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14 Signs You’re Addicted to Poker | Do You Have An Issue?

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Man is playing poker. Emotional fail in game
SerdyukPhotography /

Poker addiction is a problem that affects a signification portion of the population on a worldwide scale. While there are ways to play Poker responsibly, there is always a possibility that you may become addictive. If your Poker playing has become problematic, it is best to seek out professional gambling addiction counseling.

Below, we’ll take a look into a few of the signs that you may be addicted to Poker or gambling in general. 

14 signs you are addicted to Poker. You are addicted if you are:

  1. Using money you can’t afford to lose,
  2. Borrowing money,
  3. Selling personal possessions,
  4. Stealing from loved ones,
  5. Chasing losses desperately,
  6. Missing out on time with loved ones,
  7. Playing until you have nothing left,
  8. Secretive about your Poker playing,
  9. Defensive about how much you play,
  10. Obsessing about the next game,
  11. Experiencing problems at work and in relationships,
  12. Increasing your bets each game,
  13. Experiencing extreme emotions to losing,
  14. Just unable to stop.

Unfortunately, Poker is a very easy game to get addicted to, especially if you are predisposed to addictive behavior. The game is extremely entertaining and can be a great pastime, but if you go overboard, you could find yourself battling an addiction.

We have decided to take a closer look at each of the signs of Poker addiction in order to understand them better. Read on to learn what we found out. 

The 14 Tell-Tale Signs That Someone Has a Poker Addiction

Stressed man in a poker table gambling his house
Luis Louro /

If you or someone you love is displaying these signs, seek professional counsel for assistance

1. Poker addicts gamble with money they can’t afford to lose. 

Every household has its regular expenses. There are groceries to buy, school fees to pay, credit cards, and even everyday services to pay for. This all costs money. Unfortunately, someone with a Poker addiction will put these responsibilities on the back burner just to have a bit of extra money to gamble with. 

In an addict’s mind; the money will not be lost and will be won back tenfold. It very rarely works out that way though. If you are using money intended to pay for household bills to gamble, you may have a Poker addiction

2. Poker addicts end up borrowing money.

Nobody has a never-ending supply of money to gamble with. Gambling addicts can think of little else than when their next game is. Often this leads to forgetting about budget restraints and over-spending on the machines and tables. 

One of the first signs of a Poker addiction is when you start borrowing money specifically to use on Poker. Generally, Poker addicts will lie about the intended purpose of the borrowed funds, but will end up spending the whole amount playing their next game.

borrow money poker
Only Kim /

3. Poker addicts sell their personal possessions. 

Addicts often start to lose the concept of what is personally of value to them. Instead, the only thing of value seems to be playing Poker. If you have already gambled all of your money away and you start selling your personal possessions so that you can play Poker, you probably have a poker addiction.

Most gambling addicts will sell their mobile phone, household appliances, keepsakes, and eventually pieces of furniture and even vehicles if the problem is not attended to. 

4. Poker addicts often steal from loved ones. 

The nature of addiction is that it makes people do things that one would not normally do. One of those things is stealing money and valuables from loved ones. Once the money or valuables are stolen and sold, the cash is used to play Poker with. 

A young man steals money from wallet poker
KaroKatitca /

5. Poker addicts end up chasing losses desperately. 

Poker addicts cannot accept that they have lost. In fact, when a gambler is in the full extent of addiction, they usually feel hopeful that they will win back their losses. If you find that you are consistently chasing losses (gambling more in an attempt to cover losses), it is a sign of gambling addiction. If you know when to cut your losses and walk away, you would not be considered a Poker addict. 

6. Poker addicts often miss out on time with loved ones.

Poker addicts very often lose track of what is valuable in their lives and what is not. Quality time with your partner, children, parents, siblings, and friends is undoubtedly important to you, but if you have an addiction, you might find it hard to find the time to spend with them. If you spend more time playing Poker than you do with your loved ones, you may have a Poker addiction. 

7. Poker addicts typically play until they have nothing left.

Poker addicts just do not know when to stop. In fact, they do not know how to stop when it becomes time to stop. One of the most noticeable signs of a Poker addict is someone who cannot stop playing until every penny is spent. If you find that you keep playing until your wallet and pockets are empty, you probably have a Poker addiction. 

woman hand open empty purse looking for money poker
Doucefleur /

8. Poker addicts are secretive about playing Poker.

One of the top tell-tale signs of anyone with an addiction is a secretive nature and a penchant for lying. A Poker addict will very rarely share with others just how much and how often they play Poker. If you find yourself lying about you are doing or where you have been, when you have been playing Poker, then you are most probably a Poker addict. 

9. Poker addicts are usually defensive about how much they play Poker.

Denial is often something that Poker addicts are faced with, and when questioned, this very quickly morphs into defensive behavior. When a Poker addict is confronted or asked about gambling, they very typically lash out or become defensive on the topic. If you find yourself getting angry, lashing out, or lying about your Poker playing, it is a big sign that you are addicted to it. 

10. Poker addicts are always obsessing about the next game.

When you are addicted to Poker, it will feel as if there is just not time to do anything other than play Poker. Do you find yourself canceling plans, unable to schedule a barbecue, rushing through dinner with kids just so you can play Poker? This behavior is a typical sign of poker addiction. 

Poker addicts often find themselves thinking about their last poker game and simply “dying” to get to their next one. 

11. Poker addicts often experience problems at work and in relationships. 

couple in relationship problem with internet mobile phone gambling poker
Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley /

It is very difficult for someone to be a “functioning Poker addict”. If you are addicted to gambling, you will either be at your computer, phone or inside a casino – places where relationships do not particularly thrive. 

Poker addiction can make a person become unreliable. Gambling addiction also makes someone spend more time on the addiction than focusing on work projects or being with family and partners. This very often leads to relationship problems and work problems. If you are starting to have problems at work or in your relationship because of the time spent playing Poker, you are a Poker addict. 

12. Poker addicts keep increasing their bets with each game. 

A Poker addict typically expects to win big in every “next game” and loses the ability to make sound financial decisions. This often leads to placing larger bets and feeling unusually confident about winning. If you find that your Poker bets are becoming bigger and more reckless, you may be dealing with a Poker addiction. 

13. Poker addicts tend to experience extreme emotions when losing.

If you are able to shrug off a lost Poker game and walk away, you are probably doing fine. If you find that every loss affects you deeply and makes you emotional, frustrated, and angry, you are a Poker addict and should seek counseling.

desperate woman gambling her house in texas hold'em poker game
Hugo Felix /

14. Just unable to stop.

Lastly, if you know that you already have the signs of possible Poker addiction and you still unable to turn your behavior around and rectify the problem; you have a Poker addiction. Being unable to do anything about the amount of Poker you play and how frequently you play, it is a sign that you need to seek out gambling addiction counseling

Last word

Most Poker addicts do not seek out the help they need because they fear judgment and criticism. The truth is that there is absolutely no need to feel ashamed about being a Poker addict. The reality is that Poker is actually highly addictive, and so it is easy to get addicted to. 

It is crucial for addicts to realize and accept that they have a problem before it destroys their family life, job opportunities, and financial future. By delaying getting help, you could be putting your financial future and relationships at even more risk. 

The good news is that Poker addiction counseling and treatment is very often highly effective, and there is every reason to believe that you can successfully turn your life around. If you think you are addicted to Poker, get the help you need today.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.