10 Things Not to Say to Someone Who’s Just Lost Big

You win some, you lose some – an unfortunate reality every gambler must accept. But there are certain instances where this kind of logic and reality offers absolutely no real comfort whatsoever.

We’ve all been there and know what it’s like. For any combination of reasons, you walk away having lost far more than you expected to. That, or you came tantalisingly close to hitting the jackpot, only to then go and blow it at the last minute.

When it happens, there’s very little you can do about it. When it happens to someone else around you, the very best thing you can do is avoid making things worse than they already are. Particularly if it happens to be a friend you would prefer not to alienate for the next few years!

So while there will always be inevitable instances where foot meets mouth, here’s a quick rundown of 10 things you really should never say to someone who’s just lost big:

  1. Maybe if you practice harder, things will go better next time!
    First of all, this particular statement is infuriating for two reasons. The first of which being the fact that hindsight can be the mother of all evils and has absolutely no practical value whatsoever. After all, it’s not as if they can go back in time and try again. Secondly, suggesting that lack of practice was the problem (even if it was) serves as an accusation that their loss is entirely their own fault and technically could have been avoided. As such, really not what you want to hear when you are already on a downer.
  2. Really? You lost THAT much?
    In many instances, those who suffer losing streaks make themselves feel a little bit better by trying to convince themselves their losses were not particularly heavy. As such, the worst thing you can do is call any attention to the fact that they have clearly lost more than they are making out. It might mean biting your tongue, but it’s for the best.
  3. Your luck tonight has been terrible.
    You can try and blame it on luck all you like, but the simple fact of the matter is that when you lose big, you lose as a result of your own actions. In the case of a seasoned gamer who knows what they are doing, this will come across as patronising. In the case of a somewhat more naïve gamer, convincing them it is all a case of luck and out of their own hands isn’t productive.
  4. Well, it’s not the first time this has happened, is it?
    If you really want to add insult to injury, why not remind the individual in question that their latest loss really isn’t anything too surprising. Chances are they won’t have forgotten that this isn’t the first time it has happened – nor will they need reminding of it.
  5. I’m sure you’ll do better next time.
    The problem with this seemingly reassuring statement is the glaringly obvious fact that you are not in fact sure that they will do better next time. Instead, you are clearly saying exactly what you think they want to hear at the time, which in reality really isn’t what they want to hear. Plus you might inadvertently go and encourage them to go ahead and lose even more.
  6. How much did you lose?
    When a friend tells you they’ve lost big time at a casino, chances are they are not giving you an exact figure for a reason. As such, if you attempt to get an exact figure out of them, you risk embarrassing them or simply making things worse than they already are. Unless they willingly state the exact amount they have lost, don’t ask!
  7. You might win back your losses.
    One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make when it comes to any kind of casino gaming is attempting to win back their losses. As such, if the individual in question is someone you would prefer not to see digging themselves into an even deeper hole, do not even think about suggesting that they attempt to win back the money they have lost. They might be considering doing so and your suggestion may push them over the edge.
  8. Maybe this isn’t the game for you.
    It’s never a good idea to tell someone that they themselves are not intelligent or sensible enough to determine which games they should or should not be playing. Particularly if it happens to be a game that they enjoy and that they have succeeded with before. The person in question will already be nursing a rather unpleasant defeat, but to suggest that they should admit defeat permanently and quit will most likely provoke an unfortunate response.
  9. Don’t forget it’s your round at the bar
    All fun and games to you, but making any kinds of jokes regarding how much cash the individual in question has lost could backfire in a big way. The key to success when it comes to handling these kinds of scenarios is to simply carry on as if nothing has happened and only talk about the loss to the extent the individual in question makes it clear they wish to do so.
  10. It’s not all doom and gloom – I’ve won a ton!
    Last but not least, perhaps the single worst thing you can do when one of your friends is suffering a severe loss is to gloat about your own success. Even if you have every intention of being supportive and generous with your own winnings, this is a great way of making them feel like a failure and a loser. In fact, one of the most important rules when it comes to casino etiquette in general is to be gracious in victory, just as you would/should be in defeat.

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