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Most Popular Gambling Idioms

Ever been to the casino and heard a few sayings that you simply didn’t understand? Well, ever heard of gambling idioms? These are sayings or phrases that people use which are unique to cultures, countries, regions or even activities such as gambling. If you listen carefully, idioms almost sound like a whole different language even when the words are in English and your native language. There are 100s of gambling idioms about casinos, games and even sports betting. We have handpicked some of the best gambling idioms that you will definitely hear on casino floors.

Most Popular Gambling Idioms

30 Gambling idioms

Here are 30 gambling idioms and what they mean.

Idiom Explanation
1 All Bets are off Things aren’t as certain as they seem
2 Ace in the hole A secret edge
3 All The Marbles The complete award or reward
4 Behind the Eight Ball At a significant disadvantage
5 Break the Bank Deplete one’s financial assets
6 Busted Flush A failure is someone or something that appeared promising at first but did not develop properly.
7 Cash In One’s Chips To benefit from a quick profit
8 Call a Spade a Spade To discuss a topic openly and honestly.
9 Have an Ace Up One’s Sleeve Having a secret advantage
10 Hit the Jackpot Do something that is extremely successful.
11 In the Cards Most likely to occur
12 Play the Percentages Bet on or rely on what is most likely to happen
13 Play Your Cards Right Take advantage of a situation to your best advantage
14 Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is


Make a financial commitment to back up your beliefs
15 Run the Table Win every game or tournament
16 Roll the Dice On Take a chance
17 Show Your Cards Share your resources or plans
18 Sweeten the Pot Increase the amount of money that can be won in a game of chance, particularly poker
19 The Deck Is Stacked Against You Unfavorable conditions exist
20 Throw the Game Intentionally lose a competition, generally with the help of gamblers
21 Tip One’s Hand Make one’s advantages known; make one’s helpful knowledge known.
22 Up the Ante Raise the stakes; emphasize the significance of the topic at hand.
23 When the Chips Are Down When a situation becomes critical or challenging
24 Luck of the draw Chance, especially when it is the sole factor in determining a result or outcome.
25 No dice There was no luck or chance for anything.
26 Poker face A blank, lifeless expression that says nothing about one’s thoughts or intentions.
27 Russian Roulette Any action or act that is foolish, risky, or even irresponsible especially one that raises the chance of danger or trouble as it is repeated.
28 Down to the wire This expression denotes a race that is unpredictable or tight.
29 Bet the farm To put everything on the line in the hopes of success
30 Shell game The phrase refers to the use of trickery or strategies in games.


Gambling Proverbs

Proverbs are popular gambling sayings that have been passed down through generations of gamblers. The majority of them are from various countries and origins. Here are 10 traditional, Chinese, Yiddish and French proverbs.

  1. At the gambling table, there are no fathers and sons.
  2. Better an ounce of luck than a pound of gold.
  3. He who can persuade someone not to gamble has earned money from him
  4. In a bet, there is a fool and a thief!
  5. Lucky at cards, unlucky in love.
  6. No one is luckier than him who believes in luck!
  7. Rule: Never perform card tricks for the people you play poker with!
  8. There are two great pleasures in gambling: that of winning and that of losing!
  9. There is no better gambling than not to gamble
  10. With someone holding nothing but trumps it is impossible to play cards.

Final Thought

This list of idioms and proverbs is nowhere near the amount of saying or phrases that exist. There are plenty more idioms that you will come across (be sure to share them with us). If you are still trying to get the hang of these sayings keep your hear on the ground the next time you are at the casino.  In the meantime, head on over to the best Australian casinos online to play your favorite casinos games.



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