Gambling can be a superb way of letting off some steam, whether it’s at a local casino with a group of mates or from the comfort of your living room playing online casino games. Whether it’s the roulette wheel, the slots or testing your skill with a game of blackjack, having a flutter can be fun and enjoyable. If it’s kept under control, gambling isn’t a worry – it’s when things get out of hand that issues can arise and it’s easy to get into that kind of state if you’re not careful.

Gambling responsibly is essential if you want to stay above board and use it as a hobby rather than allowing it to take over your life. You need to be able to control yourself during the games, ensuring that you keep your cool and enjoy it rather than chasing your losses because that’s where trouble can start.

As long as you look at gambling as a bit of fun, rather than a way of making money or to distract yourself from deeper issues, everything will be fine. There’s plenty of tips and advice to help you keep control of your gambling and make sure that you’re never faced with financial problems because of it.

• Don’t use it as a way to make money, because over time, you’ll spend more than you’ll make. Think if it as entertainment, like going to the cinema or heading to town for a night out.

• Only spend what you can afford to lose. Give yourself a limit and stick to it. If you’re heading out to a casino, leave your bank card at home. If you choose to gamble online, stick to a budget and make sure you’re not dipping into money that’s set aside for more important things, like bills.

• Don’t chase your losses because you’ll end up in a worse situation than you were. If you lose your set money limit, just walk away. Turn off the computer and have another go next time.

• Set yourself a time limit, too. It’s easy to get lost in the moment and the more time you spend gambling, the more likely you are to lose money. If you’re up at the end of the time limit, walk away and be happy with your winnings.

• Make sure you’re in the right frame of mind; if you’re having a bad day, your decision making will be affected.

• Don’t let gambling be your only pastime – keep a good life balance.

• Stick to games you know. If you’re a dab hand at poker and understand the game, enjoy it! If you don’t have the first clue about the game, don’t play it for the first time with money – learn the ropes before you start parting with cash. Stick to the games you know – perhaps roulette, blackjack or the slots are more your forte?

We know it’s easy to have a tipple when you’re gambling – especially when you’re out at a proper venue rather than being at home, but to keep your pastime under control, it’s best to steer clear of it. Casinos, online and otherwise, are there to be enjoyed and as long as you stay in control, you won’t have to deal with any harsh consequences.

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