bookmark_borderGambling Disorders


Gambling involves placing something of value on a random event with the intention of winning something else of value. It includes all forms of betting on an outcome based on chance, except for bona fide business transactions, contracts of insurance or guaranty and life, health and accident insurance (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Symptoms of gambling disorder include: acquiring a preoccupation with gambling; attempting repeated, unsuccessful efforts to control gambling; lying to family members, therapists or other people about the extent of gambling involvement; chasing losses (trying to recoup money lost through gambling); engaging in illegal acts to fund gambling; jeopardizing relationships or job opportunities; relying on others to manage financial situations caused by gambling (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

Unlike many other activities in which humans engage, such as eating a meal or spending time with loved ones, gambling does not trigger pleasure in the brain in a predictable way. Instead, gamblers rely on uncertainty to trigger the release of dopamine in the brain, creating a powerful reward cycle. This reward system is activated in the same areas of the brain that are affected by drug addiction.

As a result, gambling can be very addictive. People often begin gambling to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as boredom or stress. They may also try to compensate for past financial failures or relationship conflicts. However, there are healthier and more effective ways to soothe emotions and relieve boredom, such as exercising, socializing with friends who do not gamble or practicing relaxation techniques.

The first step in overcoming gambling addiction is acknowledging that you have a problem. This can be difficult, especially if you have already lost a great deal of money and strained or broken relationships as a result of your gambling habits. It is important to seek professional help from a counselor, therapist or psychiatrist who specializes in gambling disorders.

It is also helpful to understand the underlying causes of your gambling behavior. Personality traits and coexisting mental health conditions can play a role in your susceptibility to gambling disorders. Those with a history of trauma, depression or anxiety are at greater risk for developing gambling disorders. Additionally, genetics and family history can contribute to your susceptibility to gambling disorders.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not currently approve any medications to treat gambling disorder, several types of psychotherapy can be helpful. One type, psychodynamic therapy, focuses on unconscious processes that influence your behavior and can help you become more self-aware. Another type of therapy, group psychotherapy, can provide moral support and motivation for recovery. Finally, cognitive behavioral therapy can teach you skills to change unhealthy thoughts and behaviors related to gambling. For example, you might learn to recognize thoughts like “I can always win,” or “I don’t have a choice.” You could then practice replacing these negative thoughts with more realistic and empowering ones. You can also learn to set and maintain money limits when you gamble. For example, you might decide to only gamble with a certain percentage of your weekly entertainment budget and to stop when you hit that amount.

bookmark_borderHow a Poker Writer Explains the Basics of the Game

Poker is a card game that involves betting and is generally played by a group of people. It requires a certain amount of skill, but is more of a game of chance than some other card games. In addition to the usual cards, there are often jokers or other wild cards that can take on the suit and rank of the player’s choice. The highest hand wins the pot. The game can be very fast paced and players may raise and call each other’s bets at any time, although they can also check or fold if they don’t want to put in a bet.

Before the cards are dealt, the players put in a small amount of money into the pot (the amount varies by game). Then each player is dealt 2 hole cards face down. After this, a round of betting begins, with the players to the left of the dealer placing mandatory bets called blinds. These bets are meant to give the players an incentive to play.

After the first betting interval, a new set of 3 cards is revealed on the table. Then there’s another betting period, and finally the remaining players show their hands. The best poker hand wins the pot.

In Poker, there is a large element of strategy, psychology and the ability to read your opponents’ tells. Knowing when to bluff and when to just call is an art that takes years of experience to master. A good player will minimize their losses with poor hands, and maximize their winnings when they have strong ones.

While some players will merely call every bet and hope to hit a great hand, others will try to out-bluff their opponents by betting large amounts on weak hands and hoping that they’ll get lucky. This type of strategy can be successful, but it’s also risky and often results in a large loss when the other players correctly guess your bluff.

A good poker writer will be able to describe the game’s rules in an interesting way and will have a deep understanding of the various strategies used by different types of players. They will also be able to keep up with the latest developments in the poker world and what’s happening at major casinos like those in Las Vegas or Atlantic City in the USA.

The best poker writers will be able to make the reader feel as though they are sitting in a casino playing with a group of friends. They will use their writing skills to convey this feeling of being part of a group, including their tone, vocabulary and writing style. They will also be able to keep an eye on the latest trends and events in the poker world, as well as know how to play the game. They will also be able to recognize the different tells that are used by different poker players. This is a very important aspect of writing about poker, as it makes the article more believable to readers.