5 Gambling Strategies That Might Be Unethical and Why They’re Not Wrong to Use

Unethical Gambling Strategies

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to be a winning gambler? Before you answer this question, you need to know that if you cheat when you gamble, you’re going to jail in some areas.

What if the question was, are you willing to do whatever it takes to win when you gamble as long as it’s legal? I’m willing to answer yes to the second question, but I’m not willing to risk going to jail to win when I gamble.

The good news is that a few strategies that the casinos don’t want you to use are perfectly legal, and these strategies can help you win.

1. Using Hole Card Data

If you’re playing blackjack and happen to see that the card the dealer places face down in front of her is a king, what should you do?

Some people might feel bad about it:
But you need to use the information you have to make the most profitable decision when you play your hand. In this case, if you have a 17 and the dealer has an eight or higher face-up, you need to take another card. On the other hand, if the dealer has a five or six showing and you have a 16, you need to stand. The odds favor the dealer busting, and if you take another card, you stand a good chance to bust before the dealer has to play.

If you feel bad about using information like this when you have it, compare it to what the casino does every day. Every game the casino offers is stacked against you, and the casino is making money directly from you. If the casino doesn’t invest the right amount of time and money into training the dealers not to give you extra information, then the casino deserves to lose a little money.

Not only should you use hole card data when you see it, but you should actively watch for it every time you’re playing a casino game dealt by a dealer.

And even if you decide that it’s not right to use hole card information, never say anything about seeing a card to the dealer or the casino. It’s not illegal to use hole card data, and the worst thing the casino can do is ask you to leave the property.

2. Blackjack Card Counting

Every casino in the world wants you to think that counting cards is illegal. The reason why casinos want you to believe that card counting is illegal is that the casinos know that smart blackjack players who know how to count cards can beat the casino.

And the only things you need to use when you count cards are your eyes and your brain. You need to look closely at the laws where you plan to count cards, but it’s legal to count cards in almost every casino on earth. But you need to be safe instead of sorry, so you need to check the laws before you gamble.

The good news is that if you do find a casino where it’s illegal to count cards, you can simply go to a casino in a different area. You can legally count cards in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, as well as in every other casino in the United States that I know of. The only exception that I can think of that might be an issue in the US is a tribal casino. Tribal casinos operate under different rules and laws than most casinos.

If a casino thinks you’re counting cards, they can legally ask you to leave.

But you’re not going to go to jail for counting cards.

3. Middling Sports Betting

One of my favorite sports betting tricks I something called middling. It’s not available every day, but if you’re willing to track the lines at a large number of online sportsbooks, you can find middling opportunities often. Middling is when you bet on both sides of a game with different lines.

The best way to understand how middling works is to look at an example.
  • At one sportsbook, you find the following line: Jets + 2 ½ at the Bills
  • At another sportsbook, you find this line: Jets + 3 ½ at the Bills

You place a bet of $11 to win $10 on the Bills, giving 2 ½ points at the first book, and place an $11 bet to win $10 on the Jets, getting 3 ½ points at the second book.

You win one bet and lose the other on any score other than the Bills winning by exactly three points. You end up losing $1 when this happens. But what happens when the Bills win by three points? You win both sides of the bet for a profit of $20.

How often do the Bills need to win this game by exactly three points for you to make a long-term profit? The Bills need to win by exactly three points at least one out of 20 times for you to make a profit.

Please Note:
You’re not going to get rich middling games, but you can make a profit finding lines that offer a middle. And not only is this legal, but you also don’t even have to worry about it being unethical. Each sportsbook sets its own lines, which are open to anyone who wants to place a bet.

In other words, you’re not doing anything wrong by placing bets with sportsbooks using the lines they set.

4. Bonus Hunting

Suppose you’ve ever played at an online casino, or even visited a web site about gambling.

In that case, you already know that online casinos offer bonuses to get players to sign up and make a deposit.

Most of the bonuses you get when you gamble in an online casino don’t really help you win, but sometimes you can get a bonus that you can make money using, as long as you know how to use the bonus in a certain way.

The key to online bonus hunting for profit is found in the terms of the bonuses. You have to find a bonus that you can cash out after fulfilling the terms, and you have to find a bonus with terms that can be cleared before you lose the entire bonus amount.

When you find a bonus that meets these two requirements, you have to play a low house edge game, so you have the best chance to clear the bonus and cash out your profit. It’s not easy to find online casino bonuses that meet all of these requirements, but it’s worth investigating because you can make a profit bonus hunting.

5. Inviting Losers to Your Poker Game

Imagine what would happen if you started a poker game and only invited the worst poker players you knew to the game. If you could play in a poker game every week where you are the best player at the table, do you think you could make money?

The answer is, of course, you’d make a profit.
You might not win every week, but overall you’re going to win more than you lose. Now, there are two more questions that you need to answer. First, is there anything unethical about inviting bad players to a poker game, and why aren’t you doing this already?

It’s not unethical to invite bad players to play poker. You’re not forcing them to play, and not every poker player is focused on winning at all costs. Some people enjoy playing poker and are willing to lose some money to play.

Please Note:
The only possible issue with arranging a poker game doesn’t have anything to do with ethics. In some areas, it’s illegal to run a poker game. But in most areas, you can legally play poker as long as you’re not raking the pot.

I’ve played in many underground and home poker games, and I’ve never seen or heard of one getting busted by the law. But it’s probably a good idea to check your local laws before starting a home poker game.


You can use your brain to compete with the casinos, even if the casinos prefer that you stop thinking when you gamble.

You can also use any information the casinos provide, even if they don’t want to provide the information. The only two things you need to be worried about are figuring out a way to win and doing it legally. No matter what the casinos say, the five strategies listed in this post are legal. And each of the five strategies can help you win when you gamble.

Just remember that even though what you’re doing is legal, the casinos can still refuse to let you play if they catch you.

Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.

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