5 Amazing Gambling Secrets No One Tells You About

By Michael Stevens in Casino & Gaming on October 4, 2019


Minute Read

To a gambler in the know, secrets are akin to power.

Anyone can carry a basic strategy card with them to the blackjack tables, but only a select few know how to harness the secrets of card counting effectively enough to gain an edge over the house.

Figuring out that a full house beats a flush isn’t all that difficult, but learning the secretive art of hand-reading to figure out which hand your opponent holds is far more difficult.

Slot spinners share secrets about the payback percentages linked to their favorite machines.

Roulette specialists whisper in reverent tones while exchanging the secrets behind spotting — and exploiting — that rarest of sights known as the “biased” wheel.

And don’t get me started about the secretive nature of supposed baccarat systems such as the absurdly named “Big Eyed Boy” and the “Cockroach Pig.”

All in all, learning to gamble is easy enough. All it takes is a few How-to-Play casino guides and a fair bit of practice. But learning to gamble well is all about discovering previously unknown secrets.

To help you get started on that front, the list below highlights five strategic insights most recreational players don’t know about, along with other secrets about the wild world of gambling at large.

1 – Casinos Offer Free Classes to Teach You Table Games and Poker

We’ve all seen those sorry souls hovering near the periphery of a casino table game.

Like gambling ghosts, they stand silently by to watch the wagers and payouts go down without ever making their presence known. Some crane their necks to better observe the betting layout, while others whisper amongst themselves in an attempt to understand the action.

Almost all seem to be on the verge of pulling a few bucks out and joining the fray, anxiously stepping forward once or twice before beating a hasty retreat.

In the end, though, scenes like this almost always end in the exact same way. After watching things from afar for a few minutes and almost working up the courage to buy in, these men and women simply walk away without ever placing a bet.

Blackjack Table - Different Blackjack Hands

Whether it’s how to make hit or stand decisions in blackjack, what the numbers mean on a roulette wheel, or deciphering the dozens of betting options found in craps, not knowing how to play is the number one barrier preventing new players from taking up a gambling game.

Fortunately for anyone who wants to learn, most major casinos offer daily classes to the public completely free of charge. All you have to do is show up at the scheduled time and place, and you’ll find a friendly dealer waiting to teach you every aspect of basic casino gameplay.

And even if you’re not visiting Vegas anytime soon, your local commercial or tribal casino likely holds similar classes, so don’t hesitate to call and inquire.

2 – Those Big Progressive Slot Jackpots Are Triggered All the Time

Well, maybe not all the time, but the major progressive jackpot slot networks like Megabucks and Wheel of Fortune do pay out on a regular basis.

Of course, triggering the Megabucks progressive to turn $3 into a $10 million or more jackpot required beating enormous odds against of 1 in 49,836,032. But lightning does indeed strike, as a found out while playing Megabucks at the Sunset Station casino in the Vegas suburb of Henderson in April of 2019.

For a full list of recent progressive slot payouts in Nevada, consider this to be your one-stop shop for life-changing jackpot news.

3 – You Can Get an Edge Over the House Without Breaking Any Rules

I mentioned card counting in blackjack in the introduction, as it’s one of the most well-known ways a player can flip the house edge in their favor, short of outright cheating.

Cheating in the casino is the ultimate fool’s errand, so nobody should consider going that route. And even if you have the mental dexterity, memorization skills, and math ability required to count cards competently, the casinos “frown” on the craft.

Card counting isn’t a crime, as numerous court cases have been fought to preserve the rights of so-called advantage play gamblers. Casinos can, however, choose to ban suspected card counters from their property, a fate that befalls many a would-be advantage player.

But what if I told you gamblers can easily gain an advantage over the house, all without breaking a single rule?

It’s true, as a particular type of video poker machine known as full-pay Deuces Wild can be played with a 100.76% expected return, provided correct strategy is used at all times. That equates to a 0.76% edge in the player’s favor, making full-pay Deuces Wild one of the only wagers in any casino where the house is put at a disadvantage.

The term “full pay” refers to the game’s specific pay table setup, because casinos are free to tinker with the various payouts awarded for certain hands. Most video poker players know about full-pay Jacks or Better, which offers 9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush.

This pay table configuration creates a house edge of only 0.46%, but when the casino shifts the payouts only slightly to 9/5, the house edge more than triples to 1.56%.

Similarly, when you find the following pay table used on a Deuces Wild machine, you know you’re receiving the best possible odds — and even a player edge to boot.

Deuces Wild Video Poker Full-Pay Table

Natural Royal Flush 800
Four Deuces 200
Wild Royal Flush 25
Five of a Kind 15
Straight Flush 9
Four of a Kind 5
Full House 3
Straight 2
Three of a Kind 1
Anything Else 0

Deuces Wild machines can be adjusted to pay out 11 coins for a straight flush and 4 coins on four of a kind. Now that you know this coveted gambling secret, you can enjoy video poker with a slight edge of your own.

And to help you find these 0.76 player edge full-pay Deuces Wild machines, check out this . That link is already set up for Deuces Wild, so just select the 100.76% pay table, then your region, to locate the nearest machines in your area.

4 – Every Game Has a Sucker Bet to Avoid at All Times

When you play baccarat, the two base bets of Banker (1.06%) and Player (1.24%) carry extremely reasonable house edge rates. But when you bet on the Tie in baccarat, that edge climbs astronomically to 14.36%.

Tie bets in baccarat are “sucker” plays designed to trick unsuspecting players into taking terrible odds.

Baccarat isn’t alone, though, so keep an eye out for the following table game sucker bets.

Common Sucker Bets in Casino Gambling

Three Card Poker Pair Plus 7.28%/td>
Blackjack Insurance on Dealer Blackjack 7.47%/td>
Roulette Top-Line (00, 0, 1, 2, 3) 7.89%
Texas Hold’em Bonus Bonus Bet 8.54%
Craps Hard Numbers (6 or 8 / 4 or 10) 9.09 / 11.11%
Blackjack Lucky Ladies Side Bet 17.64%
Casino War Player and Dealer to Tie 18.65%
Let It Ride Five Card Bonus 23.73%

5 – Sports Betting Is Now Legal in 13 States and Counting

In case you missed the good news, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision back on May 14 of 2018 to allow states to legalize sports betting.

After the state of New Jersey successfully passed a series of laws to legalize and regulate sports betting, the NCAA and North America’s four major professional sports leagues sued. The resulting case reached the highest court in the land, where Justices decided 6-3 that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 created unconstitutional restrictions on the states’ right to set their own laws.

From there, seven states have successfully launched legal sportsbooks — both brick and mortar and online/mobile — with Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island joining Nevada in offering regulated sports wagering.

And while they haven’t gone live just yet, Arkansas, Iowa, Tennessee, Indiana, and Montana have passed similar legislation.

You can use the ESPN Bill Tracker to and to stay current on the latest post-PASPA developments.


In an industry which directly pits consumers against the companies providing them a service, the house secures itself a profit by keeping secrets from players — and vice-versa. Thus, it’s no surprise to learn just how many secrets the world of gambling has up its proverbial sleeve.

Now that you know the score, however, you’ll be much better equipped to navigate the maze-like conditions created by modern casinos and sportsbooks.

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 Panoramacity since early 2016.

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