Breaking your gambling habit

Gambling addiction affects thousands of people worldwide and can be one of the hardest things to overcome. As with any addiction, recognising that you have a problem and getting the right help is key to breaking the habit.

Ask someone for help

This is the first step in beating the gambling habit, whether it’s your partner, another family member, friends or a support worker, talking about your addiction will help relieve the pressure and provide you with time to plan your recovery.

Limit your access to money

Limiting your access to money is key to recovering from gambling addiction. Many people find it hard not to gamble if they have money in their pocket. There are a few things you can do to limit the amount of cash that you have access to, these include:

•    Not keeping large amounts of cash in your home
•    Have your wages paid directly into a savings account or your spouse’s account
•    Ensure any accounts require two signatures to take out cash
•    Tell friends and family not to loan you money
•    Avoid working jobs that deal in handling cash

Fill your time with something else

Filling your time with different activities is a great way to curb your gambling addiction, and there are a number of ways to do this:

•    Take a second job
•    Take up a hobby or sport
•    Look at alternative things you can spend the money on i.e. a holiday, new car etc.
•    Go on days trips with the family

With the support of your friends and family, as well as a support group you can overcome your addiction, but if you suffer any setbacks don’t forget to talk to someone about it.

Picture: Moyan Brenn

Mobile casinos

The growth of Smartphones has meant that more people than ever are now playing games on their phones in the same way as they do on their computer at home. There are some differences, such as the choice and quality of game graphics, but most people are quite happy and enjoy the gaming experience.

Playing casino games on your phone is now very popular and naturally you have to download the casino software for your mobile, but it only takes a few minutes and the space it takes up on the phone is usually quite small, rarely more than a few kilobytes. Transferring money through a mobile phone is safe too, as all transactions are encrypted as normal banking business.

All the popular casino games are available to the mobile user including roulette, Roulette, blackjack, poker and slot machines are seen to be the most popular, but as with the online casino, much more is available for those that want them. The software is compatible with most of the mobile phone operating systems including iOS, Android, later BlackBerry models and Windows, which is shortly to include Symbian, following the takeover of the Nokia brand.

Check with your favourite online casino, or check out on the internet for a casino tha you can download to your mobile and fill in the time on the train, in the airport or during a lunch or coffee break. Playing at the casino on your mobile is fun, don’t miss out.

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Tips for the casino beginner

Casinos use a variety of methods to keep customers gambling for longer; these range from no windows or clocks so you can’t tell what time it is, free alcohol and a maze of brightly coloured and loud games.

In this guide we’ll teach you how to counteract these casino tactics so that you have the best time possible. Most of these tips will seem like common sense, but you’ll be surprised by how many people forget or get distracted when in a casino.

Know the odds

Casinos are businesses at the end of the day and are geared towards making money, so knowing your odds can help you have a productive stay. Casinos overload your senses with bright light and loud noises, but taking your time and keeping a clear head when playing is imperative.

Only take what you can afford to lose

Again this sounds like basic advice, but many people have fallen foul at casinos and have ended up broke. Before heading to the casino decide how much you are willing to lose, take that out as cash and leave your credit cards at home or in your room.

Knowing when to quit

Everybody likes to win, and while you are winning it is important to know when to quit. Just as small losses add up, so do small winnings, so when you hit an amount that you’re happy with leave the game. The same is true when losing, don’t be tempted to go back to the cash machine if you’re having a bad night, just leave the casino and live to fight another day.

Wear a watch

As stated before, casinos don’t have any windows or clocks so that people lose track of time. Wearing a watch can help you to gage how long you’ve been playing a specific game for and can help you decide when to call it quits.

Don’t drink alcohol

Casinos offer you free drinks, why? because they want you to gamble more. Alcohol impairs judgement and dulls the senses making it more likely that you’ll make a mistake. It is best to avoid alcohol completely when you’re gambling.

Take regular breaks

Gambling, especially for a number of hours is hard work physically and mentally, so it is recommended that you take regular breaks throughout your stay. Get up and walk around for a while, or head to one of the restaurants for a snack or bite to eat. This will recharge your body both physically and mentally ready for the next stint.

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Gaming on the move

Probability a hugely successful company bringing entertainment gambling into the mobile era has recently launched its first 100-line high definition slot. The game has a jungle adventure theme and can be played at just 1p a line for a chance of jackpots of up to £20,000. There are one hundred ways in which a player can win their Mythical Mayan Adventure, which invites players to unlock hidden free game features when three scattered mythical Mayan Warrior symbols are discovered during play, allowing them to find a fortune.

