Most gamblers—probably 90% to 95% of them—are recreational gamblers. Any recreational gambler can make $100,000 in a single month gambling. All she has to do is get lucky.
This post has some advice about getting lucky in the casino, but it focuses more on how to get a long-term mathematical edge when gambling. If you get a big enough edge, have enough of a bankroll, and spend enough time gambling, you can average $100,000 a month gambling.
But I should warn you ahead of time that most people don’t have what it takes to become a professional gambler. It requires a faith in math that most people just don’t really have. It also requires a level of self-discipline that most people lack, too.
I read a book a few years ago called How to Make $100,000 a Year Gambling for a Living by David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth. It was essential in shaping my ideas about how gambling works. Much of the thinking in this post was inspired by that book.
Here’s how to win $100,000 a month gambling:
1- Getting Lucky
One way to try to win $100,000 in a month at the casino is to find a progressive slot machine with a $100,000+ top prize. The only way to win that prize is to get lucky, by the way. There are no skills or techniques that will improve the probability of winning that prize.
But you can’t win if you don’t play, so decide how much money you’re willing to lose in your quest to make $100,000 from that machine. Then gamble it until you’ve either won the $100,000 or lost the entire amount.
You’re more likely to lose all your stake than you are to win.
Another way to approach this quest is to place a bet on a table game where you have a close to 50% probability of winning. If you win, let the winnings ride. Keep repeating this until you have your $100,000.
You don’t even have to go with the nearly 50% option if you don’t want to.
Here’s an example:
You decide you want to win $100,000 playing roulette this month.
One route would be to bet $100 on a single number. If that number hits, you now have $3600.
Let that ride on the same number, OR put it on another single number.
If you win that 2nd bet, you have won $126,000.
What’s the probability of succeeding this way?
The probability of hitting a single number at roulette is 1/38. To win twice in a row, you’d need to beat odds of 1/38 X 1/38, or 1/1444.
Still, those aren’t terrible odds compared to winning this kind of money at keno, the lottery, or a slot machine.
You could also put that money on black and have to win more times in a row. Your probability of hitting $100,000 doesn’t really change, because the payouts and the odds of winning are commensurate. You’re getting even money on each bet, but you’re also much more likely to win.
That’s one way to win $100,000 in a month at the casino.
2- Becoming a Professional Gambler
Another route to take, especially if your goal is to win $100,000 a month on a consistent basis, is to become a professional gambler. If you go pro, you’ll probably only place bets where there’s a mathematical advantage on your side.
This is unusual (to say the least) when dealing with a casino game. Card counters pull it off some of the time, and video poker players can tilt the odds in their favor somewhat, too. The majority of gamblers using these techniques on these games aren’t professionals, though.
They might be advantage gamblers, but they’re not necessarily professional enough to make a living gambling.
Most people who want to become professional gamblers go the route of becoming a poker player or becoming a sports bettor. Either route works, and I’ll explain how to make $100,000 a month in either of those professions after I cover some other relevant concepts.
3- Understanding the Expected Value of a Bet
When you’re placing a bet on most casino games, the expected value of that bet is negative. This means that in the long run, you’re mathematically expected to lose money every time you place that bet.
But that’s a long term average.
In the short run, you might win, or you might lose. It’s pure luck when you’re talking about the short term.
Professional gamblers focus on the long run. They want the odds in their favor, and they know that getting the math right requires time and a lot of independent trials.
The expected value of a bet is calculated by multiplying the odds of winning by the amount you stand to win. From that, you subtract the odds of losing by the amount you stand to lose.
If that amount is negative, the other side has the edge, and you’re gambling at a disadvantage.
If that amount is positive, you have the edge, and you’re gambling at an advantage.
Once you determine what that advantage is, you can move on to determining how to achieve your goal of winning $100,000 a month.
Here’s a quick example of this calculation:
In roulette, if you bet on black, you stand to win $100 or lose $100 for every $100 bet you make. The probability of winning that bet is 18/38, and the probability of losing is 20/38.
- Multiply 18/38 by 100 and you get 1800/38, or 47.37.
- Mutliply 20/38 by 100 and you get 2000/38, or 52.63.
- Subtract one from the other and you get -$5.26, which is your expected loss on that bet on average over time.
You can express that as a percentage of 5.26%, too.
4- Putting Expected Value to Work
Now let’s suppose you’re the creative type, and you realize that if you’re running the roulette game, that 5.26% disadvantage for the gambler is a 5.26% advantage for you.
