How Much Do Pro Gamblers Make? Read On To Get Real Answer

author by Riku Vihreasaari on 08/12/2021

Asking how much money a professional gambler can make in a day is like asking how long a metaphorical piece of rope is. The answer is: it depends. Any form of gambling, whether it's bingo or blackjack, is an uncertain business. You simply never know which way the results are going to swing. However, that's not to say you can't do a few things to get a handle on your finances. What you can't do, though, is say with 100% certainty that you're going to make a profit from any given session.

OK, so that's the bad news out of the way. However, there's also some good news. It's definitely possible to build up an accurate picture of your potential by firstly assessing a few factors. This can help you to align your expectations realistically. So, with this in mind, here are some ways you can try to forecast your potential earnings as a gambler.

What Have the Pros Done?

Comparing your progress against that of other pros isn't exactly the best way to measure your potential in the gambling world because the results can vary so dramatically. For example, Archie Karas went on a run that saw him turn $50 into more than $40 million over the course of three years. However, within a year of making that money, he'd lost it all. However, if we simply looked at his results in a vacuum, we could say a professional gambler is capable of making $1 million+ in a day.

Of course, if we're being realistic, we can look at professional poker players and sports bettors. There's an element of skill in both of these endeavors, and the pros often have an average win rate gleaned from thousands of hours of betting. Pro poker players measure their win rate in big blinds per 100 hands (bb/100). This refers to the number of big blinds they're winning, on average, every 100 hands. Although it's hard to say what a good win rate is, anything around 3bb/100 – 10bb/100 would be good.

It's a similar story for sports bettors. An overall winning record of 52.4% is basically breaking even. This percentage accounts for wins, losses, and the amount you'll naturally lose in fees. Therefore, if you can hit a win rate of 53% as a sports bettor, you're making a profit. The question you're probably asking at this point is what does this actually mean in real terms? In summary: it all depends on the amount you stake. Two poker players can have a win rate of 3bb/100, but one would have more actual cash because they play for higher stakes. That leads us to our next point.

How Much Are You Betting and What Are You Playing?

Your stake and the game you're playing matter. For example, if you're betting $1 per blackjack hand and win 10 rounds, you'll make a $10 profit. If, however, you wagered $10 per hand and had the same run of results, you'd win $100. Therefore, when you're considering how much a gambler makes in a day, the question you should ask is how much are they staking each day?

You then need to ask what games they're playing. Payout potential varies from game to game. In poker, it's all about the buy-in/table stakes and how much money your opponents have. In sports betting, it's all about the odds. In casino games, it's all about the prize structures and return-to-player (RTP) scores. As a general rule, games with bigger single payouts often offer less consistent returns. Those with smaller potential payouts often offer a more consistent win rate.

What Are Your Best Odds?

To help you understand the difference a game can make on your payout potential, here are some facts about slots and blackjack. These two games occupy both ends of the variance spectrum:

Slots

These games have the biggest potential payouts but are high variance. Jackpots can be worth $1 million or more. However, the RTP can be as low as 90%. This means you'll win less often on slots than a game such as blackjack. However, when you do win, the prizes will often be bigger.

Blackjack

The RTP in blackjack can be upwards of 99%. However, standard wins are paid out at 1:1 and blackjack at 3:2. Therefore, you'll probably win more consistently compared to high variance games such as slots. However, the amounts you win will be a lot less lucrative.

Craps

The house edge in craps might be slightly larger than blackjack, but it's still got potential. In fact, what's neat about this casino game is that the edge will vary depending on the bets you make. For example, if you make a pass line bet, the payout is 1:1 and the house edge is 1.4%. In contrast, betting on numbers four or 10 has a potential payout of 2:1 and a house edge of 4.7%. Therefore, if you can learn how to play craps and make the best bets, you can balance the house edge with your potential returns.

Roulette

Roulette is similar to craps in that the house edge varies between betting options. However, overall, if you're playing a single zero game, the house edge is 2.6%. If you're playing a double zero game, the house edge is 5.25%. Therefore, based on this alone, you're approximately twice as likely to win in the long run if you play single zero roulette vs. double zero roulette.

Poker

The odds of winning in poker will depend on the variant you're playing. The maximum payout in casino hold'em is 3:1 and the house edge is 2.16%. However, if you're playing traditional poker against other people, the odds aren't fixed. The winners and losers are determined by the cards and who is the most skilled. The best poker players typically have a win rate of around five big blinds per 100 hands i.e. they'll make a profit of 5X whatever the stakes they're playing for over the course of 100 hands.

Sports Betting

No one can say for sure whether they're going to win or not when it comes to sports betting. However, the best bettors in the world aim for a win rate of around 54%. In other words, if they win just over half of the bets they make, they'll end up with a profit. The size of that profit depends on the amount you stake and the odds you accept.

Bring Some Certainty to Your Bottomline

As you can see, a lot of how much you can win depends on a variety of factors. As well as the amount you're betting, the games you play matter. Then, of course, there's luck. Even with a solid strategy, nothing is ever guaranteed. The only thing you can be certain of is bonuses. Every top-rated US casino offers promotions. These have guaranteed returns and don't involve luck. So, if you want to bring some certainty to an uncertain business, and boost your bankroll, don't overlook bonuses.