It’s not always easy working the 9-5. Toiling for day after day for minimum wage. Doesn’t becoming a professional sports bettor sound much more appealing? It sounds like a pretty easy and stress-free way to make a decent living eh? Well, if that’s what you’re after then this isn’t for you…
In all honesty, becoming a professional sports gambler certainly isn’t easy – and it’s definitely not stress-free. If you want to do well, you have to work hard at it – and you may well find yourself under a lot of pressure and stress. However, you needn’t let this put you off, as long as you are aware of this before you start. If you are serious about making a living from sports betting, then we can help you. You just need to be aware of everything that is involved.
You shouldn’t just decide to get into it because you’re fed up of toiling away every day in an office job and you want to escape the turbulence of city life. You need to fully understand what to expect, and to be sure that you have what it takes to make a success of it. If you don’t, you’re just on the road to disappointment – and failure.
If you have got this far and are still interested, then great. However, just to be clear, we cannot guarantee success. You can’t just read one blog post and become an overnight success. It takes hard work, determination and perseverance. There’s a lot you will need to experience and know before you are truly ready to become a pro. There are lots of guides for you in our betting school to help you on your way.
In this article, we want to try to get you from where you are to being ready to take that step to become a professional gambler. We’ll help you to decide whether it’s the right choice for you. Hopefully, we’ll help you prepare for what life will be like as a pro bettor and to equip you to face challenges that you might face. We’ll give you the top tips for success.
Making a Start
Before you start, you need to ask yourself one question – ‘as a gambler, where am I at now?’ You need to decide whether you’re a complete beginner and know nothing; you know basics and have a little experience; whether you take it seriously but are having trouble making profits, or whether you manage to win money but only bet on a part-time basis. Here at BettingOnline, we give you advice for each different stage. If you are a beginner, follows Part 1; if you are basic, Part 2; serious but lack profits, Part 3; make money part-time, Part 4.
Part 1 – Beginners
If you’re starting from the very beginning, then you need to go back to the basics. You can’t run before you can walk. It’s great to have big aims, but if you’re starting from the beginning, then you will have a long way to go before you can even think about it. Check out our Betting Tips for Dummies and How Sportsbetting Works articles. This will help you with some of the basics. You can also check out the most common sportsbetting mistakes, so you can avoid falling into those most common traps. As soon as you read through the basics in our betting school, you’ll be ready to take on Part 2.
Part 2 – Knowing the Basics
You’re taking the first steps now and you’re already on your journey. However, there’s still quite a way to go. This is when you start taking money management into serious consideration. This is when you should consider putting money into an account that is purely there for betting. Then set yourself rules on your maximum wagers.
Another area you should be aware of is exactly how odds work, and how you can work out if you have a value bet. Understanding this is vital if you want to be a pro sports bettor. You can’t consistently make money unless you know how to work out where the value bets are.
As well as this, you really need to start studying sports betting extensively, sourcing all the information you can on the subject. Our betting school offers lots of top information. You could also look for a betting forum and strategy forums on social media. Often you can learn a lot from others with the same interest. Simply reading them can be beneficial, but joining in even more so.
Part 3 – Serious but lack profit
This is where you make the big step from being knowledgeable to being profitable. Undoubtedly, this is the hardest part. Knowing what you need to do is one thing – doing it is quite another. Because of this, there aren’t as many serious bettors making a consistent profit as there should be.
At this point in your journey, you should be focusing on your strategies. There are plenty of different strategies from which you can choose – check out our top sportsbetting strategies. No strategy is perfect, so don’t expect to just pick a strategy and start making lots of money. Firstly, you have to figure out which strategy is best suited to your skills. Then you figure out how to use them effectively. This isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. This can involve a fair bit of trial and error.
You also need to address your mindset at this point – and start having the mindset of a winner. This means being able to remain calm and focused. You can’t let your emotions overwhelm you – and you need to act rationally at all times.
In addition, you need to make sure that you now start keeping records of your bets – in depth. You then need to study and analyse them. You should then be able to see what’s working, what isn’t working and as a result, figure out how to improve your profits.
As soon as you start making profits on a more consistent basis, you can then move on to part 4.
Part 4 – Make money on a part-time basis
This is the decision part. You have completed parts 1-3 and you have started making money. However, is it enough – and do you have enough confidence to take the next step – give up your job and bet for a living? Many people advocate keeping a job and doing it as a part-time money earner, and there’s a lot to be said for it. You then don’t have to sacrifice that steady income. This decision needs to be a personal one. There’s no right or wrong and different people will need and want different things.
Making the Decision – The Pros and Cons
As we have stated before, there are pros and cons of professional sportsbetting. It isn’t necessarily the job of dreams. Therefore, before committing, you really need to consider everything very carefully. Is it the right choice for you? Undoubtedly there are the obvious advantages, but do be aware of the disadvantages.
