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playing poker responsibly

Staying Safe On The Felt With These Responsible Poker Tips

There’s no doubt about it. Poker is an enthralling game. But how do you keep yourself safe while you’re on the felt? Playing poker responsibly really just takes a good dose of commonsense.

But we do understand that it’s easy to get swept away with the game and forget about the basics. So this article is designed to serve as a reminder on how to play smart, keep safe and make sure you still have money in your pocket after a game (even when you don’t win).

Playing poker responsibly: the basics

The main thing you’ve got to do before you bet on anything at all, including poker, is set a few boundaries. We’ll talk more about this later, but you should make a gambling budget, set deposit limits and, where possible, set time limits too.

Making sure you actually know how to play

Not really understanding the game is a terrible opportunity wasted. Even if you know the basics of say hold’em, but you switch to a different variant like Omaha, you’re really going to want to brush up. We’re not saying you have to be a pro before you attempt to play any game. But you should really understand the rules, basic strategy and what the odds mean. The more you understand, the better equipped you’ll be for playing poker responsibly.

Never chase losses

We’re sure you’ve heard this one before. Chasing losses is pretty much the enemy of playing poker responsibly. When you’ve made a big loss, not only are you in a more vulnerable place financially, you’re in a more vulnerable place emotionally. Throwing good money after bad is probably going to result in bigger losses and a bigger sense of being bummed out. So if you lose, accept it. It’s all part of the game, after all.

And never play when you’re in a heightened emotional state

Just like chasing losses makes you make bad calls, playing while you’re upset, stressed, anxious or exhausted is not going to result in good poker decisions. Trust us. Take a step back when your head’s not in the game and come back to it when you’re ready to start playing poker responsibly.

Keeping track of the time

It’s easy to get sucked in when you’re playing poker. But don’t fall into the trap of spending way longer than intended on the felt, whether it’s virtual or in a bricks and mortar casino. A really simple way to avoid this is by setting a timer on your phone and this works wherever you are. When you’re playing online, some sites also offer reality checks. But the annoying thing is that they’re not always available when you’re playing poker.

Have an accurate idea of your performance

Playing poker responsibly is all about knowing how you play poker. What we mean by this is how often you lose and how often you win. And, indeed, how much money comes in and goes out. Having a solid idea of this not only can guide your progression in the game, but it can also flag when you need to cool it. The more detailed the better.

Getting sick of playing poker…

Playing poker responsibly is really all about having fun when you’re playing. If you’re not having fun, what’s the point? If you find yourself getting increasingly frustrated on the felt, it’s extremely important that you take a break. Depending on how you feel, it might be a time out or longer-term self-exclusion.

Seek out help if you think you need it

You should always be aware of gambling warning signs. And if you think you’re slipping down a bad track, you should definitely get help. If you’re based in the UK, you can go to Be Gamble Aware to find resources, supports, therapy options and more.

ChristineO

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