Online Gambling and Walking Away When Winning

A lucky casino gambler continuing to play

To stay or walk away whilst you are winning and ahead in the online casino?

That is a question which faces every online gambler, pretty much in every playing session unless they start off with a losing streak and never recover to go ahead of their starting balance during the session of play.

So should you walk away when you are ahead or carrying on playing? There are a number of issues to consider.

Time will probably play a large part in the equation. If you log on to the online casino site, play your first hand and win, it is unlikely that you will then cash out and come off again so soon! So in this situation a player would most likely carry on. If however you find yourself ahead after you have been playing for a while and have other things that need doing, you may decide to call it a day and walk away with your winnings.

Continue Betting or Walk Away?

The amount too will be another factor. If you are ahead by a few pounds you will probably carry on, but if you have just won a large amount by playing high stakes roulette and your number has come up, you may decide not to risk giving it all back to the casino. In this situation some players may decide to carry on for a little while and then if they lose a certain amount of their big win to then walk away whilst they are still ahead. Similarly, another strategy is to have a certain winning target in mind, and when/if this monetary amount is reached, to then cash out no matter how long the playing session has lasted.

Overall it is a nice feeling to have more money than you started with in an online casino and is obviously a good problem to have, but players also need to keep in mind that a gambling session never really ends. Whilst you may be up in this session, because the games have no memory of previous wins or losses either in the online casino or on your gambling trips to a physical casino, a gambler's life is one big session from their first bet to their last. So although you may be ahead this time when you walk away, unless you never gamble again there is always the chance of giving it back to the same or any other casino on your next visit. It is for this reason that many professional gamblers or theorists do not pay too much attention to the walking away whilst ahead theory, as it just postpones the level of your overall wealth until you next begin playing.

Overconfidence and High Stakes Gambling

High stakes gamblers are likely to be confident souls who are aware of the risks involved with wagering large sums of money but who shrug it off because they know that their wealth and financial means will enable them to absorb such losses without much pain or hardship.

If it would cause them financial difficulties, they should not be playing for such high stakes. (Related Page: Is High Stakes Gambling Right for Me?)

Overconfidence and Bravado Can Lead to Heavy Losses

However, one of the factors that has led to the downfall of many a high stakes casino gambler is that of overconfidence, particularly if they have won big in the past and have an overwhelming belief that they are destined to do it again. This can be further enhanced when the game they are playing involves an element of skill such as blackjack rather than one which relies purely on luck like the outcome of a roulette wheel spin. They will believe that their skill is the primary reason for them being successful and winning a large amount of cash, and then become overconfident in their abilities and the amount of influence that their playing strategy actually has on the outcome.

Similarly, a desire to show off in front of other players can also result in a high stakes player losing a lot of money to the casino. Whilst this is more of an issue in a bricks-and-mortar, land-based casino where other people are physically around the table and can see everything that is happening, in a live dealer game such as live dealer blackjack the other players at the table can still see how much that person is wagering on each hand. The player may have an urge to be the one who bets the most out of everyone at the table, or be reluctant to reduce their wager out of embarrassment or to "keep face" when they have had a bad sequence of results which has absolutely hammered their bankroll balance. Alternatively if they have a favourable run of results they may be so confident that the streak will continue that they wager more and more until the amounts become so high that they go above and beyond the personal tolerances for what the player is comfortable to lose in a single hand. This undisciplined play has been the cause of many players either losing money outright, or winning a large amount and then giving it back to the casino.

Selective Memory in Online Gambling

Selective memory is not just limited to online gambling, but also applies to many other different aspects of life such as stock market investing for example, and is where people remember the good outcomes but forget or dismiss the bad ones. When it comes to gambling, many players will remember the wins they have but try to forget about the losses they incurred in this or a previous session as it may be financially painful for them or they may feel embarrassed at losing. This has the downside of making them believe that they are winning money and increasing their wealth when in actual fact they are worse off overall.

High Rollers Need to Monitor Diligently

This situation is bad for anyone over the long-term, but can be particularly significant for those gambling online for high stakes as they can end up losing a large amount of money over time. Many players are unlikely to keep detailed and accurate records of their gambling wins and losses, and their casino deposits using a debit or credit card will be mixed in with the other financial transactions made using these cards, making it harder to identify all of their deposits made.

It is therefore important that players carefully monitor ALL of their wins and losses where online gambling is concerned, especially when large amounts are involved, as players may be unpleasantly surprised to find out that instead of actually making money from casino games they are actually losing it. After discovering it, they may need to adjust their wagering behaviour to stay within their means and avoid running into financial difficulties.