- Working the hours that suit you
- You can work from any location
- You are your own boss
- There’s the potential to make big bucks!
For many, one of the biggest draws of this would be the flexible working hours. Most of the work that you need to do can be done at any time of the day – or night. Therefore, you can work around your own schedule. There may be times when you have to work at certain times – i.e. if you’re live betting, but most of the work is flexible and can be done whenever.
Also, you get to choose how many hours you put into it – but you need to be disciplined. If you put in just a few hours a day, the chances of making a decent profit are slim; however, you definitely won’t need to work all day every day – plus weekends. There are some weeks and periods that will be busier than others will. However – as you’re your own boss – you decide what and when to do it.
Another benefit is being able to work wherever you want. You can do it from wherever you want. The only stipulation is being able to access the internet to research and place bets. So, if you have a laptop, tablet or smartphone you can go where you like. This means you can make your money whilst travelling around. You don’t have to have any fixed location; you don’t need to find accommodation close to the office – as the world is your office. For many, this is the perfect lifestyle.
It’s not uncommon to dislike your boss. Some people find it very hard to be answerable to one person. Having no boss is a big deal to some. You don’t have to follow anyone else’s rules. This gives you a real sense of freedom. Having said that, the job isn’t entirely stress-free. However, this isn’t the same kind of stress that working for someone else is.
These advantages are all about your overall quality of life. You can then be responsible for your work/life balance. Often, with jobs, people are unable to get this balance right due to how busy their work lives are. As such, this can really negatively impact the quality of life. So, being your own boss – working your own hours and working where you like is definitely a huge advantage.
However, for many people – the fourth advantage is the biggest pull…
Earning the Big Bucks
This, for many, is the biggest advantage. Many people want to take this step because they want to make more money than they already are. Well, if you do it right, then sports betting really does let you do that. You have a huge earning potential as a pro bettor; it is, in fact, unlimited. It may not be easy, but it’s possible. There are a number of very well-off individuals who have made their fortunes in this way.
So far so good – but don’t hand in your notice just yet. Firstly, you need to be clear of the disadvantages:
- There is no guaranteed income
- It will be hard to get any type of credit / loan / mortgage with this as your source of income.
- Working on your own can get lonely
- You might have trouble with limited betting accounts or getting your accounts closed.
No Guaranteed Income
As stated, pro sports bettors have the potential to earn a lot of money – but they are never guaranteed. You can’t look forward to your end of month pay-packet regularly. If you have some bad luck or a bad spell, then you might be looking at surviving on a small income. You might even face times when you lose money. You need to be prepared for this.
However, this will affect some people more than others. People deal with this all the time – as it’s not too different from people working self-employed or starting a new business – or even working on a commission basis. Some people need the security of a regular wage and others don’t.
Difficulty with Credit or Mortgage
This is very much linked to the first point. If you don’t have a set guaranteed income each month then lenders often aren’t willing to give you credit, a loan or mortgage. Even if you have earned a lot of money from it – and even if you have done so consistently, there’s still no guarantee. Banks are very wary of lending money to a professional gambler.
It’s a Lonely Life
This is something that people often overlook. It sounds great, working from home and not having to go to an office. You can work from home and you don’t need to go anywhere. However, this can lead to loneliness. This is often the hardest aspect of the job.
As a sports bettor, you’ll spend a lot of your time working in front of the computer or TV. This can mean very limited interaction with others. Although the job might be fun and enjoyable, the solitude is less appealing. Often sports bettors learn to cope with it, but this can often lead to them feeling a detachment from the outside world. If you have ever been a pro sports bettor – or worked self-employed or freelance, you’ll be well aware of what we’re talking about.
Accounts Limited or Closed
This isn’t as uncommon as you’d like to think. This doesn’t just happen to professional sports bettors – or even just to those bettors who make a great profit. Unfortunately, bookmakers can be quite quick to limit and close accounts now. If they suspect that someone knows what they are doing and is a threat, then they’ll close the account.
There are ways to deal with this issue – as there are ways to deal with the other concerns, which we’ll look at later, but be aware of these before you start.
Do You Have What it Takes?
A really important thing to think about is whether you have all the attributes you need to make a profession out of it.
Theoretically, everyone could be a sports bettor. However, some people are more suited to it than others are. There are certain personality traits that mean it’s easier for some than others. Here are the ideal attributes you need. Obviously, you don’t need to tick all the boxes – but the more you tick, the better.
- You are a true sports lover
- You can do your maths
- You have a logical and analytical brain
- You can motivate yourself
- You are disciplined
- You have patience.
