Poker and Gambling Problems
Poker and Gambling Problems
Poker and Gambling Problems

Poker and Gambling Problems

Poker is meant to be a fun and healthy game. The addition of money and betting to the game is meant to add excitement and interest to the game. It is not meant to create problems. However, since the earliest times of poker in North America, gambling has created problems for some. In the early days of poker, card sharks sometimes turned to violence to maintain or ensure winnings. In today’s movies, violence and poker seem to go together as well. In the movies, at least, poker games always seem to involve huge stakes and underworld organizations that demand blood for money. In the real world, poker causes such problems rarely, but it can contribute to an already existing gambling problem.

If you play poker for cash, you may wish to stay alert for the following signs of a gambling problem:

•You play for more money than you can afford to lose.

•You try to “win back” what you have lost regularly, putting even more money into poker so that you will get back the money you have lost.

•You borrow money to keep playing poker.

•You experience sever mood swings, moving from severely depressed after a big loss to elated when you are dealt a great hand.

•Your poker playing for money is causing arguments and problems with your family and loved ones.

•You cannot pay for basic necessities such as rent or food because you spend money on poker.

•You spend more time and energy on poker than you do on your job or your relationships.

•You cannot comfortably play at a no-money game and experience the same feelings of satisfaction and happiness you get from a money game.

It can be hard to notice that your poker has created a gambling problem and hard to admit the problem. It is important, however. Gambling problems can break up families and can lead to sever financial distress if they are not checked early. There are true horror stories out there of people who have lost their homes or have had to declare bankruptcy thanks to debt caused by gambling. Don’t let this happen to you. If you suspect that you may be susceptible to gambling problems or may have developed one already, stop playing for money and stick with no-money games only. You can still play poker without paying a cent.

If you are struggling with a gambling problem, you can get help from gambler’s anonymous. You can contact them by phone (213-386-8789) or via the Internet ( for information about gambling and for help. This non-profit group raises awareness about gambling problems and provides meeting groups and support for people who suffer from the problem. Structured much like Alcoholics Anonymous and similar 12-step programs, Gamblers Anonymous even has a presence or offices in many casinos.

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Date Added: 2005-10-15


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