Are you one of those who love to become a professional gambler and make infinite money without risking much? Thanks to Hollywood and its fancy productions like the famous James Bond movies, betting for a living is not just a dream but a popular culture. If you also think you can make a living as a pro gambler, you should know that reality is pretty different.
Although this article wants to teach you how to become a professional gambler, let us get on the same page about what you SHOULD NOT expect from it. You should not expect me to say becoming a professional gambler is all roses. Because there are some bitter facts about the gambling world that you should know and learn how to deal with.
I take the more intense approach and talk about all the dark sides of gambling. Because supposedly, you have ended up here because you are considering what to do with your time or future. So, it will harm you if I don’t give you the truth. If I give you only the good side of gambling, you will not get prepared for the realities and risks that come along with it. Besides, I am not a person who advertises what does not believe.
Okay, now that we have cleared why we are here, we can proceed to see how to become a pro gambler.
What Are The Steps To Become A Professional Gambler?
Before I go into some professional tips, let me breakdown the general steps required to become a pro bettor:
Learn Learn Learn!
This is a never-ending process. In other words, to become a successful gambler, you must never stop learning. Because not all soccer matches or horse races are the same, and there is always something new to watch and learn. I know you may hate student stuff, but if you want to learn to identify value bets, you must become a real student of that game or sport you want to wager on. You likely heard this old saying that knowledge is power, so the more you know, the more accurate bets you place.
Some say that form is temporary and class permanent, but don’t get fooled and learn everything about both. Trust me, nobody gets hurt by knowing more.
In addition, to recognize pattern emergence, you must study statistics and trends and be able to interpret them. For example, maybe one football club is always a nightmare for another team, or a golfer always misses short putts. These may seem rather irrelevant, but you should know that little things always make big differences. If you don’t know these things or fully understand the casino game rules and gameplay, how do you want to make the best betting decisions?
In short, knowledge is your weapon on the gambling battlefield. So, never stop learning.
Be 100% committed
Knowledge and commitment go together and are inseparable. Why? Because we are talking about professional gambling where you cannot expect to become a pro if you are half-hearted with it.
If a sports event is wide open on paper, it is wiser to watch first and then place in-play bets. The famous professional gambler twin Gavin and Alex Walker did the same thing with football. They are the best example of dedication because they used to watch up to five matches daily. They made £440,000 during 18 months. This is enough to show you what professional gamblers do with hard work and dedication.
They see it as a full-time job where 100% commitment is required.
Practice keeping your emotions out of it
A pro tip: Successful bets are entirely based on solid logic. In other words, in successful gambling, you have no room for gut feelings. So, in gambling, forget about following your heart and only follow your head.
Poker is the synonym for emotionless! In fact, the majority of your poker skills depend on how well you bluff. Because professional poker is all about bluffing. To become a successful poker player, you should not give anything away. You must keep it together under pressure. Despite thinking you have a winning hand, do not let others know. This is where the poker face concept comes from! You should literally become a poker face- nobody should be able to read your face.
Also, you should keep in mind the fact that even professional gamblers lose. There is no guarantee of always winning. So, do not get fooled by lucky charms and rituals. You must understand that the difference between a pro and a beginner is that pros make fewer or no mistakes. But this does not mean they win every single time they play.
Come up with your personalized plan of attack
Now is the time to take what you have learned into action and make a step-by-step plan to achieve your goal- gambling professionally. Your plan must be accurate and clearly detailed. You should base it on the following points:
- How do you want to learn the game?
- How will you master your skills?
- How can you test your skills without risking much?
- Will you keep it a hobby or make it a permanent job?
You should also include some contingencies for when things do not go according to your plan. This is unrealistic to think that everything will always go according to plan. Be realistic and make a feasible plan easy to stick to. Prepare your plan-B, C, and D, too.
Understand that the risks are real
There is another bitter fact you should understand and keep in mind. What you are about to do- becoming a professional gambler- is not easy because several elements are out of your control. There is no reset button in the process, and when you lose the money, you cannot get it back by chasing your loss. There are real risks involved, and you must go into the deal with your eyes open.
However, the good news is that the modern online gambling industry allows you to play low-stakes games with minimal risk. Cash in on what online casinos offer because they do not pay extra dealers or setup costs to offer more games and services. This means you can play with super low stakes.
Another pro tip:
Make Sure to set a Stop Loss alarm.
That means you should not allow yourself to get out of control. Of course, you should not allow anything to stand in the way of your dream(becoming a pro bettor), but it is insane to lose all your money to achieve it. In fact, this is a sign of a problem gambler who will not survive professional gambling.
