Knowing the Difference Between Advantage Play and Cheating in Gambling

Date Created: Feb 05
Written by Jerico

If you’re a gambler, one of your main goals is to constantly win. Unfortunately, that isn’t usually the case. Unless you have unbelievably awesome luck, it’s highly unlikely that you will win all the time when you gamble. There are some however who do get to win more times than is considered possible and these are those who either cheat at gambling or use what is called advantage play.

What is advantage play and what makes it different from cheating? Can you use advantage play to make a lot of money when you gamble or is it considered just as unsavory as cheating? How do you get away with advantage play without it being misconstrued as cheating?

Understanding Advantage Play

If you’ve watched the movie 21, which starred Kevin Spacey and Jim Sturgess, then you’ve seen how advantage play works. Card counting is considered advantage play and is actually a legal way to win at cards. While most casinos frown at its use, card counting is not illegal. You will, however, get booted out of casinos when you’re discovered doing this.

When you decide to use advantage play to win at casinos, you need to first understand what laws in the area are considered illegal. If advantage play is illegal in the State or country that you’re playing in, then you are technically considered cheating. You just need to understand that what may be prohibited in a casino may not be illegal and vice versa. Knowing which is which can help save you from a stint behind bars.

Another example of cheating in one part of the world versus advantage play in another is the use of predictive tools like roulette computers. In Vegas, these are considered illegal and you can be charged with a felony if you are caught using one of these devices. In some European countries, the use of such a device isn’t considered illegal, so it cannot really be called cheating. While it is still frowned upon, you cannot find yourself in jail because of it. You might be escorted out of the casino for this, however.

What Can Be Considered Advantage Play and What Can Be Considered Cheating

Card counting is only one of the many ways you can win big at casinos using advantage play. There are other methods that are considered more cheating than advantage play, and there are some moves that are considered to be cheating. Here are some plays that might be familiar to you:

Dice Sliding – You may have seen people do this once or twice and wondered if it’s totally illegal or it’s okay to do this. If you’re to base it on rules set by casinos everywhere, dice sliding is illegal and is considered cheating. What is this? It’s when a person tries to keep the numbers that are upright on the dice the same after a throw to make them win. They do this by sliding the dice and not actually throwing it. To ensure that people don’t do this, it’s imperative that when a person throws the dice that these hit the back wall of the table. The only way players can get away with dice sliding is when an accomplice distracts the dealer from seeing what is being done.

Edge Sorting – Some people consider this cheating while others think it’s advantage play. This method is used in baccarat and helps players determine which cards are advantageous for them to win. Edge sorting can also be used in blackjack. What a person does when they use this method is to keep a close eye on the patterns of the back of the cards and relegate to memory the telltale signs of certain card values. This is dependent on the types of cards being used by the dealer so this can be a very tricky method to use.

Loss Rebate – This is exploited by high rollers and usually consists of getting back part of what was lost in a game. This is often used in games like blackjack and baccarat. This ploy can only work when a person is a high roller that bets up to $500k on a table and the loss rebate is at 20%. This will also work only if a person moves from one casino to another with similar loss rebate terms and as long as the player wins enough to make up for some of the losses.

These aren’t the only advantage play tactics you can try. There are a few others that people use to win big in casinos everywhere. These include card counting for baccarat, hole carding, and even collusion with other players. While casinos do frown on advantage play, if these aren’t against the law, all they can do when they discover you is to kick you out since they do have this prerogative.

There are some games that people cheat on even when these are online. While you cannot cheat on slot machines, whether online or in land-based locations, there are other games that can fall to such unscrupulous practices. Online poker, for one, can be cheated on with the use of bots. Using an AI to beat poker players online is considered cheating but this can be very difficult to detect.


These aren’t the only games that you can use advantage play on, although most of the ones that can be gamed are the ones that use cards. Whether or not you should try these is dependent on the laws and rules in the casinos that you play in. As long as it isn’t considered cheating and you don’t get caught, you can try your hand at it. If you aren’t sure of the regulations in the areas where you play, then it might be a good idea to not risk it.

There is, after all, a thin line between taking advantage of technicalities and cheating. If your conscience is fine with what you’re doing, then go ahead and do it. If you find that you cannot sleep at night when you win big due to these rather shady tactics, then it might be a good idea to not consider these. At the end of the day, it’s all a matter of what sits well with you and what doesn’t. As long as you aren’t breaking any laws, you can give it a try.

If there is one place where advantage play cannot be used, it’s with online casinos. Apart from the use of AI bots when it comes to online poker, other online casino games are safe from players who use these methods to win unfairly.