We consider poker to be a nice and edifying hobby that should be practiced in a measured manner. Poker doesn't have to be about the big money. It shouldn't represent a hazard to your health.
Poker has some potential flip sides though. Excessive gaming may result in gaming addiction, asocial behaviors or loss of big sums of money. This is a fact.
Don't let poker drag you down (Photo: Dimitri Castrique)
We urge all online poker players to apply great caution and avoid online poker's flip sides. It could ruin your game - and your life.
Below is our vision of a responsible way to enjoy this fine old game.
How to game wisely - advice to all players
There are a few very simple rules that will help you and your friends avoid the risks connected to excessive use of online poker.
- Never play drunk
When you come home from a round in the city, it's very tempting to sit down and own. Risk is, you will be owned.
- Never play tired
Poker requires a lot of levelheaded thinking. This is not what you'll be doing if you're tired.
- Never play angry
You cannot get back at the jerk in the office by losing rent money in online poker. Might as well not even try.
- Never play sad
When you feel sad, you'll evaluate the reality with a bias. Every flop will look terrible and the opponents always hold monsters. Or even worse, you may get this urge to hurt yourself by throwing away money.
- Never risk money you need
If you play with money that you cannot do without, you'll get cautious and make bad decisions. Which is a good way to actually lose it.
- Never play young
It goes without saying, you shouldn't play poker until you're of legal age. Put away dad's credit card before you ruin your life. You know, the fun hasn't even started yet.
- Take regular breaks
Taking a five minute break every hour will set your priorities straight. Assess how you feel and what your game's like. If all's well, by all means sit down and own again. Until next break, that is.
- Set your limits
Decide beforehand how much you're allowed to lose and how long you'll be playing. Some poker sites allow you to set limits to your gaming, such as max deposit per day or max wager per day. Use them. If you feel that you can't quit when you should, tell the poker room to block you for a period of time. They do this.
Help for problem gamers
If you or someone you know have a problem with gaming, there's help to get from people who know what it means to have a gaming problem.
If you need help or just want to talk to someone, Poker Junkie recommends you to get in touch with On-Line Gamers Anonymous.
You can always be anonymous.