There are a large number of misconceptions about being a professional gambler. From casual observations and Hollywood movies, most people believe that gambling is all about beating the odds or counting cards. That is not the case. Understanding people is one of the most important skills necessary in a professional gambler. People often dumb down gambling by saying that everyone has a “tell”. At the professional level, that is not true. Fellow professional gamblers will not have an eye twitch or a leg movement every time they are bluffing. Their behaviors will have a pattern, but those patterns are more nuanced and hard to tell most can imagine. A professional gambler needs to get inside the heads of his/her competition. Make them think about you, worry about you, and fear you. That is how you will be successful.
Professional gamblers also need to understand that there is a limit to how much money they are betting. When we look at the most famous large bets in gambling history, most of those bets were made by people whose net worth was 10-15x the gambled amount. It is never a good idea to bet more money than you can afford to part with. If you have $50,000 in your bank account, do not bet all of it or more. There is no reward, accomplishment, or romantic notion in falling into debt because of gambling. Most people go by the notion that gambling 15-20% of your disposable income is a good idea. This is a safe way to go about things, especially during your first 5-10 years of gambling. When you have won a great deal, have a higher net worth, and are experienced then you can afford to take more risks.
People think that professional gamblers just bet whatever they want, get lucky, and win a lot of money. That is a mile away from the truth. There are rules and steps to follow when you are gambling. For example, if you are playing a card game of five players, you should not be losing for more than an hour. After an hour’s play, there will be two people who have won money and three that have lost. If you are among the losers, go find another game. Luck only plays a part in one or two hands, not an hour’s worth of play.
Letting it ride is another mistake that amateur gamblers make. Professional gamblers know that it is important to pocket your winnings and then look into new bets. There is no magic in cards, dice, or slots. If you have just won, restock and gamble in a little while. Letting it ride is asking to have all your money taken away from you.
It is not easy being a professional gambler, especially with the uncertainty of income that it brings. However, if you have a family that supports you and a decent amount of money safe in the bank, you should have no problem working your way closer to the top.