online casino advantage gambling guide

The Advantages of Advantage Gambling

Staff Writer Tips & Tutorials 3,378

Advantage gambling is a term popular among online gamblers as it refers to a special kind of gameplay. More specifically, it relates to special techniques players use to increase their advantage while gambling online. investigates how widespread and effective advantage gambling in reality is. Our team explored its various branches, types, and manifestations – as well as the moral side of using unique methods to advance at online casinos. Stay tuned for a detailed inspection of one of the most common ways to beat dealers and casinos – card counting.

What Is Advantage Gambling?

Advantage gambling is the use of legally acceptable methods and tricks while gambling to increase winning odds. Advantage gamblers are players who use strategies to boost their advantage. However, they do not use illegal or prohibited measures – as that would constitute cheating, which is unacceptable – but instead proven advantage gambling strategies.

These strategies are techniques devised to manipulate the nature of the games to yield profit. Advantage players, or APs, use the inherent traits of the game in question against the house.

Although such practices do not fall under illegal casino activities, gambling sites are not that fond of them. Therefore, they often discourage players from pursuing advantage gambling, and some even went as far as restricting APs from visiting.

The core of advantage play is the house edge. Each AP aims to lower the house edge and thus turn the game in the players’ favour. However, the edge is just the tip of the iceberg. When you take everything into account, expected loss/gain is truly the crucial aspect of advantage gambling. In the following sections, we’ll see how the expected value fits the big picture.

The Advantageous Gambling Math

Our readers often ask us about the house vigorish (edge) and its effect on casino gameplay. We discussed house edge at length in one of our articles, so it would be a good idea to check it out before you explore advantage gambling further.

So, what does house edge refer to? What is it? And what does it have to do with advantage gambling? Well, that’s easy – it all revolves around gambling math.

House edge is, therefore, the principal term to understand when you start gambling.

You cannot expect to play and win if you don’t know who you are playing against, right? Well, regardless of the game you’ve chosen, your biggest adversary will always be the house. This is expressed through house edge – the mathematical edge of the casino, which is higher than your winning odds.

Expected Value

All actions have consequences, especially in skill-based gambling games. Each move you make during a round directly affects the outcome. Moreover, it can affect your long-term success rate within the game – either positively or negatively. And that’s what expected value is all about.

Expected value is the first step towards gambling advantage. How so? Well, it tells you whether a game is worth the effort, i.e., if you should invest time and advantage gambling strategies at all.

The expected value is the average value of the game calculated from investments and profits. In other words, the amount that you invest as bets and the profits generated from those wagers yield average game value. If the losses are greater than the investment (example: you wagered €50 and won only €20 in the end, it means you lost €30), then we are looking at the negative expected value. The reverse, or when you win more than you lose, is a positive expected value.

For advantage gambling methods to work and successfully tip the scales in your favour, you’ll need a positive expected value.

Expected value considers the edge, as well basic strategies.

Card Games and Advantage Play

Traditional advantage gambling is mainly used at classic casino games such as card/table games. Blackjack, poker, and roulette have often been explored by math experts who enjoy maximising winning chances and beating the house. This section is dedicated to the various ways in which you can increase winning odds in the casinos. Depending on the game you prefer, your tactics might change – and BestCasinos listed the most common forms of advantage play.

  • Card counting
  • Edge sorting
  • Shuffle tracking

These three methods are the most used forms of advantage play. Card counting is the most used technique. In the next section, we’ll talk a bit more about this practice.

Card Counting

Card counting has to be one of the most controversial topics in gambling history. Players who count cards are considered cheaters – but they aren’t – and often face backlash from gambling sites. But it is important to say it is not illegal, as it is not considered a form of cheating. The players are not using any device or do any act which would compromise the round. Instead, they keep track of the used cards within the round to try to guess the following cards. This helps them decide on the moves they want to take to win.

Nowadays, card counting is harder to perform thanks to various preventive measures casinos have implemented. Moreover, it is virtually impossible to count cards in online (RNG) games. Hence, it is only theoretically possible in the live casino sector, provided the table has lax rules for shuffling.

