How to Become a Professional Sports Gambler

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Viewed and reviewed by: Kevin Dolan

If you are a big fan of sports betting, few things may seem more appealing than learning how to become an expert at it. Of course, this is no a walk in the park, even if it may seem so.

If you are still intrigued, read our guide on becoming professional sports gambler, and find out what you can do to sharpen your betting skills while boosting your bankroll.

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Betfair
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Remember: You Will Not Win All Your Bets, and You Do Not Have to

One myth that we need to dispense with once and for all is that expert sports bettors win all of their bets. Professional sports betting usually deals with small edges. Most successful punters are only correct in 55% to 60% of their bets, and come nowhere near 80% or 90%. If you can make a 5% profit on your bets over an extended period, you are well on your way to becoming a serious threat to bookies.

 

Finding Value in 5 Steps

Part of professional betting means choosing the right bets to begin with. For this, you need to find bets with the most value. In other words, look for underrated underdogs, or even underrated favourites. As each sport is unique, a punter can find value in thousands of idiosyncratic ways. Still, finding value will always follow a similar process.

Here Are Our Five Professional Sports Betting Steps of Identifying Value:

Step 1: Do not look at the odds.

In order to analyse the outcome of any sports event, it is best to do your research first before seeing what the bookies' odds are. The latter will cloud your judgement, even before you know which outcome you would predict.

Step 2: Predict your outcome.

Decide which outcome you think is more likely. For example, in professional football betting, decide whether you think a football match will be a win, loss or draw for a team.

Step 3: Refine your predictions.

Of course, nobody can see the future, so even if you decide on an outcome which you think is most likely, there is no guarantee you will be right. You should now set about deciding – objectively – what the chances are of it happening or not, and try to quantify it in terms of percentages. For example, in MMA betting, you decide that an MMA fighter has a 60% chance of winning.

Step 4: Set your own odds.

Each set of odds has its own implied probability, and you can calculate odds from probability as well. For example, a probability of 33% has odds of 2/1 or 3.00. For more help with this, check out our Implied Probability Calculator.

Step 5: Compare your odds to the bookies' odds.

Now that you have your odds, you should look at what the bookies are offering and compare. Try to think why the bookies' odds are different from yours. If you still think your set of odds is more accurate than what the bookies are offering, or the bookies offer better odds than your estimation, you've got the green light to go ahead and place your bet!

 

Build Your Bankroll

Building a bankroll is often what separates the beginners from the sports betting pros. If you want to bet like a pro, you will also need a sum of money to start off with. While some professional sports bettors start with a large bankroll, other slowly build it up from scratch. In any case, since most professional sports gamblers only make 5% profit, you will need a very large bankroll in order to make worthwhile profits.

 

Manage Your Bankroll

Bankroll management is also key. Once you have decided on which event and outcome you want to bet, you will also need to decide how much you'd like to wager. A smart strategy is to divide your bankroll into units and never to bet more than 5% of your total bankroll. 

 

Useful Betting Strategies When Betting Professionally

Besides looking for and determining value, there are several betting strategies which can ultimately make a big difference to your bankroll. These include arbitrage betting, hedge betting, matched betting, using statistics, chasing steam, or even using betting software. For further, detailed guidance, check out our article on sports betting strategies.

 

How Not to Get Gubbed

Another thing bettors should always look out for is gubbing. Gubbing is when a bookie limits your access to promotions like free bets or deposit bonuses – some bookies even limit bet size. This often happens to successful bettors who win large amounts of money through matched betting or arbing, but is sometimes simply due to the fact that you have won too much money. A good way to avoid this is to use betting exchange sites, as you will be betting against other punters, not the bookie themselves. For more information, head over to our article on gubbing and how you can avoid it.

 

Personal Traits Needed for Professional Sports Betting

In truth, there are no specific requirements for anyone seeking to become a professional bettor in sports. Any determined person could succeed. With that said, there are certain traits that one may want to work on if betting like an expert is the end goal.

The most obvious is having a real interest and knowledge in sports. You don't necessarily need to be a hardcore fan – and perhaps, you may not even want to be. After all, it is incredibly important that you do not let your emotions interfere with your predictions. However, having a general interest in sports will ensure you don’t get bored.

In addition, the promise of money may not always be enough to keep you hooked. Knowledge is also incredibly important. You’ll want to keep learning more about the sports and teams you choose to place your bets on – although the element of chance always plays a role, professional sports betting isn’t reserved just for the lucky.

