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Seven Tips to Manage Your Online Gaming Budget

by Lois Earles
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Online gaming has become increasingly popular over recent years. There is a massive choice of games that can be played, from simulations of classic casino games to live dealer rooms where you play alongside real people. There is a seemingly endless choice of online slots to suit every style of player and every genre of entertainment.

Sports betting platforms allow those who like a flutter to have a wager on just about every major league game going. So when you are playing at a real money online casino, how do you ensure that you keep it fun and do not spend more than you can afford? Here are a few tips to help you stay in control and keep the whole experience enjoyable.

1. Set a budget and stick to it

Online gaming and gambling are all about having an enjoyable experience. It is about much more than the money, just like a visit to a bricks-and-mortar casino or racetrack. It should be thought about just like any other entertainment that you do on a regular or irregular basis. An excellent way to determine what you can afford is to look at your overall budget.

What money is coming in every month, and what is going out? What are the essential items that must be paid for? Then what money do you have left over for leisure activities? When you have sorted out your budget, you need to stick to it and not spend more than you can afford. Otherwise, you will not have enough to pay for the essentials. If you can’t afford to play for real money and still want a game, consider one of the many social casino games and apps on offer.

2. Work out what you have to spend

You can work out what you have available to spend by doing a quick tot up of everything you like spending your leisure money on. Leisure money is what you have left when all your essential bills are covered. So, if you want to go and have a drink with your mates or go to the movies, you must make sure you have enough to cover all your pastimes.

Gaming should not be your only leisure activity. If it is, you could be in danger of developing a harmful habit. When you know what the total available leisure budget is, share it out. In other words, put a certain amount aside for drinks with your mates and know what your movie tickets will cost. Then you will see what you have available to spend at the online casino.

3. Play for fun

You might be playing with real money, but your aim should be to have fun. If you do not have enough money for other leisure activities, do not assume that you will be able to win big at the online casino. You should not play online with the view that your winnings will fund other areas of your life.

If you win some money, all well and good, but be prepared to lose it too. Do not deposit more than you can afford to lose. Remember, the house always wins eventually. You might be lucky for a while, but when your luck runs out, you need to have had fun.

4. Sign up for safe gambling tools on online sites

Reputable online casino sites have tools to help keep you safe and avoid harmful behavior. First, if you think you are spending more than you can afford, you can limit the amount you can deposit in a day, a week, or a month. If you are losing all the time, stop and seek help. If that seems impossible, you can sign up to exclude yourself from particular sites. Finally, if you ever find yourself gambling to win back your losses, it is time to sign up and have a break.

5. Have separate pots

Keeping your gambling money separate from any other essential or leisure spending is good. If you have worked out how much you have to spend, you could either set up a different bank account or just have one card that you use for online gaming. This way, it is simple to see when you have spent your budget.

It is too easy to kid ourselves that we haven’t spent so much if it is all coming out of one large pot rather than a smaller limited pool. If you set up an account with Venmo, for example, it will send you notifications confirming money that has been spent. Sometimes, getting a ping on your phone is good to remind you of what you are spending.

6. Find games that you enjoy

Find the games that make you happy playing them. Maybe you fancy yourself as a master poker player, or perhaps you prefer the random chance of the slot machines. Whichever games you choose, you should go for the ones that bring you the most enjoyment. Do not be tempted to play a different game just because it offers you the chance of bigger winnings. Playing online games should be about fun. Plenty of games have demo modes that give you a good feel of the action without committing any money.

7. Look out for offers

When you are sure which games are your favourites and which are the most fun to play, look out for special offers. Many online platforms offer free plays and welcome bonuses. Remember not to be tempted to play games you do not enjoy just because they have a good offer on them. Also, before you take up the promotion, check out the terms and conditions. Any reputable site will be upfront about playing conditions on a particular game. You need to know what you have to stake (if anything) in addition to the offer to cash in on any winnings.

The most important thing to remember when playing online games is that they should be fun.

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