Can You Really Make Money By Gambling?
Gambling has been a popular leisure activity for centuries. Almost everyone has enjoyed gambling at some point in their life, whether at a Las Vegas bachelorette party or in an office NCAA tournament pool.
But for some people, gambling is more than just a leisure activity: it’s a career. We see these people playing poker on ESPN and we hear about them taking their talents to brick and mortar casinos or playing (or, rather, working!) for hours on their computers at online casinos. But can you really make money by gambling?
Some gamblers do make money
Well, maybe you shouldn’t assume that you can really make money by gambling – at least for now. But one can indeed make money gambling, and some people do.
Gamblers make money by targeting games that rely less on luck and those that allow them to take on other players rather than “the house” (meaning the casino). Then these gamblers hone their skills until they can win these games consistently enough to make money. When a professional gambler sits down at your poker table, he or she is likely to beat you the vast majority of the time. Your money becomes their money, and the gambler has profited.
So people can do this. But can you do this?
It’s absolutely possible for everyday players to become good enough at gambling to make money more often than not. But be careful, because it takes a long time to become as good as the pros – and practicing at a real casino can be quite costly!
Get rich slowly
So take it slow. Treat gambling as a pastime until you’re truly good enough to make a living. If you try to jump right into the professional scene, you’ll lose. Even after you’ve gotten good, remember that bad luck can cost even great players sometimes, and be sure to never gamble more than you can afford. Remember, you want to be a profitable gambler, so don’t lose sight of the goal: profits! That means a few things.
First, keep practicing costs down. You’ll need to play a lot more often to get great at gambling, but don’t play at a casino much more often than you already do. That will cost you big bucks (you aren’t going to be profitable right away), so add some low-stakes and free gaming to your schedule. You’ll need to bet for real sometimes to get a sense of the psychology of many games, but not every game needs to be high-stakes.
Second, don’t get too excited too early. So you’ve won – great! But don’t go shopping for the yacht quite yet. Remember that you need to win consistently and for a long time to really make a living gambling.
Finally, remember to give yourself plenty of room for error. Let your skills improve faster than your betting budget, keep a safety net, and hold onto your day job until you really do own that yacht.
Okay, that’s enough warnings. Let’s learn about pro gambling.
Players against players
In our example in the first section, a pro player took you to the cleaners at the poker table (sorry). And it has to be you or another player who loses most often to professional gamblers, of course. If there was a consistent way for casinos to lose to great players, pros would quickly put casinos out of business. So you won’t find professional gamblers playing the slots (at least not when they’re “working”), because such games have to have odds that favor the house. Otherwise, why would the casino offer them?
But when players play against each other, the casino takes a cut and doesn’t care who wins or loses. That means that these games often have the best odds in the casino – so that’s where you’ll find the pros.
Practice, practice, practice
Of course, even casino poker isn’t a great deal (in theory) for the gambler. Assuming each player wins half the time, they both lose money – because as they trade cash back and forth, the casino takes a cut.
So how to gamblers make money on poker? Simple: they win. A lot.
In poker and similar games, skill is in play as well as luck. A professional gambler is simply someone who has gotten so good at games like this that they can win much of the time. Even after the casino takes its cut, these gamblers are making a lot of money.
You can do this, too – but it will take practice. A lot of practice. You can’t go pro in sports without a lot of practice, and gambling is no different. Practice in casinos, but also look for places you can play for free! Practicing as much as it takes to become a pro would bankrupt you if you did it all in a casino.
Practice alone isn’t enough to become a great gambler. You’ll have to read books about your chosen game(s), memorize the odds, and practice smart. Try to learn lessons from your losses. Analyze your performances and look for ways to improve.
If this sounds intense, it’s because it is! Profiting while gambling isn’t easy – it can’t be, because the house needs to win and because all other games will pit you against players who want to win just as badly as you do.
You can do it!
If you take all of the lessons above to heart, you’ll become a better gambler. Use them to have more fun and win more often as a casual gambler, or use them to seriously pursue a career as a pro gambler. Remember to be careful about your spending as you train, and focus on your long-term goal of making money! While making money while gambling isn’t easy, it is possible.