How to Make Money Gambling Online
Without a doubt, the number one question we get asked in regards to betting online is "How do I make money gambling online?" The answer as you might expect is not a simple answer. While we wish we could just tell you to "do x, y, and z and you'll be rich," it's just not that simple.
Making money online comes down to game selection and having clear expectations of what you're doing. The opportunities are huge, and there are millions and millions to be made if you look in the right spots. Lucky for you, we're going to do our best to educate you and point you in the right direction.
The best way for us to approach answering this question is to answer it individually for each different type of online gambling/betting that exists. Specifically today we're going to look at sports betting online, casino/table games online, and skill-based online games. There are a few other obscure forms of gambling online that do exist, but these main categories should encompass almost all of the major types that are out there.
As a spoiler, I can tell you that it is possible to make money at each of these, though, some will depend solely on your luck while the others are sustainable based on your skill and abilities. The difference is going to come down to whether the game is a luck based or skill based game. Let's clarify the difference first before we dive into each individual type of online gambling and how to make money at it.
Luck vs. Skill
If you've ever hung around a casino or talked to gamblers before, you've probably heard someone at least once tell you that they had a system to beat a certain game. It might have been craps or roulette or maybe even blackjack. The problem we always noticed when we heard this from someone was that they were broke or were not rolling in the money. If they truly had a system to beat a casino game, wouldn't they be doing it 24/7 and living the high life?
The real reason they don't do this 24/7 for a living and aren't living the high life is that most casino games are luck based. Luck based games are games where the house has the edge. This means that there are no super secret systems out there that can beat these games outside of cheating. Does this mean you can't make money at them? Of course not. All it means is that in the long-run over thousands and thousands of hands, spins, or rolls, the casino is going to win.
This means you can most certainly make money in the short run. Many gamblers go months and sometimes years winning at games. The thing to note, though, is that this is a statistical anomaly that will correct itself. In the end, the casino will ALWAYS win at luck based games. There is a silly cliché phrase that explains this:
Spotting a luck based game is easy. If the game is run by a casino (live or online) and you are playing against the casino and not versus other players, this is a luck based game, and they are going to have a long run edge. Again, you can still make money playing these games (and lots of it), but in the long run over thousands and thousands of games, the casino will ultimately win.
Skill-based games, on the other hand, have no house edge. These games are ones where players compete against each other instead of against the house (the casino). The casino will take a small fee for facilitating the game, but ultimately it is up to the players who wins the money.
Skill-based games are sustainable ways for people to make money long-term. If you are good at a skill based game and can continually get people to compete against you, you can make a full-time living playing the game. These games are easy to spot as they are games where players are competing against other players and not the house.
Making Money Online Playing Casino Games and Slots
We have some good news, and we have some bad news when it comes to making money gambling on your favorite casino games and slots. The bad news is that online casino games and slots are games of luck that the house will always have a long-term edge on. The good news is that regardless of this, you can still make a lot of money at them!
Addressing the bad news first, you need to realize that there is no system out there to "beat" online casino games to make a living playing them. You will never be able to be a professional slots player or a professional roulette player or anything like that. Ultimately, the casino edge and statistics are going to prevail, and the casino is going to win. Understanding this is imperative to have a great time playing these games online.
Regarding the good news, though, this does not mean you can't make money playing online casino games and slots. First, the casino edge is only for the long term. The long term usually means hundreds of thousands and millions of spins of a slot or roulette wheel or hundreds of thousands of tosses of the craps dice etc. You may play the games and never ever experience the long term statistics correcting themselves. The casino edge on most games is only a couple of percentage points meaning you can totally have major winning sessions and runs.
Imagine this analogy. There are two bettors, you and a friend, who are going to bet on the flip of a coin. You are going to take turns flipping the coin with you allowed to bet on every flip. If the flip is heads, you win your bet. If the flip is tails, you lose your bet. You do not have a choice; you have to bet heads every time.
We all know that coins are going to land on heads 50% of the time and on tails 50% of the time. Let's say we alter the coin a little bit to make it more like when we are betting against the casino giving them an edge. Let's say that this coin lands on heads only 48% of the time and on tails 52% of the time. This represents the long-term edge that the casino is going to have.
You and your friend start flipping the coin and placing your bets against the house. You each get to flip the coin 50 times. If everything happened without any variance, you both would get heads about 48% of your flips and lose a tiny bit of money to the casino over the course of the flips. But variance comes into play. Variance says that over ALL 100 flips about 48% will be heads, but it doesn't necessarily say which of you two are going to get more or less of the heads in the short run.
It's possible that you get heads 48 of your 50 flips and your friend gets heads zero times in their 50 flips. At the end of the day in the long-run, the casino is still making money because it is winning 52% of its bets, but you've made an absolute TON of money. The point here is that most recreational gamblers will be operating in the short term for most or their entire gambling career.
Part of the way that this variance spreads itself out is through jackpots. Not all players are going to win jackpots but if you do win one you can bet that you're going to be a lifetime profitable gambler (depending on the size of the jackpot of course). Jackpots still fall in line when it comes to statistics and house edge, but that doesn't mean you can't be one of the players to fall outside of the statistical norm and strike it rich!
One way to fight back against the house edge and a lot of times turn it in your favor (at least temporarily) is by taking advantage of bonuses. Bonuses, as you may already know, are free money/free spins/free play that online casino sites will give you to try to attract your business. A lot of times the benefits of these bonuses will turn the odds in your favor while you are using the bonus.
