10 Excuses Most Losing Gamblers Make to Justify Poor Results – Part I

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Casino Gambling Excuses

Whenever winning or losing is the primary goal, those who wind up on the wrong side of defeat more often than not tend to make excuses. Athletes blame the refs for blowing an easy call, hedge fund managers blame social media campaigns for the failed short plays, and politicians blame the media just for doing their jobs.

So it’s no surprise that the cutthroat world of casino gambling – and the losing players who populate it – generate plenty of excuses for poor results. Some subpar players simply can’t accept reality, choosing to wave away their own performance as the product of external variables. If you want to keep improving as a gambler, be sure to banish the following excuses from your brain here and now.

And when you’re done here, head here to the Part II page to find five more excuses.

1 – No Amount of Skill Can Overcome a Cold Deck Like That

Ah, the dreaded “cold deck,” that age old staple of card players who simply lack the deck to succeed.

Whether the game be blackjack or poker, Pai Gow or baccarat, Caribbean Stud or Let It Ride, table games which utilize cards are the domain of so-called cold decks. To hear the consistent losers tell the tale, a dealer’s randomized shuffle just so happened to stack the cards against them:

“I’m telling ya, it was crazy… every time I got a 20, the dealer drew out to 21. When I doubled on 11, she threw me the damned deuce. Split my 8s like the book says, and boom! A pair of 4s for some useless 12s.

Coldest deck I ever seen, you wouldn’t believe it!”

And to be sure, when you play through enough shoes, blackjack will inevitably put you on a losing jag akin to the one described above. The role of random variance ensures that brutal losing streaks will crop up from time to time.

With that said, however, it takes much more than the occasional cold deck to cause players to constantly hemorrhage cash while playing cards.

More often than not, these players refuse to recognize the deck construction and dial their bets back accordingly. No, they take the opposite approach, betting bigger and hoping one lucky break will save their bacon. And naturally, when the rough run continues onward, these folks are happy to pull out another $100 to burn in search of salvation.

Instead of making excuses about cold decks, the best card players buck up and take their lumps, all while practicing sound bankroll management. Patience and perseverance gets them through the storm, and they never justify substandard plays for the sake of chasing losses.

2 – The Other Players at the Table Kept Messing Me up

Sticking with blackjack for a moment, one of the most oft cited excuses on any casino floor concerns the role of “3rd Base.”

At the blackjack table, 3rd Base refers to the leftmost seat from the player’s perspective (directly to the dealer’s right). As the last player to make a decision before the dealer checks their hole card and acts, all eyes tend to be on the player at 3rd Base.

After all, everybody else at the table has already gone bust or stood on their total, so the spotlight moves to the third baseman. And when they make any move which doesn’t align with basic strategy, regulars in attendance have no reservations about berating the “bad player at third.”

Imagine the following hand to get how this dynamic plays out…

Our plucky loser holds a 15 against the dealer’s 2 up card, so they play by the book and stand. The hope here is to see the dealer roll over a 10-value hole, followed by another 10-value card to go bust at 22.

Action shifts to 3rd Base and an obvious tourist who doesn’t know basic strategy from basic training sizes up the situation. They hold a 13 to the dealer’s deuce up, which calls for a stand when you apply optimal strategy.

Casino Cards

This player is far from optimal though, so they quickly shout “hit me!” without a second thought. The dealer stifles a smile and slides out a Queen quickly, busting the 3rd Base player in a flash.

A second later, the dealer shows down the expected 12 total, before drawing a 7 to make a winning 19.

Losing blackjack players in every casino on the planet routinely jump down the 3rd Base player’s throat in situations such as this:

“You really suck at this game sir… you never hit there, just took the dealer’s bust card like a dolt.

She would’ve had your Queen and we all would’ve won, thanks for nothing buddy!”

Of course, the excuse maker fails to realize that a single hand within a shoe, or a session for that matter, doesn’t mean much in terms of your overall results. Yeah, winning that $20 would’ve been nice, but would it have made a major difference when the loser winds up down $300 an hour later?

Short-term variance and one-off results should never be the focus when legitimate results are only realized over massive sample sizes.

3 – The Eye in the Sky Decided to Turn off a Hot Machine

An oldie, but a goodie, the concept of casino execs calling down to “cool off” a “hot” machine is just as asinine as it sounds.

And yet, millions of slot and video poker players out there swear that they would’ve won – if only the higher-ups hadn’t short-circuited their favorite machine:

“I was crushing that Double Double Bonus game for the first 30 minutes, up like $200, then they flicked the switch and gave me trash for an hour straight.

Gave it all back and then some, wish they’d let a guy win a little here and there ya know?”

The myth about casinos controlling every outcome their machines produce is a silly one, but it has endured through several generations. Accordingly, machine players who rarely manage to beat the game genuinely believe that some unseen force turned off their ability to win.

More accurately, slots and video poker are simply highly volatile games in which long losing streaks can and will occur with regularity. Unless you beat steep odds to trigger the highest payouts, the house’s edge just tends to eat away at starting stakes on any machine.

4 – Betting Longshots Was the Only Way to Win It Back

I can’t count the number of craps players I’ve seen suddenly morph from cautious and conservative to reckless and irresponsible.

In the usual scene, they’ll start off by betting small sums on a sensible Pass Line -> Odds -> Place 6 and 8 game plan. But when the shooter strikes out early and often, the normally prudent player starts splashing around on Hard Ways and the Yo-leven – two of the worst bets on the board:

“I know, I know, probably a dumb bet there… but I’m stuck like $70 here.

A fiver on that Yo and I’m back even on one roll if it hits.”


Indeed, the Yo bet that calls for an 11 (and an 11 only) to land does pay out at a juicy 15 to 1.

The only thing is, the Yo is a 17 to 1 longshot that won’t pan out 94.12 percent of the time. And when the rest of their stack is done and dusted, the craps dropout will casually claim that the only reason they lost involved trying to dig themselves out of an early hole.

Even when you lose a few bets to star the session, it’s always best to stick with proper strategy over “sucker” bets that require a lightning strike to work out.

5 – I Drank Way Too Much Before Buying in

Alcohol flows like water in every casino, courtesy of cocktail servers tasked with keeping the customers lubricated and loose with their money.

Complimentary cocktails are an investment made by the casino, which knows that an intoxicated gambler is almost always a losing one. For that reason, this excuse holds a little more legitimacy than most… but only a little.

When a bad player gets blotto and blames the alcohol, or their friends for not holding them back, they need to take a hard look in the mirror:

“You guys saw me take three shots and you let me play roulette for my whole wad?

That’s BS man, I’d never let you lose your shirt when I know you’re too messed up to play right.”

Leaving aside the fool’s fallacy of playing a pure game of chance like roulette “right,” let’s sort through this last excuse. The losing player chose to drink more than they could handle inside a casino. They then chose to play a high house edge game where skill and strategy play no role.

And after they lost it all, they chose to blame the Fireball shooters and a few buddies instead of taking accountability for their own actions.


Excuses are a dime a dozen when you spend time around gamblers who can’t get over the hump. Blaming everything but their own bad play becomes something of a crutch, and eventually, the excuses just become second nature.

Play, lose, blame, wash, rinse, repeat. Hopefully reading through a few of the more common excuses deployed on the casino floor can give you a better sense of why these players refuse to get a grip. And if you liked this page, be sure to check out Part II for the final five excuses losing gamblers love to hide behind.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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