One of the questions I'm asked most often is how do I go about, going full time as a professional gambler? A significant part of my income comes from my betting activities, so I guess I am qualified to talk with some authority on what it takes to make money from betting.
A true professional gambler will be involved with betting opportunities in many sports and he is not concerned by whether he enjoys playing or watching a particular sport. What he will be concerned about, is unearthing a potentially profitable opportunity, where the price offered about the outcome of an event is too high compared to the actual chance of it happening.
In other words he is looking for those golden nuggets where the bookmaker has made an error in pricing up an event and in favor of the punters. It could be tennis, football, horse racing, snooker, it does not matter to the professional punter.
However, because I study horse racing and horse racing form on a regular basis, then I believe my advantage over the bookmaker is my knowledge of horse racing. That is why personally I bet almost exclusively on horse racing.
Anybody who earns their living through betting will need to focus on three key areas if they are to be successful:
1) Discipline 2) Betting bank and staking plan 3) Bet selection.
I will spend a little time discussing each topic.
By exercising discipline what I mean is you need to take your betting seriously treat it as a real business to get business benefits. This means keeping records of all your bets, sticking to a strategy, keeping emotion out of your selections, not chasing your losses, you know, all the things you've heard a million times before!
The thing is, if you do not adopt a professional attitude to your betting, you cannot call yourself a professional punter. If you don't take your source of income seriously, then you are just another mug punter and (trust me) the bookmakers will end up taking your income from you.
Any pro-punter will admit they suffer from a losing run from time to time. However, the professional will rarely lose their entire betting bank because they maintain their discipline, they know what has brought them success and profits in the past, so they continue to adopt the same strategies until they enter a winning streak or an upturn in results.
The most common question here is how big should my betting bank be? Well, this is personal to you and you alone. But whatever the size of your bankroll it should always start out as a sum you can afford to lose. I know you've heard this one a thousand times over! It does not matter if you start out with just fifty quid, as long as if it goes down the plughole it does not leave you in hardship.
Look upon your betting bank as the capitalization of your new business, professional gambling. Treat your betting bank as your business funds and with the same respect and discipline you would, were you in a conventional business of your own and you are half way to being successful.
Remember, I am giving you my own personal opinion here. Ideas on staking plans differ, but mine is simple LEVEL STAKES.
Others will disagree and I am not saying that other staking plans do not work. They will say that a staking plan that maximizes your profits whilst minimizing your losses is crucial. What I am saying is that for me personally I believe that if you cannot first turn a profit using a level stakes approach, then you need to modify your selection process before altering your stakes.
I tend to risk no more than one per cent of my bank on any one selection. Betting to relatively low stakes allows me to maintain my discipline, as even a long losing run will have little impact on my reserves overall. Remember what I said about betting without emotion? Let me tell you, if you have lost three quarters of your bank because of your high stakes and an unfortunate losing run, then your judgement with each successive bet will be badly affected.
Most people (and by that I mean the ninety eight per cent of punters who lose money) tend to focus all their attention on how to make profitable selections, without regard to discipline nor their betting bank. All three areas are equally important and you should perhaps view them each as a leg on a stool, remove any one of the legs and your dreams of earning a living from betting will come crashing down.
If you have a solid method of selection that you are able to follow rigidly through losing periods, as well as good and you also have the discipline to stick to your staking plan, then you should show a long term profit from your investments.
It may be that you do not have your own system, or perhaps you do not have the time to study and make selections. In which case you can follow the services of a tipster. Finding the right tipster is a topic all on its own and we do not have the time to do it justice here.
The most important factor in placing your bets and this is more often than not overlooked, is to get a good price about every single bet you make. Always and I mean always, search for value. If you do not find value, then honestly it is better in the long run to leave the bet alone. In the case of horse racing, if you consistently back horses at prices too high compared to their actual chance of winning, then I promise, you will make money in the long run.
About the author: Max Redd has been making a living from betting on horse racing for over 10 years. He runs the Redd Racing betting advisory service which offers all prospective members a free trial and a money-back profit guarantee. Find out more at www.reddracing.co.uk