Gambling Quotes: Cool Casino Sayings We Could Learn From

It’s important to understand the terminology, vocabulary and most iconic gambling quotes before you begin your journey into this pastime. There is endless amounts of lingo that shrouds the casino ecosystem, some of which if not understood correctly can lead to disastrous consequences when it comes to playing for real money. The purpose of this article is to remove the confusion from this equation, and provide newcomers to online gambling, and indeed all types of gambling, with a clear and defined framework of the most important gambling phrases and casino sayings.
A man looking at the camera while holding a hand of cards.
Published on: 30 June 2020

What Are Gambling Sayings?

Gambling and casino sayings are often figures of speech, colloquially crafted mutterings that have existed far too long to even remember, and in fact, tracing the origins of some of these popular sayings is near to impossible. The beauty of language and its intrinsic power to communicate complex ideas succinctly is often an overlooked skill. There are many fundamental concepts and true wisdom that can be extracted from the following simple phrases.

So without further ado, let’s turn you into a budding wordsmith and explore the world’s favorite casino quotes.

1. “Gambling is the great leveler, all men are equal at cards.”

This hard-hitting piece of philosophical wisdom is from the mind of Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol a Ukrainian-born Russian writer. Besides contributing a expertly crafted dramatically scripts for theatre, novels and short stories, he was known to produce critical contemporary commentaries on the most pertinent political and social issues of his time.

The words "gambling is the great leveler", on a back drop of the four suits of cards.

In this gambling quote, ”Gambling is the great leveler, all men are equal at cards.”, Gogol is clearly highlighting the balanced and unbiased nature of gambling, nobody has more luck than another, regardless of rank or title, in a game of cards, any man can pull cards from the deck. Whilst this is a simple statement, it carries incredible purpose and importance for modern-day gambling theory. Overconfidence, and elements of gamblers fallacy are often found following an inquest into an extremely costly gambling session. Those who pay attention to the lessons of this quote, and remember they do not possess a divine advantage to win at a casino are often more likely to make smarter wagers, and ultimately more profit.

2. “Gambling is entertainment. People go to casinos to be entertained.”

This optimistic view of the gambling industry is more complex than it initially seems. Crafted by Eric Schneiderman, the 65th Attorney General of New York, who was discussing his opinions on the legalization of gambling in his state.

The words "gambling is entertainment", on a back drop of the four suits of cards.

In this gambling quote, “Gambling is entertainment. People go to casinos to be entertained.”, we are reminding the true reason people gamble. There is an undeniable truth surrounding casinos and the general financial sustainability of a long-term gambling career. But what many critics of the industry often forget is the entertainment factor that underpins gambling. Yes, at times it is likely you will lose money, but the reason people choose to travel to Las Vegas or Macau isn’t necessarily to maximize their chances of making a gambling profit, but to experience the atmosphere of a world-class casino and receive an entertainment factor that can sometimes be a priceless experience for the punter. In that sense losses made gambling can also be expensed against the entertainment cost you have received.

3. “At gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck.”

This quintessential piece of wisdom delivered by the great Ian Fleming again reminds us of the falsehood of believing in one’s own unique advantage or skill at a game of chance. Ian Fleming was an English author, journalist, naval intelligence offer, and best known as the creator of the James Bond series of novels.

The words "the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck", on a back drop of the four suits of cards.

In this gambling quote, “At gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck.”, the reader is taken back to all the many times they may have lost in a game of cards or poker. If this is you want to boost your game, check out our blackjack guide and roulette guide, which give you a rundown on everything you need for playing online, including links to rules and strategy guides for both games..

Bad luck and bad play can often be merged and misinterpreted, as any frequent poker player will attest, the more they practice and refine their skill at interpreting cards into probabilities to make calculated betting decisions, the luckier they get. Skilled card players reach the top of their game by meticulously studying the game, understanding the exact mathematics behind each outcome, and using this Bayesian statistics approach to gain small advantages over their fellow competitors, and indeed the casino.

4. “Don’t tell me about your wins, tell me your losses.”

Everyone who has friends involved in the gambling will be able to relate to this famous quote, although tracing the origins of this quote are difficult, it has been a common mantra familiar to track-side punters in Victorian England, and perhaps even further back than that.

The words "don't tell me about your wins", on a back drop of the four suits of cards.

Of course, this relates again to the unwitting gambler, who shamelessly pours money into the gambling without keeping accurate records, or any basic tracking mechanism to understand the true nature of their long-term profit/loss. These types of punters are very quick to celebrate wins and paint the illusion that they are a prodigy gambler, capable of making huge gains when it comes to picking horses, football teams or any other type of bet, but when they more than not make dramatic losses, quietness ensues. To counter this, anyone who claims to be an expert tipster should always be prepared to offer a transparent account of their betting history, to give an honest picture of their true skill as a bettor and gambler.

5. “Quit while you’re ahead.”

This timeless piece of advice often given to those who are making above average returns on an investment, in gambling, or in any situation where they have made some form of gain, be it financial, political, social, is one that many of us will have heard again and again.

The words "quit while you're ahead", on a back drop of the four suits of cards.

One of the most famous gambling phrases, “Quit while you’re ahead.”, originates in the early modern period when the impact of Europe on the entire world was increasing. The Spanish Empire was at its peak in terms of influence and power, and one of its most prized philosophers Baltasar Morales was the one to articulate the idea of quitting whilst ahead. People throughout the empire were making tremendous amounts of money through merchant routes, discovering new territories, and venturing into parts of the world never explored. The risk-taking attitude was prevalent, and there were many that would have been urged to reassess the risks and consider settling. This gambling quote is certainly one of its time, not necessarily birthed in direct relation to casino gambling as we know it today, but certainly, one that is adequately applied to the modern practice.

The Intrinsic Wisdom of Casino Quotes

There are tons of gambling sayings and quotes out there, it would be impossible to cover all of them. But throughout the majority of gambling mantra and philosophy, there are underlying themes and lessons that remain consistent. Frugality and prudence are often emphasized, to be aware of one’s chances without obfuscating and falling trap to the illusion of higher chances of success. Also, to avoid the temptation of greed, if one can successfully resist the urge to chase higher profits, and settle with more modest and well-secured amounts, in the long-run this person will be richer in the pocket, in social relationships and health. All of these gambling quotes can be useful to remember when you are playing casino games for real money.

Latest Guides

View All Guides