Gambling Mistakes Even the Pros Make

Gamblers Sitting at a Poker Table

Gambling is chief among the most exciting and rewarding pastimes around. Not only do gamblers have the opportunity to win vast sums of money, but they will also travel to exotic locales and make friendships that last a lifetime.

However, it takes a ton of patience and trial and error to become a successful casino gambler. The hours spent in the casino will yield a wealth of knowledge.

The knowledge that you’ll commit to memory and become a more proficient gambler on each try. Still, nobody is perfect. I regularly see mistakes being made by well-seasoned gamblers.

Let’s look at some of the gambling mistakes even the pros make. Learn to avoid these common blunders, and you’re on a much easier path to success.

Jeopardizing Your Bankroll

Regarding professional bankroll management, the basic tenets are relatively simple. This system of protecting your money should be the first step gamblers take in their gambling career.

Otherwise, things may begin to rapidly snowball out of control. Even gamblers that have years of experience can allow their bankroll management to fall by the wayside.

A surefire way to never run out of money for gambling is by ensuring that you never have more at risk than you can afford to lose. Most seasoned gamblers will never put more than 1% to 5% of their money at risk at any time.

This looks different depending on what gambling activities you’re most interested in. A sports bettor may wager 5% of his $1,000 bankroll on a single game with a $50 bet.

As you may have noticed, that’s an extremely small bet given the $1,000 available. However, bankrolls take time to build. While it may take a short time for you to amass $1,000, creating a significant bankroll takes time and discipline.

Eventually, that same sports bettor may be wagering $1,000 per bet, but only if the bankroll accommodates such action.

Casino gamblers may be better off by breaking their bankroll into smaller amounts per session. So, a $500 bankroll for a two-day casino trip could be broken down into $250 per day.

Savvy gamblers will go another step and factor in their expected hourly loss. This information will tell them exactly how much they can wager per hour.

I’ve met a lot of former millionaires that don’t have two nickels to rub together. Much of this boils down to a blatant disregard for sound bankroll management.

Ignoring Your Mistakes

Learning from your mistakes is critical in nearly every aspect of life. However, it’s also the most commonly overlooked aspect of life.

We experience in order to learn. I remember touching a gas heater in a friend’s home when I was only five years old.

To this day, I recall the searing pain. It was the last time I ever placed my hand on a glowing hot piece of metal. I learned from my mistake. Had I merely ignored my mistake or chalked it up to bad luck, it likely would’ve occurred many more times.

Yet as gamblers, we tend to do just that. Excuses abound on the casino floor, and they all make their way to the casino bars.

Bar at Bardot Brasserie in the Aria Hotel

Here is where the unlucky gather to drown their sorrows and give any excuse under the sun why they lost. Few ever take the time to reflect on the genuine reasons for loosing in the casino.

Perhaps they cannot simply engage in productive introspection. Learn to view your mistakes objectively.

Are you making poor decisions that are preventing you from winning more? Or is it merely the house edge showing its teeth?

Placing an Emphasis on Mind Games

I’ve played against a ton of self-proclaimed elite poker players that focus much more on throwing their opponent off their game than their own game.

Personally, I love this type of player. In fact, I wish I faced more opponents like this at the poker table.

Look, you can talk all you want and try to play mind games all night. I’ll never notice your antics at the table until we’re in a pot together.

Then, you’re in trouble because while you’ve been thinking of what to say next all night, I’ve been watching how you play and considering my strategy for upcoming hands.

Maybe you’re as good as you think you are, but I’ll be willing to bet that you make an early exit. Acting like a clown will get under a few people’s skins, but the result may be adverse.

You put a giant bullseye on your forehead. Eventually, a better hand will knock you out of the game.

Rather than focusing on getting in the heads of your fellow players, focus on reading your opponents and what tendencies they have.

Setting Unrealistic Goals

Among the most common mistakes, I see crossing over from pro players to novice gamblers is setting unrealistic goals.

By my estimation, this can be as devastating as not setting any goals, to begin with, when gambling.

If you’re playing casino games with a low house edge like baccarat, the house still has an advantage. That means eventually, you will run out of money.

You can’t make the cards start behaving differently, and you can’t predict results for any given hand or session. Unless your counting cards, you should expect an hourly loss. Even card counters will incur losing sessions from time to time.

Group of Happy People Playing Baccarat

Think about this, the casino knows that some guests will win money. They expect some winners and account for it accordingly.

So, what level of naivety are you exhibiting by thinking you’ll never lose?

Look, I want you to win, and I understand that imagining how you’ll spend your winnings is part of the fun of gambling. I merely suggest that you set attainable goals.

Without them, you’re going to face a tremendous amount of disappointment and frustration.

Chasing Those Pesky Losses

If you’ve spent any time researching best gambling strategies, you’re no doubt familiar with chasing losses. Nothing will torpedo the hopes and dreams of a gambler than chasing their tail.

Losing is quite literally the worst aspect of gambling. It can quickly make you feel that you’re slipping below the water and can’t fight your way out.

The casinos want you to feel like you’ll never get back into the black without drastic action. So, they provide you an easy way to do this.

You’ve likely noticed how players on the same table could be playing the same game for as little as $20 per hand or as much as $500.

They don’t expect the $500 per hand players to sit for a long session, but they may get some $100 players. If they shut the door at $100, they’ll be missing an opportunity.

They know that players look at this wiggle room as a chance to get those losses back by doubling their typical bet amount. Sometimes, they’ll raise it to the table limit.

This will backfire in all but the rarest of cases. Even if you get away with it once, it affirms that you made a clever play.

Then, at a point in the future, you take the same actions and lose it all. It’s all but inevitable. The best step you can take is sticking with a standard bet amount.

Maintaining a constant bet size will prevent you from going sideways and hemorrhaging your bankroll twice as fast.

Betting Merely to Gain Action

Regardless of experience or knowledge, some gamblers can’t get enough action. So, they will fall into a habit of betting for the sake of betting.

It may be most common in sports betting, where it may take hours to establish a result. Bettors are in the sportsbook, and boredom sets in, so they place another wager for a bit of added adrenaline.

This can also bite poker players at the worst of times. I’ve watched players fold 20 consecutive hands and suddenly raise with absolute trash.

Ultimate Texas Holdem Hand

They grew tired of sitting on the sidelines and wanted to flex a little muscle. When you’re at a table with good players, this may get expensive.

I can’t think of one type of gambler that is immune from boredom. I encourage you to have a plan in place if things begin to grow stagnant.

A walk around the casino gives you a few minutes to hit the reset button. Sometimes, I consider how much money I’ve saved by walking away for 15 minutes.

Leaving Money on the Table

This mistake primarily focuses on the poker players. Many tight-aggressive players will check rather than making a value bet.

It can be tricky to make a small enough bet to get your opponent to call, but you aren’t making any money without it.

Even worse, you’re letting your opponent stick around for free. This opens the door to them catching a card or two and taking the pot.

Make them pay for it. What good is having another player in the pot if there’s no money? You’re basically giving them carte blanche to make a hand and win the pot. Make value bets when you’re comfortable with your cards.

You’ll make more money and have more fun in the poker rooms.

There’s no such thing as a mistake-free gambler.

However, there are a few that I would say get close. By reducing the gambling mistakes even the pros make, you will win more often.