Getting used to working with numbers is also crucial. You don’t need to be a mathematician – the maths you’ll need to know is fairly elementary and easy to understand. However, you’ll want to ensure you understand odds and probabilities well.

Another important trait is having the ability to control yourself and not let things get out of hand. It's important to always remain disciplined and not to bet beyond your means. If you don't reason logically and allow yourself to get carried away, things can easily go south, leaving you with a significant dent on your earnings.

Maintaining a realistic outlook is also important. Yes, betting can lead to big wins, but it takes a lot of time and skill to become a real expert. Don’t be disheartened or shocked if your first major try didn’t bring in the result you were hoping for. As with anything else, good things take time to develop; patience, therefore, is a virtue here. 

Finally, many ask if attending courses is a necessity. It is not, but if you do have the time to enrol in one, it can't hurt either. Betting studies typically teach the average player a few tricks and skills that will almost certainly boost your abilities.

 

Professional Betting Tips

There are a few helpful tips you’ll want to take note of when transitioning into professional sports betting. In order to avoid making any common betting mistakes, below are some pointers that will help you prepare for what’s to come.

1. Set Goals

In order to track your progress and keep your spending in check, you should set specific goals and work towards them. Yes, earning a substantial figure is everyone’s main aim – but you should take some time to draft up realistic targets for your annual earnings. By doing so, you can track just how much more you would like to win. This can also be done by setting goals for each sport you choose to bet on, by placing your largest goal on the sport you know the most about. Goals for the month are also doable, although not as recommended, due to the unpredictable nature of sports betting.

2. Keep Track of Your Betting Records

Improving your tactics is easier if you keep a record of your most and least successful bets. Keep an eye out for patterns in your wins and losses. For instance, do you specialise when picking favourites or the underdogs? Do you typically go for multiple small wins or a few, scattered large wins? Are there certain days and times during events that seem to bring in, or not bring in, money? Analyse your strengths and other patterns, and use these to your advantage when placing your next bet.

3. Learn to Manage Your money Efficiently

All punters would benefit from sticking to a staking plan. For instance, if you are aiming to bring in a weekly £2000 from your bets, then you’ll need to ensure your plan can support this. In order to manage your betting funds, you will need to set specific budgets and choose how much you are able to stake on each bet. If you spend more than you can afford to, you risk losing everything – and if you spend less than you need to, you will limit your ability to earn more. In professional sports betting, you cannot afford to take major risks, as your earnings depend on your every move; hence why bankroll management could make or break your career as a professional bettor, even if your analytical skills are off the charts.

4. Never Let Your Emotions Take Over

Placing bets simply because you hope your favourite team will win is a recipe for disaster. Always rely on your analytical skills. Moreover, your emotional weaknesses can surface in other aspects. Perhaps you got a bit carried away after experiencing a long streak of wins, and are now feeling confident enough to place a bet you haven’t thought out as much as usual. Identify your emotional weaknesses, and make a conscious effort to use logic instead.

5. Practice Discipline

As we said earlier, controlling yourself and remaining disciplined are massively important when betting. Getting carried away is easy, so it is vital that you set some rules and stick to them when a lot is at stake. This applies to your spending habits, but also your schedule. The latter will enable you to allocate the appropriate time to each betting activity while keeping yourself focused. 

6. Be Confident and Realistic

Sports betting is, by nature, unpredictable. There will be stretches of time, sometimes months, when your success rate will be significantly lower than usual. All punters know the feeling – there is no such thing as constant success. Experts may sometimes opt to place safe wagers out of fear and a lack of confidence. Remember to focus on finding value instead, and keep reminding yourself that bad days or slower weeks aren’t out of the ordinary.

 

Professional Sports Betting FAQs

⭕️ Are there professional sports bettors?

Yes! There are thousands of bettors who learned how to make their hobby as profitable as possible, enjoying very handsome winnings.

🍒 How much do professional sports bettors make?

Most professional sports bettors do not disclose their income. However, they do often disclose their profit in terms of units or percentages. Most pros win about 55% of their bets, which is 5% better than a 50/50 guess. The bigger the bankroll they have, and the bigger the bets they are able to place, the more they can win.

 

ThePuntersPage Final Say

Being a professional bettor takes time, effort, practice, and guts. You need a decent bankroll to begin with, and you should manage it smartly. Always look to refine your betting strategy and do not hesitate to hedge your bets every now and then. Remember that even the best professional sports gamblers lose many of their bets and have margins of about 5%. For more related to this topic, be sure to read our in-depth sports strategy guides.