Top 25 Gambling Quotes and Proverbs

Written by: Ashley Grasse, Casino, Games, and Trends Specialist
6 minute read
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Just as gambling has carried on through the ages, so have proverbs. The short, poetic sayings give insight into common challenges that arise throughout life. Cultures worldwide have gambled for centuries. Naturally, sayings and quotes have sprung from this beloved pastime. No matter their age, the advice is still worth hearing today.

They can be helpful, encouraging, or just funny. If you could use a little inspiration or a laugh before your next gambling session, enjoy our list of the top 25 gambling quotes and proverbs.

10 Wise Gambling Quotes That Can Improve Your Game

Good quotes resonate with people from all walks of life, no matter where they come from. Whether they’re from an anonymous source, a movie, a professional gambler, or just went viral online. The following ten quotes will help you improve your game and approach to gambling


“Money won is twice as sweet as money earned”
–Paul Newman as Eddie Felson in The Color of Money

Paul Newman’s character, Fast Eddie Felson, said this in the 1986 movie The Color of Money. We can all agree that earning cash is great, but winning money gambling feels even better.


“Quit while you are ahead. All the best gamblers do.”
–Baltasar Gracián y Morales, philosopher

Spanish priest, writer, and 17th-century philosopher Baltasar Gracián gave wise advice that still rings true today. The smartest thing you can do in gambling is to know when to walk away.


“If you ain’t just a little scared when you enter a casino, you are either very rich, or you haven’t studied the games enough.”
–Terrence “VP Pappy” Murphy, writer

Terrence Murphy was an American freelance writer and gambler. He explained that if you know anything about gambling, it should be that the house always has the edge.


“At gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play with bad luck.”
–Ian Fleming, Casino Royale book and movie

This quote is from the famous book turned movie Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. It implores how easy it is to blame the cards you get, but you must take responsibility for your actions.


 “There is a very easy way to return from a casino with a small fortune; go there with a large one.”
–Jack Yelton, American Air Force Captain in WWII

Jack Yelton was an American Air Force captain in World War II. This quote explains the house has the edge, so don’t fall into the trap of gambling away everything in pursuit of a win.


“In gambling, the many must lose in order that the few may win.”
–George Bernard Shaw, playwright and activist.

The Irish playwright, critic, and political activist, George Bernard Shaw, reminds us that more often than not, you’ll have to wade through a lot of losses before hitting a win. 


“If you don’t gamble, you’ll never win.”
–Charles Bukowski, writer

Charles Bukowski was an influential German-American writer and poet. His quote teaches us you may not win all the time, but you’ll never win if you don’t play in the first place. This advice, of course, applies both to gambling and to life in general.


“If I lose today, I can look forward to winning tomorrow, and if I win today, I can expect to lose tomorrow. A sure thing is no fun.”
–Chico Marx, comedian

A brother in the Marx comedy troupe, actor, and pianist Chico Marx, explained that gambling is unpredictable, but that makes it fun. 


“Remember this. The house doesn’t beat the player. It just gives him the opportunity to beat himself.”
–Nicholas Dandalos, professional gambler

Nicholas Dandalos was a professional gambler and a high roller from Greece. His advice is the house sets the games and the rules, so if you choose to play, you do so of your own volition. 


“The majority of casino players leave too much to chance when playing in a casino. To put it bluntly, they don’t have a clue as to how to play.”
–Henry Tamburin, gambling author

Henry Tamburin was a gambling author with a focus on blackjack strategy. His advice is to give yourself a head start by studying, understanding, and using strategy in the games you play.

Five Funny Gambling Sayings

You’ve probably experienced a loss once or twice if you’ve gambled. Sometimes the best thing to do is laugh it off. Take a look at these funny gambling sayings when you need a chuckle.

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  • “It’s not gambling to play against someone who’s no good. It’s common sense.” – Terry Pratchett, writer
  • “Gambling is the future of the internet. You can only look at so many dirty pictures.” – Simon Noble, executive in the gambling industry
  • “The safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.” – Kin Hubbard, cartoonist
  • “A man’s gotta make at least one bet a day; else he could be walking around lucky and never know it.” – Jimmy Jones, religious leader
  • “A gambler never makes the same mistake twice. It’s usually three or more times.” – Terry Murphy, television host

10 Old Gambling Proverbs That Are Still Relevant Today

Proverbs stick around for a reason. Check out the following phrases for advice that has passed the test of time.


“Hoping to recoup is what ruins the gambler.”
–Irish Proverb


“If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time.”
–Chinese Proverb


“At the gambling table, there are no fathers and sons.”
–Chinese Proverb


“Better an ounce of luck than a pound of gold.”
–Yiddish Proverb


“Nobody has ever bet enough on a winning horse.”


“Luck never gives; it only lends.”
–Swedish Proverb


“In a bet, there is a fool and a thief.”


“Luck has a slender anchorage.”
–English Proverb


“Life is like a game in which God shuffles the cards, the devil deals them, and we have to play the trumps.”
–Yugoslavian Proverb


“No one is luckier than he who believes in his luck.”
–German Proverb

Gambling as a Metaphor For Life

Gambling has been a popular pastime all over the world for centuries. It can also be a poignant metaphor for the trials and tribulations of life

Gambling proverbs serve as a good reference point for betting advice. While they may not solve all your problems, sometimes, a little affirmation is all you need. 

And check out our post on the best “bet on yourself” quotes if you’re in need of a little inspiration.

Ashley Grasse

Ashley Grasse Casino, Games, and Trends Specialist

Ashley Grasse is a research writer and casino entertainment expert. She's a game theory enthusiast, and an expert on information accuracy, making difficult concepts easy to understand, dissecting casino games, and reviewing games, software, and online gambling sites.

Learn More About Ashley