Humans have been in thrall to gambling for millennia as the prospect of making a handsome reward from a wager is extremely tantalizing.
Cavemen played rudimentary games of chance, the Romans threw dice and 15th century Europeans loved a good game of Baccarat. Betting is deeply interwoven in human history and the advent of smartphones makes it possible to place wagers 24/7 from anywhere in the world.
You can bet on sporting events, try your hand at online casinos or play the stock market, but how do you thrive as a gambler in the modern era?
Pick a pursuit
In the long-term, you’re highly unlikely to turn a profit out of online slots. They each come with a payout percentage ranging from around 85% to 98%, meaning that you will eventually lose out if you keep playing them.
You can become a professional poker player, but very few of them rise to the top and make a living from it. Your two most compelling options are predicting stocks and predicting the outcome of sporting contests.
There’s a huge range of established sites that allow you to bet on sports in a safe environment, and it can be an exhilarating pursuit. This is an extremely mature industry nowadays and it is spreading like wildfire across the U.S. since the Supreme Court axed PASPA in May 2018.
If you enjoy a particular sport and feel like you could immerse yourself in it, you can make a healthy, on-going profit by wagering on it. But do not spread yourself too thin: you are unlikely to become an absolute expert on basketball and tennis, so pick one and stick with it.
Alternatively, you could choose to invest in the stock market. This is another form of gambling: you are rewarded for successfully predicting the future and punished for failing to do so.
Yet the stock market carries an expectation of returns in the long run, so it might be seen as less risky than sports betting.
There are extremely volatile stocks, and investments like cryptocurrency are highly risky, but you can choose blue-chip stocks alongside some speculative punts, balance your portfolio and reap the rewards long-term.
Do your research
Research is key for anyone hoping to improve their financial situation by betting on sports or playing the stock market. If you are investing in gold, oil or cannabis, you should be reading as much as possible on these topics.
Follow the progress of the sector, the large cap stocks and the penny stocks. Arm yourself with as much information as possible and make informed, educated investment decisions based on historical trends and astute predictions.
Sports betting is just the same. There is a wealth of data available to help you in your endeavours. Check out the head-to-head record between two teams, their offensive and defensive strengths, injury concerns, suspensions, fatigue levels, motivation levels, home record, away record and so on.
Never bet blind. Absorb as much information as possible before betting from a position of strength. Learn to hedge your bets, play the fluctuations in value. Check out what professional tipsters are saying and see if you agree with them.
The principles are the same in sports wagering and playing the stock market, and they both ensure you become proficient at financial literacy, risk management and spotting opportunities.
Practice sensible bankroll management
Never bet beyond your means. Set money aside after paying your rent, bills and living expenses, and manage the remaining bankroll sensibly. Be cautious and never bet when angry, drunk or chasing a loss. That is a sure fire way to fail.
If you gamble sensibly, arm yourself with as much data and information as possible and avoid veering far from your areas of specialism, you can absolutely make a continued profit out of predicting stocks and betting on sports, and you can even make a full-time living out of it.