Playing poker online can be fun, thrilling, and even educational. But while you can greatly benefit from playing the game, you have to make sure it doesn't compromise your physical or mental health.
Some players, newbies especially, can sometimes get overzealous when placing bets. That can lead some to ignore their budget, and worst-case scenario – develop a gambling problem. Now, if you are planning on playing poker download games and even try to go pro, make sure to stay as safe as possible.
Before you place your own money on the line, take a moment to understand what your gambling limits are. From time to time, check if you have your priorities straight. That way, you will be less at risk of developing any type of addiction.
To help you out in this department, we're here to provide you with a safety checklist that will help you identify problem gambling. Keep those questions in mind at all times, and you will be able to have a productive and enjoyable gambling session with little effort.
10 Questions to Detect Problem Gambling
If you find yourself no longer in control of your gambling session, you should stop and assess your priorities. Here are a few questions that can help you figure out whether you've crossed a line when it comes to playing poker or not:
- Has gambling negatively affected your relationships with family or friends?
- Did you ever miss out on work or school due to gambling?
- Do you gamble to escape or forget about arguments, disappointments, and other negative feelings?
- After losing cash at the poker tables, do you feel the urge to get back to the casino ASAP to win back what you've lost?
- Do you use gambling to celebrate anything good?
- After a win, do you feel the need to recreate your success and win even more cash?
- Do you ever gamble for longer than you've planned for?
- Do you ever allocate money for gambling instead of using it for normal expenditures?
- Did you ever have to borrow money or sell your personal possessions to fund your gambling sessions?
- Do you constantly need to increase the involved risk levels to enjoy your gambling experience?
If your answer 'yes' to some of those questions, then it is time for you to seek assistance from a specialist. But how and where can you get said assistance in a judgment-free zone?
How to Get Help If I Think I've Developed a Gambling Issue?
Realizing you have a problem is the first step to recovery. It doesn't matter whether you play poker online or at live venues, the questions above will help you complete that step. But what should be your next move? Where can you turn to get immediate help?
Here are a few options you should always keep in mind:
- Gamblers Anonymous – an organization that offers 12-step support meetings all across the world, in addition to providing help to family members of problem gamblers. US residents can also call local hotlines to get immediate assistance.
- The National Council on Problem Gambling Helpline – available to problem gamblers and their families in the US. You can contact the hotline 24/7 via this number: 1-800-522-4700.
- GamCare – Available in the UK, you can call the hotline at 0808-8020-133. Here you can get free information, remote assistance, and even schedule face-to-face counseling.
- Centre for Addiction and Mental Health – Anyone from Canada can call the helpline at 1-866-531-2600.
- Gambling Help Online – Australian players can receive help via this hotline at 1800-858-858.
If you are in need of assistance yourself or you believe someone close to you is in danger of developing a gambling problem, know that you're not alone. Remember that experts can guide you on how to overcome your issues. So, don't hesitate and contact them as soon as possible!