Although it’s preferable, a real love of sports isn’t the be-all and end-all. In fact, even if you don’t particularly enjoy sport, you could still be successful. In fact, there are some out there who would say that this would give you an advantage. If you are not emotionally involved in the sport, it’s easier to make a level-headed and rational decision. There is logic to this argument, but it’s not something we’d agree with.
People who love sports are the people who are more likely to know more. They will probably understand the different intricacies that might affect an outcome or result. This is an advantage when it comes to predicting the outcome. Also, if you are a lover of sports, you’ll enjoy your work more… which often means more time and effort. This can never be under-rated.
Good at Maths?
This is more important than the first point. You don’t need to be Good Will Hunting or anything, but knowing your way around numbers is a good skill to have. You definitely need to understand the concept of probability. You should also be able to make simple calculations.
We then have attributes that you can learn – or train yourself at. So, if you aren’t a natural, then it’s something that you can work on. However, even though you can train yourself, they are still important. So if they aren’t natural, be sure to work on them.
With any job where you have to work solo – and are your own boss, self-motivation is essential. If you don’t motivate yourself, it’s easy to get distracted. Then, without discipline, you might make unwise decisions and start betting with your heart… or chasing losses. Then, if you don’t have patience, you might not wait out for the right/value bets. If you have these attributes, you are much more likely to succeed.
If you decide you have / could have all the attributes – you need to prepare yourself for full-time betting.
How to Prepare
Before you hand in your resignation letter, you should prepare yourself. It’s not wise to just quit and start betting. It’s all about planning and preparation. Proper planning will help you to get off to a good start – and not make those common – and costly – mistakes. Here are some ways to prepare:
- Set goals
- Manage your bankroll
- Make a betting plan
- Choose what you want to bet on
- Create a betting schedule
- Pick your strategies
Obviously, your main goal will be making all the money that you can. However, targets should be a little more specific. Firstly, you should figure out the amount of cash that you want / need to make annually and set that as your goal. You can then start measuring your success by whether you meet your goal or not – and how close you get to it.
Looking at the smaller picture, you could try setting weekly or monthly targets as well – however, we don’t really recommend that. In general, sports results are too volatile. You may get a bad week or a month – and if you do miss a target, this could interrupt your flow and do some damage psychologically. This could knock your confidence, which could lead to bad decision making.
If you want to break down your annual target, then maybe think about setting goals for each sport. If you bet on football, cricket and tennis, then football might be your strongest sport. Therefore, you could aim to get 50% of your yearly target on football betting, then 25% on cricket and 25% on tennis. You then have a more accurate way of measuring your success.
Once you have a goal, it’s time to allocate a bankroll. If you work backwards from your annual target, you can work out approximately the size of the bankroll necessary. Furthermore, you could break it down according to sport also. You could assign a bankroll for each of your sports. You could then use the bigger bankroll for sports you are more confident with and would be prepared to take the bigger risks with.
Following this, you then need to create a staking plan. Firstly, decide whether you will be using a fixed or variable plan. Both are okay, but we recommend the variable (if you are confident and comfortable). Then, you work out the percentage of your bankroll you are prepared to risk on each bet you make.
The importance of good bankroll management can’t be made clear enough. It’s important for all bettors, but if you want to become a professional bettor, then it is critical. You can’t afford to take huge risks if this is your only source of income as a bad run could be ruinous. We recommend that you stick to 2% or under for your stake. Only stake 2% if you are very confident in your bet. In fact, most bets should hover around the 0.5% mark. This may be cautious, but it’s your livelihood.
Pick Your Sport
Another major factor in preparation is choosing the sports, events you want to bet on. Obviously, this doesn’t have to be set in stone, but you do need to have an idea of what you will be focusing on. E.g. If you bet on football, your main focus might be the Premier League or La Liga… or both.
Remember, you shouldn’t spread yourself too thin. There’s only a finite amount of time available. Obviously, you don’t need to focus on one sport, but also don’t bet on a wide number of different sports. Think about what you are best at and concentrate on those sports.
Set Your Schedule
Obviously, one of the great things about being a pro sports bettor is the freedom and flexibility; however, it helps to have a set schedule and routine. Therefore, we recommend creating a daily schedule for your betting activities, even if it’s a loose one. You should attempt to break down your work needed – then set aside time for each one. This will help maintain your focus and ensure you spend the right amount of time doing what you need to do. You can still maintain some flexibility though, should you need to.
Picking Your Strategy
Finally, you should be thinking about picking your strategies. You need to consider these carefully – and you need to think about how you will be using them. You may well adjust the strategies as time progresses, but you need to plan your strategy at the beginning. If you don’t, you’ll start your career with no clear structure, which isn’t a good idea. You’re then set to start.