Of course, they won't give you the bonus forever because they would lose money and have to shut their doors. But in the short term, you can definitely take full advantage of these promotions and clean up some easy cash. It's also of importance to note that there is no reason you can't jump between a few sites to take advantage of different promotions.
This is a lot like going to a different grocery store for a week because you have a coupon for something. There is nothing unethical about it, and the sites actually would prefer you use their promotions. The reason they run the promos is to get you in the door to try out their product in hopes that you will stay or make a change from your home site.
Making Money Online Sports Betting
Sports betting is a complete 180 the other direction from online slots and table games. Sports betting is a skill based bet (depending on the bets you choose). While you might think you are betting against the house, they are actually manipulating lines so that you're basically betting against other players and they are taking a small fee for facilitating the bets. With proper skill and a sharp eye, you can make a living as a sports bettor. Is this difficult? You bet your butt it's difficult but it's completely possible, and a lot of people do it every day.
Simple. Join a sportsbook and start making correct picks. Start with a sport that you know well and do extensive research. If you can come up with a system to properly predict games and outcomes, you can be a successful sports bettor.
One thing that is extremely important to point out is that you have to choose the right type of sports bets or you're going to be placing luck based bets instead of skill based bets. As you may or may not know, you can bet on a lot more than just who the winner of a game is going to be. You can bet how many points will be scored, how many times they will do something, who will score first etc. Some of these bets will require research and skill to make a correct pick, and some are just going to be dumb luck.
Here are two different sports bet as an example. One is a skill based bet and one is a luck based bet.
- Will Rob Gronkowski score more or less than 1.5 touchdowns in a game?
- Will the final score of the Patriots be odd or even?
As you can hopefully see, the first bet would require you to have strong knowledge of how Rob Gronkowski is going to perform in a game. You would have to look at the defense he is up against and predict the game plan of attack the Patriots employ. There is a lot of skill that goes into picking this bet and the more knowledgeable and skilled you are, the better off you will do. This is an example of a skill based bet that you could profit from long term if you were sharp enough.
The second bet about whether or not their final point total is odd or even is really just dumb luck. You could make some crazy argument that you can predict the exact game flow and how many points they score, but in reality, you are just guessing. This is an example of a luck based bet that you can still make money off of but it is not sustainable long term. As long as you're aware of this, have at it!
It's important to point out that these bets are not segregated or separated at all when you go to the online sportsbooks. The luck based and the skill based bets are all going to be listed side by side, and it's up to you to be able to decipher the difference. Honestly, it should be easy to tell the difference by just taking a few minutes to pay attention to what you're betting on. If it is something that you are struggling to find data and information to support your pick, it is probably a luck based bet.
One of the easiest ways to make MORE money online with correct sports betting picks is through line shopping. Line shopping is a strategy that is not possible with brick and mortar casinos due to logistics and has really only become popular thanks to online sportsbooks. Line shopping is the process of checking several different sportsbooks to get the best odds and payouts possible for your bets.
You just can't do this in real life unless you live somewhere like Vegas where you have a ton of different sportsbooks right next to each other. Even then, most of the books there are interconnected, so the odds are going to be the same at all of them. Online, though, you tend to see a lot of greatly varying lines for the same bet.
Let's say you are planning to bet the Miami Heat to beat the Golden State Warriors on the moneyline at +150. Let's say you're totally confident on this bet and you think it's the easiest bet in the world. Is this a good bet for you to make?
A better question would be, is this the best bet you can make? If you were to take a few seconds and line shop another online sportsbook, you would see that one is offering the same bet for +170. This is the exact same bet except if you place it at the second online sportsbook you will get paid out more money. If you bet $100 and the Heat win, the first sportsbook will pay you $150 in profit and the second will pay you $170 in profit.
By simply taking advantage of the technology that comes with betting online, you can make MORE money on a correct pick just by taking a few seconds to check a few different sportsbooks. We can assure that this is not a rare occurrence to find varying lines. It's actually a fairly common occurrence to find different lines, and it can greatly affect the amount of money you make betting online.
Making Money Online Playing Skill-Based Games
You may notice that in the title of this section it does not say anything about "gambling." This is because gambling refers to placing wagers on a game of chance that you have no control over. Out of all the different bet types on this page, these are the ones that you have the most control over. Skill-based games are games that pit two or more players against each other. Skill-based games are NOT played against the house, but as we stated earlier, the house takes a small cut for facilitating the game.
Skill based games can 100% be played for a living as long as you can continue to get people willing to play against you. While some of these games do have an element of luck, the majority of the game's outcome is determined by skill. This means that a worse player may win a few games in the short run, but the better player will always win out in the long run.
For example, if you get your money in the middle playing Texas Hold em poker (a skill based game) with pocket Aces against J-10, you're supposed to win that hand based on the statistics. However, it is entirely possible that you lose that hand in an unlucky fashion. If you continue to get your money in significantly ahead, though, statistics should even out, and you should make money in the long run. Though you might lose in the short run, you will prevail in the long run.
Some of the most popular skill games you can play for money online are:
For more information on playing these games online, here's a guide we've put together for you:
The Bottom Line of How to Make Money Gambling Online
Hopefully, if you've read until this point, you have a pretty strong idea of the different options you have when it comes to making money gambling online. Depending on whether you're just looking for some recreational fun or a way to make a living, we've given you several different options in both directions.
Remember, be realistic with your expectations and don't try and make a career out of a game that you are not statistically supposed to win long term at.