Things Casino Gamblers Should Never Do

Royal Flush Hand and Caution Symbols With a Casino Background

The first time I made a wager in a casino I played a table game that I’d never seen or heard about before. It was a great deal of fun, and I lost somewhere around $150 over four hours of play.

I really enjoyed the game, so I started researching it to see what I could learn. At the time, the internet wasn’t available yet, so I had to read books. I quickly learned that the game had a high house edge, and I’ve avoided playing it ever since.

This was one of my first lessons about learning what I needed to avoid as a casino gambler. Over the years I’ve learned about several more things to avoid.

Here’s a list of 5 things every casino gambler should never do.

Gamble Without a Budget

This is the most dangerous thing that gamblers do, and almost all of them do it. But it’s simple to avoid making the same mistakes that others are making.

Every time you visit a casino you need to have a gambling budget. This means that you need to set a limit for your losses, and never go over your limit. This helps you make sure that you never lose a penny more than you want.

Rolled Up US Currency

The easiest way to do this is to only take the amount you’re willing to lose when you gamble. If you reach your limit, you stop gambling right away.

You can set your limit at any amount you want, but never make the mistake of gambling without setting a limit before you start.

Fight the Casino House Edge

Every casino game and gambling option has a casino house edge, and it’s not in your favor. The edge is how casinos, sportsbooks, poker rooms, and race tracks make money.

If you know that every gambling activity has an edge against you, the logical question is why would you take the risk?

If you don’t find a way to get an edge, the answer is that you probably shouldn’t play. But millions of gamblers play every year anyway.

The good news is that you can get an edge if you know what you’re doing. Spend some time learning more about the following subjects to find out how to gamble with an edge.

  • Advantage play
  • Blackjack advantage methods
  • Sports betting
  • Poker
  • Horse racing

Consume Alcohol While Gambling

I’m not the moral or vice police, so I don’t care if you want to consume alcohol or not. But I’ve been gambling for around four decades and one thing I’ve learned is that gambling and alcohol should never mix.

You’re already fighting the house edge, and when you drink alcohol it gets in the way of making good decisions. The only chance you have of making good decisions is by keeping your head clear, and alcohol does the exact opposite.

If you want to gamble and you want to drink, spend some time gambling, and then when you’re done, start drinking.

Here’s a good option that you can consider. Spend some time handicapping sports games before you start drinking and place your bets. Then you can drink while you enjoy the game without needing to make any decisions.

Chase Anything

Have you heard of the Martingale betting system? It’s a casino betting system that some gamblers use. The basic idea of the system is you double your wager after you lose. You keep doubling until you win.

This seems like a system that can work, because when you win you make enough to show a small profit. The problem is that eventually you lose too many decisions in a row and end up with a huge loss you can’t cover.

New York New York Casino Floor

This is why you should never use the Martingale system. The system is based on chasing your losses. And even if you don’t use the exact system, if you’re like most gamblers you’ve chased your losses at least once.

Sometimes when you chase losses you get lucky and win, but sometimes you don’t get lucky and you lose even more.

It’s always dangerous to chase losses, and the smartest thing to do is to simply never do it. Stick with your budget, find games that give you a realistic chance to win, and never deviate from your plan.

The other thing that gamblers get in trouble with is chasing is casino comps. You should get comps if you’re gambling, but you should never gamble more than you want just to reach the next comp level.

Casinos offer comps because they make gamblers risk more money and play longer. In other words, comps help the casino make more money, not less. This is why you should never chase comps.

Play Any Game Where You Don’t Know the Numbers

Have you ever sat down to play real money slots or a table game that you didn’t know the house edge for? In truth, I don’t know a single casino player that hasn’t done this at least once.

The problem with this is that you have no idea how bad the edge is. If you’re not careful you’re going to play with an edge of 5% to 10%. This is especially bad because there are games available with an edge of 1% or less, even if you’re not an advantage player.

Look at a few numbers to see just how bad this is.

Closeup of Slot Machine Reels

If you risk $1,000 on a game or slot machine with a 10% house edge, you’re going to lose somewhere around $100. If you risk the same amount with a 5% edge, your expected loss is $50. But if you do it with a 1% edge, your expected loss is only $10.

Not only do you need to know the edge for every game you play, you also need to know every strategy you can use to lower the edge. The only way to do this is to study the games you want to play before you gamble. And never play any game or make any wager when you don’t know and understand all of the numbers.


If you always use a budget when you gamble in a casino, avoid consuming alcohol when you gamble, and learn all of the numbers, you’re doing better than most gamblers. If you learn enough, you can even learn how to gamble without losing money.

Start with the five things you should never do on this page and learn as much as you can about advantage play. With enough effort you can learn how to be one of the few casino gamblers who walks away with more money than you started with.