Although there’s been a lot of talk about how competitive gaming gives people the chance to become professional video game players, it’s nothing compared to the riches that can be won by becoming a pro-casino player.
Whether it’s roulette, poker or blackjack, there have been many players who’ve put in the hard work to beat the odds and hit it big at some of the world’s most lucrative casino tournaments.
And while any of us could take a spin on the roulette wheel, it seems that there’s much more to professional gambling than luck. So here’s a look at how some of the world’s most consistently successful pro-casino players have managed to forge a career through high-stakes gambling.
1. The Importance of Confidence
Archie Karas has become a living legend in the casino world thanks to a three-year period that saw him enjoy the longest winning streak in gambling history. With just $50, the Greek gambler managed to defy the odds at numerous gaming tables in Las Vegas and won over $40 million.
Although Karas started out his gambling career making money at the pool tables, he quickly realised that there was more money to be made by playing poker. And it was Karas’ ability to know who to play against that saw him become able to take part in the more lucrative gaming tournaments.
Upon arrival in Las Vegas the aspiring gambler didn’t bother playing low-stakes matches and instead sought out a wealthy and respected player so that word would spread about Karas’ daredevil reputation.
And as Karas hit a lucky streak his confidence grew so that the stakes were raised to $40,000 and his opponents folded in the face of the high-stakes that Karas was playing. Such was the reputation of Karas that his name still strikes fear in the heart of many gamblers, with a motion picture being made about him, and several casinos even banning the poker ace.
But a word of caution; it was confidence that cost Karas his fortune because when he got careless and switched to dice and baccarat, he managed to lose all of his money in a single three-week period!
2. Take Advantage of Your Opponent
Another famous Greek gambler was the hugely respected Nick Dandolos. This poker playing titan was not only friends with the likes of Albert Einstein, but he also became something of a tourist attraction at many top casinos as a result of his card and dice game dexterity.
The gambling exploits of Nick the Greek won him over $500 million, and many people have sought to explain how he managed to continuously take advantage of weaknesses in his opponent’s psyche.
As well as a string of books that examine his playing style including Ted Thackrey’s acclaimed Gambling Secrets of Nick the Greek, the Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman stated that Dandolos won big, not by playing the tables, but by weighing up the odds and spotting superstitious habits in his opponent’s playing techniques.
This enabled Nick the Greek to swiftly zone in on any particular areas of weakness with devastating effect, and this can be nicely summed up by one of Dandolos’ many famous sayings - ‘Never bet on anything that can talk’.
3. Be Aggressive
Phil Ivey is one of the all-time greats of the poker world, and it’s his ability to combine aggression with timely restraint that has helped him claim a staggering ten World Series of Poker bracelets.
Despite the poker ace’s ability to bluff his opponents with ease, he’s proven to be a little more generous with his own poker techniques and has helped create his own Ivey League resource so that we can all try and emulate his phenomenal playing power.
But regardless of the tips that we can pick up from Ivey’s website, it’s how the poker player controls the game that’s most impressive. Not only is Ivey a fantastic all-round player, but his ability to command the play in a lot of a pots means that he rarely risks his stack and instead can read his opponents hand with an almost supernatural ease.
It’s a technique that can take years to master but can be easily tried courtesy of the video poker games at the Betsafe online casino website as there’s nothing better than practice for improving your game.
And while it might take time to reach the level that Phil Ivey did against Paul ‘Action’ Jackson in the famous Monte Carlo Millions match where Ivey went all-in and won with nothing but a Queen high, it shows that anything is possible with the right mindset.
4. The Power of Memory
Another famous gambler that we can all learn something from is the American blackjack player Don Johnson.
Interestingly, like Nick the Greek, Johnson took his first gambling steps in the horse racing world, but quickly realised that the skills learned could be applied to the gaming tables.
What gave Don Johnson such phenomenal power when playing blackjack was his ability to remember which cards had been played and which were still in the deck. This meant that he would be able to make bigger bets when he had the advantage.
Card counting often gets players banned from casinos, but Johnson managed to ensure that he never crossed an unacceptable line. And when three Atlantic City casinos foolishly gave him a surprising advantage, he walked away with a pretty impressive $15 million.
While all of these examples focus on the big stars of gambling, they all show how important it is to seize the opportunity when an opponent or the house suddenly gives us the chance to make a winning play.
5. Know Your Statistics
And finally, while it might not be amazingly glamorous, it’s essential to get a good understanding of the laws of probability before hitting the casino tables.
Table games like roulette are determined by chance and while the seemingly random way that the ball lands in the pockets could mean that a player has little control over the betting, famous roulette players like Christian Kaisan show quite the opposite.
The German gambler also had a background in horse racing betting, but it was when he started analysing the mechanics of roulette tables that he realised that he could walk away with some lucrative winnings.
Kaisan realised that if he made his bets while the roulette ball was already in play, he could give himself a decisive edge to guess where the ball might eventually end up.
Although this may sound a little far-fetched, it should be noted that Kaisan has reportedly made multi-million dollar winnings at the roulette tables. This is because Kaisan realised that although the movements of the roulette ball may appear to be completely random, it is still governed by the basic laws of physics.
And by carefully examining the flight of the ball and the spin of the wheel, Kaisan has done the impossible and shown that even a slight edge in a game of roulette can lead to a career as a professional casino player.
Have you ever dreamt of becoming a professional casino player? Do any of the stories above make you think it might be possible? Let us know in the comments section below…
See Also: How to Become a Professional Gambler