The gambling world offers plenty of tools that can take your gaming strategy to the next level. Unfortunately, not everybody uses these resources.
Failing to learn good strategy makes one more susceptible to bad tips that can derail their chances of winning.
Some of these “tips” are so terrible that people may feel like idiots when they finally learn the reality.
I know it sounds harsh to use the word “idiots.” But that’s how strongly I feel about those who follow most or all of the ridiculous gambling advice below.
1 – Play Like the Dealer to Beat Blackjack
Most blackjack players are aware that the dealer has an edge on them. So they try to even the odds by mimicking the dealer.
This strategy involves hitting to at least 17. It also requires ignoring special rules that are only available to players, including splitting, doubling down, and late surrender.
You automatically lose if you bust out before the dealer. But the croupier beats you even if they also bust out, because they act second.
This single advantage gives the house a 5.48% edge over you when you’re mimicking the dealer. Considering that the average blackjack house edge ranges between 0.5% and 2.0%, you should definitely scrap this strategy.
2 – Make Risky Craps Prop Bets — They Offer More Comps
Craps features solid bets like pass line, don’t pass line, come, and don’t come. You can also back these wagers with “odds,” which pays at true odds and doesn’t have a house edge.
Unfortunately, craps also has some brutal prop bets with extremely high house advantages. Here are the worst craps bets:
You can see that these are horrible wagers from a house edge perspective. Nevertheless, some people still make these risky craps bets because they like the big payouts and extra comps.
Regarding the latter, casinos are willing to comp players more when they make these prop wagers. The reason why is because casinos know they stand to make more money in the long run off these players.
But the extra rewards don’t come close to compensating you for making bad craps prop bets. Therefore, you should only stick to wagers with good odds.
3 – Bet the Max Coin on Slot Machines to Win the Jackpot
Once upon a time, most slot machines required you to bet the max coin size to qualify for the jackpot. Doing so wasn’t too expensive when considering that these games only had a single payline.
Modern slots now feature anywhere from five to 100 paylines. Due to all of these lines, slots developers no longer expect you to bet the highest coin just to trigger a jackpot or bonuses.
Nevertheless, some players still believe that they must turn their coin size to the max. The same gamblers will likely be in for a very short session.
Here’s a comparison on how your bankroll will hold up when betting the smallest coin versus the largest one:
Lowest coin size:
Max coin size:
Few modern slot machines require you to bet the highest coin size to win a jackpot. The most-common requirement is having to play all of the lines.
You can usually bet just one penny on each payline and still qualify for the jackpot and every feature. Of course, you should still check out a game’s help screen and the rules to find out the exact betting qualifications.
4 – You Lose More When Using Your Player’s Club Card
You receive a player’s club card after signing up for a land-based casino’s loyalty program. You then insert the card into any slot machine you play to accumulate loyalty points.
Most slots and video poker players take full advantage of this deal so that they can earn more comps. But there’s a small segment of gamblers who avoid using player’s club cards because they think that their chances of winning will be lower.
Those subscribing to this concept believe that casinos program slots and video poker machines to pay less to counteract the rewards they give.
This makes sense in theory when considering that the casino must cover the rewards they’re giving you. But the reality is that gambling venues are perfectly fine with offering you comps when considering their profit margin.
The average comp rate for land-based slot machines is only 0.1% of your total wagers. This means that casinos aren’t surrendering much through comps.
Here’s an example:
Brick-and-mortar casinos don’t have to rig games and lower return to player (RTP) when they give you rewards. They still make a healthy profit even when your comps are included. Therefore, you should always use your card when playing video poker and slot machines.
5 – Near Misses Mean That You’re Close to Winning a Slots Jackpot
Many slot machines require you to land five matching symbols in a payline to win the jackpot. For example, you might have to get five icons in an active line to win the top prize.
Your odds of hitting the jackpot with any slot machine are extremely low. After all, casinos can’t afford to hand out huge payouts left and right.
