Although some bettors bet for fun and entertainment purposes, there are plenty out there that want to make a living from betting. During our most recent Discussion Day on Twitter, we offered our help and the expertise of various betting experts to those who wanted to know what is required to be a professional bettor. Read on to learn more about the advice that was shared.
Anyone serious about betting knows that it takes time and dedication to become a professional bettor. Building expert knowledge of a sport and gathering enough funds to invest in betting full-time is merely the starting point of making a career out of beating the bookmakers.
Even if you have access to information that others don’t have, a refined strategy that has been rigorously tested and a carefully calculated staking method, there is still a long way to go. The most popular questions from our Discussion Day and the betting experts’ responses are below.
How important is your staking method?
When you bet for a living, it isn’t about always making money. One of the keys to success is to limit your losses when you don’t win. Even the most profitable bettors will place losing bets - the trick is to use the right staking method that will manage your money in the most efficient way possible.
You could create the perfect model with better results than anyone else but if you don’t use the right staking method, you will eliminate any edge you have. There are countless staking methods that most bettors will be aware of - our Staking: One method to improve your betting article tests several of these and answers the question; which staking method is best?
Understanding the value of information
Bookmakers will effectively buy information from bettors by offering odds and then make adjustments to the market depending on how valuable that information is. Professional bettors can make money by predicting the outcome of a match based on skill, but they can also do it by using information no one else has - the most successful bettors will obviously use a combination of both.
Whether it is a soccer player being injured, an NFL quarterback being suspended for disciplinary reasons or a sudden change in weather or playing conditions, knowing about something before anyone else and acting on it will affect how profitable a bet can be.
It's not just about predicting skill
While any edge you have requires the right staking method to maximise its profitability, it is pointless having the right staking method if you can’t predict the outcome of an event and calculate whether your potential bet has positive expected value.
Instead of trying to bet on anything and everything, you will be better of focussing your attention on one particular sport. Sometimes niche markets like corners betting offer better value because there is a lack of bookmaker knowledge, but there is still money to be made with an NFL betting strategy or by betting on the Over/Under market in soccer.
What sport should you bet on?
As mentioned above, if you want to become a professional bettor, you need to find an edge over the bookmaker in any sport or market you can. However, some sports might be easier than others when it comes to forging a career from betting.
Pinnacle’s Betting Resources can help you learn how to bet on baseball or teach you about the basic basketball bet types. It also explains how external factors can be more influential in some sports compared to others - Golf betting, for example, can be heavily influenced by luck and therefore harder to bet on professionally.
How do you measure betting success?
The most efficient way to measure if your betting exploits can be deemed a success is to compare them against the closing line (the most adjusted, and therefore accurate, odds available before an event takes place).
Testing the results of your strategy against a bookmaker’s closing line over a long period of time eliminates the influence luck could have. Similarly to testing the credibility of a tipster, analysing your own results is essential if you want to become a professional bettor.
How to find the right bookmaker
Becoming an expert in a particular sport, developing a successful strategy and ensuring you use the correct staking method to maximise returns whilst limiting your potential risk might be the hard part, but finding the right bookmaker can be just as difficult.
If you want to make enough money from betting to earn a living, you need to use a bookmaker that consistently offers the best odds. Being able to bet as much as you want is also important, so using a bookmaker that offers the highest limits online makes sense. Finally, you need to bet somewhere that welcomes winners and won’t restrict or ban anyone that makes money from betting.
Find out how to calculate betting margins so you can work out how Pinnacle compares to other bookmakers.
In addition to the advice above about how to become a professional bettor, there are some basic rules that all bettors should try and stick to. Don’t let emotion get in the way of betting, don’t get fooled by randomness or controlled by optimism bias. Finally, as world famous bettor Lewis Deyong explained in his interview with Pinnacle; "Never bet money you can’t afford to lose."