Let’s be honest, you have probably daydreamed about being a professional gambler on more than one occasion. Making a living betting and playing your favourite casino games certainly sounds like a dream job. The truth is that becoming a gambling professional is attainable to those willing to muster enough effort and perseverance.
Don’t be fooled — it is certainly a difficult endeavour and to be successful, you must be dedicated, patient and willing to work extremely hard. A reasonable aptitude for mathematics also helps significantly. Be prepared for a lot of bumps in the road on your pursuit: it can be a grueling and challenging lifestyle.
What follows is a guide complete with tips on how to become a professional poker player and professional sports better — two of the most common routes into professional gambling — and also, what to be aware of before taking the plunge.
How To Play Poker Professionally
“Poker is a hard way to make an easy living,” right? There is certainly some truth to this quote. Professional poker players come in all forms and frankly, there are pros who are barely making ends meet. Poker experts state that only 10% of poker professionals are deemed long-term earners of the game.
Poker is a game of skill, rather than luck. If you want to be a successful, you need to be a very good poker player with real experience; it’s as simple as that. Be realistic about your poker credentials. You will need the experience of tens of thousands of tournaments and cash game hands to even be in the appropriate playing field of professional poker.
For those still testing the waters in the professional poker world, take heed of the following tips:
- Don’t play too conservatively. You need to be prepared to gamble and take calculated risks. The best poker players aren’t afraid to gamble when it makes sense.
- Keep a clear head. Poker is a game with extreme swings of wins and losses. It is essential to be in control of your emotions and not let them swing with the poker swings. Exercise control and rationality.
- Play only winning hands. You need to be mindful of when to play and when to fold. Don’t mindlessly try to win every hand. Know when you have a good hand and when you don’t.
- Stay alert and be observant of your opposition. Have a good eye for bluffing. In a traditional casino setting, be mindful of your opponent’s reactions to cards, whether their size of bets appear too small or too large, their facial expressions.
- In a virtual setting, be attentive of patterns in your opponents. Be aware of any hesitation which may indicate your opponent doesn’t have a winning hand.
- Try to read the types of players you are competing against and adapt your game accordingly.
Poker Professional Tips
Professional poker can be an unforgiving business. Before you embark on the journey, you should ensure that you are fully aware of the nature of the job. Here are some points to consider:
- Numerous financial components must be taken into account. Tax, living expenses, potential losses, lack of company benefits… The list goes on. All of this will eat into any profit you make.
- The swings in poker can seriously vary in extremity. You need to be able to deal with this both financially and emotionally. It takes a calm-headed individual to be successful.
- The pro poker lifestyle is one of endurance, and it can be tremendously demanding. You must have the capability to cope with the demands.
- Self-motivation, discipline, patience, perseverance and an exacting attitude are required in abundance.
- It can be an isolating pursuit with a lot of periods spent alone. Ask yourself if you can cope with this.
The following tips will serve you well should you decide this is the path for you:
- Mimic the pro poker lifestyle for a week. This will give you a genuine taste of the true nature of being a poker pro.
- Have a healthy bankroll purely for gambling use and maintain good bankroll management.
- Ensure that you have at least six months’ worth of savings for life expenses. This will aid you in times of struggle.
- Be a permanent student. You should never stop learning. Read strategy books, attend training sessions, engage in anything which may improve your game and give you the edge.
- Act professionally. Being a poker pro doesn’t mean a lackadaisical approach to life. Quite the contrary. You need to be extremely disciplined and focused, with a steely work ethic and resolve.
Sport Betting For A Living
For a completely different professional gambling option, consider sport betting. Whilst perhaps not as demanding as the professional poker route, making a living through sport betting still necessitates discipline, hard work and perseverance.
Much of what is written above applies to sport betting too. You must be fully aware of the realities of the lifestyle, and willing to embrace them, if you truly want to succeed. There are two good options to get started on your journey:
- Sports Arbing or Arbitrage Betting. This means placing a combination of bets using different bookmakers which results in a guaranteed profit.
- Matched betting. This technique provides you with a guaranteed profit through taking advantage of free bets and incentives from bookmakers.
Both of these techniques are relatively straightforward and there is a plethora of information out there for those wishing to benefit from these methods.
Sport Betting Tips
Still, at some point you will need to employ different tactics if you are to be successful in the long-run. Here are some great general tips:
- Pick a sport and master it. You simply won’t have the knowledge required to be successful if you’re casting your net too wide. Be an expert of one sport rather than a novice of many.
- It is particularly potentially profitable to be in-the-know about an emerging and less popular sport or specific league/competition.
- Have a betting strategy which gives you the edge over the bookmakers.
- Recognise value bets. For example, bet on odds that are higher than the true probability of the outcome. For example, if you are betting on odds of 2/1, that outcome should be at least 50% probable.
- Keep detailed and accurate records of your betting. Designing a spreadsheet and filling it out religiously is essential. You must be on top of your betting and able to analyse and monitor your performance in a seamless way.
- Don’t chase losses and overstake. Know that not every bet will be a winner.
- Try to predict price movement. If you are encyclopedic in your knowledge of your sport, you can exploit artificial price movement patterns. For whatever reason, there could be price movement which doesn’t reflect the reality, resulting in more favourable odds on likely outcomes.
- Beating the starting price. Essentially, the starting price odds represent the true probability of the outcome. If you place a bet on an outcome at 5/1 and the odds at the start of the event are 4/1, you have beaten the starting price. A good way to take advantage of this tactic is to compare bookmaker’s prices with the more efficient exchange prices. The exchange prices will give you a general indicator of the movement of the market.
Becoming a professional gambler is undoubtedly possible. It requires a particular type of person and mindset, and you must be aware of the reality of the endeavour before pursuing the journey. Still, if you genuinely feel you are capable of being successful, there cannot be many other jobs out there quite as satisfying and enjoyable for a gambling enthusiast.