However, with the best preparation in the world, you’re sure to meet some challenges.
Working out Those Challenges
As previously mention, there are four issues that might create challenges in your betting career. Each one can make life a little trickier. However, some of these are possible to overcome (although getting credit is a trickier one to combat).
Firstly, you have to cope with a lack of guaranteed income. The way to deal with this may take a little time, but it is possible. However, you do need to make sure that you already have several months’ worth of living expenses in your saving account. Ideally, six months minimum would be recommended – but a year’s worth would be ideal. You then have a lot of security. Then, if you have a long period of bad luck, you’ll still have cash. If you start to run out of savings, you might then choose to rethink your choices.
Dealing with the Loneliness
This is something that might not be a problem for everyone – there are some that might be fine with it. However, there are ways to deal with this.
Obviously, the best thing to do is to make sure you spend your free time friends and family – and socialise when you can. If you’re spending a lot of your working day alone, make the most of your social time and make sure you try to avoid work talk. Just relax and enjoy the company.
Another way of dealing with it is by trying to incorporate some socialization into your work life. You could work alongside anyone else that bets on sports for a living. You can contact them and talk with them in person, over Skype, phone or email. You can then talk about your strategies and theories with people who know what they are chatting about.
However, you may not have any friends that also bet on sport for a living. Therefore, you might want to think about joining an online forum and strike up conversations on the boards. It’s not quite as good as discussing it in person with someone you know, but this interaction is better than no interaction
This might be one of the only drawbacks associated with being successful at the job. If you keep on winning, then the chances are that bookies will start to limit – or even close – your account. As you can understand, bookies don’t want customers that keep on winning money. You may think this isn’t fair – and you’d be right, but it’s a reality.
So, we need to look for solutions. Make sure you have a wide number of accounts – and that you spread those bets out. Sometimes this might mean overlooking better odds, but this needs to be sacrificed in order to keep your accounts open for longer. However, keep your accounts with bookies that are trustworthy and licensed.
You could also try to trick the site into thinking you’re not the best at betting. This won’t work forever if you do consistently make profits, but it might lengthen the time you have your account open and unrestricted. You could do the occasional sucker bet – i.e. an acca with lots of selections. This will give the impression that you are a recreational bettor. Also, if you have an account with a bookie that has a casino, then have a little play on those every now and then – but not too much money. You shouldn’t give away too much money to keep your account open.
If there is ever a time when you can’t open an account at any reputable online bookie, then you have only one option available. However, this isn’t a great solution and requires careful planning. You could ask acquaintances to open an account under their name and place the bets for you. It really is a worst-case scenario and is best avoided if possible.
There is simply so much to say about betting for a living – and we could harp on about it forever. But for now, we’ll sign off with five very helpful tips.
- Take regular breaks
- Avoid betting when you are bored
- Make sure to re-invest your profit
- Be sure to review and tweak your strategies
- Keep a positive attitude
Take a Break
Making sure you take regular breaks is important in any job. Being a pro bettor can feel like a chore at times. However, you need to make sure you stay engaged at all times. You can’t afford to run on autopilot and simply go through the motions. You’ll then start losing money if you do. Having breaks will help you to avoid this.
Also, it should help to alleviate boredom. You might believe that you could never get bored of betting, but sooner or later, you will. There might well be longer periods when there aren’t great opportunities to bet. However, you should avoid betting just because you think you should be. This will end up being counterproductive.
You don’t necessarily need to do this, but it is a good idea. You might be tempted to withdraw your profits, but it’s a good idea to use some of your profit to boost the bankroll. If you make sure you are doing everything else right, you should be able to increase your profits in the long run.
This is a pretty obvious tip, but it’s worth making the point. Some bettors simply stick with the same strategies for a long period of time. This isn’t a disaster if you do, especially if it’s working for you. However, it’s good to see if you can make adjustments to improve strategies – and improve profits.
This is simple, but it’s very important – one of the most important pieces of advice we could give you. It’s also tougher than you think. There will be times when things are going wrong and it’s hard to be positive. However, this is normal, you just have to grin and keep going.
You really can’t let bad runs affect your positivity or make you lose your confidence. This is damaging for a sports bettor. This can block you from making a rational choice and thinking with a clear state of mind. You might start second-guessing yourself and then just making the safest and most obvious bets. You might then stop looking for value and just look for a winning bet. This is terrible because Value bets are everything. If you forget that, you’re in trouble.
So, if you have a bad run, stay positive. Analyse mistakes, but don’t feel like you are just doing everything wrong. Sometimes you can be doing it all right but just getting bad results – that’s sports betting. Believe in yourself; believe in your decisions and turn that bad run around.
So, Good luck! It’s a long road, but one worth taking. Keep reading, keep working and keep on betting.