How can I be a good online gambler?

A lot of attention is paid to how to win the most money when gambling, which pokies are the best to play, and what to do if the online gambling site tries to cheat you out of your money – and quite rightly. These things are very important and are what most people are interested in. But it is also good to know what you can do to be a good online gambler, and not only in terms of a successful online gambler (though obviously everyone wants to be that as well) – but in terms of being an ethical online gambler, and a sensible one as well. Basically a good online gambler in every sense of the word. We narrowed it down to ten rules you should follow when gambling – and keep in mind, although these are called “The Ten Rules of Online Gambling”, this advice is good for any kind of gambling at all.
The Ten Rules of Online Gambling

  1. Do not cheat.
  2. Always honour your gambling debts (and in fact, all of your debts)
  3. Expect to lose. Seriously.
  4. Follow and trust the odds, not your hunches or good or bad feelings.
  5. Never, ever, ever bet more than your bankroll. Ever.
  6. Do not believe in ridiculous betting systems (note: all betting systems are ridiculous)
  7. Do not hedge your bets
  8. Look for and play with sites that have good rules
  9. Do not make side bets
  10. Maintain good gambling etiquette, whether you win, lose or draw.

Okay, a little brief for you? Here are some more in depth explanations:

  1. This one is pretty simple as well. You pay your debts because it is what decent people do. And it is what you do if you want anyone to trust you again. If you can’t afford to pay, then you couldn’t afford
  2. Right, if you need an explanation for this one, you are in trouble. Do not cheat means do not cheat. Not only is it very difficult to do, and not only do you run the risk of being caught and banned and possibly facing criminal charges – it is plain and simple not a good thing to do. So don’t do it.
  3. Okay, this one is fairly obvious and yet thousands of people fool themselves into thinking otherwise. If the odds were in your favour, the casino wouldn’t let you play. If the odds were in your favour, you would win more than you lost. Everyone would win more than they lost. The casino would lose more than it won, making it thoroughly unviable as a business venture. it wouldn’t exist in the first place and even if it did, it would have gone bankrupt. The casino – real life or online – exists because at the end of the day, overall, it is winning and the players are losing. This is on average, obviously you’re in with a fighting chance (or maybe just a chance) – do it for fun and expect to lose and you won’t be disappointed.
  4. There are ways that you can play to maximise your chances of winning. These involve looking closely at the odds, and following strategies that have been mathematically proven. They do not involve picking lucky numbers. They do not involve going on hunches. They most definitely do not involve paying for the “professional” services of a psychic or similar to help give that added edge. If the psychics were any good, they would be out there playing for themselves and raking it in. Stick with the maths for the best chance available.
  5. Before you gamble – before you even walk into the casino or turn on your computer – determine how much you can afford to gamble with. That is not how much money you have. That is how much money you can afford to spend on entertainment, that is how much money you can afford to lose (See rule number 3). Do not gamble any money that you need for necessities. Do not factor in the possibility of winning, big or small, when determining how much you can afford to play with. For these purposes, assume you will lose it all.
  6. Betting systems promising a sure fire way to beat the casinos are being pedalled by charlatans and scammers. Or at least, 99% of them are. I won’t say that there is absolutely no chance at all of hitting on something good – technology is changing and so are the systems being developed to meet it. However, the odds of you hitting on one of those is minute, and the odds of you being taken for a ride are very short indeed. As a rule of thumb, if it sounds too good to be true, then it most likely is. Walk away.
  7. Hedge bets are nearly always a bad idea. For a full explanation of why, check our Frequently Asked Question, “What are hedge bets and are they a good idea?” For here and now, suffice it to say that hedge bets usually carry a high house edge and you’re generally better off forgetting them. If you are betting huge amounts of money – the kind of amounts that will change your life – new rules apply and you should consider taking the insurance of a hedge bet.
  8. Different casinos have different rules. This goes for all real life casinos and is even more true in the world of online gaming. The better the rules, the higher the odds are for you winning. Do your research – find out what constitutes good rules and bad rules, and find where the best rules are. Good starting (and ending point?) – our recommended Top Sites, Spin Palace, Ruby Fortune and Mummy’s Gold.
  9. Side bets are also called proposition bets, and are additional bets “on the side” made on the outcome of the main bet. The house edge far exceeds the typical house edge on the main bet, and so side bets should be avoided, and are by experienced players.
  10. Be polite. Be respectful. Just because you are playing online does not mean you should forget basic human decency. There may be a computer and some internet between you, but you’re still dealing with real people a lot of the time. If you need to call or chat online for technical assistance – be kind and polite. Computer based communication can be dehumanising, and it’s important and helpful to remember you’re dealing with a real person who deserves your respect. It’s easy, and it makes the entire experience more enjoyable for everyone involved, including yourself.