Gambling is one of the oldest forms of entertainment known to man. From the first two cavemen who bet on a couple of horses racing along the savannah to modern-day sports arenas packed full of fans, betting is as popular as ever. In fact, it may be built into our human DNA!

However, if you’re going to have a punt, there are some things you should know before you wade into the world of gambling.

Not All Forms of Gambling Are Equal

Gambling is a broad term that encompasses many different activities. Buying stocks is a form of gambling. So is playing casino games online. Sports betting is also gambling, as is pitching coins or playing dice with a friend.

If you’re going to gamble, you should understand what you’re getting into. For example, all casino games have a house edge. This means you are at a mathematical disadvantage from the beginning. That’s not true of sports betting with a friend, but it is true of betting against a bookmaker, who always puts the odds in his or her favour.

Find the forms of gambling that are best for you and give you the greatest chance of winning. If you’re playing casino games, your best bets are video poker and blackjack. Avoid keno and lotteries at all costs. The odds on those are terrible! Things like winning roulette systems don’t change the odds at all, you’ll still lose more often than you win.

Gambling Can Be Addictive

Gambling is a popular form of entertainment precisely because it gives you a rush. For some people, that rush can be highly addictive, almost like a drug. If you have an addictive personality, it’s not a good idea to start gambling.

Gambling releases dopamine when you win and makes the primitive parts of your brain feel like you’ve lost something important like food when you lose. This can lead to either chasing the high or chasing losses. Neither is good and both can lead to severe problems if they get out of control.

If you’re going to gamble, especially online where it’s always available, do some research about how gambling addictions are formed and make sure to protect yourself against them. If you do develop a habit, make sure you reach out to an organization like Gamblers Anonymous as soon as possible.

Some Gambling Strategies Do Work

Most gambling games are down to nothing but luck. You can safely ignore strategies for roulette, slot machines, keno, and dice games. Hope lady luck shows up, and if you’re winning, get out while you’re ahead.

However, there are skill-based gambling games that strategies work on. Video poker and blackjack are two of them. These also happen to have the lowest house edges, so that’s another reason to play them.

If you’re patient and determined to develop your skills as a gambler, you can learn card counting to win blackjack more often. There are also video poker games that you can win more often than you lose if you know the right strategies.

Most gambling systems are con jobs promoted by the casinos. However, with the two games mentioned above, you can actually beat them if you put the time in, learn the odds and strategies, and practice, practice, practice.

Real Money Gambling – A Summary

Hopefully, this post has provided some useful information that will help you gamble smarter. With only a few exceptions, smart gamblers are better to stick to sports betting and poker. Casino games can pay you a lot, but you’re always battling against odds that aren’t in your favour, and in the end, math wins. Have fun out there, and remember, never bet more than you can afford to lose!