Do not rush
There is no magic stick for turning you into a pro bettor in a few seconds. It will take you years to even come close to the skill level to take a shot at gambling professionally for a living. Even if you are good, you still might not be good enough and cannot make it. Because you might not get the right opportunities, or you may have issues mentally not allowing you to focus on playing, or your bankroll is not ready yet. Remember? A bunch of factors involved in gambling is out of your hand.
As I said in the beginning, the learning process is a never-ending one, and it will be long, challenging, and probably frustrating at times. So, be patient and give yourself time.
Types Of Professional Gambling
Not all gamblings are the same, so not the gamblers. In fact, every gambling category has its unique nature, and you need a specific skill set for each. For example, to be a successful poker gambler you must bluff, but this will not help you in sports betting. So, there are different types of pro bettors with specific competencies.
Below is a breakdown of the most common pro gamblers and their skill set:
Sign-up offers or welcome bonuses are online gambling sites’ tricks to make you join them. Most sportsbooks offer free bets as a sign-up offer. These offers make your gambling life easy because you should not risk any actual capital. One of the most popular types of sign-up offers is free bets. Free bets have created crowds of matched bettors. Before I explain how pro-matched bettors make real profit out of free bets, let me first explain what free bets and matched betting are and how they work.
A free bet is a generous giveaway of any given sportsbook. In other words, you wager, and the sportsbook will pay the bet stake.
On the other hand, matched betting is a low-risk or no-risk betting on sporting events that theoretically guarantees profits. This is how Wikipedia defines matched betting:
“It is a betting technique used by individuals to profit from free bets and other incentives offered by bookmakers. It is generally considered risk-free as it is based on the application of a mathematical equation rather than chance.”
To place successful and profitable matched bets, you should learn two important concepts- Back and lay bet. Back bet is your way of saying “I believe it will win”. So, if you believe golfer X will win the tournament, you simply pick and back him. On the other hand, when you want to say “I believe it will not win”, you place your lay bet. For instance, if you believe team Y will lose the match, you place your lay bet and when the team loses, you win your bet. The rise of online betting exchanges like Betfair made this kind of bet popular.
Okay, now that you understand how backing and laying work, I can explain how to match bet. In match betting, you use a lay bet to cancel any potential risk attached to your back bet. In fact, you should back and lay against the same outcome to cancel the risk and guarantee your profit. This is exactly what matched bettors do and make real profit out of free bets.
In a word, a matched bettor tries to make as much money as possible from free bets. And remember that bookies don’t like matched bettors, and you cannot go with it forever. Because you can be a new customer to a gambling site only once. So, if you keep doing it and they caught you, you will be restricted or completely removed from their services.
For value betting, you should find a bet with the odds that gives you an edge over the sportsbook. In other words, a value bettor finds “value bets”. Value bets have much higher chances of happening than what the bookmakers have offered.
To become a pro value bettor you must be steps ahead of oddsmakers because you should see what they cannot or do not want you to see to recognize the value bets. This is why sports value bettors have world-class expertise in a particular sport. They know the teeny-tiniest things about that specific sport or team. Literally, they know more than oddsmakers do. They can take the information and make their very own odds. In case their odds are quite different than the bookmakers offered odds, they will wager the difference.
The level of knowledge and expertise they need makes value bettors the purest of professional gamblers. Because they do not take advantage of any free bets or bonuses and entirely rely on their own knowledge and skills.
In short, if you want to become a value bettor, you should know more about the sport than the platform.
Arbitrager or Arb Bettor
Arbing or arbitrage betting is in a sense similar to matched betting. Because here also you place back and lay bets to guarantee a profit and take advantage of any mathematical difference. In fact, arbitrage bettors go after the margins between the outcomes and turn them into real profits.
There are three different kinds of arb bets:
- Two different bookmakers offer different totals and props odds for the same event at the same time. Arb bettor backs and lays bets to guarantee profit.
- Two different bookmakers offer different Moneyline odds for the same event at the same time. The arbitrager bets both sides to lock in profit.
- A line moves after the arbitrager places a bet. Now, he will bet on the other side to guarantee his profit.
There is an important thing to keep in mind if you want to become a successful arb bettor. To avoid any possible confusion, keep track of your back and lay bets.
As mentioned earlier, arb betting and matched betting are similar. So, you should not get caught doing arb betting because bookies don’t like it!
