Are you a responsible gamer? Is that a distant cry of ‘Yes!’ I can hear? Most people are responsible gamers, but we’re all aware gambling can become a problem for some. If you do it properly, it’s great fun and it could provide you with some wonderful winning moments. But it’s all too easy for it to develop into a problem, and that’s something the team at Slotsquad wouldn’t want anyone to go through.
That’s why we’ve put together this useful guide that’s packed with responsible gaming tips. Chances are, you won’t recognise any of these elements, but if you do, you might want to reconsider the way you play.
Remember you’re the customer
When you play at an online casino, you’re essentially the customer. The casino is ‘selling’ you a service. It’s like buying lottery tickets. You might win a prize on one of them, but you may win nothing. At a casino, you could win small prizes and you may hit the jackpot, but it’s more likely you’ll rack up more losses than wins.
This is how casinos make money. So, are you playing to enjoy the experience, or are you trying to outdo the casino? If enjoyment is your primary goal, that’s great.
What happens if you lose?
We all know casinos make money. They’re businesses, after all. So if you’re playing their games in the hope of making money from them, you’re in for disappointment. Sorry to use the lottery analogy again, but you wouldn’t play the lottery to make money.
The idea is you should set aside some cash you can afford to lose in these casinos. Enjoy the games, have some fun for a period of time and then leave. If you leave with more than you came with, that’s a bonus. If you break even, that’s pretty good too. Treat it like buying a downloaded film. Buy it, watch it and enjoy it, but you shouldn’t expect to get your money back.
Here’s one of the best tips for responsible gaming
Are you ready? It’s not earth-shattering, I’m afraid, it’s this – set limits. Ideally it should be a financial limit. Maybe £20 a month is your limit, maybe it’s more. Work out what you take home, what you need for bills and daily living and then take out your gaming money from what’s left. Don’t go over that limit. Some people set time limits as well, but this usually works better if you’ve got a bigger limit to work with. It’s so easy to sit down and start playing at 8pm, only to look up and realise you’re still sitting there in the early hours and the dog is still waiting to be fed.
Small and regular sessions are good
Are you one of those people who constantly loses track of time? I get like that when I’ve got my head stuck in the latest Stephen King novel. Some people get like it watching EastEnders, and others get drawn into the worlds of spinning reels and multiple paylines.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the experience of playing online slots, not to mention other online games. However, if this is the only thing you think about even when you’re not playing, you should step back a little to get a new perspective on things. Even I read other books sometimes, and do other things besides reading.
A lot of things are best done little and often – eating cheesecake, for example (not that I have experience with that). I’m sure you get the idea. And it makes the whole experience more enjoyable for you, too, if you’re not there doing it the whole time.
Deposit only small amounts of money into your casino account at a time
It’s incredibly easy to make larger deposits online. Many casinos provide a whole range of deposit methods as well, making it even easier to pop a deposit in there whenever it suits you.
The only problem with that is it’s easy to think, ‘well, I normally play with £10 a week so I’ll just put £40 in there to last the whole month.’ It would be easier, wouldn’t it? And if you have willpower and you can stop when you’ve spent that first £10, that’s all well and good.
But if you get caught up in a particular game and you suddenly realise the whole £40 has gone, would you be able to wait until next month to play for real again? Playing for fun is, well, fun, but it’s not quite the same for some people.
Avoid drink, drugs and bad emotions
Bad habits… ah, we all have them, but in some cases they can be self-destructive. No guide on how to play responsible gaming would be complete without a friendly warning on this particular topic.
Any type of excessive emotion can make it harder to stick to your usual self-imposed gambling limits. In this situation, you’re better off waiting until you’re back to your normal self before you visit your favourite casino and place any bets. Of course, it’s not just emotions that can cloud your normally rock-solid judgement.
You might have had one too many and suddenly think it would be a great idea to play that slot game you’ve been wanting to try for a while. What was it called again? Oh, never mind, let’s just try this one instead. Ooh look, there’s a max bet button. Wonder what happens if we press that?
It doesn’t bear thinking about. Making solid and sensible decisions can be difficult for some of us at the best of times, but alcohol never makes it easier. It’s one thing to wake up with a hangover, but quite another to realise you’ve overspent your gaming budget as well.
Enjoy slot games in the way they’re meant to be enjoyed
While there is a chance to scoop a jackpot – progressive or otherwise – on any online slot, you’re probably only going to walk away with smaller prizes. Overall, you will likely spend more than you win. If you follow the tips above, you’ll be fine. If you need help, the National Gambling Helpline is available on 0808 8020 133.