Advantage Gambling: Can You Profit From It?

Date Created: Jul 16
Written by Jerico

It’s a well-established fact that a lot of online players — in the long run — lose their money from casinos and sports betting. The reasons are quite clear – the gambling operators already have a well-established advantage. The average user just cannot beat it to make money.

Betting systems are means of trying to win at casino games that don’t work. These involve raising and lowering the sizes of your bets based on initial results. They do nothing to alter the conditions of the game or the probability behind the game.

Advantage gambling, on the other hand, includes a variety of methods that allow you to somehow give yourself an edge. Instead of the house having a mathematical edge, an advantage gambler makes sure that he or she has the edge.

This kind of play does not make it impossible for a player to come away from the gambling experience with some profit. Advantage gambling is an approach that leans on a keen understanding of mathematics and positive expected value. It essentially lets you locate spots or situations where you can turn the tables and actually gain the upper hand against the casino or the bookie.

Mind you, it’s not easy, but it is definitely possible. We’ll discuss how in this guide.

Can Advantage Play Be Used in Sports Betting?

Before we discuss advantage gambling techniques in sports betting, let’s first take a glimpse at how bookies make their money.

Bookie Odds and Betting Margin

The very first thing you need to be apprised of is how the sportsbooks determine the odds they offer. The process may vary from one bookie to another but the basics are the same. For a start, each operator has a platoon of traders that work with all the information and data that is made available to them, as well as the best tools for analysis. They then establish the mathematical probabilities for each match based on processing the information they possess. It’s fair to say that bookies are very good in this and it’s close to impossible to find a suitable way to assess any event they offer.

So, they now have a pretty good idea of what to expect. It’s now time to add the next element – the cash projections. Simply put, the sportsbooks want the money of the punters to be spread out in such a way that they have identical profit no matter what happens.

The simplest way to attain that is to tilt the odds based on their cash forecasts. This means offering a better price for results where fewer players are projected to bet and vice versa. Once the odds are live, they trail the distribution of the bets and act appropriately.

There is one last step that makes it so difficult to get the best of the bookies. After all is set and done with the odds, they actually add an extra margin that virtually guarantees their profits. It varies between 2-3% and 10% depending on the sportsbook and the event.

Such an advantage for the sportsbook is part of each betting market you can. When you mix it up with the ability to properly assess the odds and the control over the cash flow, it’s easy to see how the bookies make their money.

Advantage Betting Strategies

Now that we have already discussed how the bookies operate to attain profit, the next question to ask is: Is it profitable to find a way to beat them? The short answer is yes, it most definitely is.

One of the primary reasons are the numerous promotions that are made available to the players. The sportsbooks are forced to give something back because the competition between them is aggressive. There are other elements that factor in, but let’s move on to some tangible ways to find value and apply advantage gambling:

1) Arbitrage

Arguably the finest way to make money from sports betting is if you manage to locate an arbitrage or what is a sure bet opportunity. The main idea is to find odds that are high enough to guarantee a profit no matter what happens in a particular match.

Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks when it comes to arbitrage betting. To start, the bookies really abhor it and are taking measures to prevent people from taking advantage. Because of this, your accounts could get closed or restricted. This makes arbitrage betting fairly hard and time-consuming.

2) Matched Betting

Matched betting is one of the best examples of advantage gambling. This plan can work in a number of ways, but the most prevalent one is related to the welcome offers of most bookies.

Identical to the arbitrage betting, you cover all potential outcomes but mix that up with a free bet/welcome bonus that brings in even better profits. For example, you claim the free wager in the bookie and place it on a specific game. At the same time, you lay the same outcome on Betfair and lock the profits before the match has begun. This way, you always win.

Advantage Gambling In Online Casinos

Now, let’s take a look at how you can make money with advantage gambling when it comes to online casinos.

The House Edge

Much like the last section, we will begin by talking about the way each casino secures profit. Virtually any game offered has a fixed house edge that basically ensures that the operator has a positive expected return in the long run at the players’ expense.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common games out there:

1) Slot Machines

Slot machines are arguably the most popular attractions in online casinos. Tons of people pick them because of the thrilling gameplay and chances to win big in a heartbeat. However, the house edge in slots basically means you will be losing under usual circumstances.

There is a metric called Return to Player or what is often referred to as the RTP. It indicates what percentage of the money placed as bets is returned to the player as prices on average. Most online slots feature an RTP of between 90% and 97%. As you could imagine, this means losing about 3-10% of the money you bet every single time. The percentage is usually much higher in land-based casinos and can at times even reach 20-25% that is a fantastic deal for the operator.

