Monday, July 4, 2022

What Are Sucker Bets and How to Recognize Them?

Staff Writer in Casino Strategies 26 Aug 2020


When you start playing a casino game, you do so knowing there is a possibility you will lose. However, nobody likes losing, and we always look for ways to minimize those chances. Detailed strategies and betting systems are something players constantly seek out. If it helps us get an advantage, we try to use it! That said, not all bets are equally likely to bring us victory. Some, in fact, have the opposite effect.

The Basics of Sucker Bets

As its name implies, sucker bets are something only a fool would play. For a wager to qualify as a sucker bet, it needs to have a low stake value. Occasionally playing a wager that is not very likely to win does not automatically make it a sucker bet. If that were the case, nobody would ever turn a profit on progressive jackpots. As bombastic headlines often show, quite a few people get lucky with their life-changing wins.

Instead, a suckers bet is a high-risk bet with low chances of success. One of the best examples of such a wager can be found in blackjack. Insurance bets will pay 2:1 when guessed correctly. That said, the odds of the dealer making a blackjack hand are 9:4. If the blackjack table is using eight decks, that gives them a huge 7.5% house edge. This is why we advise against playing it in our blackjack dos and don’ts article.

How to Recognize Sucker Bets?

Once you learn the core rules of sucker bets, it will not be very difficult to find them. You simply need to find wagers with bad odds. While some long-shot stakes can be worth it, most of them simply go too far. We have a few items on our checklist we like to consult when deciding if a bet is worth it.

First, you should consider the initial RTP of the game you are playing. From there, you should compare the odds of winning a particular stake to that. It should always stay within the ballpark of 2-4% of the lowest possible house edge. Playing blackjack correctly leads to an RTP of 99%+! If that is the case, you most certainly do not want to play a side bet that floats around the 91% mark.

There is also no escaping the potential prize when factoring in that decision. Chasing after progressive jackpots is far from the best way to make money. However, the massive prize you stand to win if you get lucky makes it worth it. In contrast, side bets in casino games rarely offer enough funds to make them worth playing.

Lastly, you need to consider other available wagers. If a game has two wagers, and one gives you better odds, you always go for that one. The other option would just be silly. We can see this to some extent in baccarat, where banker hands are more likely to win. Developers and operators placed a 5% commission on banker wins in order to keep it equal to the player bet.

Notable Examples

While on the topic of baccarat, it has one of the most obvious sucker bets out there. The tie bet has an incredibly low chance of winning. The odds of scoring it are incredibly low, as we noted in our live baccarat strategy guide. Banker bets have a house edge of 1.06%, versus tie bets that have a 14.36% house edge! This might not be a major issue if the payout was better. However, with a mere 8:1 reward, it is just not worth playing.

Blackjack is a game that gives its players a lot of control on how their round will go. What cards you draw is random, but you are able to decide everything else strategically. Of course, with such control comes the possibility of making a dumb decision. One of them is splitting a pair of tens. You are effectively throwing away an almost-guaranteed win by doing so.

Roulette and craps are both designed to draw your attention to their riskier wagers. Everyone dreams of betting on a number in roulette and winning big! In both games, however, you are far better off sticking to outside bets. In craps, you should play pass line or other value wagers. Meanwhile, you should stick to outside bets in roulette. Playing the middle in both of those releases is being a sucker.

Finally, some games are nothing but sucker bets. Keno’s bad odds make it an awful pick compared to everything else you can play. Slots tend to vary depending on the release you choose. There is no denying they have improved drastically in the last couple of years. If you choose to play slots, do not settle for anything less than a 96% RTP. However, we would advise you to swap to something like blackjack or poker instead.


Staff Writer



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