If you enjoy playing casino games or betting on sports, the idea of being a professional gambler is likely to appeal to you. The reality is that once you formalise your career as a professional bettor, your gaming changes from becoming a form of entertainment to a source of income – your livelihood that puts food on the table.
Before you go 'all in' as a professional gambler, it's a good idea to understand what's required fundamentally to make money from your betting. To get into a professional gambler's mindset, read on to understand the commitment required to betting smarter as a professional.
Hone your craft – master your preferred casino games
If you want to gamble professionally, it's a good idea to select a casino game that you have a sense of control over the outcome. Table games like blackjack and roulette allow you to adopt betting strategies or systems to spread your risk. Meanwhile the former enables you to count cards if you so wish to try and gain an edge when betting.
The issue with card counting in online blackjack is that every deal is randomised by a random number generator (RNG), making it virtually impossible. Poker is another casino game that attracts many professional gamblers, who can use the game mechanics and basic probability to defeat amateurs.
Remove emotion and make logical betting decisions
The very reason so many of us enjoy betting at online casinos is the excitement and entertainment it generates. The reality of betting as a professional gambler is that you have to take emotion out of every single wager and act with ice running through your veins. You must take each decision logically, preserving your betting bankroll at every juncture. If you don't have the capacity to keep level-headed during the lows as well as the highs, it's unlikely you'll make it as a pro gambler.
Build a bankroll big enough to absorb losing runs
It's important when betting for a living that your bankroll can sustain some bumps in the road along the way. As savvy bettors will know, many casino games have a house edge that tips the balance in favour of the casino. There will be losing runs and your bankroll needs to be able to handle those losing days, weeks, or months.
Accept that your salary will vary from month to month
Life as a professional gambler means that your income will be hugely variable. The sheer reality of betting is that you're never guaranteed to be a winner. Some months you may run hot and take home a nice sum, but others you may struggle to break even. You may even encounter months where you lose money, so it's important to hold back some of your income in reserve during those red-hot months.
Start small and scale up when you grow in expertise
One of the biggest mistakes a first-time pro gambler can make is diving in at the deep end with large stakes. It's important to start small. Build your confidence and knowledge and begin to prove to yourself and others that you can turn a profit from your betting. Once you have proven that you have the mentality to win with smaller stakes, most casino games are easily scaled to magnify those profits.
Keep a betting diary to understand more about your losses and wins
A professional gambler will usually keep a betting diary, logging all of their daily bets or gaming sessions to follow up at the end of the day. It's a useful habit to get into. It enables you to review your decision-making and plug any potential leaks in your betting strategies or mentality. Professional gamblers often say that you learn far more from your losses than your wins and a betting diary is the best way to do this.
Carefully choose places to play that value your custom
Professional gamblers need to sign up to online casinos, sportsbooks and betting exchanges that value their custom. The leading online casino sites don't just offer great welcome promotions. They also reward their regular customers with loyalty bonuses that allow pro bettors to trigger additional bonus money or free spins to increase their winning potential.
If you are serious about gambling for a living, you need to take all of the above on board to start thinking and betting like a professional.