Gambling is like any other escapist activity. For instance, people attempt to get away from the world by gambling. When someone has money at risk, it gets the blood flowing. It’s an adrenaline rush because you know there’s something on the line. When it comes to an addict, there might be a lot on the line.
If you look at addictive gamblers, they often have a few common traits. One is that they’re not conformists. They don’t like the standard life because they find it mundane. They need more excitement. Another common trait is that they’re dreamers. For example, some gamblers are also risk-takers in the business world. A third common trait is that many addictive gamblers are introverts. They feel they don’t fit into society as well as other people. Gambling gives them an excuse to fit in. Think about a regular at a live poker room. This person doesn’t have to initiate conversation. They simply sit at a table and the conversation comes to them. Social skills are thrown out the window.
While all the above traits describe the common addictive gambler, anyone is susceptible to this often downward spiral. There are some people who win with gambling, but these are extremely strategic individuals with superb money management skills and discipline. Without realizing it, most addictive gamblers are playing to lose. This might sound outlandish when you first read it, but if you look a little deeper, you will understand. What is the first thing an addictive gambler does when he has money at his disposal? He gambles it. Therefore, if he wins a lot of money, he’s only going to keep gambling until the money is gone. There is no ultimate goal or destination because his number one use for the money is gambling. When a gambler loses money, he does everything he can to make that money back. A wise and disciplined gambler will use winnings for a vacation or to help pay off his mortgage and cut back on risk when in the hole, but these people are few and far between.
In the sports betting world, professionals are rare, but they’re out there. Ironically, these are often people who once had a gambling addiction and then learned to control it. These professional gamblers also don’t play the same way the average gambler does. They look for hedges at every corner. For example, if one sportsbook has the Patriots – 4 and a sportsbook down the road has the Jets + 6 down the road, they’re going to bet both sides. If they put $500 on each side, they’re risking $50 to win $1,000. They also hedge bets through parlays, teasers and money lines. They want less risk and higher reward.
You will find even more professional gamblers in the world of online poker. Once again, these are often people who originally got crushed and used to be addictive gamblers. Through trial and error, they learned how to destroy their opponents. The best part about online poker is that there are many poker games to choose from. Therefore, a good pro will see which game is currently featuring the most fish and attack.
Addictive gambling often leads to bad places. However, if someone hits bottom, they’re likely to give it up for good. The only way for this to happen is for bailouts to be avoided. A small percentage of people can turn it around and make it into a profession, but this is uncommon.