9 Examples of When a Sucker Bet May Be the Smart Play 

There are days where it seems like my entire day is spent telling other gamblers the dangers of sucker bets. I write about the sinister nature of these bets and advise you all to never touch them. 

That’s because I take a lot of time trying to save gamblers from themselves. If you can learn to leverage your casino bankroll effectively, you’ll have a better experience and lose less money. 

Many of us are risk takers by nature. That’s a big part of why we gamble in the first place. 

Sometimes playing smart can drive us to utter boredom. If you’re gambling bored, you should be spending your time elsewhere. 

I want you to have the most entertaining experience possible in the casino. Here are 9 examples of when a sucker bet may be the smart play to keep things fresh. 

1 – Blackjack Insurance When You’re Counting Cards 

Card counting is one of the best advantage gambling techniques available. Blackjack players can turn the tables on the casino and gain a long-term profit. 

Most gamblers don’t understand how straightforward card counting is to learn. A player that puts in a minimum amount of time can learn the basics of the technique.  

However, dedicated players will be able to leverage their new skill to making a lot of money in the casino. Card counting opens new doors for the typical casino gambler. 

For example, insurance is a bet that the average blackjack player should avoid. I’m constantly having to explain how the casino disguises this sucker bet as good for players. 

Card counters can find opportunities to increase their profits with the insurance wager. Playing single deck or double deck games allow counters to find the best angle. 

When the count is high enough in these games, you can assume the dealer has a natural 40% of the times insurance is offered. Since the bet pays 2 to 1, this creates a value for the player. 

I only suggest taking insurance if you’re confident in your counting abilities. For the recreational blackjack player, insurance is always a bad idea. 

2 – Sucker Bets Will Provide the Most Entertainment 

Sucker bets are devastating to a player’s bankroll. These bets offer increased payouts, but they never cover the discrepancy in the odds. 

Still, for most gamblers, the entire objective is to be entertained. Sometimes that requires gamblers to get out of their comfort zone. 

It also means you might have to get a little loose with your money. I have a habit on focusing so much on the thin line between profits and losses that I lose sight of the fun factor. 

What’s the point of casino gambling if you’re not enjoying yourself? 

You’re merely burning through money. If you’re not enjoying your session and want to spice it up by making an obvious sucker bet, it’s your money to lose. 

Sometimes you’ll get lucky and sore a nice win. More often the bet will prove why it’s a sucker bet, and you’ll lose more money. 

However, you’re going to lose anyway. I propose that if you’re not being entertained by playing smart, the smart play is to let loose a bit. 

At the end of your session, it’s only money. You should be spending your entertainment budget on being entertained. 

3 – Leveraging Bonuses for Online Slots Progressives  

Progressive slot machines get a ton of negative press from gambling pundits. The experts are quick to point out the poor return to player and high volatility to dissuade players. 

I don’t disagree with a lot of what’s being said about progressives. You can add the astronomical odds against you ever hitting the jackpot to the list of significant issues. 

Yet, online progressive slots aren’t always your worst option.  

Online casinos throw fantastic deposit bonuses to players. The bonuses will often match over 100% of your total deposit. 

That can be used to your advantage. The RTP for online slots are much better than you’ll find in land-based casinos.  

Many of the most popular games have an RTP above 99%. Most players will still lose in the long run, but at a much slower pace. 

Using the bonus money to extend your bankroll will give you more than twice the chances to hit a lucrative jackpot. That certainly isn’t a guarantee of a massive payday, but you’ll have a better shot. 

One thing to be aware of are the wagering requirements for bonuses. Online casinos put these in place to eliminate players from walking away with free money. 

Before you can withdraw any of your winnings, you’ll need to verify that you have met the casino’s conditions. 

4 – Moneyline Bets on the Huge Underdog 

Most sports bettors strictly make wagers against the spread. These are easy to understand wagers that appeal to the large number of novice sports bettors. 

Yet, the moneyline wagers offer the biggest values. These lines are also more prone to the sucker bet. 

 For example, you could find a game where the underdog is +400. That pays 4x your wager for a win. 

Yet, if the underdog isn’t a winner 25% of the time, it’s a poor value. You could call it a sucker bet and not be wrong. 

However, if the massive underdog could win 30% of the games, there’s value there. In other words, you would make a profit. 

Playing smart sometimes means taking a risk. When you find value in a tremendous upset in the making, it’s only a sucker bet to the untrained eye. 

5 – Slot Machines Aren’t Always the Sucker Bet 

Slot machines get a bad wrap from the bankroll conscious value gamblers. I’ll admit that I trash slot machines as being a waste of time and money. 

The two main issues I have with slot machines is the house advantage and the rate of play. Close behind in third is the lack of any entertainment value for me personally. 

The penny slots are the most played games in the casino. Most of them have an RTP below 90%, which equates to a house edge over 10%. 

The games fly through spins with the average gambler spinning the reels 600 times per hour. To put perspective on that, blackjack players see about 40 hands per hour. 

The house edge in blackjack is around 2%. So, you can see why slots are considered a sucker bet. 

Again, it all comes down to value. The entertainment value you get for your money is paramount. 

Unless you’re counting cards, you’re still going to lose money playing blackjack. Yet, we don’t pick apart the game as being a total sucker bet. 

Furthermore, in online casinos, many of the slot machines have a lower house advantage than table games. So, I recommend finding slot machines that have the highest RTP online and playing those exclusively. 

You can’t find many faults in a game with a house advantage of below 1%. 

6 – The Martingale System in Roulette 

American roulette is often referred to as being for suckers. That’s because European roulette gives players a house edge that’s half the double zero game. 

Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to find a European roulette wheel in land-based casinos. 

That leaves roulette players without any choice. Many of these players try to beat the game using betting systems. 

I consider betting systems to be purely for the suckers. The Martingale is the chief offender in the world of terrible betting systems. 

But if a player can stick to their guns and has a massive bankroll, they can stay pretty close to the black. Unfortunately, table limits will pose a huge problem. Try finding tables with a huge spread on limits, and you may win. 

7 – Tie Bet in Baccarat to Pump Things Up 

Baccarat is one of the best games in the casino when it comes to the house edge. The banker and player bets both have an edge close to 1%. 

Because players only make a decision and let fate do the rest, the game can lack engagement. Try mixing it up with the tie bet. 

The bet’s terrible on paper with a house advantage of over 14%. Still, the 8 to 1 payout is great when it hits. 

8 – No Limit Parlays 

Parlays are the biggest sucker bet in all of sports betting. The primary issue with parlays is that they are tough to get right. 

Most games are a coin flip at best. So, it all comes down to determining value.  

When the value can be found for all 5 games in a parlay hitting, you’re on to something. It all comes down to the amount of money you can leverage and the payout for winning. 

9 – Anytime You Get a Lucky Win 

Does winning a sucker bet mean the gamble isn’t for suckers? 

No, but it’s hard to call a player a sucker when they win. Especially, if they’ve just won a massive jackpot or parlay. 

If I’m going to bash sucker bets for their poor odds, I must applaud where they succeed. Sucker bets add a lot of entertainment to casino gambling. 

When you win, the sucker bet can be a great ally. Still, you shouldn’t make a habit of placing sucker bets whenever you’re bored. 


Casino gambling is a losing proposition for most of us. I prefer to keep things in control and give myself the best chance of winning. 

That doesn’t make it the right way to gamble, merely right for me. If you prefer the thrill of big payouts and overcoming odds, the sucker bets might work. 

Use these 9 examples of when a sucker bet may be the smart play to enhance your experience. 

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