Why Most People Lose When They Gamble

I have often said that if every gambler simply played blackjack using proper basic strategy or played 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker with perfect strategy that every casino in the United States would have to shut down because financially they wouldn’t make it. As you know, casinos continue to make millions of dollars and are expanding every day. That leaves us with the question why do gamblers continue to lose so much money?

There are many reasons but as I come into contact with more and more gamblers along this journey the answers become clearer. The first reason is lack of knowledge. That has nothing to do with the average IQ of the average gambler. It has more to do with the notion that gambling is this complex mystery that only a few can find the answers to. That just isn’t so. Granted if you were one of the originators of developing basic strategy or card counting for blackjack then you certainly had to be extremely intelligent, but the answers are already there for us non-geniuses all we have to do is memorize them.

I have a seven-year-old daughter who can play blackjack and use a basic strategy chart to make all the correct plays. If I took her to a casino, depending on the rules of the game, she would be able to play with less than a 1% house edge. We also have a video poker machine where she can play Jacks or Better and make the correct plays over 99% of the time. That means if she played on a 9/6 Jacks or Better machine she would once again be playing with a house edge of about 1% (depending on the mistakes she made it could be higher). The point is not that my daughter is some mathematical genius (although in my eyes she is), the point is that anybody can play with only a slight disadvantage at the casino.

When I first began to write whether it was my blog or my books my goal was to convince people there are easy ways to give yourself a chance at the casino. My goal has not changed in fact it has only been reinforced. However, there seems to be this resistance to change for some. I realize gambling for most is purely entertainment, but I’ve said it before and I will say it again, “It’s more fun to win!”

There are many gambling writers that cater to the advanced using highly complex card counting methods and so forth. I believe that has turned many recreational gamblers off to learning more about the games and what they can do to increase their odds. The belief that only geniuses can be successful gamblers has been perpetuated by casinos and Hollywood. That leaves most people with the notion of why bother?

Many advantage gamblers don’t want the average person to learn because they know that if that did occur casinos would change the rules to the games and make it impossible for anybody to have an advantage. It would take away their lively hood. I understand this but continue to feel an obligation to show those who are interested simple methods to increase their chances of winning.

For those of you who are familiar with gambling and know the basics but are eager to learn more and take your game to the next level, I will continue to write in hopes that you will educate yourself. My writing isn’t for professionals who are in the midst of a career, but for those who love to gamble but are tired of losing.

PS: I have to give a special thank-you to all my female readers. When I first began to write I assumed most would be male, but I’ve had so much positive feedback from female readers and I am thrilled by this.

PSS: Pre-order copies of Gamblers Fight Back are now available on Amazon! 

About Greg Elder

I was 37 years old, a husband and father, a former teacher, college and high school basketball coach, and a business owner, I decided to give it all up (Not the husband and father part) to take a shot at pro gambling. I was coming off a job I hated selling insurance, and I vowed to do something I was passionate about. For the next year I would spend 12-15 hours a day researching, studying, and practicing advantage gambling techniques. The goal was to see if I could sustain our current lifestyle as a professional gambler. I wanted to find out if casinos really could be beat. At the time, I thought it may be the biggest mistake of my life, but my intentions were to have fun trying. It has been an interesting few years since that journey began. My feature book GAMBLERS FIGHT BACK has been released and can be purchased on my author site at www.GREGELDERAUTHOR.com I would consider my pro gambling career to be a success on all fronts. I didn't win millions of dollars, but I was able to enjoy every minute of it. It brought an excitement and passion back into my professional life. It has helped lead me to a writing career that I had no idea I even wanted before this challenge. I was able to write a book that shared with others exactly what I learned along the way.. Gambling professionally is not easy, but there are certain things the average gambler can do to increase their chances of success tremendously. That's the information I try to pass along to my readers.

4 Responses to “Why Most People Lose When They Gamble”

  1. The secret to beating the casinos is to not go in the first place. Since that is not possible for most of us that like to gamble, the secret is to win early and leave. The other day, my wife and I hit for $750 and $500 on a Wheel of Fortune $5 slot ($10 per pull) at Choctaw in Oklahoma. Their slots payout is miserable, but they are 70 miles from our daughter’s house and they give me a free room.

    I set $1000 of our winnings aside and we played for several more hours and lost the remaining $250. We got a free room, had some fun and left ahead. I wish that I could say that this is always the way it works, but it isn’t. The key is getting lucky early. If that doesn’t happenm, follow these steps:

    1. Play for a little while
    2. Walk away. (Get some food, visit some shops, go to your room, etc..)
    3. Repeat step 1.

    I have found that if I sit in front of a slot machine or stand at a craps table for a long time, I will lose every time as the Laws of Probabilites are laws, not theories. They work all the time.


    • Thanks, John. Great Feedback.

      I hope they give you a free room if you’re playing the Wheel of Fortune $5 slot ($10 per), they should be giving you a suite and plenty of freeplay considering that machine is probably paying back about 80% which means you will lose about $200 per hour (100 spins per hour average). Play something like blackjack with basic strategy and you can bring that casino edge down to about $10 per hour. Same with Craps, bet the don’t pass line and take full odds and the casino will have less than 1% edge.

      I hope you hit the big one on Wheel of Fortune, but be careful with those low payback slots. Good luck.

    • Great advise. I wish I could do that. I was there at choctaw March 15-17
      and played the same wheel of fortune on Fri. and was up sev. thousand. I played /sat. and it was horrible. so like 99% of the people I gave it all back + alot more. I have thought exactly what you said , I just wwish I could do it. I let my emotions gamble for me.

      • Hey Ronnie,

        Great comment. Don’t worry I’ve been there. I think everyone who has ever gambled has. It’s the casinos biggest weapon. It took me getting tired of giving the casino all my money and allowing them to manipulate me. There are still times when my emotions overwhelm me and I make mistakes. It’s tough because you want to have fun and gamble. The key is being able to enjoy yourself, make smart bets, and do not allow your emotions to get the best of you. You’ve recognized what is happening. Most people just rationalize it away. I wish you well and hope you can make some adjustments. It will not guarantee you success, there is nothing that will do that when you gamble, but it can give you the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done what you can to be successful. Take care.

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