Edge Sorting

Edge sorting can be a powerful tool that could lead you to great winning results. However, it takes a pro to master the skill of edge sorting.

Edge sorting is a practice of monitoring and tracking face-down cards and trying to spot differences on their backs. The ultimate goal of an edge sorter is to figure out whether the card is low or high. However, it is just as controversial as card counting – if not more. Eyebrow raising starts with the legal aspect of edge sorting. If the player spots an unintentional anomaly on the card and recognises it as a high/low card, then the practice is not illegal. However, if the player persuades the dealer to turn cards or use any similar trick to finding out the card’s value, it’s illegal. Hence, be extra careful if you want to be an edge sorter. Respect the game and play fair!

Shuffle Tracking

Shuffle tracking is related to card counting, as it relies on card shuffling for hints about which cards are coming up next. Essentially, shuffle tracking is a practice of following cards through shuffling. It is quite popular in blackjack, especially games which include fewer decks, such as six or 8-deck blackjack. Single and double-deck blackjack games are also easy to track, but shuffling is done more frequently in these variants.

Games with Fewer Advantage Exploitation Opportunities

Not all games are as profitable and malleable. Card games like poker and blackjack are skill-based, meaning your actions and decisions have a major impact on the round. In luck-based games, the situation is different. Advantage gambling techniques are not efficient in the following games:

  • Roulette
  • Baccarat
  • Craps
  • Sic Bo
  • Slots
  • Bingo
  • Keno

Take roulette as an example. You cannot control the wheel, right? Therefore, you cannot control the outcome, which significantly lowers your chances for advantage gambling. But that does not mean they don’t exist.

Betting Strategies

Roulette strategies have proved to be quite an effective way to swing the ball in your pocket (figuratively, of course). However, roulette strategies are mostly betting systems that help you control your balance.

Some of the most popular betting systems in roulette are:

  • Martingale
  • Labouchere
  • Reverse Martingale
  • Oscar’s Grind
  • D’Alembert

Strategies are not popular in roulette only. Baccarat, blackjack, poker, and craps are games offering many betting systems and strategies that increase winning odds effectively.

The use of strategies is entirely legal and even encouraged by gambling sites. Thanks to a failproof system, you can subdue casino advantage and ensure wins.

Bonus Hunting

Players who choose the traditional approach to advantage play will probably base their advantage play strategy on the game. But there are many other ways to gain an edge over the casinos as well. And casino gaming is constantly changing and evolving. Moreover, online gaming is the favoured mode today, which means trying to fool opponents by bluffing or anything similar will not work. Therefore, punters had to apply a lot of creativity to their advantage play techniques.

Bonuses are the most important segment of the online casino offer.

One popular alternative is bonus hunting. Bonus hunting, or bonus bagging, is the practice of locating online casino bonuses with good expected gain rates. More specifically, a bonus that offers a higher expected gain than the expected loss is the type of offer bonus hunters would chase. An example of such a deal would be a €100 blackjack bonus with 50x wagering requirements. If you count the fact that most blackjack games have 0.5% house edge, claiming the €100 deal will bring you to a €25 expected loss – and €75 in expected gain.

Comp Hustling

A natural extension of bonus bagging is comp hustling. Comp hustling refers to utilising comp points to receive more or better free stuff from casinos’ stores. For instance, a player who plays only low rolling slots with minimum stakes or low-edge games like baccarat minimise the expected loss.

On the other hand, doing everything in your favour to use the most comp points you can get is another form of comp hustling. Few punters practice doing it, as not all online casinos sites offer comp points. However, comp points are quite popular in brick-and-mortar halls.


Advantage gambling is a complex web of tricks, tips, and systems players use to beat the house. All casino games favour the house, which means you are expected to lose in the long run. But not all players like these prospects – so they use advantage gambling strategies.

Advantage gamblers, or APs, have gotten quite creative over the years. Truth be told, some ideas APs use would never cross our minds! But to each its own – if you are into increasing casino advantage, go for it. But please, respect the rules and play responsibly.


BestCasinos team consists of online casino experts dedicated to spreading their knowledge and experience to a wider audience, all in effort to help even the most inexperienced players gain their footing in this exciting industry.