In short, to be a sports arb bettor, look for margins between the odds and place back and lay bets to get profit.
Sports trading is also similar to the previously explained bettings. It is also similar to stock trading. But in sports trading, the trader sells and buys bets on sporting events instead of company shares. In other words, a sports bettor backs-buys- the bets he likes and lays -sells- the ones he knows will not happen.
The objective of stock traders is to buy low and sell high. But a sports trader backs high and lays low to secure profit regardless of the outcomes. In sports trading, you do not care who wins, because all that matters is the price movement.
The key concept here is closely monitoring what is happening on the exchanges to know for sure when to back or lay an outcome. Successful sports bettors back and lay hundreds of bets daily and make the margins into profit and if you want to become one, you should do the same.
Even if you have not tried it, the chances are you have heard of card counting from the film 21. But, I bet you don’t know MGM Grand which owns many large casinos is the biggest funder of the film. Anyways, let’s get to the point.
Card counting is not only a difficult and unreliable gambling strategy but is actually worthless. Because modern casinos use the latest technologies to make it nearly impossible to make millions out of card counting. They may welcome some amateur counters but they go really tough on those who are winning by card counting. Basically, card counting is not illegal. But casinos stop anyone they think is card counting very quickly because it is considered a form of advantage play.
How does card counting work? Well, in every round of play, you should keep track of the cards on the table and the ones yet to appear. In fact, you should know which of the cards have been played. This is not so easy peasy, though. You also should have a good understanding of the odds and probabilities.
Another bitter fact about card counting is that it offers a limited lifespan, so to become a professional gambler, you cannot really count on card counting. Because, you may try it at the land-based casinos- if not get caught- but you cannot do it while playing online. Because the online software shuffles the deck after every round and it is practically impossible to count the cards.
In a nutshell, if you are serious about becoming a card counter, you should count the cards to know for sure what cards are left in the deck.
Although none of the previous ways to make money gambling is illegal, this last type of professional gambling is. This can get you into serious trouble. The final group of pro gamblers is cheaters who actually can go to prison for cheating.
Cheating includes the whole range of the following ways:
- Collusion – This is for a poker table where you team up with another player and gain an unfair advantage.
- Match-fixing – Here, you should convince the players to fix the result. This way, you will know who will win or lose a match beforehand.
- Hacking – This is what hackers do. They hack slot machines or online gambling platforms and get an unfair advantage.
- Inside knowledge – is using unpublished news. For example, an anonymous source informs you that a key player is injured and nobody else knows it. You use this, place your bet accordingly, and make a profit out of this knowledge.
- Loaded dice – or even marked cards can be used as means of cheating.
In short, to be a cheater, you need to find a way to cheat without getting caught!
Professional Gambler Salary And Tax
In the eyes of tax law, professional gamblers are not the same as amateurs because a professional gambler is considered to be engaged in the trade or business of gambling. Hence, according to tax law, a pro should report their gambling winnings and losses on “Schedule C-Profit or Loss From Business”. To calculate their business income, pro gamblers may make a sum of all wagering activities. But an overall wagering loss cannot be reported. Also, to pay their tax, the taxpayer would deduct ordinary and necessary business expenses-expenses other than the wagers, earned from the business.
Now, you may be wondering how the department of taxation determines whether a gambler is an amateur or a professional? Well, facts and circumstances determine that. The professional gambler standard is established by the Supreme Court in Groetzinger, 480 U.S. 23 (1987) and states:
“If one’s gambling activity is pursued full time, in good faith, and with regularity, to the production of income for a livelihood, and is not a mere hobby, it is a trade or business.”- Supreme Court in Groetzinger.
So, according to the standard, it is on you-gambler- to prove this status.
Ordinary and necessary business expenses related to the activity can be deducted if you can genuinely prove you are a professional gambler. Also, the wagering losses on Schedule C that do not exceed your winnings can be deducted. This is the key to remember, do not report your gambling losses exceeding your winnings.
Typically, tax law considers gambling winnings as miscellaneous income. So, pro gamblers are not subject to self-employment tax.
To Sum It Up…
So far, you should know the answer to this question: Is gambling a good way to make money?
Obviously, gambling is a fun way to burn some time and win money. However, it is not wise to consider it as a permanent full-time job to make a living from it. However, don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to deter anyone from becoming a professional gambler. Instead, I want you to fully understand the cost and benefit, involved risks, and challenges. So, you can decide based on solid facts.
If you are serious about this, I wish you all the best and hope you use some of the advice we have given you.