Gambling Activities You Need to Master

Person Jump Kicking With a Casino Background

Do you want to have fun gambling or do you want to build a profitable gambling skill? The choice is yours, but the money is in building a profitable skill.

That’s the purpose of this article. If you want to build a profitable gambling skill you need to know where to focus your energy.

The seven gambling activities listed in this article are the perfect place to start. Learn how to master one of these activities and you’re on the right path to higher returns. And in some cases, you’re on the oath to long term profits.

Blackjack Card Counting

The most common gambling area where you can play with an edge is counting cards when you play blackjack. A theme that you’re going to notice on this list is that it’s not easy to get an edge. But you can get an edge if you work hard enough to master certain things.

What I like most about blackjack counting is that it’s a straightforward process. You can easily find out everything you need to learn how to do.

But just because the process of counting cards is straightforward doesn’t mean that it’s easy. In fact, it’s quite difficult. On the other hand, once you learn how to do it you can make money counting for the rest of your life.

Poker Cash Games

Learning how to master real money poker games is possibly the best way to make money as a gambler. You can find plenty of cash games both in poker rooms and in private settings and you don’t have to worry about the casino kicking you out like blackjack counters.

The downside is that it’s much more difficult to become a master cash game poker player than a card counter.

Stack of Poker Chips and Cash

Most master poker players have been playing for at least 10 years, so this isn’t something that’s easy or fast. But once you learn how to win you can make as much or more money as participating in any gambling activity on this list.

While it’s possible to learn everything you need to know from playing, the best way to learn how to master poker is start reading good strategy books. After you read the best books, then you can add to your knowledge by getting playing experience.

Buying books is much cheaper than learning the hard way by playing before you know what you’re doing.

Betting on Horse Races

Betting on Horse racing is like all other gambling activities in that you’re fighting an edge before you start. But the way the edge works allows smart handicappers an opportunity to turn the edge around.

All of the bets made on a horse race are placed in a pool and the track takes a percentage off the top. All the rest of the pool is paid out to handicappers who placed winning wagers. What this means is that you have to do a better job handicapping horse races than most other gamblers to win enough to make a profit. This is one of the hardest things to do in gambling, but the news is not all bad.

Once you master horse race handicapping you can find as many betting opportunities as you want. Horse races are being run multiple times a day every day all around the world. And you can bet on them online at many different sites.

Like cash game poker mastery, horse racing mastery takes a long time. Most profitable horse race gamblers have been doing it for years or decades. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, but you need to understand that betting on horse races isn’t a fast way to make money gambling.

Sports Gambling

Sports gambling can be a profitable activity if you’re a fan and can learn how to handicap games. The key to mastering sports gambling is to identify games that offer value based on the lines the sportsbooks offer.

This sound simple, but you have to be able to do this at a higher than 50% rate to overcome the fee the sportsbooks charge to place wagers.

With standard fees, or vig, you have to be able to win 53% or more of your spread wagers. This doesn’t sound unrealistic, but it’s challenging. On the good side, there are sporting events to bet on available every day of the year. This means that good handicappers always have games to bet on.

Sportbook Betting Stations

You also can find opportunities to place some wagers with a reduced vig or without any vig. This helps you make even more money if you’re a good handicapper.

Unlike most of the other activities listed in this article, there aren’t many good books or great articles that teach you exactly how to be a winning handicapper. You have to learn while you’re doing it.

Betting on Dog Racing

Dog racing has all of the same benefits as horse racing. The main problem is that there aren’t anywhere close to as many dog tracks as horse tracks. This makes it harder to find opportunities to handicap races and place profitable wagers.

Smart horse and dog race gamblers don’t place bets on every race. They know that they have to find value before placing a bet, and every race doesn’t offer value. On a race card of 10 to 15 races, you might only find three to five races that offer value.

With a limited number of dog tracks, this reduces your opportunities to find enough races to make decent money, even if you’re a good handicapper.

This also creates another issue. The total amount bet on dog races, or the handle, is smaller than on horse races. The reason why this is important is because you can’t make bets as large without seriously changing the odds when you bet on dogs instead of horses.

Dog racing can be profitable, but it doesn’t offer the same upside as the first four gambling activities on this list.

Deuces Wild Video Poker

The first five gambling activities on this list all give you a chance to play with a return over 100%. This is what you need to achieve to make a long term profit. These last two activities won’t quite let you get to 100% returns, but they both can push the return over 99.5%.

Deuces Wild isn’t the most popular video poker variation, but it’s close. And of the most popular video poker games, it offers the highest rate of return. As you’ve learned so far, getting the highest rate of return isn’t easy, and learning Deuces Wild video poker is no different.

Video poker machines have a return to player percentage that’s based on two things. The first thing is the pay table. The second thing is how you play each hand, or as it’s often called, strategy.

In order to get the highest rates of return playing Deuces Wild you have to play on a machine with a good pay table and you have to use the perfect strategy on every single hand. This isn’t easy, but it’s easier than mastering poker strategy or handicapping sports events.

Jacks or Better Video Poker

The only video poker variation that’s more popular than Deuces Wild is Jacks or Better. Jacks or Better machines are the easiest to find in casinos because it’s been around the longest and it’s the game of choice for the majority of video poker players.

With the right pay table and perfect video poker strategy play, Jacks or Better offer a return that’s almost as high as Deuces Wild. And there are a couple reasons why you might play Jacks or Better instead of Deuces Wild, even if you can find good pay tables for each game.

Game King Video Poker Machine

The main reason why you might choose to play Jacks or Better is because it’s easier to use perfect strategy when you play. This doesn’t mean that it’s easy; it just means that it’s easier than using perfect Deuces Wild strategy.

The other reason is because you only need to know one Jacks or Better pay table. You need to know the 9/6 table, but you can ignore all other pay tables because they aren’t good enough to play.


Every gambling activity listed in this article offers the opportunity for a high return. You don’t have to become a master in each area, but you need to learn how to be a master in at least one of these areas.

Many of these gambling activities give you a real chance to win, and even the few that don’t offer master players a return of 99.5% or higher.

Master gamblers know what games to play and they know how to play them. Start with the seven gambling activities listed in this article.