportant events.
Gambling When You Can’t Afford It
Most gamblers stop when they have no more money to spend, but those who are addicted immediately start looking for new ways to finance their habit and make up their losses. This may initially entail diverting funds that would otherwise be used to pay bills, but it often progresses to borrowing money from friends and getting credit card advances. The problem gambler may even get so desperate that they turn to stealing as getting money becomes more difficult for them.
Psychological Need to Gamble
Like a drug addict, a problem gambler might still feel the urge to place bets even after they’ve stopped finding pleasure in doing so. They start to exhibit psychological withdrawal symptoms and become agitated and agitated when this is not possible.
Increasing the Size of Your Bets
A gambler’s addiction is fueled in part by the thrill of the game’s inherent risk. At a blackjack table, $50 per hand might start to lose appeal over time and increase to $100. When these bets lose money, the bets might increase in size in an effort to win big and make a profit.
One of the things that makes gambling fun is the opportunity to tell tales to other players and boast to complete strangers about the large winnings you’ve amassed. But if you start keeping your gambling habits a secret, that could be a sign of a problem. Problem gamblers frequently experience guilt and regret for their behavior, and they try to hide it by lying and coming up with excuses.
Advice for Enjoyable & Responsible Gaming
After getting that dreary public service announcement out of the way, let’s look at the various ways you can enjoy yourself while still playing responsibly.
If a casino gives you “comps,” it means that you won’t have to pay for things like meals, lodging, or entertainment. Getting comps can be considered an art form in and of itself, and it can lead to significant savings. Even though you have to spend money to be eligible for these benefits, I always make an effort to leave a major gambling destination with something free. There are numerous publications and websites that can help comp hunters, and getting hundreds of dollars’ worth of freebies can be just as exciting as clipping coupons and receiving multiple carts’ worth of groceries for free.
Trying an exotic meal
Playing in a gaming mecca like Macau or Las Vegas will expose you to a wide variety of foods that you may not have tried before. I take some of the money I have left over after a gambling session and treat myself to a dish I’ve never had whenever I manage to avoid losing my entire bankroll. This is how I first fell in love with French food, and thanks to several trips to Via Brazil Steakhouse in Vegas, I’m now enjoying learning more about South American cuisine.
Take a Spin and Find a Friend
Casinos are crowded with lonely customers who turn to gambling because they lack any other meaningful hobbies or pastimes. Older players may have outlived many of their friends or family members, so they spend hours at a time in front of a slot machine with only a cigarette by their side. I try to fix this whenever I can, and one of my strategies is to stop and chat with my neighbor after each spin of the slot machine. This not only slows down my play speed overall but also gives me the chance to meet new people.
The casino is probably the best place to practice this option, though it can also be done at home. Each hour of gaming is followed by a 30-minute break during which I try a brand-new alcoholic beverage. If you’re only playing for a few hours, it’s best to limit yourself to one or two mixed drinks per night. I was inspired to try an Apple Martini for the first time as a result, and it’s also a wise move to withdraw from the tables and refrain from going after lost bets. Just be careful with your alcohol intake, and never drive after drinking.
The Art of Gentle Flirting
There are many activities available inside a physical casino that are not related to gambling. They’re not all expensive, either. One of my favorites is to casually flirt with customers and staff who are the opposite sex. However, you should be careful that your attention is never unwanted, intrusive, or could lead to a physical altercation. I start by engaging in a light conversation before moving on to a few strategic compliments. I never intended to do anything so ambitious, like try to get someone’s number; instead, I saw it as a way to spend my time at the casino responsibly.
Create a game out of your session
Sometimes, when I go to the casino with a friend, I like to make a friendly wager before entering the building. The player who ends the night with the most money left over wins a side bet that we’ve previously agreed upon. We both agree to start out with bankrolls of equal size. Even though a lucky player might just hit the jackpot and win the bet, it’s still a smart move to make yourself play slowly and stay away from excessive bets.
Making Your Man (or Woman) Cave Functional
There is no law that says women can’t have something akin to the “guy stuff” rooms that modern men frequently have in their homes. One sensible choice is to turn your man cave or woman cave into a haven for casino action if you want to experience the thrill of gambling without going into debt. You can buy a few used slot machines to amuse yourself and visitors, and you might even think about connecting your computer to a big-screen television to improve your online gaming experiences. Reduce travel and lodging costs by restricting your gambling to your own home. It’s also a great excuse to invite friends and family over for a game night.
I always give myself a time limit before starting a gaming session. I also determine how much I’m willing to lose financially, and I never spend more than that. If my session ends with extra cash in my wallet, I occasionally like to treat myself by using some of it to purchase something I’ve wanted. For instance, during a recent session, I started with $200 in my bankroll and finished with $250. I went to Amazon and bought a few Blu-Ray movies I had been anticipating as a reward for my self control (and good fortune).
Open Up New Gaming Horizons
The majority of people prefer a certain level of familiarity, so they frequently choose the same things. Since casino gambling is similar to other forms of gambling, a person might only play the slots or roulette without exploring all the wonderful options nearby. If you want to mix things up, I advise always playing at the lowest limits offered while making it a point to try a new game each time you visit the casino. This latter strategy serves to keep your session as responsible as possible while limiting your losses as you become familiar with the game’s rules. Hopefully, this playing strategy will lead to you discovering a few new favorites and expanding your range of options.
Benefit from the Free Option
With the exception of comps, land-based establishments don’t typically provide free gaming sessions, but almost all online casinos have no-deposit versions of their software. The majority of the well-known gaming options are still available, though the selection may not be quite as wide as when you play for real money. I advise switching between free and paid online gaming sessions if you want to be thrifty and responsible at the same time. It’s a great way to avoid losing a lot of money and gives you a chance to try out the various game genres the website offers. I understand that “fun” and “responsibility,” particularly when it comes to gambling, aren’t words that are frequently used together. Because most people like to let loose occasionally, I also freely admit that some of the items on this list are a little bit of a stretch. Please be aware, however, that irresponsible gambling can have negative effects that are frequently downplayed in media like television and film. Even though it might not meet Hollywood’s standards for attractiveness, leaving a casino with cash in your wallet and a smile on your face is far preferable to pawning your wife’s jewelry or declaring bankruptcy.