Like any other hobby that also lands on someone’s deal-breaker list, it can be hard for friends
and acquaintances to broach the subject of gambling. Tell the wrong person, and then everyone
at work knows that you gamble. Be too subtle or discreet, and spend your free time gambling
alone. Picking out the gamblers in a group of friends and then getting involved can be an
awkward process, but it is ultimately rewarding.
1. Create an In
The first step is all about creating a comfortable setting where open talk can happen. The goal is
for everyone involved to feel comfortable and like they can safely speak openly about
themselves. The key is to keep the head count low, since few people are willing to say they
gamble to a room full of people. If there is a friend or couple of friends who seem like gambling
folk, the best option may be to invite them to dinner and games in your home. Bringing the cards
out is a good opportunity for the question, “Have you ever played poker?” Most people have at
least one story around the game, but a real gambler will have plenty to say about it. A shared
love of gambling introduced over good food and clean fun is a safe way to break the ice, though
it does take an awful lot of prep time.
2. Bring out the Jargon
There are some people out there who turn their noses against gambling as a hobby or as an
institution, and they can make a gambler’s life miserable when the beans are spilled. Luckily,
people who snub gambling also don’t know very much about it. When talking with a group of
friends or acquaintances, try dropping a few terms in conversation. See if anyone knows what a
croupier is, or if they can tell the difference between a layout and a table cloth. When the ears
start perking up, that means there are gamblers in the room.
3. Invent a Friend
There are very few occasions when a person is willing to speak their mind about something, and
one of these occasions is gossip. Instead of talking about your own gambling, bring up someone
you know (who also doesn’t exist) who recently had a winning streak and paid you back the $20
they owed you, or some such story. Even better, bring up an actual person who you actually
know and gamble with. If anyone is impresses by the story and seems interested instead of acting
bitter or awkward like others might, then you have yourself a new gambling buddy.