The 7 Habits of Successful Gamblers

by Tim | Sep 06, 2021

The 7 Habits of Successful Gamblers

If you’re serious about your gambling, you may be wondering what might help someone be a better gambler. Here are our top 7 tips that have helped others become more successful gamblers and might help you do the same.

1. They do their research

It’s a well-known fact that knowledge and education allow individuals to achieve greater success in their career, as highlighted by the study, “How does education influence professional success?” from the University of Birmingham. This study concludes that “The proof that education influences professional success is seen via a wealth of employment data showing that earning potential is higher, career possibilities are wider, and career progression faster.“

It’s important to note that this idea doesn’t just apply to an individual’s career, as greater levels of knowledge can be attributed to success in a variety of other spaces as well. Whether you’re someone looking to become better at a particular hobby, or a gambler interested in improving your odds of winning (at least for gambling games that aren’t pure games of chance), it’s vital that you do your research and educate yourself on whichever subject you want to improve on. 

As a gambler, this may mean learning all the ins and outs of your favourite game, investigating which games have the best returns or investing time in learning betting strategies that can improve your odds of winning in the long term. For example, if you play roulette online and are looking for ways to improve your odds of winning, you may want to try to adopt a roulette strategy or even try switching games to something where you can leverage a greater degree of control.

2. They keep an eye on their physical and mental health

We all have our good days and our bad days, but if you’re serious about anything, whether it’s work, sport, or mastering your favourite gambling game, you need to ensure that your physical and mental well-being is in tip-top shape. If you are tired, engage in little to no exercise, or are ill, your physical state is likely to have a negative influence on the choices you make. People who are anxious, stressed out, or upset can also lose focus, have poor interactions or relationships with those around them, and are more prone to “being on tilt” (making poor decisions). 

An article from Hey Sigmund, a psychology research and news site, titled “How Anxiety Interferes With Decision-Making – And How to Stop it Intruding,” highlights the impact of anxiety in particular:

Research published in The Journal of Neuroscience explains how anxiety works to disengage the part of the brain that is essential for making good decisions. The area is the prefrontal cortex (PFC), at the front of the brain, and it is the area that brings flexibility into decision-making.

The PFC is the part of the brain that gets involved in weighing up consequences, planning, and processing thoughts in a logical, rational way. It helps to take the emotional steam out of a decision by calming the amygdala, the part of the brain that runs on instinct, impulse and raw emotion (such as fear).

So if you want to be on top of your game, it’s important that you also take care of yourself, both physically and mentally, or you run the risk of losing unnecessarily.

3. They know when they can afford to take calculated risks

A woman holds two cards in her hand and thinks.

For most people, there’s no success without risk – whether this means asking out someone you have a crush on and facing the possibility of rejection, quitting your job to try to run your own business, or knowing when to raise in a game of poker, the possibility of reward always comes with the risk of failure. 

But that doesn’t mean making risky decisions blindly. The article “How to Take Risks That Win (Almost) Every Time” from Entrepeneur.com shares three important ways you can help reduce the chances of failure when taking a risk:

  1. Information is your friend. 
  2. Assess the risk carefully.
  3. Learn from failure.

By applying this strategy to your gambling decisions, even if you occasionally lose the money you bet, you’ll always walk away having learnt from the experience so that you can make a better decision next time.

4. They are patient

A Chinese proverb warns that, “One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.” 

A gambler knows that luck isn’t always on your side. Losses and wins can occur at any time, even if you’re highly prepared, and can come in waves, which can lead to frustration. This frustration can result in poor decisions, including rushing through things when you should be slowing down, and as the quote above highlights, “ruin a whole life.”

By being patient, you also clearly demonstrate an understanding of the random nature of gambling and that there’s no point in getting frustrated over results that you may not like. This, in turn, will make gambling a much more pleasant and enjoyable experience overall. It also helps you recognise that even if you have experienced short-term losses, there is still the potential for long-term gains.

5. They manage their gambling budget

Michael Jordan, in an interview with Mike Celizic from Today.com, said the following about his relationship with gambling and how his children, particularly his eldest son Jeff, might interpret his fondness for it: 

“I want people to understand, gambling is not a bad thing if you do it within the framework of what it’s meant to be, which is fun and entertaining,” he told Lauer. “So my lesson to [Jeff] is, don’t ever go outside your means. Don’t ever put yourself in a predicament where now you’re gonna regret it.”

Michael’s quote here about never going outside your means is what all successful gamblers do. They know their financial limits, set a budget that will have no effect on other aspects of their life, such as paying for groceries and rent, and they stick to it. If you’re hoping to improve your success as a gambler, you need to pay particular attention to this lesson.

6. They have realistic expectations

All gamblers have heard the phrase “the house always wins”, and while it may be true to some degree, the reality is that individuals do sometimes have luck on their side. If they didn’t, and the house did always win, no one would play. While most gamblers know that they have a chance of winning, they temper the expectations around it to avoid disappointment and taking unnecessary financial risks. For example, when an experienced gambler plays online slots, they know that it’s a pure game of chance and that fate will decide whether they win or lose. 

7. They know when to stop

A gambler pulling multi-coloured casino chips towards themselves.

The people who have the best time and the most success at gambling, in the long run, know when to stop, which all begins by setting boundaries or limits to your play. But realising when to step away from a gambling game and actually doing it are two entirely different things. You can improve your chances of ensuring you stick to your self-imposed rules by making sure you are properly prepared. For example, being well-rested, having a good diet, and letting others around you know you may need help or a friendly reminder of when to call it quits if it’s something that you struggle with. 

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