How to Pace Yourself

July 22, 2003, 3:45 pm EST

You read in the papers every day about people who become addicted to gambling. People who max out their credit cards to pay for their gambling addictions. Families are destroyed, money is lost and it casts the entire industry in a negative light.

The key to playing slots online is to remember the first and foremost thing: this is for fun. You can't do this for a living and depend on the money. Here are some tips that offers to ensure that playing at online casinos remains fun, and doesn't turn into a nightmare:

1) Play for only a certain period of time every night. The first sign that you are addicted is when you go on all-night gambling binges, playing for 8-10 hours at a time. This is unhealthy, and the first sign of a gambling addiction. Play for a set amount of time, say an hour every night from 6 to 7, and when this time has elapsed, shut down the computer.

2) Fix your costs. By this, we mean, have a maximum loss amount that if you go over, you stop playing. Set a daily amount, and an all time amount. Set your daily maximum pain amount at say, $10, and your all-time maximum pain loss amount at $200, for instance. So, if you lose more than $10 in a single day, you stop playing, and if you lose more than $200 all-time, stop playing completely, or at least take an extended period off from playing.

3) Try out different games. Don't just obsessively play one particular game. Expand your horizons.