How to Think Like a Winning Gambler in Six Easy Ways

Man in Thought on Left Man Smiling and Winning on Right

Most losing gamblers I know say they want to win more often, but they refuse to change the way they gamble. If you’re losing and you don’t change anything about your bankroll strategy or the way that you play, then the odds are good that you’re going to continue losing.

What most of these gamblers don’t realize is that a small shift in the way they think is usually all that’s needed to change their results.

If you want to be a profitable gambler, you need to start thinking like a profitable gambler. In this article, you’re going to learn six ways that winning gamblers think. You probably don’t think like this right now. But you can definitely change your perspective in order to become a winning gambler and see more profit.

Think About Returns First

How do you pick which gambling activities you do? Is it based on anything other than simply picking the activities that you like the best? This is how most gamblers choose.

Winning gamblers think about the returns that each activity provides and choose the games and activities that give them the best returns. It doesn’t matter how much they like or dislike a game or activity. If a gambling activity doesn’t offer the chance of a good return, a winning gambler doesn’t participate.

The best way to look at returns in gambling activities is to compare the return to player numbers for everything that’s available.

Each gambling activity has a unique return to player number, or range of return to player numbers, based on how you play and depending on the rules. The activities with the highest return to player numbers are the activities that you need to learn how to play, and learn how to play well.

Develop a short list of the gambling activities that offer the highest returns, and learn how to get these returns. This starts with the base activities and the rules that offer the best returns. And then you need to learn how to do these activities the right way. This is what you’re going to learn about in the next section.

Think About Using the Best Strategy

In order to get the highest returns from any gambling activity, you have to learn how to participate using the best strategy. This means that you have to know the best way to make every gambling decision based on odds and math.

Each gambling activity is unique and requires different strategies. When you play slot machines, there isn’t a strategy that can change the returns. And if you did what I recommended in the last section, you know that slot machines don’t have good returns.

Column of Casino Slots

Real money video poker games usually offer better returns, but every video poker game is different. The same strategy that works for Jacks or Better isn’t the best strategy for Deuces Wild.

The key is to find the gambling activities that offer the highest rates of return, then learn everything you can about the rules and strategies for these activities. By finding the best activities with the best rules and using the best strategy, you improve your results.

Think About Total Returns

The first two sections have been about returns, and this section continues this theme. This is because returns are so important. You might be wondering what the difference is between the returns that you learned about in the first two sections and total returns.

Participating in the right gambling activities using the right rules and strategies is important, but these aren’t the only things that influence your returns.

Here’s a quick example of something that changes your total return. You find a video poker machine with a good pay table and use the right strategy. You play for four hours and have lost $30. But you are also a member of the casino rewards club and receive a ticket to the buffet for your play.

The buffet costs $15, so your actual loss is only $15. You also earned an entry into a special drawing the casino is having based on your play and won a $5 chip. This reduces your loss to $10.

Winning gamblers focus on maximizing their total returns using every trick and benefit the casino offers. What are you doing, or not doing, that can improve your total returns when you gamble?

Think About Where to Gamble Online or In Person

When you focus on the returns, it helps to narrow down which gambling activities provide the best opportunities. But the best opportunities for gamblers are often available in more than one location.

For example, if you decide to play poker, you can play in a land-based poker room or in an online poker room. And there are numerous options in each of these areas.

Sometimes, online or mobile gambling is better, and other times, live gambling is better. You have to gather all of the facts and make a decision about where the best place or places to gamble are.

Mixed Image of Two Casino Table Games

A few things to keep in mind when you’re deciding where to gamble include:

  • The availability of bonus offers
  • The availability of rewards programs
  • Travel distance
  • Travel costs
  • The availability of the best rules and activities
  • The possibility of using advanced strategy and/or advantage play tactics

Here’s an example of deciding where to play. You want to play blackjack, and the table with the best rules is only available online. But you know how to count cards, so you can’t play online because card counting doesn’t work when you play online.

So, you find the blackjack table in a land-based casino that has the best rules and count cards.

Focus on the Most Important Thing

The only thing that matters when you gamble is how much you win or lose. Everything that you do when you gamble influences this. How much you risk, what you play, how you play it, and how long you play all influence your profit or loss.

This might seem like the same thing that you’ve learned so far, but this adds an important element. What you focus on tends to improve. And you can’t afford to lose focus on your gambling profit or loss for a second.

Some gamblers think that this type of focus takes the fun out of gambling. The casinos want gambling to be fun, because when gamblers are having fun they aren’t focused on making money.

If you want to gamble for fun, it’s your choice. But if you want to be a winning gambler, you need to forget about having fun and focus on your results.

Excited Casino Gamblers and an Upward Arrow

If you focus on your results and figure out how to make a profit, I guarantee you that it’s more fun than losing. When you leave the casino or poker room or sportsbook or track with more money than you started with, this is my definition of gambling fun.

Never Stop Thinking About an Edge

To wrap up how winning gamblers think, you need to continue building on everything that you’ve learned so far.

You learned the steps you need to take to change your results and you’ve learned how important where you place your focus is. The final thing you need to do is continually think about and look for ways to get an edge over the house.

Gambling activities are built with an edge. So, if you continue doing things the way that the gambling establishments want you to do them, you’re going to continue losing. You need to turn the edge around so you can use the rules against the house. This isn’t easy, and to most gamblers, it’s not clear how to do this. But there are ways to get an edge.

In the first section, you learned that you need to focus on the return. When you can get the return to player to 100%, you’re breaking even. This alone is a big accomplishment. And if you can determine how to get the return to go over 100%, you’re making a profit.

Research some advantage gambling methods to find ways to get the return over the magic 100% mark. Enrolling in casino comps programs, choose skill-based games, and learning how to count cards only scratches the surface.


If you’re not a winning gambler, you need to change the way you think. If you don’t change the way you think, how can you expect to get different results in the future?

The good news is that you can change the way you think about gambling if you learn how winning gamblers think. And once you know how they think differently, you can start changing the way you think, too.

By simply focusing on the right things, which mostly has to do with returns, you’re going to get better results. In fact, everything that you do when you change the way you think about gambling has something to do with changing your returns.