The Dos & Don’ts of Gambling

Gambling is probably so appealing to beginners because it’s
very easy to get started. Although there’s a lot to discover
about gambling, you can learn most of it as you go along. As
long as you have a basic understanding, you can start to enjoy
most forms of betting and gaming with the potential to win a
significant amount of money while doing so.

With that being said, even as a complete beginner you should
already be thinking carefully about certain things. You can
worry about the complexities of strategy and the various ways to
improve your chances of winning later, but you do need to focus
on gambling in the right way in order to have the best possible

Smart gambling is habit forming, and if you get into good
habits from the moment you start you’ll get much more out of
your gambling experience in the long run. It doesn’t matter
whether your goal is to make money consistently, minimize your
losses, or simply have as much fun as you can. What does matter
is that you have the right mindset and approach when gambling.

If you can stick to a few simple rules, then you’ll be off to
a great start. These rules will eventually become second nature
to you and you won’t have to worry about remembering them. When
this happens, you’ll be able to focus on achieving whatever it
is you want to achieve from gambling.

The rules you should follow are set out below, in the form of
a list of dos and don’ts. Most of these dos and don’ts are
self-explanatory, but further down the page we explain each one
in a bit more detail. Please take the time to read through this
page, and please try to take the advice we offer. We’re
confident you’ll be glad you did.


  • Do Prepare to Lose
  • Do Have a Fixed Budget
  • Do Use Appropriate Stakes
  • Do Keep Records of Your Gambling
  • Do Spend Your Winnings Wisely
  • Do Continue Learning


  • Don’t Spend More Than You Can Afford
  • Don’t Chase Losses
  • Don’t Gamble When Drunk, Stressed or Upset
  • Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks
  • Don’t Gamble When You Don’t Know The Rules
  • Don’t Borrow Money to Gamble

Do Prepare to Lose

This is the number one “do” on our list for a reason. It’s a
simple fact that you are always at risk of losing money when
gambling, no matter how good you are. This doesn’t mean you
always will lose of course, just that there’s always a chance.
We believe you should always be prepared to lose, as it makes
coping with a loss much more bearable and winning that much more

Do Have A Fixed Budget

This was a close second on our list, as it really is very
important. You should always set aside a certain amount of money
that you are prepared to spend on gambling, and then make sure
that you don’t spend over that amount. Giving yourself a fixed
budget will help prevent you from gambling more than you can
afford to lose, and it will teach you to be disciplined.
Discipline is extremely useful when gambling, particularly if
you have any desire to become a consistent winner.

Do Use Appropriate Stakes

As well as controlling how much you can spend, a fixed budget
(referred to as a bankroll in gambling terms) should also
determine how much you stake. If you don’t use appropriate
stakes, your money won’t last very long. If you sit down at a
blackjack table with a $500 bankroll and start playing $100 a
hand, you could be standing up again in five hands time. If you
play at just $10 a hand instead, you’ll get plenty of playing
time and probably more opportunities for a winning streak too.

The idea behind using appropriate stakes is basically to make
sure that bad luck doesn’t bust your bankroll too quickly.
Although losing the first five blackjack hands you play would be
pretty bad luck, it could easily happen. You want to be able to
cope with losing streaks without depleting your bankroll, as
there’s always a chance that your luck will turn around if you
use your money in the right way.

Do Keep Records of Your Gambling

Keeping records of your gambling outcomes is a great habit to
get into, as it reaps many benefits. First and foremost, it can
help you keep track of your losses so that you can identify
whether or not you’re overspending. If you bet on different
sports, or play different casino games, it can also help you
analyze where you win or lose the most. This will help you see
where you get the best value for your money.

If you have ambitions of being a successful poker player or
sports bettor, then keeping accurate records will be essential.
That’s precisely why you want to get into the habit of doing so
as a beginner.

Do Spend Your Winnings Wisely

An unfortunate habit of many gamblers is to go a bit crazy
after a big win. This can involve betting more than usual,
taking bigger risks, or just being generally reckless. This
invariably results in the loss of all of their winnings very
quickly, and it’s something you need to avoid doing yourself. If
you have a good win, then by all means use some of your winnings
to increase the size of your bankroll, but set some aside for
yourself too.

It doesn’t matter exactly what you do with that money; just
make sure it doesn’t go straight back to a bookmaker or a
casino. Try and spend it wisely, as you never know how long it
could be until your next big win.

Do Continue Learning

You should always be trying to improve your gambling
knowledge, regardless of your reasons for gambling. It’s vital
if you want to become a consistent winner, and it’s beneficial
even if you’re just gambling for fun. The more you know, the
more likely you are to make good decisions. Better decisions
equal better chances of winning money. At the very least,
they’ll help you stretch your money further.

