Gambling has long served as a popular form of entertainment. And it can be a healthy way to experience thrills as long as you don't go overboard.
But some gamblers deal with problems as a result of their hobby, whether they end up being financial, emotional, or social.
If you're currently a gambler, then you should consider quitting before you experience any of these problems. And if you need some motivation to quit gambling, here are seven reasons.
The trick, though, is that these edges are so slim that you may not even notice until you've been playing for hours and your bankroll is gone.
Here's an example:
You're a good blackjack player who's worked the house edge down to 1.0%. If you're betting $25 per hand and playing 80 hands per hour, you'll theoretically lose $20 an hour.
The 1.0% house edge doesn't seem like much in the short term. But when you're theoretically losing $20 per hour, this really adds up.
Things only get worse when you play slots because they move at a quicker pace than table games. Each spin is decided within seconds, meaning you'll make hundreds of spins per hour.
If a slot machine has an 8% house edge and you bet $400 within an hour, that's $32 in theoretical losses. This is a lot if you're just a casual player who's passing the time with slots.
The most frequent reason why people blow their casino bankrolls is the gambler's fallacy, or belief that past results will influence future results.
The gambler's fallacy is especially prevalent in games with even money bets like baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette.
Consider this example:
You lose four blackjack hands in a row. Given that you should have won at least one of these hands based on probability, you triple your next bet because you're "due" for a win.
Are you any more likely to win this next hand? No, because your odds are the same as they were on the previous three hands.
This is where many players go wrong, though, in thinking that they can use past results to dictate a proper betting strategy. This is even more dangerous when you increase your bets because you think that you're due for a win.
One reason why people enjoy gambling is because it activates dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that affects your brain's reward and pleasure centers.
Win or lose, you feel rewarded every time that you're playing slots and table games.
What's dangerous is that the more you gamble, the longer it takes for you to feel the same rewards that you got when first playing.
This is where addiction sets in and, when coupled with the casino's long term edge, will cause your finances to take a hit.
Not everybody gets to this point with gambling. But if you quit now, then you don't have to worry about becoming addicted.
Gambling has more highs and lows than just about any other activity.
You feel great when you're winning and are a pleasure to be around. But when you're losing, you may feel irrational and get angry with others.
This isn't logical thinking when you refer back to the point about the house having a long term advantage. After all, if you don't want to lose then don't gamble in the first place.
Some gamblers don't think logically, though, and it affects their moods after a losing streak. This is when you start acting like a jerk to others because you had a bad session.
Even worse is when your mood is affected at the table and you make poor decisions with your bankroll and / or through strategy. Sometimes referred to as tilt, this psychological state has devastating consequences that you won't realize until after the damage is already done.
If you don't want to suffer through these wild mood swings, then spend your time on more rewarding activities like exercising or hanging out with friends.
Whether or not casinos increase crime in surrounding neighborhoods is a debatable topic filled with mixed research. But one undeniable fact is that casinos visitors can be targets of robbers.
Criminals know that gamblers have money on them when they visit land based casinos. And this has led to plenty of robberies outside of casinos or even inside of them.
Poker pro Scott Montgomery was once held at knifepoint in a Bellagio bathroom and forced to hand over $2,000.
In some cases robbers stalk casinos looking for big winners. Although these winners can ask for an escort out of the casino, this doesn't stop criminals from following them to their hotel or home afterward.
If any of this terrifies you, then stop gambling so that you avoid being a robbery target. Or at the very least, stay home and gamble from the safety of your mobile device or PC.
If you gamble at land based casinos, chances are that you'll spend hours on slot machines and / or table games. Even if you play short sessions on your smartphone throughout the day, all of these sessions can add up to hours by the end of the week.
In the end, gambling is a huge drain on your time. And when you consider that gambling offers no reward beyond entertainment, you may come to regret all the time you've spent on it.
What's worse is if you pour hours into learning strategy and / or becoming an advantage player. The idea of beating the house as a blackjack card counter may sound appealing; but it becomes less exciting after hours and hours spent learning how to count cards.
I can think of many other fun and rewarding activities that cost little or no money, including biking, hanging out with friends, having a party, playing sports, visiting a waterpark or walking your dog.
If you're somebody who likes to take gambling trips, you should ask yourself if you can have just as much fun on the trip without gambling. By cutting out the gambling, you'll have more money for other activities on the trip.
Earlier I discussed how gambling can affect your mood and make you more irritable. One consequence of this is that you'll start having social problems with friends and family members.
This problem is only hastened if you have an addiction that takes precedence over spending time with others. You may obsess about the next time that you can play and win back your losses while tuning out conversations with your friends / family.
Your personality will change too if you feel depression and anxiety over losses. This attitude change coupled with losses can lead to serious problems in your relationship / marriage.
Yet another downside is that you may only identify with other gamblers and ignore other people. While it's nice to make new friends, you don't want your entire circle to be filled with gambling addicts.
A major problem with gambling is that almost every player is destined to lose.
At times it may seem like you can overcome the house edge through good strategy and bankroll management. But unless you're an advantage player or poker pro, you'll eventually lose thanks to the casino's long term edge.
Unfortunately, many players don't consider the reality because they're caught up in the gambler's fallacy. They believe that as long as they can keep playing, they'll win back their losses and have a chance to earn a profit.
As if this isn't bad enough, gambling also takes your time and can cause social problems with your friends and family. These problems are magnified when you're stuck in a losing streak and obsessing over how you can get back on the winning track.
I encourage you to think about the 7 problems that I covered above and strongly think about if you're experiencing any of them. If so, then it's time for you to quit gambling.