It’s one thing to refer to yourself as a professional gambler. However, it’s something else entirely to actually fit the bill.
Logically speaking, a ‘professional’ gambler is someone who gambles for their profession. If you are making a living out of gambling, that’s technically what you are – a pro. Though for the most part, the term ‘professional’ in gambling circles is used in reference to those who have a pretty good idea what they’re doing.
Whether it’s roulette, poker or baccarat that takes up most of your time, becoming a seasoned pro takes dedication to the cause. As for when and where you officially cross the line into pro territory, professional gamblers share a series of important hallmarks.
Hence, you really can’t call yourself a professional gambler, unless you fulfil all of the following criteria:
1 – You Have the Patience of a Saint
First up, taking the rough with the smooth is all part and parcel of the experience. If anything, you have to be ready for far more of the rough stuff than smooth sailing. A common trait of the amateur gambler is losing patience, chasing losses and treating the whole thing like it’s a race.
Going pro as a gambler takes patience on an extreme level if and when things are going pretty terribly, you need to be able to buckle down, take a deep breath and continue unabated.
2 – You Dedicate Yourself to the Cause
Dedication in gambling circles does not mean simply spending epic amounts of time playing games. It also means doing the business away from the tables, in order to master your craft.
This could include brain training exercise to hone your cognitive capabilities, reading the bios of the world’s most successful gamblers and generally doing your homework. There’s always something you could be doing to take your skills and knowledge to the next level. If you’re truly a pro, you’ll spend most of your time doing just that.
3 – You Know When and How to Quit
Not just this, but you also have absolutely no shame in quitting. In fact, you probably take pride in knowing exactly when to walk away with your bankroll and reputation intact.
Riding things out for too long is an indicator that emotions have overtaken logic. Something a true professional would never allow to happen, due to the catastrophic consequences of doing so. If you’re confident you know exactly when to walk away without so much as a second thought, you’re well on your way to pro territory.
4 – You Appreciate the Mistakes You Make
Casual gamblers on the receiving end of mistakes are known for throwing spectacular tantrums. Or at least, getting seriously grumpy about the whole thing and assigning blame elsewhere. All of which is indicative of somebody who really doesn’t have much of a grasp on how the whole thing works.
For the professional gambler, every mistake is an invaluable learning exercise. Successful gambling means adopting a trial and error approach, which is continuous. You make mistakes, you learn from them, and you improve your capabilities. You certainly don’t toss your proverbial toys out of the pram and go home sulking.
5 – You’re Super Confident but Never Arrogant
Admittedly, there are a lot of professional gamblers who are arrogant in the extreme. But when you’re truly confident in your capabilities, you don’t need to be arrogant. Arrogance has a tendency to be a sign that a gambler isn’t quite as self-assured as they appear to be.
There are exceptions to the rule, but arrogance really has no place in professional circles. Occasionally coming across as cocky is one thing, but floating around on a cloud of perpetual arrogance isn’t something you should be doing
6 – Your Bankroll is Your Number-One Priority
This is true for the simple reason that you cannot gamble professionally (or even regularly) without good bankroll management. You need to keep a close eye on your income, your expenses and your general financial health.
Getting in too deep and spending more than they can afford is something the professional gambler never goes. Occasionally spending more than you planned is a different matter, but a meticulous bankroll management is the top priority for every professional gambler.
7 – You Don’t Tout Terrible Theories
By this, we mean the kinds of strategies that never fail to lead amateurs down a dark path. One thing every professional gambler knows is that there is no such thing as a sure thing. No strategy whatsoever can guarantee success at any casino table. Perhaps with the slight exception of card counting, but it’s practically impossible to get away with.
Professional gamblers understand and appreciate the randomness of every event. There is nothing they can do to control the outcome and they do not pretend otherwise.
8 – You Make Decisions Based Purely on Logic
Once again, decisions based on emotion have no place at the gambling table. Which is ironic, given the emotional nature of most classic casino games.
Decisions based purely on logic are an important hallmark of an experienced gambler. Even if you’re not necessarily a mathematical genius, it’s still essential to make logical and rational decisions at all times.
9 – You Stick Primarily with Select Casino Games
Professional gamblers rarely spread themselves over a whole bunch of games. They’re far more likely to stick with just one or two games, and focus on truly mastering them.
Of course, occasionally switching between games purely for entertainment purposes is fine. What’s important is to avoid the temptation to attempt to become a Jack of all trades. And in doing so, end up becoming a master of none.
10 – You Never Brag About Your Winnings
Last up, gloating about successes is a mark of an amateur gambler. If you win on a regular basis, you don’t feel the need to rub it in other people’s faces. It’s just a standard part of what happens in your life, so why the need to brag about it?
Those who come across as painfully smug whenever they win probably do not win very often. By contrast, those who take it in their stride are most likely more successful more often.