If you’re like a lot of gamblers, you can relate to this scenario: You smash it at the table, collect your winnings, and running high on adrenaline and the sheer thrill that comes with beating the house, wonder to yourself, “Is making a living gambling possible?”
It is, and even more so when you have insider information on your side.
You see, to live off gambling, you need a bit of good luck, but more than anything, a smart strategy. That’s right. Strategy. What? You thought gambling was all about chance? Think again.
Keep reading for five gambling secrets the pros — that is, the ones making a living gambling — won’t tell you. Learn these secrets, make them yours, and you too can start calling the casino the office.
Making a Living Gambling Secret No. 1: Be Wise
Look, let’s be real here. Gambling is not a job.
The casino doesn’t care if you show up at 8 a.m. or 8 p.m. You don’t have to wear a tie, sweat an annual review, or pretend to be riveted by tales from your boss’s vacation.
But there’s also absolutely no security. No paycheck deposited like clockwork every two weeks.
No matter how much luck is on your side, or how airtight your strategies are, you could be up $50,000 today and down $100,000 tomorrow.
That’s why, to make a living gambling, you have to have your finances in order. What does that mean? Don’t quit your day job just yet.
Instead, set aside a percentage of your paycheck for gambling. Use it and reinvest your winnings into your “gambling fund.” With time, and if you’re smart about your spending, your bankroll will grow to the point that you’re financially secure enough to withstand the inevitable streaks of bad luck.
Eventually, your bankroll could even grow big enough to allow you to go ahead and tell that boss you don’t care about his trip to Maui — and he can take this job and shove it, too.
Whether you’re new to the gambling scene, still stinging from a losing streak, or simply a conservative player, you may be looking to keep your wagers low.
Only problem: Online and brick-and-mortar casinos typically have a minimum bet.
As with anything, however, these table minimums will vary from establishment to establishment. In Las Vegas, for instance, casinos off the strip will typically have a lower minimum than the flashier spots just a few blocks over on the strip.
The same goes for online casinos, too.
Shop around to find the table minimum that feels right to you. Trust us, if you go into a game worried about the minimum, your head is not in the right place to play and therefore not in the right place to win.
Shop around. You’ll be glad you did.
Make It Difficult to Spend Your Savings
Consider this scenario: You win big at the poker or roulette table, you cash out, and your pockets are nicely lined in crisp new hundred-dollar bills.
You buy a drink. Then one for the hottie at the bar. Then another. Then a nice steak dinner. Then a new suit. Then hit the club.
Next thing you know, your winnings have been reduced to a pair of ratty twenties and a handful of spare change.
Making a living gambling means using your winnings to live. And unfortunately, bills are part of life.
The mortgage, the car payment, the health insurance payment, all that needs to be paid, which means you can’t be out there frittering away your winnings the minute you get them.
To help fend off temptation and make your dream of making a living gambling a reality, insist on getting a check for your winnings.
This may be more difficult if you’re playing online, but give it a try nonetheless.
Or, another idea, have your winnings deposited in an account separate from the ones you use most often. Anything to make it harder to get — and potentially waste — what you make.
When You Cash Out, Ask for Small Bills
When you score a big jackpot, definitely ask for a check, which will force you to deposit your winnings and make it more difficult for you to waste what you’ve made on frivolous things like booze and clothes.
But when you win jackpots of only a couple hundred dollars, take it in denominations of $20 — or even less. Why?
Pros do this because, inevitably, they know that there will always be another game that calls their name on the way out of the casino for the day.
With smaller bills in your pocket, you can make a quick $20 bet and if you win, great, but if not, you still have plenty left. Easy enough to shrug off a $20 loss and take home the majority of your winnings.
If you bet $100, however, you might be tempted to stay and try to win it back, which could result in you losing everything for that day, or worse, ending up in the hole.
Another strategy in the same vein: Keep multiple tickets open at once. If you lose on one, you still have money in play.
Keep Your Head Clear
Here’s the tough truth: Casinos make money when you’re at your worst. They make money when you’re drunk, tired, depressed, down on your luck, or in whatever state keeps you feeding the machines and betting at the tables.
You keep thinking the next pull or the next round will be the big one, but what happens? The casino keeps getting richer and your night keeps getting worse.
When you feel that gambling rut set in, when that little voice inside your head tells you it’s time to leave and come back the next day, listen.
Sober up, get some fresh air, think about something else for a while and return when you are ready to think clearly.
Pros know that the making a gambling living means living while gambling, and part of living is knowing when to walk away.
These are the secrets pro gamblers won’t tell you, but now you know how they’re thinking. Get ready to start winning!