Are You a Responsible Gambler?

Gambling is a healthy form of entertainment for as long as you know why you play and how to play responsibly. If you're playing for fun, you'd know that you should stop once it becomes a stressful activity because you are pressured to win back your losses.

Studies have shown that gambling becomes an addictive behavior once you start to think that your goal is to win back at least some of the money you have lost playing.

First of all, you must understand that you could either win or lose or both in gambling - that's why it's called a gamble. You put your money at risk and factors such as luck and good play are huge parts of your winning or losing streak in any gambling game.

Secondly, once you start playing for the big bucks, you must know how to play a poor hand well, especially in card games. Before you join the big sharks, read every strategy book or article on the game of your choice and play in small tables first until you have enough expertise to join the big league.

The good thing about online casinos is that you get to see how the experts play and learn from their moves. In poker, world tourneys are already televised so you can also see how the professionals play.

The point is to learn as much as you can before joining any tables. This way, you just increased your chances of winning, or at least not losing big time. Once you've learned everything there is to know about your chosen game, and you've practiced enough times to be good at it, you can now go to actual casinos or get online to play.

Here comes the tricky part. If you find yourself on a winning streak, know when to quit. You know there's got to be an end to that - you can't be lucky all the time. Remember that the feeling of winning is a certain high that can be addictive so beware and know when to stop.

Now, if you are on a losing streak, this is doubly dangerous because you will be after all the money you've lost and you won't stop until you've at least gotten half of it back.

This feeling is also addictive and can render you broke and homeless in an all-nighter game. Be aware of the horror stories of gamblers who've lost everything because of their addiction to gambling - homes, families, jobs and themselves in the process.

To be a responsible gambler, you simply must be disciplined enough to quit when all you think about is playing one more time.