Famous Quotes about Casinos, Gambling, and Luck

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A keyboard with playing cards and casino chips.
BetMGM Jun 19, 2024, 4:35 PM

Gambling at both land-based and online casinos is a global phenomenon and has become an important part of American and global culture. It’s inevitable, then, that gambling will have inspired a great many insightful gambling sayings and casino quotes that have been retold or referenced by both recreational gamblers and professional gamblers alike. 

From movies to books or directly from the mouths of some of the best gamblers in history, there is a vast number of famous gambling quotes about luck and casinos in general. For a dose of inspiration and wisdom, take a look at this list of 55 quotes for gamblers to keep in mind the next time you play your favorite casino table game or slot. 

55 Great Gambling Quotes About Casinos and Luck

These are some of the best gambling quotes from pop culture, taken from books, movies, and interviews. Use them to guide your own playing, or have them printed on a mug or shirt as the ultimate gift for your casino-fanatic friends.  

Best Quotes About Luck

Luck is a big part of playing casino games, which is why so many gamblers look for ways to attract good fortune, whether it be keeping good luck charms or performing superstitious pre-game rituals to improve their luck. These practices can be traced back centuries. 

Roman philosophers were fascinated by luck, chance, and destiny. So, it’s only fitting that this list should begin with a quote from a major philosophical figure of the Roman Imperial Period. 

According to the Roman philosopher Seneca, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” So, if you want to make the most out of your casino experience, you can’t rely on luck alone — preparation is half the battle. Even if you’re playing a luck-based game such as roulette, you need to make sure you’ve done your part to boost your odds instead of relying solely on luck. Learn how to play roulette at a casino first and make sure you have a budget and bankroll management system in place.

A similar quote about luck is from Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States. He said, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”  This further illustrates the importance of finding a balance between wishful thinking and hard work

I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.” — Brian Tracy, motivational speaker and author. People who take more chances are luckier — in life, as in casino games. Taking more chances could mean placing smaller, more frequent bets and finding types of casino games with bet sizes that work for your budget. 

Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.” — Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo journalist.

True luck consists not in holding the best of the cards at the table; luckiest is he who knows just when to rise and go home.” — John Milton Hay, 37th U.S. Secretary of State. This is a good quote about luck to remember at aggressive poker tables. 

Diligence is the mother of good luck.” — Benjamin Franklin, a Founding Father of the U.S.

Luck is a goddess not to be coerced and forcibly wooed by those who seek her favors. From such masterful spirits she turns away. But it happens sometimes that, if we put our hand in hers with the humble trust of a little child, she will have pity on us, and not fail us in our hour of need.” — P.G. Wodehouse, humorist.

Luck never gives; it only lends.” — Swedish proverb about the importance of understanding casino odds and knowing when it’s wise to stop playing. Set a time limit, and don’t believe myths about hot or cold slots or tables. 

“I’ve found that what most people call luck is often little more than raw talent combined with the ability to make the most of opportunities.” — Timothy Zahn, writer.

At gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck.” — Ian Fleming, writer and journalist. A wise reminder that while you cannot master luck, you can acquire playing strategies. 

You don’t get lucky while sitting on the sofa with arms crossed, doing nothing. You can be lucky only when you are prepared.” — Nesta Jojoe Erskine, speaker.

I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” — Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. President.

Depend on the rabbit’s foot if you will, but remember it didn’t work for the rabbit.” — R.E. Shay, humorist.

Luck is great, but most of life is hard work.” — Iain Duncan Smith, British politician.

The only sure thing about luck is that it will change.” — Bret Harte, poet and writer.

Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation, while bad luck is when lack of preparation meets reality.” — Eliyahu Goldratt, Israeli business guru.

I think we consider too much the luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd U.S. President.

Luck, bad if not good, will always be with us. But it has a way of favoring the intelligent and showing its back to the stupid.” — John Dewey, 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.

Luck is elusive. But even these popular quotes on the subject show that preparation, dedication, and intelligence can improve luck or decrease reliance on it. The next time you play live dealer casino games, focus on your preparation and strategy and not just your hand.

Best Quotes About Gambling

Gaming chips, poker cards, gaming dice and dollars on a dark background.

Gambling’s joys and frustrations have prompted some of the most inspiring and poignant quotes and advice from players worldwide. A win is so exhilarating, and a loss so utterly devastating, that even players with nerves of steel and unflinching poker faces can’t keep their words to themselves. Here are some of the best quotes for gambling enthusiasts. 

In gambling, the many must lose in order that the few may win.” — George Bernard Shaw, playwright. Do you know how the house edge works? If so, this quote will have a lot more meaning. The casino’s edge doesn’t mean the game is rigged, but since the casino has a fixed profit, it does mean a lot of people had to lose money for you to win that jackpot. 

Quit while you’re ahead; all the best gamblers do.” — Baltasar Gracián, 17th-century philosopher. This quote has become a mantra for responsible gamblers.

The subject of gambling is all-encompassing. It combines man’s natural play instinct with his desire to know about his fate and future.” — Franz Rosenthal, linguist.

Gambling is an act of faith of gamblers. Prophecy is an act of faith of the saints.” — Toba Beta, writer.

Victory is a fleeting thing in the gambling business. Today’s winners are tomorrow’s blinking toads, dumb beasts with no hope.” — Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo journalist.

