Who doesn’t love a getting their drink on every once in a while? Going to the casino is often associated with drinking; knocking back a few beers at the blackjack table or downing a couple of shots while playing craps. However, it’s easy to see why gambling and alcohol can sometimes be a dangerous mix, and in many cases will end up with the drinker waking up the next morning to an empty wallet, and maybe if lucky, a tiger in their bathroom.
“But,” you say, “I’m just going to play pokies! It is a low risk game and I’ll know when to stop if I start losing too much cash.” A valid argument, but that’s the point – because pokies is such a simple game to play, the chance of you losing track of your money is even greater. Casinos know intoxicated players are more prone to making careless and carefree bets, thus losing more money. Imagine you are sitting at a pokies machine downing beer after beer, and spinning the reels after each sip. You see the flashing lights, listen to the trippy music, and before you know it, you don’t remember how much you’ve bet, and whether you’re winning or losing. Many slot machines offer different kinds of jackpots, and keeping track of your bets and winnings while sober is hard enough; so attempting to keep track while your brain is swimming in alcohol could be compared to walking a tightrope while juggling three pairs of shoes.
You can still have a few beers
We certainly aren’t advocating to go cold turkey; we ourselves always enjoy a night out on the town. However, knowing your limits is the underlying message here, and having the self control to know when to stop is always valuable. Playing while intoxicated makes it significantly harder to gamble smart and bet accurately, and many players will end up making regretful decisions. Good gambling judgement helps to increase our chances of winning – and limiting the amount of alcohol while sitting in front of that hypnotising screen will help you do just that.
Before you start playing the pokies, set yourself some responsible guidelines as not to be suckered in to losing all your cash. And set yourself a reasonable budget with which to gamble; try to limit yourself to an amount that won’t make things difficult for yourself if you end up losing the lot. Keep track of the minimum bet amounts in games; each game may vary in the amount you will need to bet, so it’s always check before you play. Games which offer large progressive jackpots tend to have a higher minimum bet value, so select your desired games carefully.
If you drink too much and fall in to a losing streak, chances are you’ll be tempted to increase your bet amounts in the hope of winning back the lost cash. But there is certainly no guarantee you will win, even if you gamble away your entire fortune. Pokies are games of pure chance, and if you are having a bad run, the only logical explanation is that you are having an unlucky day. Know when to count your losses and move on. If you are sober, it is a hell of a lot easier to do so. If you managed to win an amount that you are satisfied with, quit while ahead. It’s better to finish with a profit instead of chancing your luck and losing it all.
While drinking can certainly add to the enjoyment of the game, and enjoyment should be the main purpose of gambling (rather than attempting to pay for your mortgage), it can and does have negative consequences. The fun usually subsides when you realise you’ve lost your entire week’s wage in the space of a couple of hours.
Everyone has seen those ‘Drink Responsibly’ and ‘Gamble Responsibly’ ads on television, and we’re not here to lecture you further. We simply want to advise that knowing your limits is most important. If you find you can’t resist drinking on the gaming floor and it is having damaging affects on the amount you spend, try avoiding casinos for a while, and maybe give online gaming and pokies a whirl; play from the comfort of your own home, sip a couple of quiet ones, and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere.
If you think you may have concerns with your alcohol consumption, you can visit Alcoholics Anonymous Australia.