Gambling attracts people of all ages and origins. They start betting for various reasons: to socialize, relax after a hard workday, or escape from boredom and routine. There is a group of bettors who want to earn money; moreover, some want to make gambling their profession. Not everyone can make such a career; it involves financial risks along with the danger of becoming too compulsive. Advantage gamblers must be the opposite of problem gamblers, always keeping a cool head and having a betting plan.
Most people who occasionally gamble can earn a little but make huge profits to casino runners and sports bookies, and the small percentage of lucky or skilled players get the prizes. Those who earn regularly and make a living on gambling make up even a smaller percentage.
Advantage gambling means having full information on the odds of winning and calculating the process to make profits in the long term. This approach is a far cry from gambling just for fun. It’s not about relaxing and occasionally winning. It’s about taking carefully calculated risks and knowing all the peculiarities of the game, the casino’s rules, and house edge, as well as your opponents or sport.
People who make gambling their full-time job require certain qualities. Those who stress out easily and can’t manage their emotions can hardly make profits in the long run. Speaking of skill-based games like poker, successful players (like Viktor Isildur1 Blom or Vanessa Selbst) should also like this process: if they don’t enjoy the game, gamblers won’t go far. Here are some important traits that make a good bettor:
Some casino games can’t be profitable no matter how hard you try, just because no strategy can be applied to them. Lotteries, roulettes, or slot machines don’t require a professional approach. The most you can do is to reduce your losses by managing your bankroll properly. The biggest wins in these games come with terrible odds (1 out of many millions) and depend purely on luck. This won’t work for professional gamblers.
Intellectual card games, video poker, and various types of sports betting (including daily fantasy sports where participants create line-ups, competing with each other), on the contrary, are activities where people can earn money. As for video poker, it is not easy yet, but you can find options with a payback of more than 100%: it may seem illogical, but many customers lose at these games, allowing casinos to maintain such a high return rate.
Professional gambling might be an attractive method of earning decent money. But whether it’s worth the effort is a separate issue. Many experts who have already made a career in the industry don’t encourage others to follow the same path.
Seasoned bettor Brad Byers says that a professional gambler has to be okay with financial instability, and a high ranker from Starlizard (a sports betting consultancy) explains this job isn’t as glamorous as people might think. Professional gambling is about sitting in front of a computer at unsociable hours, missing out on opportunities to socialize and make friends.
Nevertheless, there are certain peculiarities of gambling turned into a profession, in addition to making money that people appreciate. Christatos Aristad, a retired gambler with a great experience in poker, bridge, euchre, craps, and backgammon, shares that the rush is what he loved most about gambling. Speaking of playing against real opponents, the main advantage for gamblers is the feeling of taking control and superiority over others. Aristad says that professionals always enjoy this process, still keeping it about business, and this is what distinguishes them from amateurs.
The most successful gamblers, who work for the aforementioned Starlizard service, can have a total income of more than a billion pounds sterling. Different types of gambling can bring a decent annual salary from around $50,000 (on daily fantasy sports) to over $200,000 (on card counting).
Apart from winning money on gambling, professionals have other ways to earn money. They attract sponsors; for example, simply wearing a branded T-shirt at some event may bring more than you might think. Pros also can create blogs and earn affiliate commissions through publications.
An important thing to know is that gambling income is taxed, and the rules for professionals are different from those for amateurs.
Being a professional implies having some knowledge and continuously improving certain skills. If we’re talking about sports, competence is the key to success, even though this alone won’t guarantee anything. Good knowledge should be combined with solid math skills, such as understanding probability and making quick calculations.
Dirk Paulsen, who makes a living on football betting, warns that there are no chances if you rely on a favorite team or a lucky number; creating statistics and grasping patterns of teams’ performance are proper elements for success. It is also generally better to focus on only one activity. Alex King confirms the opinion that serious bettors should be experts in one field, and two sports (or two casino games) are the absolute maximum.
Gambling games have many things that are necessary to learn. Arshad “Sheddy” Siddiqui, a pro poker player, encourages learning value betting as the main aspect to get good at poker. Unlike wagering on sporting events, where you have to evaluate the possible results better than operators setting the odds, in social games like poker, you have to analyze other players and learn how to benefit from them.
In some countries, there are even educational institutions that offer gambling studies in combination with finance. Understanding gambling from a scientific point of view may give unexpected insights into the field. Pro gamblers should never stop growing and educating themselves.
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