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As with anything, we strongly recommend that you - no matter which poker room you decide to play at - play at the tables in a responsible manner, since gambling addition is a serious issue that should be treated and respected properly. Ignoring the fact that some may become addicted to playing at online casinos or poker rooms, may potentially lead you down the path to developing addictive problems regarding gambling.
How to prevent addiction
Although it's typically a very difficult thing to change or to get out of (once the issue has become real), there are still quite a few measures you can take to help prevent and avoid acquiring the issue of gambling addiction for yourself. We have several experts here at ChestPoker who would love to help, and some of them have even had issues with online gambling before, but have now learned how to cope with it and still keep playing despite having been in trouble with it. It's a difficult discipline to master, especially if you realise that you might have abusive tendencies, but it definitely can be mastered if you first learn how to keep your cool and following some of the simple guidelines below.
Trust in your pre-defined bankroll tactic, and you'll only lose what you decided you could afford before the game.
Bankroll management is everything - and can save your life
One of the properly biggest temptations that lead to gambling addiction, is the desire of wanting to win back the money you have lost. So while the dream of neutralising your losses might shine powerfully in your mind, it is never a good idea to make a play from emotions and you will fall into the trap of putting money on the table which is not necessarily based on a rational strategy or tactic, and thus it will likely end up costing you another loss, making the pain of the first loss seem so much more significant and heavy to carry.
An example of good bankroll management could be to always - no matter what - bet no more than 1 % of your total bankroll. In sports betting, this is a rather simple thing to follow. However, in poker (when action is much faster paced) it may prove to be more difficult, since you essentially put money on the table (from your bankroll) every time you play a card or a hand. And you lose all of what you have staked when you fold your hand, or flat out lose to a better hand. A lot of professional grinders therefore choose to decide exactly how much they will allow themselves to carry with them to the table, and how much they allow themselves to play every day. Meaning, let's say you set the limit to $50 /day, then you could play 5 x $10 tournaments, before you have to call it a day and let go. This means that you have the potential of winning quite a bit (some $10 poker tournaments can give rewards of up to $500), but the strongest argument is that you guarantee to not lose more than a maximum of $50 no matter what as long as you stick to your predefined bankroll management strategy.
A good way to look at bankroll management, is to simply consider it part of the rules, meaning it wouldn't even be possible to bet more than what you have allowed yourself to bet. Not literally of course, but in your mind as a general guideline.
Have a consistent game strategy and following it
One of the things professional poker players have in common; they all have strategies. No one who has online poker as a living "just play" out of pure instincts, as that will almost undoubtedly make your account go bankrupt in the long run. Luckily however, it's quite simple to set up a couple of strategies to follow, and some would even consider it much easier to play and win consistently in online poker by following a strategy, rather than just "freestyling" at the tables. Having some predefined tactics will also ensure that you do not fall into too many traps, and even make you less likely to hesitate during the game, which is something that in return allows you to play much more psychologically, since you can introduce fake hesitance to make your opponents believe that you are unsure of how to play it, whereas in reality you already know exactly what to do since you are just following the rules of the strategy you set up for yourself.
For instance, you could set up a strategy rule which decides to always play a pair of knights on the first hand, but only if you will not have to call more than 2 points. Setting a rule like that will help you to play more consistently and prevent your from going to into panic mode right after a loss, which could prompt to go all-in (to win back some previous losses) if you get lucky with a pair of Jacks. The issue of course is, that a pair of Jacks can easily be beaten - even just on the flop, and you might find yourself with another big loss to cope with.