The first thing you should know about safe betting is that gambling always carries an element of risk. That’s part of the fun, after all! There is no winning strategy at games of chance because they are designed to have a random component.

The best strategy you have is remembering to bet with your head and not your ego. Gambling is exciting, especially if you’re on a streak. However, you are still playing games of chance. A winning streak is nothing more than a stroke of good luck. At any moment, that luck could run out and you could lose everything you’ve gained with one foolish bet.

A large part of the house’s strategy is to get you emotional and excited. When you’re on a winning streak, your instinct is to keep playing. However, casinos know that there is no such thing as a winning streak. They know that the odds of every game on their gaming floor never change. This causes many a hopeful gambler to pump all their money into a machine that is “due” for payout or to throw down a huge amount of money at the tables because they are on a winning streak.

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How to Bet With Your Head

There are a few steps you can take to make sure you gamble safely and sanely. Practicing good self-control will keep you having fun while protecting your wallet.

  • Stick to a budget. Allot yourself an entertainment budget for the day, and stop when you run out. This can keep you from overspending.
  • Don’t borrow to keep playing. Whether you’re borrowing from friends or gambling on credit, this is a sure bet for big problems down the road. It’s easy to bet money that you can’t see and land deep in debt.
  • Keep a cool head. When you get excited after winning a big payout, it’s easy to go overboard and make poor decisions, especially if you’ve been indulging in free drinks. Take a step back if you feel yourself losing control. Step outside if possible. This can be a reality check and allow you to see how much time you’ve spent inside the casino.
  • Use your player card. Although it won’t have an effect on your odds, using your player card earns you comps and discounts on food, drinks and hotel rooms, saving you money and making your night more fun.
  • Base your bets on odds, not on a hunch. Countless gamblers make foolish bets based on their hunches, ending up back at zero or even in the red. No matter how lucky you feel or how long your winning streak has lasted, it’s important to remember to listen to the odds and remember that they never change.
  • Don’t gamble to make money. You go to the casino to have fun, not to work. Think of your budget as entertainment money, buying you a good time.
  • Reserve your winnings. If your budget is $100 and you win $200, cash in $100 of your winnings and don’t touch it for the rest of the evening. This way you will break even no matter what.