Believe it or not, being a professional casino player is actually a thing, with many people living off their strategic earnings for years to come. With many players striving in the nightlife of the casino, it’s possible to become a multimillionaire by working as a professional gambler – just look at the late gambling legend Nick the Greek!
But taking the right spin on the roulette table or folding correctly when playing poker is a tricky task, and not one that many people can mask. Becoming a casino winner takes a lot more than luck! That said, if you’ve perfected your poker face, read on to find out what it takes to become a professional casino player.
Is it right for me?
Becoming a professional casino player is risky business. While you can potentially make big bucks in a few hours, you also face the risk of generating big losses, too.
Working as a professional gambler needs stamina, patience and dedication. So, if you’re a fan of stability, paid holidays and company benefits, you should definitely look for alternative career paths.
What qualifications do I need?
Although no formal education is required to become a professional casino player, you can attend casino classes and acquire a degree in gambling. Alternatively, you could specialise in applied maths, engineering or computer programming, which can give you an edge over your opponents. Additionally, education in psychology and body language studies will help you analyse dealers and players around you, helping you identify patterns and perfect your bluffs.
Moreover, if you’re focused on perfecting one type of casino game, you could take specialised courses in blackjack, poker or roulette, for example, to perfect your skill. By doing so, you’ll be one step ahead of the game, and you’ll have a greater knowledge of the casino world.
What skills do I need?
Naturally, to become a skilled casino player, you’ll need a handful of very specific skills to beat the odds and the house. Here are some of the most important qualities and skills that you’ll need to succeed.
- Attention to detail: Having the upper hand in any game will require great attention to detail. Whether your trick is counting cards and signalling like the Las Vegas champion James Grosjean or differentiating the minute pattern differences on cards like Cheung Yin Sun, you’ll need to focus and tune in on the small details that will make you successful.
- Patience: Patience is equally important when it comes to casino playing. If you’re gambling as a living, you’ll need to take your losses on the chin and be patient to win your money back, and more. You’ll also need to stay calm when dealing with inquisitive and aggressive opponents.
- Analytical skills: Successfully guessing your opponents’ cards, the dealer’s hands and the way the machine shuffles will require in-depth analytical knowledge. You’ll need to collect data and analyse it over and over again until you find a winning solution.
- Research skills: In addition to analytical skills, you’ll also need to be good at researching. You can study casino playing legends that walked before you and identify trends and patterns that they followed.
- Time management: Time management is also essential; you need to know when to fold, when to walk out and how much time is needed to perfect your skills. Baccarat player Sun spent over 1,000 hours over 4 years training herself to identify variations on cards, which allowed her to win over $9.6 million in the long run.
- Concentration: Along with time management comes concentration. You need to focus and spends hours on end perfecting your strategy. So, if you’re a person that gets easily distracted, this career type might not be ideal for you.
- Stress management: Being watched and scrutinised by security officials can make you hot under the collar, but as a professional casino player, you’ll need to manage your stress and stay calm and collected to avoid further suspicions.
How do I land a job?
There’s no direct route to becoming a professional casino player. To ensure that you succeed, you’ll need to find a group of likeminded professionals that you can trust and practise your strategy with. Once you feel like you have a master plan, you can then start embarking on your career as you work through the big casinos in the world.
How do I gamble responsibly?
When it comes to working in such a risky position, it’s important to gamble responsibly. You want to be a professional casino player, and not an addictive one. This means that you should know when to fold and when to continue playing.
To ensure you’re not turning your profession into an addiction, you should embark on plenty of research to understand and learn the rules of the game and the way the casino operates, and to make sure that the methods you’re using to play are all legal. You don’t want to face a lawsuit later down the line when the casino’s security has analysed the techniques that you used to make your big win!
In addition to research, you need to set a specific budget that you should stick to when playing at the casino and avoid going over this allowance. This also needs to be spare cash or savings that you have for casino playing. Don’t go into debt by taking out loans or borrowing money from acquaintances to try and win your losses back – this is irresponsible and will only result in further losses if you’re unable to make a win.
How can I advance in my career?
Advancing as a professional casino player can be challenging. The more you win, the more you’ll be banned from certain casinos. Therefore, if you find that you’re being monitored, it’s best to cash in your winnings and move on to another casino.
That said, there are other, and less difficult, ways to make a living from gambling. Once you’re ready to hang up your playing boots, you can focus on sharing your skills and knowledge with others through YouTube videos, or through online or in-person tutoring.
Becoming a professional casino player requires a lot of dedication, and it’s not something that can happen overnight. But if you love the thrill of the wheel, then this can be the ideal career for you!
Are you thinking about becoming a professional casino player? Perhaps you’re already a successful player and would like to share your tips and tricks with up-and-coming players? Join the conversation below and let us know.
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 25 November 2016.