9 Gambling Strategies That Are Prone to Backfires

Poker Table on Left and Casino Dice and Chips on Right

Since the first casinos opened their doors, casino gamblers have been looking for strategies to cut the house edge and walk away with more money. Some players have found tried and true ways to flip the advantage on the house and make money.

Still, for every solid gambling strategy that exists, there are several poor strategies.

Some gamblers don’t care about a long-term profit; they are content by focusing on strategies that give them a chance at short-term profit. If your strategy is merely losing less money, I understand the sentiment.

Still, you’re probably going about it all wrong. These 9 gambling strategies are prone to backfires.

1 – Basically, Anything Involving the Lottery

I know a few gamblers that play the lottery like clockwork. The lottery is much better at selling the idea of vast wealth where your problems vanish than it is on delivering anything close to resembling a profit.

The house advantage in lottery games may be as high as 50%. So, even the best strategy will leave you with a house edge close to 50%.

Despite the vast array of information floating around, that promises the best casino strategy, no amount of help is going to erase the lottery’s hold on their cash.

Take all of the lottery players you know and all of the lottery players I speak to and put them in a room. Not one of them has had long-term profitability. That’s because, in order to make a profit playing lottery, you must win a massive jackpot.

Lottery strategies often backfire because they give players a false sense of security. The players believe they’ve stumbled on a guaranteed tactic and bet far more than they typically would to increase their chances.

Unfortunately, that only makes the player lose at a much faster rate. Avoid anything involving the lottery.

2 – Trying to Out Play the Dealer

It pains me whenever I’m in a casino and see players at the live dealer blackjack table trying to copy every play the dealer makes. I hate to be the one to break it to them, but we’re playing by a different set of rules.

Every decision in blackjack is made for the dealer by the casino. So, when you’re betting the same as the dealer, you’re playing yourself out of money.

Many casino gamblers don’t give the faintest notion of how to play blackjack. What makes that so sad is that much of the work has been done for you.

The basic strategy for blackjack has been around for decades, and the casinos are well aware of its existence. You can even buy a basic strategy card from the casino to use while you play the game.

When you’re playing on a table with good rules and implement the basic strategy for every decision, the house edge can drop as low as 0.5%.

Online Casino Live Dealer, Caribbean Stud Poker Table

That’s a reduction in the house edge of over 50%. You may be asking yourself why the casino would allow such a brilliant and valuable strategy to be used on their most profitable game.

Well, there are a couple of reasons the house turns a blind eye to the savvy gamblers. First, shockingly few people actually take advantage of basic strategy.

If you walked up to 100 blackjack tables in Las Vegas on a Saturday night and asked about basic strategy, you probably wouldn’t meet 5 players that could tell you what it is with any precision. Even fewer would actually be using the method.

Secondly, the casinos are okay with basic strategy because even if you play perfectly, they continue to have a guaranteed advantage over you.

3 – Spinning Reels to Hit a Jackpot

If you believe that you’ve found some magic token that unlocks slot machine success, you’re sorely mistaken.

Slot machines operate off of software with a built-in random number generator. These RNGs are designed to pay out a specific percentage of all money played on a device over time.

There’s nothing you can legally do to accurately predict or influence the result of a slot machine spin. That is the chief reason you’ll rarely find advantage gamblers playing on a slot machine.

When they do, it’s always a game with a substantial progressive jackpot and always a short break or way to kill a few minutes.

4 – Playing Fast and Loose with Your Money

Some of the gambling strategies I see online and in articles completely ignore bankroll management. These systems call for you to put your bankroll at an unnecessary exposure.

Many of them not only ignore essential bankroll management, but they also fly in the face of it altogether. Anytime you’re considering a gambling strategy check to see if it checks out with what you know about money management.

Rolled Up US Currency

If things aren’t adding up, it’s probably best to avoid it altogether.

On the other hand, one strategy that will never let you down has a solid bankroll management plan in place. Managing your money effectively when it comes to gambling is one of the best things you can do for your gambling career.

5 – Even Sitting Down to a Double Zero Roulette Game

Roulette is full of betting systems and game strategies that hope to help players walk away with as much money as possible.

Some of these strategies aren’t half bad. For instance, making small fly bets on even money roulette wagers is a decent approach to the game.

This strategy will help extend your bankroll by supplementing your chip stack with incremental wins. However, if you’re playing on an American (Double Zero) wheel, you’d be better off playing slot machines.

The house edge in American roulette is over 5%. That’s okay for a slot machine but terrible for a table game.

When you compare the house edge of the American roulette wheel to the European, it’s clear why European roulette is the better choice. The house edge in European roulette is a decent 2.7%.

Far from the best you’ll find, but close to half of the American game.

6 – The Martingale System Is for Suckers

The Martingale system is perhaps the most dangerous strategy a gambler can employ in the casino. The most glaring problem with the Martingale is that it sounds like it’s the perfect plan.

That can be especially true in the casino bar after a few drinks, which is where most of these “can’t miss” strategies pass from gambler to gambler.

There’s no way for you to beat the casino by using a varying bet amount unless you’re counting cards or using a tried and true advantage technique.

Roulette Wheel With Unique Pattern

The Martingale will only make you burn through your gambling money faster than ever before. You’ll be doubling your bet after every losing hand.

Before long, you’ll either meet the max bet for the table or simply go bankrupt and be forced to retire to your room or head home.

7 – Making Additional Wagers

Stay away from side bets. The problem is that the side bets are often cleverly disguised as a natural element of the game.

So, when the blackjack dealer asks if you want insurance, many players don’t immediately make a side bet. They feel like the casino is in some way doing them a solid.

Most of the side bets you’ll find in the casino have a wildly inflated house edge over the base game. So, when you think side bet, you should immediately think sucker bet.

8 – Keno Is a Money Pit

Stop wasting your time in the keno room. You’re playing a game with a house advantage of over 20%.

Keno is essentially the lottery for people to play in the casino. I’ve never encountered a single gambler that had a worthwhile strategy when it comes to keno.

View of a Keno Lounge

I’ve never even had another gambler try to brag to me about their success in real money keno. If there’s one thing gamblers love to do, it’s brag about their accomplishments; real or imagined.

So, stop trying to unlock the secrets of keno $8 at a time and find a game you can win.

9 – Ignoring Sound Gambling Advice

The worst thing I see players do in the casino is blatantly ignore the good gambling advice that they’ve requested and received.

Whether you have a friend that’s a more accomplished gambler or you get your gambling advice from experts online and in print, you shouldn’t throw it out the window on a lark.

Most commonly, this happens as a player watches their bankroll begin to dwindle little by little. They think it’ll be okay to double down just the once to push them back closer to even.

Rarely does this workout, and even when it does, it sets a terrible precedent. The player assumes that the tactic is at least better than 50/50.

Eventually, this tactic always comes back to burn them. Don’t ignore solid gambling advice to go chasing bigger wins or, worse yet, losses.


Of all the misguided behavior I see in the casino, these 9 gambling strategies that are prone to backfires will get you the most. I don’t want you to think there aren’t some fantastic gambling strategies out there for you; there are many.

Still, any strategy that promises easy money or guaranteed profits is too good to be true.