The Advantage Gambler Guide for Beginners

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Advantage Gambling Gambler

Most players never learn how to get an edge in gambling. Every time they gamble they give the casino, sportsbook, or poker room more money. Even when they have a lucky session and win more than they lose, they just give their profits back the next time they gamble.

The majority of these gamblers don’t know that there are real ways they can get an edge. Some of them know there are ways to get an edge, but they’re too lazy to do the work required to make more than they lose.

I’ve got some good news for you if you’re not already an advantage gambler. The first piece of good news is that you can learn how to play with a long term advantage. The second piece of good news is that I’m getting ready to tell you how to do it.

It’s not going to be easy to learn how to be an advantage gambler, but it’s not so hard that you can’t do it. All you need to do is dedicate some time in an ongoing effort and know what you need to work on. Anyone can learn to be an advantage gambler, and here’s how you can get started.

1 – The Holy Grail of Gambling

The most important thing you need to learn about is the house edge. The house edge also happens to be the most important thing to the casinos and sportsbooks. You need to understand what it is, how it works, and how to influence it so you can start winning more than you lose.

Every gambling game and activity has a house edge. It’s usually expressed as a percentage, and some games are designed with a set house edge and others are designed so you can alter the house edge by the way you play.

When you know what the house edge is on a bet and know how much the bet is, you can determine the expected result. This might sound a little complicated, but it’s actually fairly simple. Before I show you exactly how to determine the expected result or expected value, you need to understand a few more things about the edge.

The house edge is a long term calculation, and over the long term it always comes out to the true numbers. This means that in the short term, like a single outcome or a dozen outcomes, the actual results don’t always match the expected results.

But as the number of results grows, the closer to the expected outcomes the results become. This is easier to understand using a real world example.

The house edge for the banker wager at the baccarat table is 1.06%. But you can’t lose 1.06% on a single bet. On a single wager you either win an amount equal to your bet minus a 5% commission, or lose your entire bet.

If you bet $100 on the banker, you either lose $100 or win $95. To see how the house edge works in real life, you have to look at the results over time.

Your expected loss on a $100 wager is $1.06. You determine this by multiplying the amount you bet times the house edge. $100 X 1.06% = $1.06. But you already know that you either win $95 or lose $100. So how does knowing the house edge help you?

As you play more hands your total amount wagered goes up. The other thing that happens is you lose just a little bit more than you win, and eventually your total losses amount to 1.06% of the total amount you risk.

If you make 1,000 bets of $100 each, the total amount you risked is $100,000. Your expected loss on bets totaling $100,000 is $1,060. Your actual results might not be a loss of exactly $1,060, but it’s going to be close.

If a bet has a house edge like the banker bet at the baccarat table, how can you get an edge over the casino?

If you want to be an advantage gambler you have to find bets that turn the edge in your favor. This means that there are many bets you simply can’t make, like the banker bet at the baccarat table.

Most bets available in the casino are designed in a way that you can never get a long term edge. You simply can’t play most casino games if you’re serious about being a long term winner.

The good news is that you still have a few options. I cover the three main areas where gamblers can get an edge in the next section.

2 – The Trinity of Advantage Gambling

In this section I’m going to share the three main ways you can get a long term edge gambling. These aren’t the only three ways, but they’re the most common and the easiest to learn. This doesn’t mean this is going to be easy, but many players have learned how to do it, so you can too.


Blackjack offers the most straightforward way to get a long term edge. It requires the use of strategy and mathematical computations, but it has a direct map of what you need to do. You don’t have to use your judgment or guess about anything. All you have to do is follow the directions.

  • The first thing you have to do is learn all of the possible rules you can find playing blackjack and how they alter the house edge. The next step is learning how to play perfect blackjack strategy. Once you learn these two things and find games with good rules, you can play blackjack with a house edge under a half percent. But this still won’t make you a long term winning player.
  • The next step is to learn how to count cards. Card counters use a system that helps them track the ratio of high and low cards in the shoe or deck, and raise and lower their bets based on the ration. When the deck or shoe has a high ratio of high to low cards you have an edge, so if you bet more in these situations you can overcome the house edge.
  • Once you master blackjack card counting you can play with a long term edge over the casino of a half percent or more. This might not seem like much, but when you play with an edge it means you win more than you lose over time.

This is much better than losing more than you win over time, and some players are able to make a full time living counting cards. This is also a skill that can help you win for the rest of your life. Once you learn how to count cards and win, you never have to learn it again. With a little practice you can keep your skills sharp and continue using them for the rest of your life.


Most people don’t think about poker in the terms of advantage play, but it offers a good way to learn how to gamble with a long term edge. One of the big advantages poker offers over blackjack is that you’re competing against other players instead of the poker room.

I cover this more in the next section, but no one is going to kick you out of the poker room for winning too much money. But if you win too much at the blackjack tables the casino might ask you to leave.

Becoming a long term winner at the poker tables is a bit more complicated than learning how to count cards. When you play poker you have to learn a great deal of strategy and you have to learn how to make decisions using your judgment and guesswork at times.

The best poker players learn how to make better guesses than other players based on experience and all of the information they can access.

It usually takes longer to master poker than to master card counting. But this doesn’t mean that counting cards is better. The truth is that some gamblers are better at counting cards and some are better at poker.

You can learn how to play either game with an advantage. You just need to determine which one you’re willing to dedicate the required amount of time and effort to in order to become a long term winner.

Sports Betting

Sports betting is the third way you can get a long term edge and gamble with an advantage. This is probably the most challenging of the three activities on this list. Blackjack has a step by step system you can follow to get an advantage and poker has a group of strategies that you can learn.

The problem with sports betting is that things are always evolving and changing. The sports are the same over time, but the sportsbooks adjust based on what they learn and based on how bettors are betting. This means that the best sports bettors are able to adjust and continue to find value as the sportsbooks change.

The truth is that there are many sports bettors who win more than they lose in the long run. This means that you can do the same thing, but it’s not going to be easy. Sports betting isn’t the first thing I recommend to players who want to learn how to be an advantage gambler.

3 – Getting Away With It

The gambling industry is designed to offer entertainment in exchange for your money. Casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms are all set up to make money. If they aren’t making money they start looking for the reason why, and then they attempt to correct it as quickly as possible.

This is why I like poker as an advantage play method. Winning poker players win money from their opponents, not the poker room. The poker rooms don’t care if you win or lose, as long as they’re collecting the rake from each hand.

Though it might not seem like it at first, the easiest method to learn how to play with an advantage is blackjack card counting. This is the quickest way to learn how to play with an advantage. The problem is that once the casino figures out that you’re counting cards they’re going to throw you out.

This means that you have to learn how to be a card counter without getting caught, and you’re probably going to need to play in any different casinos. You can do things to disguise your play when you count cards, but this is something you’re going to deal with for as long as you continue counting.

Sportsbooks and online sports betting sites make money a slightly different way, and in general they don’t care as much about who wins and who loses, as long as they collect vig on the losing side of each game. They prefer that the action on each game is balanced so they get a locked in profit. But this isn’t always the case.

This means that if you win too much and/or too often, the sportsbooks might start limiting the amount of your action they’re willing to accept. The best way around this is to place bets at a wide range of sportsbooks.


If you’re serious about learning how to be an advantage gambler, you can get started today. The first step is mastering everything about the house edge. Then pick one of the three main ways you can realistically play with an advantage.

I recommend either poker or blackjack, but if you’re a big sports fan you can learn more about betting on sports. You can find many good books and articles about each of the three methods included on this page.

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 since early 2016. ...

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