There are lots of tools you can use to learn more about
gambling. This website alone is absolutely packed with
information and advice on the subject, and there are plenty of
other sites on the web that cover various gambling related
topics too. There are also hundreds of books about gambling
available, so there’s really no excuse for not improving your

Don’t Spend More Than You Can Afford

This “don’t” is very straightforward. Gambling can be a very
expensive habit if you don’t manage it properly, so you need to
be diligent about doing so. The exact amount of money you spend
on gambling doesn’t matter, as everyone’s financial
circumstances are different, but you should never spend more
than you can afford to lose.

The moment you start risking money that you can’t afford to
lose is the moment gambling stops being enjoyable and starts
becoming a problem. Regardless of how likely you think you are
to win, you are ALWAYS taking a risk when gambling. If you lose
money you need for something else, that could lead to all kinds
of difficulties. In a worst case scenario you might start
risking even more to try and win it back and that’s when things
can get completely out of control.

The whole point of setting a fixed budget is to prevent this
from happening. So please follow our advice and make that
budget. More importantly, though, make sure you faithfully stick
to it.

Don’t Chase Losses

Chasing losses is one of the cardinal sins of gambling, and
it’s something you should avoid doing altogether. If you’re not
familiar with the term, chasing losses is the act of increasing
your stakes to try and recover previous losses. We’ve just
mentioned how you shouldn’t spend more than you can afford, and
this point is along similar lines. Chasing losses even when you
can afford to is still a bad idea, as you’re just going to end
up losing money more quickly.

If you’re on a losing streak, there are only three sensible
courses of action. The first one is to simply take a break and
save whatever money you might have left for another time. The
second one is to keep playing or betting, providing you have
enough bankroll left, while reducing your stakes. Your luck
might turn around, but if it doesn’t at least you’ll make your
money last longer.

Your third option is to keep going at the same stakes. This
is probably the least sensible option, but it does have its
merits if you are still gambling within your bankroll. If your
luck turns around quickly, you may be able to start recovering
some of your losses. That’s not really the right way to view
things though. Once you’ve lost your money it’s gone, and you
shouldn’t really be thinking in terms of winning it back at all.
You should accept the loss and move on.

You should also remember that a losing streak can go on for a
very long time. That’s why taking a break or reducing your
stakes are the preferable options.

Don’t Gamble When Drunk, Stressed, or Upset

Gambling when drunk should definitely be avoided. Regardless
of what your reasons for gambling are, to get the best possible
experience you’ll need to make good decisions. Good decisions
are usually hard to come by when you are drunk, and the same is
also true when you are stressed or upset. If you aren’t in the
right frame of mind to think clearly and rationally, then you
really shouldn’t be gambling at all. There are better ways to
cheer yourself up.

The last thing you want is for gambling to become some form
of emotional release. That’s one way that problem gambling

Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks

Risk is an accepted part of gambling, and it could be argued
that all gambling is an unnecessary risk, but that’s a
discussion for another time. The point we’re trying to make here
is that you should manage the level of risk you take. You
shouldn’t go making crazy bets or staking huge amounts to try
and score a big payout. You might get lucky every now and then,
but chances are you’ll end up losing your money more quickly
than you hoped.

Successful gambling, regardless of what you’re trying to
achieve, ultimately requires you to stay in control. That means
avoiding reckless gambling or taking unnecessarily high risks.

Don’t Gamble When You Don’t Know The Rules

Gambling when you don’t know the rules is a bad idea, and it
rarely ends well. Playing a casino game you don’t really
understand, for example, is more than likely to cost you money.
The same is true for playing a form of poker you aren’t familiar
with. A similar principle applies to betting on sports that you
don’t really understand or follow that closely.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with trying out new forms of
gambling, but you really should make sure you know what you’re
doing first.

Don’t Borrow Money to Gamble

There are no circumstances in which borrowing money to gamble
with is a good idea. If you don’t have the money to do it, then
you shouldn’t be doing it. Even if you are exceptionally
confident you are going to win, it’s just not a good idea. We’ve
made the point before, but we’ll make it again, there’s always a
risk of losing with gambling. Losing money you can afford to
lose is one thing, but losing borrowed money is something else

You might argue that it’s ok to borrow money if you know you
can pay it back soon even if you lose, but that really is no
justification at all. If you’re expecting money soon, then
surely you can wait until you have it on hand. If you are that
desperate to gamble, you shouldn’t be gambling at all.