At the gambling table, there are no fathers or sons.” — Chinese proverb.

“Gambling has held human beings in thrall for millennia. It has been engaged in everywhere, from the dregs of society to the most respectable circles.” — Peter L. Bernstein, economist.

Hoping to recoup is what ruins the gambler.” — Irish proverb that dispels the common myth that if you only keep playing, you’ll win your money back. 

“Gambling is not a vice; it is an expression of our humanness. We gamble. Some do it at the gambling table, some do not. You play, you win, you play, you lose. You play.” — Jeanette Winterson, author.

Once you start thinking you’ve got nothing left to learn, you have everything to learn.” — Words from poker strategist Steve Badger that you can apply in all areas of your life. 

The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.”— Ambrose Bierce, writer and poet.

No wife can endure a gambling husband; unless he is a steady winner.” — Thomas Dewar, Scottish baron and whisky distiller. 

Gambling is not about how well you play the games, it’s really about how well you handle your money.” — Terrence Murphy, aka V.P. Pappy, casino writer.

There is a very easy way to return from a casino with a small fortune; go there with a large one.” — Jack Yelton, U.S. WWII veteran.

Gambling is not as destructive as war or as boring as pornography. It is not as immoral as business or as suicidal as watching television. And the percentages are better than religion.” — Mario Puzo, author.

I like to play blackjack. I’m not addicted to gambling, I’m addicted to sitting in a semi-circle.” — Mitch Hedberg, comedian.

A gentleman is a man who will pay his gambling debts even when he knows he has been cheated.” — Leo Tolstoy, novelist.

Gambling can turn into a dangerous two-way street when you least expect it. Weird things happen suddenly, and your life can go all to pieces.” — Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo journalist.

At the heart of most of these quotes for gamblers is the importance of playing responsibly. Always separate your playing budget from your personal budget, and remember to stop when you are feeling excessive stress and anxiety. Whatever you choose to play at a casino, it’s still a game and it’s meant to be fun. 

Funny Gambling Quotes

This list is filled with insightful quotes for gamblers, but every now and again, you need a little bit more than a solid piece of advice — you need a laugh. Here are just a few light-hearted quotes about gambling. 

If there weren’t luck involved, I would win every time.” — Phil Hellmuth, professional poker player.

A gambler never makes the same mistake twice. It’s usually three or more times.” — Terrence Murphy, aka V.P. Pappy, casino writer.

Nobody is always a winner, and anybody who says he is, is either a liar or doesn’t play poker.” — Amarillo Slim.

Las Vegas is the only place I know where money really talks — it says, Goodbye.” — Frank Sinatra in “The Joker Is Wild.”

The guy who invented poker was bright, but the guy who invented the chip was a genius.” — Julius “Big Julie” Weintraub, renowned Las Vegas junketeer.

Best Quotes From Famous People and Movies

Croupier behind a gambling table in a casino.

The allure and glamor of gambling and casinos are often best portrayed in movies by the glamorous celebrities who feature in them. Next time you play your favorite online game of choice, be sure to keep a few of these wise words in mind.

Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.” — Paul Newman in “The Color of Money” (1986).

In poker, the player does not play against the house. He plays against other players. The house takes a cut. Two things are necessary, knowledge of the mathematical odds, knowledge of your opponents.” — Oscar Isaac in “The Card Counter” (2021).

Listen, here’s the thing. If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half-hour at the table, then you are the sucker.” — Matt Damon in “Rounders” (1998).

Oh, I don’t lose. People who bet on me to lose, lose. And they lose big.” — Al Pacino in “Ocean’s Thirteen” (2007).

You know the best part of the best drug in the world isn’t the high. It’s the moment just before you take it. The dice are dancing on the table. Between now and the time they stop, that’s the greatest high in the world.” — Al Pacino in “Two for the Money” (2005).

I am not going to lose it. I am going to gamble it.” — James Caan in ”The Gambler” (1974).

Gambling has brought my family together. We had to move to a smaller house.” — Tommy Cooper, comedian and magician.

Gambling with cards or dice or stocks is all one thing. It’s getting money without giving an equivalent for it.” — Henry Ward Beecher, American minister.

“If you ain’t just a little scared when you enter a casino, you are either very rich or you haven’t studied the games enough.” — Terrence Murphy, aka V.P. Pappy, casino writer.

Most gamblers, when they go to gamble, they go to win. When we go to gamble, we go to lose. Even when we win, it’s just a matter of time before we give it all back.” — Al Pacino in “Two for the Money” (2005).

I’m not sure what four nines does, but the ace, I think, is pretty high.” — George Clooney in “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001).

Intuition can’t be found in books.” — Marielle Heller in “The Queen’s Gambit,” television miniseries. 

May the odds be ever in your favor.” — Donald Sutherland in The Hunger Games (2012). 

All this wisdom means little if you don’t put it into practice. Are you ready to unleash your casino game strategy with wisdom at the BetMGM live dealer online casino?

Discover the Best Casino Games To Play With BetMGM

If some of these quotes and proverbs have inspired you to take your seat at online poker tables or to play any other fun and exciting casino games, why not register at BetMGM? Start exploring the extensive game catalog and sportsbook to see where the odds will take you.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.