2) Blackjack

There are different distinctions of blackjack, but the basic rules are identical. The game is very popular for a number of reasons and the low house edge of about 0.5% is no doubt one of them.

However, Blackjack actually does entail using the right strategy. Unlike other casino games such as slots and roulette, your decisions during the hand radically change your expected value. If blackjack is your game of choice, make sure to check the rules and find out the best strategy for this specific set to give yourself the best chance of coming away with wins.

3) Roulette

Another well-liked casino game with a fairly low house edge is roulette. In the traditional European roulette, the operator has an edge of 2.7%, thanks to the zero sector of the wheel. Now if you play French roulette, this could even go down to 1.35% for the even odds markets. You should always avoid the American roulette, where there are two zeros and the house edge is more than 5%.

4) Video Poker

The variations of video poker are among the games with the lowest house edge available. The number could be reduced to even 0.1% in specific variations. However, there is a strategy involved. I recommend you to try and find it for the game you chose, as the best decisions are available on a lot of resources online.

Advantage Gambling Casino Strategies

Making money from online casinos may seem impossible based on the information that has been presented here. But there are people who are profitable because of advantage gambling. Once again, you can take advantage of the promotions the gambling operators are offering.

Risk-Free Bonuses

There will be times when you will be able to find casino promotions that involve no risk at all. It’s as rare as a blue moon so you better make sure to take advantage.

A fine example would be no deposit bonuses that are looking to promote a new slot machine. The casinos will often offer you a small amount to try the game. You won’t become a millionaire from such situations, but hey, it’s free money!

Another one would be promos where you get your money back if you lose. Of course, you should always carefully inspect the terms and conditions of such offers, as at times, there are strings attached that remove your advantage over the casino.

Advanced Strategies

The goal here is to try and make even more money. There are some advanced advantage gambling strategies that actually work. They often require more effort and there is fair risk involved. However, if you are smart as well as patient, you could end up making a lot of money. Let’s discuss how they work:

1) Casino Deposit Bonuses

Most casinos bonuses are made in a way that will benefit the casino in the long run. In addition, most players don’t really work all that hard to find the best approach and eradicate any chance they might actually have to make money from such deals.

However, some of the deals represent a great chance for advantage gambling. The most crucial thing is to learn how to identify which bonus has a positive expected value. It’s not that difficult if you know what are the main factors:

2) Bonus Cash and Wagering Requirements

All welcome bonuses have specific wagering requirements. This means you will have to place a particular amount of money before you unlock the bonus funds for withdrawal. It’s significant to understand exactly how much cash you get from the bonus and how much you will be needed to wager.

Be careful with the calculation. Some online casinos need you to wager only the bonus. Other might also include the initial deposit. As you could imagine, the difference is of the utmost importance.

3) The Best House Edge Possible

The next element you should consider taking a look at is the house edge of the games included in the offer you’re honing on. Assess the terms and conditions to see what’s accepted by the casino. Most times, you will be restricted to slots, keno, and scratch cards.

Let’s say the casino would accept 100% of your bets on slots towards the wagering requirements. With a little assistance from Google, you will be able to locate the slots with the best RTP that means lowest house edge.

4) The Final EV Calculation

You now have all the elements, so it’s time to see what your expected value is. For that, you must compute your possible losses after the wagering requirements are done. You can find that by multiplying the overall amount you have to bet by the house edge of the casino.

5) Bankroll Management

You should always bear in mind that such an approach is without any risks. Expected value doesn’t mean you will get precisely the same result. It means you have an edge over the casino, but a bad streak could lay all that to waste.

This is why proper bankroll management is important. Make sure you have enough money to complete the wagering requirements, even if you hit a bad streak. Placing about 2-3% of your bankroll or less would be a good start.

Even if you are extra cautious, you can at times still lose because of the standard deviation. However, you could also win more than projected. The crucial thing is you will be ahead in the long run and simply have to take advantage of enough offers with a positive expected value. The law of large numbers will take care of the rest.

It is recommended that you risk no more than 1% of your bankroll on any casino offer. When you get into the more advanced high-risk offers then it is recommended reducing that down to 0.5% and even 0.25% to give you a buffer.


As this guide has reiterated many times, it is not impossible to beat the online gambling operators. Since most people are losing their money, there are pockets of positive expected value. The advantage gambling approach lets you identify these and capitalize. The best news is that both your bankroll and skill level will increase as you keep using advantage gambling.