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Can You Make a Living From Gambling?

Can You Make a Living From Gambling?

Today, there are many ways to earn money online. Writing jobs, selling goods directly to customers, or blogging are just a few of them. But wouldn’t it be great if you could actually make a living with gambling? This idea might sound crazy to most people, as almost everybody knows that gambling based on luck and that the house always has the advantage over players. While this is absolutely true in most instances, there are actually a few opportunities where it is possible to earn a good chunk of money. Let’s have a look at each of these in turn right now…

Making money by playing poker

Poker is primarily a game of skill, with elements of luck thrown in for good measure. The big advantage of poker is that if you master the game better than your opponents, you will win money from them in the long run. Of course, this fact can also work against you, too!

For example, in a city like Las Vegas, many full-time poker players are active, who try to take advantage of tipsy tourists in the many cash games of the poker lounges. The tourists are particularly low-hanging fruit for the sharks. It is also possible to earn a living playing poker online, although the golden times when you could easily make money are mostly over. 

In the early 2000s, the average player base didn’t have much of a clue about poker strategies. As a result, you didn’t have to be that good in order to become a winning player. Nowadays, the story is very different. Even amateurs have learned a trick or two from watching TV broadcasts of high-stakes poker. Furthermore, strategy guides and video lessons are widely available online now.

Players wising up

This means that you won’t be able to earn any money at all if you are just a little better than the competition. You have to outclass them by a mile! To acquire the necessary skillset, a lot of dedication is required. This includes mathematical analysis, learning to play game theory optimized, developing proper bankroll management, and figuring out how to stay calm when dealing with tilt. 

There are still a lot of professional poker players around, but it’s not a walk in the park. You should be aware that less than 5% of all players that are regularly playing poker online are actually winning players or those that at least breakeven. Only about 1% or less are making a decent living with the card game. The reason for this is mainly the high amounts of rake that every poker player has to pay to the poker site for each pot they are winning or for each tournament they sign up for. Depending on the stakes and the site, this can be up to 5% of each pot. Since there is a lot of back and forth, this adds up quite quickly. Hence, you don’t only have to be good enough to beat the other players. You also have to be good enough to beat the rake! 

Can You Make a Living From Gambling?

Trying arbitrage betting

Arbitrage betting mainly focuses on sports betting, where you make smart use of differences in odds between different bookmakers. Sometimes it is possible to make a guaranteed profit by placing different outcomes of bets on the same event with different bookmakers. This has to do with the fact that different bookmakers have different odds on the same match.

If you are lucky enough to come across such odds, this can create a positive outcome for a bet, no matter the result of the game. And arbitrage bettors take advantage of that. The percentages of guaranteed profit are small, sometimes no more than around 0.5% - 1.0%. But by investing heavily in the bets and placing multiple “sure bets” per day, they can just about make a living.

Still, arbitrage betting is not a simple way to live from gambling full time. You need to be able to act very quickly before the concerned bookmakers adjust their odds. The bookmakers also have systems in place to warn each other from so-called “wiseguys” in advance. This means that the betting site might already be aware of your strategy before you are even placing your first bet. They will, therefore, limit your account accordingly. 

Betting on horseracing

There are expert horserace gamblers who, based on the performance of the horse, the size of the jockey, the track condition, and the weather forecast, can estimate very well what a horse's chances of winning are on the racetrack. They then set off these winning odds against the odds offered by the bookmaker. If they get a good price, the horse provides value to the expert, and they might have a lucrative bet that is in their favor. Of course, the horse will not always win, but when you get great odds that are better than they should be, you can win in the long run.

Unfortunately, this is only half the truth. Horseracing is not always an honest business. It is well known that jockeys and owners artificially hold back their horses at times and only go for a second-place when they could have won the race. This allows a small circle of insiders to put down highly profitable bets that almost always hit. And, of course, it’s hard to prove that this is even occurring.

Can you make a living from gambling? – Conclusion

We just covered a few ways how people actually earn a living gambling. But maybe it shouldn’t even be called that in those instances as these individuals managed to tilt the favor. So now that you know that it is possible – should you try it yourself? Well, we do not recommend it, as there are only a few people that can bring the right skillset and cope with all the stress that comes along with it. Money usually doesn’t come easy and this is also true for professional gamblers!

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