Traits of Terrible Gamblers: What to Avoid

min read
A man with a defeated look after losing at a slot machine.
BetMGM Jul 17, 2023, 1:12 PM

Gambling can be a fun pastime. But get things wrong and it might be a costly one. Whether you’re a fan of exciting slot machines or classic casino table games, you should understand that mistakes can easily happen. Knowing how to put these failings right can be the difference between a win and a loss. 

The exact definition of a bad gambler is open to interpretation. But there are definitely common traits that link these poor decision-makers. This article will highlight the traits of terrible gamblers so that you can avoid them.

Lack of Self-Control

Successful gamblers are those that typically win more than they lose. Yes, this can be down to a little bit of luck sometimes. But it also has plenty to do with self-control, patience, skill and immense discipline. Telling yourself to do something and actually doing it can be poles apart, especially for those who struggle to regulate their emotions.

Those with bad gambling habits are clearly unable to exercise self-discipline. Good gamblers who regularly play online casino games will set themselves limits. These might include how much time to spend playing or the amount of money they’re prepared to risk in one session. They’ll be aware of how much they can afford to lose overall and when it’s the right time to walk away. 

Terrible gamblers may often set out with good intentions, knowing their budget and deciding how long they wish to play. However, once they sit down to play their favorite games, all good intentions fly out of the window. Their lack of self-discipline can steer them onto a losing path.

Lack of Understanding

All casino games feature an element of chance. Many require patience and skill, while others can be played using old-age strategies. Some games have a low house edge, whereas others are just plain awful, with poor odds and not much chance of success. Unless you’re aware of the pitfalls, you’re doomed to failure.

Poor gamblers often choose the wrong type of games to plow their money into, resulting in quickfire losses. It’s really important to select a game that has favorable odds but also one that suits your style, understanding and budget. There’s no shame in playing with low stakes and this can actually prolong your gameplay and enjoyment.

Successful gamblers take time to study the game before placing a wager. They’ll know the odds of winning, basic rules and strategies, payout frequencies, bonus triggers and Return To Player rates. Poor gamblers, on the other hand, will often play blind, thinking they can pick things up as they play. This is something of a myth and definitely a mistake. Always remember the old adage that “knowledge is power.” 

Poor Bankroll Management

Good gamblers analyze the risk-to-reward ratio prior to wagering, while poor gamblers take unnecessary risks and have unrealistic expectations. Taking the high-risk, high-reward approach to online gambling is more likely to result in a loss. Successful gamblers often take the conservative approach, remaining in control and holding back when necessary to prolong the life of their bankroll.

The high-risk approach can often lead to bad gamblers chasing losses. Whilst it’s difficult to walk away when on a losing streak, it’s the right thing to do financially. However, many poor gamblers take the mindset that the next big win is around the corner and continue to throw good money after bad. Unfortunately, these actions will only lead to a rapid depletion of their bankroll and can be emotionally draining. 

It can be even harder for a gambler to walk away when they’ve had a big win. The adrenaline begins to pump and you start to feel invincible. However, this is the perfect time to move away from the game and celebrate your win as opposed to losing it all in the coming rounds. 

The Wrong Reasons

Many online gamblers can find themselves wagering for all the wrong reasons. Most are looking for fun and entertainment, but others are seeking an escape or to make big bucks quickly and easily. Certain gamblers may find themselves betting whilst under the influence of alcohol. That may seem like a great idea at the moment, but in reality, you’re more likely to lose due to impaired judgment.

Some gamblers will be looking to recoup losses, determined to get that next big win. But this single-mindedness clouds their decision-making abilities. They find themselves so fixed on a win that they begin to bet on anything, even if it’s ultimately a bad decision. Unfortunately, playing for the wrong reasons won’t only cost you money but may also negatively impact your mental health.

Lack of Self-Awareness

Have you ever considered how your personality affects your ambling and the way you actually play casino games online? Certain studies suggest there’s a clear link between your character, gambling habits, behavior and the types of games that you choose to play. Developing a better understanding of yourself could be beneficial to your gambling activities.

There are multiple personality types, from the patient and methodic professional player to the social gambler who plays for fun and flirts with chance. There are those who treat gambling as an answer to boredom or personal issues, while others have an unhealthy addiction to gambling. The latter should seek professional help to explore the reasons behind their escapism or compulsion.

Healthy Gambling Habits

All too often, gamblers allow outside issues to influence their decision-making, which can lead to catastrophic losses. If you’ve noticed any of these terrible traits seeping into your own gameplay, why not take time out to raise your mental game? 

Those who enjoy classic table games such as online poker or blackjack will already understand the importance of being mentally fit. Poker players also need mental strength and endurance to gauge risks, call bluffs and make good decisions repeatedly. 

To boost your poker performance, why not join the pros and try daily meditation and mindfulness activities? Others believe in regular exercise to help clear the mind and boost your motivation.

Healthy gambling habits help to create an open mind towards new strategies and strengthen your development as a player. Improving your physical and mental health will allow for stronger endurance and better decision-making. 

Final Thoughts

Following these tips will leave you better equipped to avoid the common traits displayed by terrible gamblers. Everyone experiences the odd moment of madness and makes mistakes. But if these one-off situations develop into traits, they can escalate to the detriment of your health, well-being and financial standing. If that sounds like you, it’s time to take a break.

Create your own healthy gambling habits and avoid the pitfalls of poor decision-making. Be patient, study your game of choice and schedule some practice time. Register with BetMGM to discover a wide range of online casino games, including slots, keno and live dealer tables.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.