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Interesting Gambling Idioms and Sayings

Recently updated on August 7th, 2023

Contrary to what one might believe, gambling is a career for some people just like how being a nurse, a businessman or school teacher is a career for others. And, in every designation there is certain terms, phrases or concepts that is specific to those roles. Similarly, gambling has its own set of interesting idioms and phrases which is what we’ll uncover in this guide.

But idioms and phrases extend beyond occupations. Many idioms and interesting sayings exist and applies to everyday life and circumstances as well.

Gambling Idioms

Top 16 Gambling Idioms

1. Having an Ace Up One’s Sleeve

Having an ace up one’s sleeve can also be translated as having a card up one’s sleeve to make it more specific to gambling. It means to have a secret strength or advantage in the backburner that nobody is aware of yet.

2. All The Marbles

All the marbles refer to an entire prize, pot, reward, payout, gain or win at the end of the game, round, or event. Example: The game ended in a tie between team A and B, but the referee threw in penalty kicks for a chance at all the marbles.

3. All Bets Are Off

An event whose outcome depends on changing circumstances. For example, if you make a truce with a relative on who the most likely winner is, but you place a condition on the truce it means that of the stated condition occurs, all bets surrounding the agreement will be off.

4. Behind the 8 Ball

To be behind the 8 ball is to be at a deep disadvantage. For example, if a poker tournament team lost their best player, the team is weakened and therefore behind the 8 ball.

5. Break the Bank

To break the bank means to go beyond your financial means. For example, if you are purchasing an item that you technically can’t afford, then you are breaking the bank.

6. Call a Spade a Spade

When you call a spade a spade you are speaking frankly and without pretense. If we were to use the phrase in a sentence it might look something like this: Lets call a spade a spade: Verstappen is not as great a driver as Hamilton.

7. Play Your Cards Right

To play your cards right means to make any given situation work in your favour.

8. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

This idiom is probably one of the most used ones even outside of gambling. It simply means to support your views or opinions about something with money.

9. Sweeten the Pot

To sweeten the pot means to shake things up and make it more rewarding for all players should anyone be so lucky to benefit. Casinos sweeten the pot when progressive jackpots increase or when they offer bigger bonuses or introduce new promos.

10. Let the Chips Fall Where They May

This gambling idiom means to not try to control the outcome of events as much but instead to let relax and let chance take its course. This idiom is easier to say then to for sure.

Best Gambling Idioms

11. Make Bets in a Burning House

This is when you are betting on a positive outcome when the circumstances around you state otherwise. For example, its not wise to double down in blackjack when you have a weak hand, unless it’s part of your strategy. Another example would be to make live bets on a losing team when there’s very limited time left in the game, or no logical way for them to turn around their fate.

12. Stack the Deck

When you stack the deck, you are playing a ruthless game. It refers to arranging or manipulating the game so that a particular player(s) don’t win or succeed at what they are trying to achieve.

13. Luck of Draw

This gambling idiom refers to any situation where its outcome is completely reliant on luck or chance and where things could literally go anyhow. Casino games like slots and the lottery can be described as luck of draw.

14. Play the Ponies

The clue is somewhat in the game for this gambling idiom. To play the ponies you are betting on horses in a horse race.

15. Push Your Luck

To push your luck means to risk losing what you’ve currently built up in pursuit of more, with no guarantee that you’ll be successful in that attempt.

16. Poker Face

This gambling term is commonly used in poker, and it refers to a blank expression on someone’s face that is on no way telling of their true emotions or standing. It’s used as a tactic in face-to-face games where manipulating your opposition could be the difference between you winning or losing.

Gambling Quotes by Famous People

Apart from actual gambling idioms, there are also many gambling related quotes said by famous people or actual players. We’ve shortlisted a few of the interesting one’s for you below.

  • Paul Newman once said: “If you are looking around the poker table and you are unable to spot the sucker, it’s you.”
  • Paul Newman also said: Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”
  • Will Rogers once said: Horses are smarter than people because you never hear about horses going broke while betting on people. They know better.
  • Terry Pratchett once said: It’s not considered gambling if you are playing against someone who isn’t great at the game, its common sense.
  • Terry Murphey once said: A gambler hardly ever makes the same mistake twice. It’s usually more, like three or four times.”
  • Ruby Martin once said: A player who expects to lose is the happiest person at the table”.
  • Anonymous once said: “Scared money never wins anything.”
  • English proverb: The best throw of a dice is to throw it away.”
  • French Proverb: There are two types of gambling pleasures: losing and winning.”

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