Gambling as a Profession: What is a Professional Gambler?

Joe A.
15th March, 2024

At land-based and online casinos around the world, you can find some people who call themselves professional gamblers. It’s a term that is often misunderstood as everyone seems to have a different view what it entails to be a professional gambler.

Professional gamblers aren’t just your casual players seeking a thrill or hoping for a lucky win. Rather, they approach gambling as a serious occupation and make their living out of it. Their wins don’t solely come out of blind luck, but are the result of a deep understanding of the games they play and the strategies required to tip the odds in their favour. However, achieving success as a professional gambler demands far more than just skill alone – it necessitates a combination of intelligence, discipline, and resilience. Only a small subset of players have what it takes to become a professional gambler.

So let’s take a look at the life of professional gamblers! In this article, we explore what it actually means to be a professional gambler, and how you can become one. We also address common misconceptions about professional gambling and give you some useful tips.

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What is a professional gambler?

A professional gambler is someone who approaches gambling as a serious occupation rather than as a fun hobby. Professional gamblers are highly skilled and knowledgeable about the games they play. They often employ strategies and tactics to increase their chances of winning. They also dedicate significant time and effort to studying casino games and possible strategies, analysing statistics, as well as training and developing their skills. Besides this, professional gamblers also possess a keen understanding of risk management principles, know very well what the fallacies of gambling are, and are also fully aware of their own limits, both when it comes to their skill as well as their financial limit.

Being a professional gambler requires a strong sense of self-discipline and emotional resilience to withstand the inevitable ups and downs of gambling in a land-based or online casino. Professional gamblers must be able to remain calm and focused under pressure, making rational decisions even when they are on a winning streak or when the tables turn against them. Additionally, they must have the financial stability and management skills to sustain themselves during inevitable losing streaks, ensuring they can continue to play and pursue their craft over the long run.

professional gambler

Common misconceptions

While you certainly need a high level of skill and expertise as a professional gambler, this doesn’t mean that the best casino players you find are always those who have made gambling their full-time occupation. In fact, there are instances where casual gamblers may have comparable skill levels to the professionals. The distinction between a professional and a casual gambler primarily lies in their approach and commitment to gambling.

A professional gambler is someone who gets most of his income from gambling and will often dedicate a large amount of his time to it. On the other hand, a casual gambler plays irregularly. They usually don’t get the bulk of their income out of gambling. Yet this doesn’t mean that they cannot be as good as professional gamblers. There are lots of casual gamblers who only play their favourite casino game once every few weeks, but still manage to win substantial amounts of money most of the time they play.

Therefore, “professional” in the context of gambling simply refers to those who have chosen to pursue gambling as an occupation rather than a hobby. It does not necessarily imply that they are superior or infallible in their gambling skills.

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How to become a professional gambler

Becoming a professional gambler requires a lot of dedication, as you will need to develop your skills and knowledge. The journey to become a professional gambler begins with a commitment to mastering the games you intend to play. Practice makes perfect! You should spend a lot of time improving your skills through regular gameplay and analysis of your performance. Whether it’s poker, blackjack, or perhaps even sports betting, it’s important that you understand the nuances of the game and that you refine your techniques through consistent practice.

You should also study the strategies employed by successful players, analyse game data, and stay up to date about all casino trends and developments. The more knowledge you acquire, the better equipped you’ll be to make informed decisions, giving you a competitive edge over your opponents.

Effective bankroll management is another highly important aspect if you want to become a professional gambler. You should have a large enough bankroll to fund your gambling activities, as you need to be able to absorb losing streaks which will hit you sooner or later. Professional gamblers are well aware that nobody wins all the time, and limiting your losses on a bad luck day is as important as maximising your winnings when luck is on your side.

Before you even start gambling, it’s important to establish clear guidelines how you will handle your bankroll. Avoid the temptation to bet more than you can afford to lose, and implement disciplined wagering strategies to lessen the risk and preserve your funds over the long term. Being a professional gambler is as much about bankroll management as it is about mastering a certain game!

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Casino games to play

Although professional gamblers play a lot of different casino games just for fun, they know that only a few games have the potential to be profitable on the long run. Poker and blackjack stand out among all casino games, and you will find that most professional gamblers make their profits playing these games.

Poker is arguably the best game to play, as players compete against each other rather than the house, so there is no house advantage to worry about if you play money games against other players or participate in a tournament. Whoever will win is decide by skill, strategy, and of course luck. Because of this, skilled players can gain an edge over their opponents in poker through decision-making, reading their opponents’ behaviour, and implementing effective strategies such as bluffing, hand selection, and bankroll management. If you make sure your poker skills are better than everyone else at your table, you can make a long-term profit playing poker.

Of the casino games you play against the house, blackjack is the only one where professional gamblers can make a long-term profit. However, this is only possible when they utilise the right blackjack strategies such as card counting. Unlike many other casino games where the odds are heavily stacked in favour of the casino, blackjack offers a relatively low house edge, especially when played with optimal strategy. When you use card counting to its full effect, skilled players can even overturn the odds in their favour and achieve a mathematical advantage over the casino in the long run. However, it’s important to note that card counting requires a lot of practice, discipline, and some mathematical talent and good memorisation skills.

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Things to watch out for

Before you embark on your path to become a professional gambler, it’s crucial to understand that there are some significant risks and challenges involved. First of all, the unpredictable nature of gambling means that there are no guarantees of success, regardless of skill level or expertise. Even the most skilled gamblers can run into long losing streaks and end up losing a lot of money. Without the financial resilience and a heavy bankroll to weather these downturns, it’s nearly impossible to become a professional gambler.

You should also be warned that the allure of gambling can lead to compulsive behaviour and addiction. This can pose a serious threat to both financial stability as well as your overall wellbeing. It’s essential to approach gambling with a clear understanding of the potential risks involved and to set strict limits on both play time and money spent on all your gambling activities. You should never spend money on gambling which you cannot afford to lose. Only spend money on gambling that you have as a surplus after paying for rent, utilities, and other expenditures, and make sure that you always have a financial buffer remaining which should never be touched for gambling purposes.

Additionally, it’s important to realise that it’s far from certain whether you really can become a true professional gambler, no matter how good you think you are. The reality is that the vast majority of individuals will not reach the level of proficiency needed to sustain themselves solely through gambling.

blackjack odds card game

The best online casinos

Choosing the right online casino to gamble can be difficult even for professional players and high rollers, let alone for those who aspire to reach such heights. It’s important that you play at a trustworthy and reliable online casino.

The online casinos listed on our website are highly suitable for professional gamblers and casual players alike. You’ll find games with high betting limits that are made for high-stakes gambling, as well as lower-limit games for beginners. All of the online casinos listed on our site are fully licenced by national gambling authorities such as the UK Gambling Commission, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). You can therefore rest assured that your money and personal data are safely kept and that all casino games you play are honest.

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If you want to become a professional gambler, you need a unique mix of skills and discipline. The journey to becoming a professional is far from easy. Professional gamblers spend countless hours practicing and analysing their gameplay in order to get the edge over the casino or other players. Besides learning the best strategies and improving your skills, you also require patience, a steady head, some good bankroll management, as well as a healthy dose of luck.

Remember that it’s only possible to make a long-term profit if you play casino games such as blackjack and poker. There is no such thing as a professional video slot player or a professional roulette player, for the simple reason that these games all have a house edge that is impossible to overcome in the long run. If you decide to gamble and practice your skills, remember to play at a reliable and trustworthy online casino such as the ones listed on our website.