How to become a professional gambler
Have you ever wondered what it actually takes to become a professional gambler? To turn a passion into a career and make a bona fide salary from it? While it might seem glamorous from the outset, being a professional gambler isn’t all Ocean’s Eleven days and Monte Carlo nights – like any job it takes work, experience and practice, and you have your bad days along with your good. Then again, just like any job, if you’re committed enough and prepared to work hard, you could succeed in making a legitimate living from it. Want to find out what’s involved before you go all in? Let’s take a look…
What exactly is a professional gambler?
Obviously before you go into the field, you’ll need to know what being a pro gambler entails – and here we need to state upfront that if you’re a player who tends to become too attached to the outcome of a game, this isn’t the line of work for you. As a professional gambler, you’ll need to approach every game as a job – it’s not entertainment, it’s business, and if you’re unable to separate the two, you could find yourself in trouble. Serious gamblers take gambling seriously, so if you see it as fun and games, or you’re concerned you might be vulnerable to irresponsible gambling behaviour, rather play it safe and stick to gambling for pleasure rather than profit.
So now that we’ve got that out of the way, back to the original question – what exactly is a professional gambler? Simply put, it’s someone who makes their money by gambling, most often on games of skill like Poker and Blackjack, or even betting on certain sports, like horse racing. It’s a job that allows you to set your own working hours, and can also have tax benefits too, depending on the country you live in. While of course it’s a lot more volatile than a regular 9 to 5 job (you don’t run the risk of losing all your money just by going into the office) if it’s approached with a responsible mindset and appropriate limits, it can be every bit as legitimate a way to earn a living as any other line of work.
What do professional gamblers… er… do?
If you’re a pro gambler, you don’t exactly hit the rush hour commute every morning and sit in an office all day, do you? So what exactly do you do? Well, it depends on the type of bets you’re placing, but by and large if you’re a casino pro, you’ll be reading up on strategies, looking at statistics, analysing your game play for any developmental areas, potentially practising on a free play site if you need to, keeping up to date with the latest game info, and doing ongoing research. If you’re a sports bettor, you’ll need to analyse the most recent event results, read up on your favourite teams, horses, or other sports, and potentially even do some travelling to various stadiums or racecourses too.
As you can see, being a professional gambler isn’t about just playing games or making wagers all day (although that is part of it) – most of the time it’s actual work that you need to be proactive about, and fully engaged with. It takes commitment and discipline – a lot more than the movies would have you believe!
What kind of skills do you need?
As with any job, there are a certain number of skills you’ll need in order to grow in your professional gambling career, and make enough money to live on. While a talent for gaming is helpful, most of these skills can be learned, and honed through time and experience:
Good time management: Sure you won’t need to get up at a set time every day and you won’t have a boss hanging over your shoulder micro-managing you, but you’ll still need self-discipline, and you’ll need to get a certain amount of tasks done every day. Good time management will help with this.
An aptitude for research: Do you like learning new things, digging deeper, finding out as much as possible about your profession, what’s new, what to adapt, and how to improve? Then pro gambling could be the field for you.
Control over your emotions: Losing your cool won’t help you in a stressful situation – being able to manage your emotions and control your responses will. The best pro gamblers are able to keep their cool in even the most stressful situations, so if you’re good at managing your stress levels and can make level-headed decisions while under pressure, you’ll have the foundations of a good pro gambler in place.
A lot of patience: Sometimes things go your way, sometimes they don’t. When they don’t, you’ll need to be able to hang in there until your luck changes – or come to terms with the fact that you’ll need to walk away and come back another time. Being patient and being persistent is key when gambling professionally – having the discipline to continue playing responsibly, despite repeated negative outcomes.
Excellent concentration: How well are you able to focus? Can you concentrate on a task for hours on end, or do you have a low boredom threshold that sees your mind wandering after just a few minutes? If you’re the latter, rather reconsider your options as a pro gambler – as when you’re playing, you’ll need to be completely focused on what you’re doing, often for long periods of time. To stay in the game you’ll need to pay full attention to it – and if you can’t, it’s best you cash in your chips before you make a costly mistake.
A head for figures: If you’re good with stats and averages, if you have good recall and an excellent memory, and if you have strong analytical skills, you’ll do well as a pro gambler. Of course you won’t need to remember every tiny detail of your gambling off the top of your head, but having this information written down and close to hand will be hugely valuable to you in the long run, and can help to contribute significantly to your success.
Think you’re ready to make your play as a pro? It’s definitely an option worth considering if you feel you have the right mindset, and the discipline to make it work for you. Just remember that despite all the bright lights and neon, it’s a job like any other – although if you want to George Clooney it up and wear a tux to work, no one’s going to stop you!
Happy Spinning 🙂