The Biggest Sucker Bets to Avoid

Since sports betting was made legal by the Supreme Court in May 2018, betting on sports has become increasingly popular. While some individuals use sports betting as a means of income, however, plenty want to have fun and enjoy it. All the time sports betting has become increasingly popular, sportsbooks have been making tons of money on sucker bets. New and unsuspecting gamblers have been falling victim to these bets as they don’t necessarily understand how it all works yet. This article will help to bridge the gap in understanding how to avoid these sucker bets.

Sports betting has been legalized in New York. Nevertheless, you can only place wagers at brick-and-mortar locations, which are located in upstate New York. Mobile sports betting has recently gained more approval in New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo has recently even expressed his support of sportsbooks. This means that online sportsbooks should be coming to New York sooner than later. So, future users need to understand exactly what sucker bets are and how to avoid them. While you may just be looking to dabble into sports betting for fun, it is still important to understand how to recognize these common sucker bets and make the most of your money.

What are sucker bets?

A sucker bet is essentially exactly what it sounds like, a bet that only a real sucker would place. Although, the name can be misleading as to what this means. A sucker bet has little to do with how likely a bet is to win. A sucker bet in sports betting more so refers to whether an individual is playing their odds correctly.

While you must believe your bets have an actual chance at hitting, sometimes a sure-fire bet can also be a sucker’s bet. For example, if a favorite is -650 and you place a straight-up bet on it, that is a sucker bet. While the chances of it losing are slim, the risk is far greater than the reward.

Essentially sucker bets are those that don’t hold long-term value. This is why moneyline bets can be tricky and why parlays can be so enticing. For instance, if you have to place $75 to win $10, that is a sucker bet because you are risking too much. In the long-run, you will lose more than win. The same goes for making a crazy 11-team parlay that has odds of +12675. The payout may be high, but you will lose that bet far more than you will win.

What are the biggest sucker bets in sports betting?

As we have already discussed, sucker bets are wagers that have no real long-term value. Here we will discuss some of the biggest sucker bets that gamblers fall for in sports betting:

No value moneyline bets

Moneyline bets can be tricky for new gamblers. While they are simple and make wagering fun and easy, they can be filled with sucker bets. For instance, if you are always placing wagers on highly favored teams, you will lose money in the long-term. This makes these sucker bets.

  • Example:  Let’s say you played 10 moneyline favorites (for this example, they will all be -750), all at $75 wagers. If you lose two of those but win eight, you will still be down -$70 in total. This is considered bad betting.

On the other hand, let’s say, that you wagered all of the underdogs (for this example, they will all be +500), all at $10 wagers. If you win two and lose eight, you would be up to $20 in total. This is not a sucker’s bet as the value is worth it.

Sometimes, betting the favorite can be worth it. But with the lack of value on these wagers, sometimes it is smarter to wager on the underdog or wager a Point Spread bet on the game.

Parlays bets

Parlays and teasers can be some of the biggest sucker bets available. These bets are highly enticing, though, as the more plays you add to your parlay, the payout increases. Unfortunately, your chances of winning decrease with every team added. Typically, in the sports betting community, any parlay with more than three plays is considered a sucker bet. Again, these can hit, and the payout can be great, but you will lose these more than win.

A three-way parlay is still considered a decent bet a gambler can make. It’s estimated that your chances of winning go down exponentially after three plays are in a single parlay. With each team, the chances of winning go down even more. Sportsbooks entice individuals to make larger parlays, though with the promise of high-payouts. Don’t be fooled, though, as this is one of the most classic sucker bets a gambler can make.

  • Example: Let’s say you want to make an all New York parlay. Here are your options:
    • Jets +140
    • Giants +210
    • Bills -175
    • Mets +130
    • Yankees -480

These are the games you have available. Let’s say you want to make a moneyline parlay with these teams. A smart parlay would be:

  • Jets +140
  • Bills -175
  • Mets +130
  • Odds: +767

This is a solid parlay, as according to the odds, each of these teams has a solid chance of winning, even though two of them are underdogs. A $100 wager would win you $767. This is what we call a smart parlay, there is a solid chance of winning, and the payout is nice.

Let’s say you wanted to add all of these games into one parlay:

  • Jets +140
  • Giants +210
  • Bills -175
  • Mets +130
  • Yankees -480
  • Odds: +3149

By adding just two teams, with one being a heavy favorite, you have increased your odds by 2382. With every team, you add though, your actual chances decrease. Sportsbooks increase the odds by so much after three teams are because the likelihood of winning is slim.

Always be careful with parlays, as sportsbooks will always entice you to add plays to your parlay to get higher payouts.

Note: While betting heavy favorites in straight-up bets can be sucker bets parlaying three of them together for the right odds can be good bets.

