While betting can be a fun way to enjoy sports as well as make a bit of money on the side, it can easily turn into an addiction that puts both your finances and health at risk.
We have all heard real-life horror stories about people who have ruined their lives at the hands of crippling gambling addiction. So how can you avoid that fate?
When done right, legal gambling or online betting is a safe and harmless pursuit, one that can end up making you a decent profit.
But to ensure that you never cross the line over to irresponsibly betting your money away, you have to make sure that you always stick to the principles of responsible online betting.
Responsible betting: what does it mean?
Simply put, responsible betting ensures that wagering money on casinos or sports does not have any lasting negative repercussions on your personal life and family.
When you gamble responsibly, you guarantee that your passion never turns into an unhealthy habit that might threaten to ruin your life.
In order to make sure that your betting pursuits never get the best of you, you may want to follow these 10 fundamental principles.
Stick to these tricks religiously and you’ll never have to worry about squandering your hard-earned money away.
1. Think of online betting as a hobby, not as a way of making money
Online betting should never be thought of as your primary source of income.
While it is true that some expert punters have managed to turn gambling into profitable careers, it is not advisable to think of online betting as your short-cut to financial success.
If you start depending on your gambling hobby too much, you may end up losing control over how much you gamble.
Instead, allot a decided time-frame during which to gamble and stick to it! Find time for other professional and personal obligations and don’t allow gambling to become your life.
2. Never bet with money you don’t have
This seems like an obvious rule to follow, but you’d be surprised by how many punters end up breaking it. So we thought that we’ll say it again: never bet with money you don’t have.
Gambling should only be taken up when you can comfortably afford to do it.
You should never borrow money to use for online betting purposes!
Using credit cards or borrowed money from friends or family can prove to be utterly disastrous.
Before you know it, you’ll be in much deeper debt than you can hope to pay off and the vicious cycle will never end. It’s better to avoid financial stress and only bet when you have money in excess.
3. Fix a betting budget and stick to it
Always have a clear idea of how much you’re willing to bet. Set daily, weekly, or monthly budgets and then plan your bets according to those limits.
Pro tip: A good punter makes sure that they don’t go overboard with how much money they’re risking while gambling.
Make sure that the money you put aside for gambling is a disposable sum. This means that even if you end up losing all of it, it must not impact your monthly finances.
If you reach your allotted limit for the month, resist the temptation to bet just a little more money to recoup your losses. That never ends well.
4. Bet on what you know
Now that you have a budget and the right attitude, you need a bit of expertise to get you started on your online betting career. You can’t simply put your hard-earned money into every sport you come across.
We recommend that you put your money where your brain is - pick a sport that you know inside out.
For example, if you love watching cricket, you should bet on cricket, because that's the sport you know the most about!
Sound knowledge of the sport you choose will help you develop logical strategies to minimize your losses while betting.
Remember: Responsible gambling is all about making predictions based on data and experience.
5. Use logic, not emotion
When you’re betting on sports, passion runs high. You have that one favorite team that you want to keep betting on, whether or not your data backs them up. But that might just be one of the worst decisions you can ever make when gambling.
Having a favorite team is all well and good, but basing your gambling decisions on your emotions is a big no-no.
Simply because logical probability and predictions based on statistics must be the ground zero of every bet that you make.
Responsible gambling demands that you listen to your head, not your heart (at least in this instance)!
Placing the occasional bet on Team India during a World Cup match because you want to support our national team is fine, but if you're always placing bets inspired by your passion for a certain team or athlete, you will end up losing money.
6. Keep track of your bets
No financial endeavor is ever successful without methodical book-keeping. And the same goes for responsible gambling.
Always keep track of every bet you’ve ever placed, how much money you put into each bet, and the profit or loss you’ve incurred.
Soon, you’ll see a pattern emerging in your records and you’ll be on your way to formulating your own prediction strategy and game plan.
Without keeping a meticulous track record though, you’ll soon lose all control over how much you’re spending on betting.
Most betting sites will allow you to view your betting history. This makes it easy to keep track of your bets.
If you're using several different betting sites, you will need to compile the different records into a central excel sheet to keep track of your bets.
7. Never gamble while under the influence
Gambling when you’re under the influence of alcohol or other substances is something we strongly advise against.
Alcohol has a habit of inhibiting your critical thinking, which is absolutely essential for making prudent bets that result in your favor.
Remember that watching your favorite sports with the aim to bet on them is a serious hobby. If you put alcohol or similar intoxicating substances into the mix, things won’t end well for you, financially or otherwise.
So keep things simple and keep that pint of beer away when you gamble!
8. Don't rely on superstition
We’re all guilty of doing it - relying on our lucky t-shirt to help us win a cricket match at school or grabbing that lucky pen to make sure we crack that test.
And while believing in a superstition can be harmless most of the time, we recommend that you don’t rely on them to help you win.
Only logic and reason can help you win at online betting: not superstition!
If you end up putting your faith into something that has no roots in logic or statistics, you might end up making bets that might not have been the best decisions for you.
Online betting and gambling do involve luck but don’t let yourself bank on anything but your own fortune to win.
9. Don't chase your losses
This might be the biggest mistake you can ever make in your gambling career. When you incur a loss, learn to let it go.
Gambling can be risky, and you know that you can lose. So if you end up losing, brush it off and try again, but only so far as your budget allows.
Do not bet more money in an attempt to recoup previous losses - it will only lead to bigger losses!
You might think that if you only put in a little more money into the next game, you’ll be able to recoup your losses. That’s a trap that you want to avoid at all costs. Chasing your losses can just drain your money that much faster.
Losses are a natural part of the gambling process. Never obsess over a loss. Remember - some you win, some you lose.
10. Recognize if you have a problem
Responsible gambling also means recognizing that you have crossed over to the side of addiction.
If you notice that you’re spending more money than you can afford or adversely affecting your personal relationships due to gambling, it’s time to cut your losses and back off.
If you find yourself consistently ignoring the principles of responsible gambling, then recognize that you have a problem.
Seek help from the people in your life and take time off from gambling.
Never let gambling take over your life.