- You are not addicted to gambling.
- You don't make your living gambling.
- You aren't a hustler or a wannabe.
- You have no family members that can get upset if you lose.
- You don't get greedy.
- You don't let any wins make you stupid.
- You don't go crazy about making up losses.
- You are an ordinary nice person.
- You love pool more than gambling.
- Play only people you know.
- From the beginning, agree to the rules that apply to your playing session.
- Sets stay the same (race to 5, etc. or per game, etc.)
- Bets cannot increase (but can decrease on agreement).
- Payoffs are after each set or game.
- Anyone can quit any time.
- Limit the time or number of sets. That and no more, win or lose, everyone goes home.
Things that are suspicious
- You win one or two sets and your opponent wants to raise the bet. This is the trigger to take your winnings and go home, regardless.
- They change the game or the rules. Refuse emphatically.
- Your opponent doesn't immediately pay off, or put up the required money for the game or session. Solution - quit.
- Your opponent wants to quit, but suggests you play someone else. Go home immediately.
- Any winnings are "your" money, not his. It belongs to you. Treat it as your personal hard-earned money.
- Any losses should not make you "desperate". Keep your cool. If you do lose, lose under your control.
- If you are ahead, you are under no obligation to give anyone any chances to win it back.
Mainly, you want to enjoy the experience, even if you lose some. There are always lessons to be learned from your adventures. At the very least, you want the costs of learning to be cheap enough to afford and the rewards to be larger than the costs.