Pleaser bets

Are when you pay for points in a point spread or a totals wager. For instance, if you have an underdog at +6.5 (-110), you could buy a whole point to increase that spread to +7.5 (-150). This form decreases your odds but gives you a better chance at winning. You can also remove points. Say you think the underdog will cover by more than +6.5 (-110), so you decrease your spread to +5.5 (+130). This will increase your odds but decrease your chances. These can be smart bets, but typically they are sucker bets, as individuals opt for higher payouts.

Where pleaser bets really become sucker bets is when an individual cheats themselves out of odds. They may parlay two pleaser bets together, which would be a worse payout than betting a moneyline parlay.

  • Example: Let’s say these are the two teams you wanted to wager on Jets +3 (-110) and Giants +1.5 (-110). Now let’s say you please both of these bets, and now you have Jets -.5 (+160) and Giants -1 (+120).

Now considering each of these teams was underdogs on the spread, we know they will be for the moneyline as well. So, for this example, let say the Jets were +190 while the Giants were plus +130. Now in this example, the pleaser bet has become a sucker’s bet as the gambler has lost value by pleasing instead of just playing the moneyline.

Note: Pleaser bets are rarely smart and should only be used if you are looking to buy a half-point around a common football number, i.e., 3,7,10.

Not knowing the market

Finally, the biggest sucker bet you can make is not shopping for different sportsbooks for odds. This applies to every type of bet. Different sportsbooks will offer different moneyline, point spread, totals, and all other bets. If you do not shop around on different sportsbooks, you are automatically losing value.

What are the best sports bets to make?

Sports betting can be difficult to learn at first, but it is important to understand what to not look out for. While this article has focused on what not to do, there are also plenty of smart wagers available. The main key is always to find value in your wagers.

For moneyline wagers, be sure to find value, and don’t always bet the favorite. If you constantly take heavy moneyline favorites in straight-up bets, you will lose more than you will win in the long-term.

For Parlays, try to avoid at all costs being enticed by major payouts. You will win much more often with two-and-three-way parlays. These parlays have the highest return on investment. When you add four or more teams, you are constantly losing value.

The smartest bets to make would be Point Spread and Totals wagers. These wagers provide fair numbers and, more importantly, give you 50/50 odds. These are almost always listed as -110 and are the best way to make the most of your money with sports betting.

What are the biggest sucker bets at the casino?

While mobile sports betting is not necessarily ready in New York yet, there are brick-and-mortar casinos in upstate New York. At these locations, you can play a wide range of popular casino games. Casino games like sports bets have sucker bets that the casino will try and trap you into. Here are some of the most common:

Blackjack sucker bets

Blackjack has a few sucker bets that, if you do not avoid, can really hurt a player in the long-run. While it is a fun game, you should follow these tips to make the most out of your time at the casino.

Look for tables that don’t pay 3:2 odds. While 3:2 payouts have been the common standard for a long time, Vegas and newer casinos in other states are moving away from this. They are instead favoring 6:5 payout odds. This is only another advantage in favor of the casino, and it is best to avoid these tables.

Another major mistake blackjack players make is splitting their 10s. If you get two of any number in blackjack, you can split the hand for an additional wager, and you play them like two separate hands. Splitting two tens can have a massive upside, but in the long-run, you are only worsening your odds.

Craps sucker bets

Craps can be one of the most exciting games in the casino. It is always fun and always has a good amount of people. A key thing to remember when playing craps is to avoid the enticing high-payout center of the table wagers. These are common sucker’s bets that have a low chance of hitting. It is smarter to take your chances on value bets at the craps table.


Slots are how a majority of people spend much of their time at casinos. Slots are sucker bets through and through. They give you little winnings most of the time, and you can run through your entire bankroll rather quickly. Even more importantly, there is little strategy to slots, and it is simply chance. Slots can be a dangerous game. While the payouts can be high, most walk away defeated.

What are the best bets at the casino?

While wagering in the casino can always be risky, there are some smart bets to make as well. Most importantly, be smart with your money, and know when to move on. Individuals at a casino will run through their entire bankroll as they think their luck will change. Sometimes it’s just best to move on to a different table, a different game, or even take a break.

One of the best bets you can make in the casino is the banker bet at the baccarat table. This has one of the lowest house edges of all wagers placed in a casino (1.06%). Essentially in baccarat, you place your bet on the banker, the player, or a tie. The banker bet is one of the safest in the entire casino.

Craps has some of the best bets in the entire casino. The pass line bet has high odds, and the house has a small edge of only 1.41%. The pass line bet wins if a seven or 11 is rolled. You lose if a two, three, or 12 is rolled. If any other number is rolled, you will win if that number is rolled before a seven; if a seven comes before, then you will lose.

There are some great bets you can make in the casino and at the sportsbooks. There are also many sucker bets out there that are enticing to gamblers. Be sure to be careful and look out for these common sucker bets if you want to make the most of your money when gambling.