This launch follows on from the highly successful game first seen in July where users have a chance to play roulette on their high end Android and iOS devices. The Probability team has built this entirely in HTML5 using a completely new framework developed in-house introducing the most advanced, feature-rich, Roulette experience available on mobile and includes many features never before seen on mobile versions of this Casino classic.

Probability has 20+ games in its lobby covering slots, casino and bingo and the HD games launched recently are upgrades of existing Probability titles which have had proven success.

Picture: Joelk75

A quick guide to Bingo

This is not an article calling out the name of that infamous dog, but a quick reference guide to the game of Bingo, played to win prizes, usually of money, most common in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.  There are various ways in which the game tickets are set up, however the general premise of the game is to follow numbers and letters as they are called out by the bingo caller, and to mark them down on a card of randomly grouped numbers.

Bingo halls are very commonly found all over the place in the previously mentioned countries.  Very popular with the older members of the community, you can find this game on any given day or night in many places where gambling is allowed, and even recreationally in many social clubs and nursing homes, especially in the United Kingdom.  Grab your blotters and let the ink dots flow as you take your chance of being the first one to complete your game ticket and calling out ‘Bingo’.

Playing tips for online casinos

Online gambling and casinos are taking off in a huge way and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s a fun way to spend your leisure time, can be rewarding if the pay-out is good and can keep your mind a little more active. If it’s something you’re considering dipping into for the first time, here are a few tips to help find your way around.

Make sure that you’ve checked around to make sure you’ve got the best deal. Every other advert you see on television and every other website you click on will be offering you a ‘fantastic’ deal on their site. But just because you’ve seen them everywhere, it doesn’t mean you’ll get the best for your money. But also ensure that they are reputable, because it goes both ways – just because they are cheap, doesn’t mean they are the best. Pick a cheap one, but one that you know the name of.

Choose your game wisely. Ensure that it’s one that you understand and know the rules of. It’s no fun to just throw your money at something while trying to figure out how to play. There are plenty of online tutorials, so learn the rules first. Take your games one at a time; get to know one thoroughly before trying to start learning another one.

Be careful with your time and money. Everybody knows that gambling is addictive, but they never think that they themselves will become addicted to it. Start out by setting yourself a specified amount of time to play or an amount of money, and stick to it! Don’t get greedy if you start winning – set a low and a high limit. If you drop below a certain amount, you’ll stop; if you reach a certain amount, you’ll take it and leave.

Always make sure to read the print, particularly on any offers, deals, promotions and bonuses. Remember the old saying that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Like anything, getting money on a gambling site takes hard work, they don’t want to give you something for nothing.

Picture: Jana McLaughlin

Top casino games

Casino games are a popular choice among gamblers for enjoyment and profit and there are several that are enjoyed by gamblers today.  Among them the most popular casino games are:

Poker

Poker is a card game that has gained immense popularity the world over.  It involves playing a 5 card hand and the winner is the player who has the best hand.  Some popular versions of poker are 5 card stud, 7 card stud, and 5 card draw, for example.

Blackjack

Blackjack is a casino card game that involves the player and the house.  The game requires dealing out two cards to every player and to his or herself by the dealer.  One of the dealer’s cards remains faces up and the other down.  The players are required to take turns to try and get the closest to 21 but without going over.  The dealer’s cards are revealed at the end of the game, and all players with a hand that is better than the dealer’s but not over 21 are the winners.

Roulette

Roulette is a popular casino game that involves players placing bets on one or several numbers.  The players can also choose to bet on the colours black or red, and even on the odd or even numbers.  The dealer spins a wheel in a clockwise direction and rolls a small ball in the opposite direction.  The ball stops in a numbered slot on the wheel.  Each player with a bet corresponding to that number wins.

Bingo

Bingo is a game of chance. Players match the numbers on their cards to numbers selected in a random manner.  The aim of the players is to create a specific pattern involving the card consisting of a 5×5 matrix.  The first person to complete the pattern calls out “BINGO”. After the card is checked for accuracy the winner is declared.

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How casino keep you gambling part 2

In part two of this article we’ll show you even more ways in which a casino tries to keep its customers gambling for longer.

