Gambling at the casino.
I guess for many punters it should come with a health warning. If you've seen all these new adverts on TV about problem gambling you would be led to believe everyone who gambles is a potential addict if not frothing at the mouth as they place an ill-advised bet.
Everyone needs to be responsible.
If you cannot be responsible, prone to addiction, or just can't stop poking the wasp nest with a stick, then phone a friend, seek help and just say no.
Perhaps for most people gambling is something you do for fun. But there lies the problem.
That naivety may lead you down a dark alley with a ten-foot gorilla waiting just out of sight to steal your bananas. If you're resistant, it will play with your mind, pull off your arms, legs, pockets full with money, and then your head which it kicks around like a football before booting it over the neighbour's fence. It has no heart, compassion, or remorse. It revels in your destruction.
Being a little green behind the ears, if not cabbage looking, you don't appreciate the line you need to draw in the sand.
As in life, if you don't have an answer to a question, the answer may not exist or be slow to materialise. In that time, you find you have a problem, and you're sitting at the casino as a silverback keeps spinning the roulette wheel and looking at you with a smile, its cheesy grin broadening with every loss. You realise that you are stuck to the spot, your hand keeps placing more losing chips on the table until you are released from its hold and you can leave to the reality you have lost a fair chunk of cash.
The feeling is stark, a loss more than its monetary sum.
However, you feel compelled to go back time and time again.
Until one day your life is in ruins, your family has been dragged down with you and they fear your every move and question your sanity, well-being and cannot understand.
They will never understand - because you don't understand.
Don't be like the taxi driver who I've seen at a certain casino who uses the den of iniquity as his base gambling until the next fare comes and then rushes back to play again. It's a sad fact this good, kind, humorous, and decent person is the only one blind to what others can see. I guess few people say: ''Do yourself a favour, and go home!'' Would it help if they did? (I doubt it very much because he gave up listening years ago and those who gave a toss now keep quiet.)
It may seem ridiculous, but anyone considering gambling for the first time shouldn't take that first bet lightly.
Because that first bet means you are 95% more likely to bet a second time, and third, and one-millionth.
In truth, gambling for fun is a pointless exercise if not the equivalent of playing with dynamite. You simply don't have the knowledge to win. Sadly, enthusiasm and lady luck aren't enough to put the odds in your favour. As a naive gambler, you have much more to lose than gain.
You don't have the skills to beat the layers.
Don't be fooled in thinking you are as good as them.
The only way you will be as good or better is if you have worked hard to hone your skills.
Psychologists say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. This is a starting point of understanding.
In truth, it takes years to have a basic understanding.
So before you make that first bet you should consider learning something 95% of the population does not know. If you could see the truth of the obstacle you need to climb to be a successful gambler you would never start the journey. Or if you did, you could be the ideal candidate.
Gambling is so often detailed as fun, a laugh, it adds enjoyment to the game, it's sociable.
It can be all of those things if you understand what you are dealing with. But, sadly, you are unlikely to see the wood for the trees. That decision to gamble has been the road to ruin for many people. It has even led to some losing their lives.
Don't fall into the trap of betting for fun.
View your decision as if playing a county chess player who may be a grandmaster. Would you really want to play any of these people at chess for £1000?
Just because you cannot see the ability of the person who takes your bet, do not believe it is at your level or naively think you are better.
You are deceiving yourself. The exact deception that would see you fall into a trap.
If you have a high level of knowledge you would understand. You would see the layer as your prey. They would naively accept your challenge thinking you are just another loser waiting to happen.
Until you get to that level - do not bet for fun.
I have a degree in psychology. This compared to my knowledge of gambling on my specialism of two-year-old horse racing is nothing. In fact, if I could gain a degree for my knowledge I would have a PhD.
I still fear the layers who take my bets but I am willing to take the challenge because I am confident I know more.
If you are losing money of a regular basis - don't bet again.
Before action comes thought. If your thinking is lacking you are lacking too.
If you cannot stop betting, seek professional help. You are the only answer to your very personal problem.
Simply say never again.
Read our last amazing post: Should I Bet Big Money or Small Change?