The idea of becoming a professional gambler is a dream for many people who like to flutter regularly.
Partly, this is thanks to Hollywood’s obsession with gambling as shown through movies like 21, Rounders, and Casino Royale.
Unfortunately, the reality is quite different.
Fast cars, perfect poker hands, and vodka martinis – shaken not stirred – aren’t always guaranteed.
There are also a lot of steps you must take before becoming a professional gambler. These include decisions about what type of bettor you should be and how you are going to manage your bankroll.
To help you understand all the steps we’ve put together this detailed guide. As you’ll see, there’s a lot more to being a professional gambler than Hollywood suggests…
Steps To Becoming a Professional Gambler
It will take experience, patience, and time before you are ready to bet for a living. There’s no point in sugarcoating it. That is what it means to be a professional gambler.
As you would work at a regular “proper” job, you must do the same with betting.
It will take experience, patience, and time before you are ready to bet for a living. There’s no point in sugarcoating it, hard work is what’s needed.
Most of your time as a budding professional gambler should be spent on developing the following three practices:
1. Learning And Studying
No matter how, where, or when you gamble, studying is extremely important.
If it’s sports, there is always another soccer match or horse race to watch. For poker players, there are always opponents to study and odds to calculate.
Studying is so important because it is only with the knowledge that you can make the best decisions possible and maximize your chances of winning.
For example, a certain racehorse trainer might always target a particular event at a certain track. Or there could be one football club that is a bogey team for another.
These are variables you need to know.
If you don’t have a full understanding of the odds behind every bet then you can’t make the best decisions. Poor decisions will ultimately lead to you failing as a professional gambler.
The learning will never stop throughout your career, so if you don’t like putting in the work you should abandon your dreams of being a pro gambler now.
2. Preparing For Total Commitment
Knowledge is only useful when paired with commitment.
Remember, this is professional gambling we’re talking about. You can’t expect to be successful if you are half-hearted with it.
For example, twin brothers Gavin and Alex Walker watch four or five matches a day when betting on soccer. This dedication to their craft saw them make £440,000 in an 18-month period.
If you want to have similar success you have to treat gambling as your full-time job. Turn up every day and put the work in.
3. Learning How To Leave Emotions Out Of It
As a professional, your betting decisions must be based on cold, hard logic.
There is no room for sentimentality in successful gambling, so make sure to follow your head, not your heart. In other words, make the logical bet, not the emotional one.
Closely tied to logical decision-making is avoiding superstition.
Lucky charms and rituals may be comforting to you, but even professional gamblers don’t win all the time.
The difference between a pro and the average bettor is that they get things right more often than they get them wrong. Being overly superstitious might prevent you from doing this.
Leaving your luck charms at home and not betting on your favorite sports team is one thing but when it comes to casino games, letting go of your emotions is even more important.
After all, you can’t expect to be a successful poker player if you can’t keep your cool.
Leave your emotions at the door and focus on the job at hand.
The Types Of Professional Gamblers
Not all professional gamblers are the same.
To succeed in the casino, you need to be able to count cards and bluff well, but those attributes won’t help you if you like betting on sports.
Here is a rundown of the types of professional bettors:
1. Matched Bettor
Almost every online gambling site has a sign-up offer or welcome bonus that acts as an incentive for you to join.
This has led to the rise of the matched bettor, gamblers who make their money through so-called “free bets”. The beauty with such bonuses is that you don’t risk any actual capital.
While stakes aren’t returned from any wagers placed with free bets, anything made off them is pure profit.
Of course, the downside of matched betting is that it can’t go on forever; you can only be a new customer of sportsbooks once.
What’s more, bookmakers who realize what you are doing may limit, restrict or even completely remove additional promotions, prematurely ending your run of free bets.
2. Horse Bettor
Long before soccer was the most popular betting sport, professional gamblers were seen on racecourses all around the world.
Horse betting is known for being incredibly statistical.
In fact, some of the richest gamblers in the world have made their money by building algorithms that analyze vast pools of statistics to determine who is the true favorite.
Of course, an understanding of how handicapping works is also important. This is because most horse races run are handicaps.
Thanks to both exchange betting and the widespread use of statistical models by today’s gambling syndicates, the average bettor can now see which horses are being backed and which are being bet on to lose.
This presents alternative ways for professional gamblers to make money: Follow the syndicates or take on favorites – who typically lose around two-thirds of the time.
3. Sports Trader
Talking of the exchanges, that point about horse racing applies to sports betting in general.
As you can bet for or against sporting outcomes, it is often likened to financial traders playing the stock markets.
You can buy into the sports bets you like by backing them and selling the ones you don’t by laying them not to happen.
What exchanges allow you to do is supplement any bets you have made through fixed odds sportsbooks. That means you can cover all your bases. This is a wise move.
Clever professional gamblers are always trying to create scenarios where they cannot lose.
You can closely follow what is happening on the exchanges before choosing the exact right time to back or lay an outcome.
Developing this sense of timing is the key to sports betting success.
4. Arb Bettor
That brings us to arbitrage betting, or “arming” for short.
By betting across multiple platforms and sportsbooks, it’s possible to find mathematical differences in the odds offered by various sportsbooks.
Hunting down those margins allows you to back and lay the same outcome on a sporting event, guaranteeing you a profit regardless of the final result.
As you are gambling across different websites and betting services, you need to keep very good records of your wagers. This prevents confusion.
Arbing, much like matched betting, is something that the bookies frown upon though, so you don’t want to get caught doing it.
5. Card Counter
Card games like blackjack are all about counting.
As each hand is dealt and played, you need to know which cards are on the table and which have yet to appear.
You’ll also need to keep track of all the cards that have been previously played as well as calculate future probabilities.
In other words, you need to be a math whizz.
Although not illegal, casinos will also ban anyone they think is card counting as it’s a form of advantage play.
If you are thinking of trying this virtually, you can’t. The deck is shuffled after every hand is played, preventing you from counting cards.