There are lots of would-be pro gamblers.
Good luck to each and everyone of you. I say that sincerely because if you don't have a plan or ambition you are unlikely to get to your final destination. So it is wise to have a plan. Or at least an idea.
So what are your chances of being a professional gambler?
It's not impossible.
When betting via skill you can be the best in the world. Remember, to make money gambling, you need to be better than most. You're facing competition but you're not trying to win an Olympic Gold Medal.
However, the better you can be the more money you can win.
Never bad news.
However, there is a problem. I am a person who believes from little acorns giant oaks may grow.
But here's the problem. Many professional gamblers make a return of just 1% on their investment.
£1 in every £100.
It doesn't seem a great deal of money, hey? In fact, it even makes some of these dodgy investment scheme look attractive. The incentive is to make your betting more profitable. If you are at the 1% level you will need to bet a lot of money and if you are selective you are going to run into problems.
It's not a problem but if you rely on your winnings to get by as your only source of earnings you will be feeling under pressure to earn more cash.
You cannot force bets.
It is the same as chasing losses.
So if you are considering becoming a professional gambler you will do well to make your profits as big as possible and that is down to skill.
Some professional gamblers have a return on their investment of 20%. There are some who have more.
It is something to think about.
Over the last few years professional gambler tattoos have become really popular. Everyone loves a bit of ink whether hand, wrist, arm, sleeve or somewhere more daring.
You don't need to be a gambling high roller with a private jet flying to Las Vegas to turn a few heads.
Personally, I am a blank canvas, a 51-year-old bloke - a tattoo virgin - waiting to get the nerve to get some ink. I guess, if you haven't had a tattoo by the age of fifty it may never happen. I wonder how many have opted for a tattoo while in a midlife crisis.
Have you got an ''everlasting jobstopper'' or you looking for a ''tough sticker''
It was the best thing they ever done.
I'm not against having a tattoo, it's more trying to work out which design would suit and finding the most talented tattooist who could create a design and work of art.
Take a look at Pinterest and you will see thousands of designs.
However, for the classic professional gambler tattoo, which iconic symbols are most popular?
Las Vegas Sign
I'm not sure what percentage of gambling tattoos feature the Las Vegas sign but it's one of the most iconic features of this gambling metropolis in Nevada, United States. Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas. The sign was funded in 1959 and erected by Western Neon. If you didn't know, the sign was designed by Betty Willis. It's situated at the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip.
Nothing beats seeing a gambler playing a big-money game of poker flashing the ink.
This sleeve design is well represented with the sign, roulette wheel, dice and even the iconic route 66 (cropped out of photo).
A well-worked piece that captures the strip at its best. I'm revisiting Hunter S. Thompson's novel: ''Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas.''
If you love your poker then why not go for something dynamic and a real winning hand.
This is an absolutely cracking design and a real work of art. There must have been a lot of time and money put into this sleeve. The king is a executed with so much character.
I found this design on Pinterest which was uploaded by Robin Van Der Hulst. I'm not sure if he is the tattooist but I'll gladly add a link to the originator of this beautiful piece.
A royal flush is a straight from ten to ace and all cards are the same suit. It's also, the best hand in poker. In fact, it is an exceptionally rare hand.
As for being dealt a royal flush on the flop you're talking about one in four-hundred thousand hands. That's quote from a player as I don't even play poker.The Skull
It's a staple for the tattoo lover with a touch of angst.
Most gamblers are a hearty breed who aren't bothered by having, sometimes, the odds stacked against them. And the symbolic use of the skull is often used to represent death and the use of this design is to display that death doesn't frighten them. Also, it reminds people that death is inevitable so we should live life to its fullest.
Not only are three aces a pretty good hand in poker and brag but in tarot cards they represent multiple new beginnings, opportunities, or a new environment.
This is a particularly good design and the dice and snake eyes.
- They fear you will develop an addiction
- They fear you will lose relationships
- They will fear you will change as a person
- As they stigmatise you so will others
- Record keeping
- Money management
- Time management
- Professional Blackjack
- Blackjack Secrets
- Basic Blackjack
- Professional Video Poker
- Optimal Strategy for Pai Gow Poker
- Casino Tournament Strategy
- Betting Cheap Claimers
This stockbroker turned professional gambler proves you can teach an old dog new tricks.
However, far from a misspent youth, Harris was always astute in understanding probability - it was his blood.
He defied the odds and the misconception that it's a young man's game.
His story, like many, is quite remarkable.
Firstly, he didn't get into horse racing until his mid-40s.
It's never too late.
However, he made most of his vast fortune trading in options on the stock market.
We start the story back in 1987 when Black Tuesday brought dreaded news to investors across the globe. Shares went into free-fall and many investors lost their life saving in one day. An insightful Harris took a view the markets would continue to tumble and he wasn't afraid to put his money where his mouth was.
He speculated £38,000 that the markets would plunge into massive losses.
Within 24-hours he had made a clear profit of £90,000.
After retiring from the stock market game, he had the time, money and passion to invest in his new love of horse racing.
In fact, it led to the publication of his book: Horse Racing: The Essential Guide to Backing Winners, published in 2000, by As-if publishing with a forward written by horse trainer Mark J. Polglase.
Polish Peter said: '' At first this looks like the kind of slim pamphlet you expect from the usual snake oil tipster. But contained within is a total to racing from the ground. I have it by my bedside and each time I read a page I discover something new. A Bible for horse fans.''
