People often wonder if it is possible to make money gambling. Well, it all depends on what games you play, what your skillset is and how you handle risk.
In this article, we are discussing what makes an expert gambler and how they make their decisions during gameplay. Daniel Bennet, a gambling enthusiast gave us his insights. Daniel is the site editor of a casino review website, and you can read more about him here.
Types of Gamblers
Gambling games can be either games of chance or games that require both skills and luck. No matter how much you practise, statistically, you will lose playing slot machines. Millions of people play the lottery around the world but only a lucky few will ever win a significant amount. Based on what game you play, how often and how much you win or lose there are three types of gamblers.
- Leisure Gamblers: These guys represent the biggest percentage of gamblers. They gamble for fun and can play any game they fancy. They are in control of their gambling habits and only wager money they can afford to lose.
- Problem Gamblers: Roughly 1% of gamblers fall into this category. They also play for fun but they are not in control of their habit. They lose money they can’t afford and often get into trouble financially or socially. They can bet on any type of game.
- Expert Gamblers: The professionals’ objective of the game is to make money and often gambling is their only source of income. If you are a professional gambler in Canada your income will be classified as a business income and you will pay income tax.
Expert gamblers will play games that require an element of skill. These games are poker, blackjack and sports betting.
Gamblers can play in brick-and-mortar or online casinos. As long as these casinos are licenced, like Jackpot City, that accept Canadian players, chances of winning are about the same.
Using Probability to Make Decisions
Playing blackjack, poker or making sports bets is very similar to buying stocks when it comes to the probability of making some profit. If a trader is right 60-70% of the time he/she is a successful trader, however, the same percentage rate would not be considered successful for a surgeon or an accountant. But gambling always has an element of luck and there are numerous factors influencing the stock market that we can’t foresee.
Even expert gamblers will not win every single game or bet; what is key for them is to develop risk-intelligence in order to make better decisions. There are three main elements that can help make a decision.
- Setting a threshold
This is about how sure you are about a certain result. If you think it is a 70% chance that your cards are better than the dealers is that enough for you to raise? It depends on you. Some people will want to be more certain while others will take the chance if it is over 50%.
- Bet size
This is the amount of money you are willing to bet. If you are very certain about the outcome of a sports event the payout will only be small so you might as well wager more money. In poker, of course, there is bluffing. Even if you don’t have a good hand you can bluff well with a large bet size and make your opponent’s fold.
- Expected value
This means thinking in the long run. Professional gamblers play every day and they don’t have to risk all their money on one game. Similarly, in investments, even if you are fairly sure about the rise in the value of a certain stock, it is wise to buy a diversified portfolio to minimize risk. When you play blackjack and know that with the right strategy statistically, you will win in the long run, you can use the same bet on each hand.
Expert gamblers make decisions based on probability as in gambling nothing is 100% certain. Setting a risk tolerance threshold and determining how much to wager on each game or bet are keys for a professional gambler’s successful career.