Winning is fun. Winning seems easy when it’s happening. Losing, on the other hand, is quite awful. Losing is especially bad when it happens through no fault of your own. Not winning when you make a mistake is easier to accept that simply being unlucky.
This applies to all walks of life. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing pokies, or have entered a talent contest: losing sucks and it sucks big time.
I remember reading parenting books when my first child was a toddler, hoping for some golden nuggets of information.
“Let your child win in the games you play so they can experience the joyous feeling of victory.”
Nowhere did it say anything about losing. Learning how to deal with losing is more important that experiencing winning, surely? You spend a significant percentage of your life battling against the odds. Even more so if you choose to gamble for a hobby or even a professional. Dealing with losing shapes you as a gambler and as a person.
Dealing With Losing
Let’s get something out of the way right from start. Get used to losing if you play pokies or online casino games. You won’t always lose, but you’ll experience your fair share of losing.
Casinos make their money by stacking the odds in their favour. The zero on a roulette wheel is an example of this. A pokies’ Return To Player (RTP) of 96% tells you you’ll lose $4 for every $100 you wager on average. Losing is part and parcel of gambling. We play these games knowing that the stars sometimes align and we can do nothing wrong. Our pockets are filled with the casino’s cash and that does feel pretty amazing.
The first step to dealing with losing is to accept that it happens. Obviously, you should play your favourite games full of confidence and positivity. Just remember that not everyone wins all the time.
Losing Is Relative To Your Bankroll
Losing is much easier to deal with when you play casino games using a solid bankroll. Your bankroll is the money you can afford to lose without it affecting your life. A bankroll is a gambler’s lifeblood. They cannot play if they don’t have available funds.
Imagine you’re in the fortunate position of having a $500 bankroll to spend at an online casino. This $500 is 100% yours to do with what you want. You could set fire to it if you want, although we wouldn’t recommend it. You sit at a blackjack table and proceed to lose your entire bankroll. It’s not the end of the world, although we’ll agree it’s disappointing.
Now imagine you’ve scraped together $500 for a night at the casino, but there’s a but. It’s a big but. $200 of that $500 is needed for grocery shopping and you’re hoping to get lucky. Again, you play blackjack and lose all $500.
The second example is far, far worse than the first because you only actually had $300 spare cash and now your life is being negatively affected by losing. You’ve lost the same amount of money, but losing in the second example is far more damaging.
Only ever bet with money you can afford to lose. This is the cardinal rule of gambling.
Don’t Measure The Quality of Your Night By The Money You Win and Lose
Playing casino games is exactly that, playing games. The problem is we keep score using the money we win and lose. Humans have a need to keep score, it’s built into us.
Using money as a way of keeping score is a bad thing because you attach real-life items to the amounts. Losing $100 suddenly because “I lost $100 that I could have spent on Little Jimmy’s new shoes.” Following proper bankroll management helps you stop doing this, but you can do other things too.
First, don’t base the quality of your gambling session by the money you win or lose. Some of the best nights I’ve ever had have been after losing sessions.
Have a laugh and joke with your friends. Put the world to rights while you play video poker. Even if playing a few games takes away your daily stress, you’re actually winning. Even if you’re losing.
Remember that losing isn’t all that bad. Plus it helps make that feeling of getting one over the casino all the more exhilerating.