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How Gamblers Can Tread Carefully

Online gambling is one of the fastest growing entertainment industries on the planet right now with an estimated value of some $230 billion in 2021. It will almost certainly continue to grow in the next decade with new regulated markets opening up in the US and Canada, as well as existing ones continuing to do good business in the UK and across Europe.

But gambling doesn’t come without controversy. The scourge of addiction has been a headline media issue recently in the UK, one of the world’s biggest gambling markest. Problem gambling is always a risk and no more so that in the arena of online casinos, and in particular video slots. Due to their frenetic pace and compelling nature these gambling machines have had their wings clipped in recent years. But they are still amongst the most popular of all products in any online casino.

In this article we highlight some of the dangers inherent in these games and show what sensible precautions gamblers should take to enjoy them without risk.

Firstly, let’s be clear. Playing online slots can be tremendous fun and if you are lucky, profitable. When you visit any online gambling site, you will find thousands of slot games to enjoy. Invariably, at the top end they offer players some excellent cash prizes, including the chance of life-changing jackpot wins in some cases. But as with any form of gambling, these games can lead to problems if not enjoyed sensibly.

Choosing a Licensed Casino

The first point is that making the right choice of where to play is important. Joining a casino that is licensed, secure and promises to support responsible gambling will help keep any player safe. You must sign up for a site where all the games are fair and have been audited. In the UK, that would be under the auspices of the UK Gambling Commission. For new players we also recommend starting at one where you can begin playing with no deposit bonus and free spins offers, since you can get started with no personal expense whilst you get use to how the games work.

The New Age of Online Slots

It’s important as well to know what you are dealing with in terms of gameplay. What makes each game tick?

Slot games have come a long way since the fruit machines you used to see in bars or amusement arcades. They are far more complex now. Online slots contain bonus games which are triggered by specific in-game events. Flashing lights, lots of noise, winning messages on repeat are also all designed to reel you in and keep you playing in the hope that you will eventually trigger the big win.

And what is more, it’s so easy to play them fast, and therefore lose money fast.

So, to get to grips with a video slot and dig beneath the surface, the first thing you should do is to check the list of rules, set out in the paytable section of the game screen. Don’t just blindly spin the reels and hope a win comes along. Read through the rules, then play the game for a while to understand how it all works. Then try to find a free demo version to play - all this can be done without touching your account balance. Then, once you know the game, you can now play it using real cash.

Furthermore, some slots are more straightforward than others. So, if you are new to playing online slot games, initially play the less complicated ones. A retro fruit machine with just a single payline, for example. Games come in many different themes, but don’t just play a Spiderman slot because you love the comics and films; it may be far too complicated for a beginner.

Watch Your Bet Size and Make Your Deposits Affordable

Once you begin to start playing online slots for real, the amount you stake can vary enormously. All the advice says that you must set yourself a gambling budget and stick to it. Do not gamble money that you cannot afford to lose. If you have money set aside to pay bills, then that is its purpose – it’s not to be spent on a slot machine.

It is possible to set deposit limits on your account with the site that you are playing at. This can restrict the amount that you deposit either daily, weekly, or monthly. Doing this is important to keep your gambling under control. Otherwise, if you have a bad run of luck, the temptation may be to deposit more cash to try and rescue the situation.

And don’t chase your losses …

That brings us to chasing your losses, which is of course something to avoid. If you are losing, just accept the fact it’s not your day and stop playing. Continuing to play could well see you throw away even more money.

As we have already mentioned, some online slots have massive jackpots. You can win millions on one spin of the reels, but the chances of doing so are wafer-thin. Do not keep playing a slot game hoping that the next spin is the one that will win you a jackpot, however large or small.

On many games, to trigger a progressive jackpot (one that increases with each spin), you must play at a high stake. This can easily see your budget being used up very quickly. Remember, the progressive jackpot is only so high because so many people have lost trying to trigger it!

How many times have you heard people say: “I’ll keep playing because a big win is due.” The truth is, it doesn’t work that way. Slot games are unpredictable, and a Random Number Generator is always used to determine the outcome of every spin.

Watch the Time

Finally, we recommend that you keep track of time when you gamble because it’s easy to forget how long you have been playing on these games. Again, some features at online sites can help you with this. For example, in the UK it is mandatory that a notice will come up after you’ve been playing for 15 or 20 minutes. Losing track of time can see you also ignoring the budget you have set yourself.

These are just some of the recommended strategies to keep your slots play under control. Remember, you can have a great time playing slots but always make sure you play responsibly! For more information on safe gambling, you can visit a charity site like
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