You launch your own underground casino with a roulette table and start drawing in customers.
You can calculate how much you’re expected to win over time by taking the average amount per bet, multiplying it by the average number of bets per hour, and then multiplying that by the edge.
Suppose you have an average of 2 customers at your underground casino at any given time, and they bet an average of $10 per spin. And let’s assume that your casino is open 12 hours per night.
These players probably see an average of 60 spins per hour. At $10 per spin, they’re putting $600 into action every hour—each. That’s $1200/hour in action.
Your expected win on that action is 5.26% of that, or $63.12.
If you’re open 30 days per month, for 12 hours per day, you’ll multiply that $63.12 by 30 and then again by 12 to get your expected monthly win.
That’s a monthly win of a little more than $22,000.
To get closer to your $100,000 per month goal, you’ll need to find 4 or 5 more players, but when you do… success!
5- If You’re Not Going to Open Your Own Underground Casino
The above example doesn’t account for the potential risk with the law, though. It also doesn’t calculate overhead like the rental of the space, the cost of the equipment, or the amount of money you’ll have to pay a croupier to run the game.
It’s meant to be a cheekier example of how expected value works and what kind of math you’ll need to do to decide whether your goal is even achievable.
Let’s say you’re a card counter in blackjack, instead. You’re confident that you’re playing with a 1% edge over the house.
Let’s say you figure you can count 20 hours a week, or 80 hours per month.
You can divide $10,000,000 by 80 to find out how much you need to wager per hour.
That’s $125,000 per hour.
Now let’s assume that you only play heads-up with the dealer. If that’s the case, you probably average 200 hands per hour, which means you need to be betting an average of $125,000/200 per hand, which is $625/hand.
To pull that off with a minimal chance of going broke, you’ll need a bankroll of between 500 and 1000 times that average bet. This means you need between $312,500 and $625,000 in your bankroll before even taking a shot at this. At minimum, you should have 200 bets, but you have a
50% chance of going broke because of bad luck if you’re that under-bankrolled. That’s still $125,000.
As you can see, if you want to average $100,000 a month as an advantage gambler, you need to have a 6-figure bankroll to begin with.
6- Blackjack Is Only One Example
You’re not limited to blackjack when it comes to advantage gambling. You can also make a profit by playing poker at a professional level or by betting on sports at a professional level.
With any of these activities, you’re only estimating your edge over the game. The longer you engage in that activity, the more data you’ll accumulate, which will increase your confidence in how well you’re doing as an advantage gambler.
You can use all the math in this post to estimate and project, but most people who become advantage gamblers just don’t have a big enough bankroll to start playing at the levels I’m describing. In fact, for most people, it’s better to start off really small and work your way up.
7- Gambling Tournaments
Poker tournaments are one place where you can take a shot at a $100,000 payday. Almost everyone has heard of the World Series of Poker and knows that the buy-in is $10,000, and the prize pool is always more than $1 million.
But that’s not the only poker tournament in the world where you can win $100,000 or more. You can find dozens (if not hundreds) of poker tournaments where you can win that much money.
Of course, with bigger prize pools come bigger buy-ins.
The nice thing about most poker tournaments, though, is that you often have the opportunity to get into a larger tournament by winning a qualifier or a satellite tournament. Sometimes these are held at online poker sites, but you can even find them at brick and mortar cardrooms.
Here’s how that might work:
You might want to play in the Main Event at the World Series of Poker, but you don’t have the $10,000 buy-in.
But you might find a satellite tournament where you can compete with 100 other players for a buy-in. And you can buy into that tournament for just $100.
Steve Badger once told me that there’s nothing wrong with “taking a shot” at a poker game that’s above your bankroll, as long as you’re willing to accept the risk.
If you want to win $100,000 a month on average, you can do it playing poker tournaments. You just need a huge bankroll to afford the buy-ins, just like you do if you’re a card counter or other kind of advantage gambler.
Most of the posts you read about winning a certain amount of money gambling during a certain period of time are less optimistic and aggressive than this one.
But the principles you use to try to win $100,000 a month are the same principles you use to try to win $100,000 a year. The amounts are just smaller.
I’m reminded of an experience I had playing Texas holdem at the Bellagio. I was nervous about playing at the $10/$20 limit game there, and my buddy Todd was there with me. I confessed my nervousness to him, and he said, “Don’t worry about it. They’re just betting units.
No different than $1 and $2 chips.”
What would you do if you wanted to win $100,000 a month gambling?