The question of whether or not it is possible to make a living by gambling is a commonly asked question. I can tell you right now that it is possible to make a living gambling, but it’s not easy. The days of walking into a casino, counting a few cards and making millions are long gone.
The answer to this question depends partially on your definition of “gambling.” If you consider activities such as poker and sports betting to be gambling, then yes it is entirely possible to make a good living by gambling. I personally don’t consider it gambling if you use skill to make a consistent income, but we’ll just lump all casino games into the gambling category for the sake of this one article.
Blackjack Card Counting for a Living
Card counting is possible at live casinos but not at online casinos. The problem with card counting at online casinos is that the deck is constantly shuffled. Every hand of blackjack that you play at an online casino comes from a fresh deck.
Live casinos typically do not use a deck that is continuously shuffled. This makes it possible for you to count cards and determine when the deck is rich in aces. However, live casinos take many steps to prevent people from card counting and earning a consistent income.
First of all, most live casinos simply ban known card counters. These casinos use surveillance and facial recognition technology to spot known card counters and remove them from the premises. Some states, however, have made it illegal to ban casino patrons simply because they count cards. But even in these states, casinos still find ways to make life difficult for blackjack card counters.
One simple tactic casinos use to prevent card counters is to send people down to the casino floor to distract or intimidate card counters. This casino employee may dress as a patron and make small talk in order to distract the card counter or the employee might dress in a dark suit and give the card counter dirty looks.
Having said that, there are still some people out there who can count cards successfully. It’s not an easy thing, though, because it requires great concentration, skill and the ability to count cards without appearing to do so.
Poker for a Living
Poker is the only game in the casino that does not have a house advantage. This is the one game where I’ll tell you it is possible to make money for a living. In fact, most people (including me) do not even consider poker gambling.
Thousands of people make a living by playing online and/or live poker. This career choice is not easy but it is realistic. I myself spent the last year of college playing poker professionally. If you’re bound and determined to make a living by playing games, poker is definitely the way to go.
Sports Betting for a Living
Some people do make a living by betting on sports, but it’s very difficult to make it to that point. Not only does professional sports betting require extreme dedication and knowledge, but it requires a massive bankroll to make any decent money. Professional sports bettors are happy with a 57% win rate. The ups and downs associated with such a minor advantage require a huge bankroll.
If you would like to pursue professional sports betting, your best bet is to hang around online sports betting forums and learn the business from the ground up. Pay no mind to scam sites that promise you a 90%+ win rate. If it was that easy, everybody would be raking the money in hand over fist.
Video Poker for a Living
There are professional video poker players out there but getting started is not easy. There’s just not a lot of information out there because winning video poker players do not often reveal which video poker player machines are profitable. From what I’ve read, the right strategy used at the right machine can yield a return of about 103% of all money wagered at that machine.
Most of the return in video poker machines is found in the jackpots that are given out for royal flushes. This means that you have to put in a lot of volume to see a consistent return. A large bankroll and strong stomach for variance are both required to even have a chance as a professional video poker player.