You’ll experience plenty of times where you get 3-4 jackpot symbols in a payline and earn a smaller prize. These near wins create the illusion that you’re getting closer to winning a big payout.
The reality, though, is that near misses have no bearing on your future slots spins. Just because you’ve landed multiple jackpot icons in one round doesn’t mean you’re any more likely to get the necessary five symbols in the next.
Near misses are one of the biggest mirages in slots. Players are convinced that they’re closing in on a jackpot and continue playing far longer than they originally planned.
It’s important to realize that the odds of getting five required jackpot icons are much lower than landing 3-4 of them. Your near misses aren’t really that close to hitting the jackpot in actuality.
6 – Don’t Withdraw from Online Gaming Sites — You’ll Lose More Afterward
You can withdraw money from an online gaming site at any time by requesting a cashout. The site will then verify your details before approving the withdrawal.
Some gamblers are convinced, though, that you shouldn’t cash out unless you’re prepared to not gamble at the site anymore. Their reasoning is that management will somehow program your odds to be worse next time you play.
This is a crazy assertion that makes internet gambling sites seem crooked. Programming your odds to be different just because you’ve made a withdrawal would be scandalous.
Moreover, gaming sites already have the advantage in casino games and collect commissions from poker/sports betting action. They don’t need to rip you off for cashing out on top of things.
7 – Bet Big During Losing Streaks
Casino games like baccarat, blackjack, and roulette give you close to a 50% chance of winning in each round. Although the house still retains an edge in these games, you can look forward to winning around half of your bets.
Of course, any game can subject you to losing streaks. Some gamblers suggests that you should bet more during losing streaks, especially when dealing with near 50/50 bets.
The reason why is that the odds have to eventually even out. Therefore, you’re likely to win plenty of bets in the near future to make up for your losses.
But the idea that you should bet more during losing streaks in anticipation of future wins is based on the gambler’s fallacy. This fallacy refers to the mistaken belief that past results can dictate future outcomes.
Those who fall for the gambler’s fallacy fail to take into account that past results have no bearing on your next bet. Your chances of winning any given blackjack hand are 46.36%, and this won’t change just because you’re losing.
The best way to handle things is by leaving the past in the past and focusing on your next wager. Don’t raise your bets just because you think that you’re due to win in the next round.
8 – Tight Aggressive Is the Best Poker Strategy
Poker playing styles are broken down into four distinct categories:
TP and LP are considered the worst poker playing styles. Neither one allows you to maximize your winnings on good hands or win pots by forcing opponents to fold.
This creates a debate on whether TAG or LAG is the best poker strategy. Up until 10 years ago, many poker authors recommended that you adopt a TAG style.
Advantages to TAG are that you’ll avoid playing too many hands and maximize your value when you have good cards. I definitely recommend a TAG approach to beginners who are learning the game and aren’t comfortable playing a wide range of hands.
But the idea that tight aggressive is the best playing style is outdated. LAG is the ideal playing style for an experienced player.
Of course, this isn’t to say that you should immediately jump into lots of hands and play aggressively. You instead need experience before you’re able to spot the value in various situations.
Don’t, however, stick to TAG for the rest of your poker days. Your opponents will see that you’re playing tight and take advantage of you in small pots.
Meanwhile, betting aggressively will tip players off when you have good cards because you’ve been playing tight for so long.
9 – Check Out My Amazing Gambling System
Players have used classic betting systems like the D’Alembert, Labouchere, Martingale, and Paroli for centuries. Of course, most gamblers realize that these strategies won’t beat casino games over the long run.
But some of the same players are duped by forums users who tout their incredible systems. For example, I recently saw a craps player post about their complicated betting strategy.
They offered lengthy instructions and specific betting patterns to show how their system works. They also claim that one needs between $1,200 and $1,700 to properly execute the strategy.
Looking through the mumbo jumbo, though, I could see that their system amounted to nothing more than combining the Martingale with a field bet.
