Professional gambling has really taken off, especially in the United States gambling mecca of Las Vegas. While not that many people gamble full time as yet, there are ways to make this your full-time job if you so desire. You’ll need to pick the correct game, learn how to outplay a losing streak, and oh so much more.
We’ve some suggestions down below.
Perhaps it’s the vast proliferation of online casinos, but more and more people are becoming interested in gambling.
Online gaming has made it so accessible for anyone to give the games a go. It has also made some people dream big dreams of gambling professionally. The gaming industry has increased its colorful offerings, but essentially, we can still group the games into several distinct bunches.
Some games are pure chance, like slots or roulette. There is absolutely no way to influence their outcomes, even potentially. No wonder they are the bread and butter of the gambling industry, online gambling included.
Have you ever heard of a professional slot player? Well, neither have we.
However, some games can have an element of skill. Note the words “element of” because, really, it’s called “gambling” for a reason — you take a chance.
Games like blackjack, poker, and sports betting are what some would call “skill based.” And while people have “strategies” for slots, games like blackjack have actual strategies. A real strategy is one that actually shaves the house edge.
If sports betting is your thing, you can study the game, rewatch the tape, and make your bets come through. Still, even the best of the best barely make the correct bet around 52% of the time.
But when you play games requiring skill with working strategies, and you play correctly over time, you can make a living doing this.
Games of chance such as slot machines are clearly not how you want to grow your career through. Skill-based games are the only ones that can potentially turn the occasional gamble into a career.
Playing poker or sports betting would be a much better path to take than playing slots.
In fact, most highly successful professional gamblers are poker players. Even if you aren’t part of that arena so much, you might have heard the names of Phil Ivy, Daniel Negreanu, and Phil Hellmuth.
The reason there can be so many professional poker players is because skill does play a part in this game of chance. This is especially true for live poker table, where a really skilled player can read the other players’ reactions. Likewise, if you happened to be more skilled in any other way than the players, your chances of continuing to win increase.
Video poker doesn’t have the eye-to-eye contact that an actual table will afford you, but even that can be a job if you play your cards right. You also have excellent sign-up bonuses online, so you can use the free cash to win real money. Literally, if you play whatever the statistically best move is, you can earn a living this way. Work on your pattern recognition, and you might beat the casino, but know that few people actually make a living playing poker online.
The same goes for sports betting; you can inform yourself on the players, the trainer, the club, etc. There are ways to gauge how well the team you bet on will do. This is a bit of a “skill of intuition” if you can call it that, but many people deem it an actual skill. You can also look at the expected values and odds as we’ve outlined beforehand, so statistics should be on your side as well.
Potentially the biggest misconception is that it’s all about knowing your numbers and just showing up; you have to know people too. If you’ve chosen poker as your game, for example, you’ll want to head to the town where the tournament is and blend in with the players a bit. You’ll need to suss them out as much as you can before you face each other at the table.
Imagine what it feels like to win the lottery. Now, imagine it happening over and over again, and having skill as well as luck on your side. Your Ego would grow like Victoria Sponge Cake rises in the oven, wouldn’t it?
It could get to your head is what we’re saying.
The thing is, if you want to have gambling be your job, you have to treat it like a job. You don’t go into the office all over-excited to do your job, nor do you go overly excited when your job has been well done.
The fact is, you need a clear head to do your job (playing poker, for example) so that you can make the correct decisions while you’re there. Then, once you’ve won a poker tournament, for example, you can’t get carried away and spend that money unwisely or believe that you’ll always have that luck. Likewise, if you’re losing, you should never play on tilt, nor should you become a sore loser afterwards.
Very few people make the technically-correct choice each time without involving some kind of emotions.
Be like those few.
This might seem like it should go without saying, but it’s a super important point. Like with any job, you want to be truly qualified for it.
In the case of gambling, this means you should know everything about the game you choose to play. The odds, the potential strategies, the theory behind them (if there is one) all play a factor in you doing well.
You’ll need to know the expected value as well. This refers to the amount you expect to either lose or win when you repeatedly bet on the same odds. This is important when it comes to sports betting for all football or soccer fans the world over. In brief, you have to times the winning probability with the amount won per bet and then subtract it from the losing probability times the amount lost per bet. You need to know how much you’re potentially losing with every amount you stake, to stay on track with your bankroll.
If you think it’s all Dan Bilzerian glitz and glamour, think again. Most professional gamblers live a very unstructured yet busy lifestyle, that might not be for you. If you like morning routines and planned-out days, know that professional gamblers don’t really have a “typical day.”
Likewise, if you’re all about work-life balance, know that it doesn’t really exist if you do this professionally. You’ll either be working or living life with your family. But when it’s time to go, it’s time to go, and if that means missing your daughter’s recital, you’ll have to do that. If a family member is sick, you have to go and concentrate and play. Even though you most likely won’t do a good job, you have to take the call lest you never get invited again.
This is generally the kind of job you should only really do before starting a family.
Next, generally speaking, most people will never view this as a “noble” or “honorable” profession. Both tradition and religion aren’t exactly fans of this type of employment.
And that rule is — only bet what you can afford to lose!
We cannot stress this enough.
Apart from it being sheer common sense, it’s a general rule that people who gamble believe in luck. Even the most hardened gambling professional surely feels, at some point, that a gambling career is their calling. If they keep winning, if they’re on a roll, if they keep learning and growing, then those are “signs” that they’re on the right path.
On the other hand, there might be “signs” that you’re not on the right path. If you keep betting money you can’t cash out, if you’re still emotional, if you save up for months on end to play again… There might be a “sign” from the universe, Jesus, Buddha, or whoever you believe in, that this is perhaps not your destiny.
If we’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent here, then your bank knocking at your door might be the clearest sign of all.
The point is, if you cannot adhere to the golden rule, don’t play with the big boys.
If you’re in a country that doesn’t tax gambling winnings, well, aren’t you in luck! If you aren’t, make sure to educate yourself on what you’ll need to pay the government for your “windfall income.”
This is a long text, so we’ve compiled a brief list of pros and cons to help you assess if this is the profession for you.
-It’s a potentially fun way to free yourself of the 9 to 5 grind.
-You will learn about human psychology, and you’ll apply this knowledge at every game or tournament. This is an excellent skill to have, and you can easily employ it in other spheres of life.
-You get to travel the world as part of your job because tournaments can be found all over the globe.
-You will have learned discipline if you end up doing this long-term.
-You can meet some interesting people and potentially become famous!
-While it frees you from the daily grind, the paycheck isn’t steady and most people really don’t handle those conditions very well.
-If you don’t develop strong discipline, this could be the road to ruin spiritually and financially.
-It is socially stigmatized in most places. The same way people don’t appreciate “struggling actors” until they become “Hollywood royalty.” While poker stars like Daniel Negreanu are appreciated worldwide, not everyone wants to take a “professional gambler” home to meet the parents.
-If you’re gambling offline, you might have to move numerous times in search of the right tournaments for you. While it’s nice to see the world, the unpredictability can make it hard to lay down your roots.
-The chances of achieving even moderate success are dismally low. While you may do your best and make all the technically correct choices, luck ultimately chooses the winner.
Yes, you can gamble for a living. But if anything from this text created shivers of warning down your spine, then the real question is — should you
And as it says in the Bible, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?”