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People get inked up for all sorts of reasons. Their tattoos might represent something important to them or they might just want to look badass. When decorating your body, it’s worth remembering that an image, however iconic, might look good on paper or in real-life, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to translate into a great tattoo.

You have to consider the connotations of the images you choose to adorn yourself with. Is brazenly displaying your love for craps really the message you want to send? Do you actually want people asking about the time you won a £20 poker tournament with jack, eight off-suit?

Whilst we’re sure that there are many awesome tattoo ideas out there that are related to gambling, here are some that we’ve seen just a few times too often. They’re not like free spins which cost you nothing now and in the long run. Once this is done, it's done.


That Stupid Las Vegas Sign

The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” is probably the gambling-inspired tattoo we’ve seen most. Add decks of cards, roulette wheels and stacks of chips to really hammer home the cliché too!

If you’ve been to Las Vegas and want to commemorate that with ink, that’s fair enough. Just approach it with a bit of originality. Surely you don’t want the same tattoo that every other weekend warrior comes home from Sin City with?

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The Poker Hand You Won a Tournament With

Now, completely discount this one if you won the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour or some similarly massive name event. If you took down one of the biggest prizes in poker, we salute you and your many thousands of dollars!

However, if you dropped a tournament at your local casino and are thinking of commemorating it with some new ink, maybe you should reconsider. That’s because poker tournaments are very rarely won on what most people consider “sexy” hands. Ugly hands invite questions and your story almost certainly won’t live up to expectations.

Forget the royal flushes of the Bond Movies or even humble trips. Since most no limit hold ‘em tournaments end with just two players facing off with increasingly massive blinds, you’re much more likely to see a spiked low pair take down an Ace high.

This means the winning hand might be two 3s, a seven, an ace and a king—mostly of different suits. It doesn’t look like much because it isn’t. Unless you’re prepared to spend the rest of your life hearing keen gamblers ask, “Excuse me, why have you got such an obscure poker hand tattooed on yourself?”, you should probably avoid this ill-advised gambling tattoo idea.

The person you’re chatting to is going to expect some epic tale of victory or misery at the poker table. They’ll be sorely disappointed when you tell them you won a £20 weekly tournament at your local for a total prize of £350.


Gambling Imagery Surrounded by Flames

Whilst there are certainly lots of great gambling tattoos out there, there are also those that just outright suck. Throwing a load of random gambling-related imagery together is a pretty lazy and generic way to show that you love a punt.

You might think the inked homage to all your favorite casino games sprawling down your arm would look better and so much more original surrounded by flames. Unless you’re seeing an incredibly gifted artist, we have serious doubts!

Gap fillers around sleeves and multi-part pieces are all well and good. Flames randomly added for what can only be interpreted as assumed edginess, not so much.

Most of Them in the Wrong Place!

Both gambling and tattoos are generally more socially acceptable than they ever have been. However, do you really want to permanently mark your body with imagery from a pastime that carries a lot of stigma around the world?

Granted many tattoos can be covered up at work and your boss never needs to suspect that your tired eyes on a Monday morning are from one too many late nights at the tables. However, you should really think hard before going for any gambling-related “job-stoppers.”

If you really must get a gambling tattoo, avoid the face, neck or hands. There are plenty of reasons why it might be prudent to cover up such ink and it’s always nice to have that option.

A Talented Artist is Key

Although we’ve ragged pretty hard on a lot of tattoos so far, it’s worth noting that a highly skilled artist can make almost any tattoo look incredible. We’d never recommend going to a shady tattoo studio but even less so for a gambling tattoo.

A talented professional can take your ideas and work with you to create something that will look right on the part of the body you want it. They’ll also be more confident that they can transfer the plan onto your skin perfectly.

Remember potential gambling stigmas though and avoid getting imagery related to betting on parts of your body that are more difficult to hide. Oh, and please don’t ask them to fill in any blank space with flames. They will do it but they probably won’t be happy about it!

The preceding article is a sponsored post.