The subject of gambling is one that generates a lot of opinions, and some great quotes too.
On this page we have put together a collection of some of the best gambling related quotes.
We start with a few of our personal favorites and offer our own comments on these quotes.
Then we have some of the top poker quotes, again including our own comments.
Finally we have a further selection of more great gambling quotes and proverbs.
Our Favorite Gambling Quotes
We have picked nine of our favorite gambling quotes and listed them below, along with some details about the people that made them and our take on what they mean. These quotes stand out for us as they either contain excellent advice or are great reflections of what gambling is all about.
“Quit while you’re ahead. All the best gamblers do.”
This is a quote from Baltasar Gracián y Morales, a 17th century philosopher. We like it because, several hundred years later, it remains one of the single best pieces of gambling advice. If you can learn to quit when you are ahead, then you have an excellent chance of being a successful gambler.
“Hoping to recoup is what ruins the gambler.”
This is an Irish proverb which highlights one of the biggest mistakes a gambler can make: chasing losses. In the same way that you have to know when to quit when you are ahead, there’s also a time to cut your losses and quit.
“Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”
For many gamblers, this quote neatly sums why they gamble. It’s not just about the money itself, it’s the joy of winning it. The quote was from the movie The Color of Money, said by the character Fast Eddie Felson – played by Paul Newman.
“I’ve learned the lesson that the worst thing that can happen to a gambler is to let his recent losses or wins knock him off keel emotionally.”
Andrew Beyer highlighted one of the biggest failings of gamblers in this quote: letting emotions cloud judgment. Beyer was an expert on horse racing betting, writing four books on the subject. He also designed the Beyer Speed Figure, a system for rating Thoroughbred racehorses.
“Nobody has ever bet enough on a winning horse.”
The origins of this proverb aren’t entirely clear. It’s a simple statement but entirely true. If a horse you have bet on wins, you’ll always wish you had bet more on it. The premise applies to any form of gambling.
“Once you start thinking you have nothing left to learn, you have everything to learn.”
Really, this quote could apply to life in general. It was actually made in the context of poker, by Steve Badger. Badger owned one of the first, and best, websites dedicated to educating poker players. In this quote he’s pointing out that if you think you know it all you are sadly mistaken.
“Gambling is not about how well you play the games, it’s really about how well you handle your money.”
This is from poker player V. P. Pappy. We could pick a number of quotes from him as he’s made several great ones, but this is probably our favorite in terms of the advice it contains. He is making the excellent point that good money management is absolutely essential to successful gambling.
“At gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck.”
This quote is from the James Bond book (and movie) Casino Royale, written by Ian Fleming. It emphasizes a mistake that many gamblers make: blaming bad luck instead of trying to work if they made a bad play or bet.
“There is a very easy way to return from a casino with a small fortune; go there with a large one.”
Something of a tongue in cheek quote this one, from Jack Yelton. He is essentially highlighting the fact that you are likely to lose money playing casino games. He’s right of course; the house does have an edge over the long term.
That doesn’t mean that casino games should be avoided at all costs, as they are great fun and it’s possible to win money if you get lucky. It’s just important to recognize that the odds are ultimately against you.
Top Poker Quotes
Poker is one of the most talked about games in the world and we could easily find hundreds of great quotes to write about. We’ve just picked a few of the very best ones though, which you can find below. We have also added some comments on the quotes too.
“If there weren’t luck involved, I would win every time.”
This quote is from Phil Hellmuth, one of the most well-known professional poker players around. He’s a goldmine for quotes, but this has to be one of his best. He is alluding to the fact that, even if you are a top player, luck will always play its part in poker.
“Poker, a day to learn and a lifetime to master.”
Never was a truer word spoken about poker than in this quote from Robert Williamson III, a successful American poker player. One of the biggest appeals of the game is that it’s very easy to learn, but the intricacies and strategies involved make mastering the game a lifetime’s work.
“Hold’em is a game of calculated aggression. If your cards are good enough for you to call a bet, they are good enough to raise with.”
This quote from author Alfred Alvarez is actually a great piece of advice. Many top players would agree that, in most circumstances, if your cards are strong enough to call, then you should actually probably raise.
“Nobody is always a winner, and anybody who say he is, is either a liar or doesn’t play poker.”
This was said by Thomas Austin Preston Jr, commonly known as Amarillo Slim. He is, quite accurately, pointing out that no matter how good you are at poker you simply cannot win every time you play.
“Aces are larger than life and greater than mountains.”
Professional player and poker book author Mike Caro succinctly states the importance of aces.
“Hold’em is to stud what chess is to checkers.”
This is a quote from Johnny Moss, winner of the first World Series of Poker when it was a cash event in 1970. He also won the Main Event freezeout tournament in 1971 and 1974. It’s essentially a comment on the complexities of Texas hold’em compared to other poker formats.
“Try to decide how good your hand is at a given moment. Nothing else matters. Nothing.”
No compilation of poker quotes would be complete without at least one from Doyle Brunson. Brunson is a two time World Series of Poker Main Event champion, member of the Poker Hall of Fame, and one of the most famous poker players of all time.
This quote from him, although somewhat simplistic, pretty much sums up what poker is all about.
More Quotes & Proverbs
Below is a few more of the best gambling quotes, along with some gambling proverbs.
“Remember this. The house doesn’t beat the player. It just gives him the opportunity to beat himself.” – Nicholas Dandalos (professional gambler)
“The guy who invented poker was bright, but the guy who invented the chip was a genius.” – Julius Weintraub (jeweler and gambler)
“Gambling. The sure way of getting something for nothing.” – Wilson Mizner (playwright)
“Blackjack is the only casino game an amateur can learn to play and at which he can definitely win.” – Lawrence Revere (author and professional blackjack player)
“Gambling is a principle inherent in human nature.” – Edmund Burke (author and philosopher)
“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)
“If I lose today, I can look forward to winning tomorrow, and if win today, I can expect to lose tomorrow. A sure thing is no fun.” – Chico Marx (comedian and actor)
“Gambling undermines the moral fiber of society.” – Gordon B. Hinkley (religious leader and author)
“The best throw of the dice is to throw them away.” – English Proverb
“Luck never gives; it only lends.” – Swedish Proverb
“Better an ounce of luck than a pound of gold.” – Yiddish Proverb
“There is no lock on the purse of a gambler.” – French Proverb
“If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stake, and the quitting time.” – Chinese Proverb
“A pack of cards is the devil’s prayer-book.” – German Proverb
“At the gambling table, there are no fathers and sons.” – Chinese Proverb
“There are two great pleasures in gambling; that of winning and that of losing.” – French Proverb