How To Bet Without Getting Hooked
A guide to enjoying betting without getting addicted to it
Sadly, you can have too much of a good thing.
Betting releases chemicals in our brain that can cause us to get so hooked, we don't want to stop. While there is nothing wrong with sensible and controlled betting - if you start to lose control, then things can go very wrong.
Today, we are going to talk about betting actions - how to recognize them and how to avoid getting hooked on betting. This article is full of practical tips that will allow you to enjoy betting without taking things too far.
Signs that you are addicted to betting and gambling
One of the easiest ways to avoid getting hooked on betting is to be aware of what a betting addiction looks like. If you can identify the signs, and step away before things become too serious - you won't get yourself into hot water.
Here are 10 signs that you might be addicted to betting:
- When people ask you about your betting habits you lie to them and downplay it
- If you are betting more than you can afford. You find yourself needing to bet even when you have no money to do so
- Gamlbing stops feeling good. When an activity becomes an addiction we no longer enjoy the feel good chemicals it causes our brain to release
- You borrow money so you can place more bets. Adding on to number 2, if you find yourself borrowing money to bet after your funds have dried out, you are probably suffering from addiction
- You keep on betting until all your money is gone. The thought of running out of money is not enough to stop your gambling
- You chase wins, to make up for your losses
- You can't stop thinking about betting. You find yourself obsessing over it
- You steal to fund your betting and gambling. Stealing seems like a more reasonable option than not betting
- Your loved ones think you have a problem. Addiction is something that is easier to see in others than yourself
- Nothing will stop you from gambling or betting - not lack of money, not losing friends, nothing
If you notice any of these signs you may want to look into getting help. You will also want to try and employ the tips that we have covered below.
Ways to avoid getting hooked on betting
The key to keeping betting a fun hobby is to set yourself strict boundaries that you stick to.
Before we go any further, we have a mini tip. Some betting sites will allow you to set out boundaries for yourself on their sites or apps. For example, once you have spent a certain amount of money, you will be locked out of your account for a week.
To find out more about what these sites have to offer, you can uses sites like BettingSpot to do your research.
#1 - Set yourself a daily limit
A good way to keep in control of your gambling is to set yourself a budget and stick to it. This was much easier when people went into bookies to place a bet. You could take cash so you could only spend as much as you brought in with you.
Those same boundaries are not there when you bet online, so you have to create your own.
Set aside a weekly or monthly budget for your betting. This should not be more than you can afford to bet, and you should not top it up if you use it all before the end of the month.
If you have money left over at the end of the month, you can reward yourself by rolling it over to the next month or treating yourself to something nice with it.
#2 - Quit when you're winning
Remember the phrase 'quit while you're ahead'? This is very important when it comes to betting.
When you win, your brain releases a rush of dopamine. This is something that your brain likes, so it pushes you to keep playing to get more.
After a lot of exposure, your brain becomes less receptive to dopamine so it needs you to risk more and more each time for a bigger win.
If you quit after a win you can break this cycle before it even starts.
#3 - Don't bet when your adrenaline is pumping
Another thing you should avoid doing when you bet is placing more bets while your adrenaline is pumping.
Our body releases adrenaline in two different situations - when you are excited (a team you have put money on looks like it is going to win) and when you are panicking (when you have just lost a lot of money).
Adrenaline is the fight or flight chemical in your body. It is designed to get you doing things. But it is not designed to help you make rational decisions, just quick ones.
To avoid making bad decisions while hopped up on adrenaline, don't place bets when a match has started or after you have lost.
#4 - Don't bet to make up losses
Following on from the previous piece of advice, one of the worst things you can do while betting is get into a cycle of 'chasing'.
In the gambling industry 'chasing' refers to someone who is betting more and more to try and make up for the losses they have experienced. Each time they lose they have to bet more to make up for the losses that are now stacking up.
If you lose $1 on your first bet, you will have to bet $2 next time to make up for it. If you lose that bed then you will have to bet $4 next time, $8 after that. Then $32, $64, $128, $256, $632, etc. Within 9 losses you will be needing to bet over $1000 to make up for the original $1 loss.
Now, imagine how dangerous that could become if the first bet you placed had been $10, $100, or even $1000…
For this reason, we recommend that you walk away after a loss. To stop the temptation to chase that loss from building up.
You may also want to consider setting yourself a limit for how many bets you can place in one day. We know many successful gamblers that limit themselves to one bet a day.
#5 - Be picky about the odds you chose
This tip will help you avoid chasing losses and help you to avoid getting hooked on gambling.
You should have some kind of betting strategy that allows you to distinguish between good and bad odds.
You might have a rule where you do not put money on odds any higher than 3 + 1 (+300).
Betting on short odds means that you are less likely to lose money. You may win less money at a time, but you will be winning more frequently.
Some people even chose not to bed on odds that are worse than (+100), as they are more secure than longer odds.
#6 - Stop when it stops being fun
Our final tip may sound simple but it is one of the hardest tips to follow.
When betting stops being fun, you need to stop and walk away for a little while.
This is something that it takes a lot of strength to do.
If you get to this point you may want to take some time away from betting or talk to a gambling addiction charity about how you can avoid going back to this place.