Safe Pokies: A Fine Line between Entertainment and Addiction
There’s no denying that Aussies have a passion for playing the pokies. We love our nights at the local pub, pumping coins into the machines in hopes of hitting a big return. There’s also no denying that Australia has the highest rate of gambling addiction in the world. There’s more than enough statistical data to prove it.
Clearly, there’s a fine line that must be distinguished. On one side of that line are the majority of us who play pokies, spending only what we can afford and walking away satisfied, either with a profit or our due share of entertainment. Then there are those who trip over the line, over-extending their budget, chasing losses and falling into financial despair.
The question we aim to answer today is this:
How do you maintain a fun, safe pokies experiencing, without crossing that dangerous line?
Budget Your Spending
Before you head out to the local pub or casino, or log onto an online gaming site, set a budget for how much you’re willing to spend – or more appropriately, how much you’re willing to lose.
Let’s face it, poker machines are not designed to return a profit. It does happen on occasion, which is why we enjoy playing them so much, but realistically, the laws of probability state that you’re going to lose.
So again, ask yourself, how much can you afford to lose in a day, a week, a month? Do you visit the pokies often? Is it a daily, weekly or monthly endeavor? If you go every Friday night, how much can you afford to lose from a week’s paycheck without affecting your overall budget?
If your answer is $50, the solution is simple. Do not spend more than $50 on the poker machines. And if you go twice a week, don’t spend more than $25 per trip.
The safest way to ensure you don’t overspend your gambling budget is not to bring with you more than the amount allotted, and stay away from the ATM machines. If you’re afraid you might withdrawal from the ATM, don’t’ even bring your card with you.
Keep Your Head Clear
Playing at the pub grants easy access to alcohol, and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a couple of brews, but there is great danger in drinking too much while playing the poker machines. Lack of sobriety lowers inhibitions and tends to unduly raise our expectations of winning. To play safe pokies, you must drink responsibly.
Play Small Amounts
Let’s say you have a $25 budget to spin the reels, and several hours to spend doing it. The only way to make a bankroll of that size last any decent amount of time – assuming you don’t hit a life altering jackpot within the first few minutes – is to play the lowest denominations possible.
Don’t pump $10, $5 or even $1 at a time into the machines. To keep your bankroll safe, pokies should be played at lower amounts, preferably not to exceed $0.25 per spin (lower if possible). That means you’ll need to be playing penny games with few paylines; no more than 25.
Walk Away a Winner
Much like determining your bankroll, before you get started, decide how much you’d like to win. Make it a realistic amount. If you’re bringing $50, a $25 profit ($75 in hand) is a reasonable amount to hope for. If you hit that amount, cash out and walk away a winner.
There’s one exception to that rule, and it only applies if you’ve just begun playing the pokies. Maybe you’ve only been at the machine for 10 minutes and struck a big enough win to hit or exceed your profit margin.
In this case, if you haven’t hd your fill of entertainment, pocket the original $50 you walked in with and only play with the profits you’ve made. This way, you’re guaranteed not to lose anything, and still have the potential to win even more before your session is over.
Take Breaks, Switch Machines Often
If you find your bankroll is dwindling faster than you want it to, take a break regularly. Grab a bite to eat, make conversation with the locals or head outside for a breath of fresh air to break up the monotony of spin after spin.
If the poker machine you’ve been playing isn’t paying out, don’t assume it’s destined to pay any moment. Find a new game to play that meets your bankroll and per-play spending requirements and give it a go.
The more time you spend moving around, the longer your bankroll will last, ensuring a safe pokies experience with more entertainment time.