Most avid gamblers should be able to tell you about their development.
They can likely tell you how they were introduced to gambling. Some may even recall when they finally got tired of losing money and decided to take it seriously.
Everyone’s gambling story is different, yet you’ll find several similar experiences that galvanize the gambling community.
Whether you’re still in the early stages of gambling, or you’re farther along, it’s always interesting to compare your experience to others.
Here are the 7 most common stages aspiring gamblers go through during their development.
1 ‒ Introduction to Gambling
Anyone who likes to gamble and does it frequently should remember their first memory of gambling.
Certain gamblers often learn from those closest to them. Usually, that first introduction occurred with family and friends seated around you.
Personally, I’ve been playing cards for as long as I can remember. My dad and grandfather made a point to give me a crash course in a variety of different games. I couldn’t have been older than 5 or 6, so by the end of that first session, I never wanted to see another playing card for the rest of my life.
Of course, that sentiment didn’t last too long. However, it happens, at some point, every gambler comes across the world of real money gambling.
Whether you came to it on your own or had someone fill your brain past capacity is where gamblers tend to vary.
2 ‒ First Taste of Victory and Overconfidence
If you love to gamble and play cards, it’s quite likely to find yourself unable to contain your excitement.
That excitement normally leads new gamblers on a goose chase to find anybody and everybody who will play cards with. It’s even possible to overwhelm the person who introduced you to gambling in the first place.
At some point in this manic, borderline-obsessive stage of gambling, you’re going to win.
In all likelihood, you probably just got lucky and beat someone who’s been playing for years. But, the discrepancy in age and experience makes it all the more enjoyable.
Some gamblers go through this stage with money on the line, either playing cash games with friends or when playing in a casino.
The feeling of winning money from the house, despite an obvious dearth of skill and experience, is intoxicating.
This is the point where a false sense of overconfidence begins to creep in.
3 ‒ Series of Defeats
I often tell people that gambling is most comparable to riding a roller coaster.
When you first board any run of the mill roller coaster, you usually go straight for a few seconds before beginning an ascent.
The roller coaster slowly climbs higher and higher until you finally reach the top. At the first apex, there’s a second when the coaster feels like it’s come to a stop. Then, you plummet towards the earth at a speed your brain can hardly comprehend.
That’s exactly what it’s like when introduced to gambling. There’s a slow, steady climb followed by a moment in which everything is still. Finally: the instant drop back down to where you started.
One of the devastating lessons you learn about gambling is that it’s more likely you’ll lose than win. Once that reality sets in, that feeling of overconfidence dissipates.
4 ‒ Deciding Whether to Make Gambling a Serious Hobby
After sustaining several losses, and maybe even losing some money, some gamblers might feel compelled to reassess their relationship with gambling.
This is a crossroad many gamblers have encountered before, and many will arrive at in the future.
When you first start gambling, you approach games with a carefree mindset. But once you realize it’s possible to win, you might feel your competitiveness kick into high gear.
The games are still enjoyable after that, sure. But, nothing feels better to you than winning money while playing cards.
Another tough pill to swallow is that gambling isn’t as easy as you first thought. The more you play certain casino games, the more complicated and intricate the rules and strategy seem.
When the losses pile up, some novice gamblers shy away from pursuing it any further. Others feel like it might be worth investing some time and energy into actually learning how to be good at gambling.
5 ‒ Absorbing as Much Information Possible
If you’re anything like me, once you pick up a new hobby or activity, you dive in headfirst. That intensity may or may not last, but for the time being, it’s among your highest priority.
The first thing you seek to accomplish is getting familiar with whatever game you enjoy the most. A common problem many gamblers have is overextending themselves and not focusing on a select few casino games.
However, eventually, most settle on the ones that they enjoy the most or the ones they can win the easiest.
This stage is also known as going back to the drawing board. You might think back to what you remember from your introduction.
Speaking from experience, when I decided to take poker seriously, my first calls were to those who taught me to play. For some reason, it makes sense to get back to where you started.
Gambling in a casino can occasionally get monotonous, especially when you’re reading about the games instead of playing them. For that reason, it’s a pleasant experience to rediscover that enthusiasm you first felt at the table.
6 ‒ Hitting the Plateau
As a gambler, the learning process doesn’t ever stop. There’s always something new to learn about or some aspect of your game to improve.
However, after allocating a bit of time and energy to the craft, you might think you’re ready to test out your new skills.
But, as I said, you’ll come to the conclusion that there’s always room for improvement. The more you gamble, the more you’ll interact with gamblers who are better than you and have infinitely more experience than you.
You might start winning some, but you lose more often than you would like. You feel like you’re treading water instead of moving forward.
Like anything that’s worth your time, you’re not going to luck into being a good gambler. Sure, some games reward people who are supposedly lucky. But over time, your practice will pay off and you’ll break through the mental fog that’s limiting your ability to enjoy yourself.
7 ‒ Success
This might sound somewhat insincere and forced, but your highest priority when gambling is to enjoy the experience. The only people on this planet who can ignore this piece of advice are professional gamblers.
Once that clicks, and you allow yourself to relax while playing games, everything will finally seem to fall into place.
All the losing you did earlier now seems to be worth it because some of the most critical gambling lessons are gained in defeat.
At that point, certain aspects of gambling you didn’t think you can enjoy are now somewhat entertaining. Research and practice with little to no-stakes on the line can become a fun experience.
Of course, it’s important to take gambling seriously if you’re putting money on the line. But, gambling while you’re uptight won’t benefit your continued development.
It might be true that everyone’s gambling experience is different from others. But, there are several similar experiences aspiring gamblers can share while attempting to improve.
The first stage that most, if not all, gambling fans should remember fondly is their first memory of gambling. That introduction can occur anywhere, but the odds are that if you think about it long enough, the memories will come flooding back.
After someone or something introduces you to the world of gambling, it’s easy to get hooked. That’s especially true for those of you who learned to gamble during your childhood or early adulthood.
At some point, you might experience some beginner’s luck and take down a more experienced player. If you’re fortunate, that first taste of victory might occur at a casino.
You’ll soon realize that the first win was more of an anomaly than anything else. Losing will drive you mad, and eventually, you’ll decide whether you want to take it seriously or not.
If you choose to pursue gambling, that hobby can turn into a slight obsession to get better at a rapid pace. But, as you all know, most games are set up to favor the house, not the player.
Regardless, everything often clicks when you let yourself enjoy the entire gambling experience. Sure, it’s important to not be careless with your money. But, unless gambling is your occupation, you should enjoy the time you spend doing it.
If you don’t, perhaps you should consider a different activity to occupy your free time.
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. …