Self-help strategies can help you build your confidence and change your gambling at your own pace.

You can make change strategies part of your life without professional help, but you might find it useful to have a free and confidential chat to a counsellor about which ones could work best for you, and how to implement and maintain them.

Most people try and test two to three strategies at a time and swap the ones that don’t work for others.

When strategies are working, you should notice some of the benefits of changing your gambling behaviour — you might have extra money in your wallet, feel less stressed and may be a bit fitter if exercise is one of your strategies.

Ten effective strategies

These strategies have worked for people trying to change their gambling behaviour.

  1. Work out how much time and money you spend gambling using this calculator. What can you do with your spare time and money?
  2. Remind yourself that sometimes people win at gambling, but the system is designed to take your money.
  3. Do something that makes you feel good about yourself — learn a new skill like cooking or playing a sport.
  4. Leave credit cards and cash you don’t need at home.
  5. Find new entertainment — try movies, gardening, catching up with family or friends. Check out your local community centre which may offer low-cost health, wellbeing and social activities where you can learn a new skill, meet people and keep busy.
  6. Keep a routine for doing daily activities around the house.
  7. Make healthy eating a priority.
  8. Identify and challenge your beliefs about gambling and be honest with yourself — are you chasing losses, are you sticking to your limits?
  9. Start an exercise routine — walking is a great way to start.
  10. Read about other people’s experiences with gambling harm

What’s the best strategy for you?

You can start by trying a strategy that’s worked for you before, give it a go and if it doesn’t work try another one. A free and confidential chat with a counsellor can help you work out which strategies might be most effective for you.

Talk to a counsellor online or call the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858.

Keep it up

You’re working hard to keep up your strategies and they’re having an impact on your gambling behaviour — now what? Here are some tips to keep it up.

  • Remind yourself that you don't need to gamble.
  • Keep busy to avoid thinking about gambling.
  • When you get the urge to gamble, distract yourself or do something else — it will go away.
  • Seek support from friends or family members.
  • Set a date to measure your success, for example, a month from your starting date.
  • Reconnect with a counsellor from time to time.