The field bet is already bad enough when considering that it carries a 5.56% house edge. Things only get worse when you start doubling your bets after every loss.
No betting system has ever been proven to beat the house edge. And this is with many brilliant mathematicians making an effort to devise an unbeatable system.
That said, don’t listen to some random forum poster who’s trying to convince everybody that their strategy is a guaranteed winner.
10 – Go for the Royal Flush Every Time in Video Poker
Each video poker game has a distinct strategy that you can follow to earn optimal RTP. You can either learn this strategy through a chart for the specific game you’re playing, or use a video poker trainer.
One thing you’ll notice when practicing with strategy charts and trainers is that you should keep most made hands. The idea is to maximize your expected value (EV) by keeping small payouts when you have little chance of getting a royal flush or another big hand.
Some players buck conventional strategy, though, and go for a royal flush on every hand. Their goal is to have the most opportunities possible to get video poker’s top hand and earn 4,000 coins (w/ 5-coin bet).
Here’s an example on how somebody would play when they’re only hunting for royals:
Keeping a three of a kind offers much higher EV than three cards to a royal flush. Therefore, Tom has made a very bad play here.
Consistently making poor decisions like this in pursuit of a royal flush will lower your chances of winning money.
9/6 Jacks or Better, for example, offers 99.54% RTP with optimal strategy. But you’re not going to achieve anything close to this if you keep throwing away good hands just to get a royal.
Another problem is that you won’t earn back as many small payouts on your way to a royal flush. This makes it extremely hard to sustain your bankroll and keep playing.
Big video poker tournaments are the one time where a royal-only strategy does work. The player who wins a big tourney usually ends up getting a royal flush, so you must go for a royal in order to compete.
But don’t adopt this strategy for regular play. You’ll earn low RTP and reduce the amount of time that you can play real money video poker.
11 – Always Assume the Blackjack Dealer’s Hole Card is a 10
Blackjack croupiers deal themselves one face-up card (upcard) and one face-down card (hole card). The hole card means that you don’t have all the information when making your decisions.
You instead must base your strategy on the dealer’s upcard and your score total. But some players have adopted a strategy where they play as if the dealer’s hole card is always worth 10.
This aggressive method forces you to hit more often because you’re always expecting the dealer to turn over a 10, jack, queen, or king.
The idea is that you’re more likely to have a higher score than the croupier if you always play like they’ve got a 10. However, the problem with this strategy is that the dealer usually won’t have a 10.
Here’s the math on why:
Basing all of your strategy decisions on an occurrence that only happens approximately 31% of the time is a horrible idea.
It’s so bad, in fact, that you’ll be facing a 10% house edge whenever using this method. You won’t find any blackjack strategy that’s worse than this one.
12 – Time Your Slots Spins to Win More
One more terrible tip that gamblers follow involves trying to time their slots spins perfectly for max winnings. Those who do so believe that if they select the spin button at just the right time, they’ll win the jackpot.
Slots results are actually determined by a random number generator (RNG). The RNG cycles through countless combinations every second, then decides your result when you hit the spin button.
This process seems like it would make spin timing valid. But the RNG works so fast that you have absolutely no chance to time your spins with any measure of skill.
This is the entire point of an RNG – your spin is supposed to be random. It’s a waste of your time to try and time things up.
The gambling world already offers enough good advice. Therefore, you don’t have to be at the mercy of the awful tips that I’ve covered here.
Many of these poor tips going beyond spreading misinformation. They’re bad enough to the point where they can seriously damage your bankroll.
This is especially true with some of the blackjack advice that I covered. Assuming that the dealer always has a 10 and mimicking the dealer both expose you to far greater risk.
You also want to avoid only going for royal flushes when playing standard video poker. The royal-only strategy sees you throw away good hands that you should actually be keeping.
Make sure you don’t chase comps based on bad advice either. You should never play a game/bet with a bad house edge just because it offers more rewards.
I don’t normally recommend reading awful gambling strategy. But it’s worth learning the tips presented here just so you don’t fall for them.