5 Ways You’re Ruining Your Gambling Experience

By in Tips & Advice on
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Dice on a Pile of Money

When it comes to being entertained, gambling ranks towards the top of the list of options. You can gamble for hours, and sometimes you win so you get paid to be entertained. But this only works when you’re having a good time.

In order to have a good time while you’re gambling you need to avoid doing things that ruin the experience. Here’s a list of five ways that you might be ruining your gambling experience. Each section below also includes tips on how to avoid ruining your gambling experience. A few simple changes can make a big difference to your level of enjoyment.

1 – You’re Betting Too Much

Every casino has table minimum betting limits that set the floor for how much you bet. But you can also play slot machines and video poker machines that have lower betting limits. Or you can make sports bets for $10 or $20 and then watch the game instead of making several bets every hour.

The first rule of gambling is that you should bet as little as possible when the house has an edge over you. You’re going to learn a lot more about this in the last section on this page. But for now, you need to look at how much you’re betting when you gamble.

The casino keeps a percentage of every dollar you risk. The casino plays the long game, because all of their games are designed to win. All the casino has to do is make sure no one is cheating and to get as much money wagered on their game as possible. The profit takes care of itself.

This means that if you’re making any bets that are above the table minimum you need to stop. If you want to avoid losing money gambling, the best way is to stop gambling. But this isn’t the option that most gamblers want to consider, so you need to make the smallest bets possible when you gamble.

One of the easiest ways to make smaller bets is to play at an online casino. The minimum bet amount is almost always lower when you play online than when you play in a land based casino.

2 – You’re Playing Too Long

In the last section I mentioned how the amount you lose is related to the amount you bet. This leads to another way that gamblers risk too much money. The longer you play the more money you risk. And the more money you risk, the more money you’re going to lose.

You’re going to learn exactly how to determine how much you can expect to lose when you play in section five on this page. This is a useful tool to determine how long you should gamble. And it’s also important to understand how the games you play influence how much you lose. I cover this in the next section.

The best way to make sure that you’re not gambling too long is to set a time limit every time you play. I set a timer on my phone so I know that I’ll stop when I need to.

What happens when you’re timer goes off and you don’t want to stop gambling? This is up to you, but here are a few tips.

  • Stop playing and leave the casino immediately. This is the only way to make sure you don’t gamble for too long.
  • If you’re up for the session, take the amount of money you’re ahead and gamble with it. But don’t use any of your original stakes, no matter what.
  • Set a new timer for a short time, like 30 or 60 minutes. This can be dangerous, because you set your original timer for a reason.

3 – You’re Playing the Wrong Games

The games you gamble on have a great deal to do with how much money you lose, but this isn’t the only factor. I love to play Let It Ride, but it has a high house edge so I should never play it. I still play it sometimes, but I limit the amount of time I play and the amount I risk because there are better games to play.

If you’re not having a good time gambling, try to figure out why. Is it because you’re losing too much money? If this is the case, you can learn to play a game with a lower house edge.

Is it because you don’t enjoy the game you’re playing? Try out other games to see if you can find something you like to play better. And don’t limit yourself to the casino. Consider trying poker or sports betting for a change of pace.

4 – Gambling with the Wrong People

A Group of Folks Gambling
I don’t drink, though I support everyone else’s right to drink if they want to. I’ve found that not drinking helps me get an edge when I gamble. I have friends who drink, and I don’t mind it when we’re hanging out. But I learned a long time ago that one of the worst things I can do is go to the casino with my friends who drink.

The opposite is also true. If you enjoy drinking and gambling, you probably don’t want to go to the casino with someone who doesn’t drink. Gambling is about finding entertainment, and if you gamble with the wrong people it can spoil your experience.

While drinking is an easy thing to consider, this goes far beyond drinking. You have to consider all of the personality conflicts that might ruin your gambling experience. I used to go to the casino often with my wife, but we don’t go together as much now because we don’t enjoy the same things at the casino.

Instead, we focus on doing things that we both enjoy when we want entertainment, and I go to the casino at a different time.

5 – You Have Unrealistic Expectations

Unrealistic Gambling Expectations
What are your expectations when you gamble? This is an important question, because most gamblers don’t have realistic expectations. They want to win, but they don’t do anything other than hope they win.

The truth is that almost every form of gambling makes money for the casino or gambling establishment. This means that most gamblers have to lose, or the house wouldn’t be making any money.

You can run a few quick numbers based on the bets you make and gambling activities that you play to get an idea of how much you can expect to lose. All you need to know is the house edge of the game and how much you’re going to be betting.

To find the house edge of common casino games, head on over to our beginners’ guide to learning casino house edge.

Here’s an example of using the house edge to determine your expected loss:

If you’re playing a blackjack game using basic strategy and good rules, the house edge is .28%. If you bet $50 on every hand on average and play 50 hands every hour, you can determine how much your expected loss is.

$50 per hand multiplied by 50 hands every hour means you risk $2,500 every hour. Multiply this number times the house edge and you get the expected loss. $2,500 times .28% is $7.

This is a long term average, and it doesn’t mean you’re only going to lose $7 every hour you play. Some hours you’re going to win, and some hours you’re going to lose a lot more than $7.

Now look at the same number using a game with a higher house edge. If you play roulette on an American wheel the house edge is 5.26%. If you risk $2,500 in an hour playing this game your expected loss is $131.50.

Run the expected loss numbers for every game you play to determine your expected loss rate. Obviously, you should be playing games with a lower house edge. In fact, with the right strategies and games you can basically eliminate the house edge. If this is something that interests you, look for information on this site about blackjack card counting.


A fun gambling outing can quickly turn into a nightmare. All it takes is one thing and your entire outing is ruined. The good news is that you can avoid ruining your gambling experience if you know what to do and not do.

If you’re making one of the five things that gamblers do to ruin their experience listed on this page, simply follow the simple steps listed in each section. This way you can make sure that you always have a good time when you gamble.

When you gamble the right way you can be entertained and have a chance to get paid while you do it.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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