When Harris put pen to paper, he had been gambling professionally for just over seven years.
He said: ''No two years have been the same!''
Continuing, Harris said: ''Looking back at these seven years, I realise that I have been on both a roller-coaster ride and an acute learning curve," he says. "The objective of this book is to clarify, beyond doubt, that the best way to find winners is through constant and consistent study, and that only by taking a methodical approach is it possible to make sense of the chaos that is unleashed the moment the starting stalls open for a horse race."
He stated that most punters simply rely on luck to win.
"Each punter's journey is quite different, travelling an uncertain route without the benefit of a signpost," says Harris. "Entrenched misguided ideas lead punters to repeat mistakes that eventually become debilitating and regularly indulged habits.''
Harris wished to instill in the everyday punter that without a strategy it is impossible to spot mistakes.
One angle used by this consummate professional was to review races and look for horses treated leniently by their jockey and backing them when primed to win.
He said: ''If you watch a race two or three times you will be surprised by how little you pick up.''
This was probably the reason he would watch a race up to a dozen times.
As seen with many professional gamblers, he has a set of rules that he never breaks:
1) Never back a horse on unproven ground
2) Never a back a horse from a stable that's out of form
3) Never Never back a horse unsuited to the track
4) Never back a horse ridden by a jockey who has a poor record at the course
5) The same applies to a trainer with a poor track record
In fact, one of his golden rules is to identify trainers and jockeys who have good records at given tracks.
This is often something overlooked by punters.
Of bookmakers he gives insight to help punters to be one step ahead of what he calls barrow-boy psychology to entice punters with what seem to be the illusion of fleeting value.
Harris says: ''Most of the bookies prices are tantamount to a mirage.''
''Personally, I don't like to bet below 3/1. An exception may be a 11/4 shot.''
Looking at the percentages, he states:
"As we know, the difference between 2/1 ON and evens is approximately 16 per cent. The difference between a 9/1 chance and a 33 /1 chance is approximately 7 per cent. In this area, we have to play the bookmaker at his own game. "We have to, wherever possible, look for favourites to oppose. By the sheer fact that favourites are the worst value, they create value at the other end of the scale. The shorter the price of the favourite, the more value it creates in other horses."
Basically, anything priced below 3/1 is potentially lacking in value and the shorter the price it becomes more acute.
Harris is correct in stating that the majority of bets are struck at 3/1 and less and reason why there is value at looking for bigger price horses.
He acknowledges that backing bigger priced horses can lead to longer losing runs. However, he states the best approach to coping with losing runs is to bet well within your means so you feel no emotion at losing.
If you are struggling with emotions: ''You are staking too high.''
Harris sticks with a level stake approach. He details the bad habit of gamblers betting each-way and how it can be difficult to get out of this routine.
However, he suggests punters use the 80 over 20 rule which seems punters place 80% o their stake on the win and just 20% on the place.
He works from a 100-point betting bank. If starting with £1,000 you should be betting £10 a time. For example, if you are betting £50 your betting bank should be £5,000.
Using this method you are working from within your comfort zone and betting has a feel-good factor. Even a string of losers will not unbalance you and, more importantly, you won't be betting with your emotions.
Harris wisely advises: ''If you are tempted to increase your stake to recoup previous losses don't consider doing this betting on a horse under 5/1. It will go straight into the bookmaker's satchel.''
One of his biggest wins at the races saw him collect over £400,000.
If you want to take your betting seriously, then you need to understand these key pointers about assessing form.
''Form contains all the clues to finding winners.''
''The form book is like your map. And the basis to our understanding is what we consider to be irrefutable form. That means truly run races, and horses that make a sustained effort.''
Harris says: ''The future of any race is unknown but we can discern what happened in the past. We need to concentrate on horses which have shown their best. For example, if we have a ten-horse race and only three have made a race of it, we ignore the other seven.''
Sidney Harris' book doesn't answer every question but is does offer valuable advice.
In conclusion he states: ''You're not going to get rich overnight. I've read many books and they often detail little bits of information which benefit my own game.''
And that is the truth of this book.
''I've known many great gamblers over the years. Some pro gamblers I've known casually while others have been personal friends.''
The biggest gambler I have met is J P McManus. I know him on nodding terms. I've seen him scaring the pants off bookmakers and he walks around the betting ring.
One of my favourites was Alec Bird who loved place bets. Supposedly, his favourite bet was £200,000 place only on a red-hot favourite. He's be quite happy to bet 1/10, to get a nice return on his investment.
Without question, one of the shrewdest gamblers I ever met was Phil Bull. You may remember him as the founder of Timeform. Using his time rating system, he would be quite happy to bet on every race on the card while smoking a cigar, sipping a glass of champagne and have time for a chat. To Bull, it was simply about solving a puzzle. In fact, the money he won seemed to be of little interest to him.
Barney Curley often gets a bad press but he is one of the nicest people I have ever met. These days, he is showing his age but he is approachable and friendly. Over the years he has landed some major betting coupes including Yellow Sam in 1975.
Definitely the maddest gambler I ever met is my friend and once East End gangster ''H''. These days he is flat broke living in a housing association, passing the time looking after the gardens as he waits for a liver transplant.
However, he has lost millions over the years betting on the dogs and horse racing.