Poker is a wonderful game, full of subtleties and excitement. But if you do not watch out, it can get you into trouble. It is a very addictive game that may steal a lot of your time if you allow it to. And you may lose money while playing. Even if your goal is to win, obviously.

Anyone can lose in poker, even a world class professional. This is due to the luck factor. You can never be really sure of anything when luck is involved.

Addiction
Being addicted is bad in itself. It decreases your freedom and might destroy the balance in your life. Being addicted to something that demands more and more money can be particularly unhealthy.
Controlling the Devil Inside
These are a few rules that good poker players stick to, to avoid the dark sides of poker:
  • Never play with money you cannot afford to lose. Never take winning for granted. Even if you catch great cards, you may get unlucky. Time and time again. That's poker.
  • Play on a level that suits your finances. Playing too high will make you cautious and scared. You will play worse than you would on a lower level, and your opponents will be better.
  • Do not play when you are tired. Or drunk. Or angry. Or sad. You will make bad decisions. This is costly.