How to Be a Professional Gambler

For many, the idea of making money off sports or the blackjack tables beats the idea of sitting at a desk for ten hours a day — but do you have what it takes?


Ever wondered how to become a professional gambler? Becoming a professional gambler may seem like the dream job to a betting or gaming enthusiast.

how to be a professional gambler infographic

Gambling at land-based and online casinos as an occupation has grown in recent years, with boundless opportunities to place bets on sports events, casino games, poker tournaments, and more. However, a professional gambler’s life is not as glamorous as it sounds, it’s not all sports cars and beautiful women. The reality can be more stressful and turbulent, you just need to decide what type of professional gambler you are going to be. In this guide, we are going to run through everything you need to know about how to become a professional gambler.

10 Steps to Becoming a Professional Gambler 

You can’t become a successful gambler overnight; it takes experience and plenty of practice to master the skill to play at a casino online in the USA. You need to learn everything there is to know about placing wagers, and the establishments that offer betting opportunities.

Here are the steps you need to take to become a pro gambler:

  • Study all there is know

When it comes to gambling professionally, you never stop learning. You should consider yourself a student of the game, whatever you’re betting on. There is always a chance to refine your skills and improve your knowledge, whether that’s on the casino tables, in poker games, or around sports teams or players. Learning the statistics and trends are required to increase your chance of success, this means getting to know the background of racehorses, understanding the mood of the changing room of a sports team, or knowing a racetrack difficulty level. A professional gambler will never stop studying.

  • It’s all or nothing

To give yourself a chance of success in the professional gambling domain, you need to fully commit. You need to immerse yourself in that world, live and breathe it. You need to recognize those odds that the sportsbook slipped up on, watch hours of sports, and understand the opportunities. This is a full-time job, and it requires total commitment.

  • It’s a job, not a lifestyle

You need to keep emotions out of it when you’re a professional gambler. There is no room to make decisions based on emotions, you have to make a decision based on calculated risk. You should follow your head over your heart. If you’re a poker pro, then this is something that should come naturally. You should gamble with complete control of your emotions, even when under pressure.

  • Build up a bankroll

To be a professional gambler, you need to have the capital to bet with, and a reserve bankroll too. You can’t make a full-time wager placing small bets, you need to make big wagers that are low risk. You will also need capital to enter poker tournaments or beat the dealer in blackjack. You need to be financially-minded and strictly manage your casino bankroll to ensure you have enough to play — and hopefully, win.

  • Exercise money management

You need to be financially savvy to make it as a professional gambler. You can’t just throw money at a bet and hope for the best. You need to understand the right bet amount based on risk versus reward. Successful gamblers will have a bankroll management system that encourages winnings and prevents big losses.

You should never stray away from the system and start chasing losses. You need to know that professional gambling is playing the long game, so one week you’re at a loss, but the next week, you’re back in profit.

  • It’s only for the patient 

You need to be patient and wait for the right moment to bet. If you start playing for the instant win, you will burn through your bankroll quickly. You should only make decisions based on proper data, and not let the gut feeling take over. You need to be patient before you pounce.

  • Have a plan

You should have a game plan that will encourage you to stick to your strategy. This can mean never betting on a parlay over 4 selections, never hitting on 16, and never playing roulette. You should set the rules that work and stick to them.

  • Focus on one vertical

To give yourself the best chance of success. You should put your attention to one area of gambling, and that could be betting on a certain sport, playing poker, blackjack, or another game. This will allow you to enhance your skills and knowledge in that sole area.

  • Stay motivated

Just like with any job, it’s hard to stay motivated. Professional gamblers can burn themselves out by going hard too early, it’s a game of waiting for the right moment. If you manage your time properly you can give yourself a good chance to enjoy the moment and stay motivated.

  • Enjoy life outside of gambling

Being a professional gambler can take over your life, so it’s important to enjoy time away from it. This will allow your brain to switch off, otherwise, you can get sucked into the gambling rabbit hole, and it’ll never leave your mind.

100% up to $400


You Might Make a Great Gambling Pro If You…

  1. Are financially responsible
  2. Love and watch a lot of sports
  3. Are patient
  4. Have control over your emotions
  5. Are good at math

Do Professional Gamblers Pay Taxes on their Winnings? 

Yes, professional gambling is considered a proper profession, and therefore the income is taxable. This means you can tax deduct your mileage to the casino or the subscription to watch sports events.

Types of Pro Gamblers

There are many different types of gambling, you just need to figure out what type of gambling you will be.

The Match Bettor

The match bettor grabs every bonus and promotion that they can get their hands on, increasing their bankroll and minimizing risk. This gambler hedges their bets and usually beats the bookie.

The Value Bettor

The value better knows more about the sport than the bookies and recognizes when the odds are favorable. These are exports in certain sports, and even right down to individual teams. They have so much information that they make their own odds, a bookie’s worse nightmare.

The Arbitrage Bettor

The arbitrage bettor locates the differences between odds at various bookmakers and bets on all outcomes to guarantee a profit.

The Sports Trader

The sports trader utilizes tried and tested strategies for sports betting, like that of a hedge fund manager or investment banker.

The Poker Pro

The poker pro lives and breathes poker, playing tournaments and picking off weaker players, setting themselves up for a share of the pot.

The Horse Bettor

The horse bettor knows everything there is to know about the horse racing betting — horses, stables, trainers, jockeys, and track.

Tips from Gambling Pros

Daniel Negreanu on eating habits before a big tournament:

“Before the WSOP for six weeks or so, I train really hard, get myself into shape and eat really clean,” he says. “I know that during the WSOP, the way that the hours are, and my sleep schedule is that for my own sanity I don’t want to follow a structured schedule.” – Daniel Negreanu

Dara O’Kearney on why new players should play smaller stakes:

“I believe smaller poker rooms where the MTT fields are much closer to 50-300 are a much better place to boost your bankroll. They tend to be softer, precisely because they don’t attract tough grinders who are attracted by big prize pools. The smaller sites are also usually tougher for grinders to multi-table, because the software is not as advanced, which is frustrating — but also makes the games softer.” – Dara O’Kearney

David Lappin on staking in poker:

“There’s a moment with people who you’re pretty sure are done [when] they’re in a hole and psychologically they’re not there. Recognizing the moment when they’re not winning and ending a deal is horrible. It’s shitty to tell them ‘You’re done’. For us, there were definitely times where we were throwing good money after bad. If the guy is in $30,000 of makeup, in your mind, if he wins then you get all the winnings and he gets none of that until he clears make-up. It could be hard for them to pick up another deal, so it can be that you’re retiring them.”

Resources to Improve Gambling Skills

If you want to improve your gambling skills & knowledge, I’ve got a few resources that could take your skilled game prowess to another level:

How Much do Professional Gamblers Make?

The best professional gamblers in the world can earn millions each year, but it takes years to reach that level.

You need to build up your bankroll slowly, giving your more capital to bet with, not to mention the extra knowledge and experience. However, the average income for a professional gambler is around $50,000 per year.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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