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Is It Better to Gamble Being Sober?

Is It Better to Gamble Being Sober?

Meta Description: Gambling and drinking are what many gambling enthusiasts engage in from time to time. But let’s figure out if it is okay to gamble, consuming alcohol.

There is no doubt that a little liquid courage can go a long way in helping gambling enthusiasts to have a lot of fun when playing free penny slots or any real-money casino game online or offline. However, is it more fun to gamble while having a drink, or is it better to play while sober? In this article, we will look at the relationship between drinking and gambling and the various effects alcohol consumption has on gambling enthusiasts’ activities when they gamble online or offline.

Alcohol and Its Effects on Human Behaviour

Before we discuss whether or not drinking alcohol while gambling or playing games while sober is better, we should first look at what effects alcohol consumption has on human behavior. Alcohol has a lot of effects on humans, and a lot of these effects will affect the behaviors that humans will exhibit while under the influence, which will, in turn, affect their decision-making process.

When someone leaves the state of sobriety and is in the state of intoxication, different things start to occur to such an individual. The most significant effect is losing the sense of perspective and the ability to think rationally. This effect starts as soon as an individual starts consuming alcohol. We should, however, first mention that based on some factors, different individuals have varying tolerance levels. What would intoxicate one individual may just cause a slight buzz in another.

However, regardless of their tolerance level, the more alcohol is consumed, the more inhibition decreases, and when it reaches a tipping stage, inhibitions will completely disappear. At this point, an individual will become less aware of the consequences of their actions, and even if they are still aware of the consequences of their actions, they most likely wouldn’t care about it. This is why most people often find themselves in funny and bizarre situations while drunk.

Why You Should not Gamble Under the Influence

The importance of gambling while sober cannot be over-emphasized. Whether you are in a brick-and-mortar gaming establishment or you are accessing your favourite online casino right from the comfort of your home, gambling while intoxicated isn’t the wisest use of money. Here are some of the key reasons why it would be a bad idea for you to gamble while in a state of intoxication.

Why You Should not Gamble Under the Influence

Playing if It Is not Your Choice

The loss of awareness that comes with intoxication leads to many different changes, one of which includes making decisions that you would otherwise not take when you are sober. So, the first reason you should not consider gambling under the influence is that a person under the influence would choose to gamble in a situation where they would otherwise not have chosen to. Take, for example, the case of Mark Johnston, a US businessman who lost $500,000 (£298,000) at a Las Vegas casino. According to Mark, he was too drunk during most of the gambling way, and he wouldn’t have gambled up to the point where he lost such an immense amount of money if he were sober.

It Leads to Erratic Gambling

Regardless of whether a person is a newbie or a veteran, everyone has a pattern or structure they follow when engaging in gambling activities. Each person has a risk to reward pattern that they tend to follow, and a game that doesn’t conform to this pattern will not be considered favorably. A rational person will stick to this pattern and, based on their budget and feeling, may decide to increase or decrease their stakes on each game round.

However, a person in a state of intoxication is no longer rational. Many know that the consumption of alcohol leads to a sense of exuberance, euphoria, and for some, the feeling of invincibility. When you mix up someone in such a state with gambling, you will see erratic behaviors, often leading to a significant increase in stakes. In this state, such an individual will not be able to contemplate the possibility of losing and will therefore take action with that belief.

Placing Illogical Bets

As we have mentioned earlier, a person under the influence of alcohol is no longer in a rational state, and their judgment ability will be clouded. As such, a person under the influence of alcohol will most likely place illogical stakes like placing bets on longer odds that are not favorable. In such a state, it is more likely for an individual to go over their intended budget and spend all their money, with some even going as far as to incurring debts.

Losing Control of Your Emotions

Alcohol consumption has a lot of negative effects, and one of these effects is a loss of control over emotions. When gambling is put in such a mix, you risk losing control completely.

You Need to Be at Your Sharpest When Gambling

While it is true that drinking can significantly improve the quality of time a person experiences while gambling, the opposite can also be true. It goes without saying that you need to operate at your fullest capacity when gambling for real money. This means that you need to gamble with a clear head. And alcohol, or we should say too much alcohol, muddles the mind and does not allow a person to be at their sharpest when they gamble, which can lead to mistakes.

Positive Impact of Drinking and Gambling

The effects that alcohol has on the behavior of gamblers are not all bad. Alcohol can positively impact the gambling results of players when they play games, whether in a land-based casino or from the comfort of their homes. The key is moderation. When taken in moderation, alcohol can actually improve the abilities of some gambling enthusiasts when they play a penny slot machine or just about any casino game for real money. Some positive effects of alcohol on a gambling enthusiast’s playing experience include:

  • A few drinks can help loosen up risk-averse players — Even though gambling requires one to risk their money in the hope of claiming bigger winnings, many gambling enthusiasts shy away from the seemingly riskier aspects of their favorite casino games. Playing it close to the vest and conservatively is the only way to roll for such people. That being said, one of the oldest and sure ways of overcoming natural aversion to riskier situations is through consuming alcoholic beverages, also commonly referred to as liquid courage. So, when risk-averse gambling enthusiasts consume a beer or two, a glass of wine, a shot or two, or any alcoholic beverage, they loosen up and become open to having more fun while gambling. Obviously, abandoning the default aversion to risk can have bad effects on their own, as we have discussed earlier. However, when you stay disciplined and limit yourself, alcohol can help you experience a more quality time gambling.
  • Drinking helps you to play in a much more relaxed manner — When a gambling enthusiast reaches the delicate state of mind called buzzed or tipsy, not fully sober but not yet inebriated either, the effects can be quite good. So, alongside the increased boldness to take on more risks, the right amount of alcohol can put an individual in a much more relaxed state. In this state, a gambling enthusiast will be relaxed and would not be too tense about the outcome of the game while also retaining their risk management skills and cognitive abilities.

Also Read: 7 Things You Should Bring on an Extended Hospital Stay

Example of Alcohol-Induced Gambling Stories in Casinos

As we have clearly stated, alcohol and gambling don’t always mix. This is why many people who decide to mix alcohol and gambling sometimes tend to find themselves in disastrous situations that they would otherwise not have been in if they were sober. The table below shows some of the most famous alcohol-induced gambling stories.

Example of Alcohol-Induced Gambling Stories in Casinos

Name Profession Amount lost Where the event transpired Story
Michael Jordan Former NBA star A few thousand dollars Sunset Ridge Michael Jordan, who is known as a compulsive gambler, lost a couple of dollars to NHL player Jeremy Roenick during a golf match between the two after drinking a couple of drinks
Mark Johnston Businessman $500,000 Downtown Grand casino in Las Vegas Mark Johnston, a US businessman, lost $500,000 in a Las Vegas casino during an episode where he claims to have been in a state of intoxication.
Paul Gascoigne Former England footballer £4,000 Coral betting shop in Bournemouth Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne is also known to have had an episode of gambling while drunk. In one instance, he gambled away about £4,000 in a matter of hours while he was drunk placing bets in a Coral betting shop in Bournemouth, near his home.



You will agree that although gambling while drinking can be quite fun, it is not the better option. The idea of gambling without a drink may seem boring to most gamblers, but it is often the choice that is most effective. However, for those that cannot avoid drinking while gambling, make sure not to let your drinking go up to the state where you become inebriated and can no longer make good judgments.

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