How to Become a Professional Gambler

Turning pro isn't easy, but this may help

We all dream about becoming so good at gambling that we can ditch our day jobs, take up residence in glamorous Las Vegas, and make a successful living simply playing at casinos, enjoying the good life and the freedom of the professional gambler.

Naturally, it's not quite that simple, and there's very little glamour to it. It's a tough career path to follow, and it's only for the hard-nosed. Daydreams quickly vanish when confronted with the reality of life as a pro, and success comes to depend on a rigorous assessment of what is possible and what isn't.

Use Our Guide As A Checklist Of What You Need To Consider

These six tips are worth their weight in gold:

The key reason why relatively so few people actually become successful gamblers: it's a lot harder than one might think. It requires an enormous amount of dedication, a very thick skin, an appetite for realistic risk-taking, smart money management, and the ability to instantly bounce back from adversity.

Turning pro is certainly not a decision to be taken lightly, despite the allure of big money and the hope that the simple application of betting systems will ensure a successful outcome. To become a professional gambler is to commit to a life of uncertainty that will constantly test your perseverance, hard work, abilities and sheer nerve.

A word to the wise

The first thing to realise is that when you become a professional gambler, it's not about entertainment or extra spending money anymore: you are now effectively running a business. It's no longer a game - this is your income, your career, your life. And it's going to require steely nerve to pull it off, too.

To help you get an idea of what will be involved, here's a summary of what it will take to become a professional gambler and have a decent chance of succeeding at it.

Be committed

To become a professional at the gambling game of your choice, you'll need to understand it inside and out. Odds must come naturally to you, as you'll have to calculate them on the fly. This will involve a lot of research and study, and many hours of memorisation. Gambling is like every other profession and every other craft, in that becoming good enough to turn professional requires much dedication and effort. Don't think that this is an easier road to take than a day job.

Make sure that you are prepared to make this commitment before you start. If you don't, your attempt at becoming a professional gambler will only turn into an expensive flirtation.

Further Reading: Real Money Casinos.

Be realistic

Everything in our modern lives, from the media we consume to the books we read and the films we watch, tells us that we must believe we can become anything we want. That we can be as good as we want to be. That we shouldn't place any limits on our own potential. This is powerful motivation, of course, and not to be sniffed at.

However, we also need to temper this with some realism. Not everyone is cut out to be a special forces soldier or a teacher or a neurosurgeon. These life choices must be based on aspiration and motivation, to be sure, but also on ability. Many people fail at becoming professional gamblers because they simply don't have the aptitudes. The most common area where these people fall short is on the mathematical side. Don't fool yourself, gambling statistics can become complex. If you don't like mathematics, you need to be realistic and understand that your chances of becoming a professional gambler are slim.

If you do have the aptitudes and abilities, it's also crucially important to accurately assess them. You need to know just how good you really are, not only so that you can work on your shortcomings, but also so that you can come to understand your limits: just how far you can go in a professional gambling career. This will help you to set realistic, attainable goals and achieve them.

Be cool and calm

We're all attracted to passion in sport and in sports like football it's a crucial character trait for players to have. This is not true of professional gambling. In this world it's not about the thrills and spills and excitement you see in the movies. It's about cool, calm, emotionless decision making. If you let your emotions get the best of you, you'll make rash decisions, abandon statistical strategies and just lose your money.

While we're on the subject, alcohol and gambling do not mix at this level. You need a crystal clear head at all times, so leave the booze for down-time. Remember, this is your day job.

Be smart with your bankroll

Bankroll management is one of the most important aspects of professional gambling. This involves a careful balance between financial prudence and intelligent risk taking. It's a tricky thing to pull off, and remains one of the biggest challenges in turning gambling skill into a sustainable career.

If you're good at the game, but not good at the financial management side of things, it's worthwhile teaching yourself some of the fundamentals, or taking a short course in it. It might sound abysmally boring compared to practising your play, but it will pay off handsomely in the long run if you learn the lessons properly.

You need to understand risk-benefit analysis - at its simplest level, how to work out if the potential return is worth the bet, both in the immediate game and in the wider context of your overall financial strategy and bankroll status.

Here we come to a term that sometimes inspires loathing among gamblers: "grinding". Often find that you'll do better over a long run by ticking over many small wins, rather than going for the bigger payoffs, because the former carries less risk of losing your money. Expect to spend many hours at the table grinding out your daily profit.

Be rational

Every gambler knows that the house has the edge and that, to win, you often need a good dose of luck. This makes it all too easy to fixate too much on the Lovely Lady, and fall over the line into superstition. We're not talking about having a luck charm at a blackjack table. The danger lies in attaching significance to events that don't have any, and basing future decisions on this. It's known as "magical thinking", and it can be disastrous. It's the kind of thinking that can convince someone that making a bad move is a good thing, because Lady Luck will provide, based on a superstition. It's a sure-fire way to lose money.

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Stay rational and don't go scurrying down rabbit holes, no matter how much they beckon.

Now Read: Winning at Roulette.