Near wins keep you gambling

Casino games whether it be a table game or a machine are specially designed to make the gambler feel like they are in control and that the game is winnable. Near wins give the impression that the game is going to have a big payout sooner rather than later and this keep players betting for longer.

Casino games will also payout small amounts in the short run giving players the confidence to keep betting even though they are losing more than they are winning.

Free or cheap services

Freebies or reduced priced services are another way in which the casino aims to keep players in their casinos. Bettors will often receive coupons for free meals, shows or offers within the casino; this makes the player feel important and increases the change of the player coming back again and again.

Free alcohol

This is another tactic used by casinos to keep patrons betting and who doesn’t like a free drink. Alcohol has an added bonus for the casino as it makes players more reckless and inhibits the ability to make informed decisions.

Keeping the high rollers

The casino ultimately makes more money from small bettors and amateur players than it does from its high rollers, but they still offer big bettors things like free suites in the casino and private games. As long as the gambler is still in the casino the more chance they have of losing big and adding to the casinos profits.

The casinos labyrinth design

Casinos are notoriously have to navigate and are basically one giant maze designed to keep gamblers for the maximum amount of time and thus more chance of them betting.

Barriers and shutters are used so that patrons have to literally walk past every machine and table to get around giving the casino more time to entice you into betting.

How casinos keep you gambling part 1

Gambling is big business and the longer the casino keeps you betting the more money they make. Casinos are set out specially to maximise the excitement of gambling whilst making a comfortable environment in which to play.

In this two part article we’ll show you some of the subtle ways in which casinos try to keep gamblers inside their doors for longer.

Where are all the clocks?

Most people own at least one watch, but a vast majority still don’t wear one regularly. The casinos know this and purposely don’t have any clocks so that gamblers lose track of time. Casino games are designed to be engaging and the more time you spend playing invariably means a bigger profits for the casino.

A lack of windows

Although the front of the casino will have big windows to entice perspective gambler through the doors, the main casino will have no windows whatsoever. This is a similar tactic as having no clocks and serves the purpose of gamblers not knowing what time it is and whether it has got dark or light outside.

In addition, having no windows means that gamblers cannot see anything interesting happening outside which might entice players to move elsewhere.

Lights and sounds

Bright lights and big sounds stimulate gamblers and subconsciously tells them that everybody else is winning why don’t you try it. Even when you are losing on a given machine the sounds and lights are still lively and euphoric to entice you to spend more and chase the win.

A comfortable environment

Even though the slot machines may have bright lights and big sounds the casino lighting on the whole is designed to be mellow and comforting, much like sitting in your living room at home.

The ambience of the casino provides a homely and safe feeling and the décor is specially designed to be welcoming and pleasing to the eyes.

Casino music is also chosen to be soft and comfortable, just like the sort of music found in shopping centres and the clean environment help players to feel catered for whilst providing them with a nice place to stay and play.

Layout of casino services

Wherever you go in a casino, whether it be to the toilet or for something to eat or drink you are bombarded by an array of different machines and tables. You will find that most of the casinos services will be towards the rear of the casino meaning that you have to walk past all of the exiting casino games before reaching your destination, and the casino hopes entice you to make impulse bets on your way.

How to play craps

Craps is a simple, fast-moving game with a huge potential for large, quick wins.  Unfortunately, because the outcome of this game depends on a pair of dice rolling on a flat surface, making any predictions is impossible.  The only thing that a player can do, therefore, is to place a bet and keep their fingers crossed. 

Playing craps

This game begins after one player makes a Pass Line bet or Don’t Pass bet (wagers that players must make if they want to shoot) by placing one or more chips in appropriate areas (Pass line or Don’t Pass bet).  As soon as the bets have been made, a player, commonly referred to as shooter, rolls a pair of dice across the table.

The total points of the first roll, also called come-out roll, are divided into three groups:

•    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 There are no winners; the number rolled becomes the Point Number and the round of the game continues
•    2, 3, 12 Don’t Pass bets win; the round of the game ends here
•    7, 11 Pass Line bets win; the round of the game also ends here.

Regardless of whether the round of the game ends or not, more bets can be placed for the current or next round. In subsequent rolls, the most important numbers are 7 and the Point Number.  For instance, if the Point Number is 6, the rolling will continue until a 6 or a 7 is rolled.  If a 6 is rolled, the shooter and Pass Line bets win.  If a 7 is rolled, the shooter and Pass Line bets lose, while Don’t Pass bets win.

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