Gambling 101: Leave Your Emotions at the Door

Casino Gamer’s Guide: Emotions and gambling make a dangerous cocktail.

Casino Gamer's Guide: Emotions and Gambling mix a Dangerous CocktailResponsibility is the biggest and often hardest lesson to be learned by casino goers, especially as a fledgling gambler. The first time you walk into a casino can be an afflating experience. So many emotions flow through you at once. Excitement, anxiety, elation, intimidation – and that’s before you ever place you first bet.

Once the money starts flowing, outward or back your way – the real emotional instability can set in. If Lady Luck chooses to grace your shoulder, even for a few moments, you can become inflated by greed. You may think the games are easy to win; that downswings are just temporary misfortunes that can be overcome by perseverance. Ask any gambling addict if that’s true or not. The answer is a resounding no. They, above all others, know that…

Emotions and Gambling Mix a Dangerous Cocktail

The worst part of this multifaceted equation is that it’s not just one emotion that can cause you troubles at the casino. Being overly excited is certainly a dangerous way to play. It can make you wager money you would otherwise have held on to, for the seemingly simple reason that you don’t want the joyous experience to come to an end. It can lead over-confidence, which always translates to bad decisions.

Negative emotions can be equally perilous for casino goers. We don’t enter a casino in a bad mood. It usually comes on when we don’t manage our finances well. Losing more than intended is the most common cause. It could also be an outlying issue, such as an argument with a friend or significant other.

Oddly enough, the outcome is, for the most part, the same as being overly excited. We end up betting more money than we should by chasing losses. Our judgment becomes skewed, causing us to make bad decisions. Sometimes, we begin to lose focus on our lives outside the casino entirely. We may decide nothing else matters but winning. This is the point severe problem gamblers reach just before they lose everything they’ve ever worked for, if not more.

The absolute worst thing you can do is drink alcohol while gambling. One beer or cocktail isn’t going to set you on a path to ruin, but it could cause you to lose just enough of your wits to consume for a second drink, and a third. This is when things go terribly wrong. As you probably know, alcohol causes us to feel all of our emotions at a magnified rate. If we’re happy, we’re very happy. If we’re sad, we’re very sad. And if we’ve lost all sense of good judgment, well… you get the idea.

How to Balance Your Gambling Emotions

I’m certainly not suggesting that you gamble without emotion entirely. That would be rather boring, now wouldn’t it? The whole trip to the casino would be worthless without a little emotional uplift. There’s nothing wrong with having a good time. If you’re not getting entertainment value for your wagering dollar, what’s the point?

Keep your emotions in check, the way a good poker player maintains a poker face. They still have a good time, but they never let the game effect them. Above all, be a smart gambler, and you’ll be happy knowing you made the right decision. When luck evades you, you’ll be happy knowing that you didn’t spend or lose too much money. When things are going your way, be happy that you’ve made a nice little profit, and you’ll be able to walk away with it instead of betting it all right back into the casino’s bank.

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