It seems like every single mainstream gambling movie features a protagonist with a drink in their hand. So, it’s perfectly understandable that new gamblers aspire to achieve that sort of gambling experience. The difference between you and one of these fictional characters is that alcohol will most likely impact your gambling abilities.
If you’re a fan of gambling culture but have yet to visit a casino, you probably have a picture in your mind. Before I started gambling I desperately wanted to look as classy as Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. Similarly, you might envision yourself sipping a liquor-based drink on the rocks as you gamble.
While there’s nothing wrong with these types of aspirations, you should consider limiting your alcohol consumption. That is, at least until you have come into your own as a gambler. Here are 7 reasons why gamblers should avoid drinking when they first start gambling.
1 ‒ It Can Be Expensive
Some new gamblers might be surprised to learn that not every single casino offers free drinks to bettors. A fair amount of casinos offer gamblers free drinks as long as they’re gambling. This is especially true in popular gambling cities like Las Vegas. However, this policy varies from casino to casino.
If you are unfortunate enough to routinely gamble at a casino that comps drinks, drinking, and gambling can be quite expensive. You will typically be forced to pay a premium on any type of alcohol at casinos.
Additionally, when you’re sitting at the table it’s much more convenient to order drinks from cocktail waitresses. Overpriced drinks, combined with tips, can eat into your gambling budget.
Newer gamblers should strive to develop good habits when they first start gambling. One of these habits should be sound money management. If you start drinking early on into your gambling journey, it can immediately increase the cost of future gambling trips.
2 ‒ It’s Easy to Overdrink
One of the best parts of going to the casinos is simply the fun of it. It’s easy to get swept up by the experience and allow yourself to forget about your real-life pressures. However, this benefit can also be dangerous for gamblers. If you consider yourself to be a big gambling fan, you’ll more than likely be blown away by your first few trips to the casino.
Most quality casinos have a way about creating a pleasant experience for patrons so they’re more inclined to stay longer. One common tactic casinos utilize is supplying a continuous stream of alcohol to gamblers. As I said, casinos often employ cocktail waitresses to bounce from table to table all across the casino.
Depending on your casino of choice, these waitresses can appear at your table several times each hour. If said casino comps your drinks, it can be incredibly challenging to deny free alcohol, especially once you start drinking. Consuming alcohol while gambling can be a slippery slope. Once they start flowing freely, you might not be able to stop until it’s too late.
3 ‒ You Need to Be at Your Sharpest
At this point, you might think I’m trying to limit the amount of fun you will have at casinos. While it’s true that drinking can improve the quality of your time gambling, the opposite can also be true. When you’re gambling for real money, it’s crucial that you are operating at your fullest capacity.
Any gambler who wants to take gambling seriously should always strive to be at the top of their game. That means you should always gamble with a clear head. If you’re emotionally compromised you shouldn’t gamble because you’re prone to make mistakes. Similarly, intoxicated gamblers aren’t sharp bettors.
4 ‒ Gamblers Are Already at a Disadvantage
I’m Going to Let You in on a Secret:
You’re most likely going to lose money when you first start gambling. Every single table game at a casino has a house edge, meaning gamblers are basically set up to fail. To bet profitably, you need to either get lucky, or bet to the best of your abilities.
Because of this, it’s crucial that you don’t continue to stack the odds against yourself. New gamblers often commit common mistakes when playing games at casinos due to a lack of experience. Drinking excessively will merely increase the likelihood of committing errors. With every drink, you’re essentially increasing the house’s edge.
Certain games are mindless and don’t require much skill or sobriety. If you plan to play games like slots or roulette, it’s not as important to maintain your sobriety. However if you plan to park yourself at a blackjack or poker table, being sober is paramount to early success.
5 ‒ Alcohol Clouds Your Judgment
This should go without saying, but I’ve come across several younger gamblers who insist they gamble better when drunk. That brings me to an important point. Every single gambler should know what they want to get out of gambling. If you don’t care about making money and want to have as much fun as possible: go ahead and drink.
But, if you want other gamblers to take you seriously and desire to make money, drinking is inadvisable. People do stupid things when they drink. Everyone who’s been drunk in the past knows that. When you drink and gamble, you’re more likely to make decisions that you wouldn’t normally make.
Gambling is already enough of an emotional roller coaster, and drinking will simply amplify that reality. Those of you who have some experience gambling likely have some experience with this. Either you’ve seen someone make a drunken mistake, or you might have been the one committing said mistake. Whatever the case may be, alcohol decreases your ability to make smart, strategic, and profitable decisions.
6 ‒ Losses Are Easier With Alcohol
Losing is never fun, and sharp gamblers should never be okay with sustaining losses. For whatever reason younger, inexperienced gamblers tend to drown out losses with alcohol. As I said earlier, gamblers are set up to fail. But, this unfortunate reality is lost on new gamblers.
When you are on the downside of advantage and unable to break a losing streak, it’s always easier to start drinking. You might say to yourself,
“I should take advantage of the free alcohol while I can.”
There’s only so many times you can deny free drinks, especially if you’re bleeding money.
Unfortunately, this can lead to further losses and turn a bad night into a disastrous one. Instead of drowning your sorrows in alcohol, it’s always preferable to get up from the table and call it a night. New gamblers will often chase losses in an attempt to win back some of their money. This tactic is rarely successful, and you can easily find yourself in a state of financial disrepair.
7 ‒ Drinking Can Stunt Your Progress
The first few months of gambling are the most important time of your gambling journey. This fact isn’t true for betting alone. If you’re learning to play an instrument, it’s crucial to lay a solid foundation of knowledge. If you want to learn how to excel at a sport, you have to have a base of fundamentals to build on.
Similarly, throughout your development as a gambler you’ll need to defer to the lessons you learn throughout your introductory phase. It’s incredibly easy to succumb to a pattern of bad habits. But, to gamble successfully, you need to start out on the right foot.
The next time you’re at a casino, take a mental note of the people you’re gambling with. I’d be willing to bet that the most profitable bettors are the kinds who either nurse their drinks, or stick to free coffee and water. Meanwhile the big losers are more likely to be the people who drink excessively.
The proposition of gambling sober might seem boring to younger gamblers. You might be preconditioned to think that sipping on a martini is a prerequisite to gaining admission to a game of poker. That’s to be expected, and there’s seriously no issue with that line of thinking.
But, for the first several gambling trips of your career, consider sticking to non-alcoholic beverages. Gambling while drunk can be a recipe for disaster, specifically for newer gamblers. When you drink in excess you’re more prone to committing unforced and unnecessary errors at the tables.
Certain casinos will make it nearly impossible to avoid drinking. That’s because they’re in the business of making money. Every single casino owner knows supplying alcohol to their patrons will decrease their potential to make money. Gamblers need to do everything in their power to decrease the house’s edge. The easiest way to do that is maintain sobriety and play to the best of your abilities.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …