Gambling, luck, bets, and odds. The fickleness of chance that we all like to tempt. Strong opinions abound when it comes to the sport of gambling and we decided that some of the best needed to be shared.
Here are our favorite wise words from very wise people who know their stuff in life and at the gaming table.
“A dollar won is twice as sweet as a dollar earned…”
― Paul Newman from the movie, The Color of Money
Isn’t that the truth? Some may say that working for your money is the only way you’ll truly appreciate it (I’m looking at you, Dad) but Paul Newman takes a distinctly different approach in the Color of Money.
With the adrenaline of the game and the thrill of the win, there is something to be said for this perspective, especially because you never know which way it will go until the very end.
Whichever way you look at it, getting a dollar is pretty darn sweet.
“Quit while you’re ahead. All the best gamblers do.”
― Baltasar Gracián y Morales
So, the actual quote was in Spanish but you get the idea. The 17th century Spanish Jesuit philosopher Baltasar Gracián y Morales really hit the nail on the head with this one.
As a Baroque writer in the Conceptism movement, Gracián repeatedly ignored his superiors and broke the rules of his Jesuit order in order to get his works published. It stands to reason that this guy knew what he was talking about.
“A gambler never makes the same mistake twice.
It’s usually three or more times.”
― Terrence Murphy
Also known as “V.P. Pappy” in the gambling community, Terrance Murphy was a famous American poker player in the 1930s. He wrote several books about gambling, poker, and life in general and his wisdom is not limited to the poker table.
With razor-sharp wit, he remarks (not so subtly) on the distinctly human trait of making the same mistake over and over again. I guess this holds true at the poker table just as much as anywhere else in life.
We’ll learn eventually though, right? Right?
Our other favorite quote by V.P. Pappy is, “Your best chance to get a Royal Flush in a casino is in the bathroom.” Toilet humor. Always funny.
“The only sure thing about luck is that it will change.”― Bret Harte
That’s a hard truth right there.
The exhilarating (and sometimes disappointing) part about gambling is that you never know quite when that will happen. But, on the other hand, a sure thing is not as much fun.
“If you must play, decide upon three things at the start:
the rules of the game,
the stakes, and the quitting time.”
― Chinese Proverb
Ah, those clever and hard-hitting Chinese proverbs. This one makes a lot of sense and is just good advice for any aspect of life, as well as gambling. With these aspects decided beforehand, we can avoid a lot of the stress of whether it’s time to call or fold.
What is life if not a gamble?
Betting and gambling have been around since the beginning of human existence and are a fundamental part of our makeup.
Through life experience and thoughtful quotes from great thinkers, it’s important to remember in life as in gambling, how you play matters as much as where you play. We hope you enjoyed this compilation of great gambling quotes that not only shed light on luck — but also on the foundations of human nature.
“Every gambler’s dream: to beat chance at its own game.”
― Marty Rubin
Chance, luck, opportunity, preparation. All words for the same idea. The faceless idea of chance is a tricky opponent that can’t be studied or predicted. But that sure doesn’t keep us from trying.
“It’s hard to walk away from a winning streak, even harder to leave the table when you’re on a losing one.”
― Cara Bertoia, Cruise Quarters
You never know when your luck will turn around and the fallacy of trying to recoup your losses is a mistake a lot of gamblers make.
“Think of horse races. People like to bet on the one with three legs and a wheeze. They don’t bet on that one because they think it will win, but because they can see how very
glorious it would be if it were to win.”
― Natasha Pulley, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
This one is all about hope and the human spirit. Sometimes betting doesn’t mean being realistic. Sometimes it means seeing the possibility of something very unlikely that might lead to great success… and incredible odds.
“The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.”
― Ambrose Bierce
American short-story writer and Civil War veteran, Ambrose Bierce was widely regarded as one of the most influential journalists in the United States in the 1800s. His political commentary and biting wit made him a favorite with readers throughout his career.
“You will show your poker greatness by the hands you fold,
not the hands you play.”
― Dan Reed
World-famous poker player, Dan Reed, reminds us that winning isn’t always about the amazing hand you hold but about making smart decisions and holding back until the time is right.