Advantage Play Explained – What Is The Difference Between This and Cheating?

Casino advantage play

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Last Updated: August 29, 2021


Advantage Play Explained – What Is The Difference Between This and Cheating?

Anyone can beat the casino on a hot night, but we should never forget – the house always wins in the long run. Simply put, the casino always has a statistical advantage that you can’t overcome with any strategy, no matter how effective.

That is unless you employ advantage play strategies. So, is advantage play cheating, and if not, what are the differences between cheating in a casino and advantage play? Read this page to find out how you can legally increase your winning odds.

Biggest Differences Between Advantage Play and Cheating

Although advantage play might look like cheating on the surface, you’ll uncover that there are actually many dissimilarities between the two activities if you dig a bit deeper.

From this perspective, we’ve summed up the most significant differences between casino advantage play and cheating.

Understanding casino advantage

Casino Advantage Play Doesn’t Break the Rules

While this is something many people tend to forget, it’s very important to keep it in mind. No matter how strict or precise the casino’s rules are, the advantage players never break them.

They merely look for the most favorable options to place their money on. In other words, they don’t follow the casino’s payoffs. They only follow the statistical win percentages.

This is a crucial distinction between advantage players and cheaters, who strive to get the upper hand by engaging in activities prohibited by the casino. Players who cheat must deliberately ignore the rules of the game. This can come in many forms, but they all share one characteristic. Eventually, the casino always figures out who’s cheating.

Advantage Play Doesn’t Need to Constantly Evolve

The advantage player’s best advantage is knowing the game’s rules in and out. If you’re dedicated to this, it’s not that hard to do, as most casino games have remained unchanged for decades.

The critical challenge for an advantage player is beating the casino advantage in the long run.

But, if you have a sizable enough bankroll and in-depth knowledge, time isn’t something you should worry about.

Opposite to this, casino cheaters have one problem they can never escape from, as time only works against them. Sooner or later, the house will catch up on what they’re doing. When it does, the best-case scenario is that they’ll have to look for a different casino to play at. The worst-case scenario is they’ll end up in jail.

Advantage play breaks no rules

Cheating Is a Short-Term Strategy

This is another noticeable difference many people who mix up casino advantage play and cheating tend to disregard. While cheaters might have an advantage over the casino in the short term, large casinos will always discover scams when they analyze their profits and losses.

As they know how much to expect from a particular game, you can only cheat your way to the money for a short period.

On the other hand, advantage players don’t have to worry about getting caught every time they return to the casino. They can focus on long-term action and seek stable profits instead of going for a higher temporary edge.

The Thin Line Between Legal and Illegal

It’s important to highlight that, unlike cheating, advantage play technically isn’t illegal. It’s just frowned upon. Advantage players walk the fine line between legal and illegal and never cross into the latter.

For example, if you’re counting cards at blackjack, you’re employing an advantage play but aren’t cheating. Conversely, if you’re tampering with the roulette wheel, slot machine, or fixing cards at the table, you’re clearly cheating.

However, cheaters and advantage players do share one similarity. Casinos don’t discriminate against who they ban. So, while you might not get into any legal trouble for counting cards or using gambling mathematics to increase your winning chances, you still might get banned from the casino without any prior notice.

Our Conclusion: Is Casino Advantage Play Cheating? 

Casinos might have diminished the effectiveness of advantage play over the decades, but it’s still a very effective practice. Moreover, it’s certainly more rewarding than cheating, especially if you’re in it for the long term.

If you’re caught cheating in a casino and get booted out by the security, you can say goodbye to the venue and start looking for a new place to gamble at. It’s not nearly as cool as gambling movies often make it out to be.

Pros and cons of casino advantage play

The consequences aren’t as severe with casino advantage play, or at least not right away. You’re very unlikely to get banned and certainly won’t get in any trouble with the law, which you could if you were cheating.

With all of that in mind, should you employ advantage play when gambling in your favorite casino? Our answer is – it depends.

Advantage play can undoubtedly work, but it certainly isn’t for everyone. No matter how glamorous it might sound, sometimes it’s best to play within your bankroll, have fun, and enjoy the games you love playing without thinking of anything else.

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