Most everyone would love to get rich from casino gambling. Who wouldn’t want to win a huge jackpot from a 50-cent spin or win prize money at a blackjack tournament?
But the reality is that most people can’t or won’t get rich from casino gambling alone. Only a small percentage of gamblers are that lucky.
In this post, I take a serious look at what it would take to get rich from casino gambling. When you learn what’s required, you might decide there are other, much easier ways to get rich.
Decide How You Would Define “Rich”
The definition of rich varies from person to person. I have family members living in mobile home parks who think I’m rich because I can afford to rent a four-bedroom house in the suburbs. I also have in-laws who think I’m poor because I don’t own my own home and drive a 15-year-old pickup truck.
I decided to search for “how much money do you need to be rich” into Google, and I got a quick answer: $2.3 million. Truthfully, I don’t care to debate whether that’s high or low. It’s a good enough number to use as an example.
So, what would it take to win $2.3 million from casino gambling?
Play a Progressive Jackpot Game
Playing progressive slot machines like Megabucks is one way to win $2.3 million from the casino. In fact, the starting size of the jackpot for that game is $10 million, so you have a lot of wiggle room. Here’s what it takes to pull that off…
First, you need enough money to wager $3 per spin on Megabucks. If you win on your first spin, you’re all set. You can call it a day, then go home and enjoy your winnings.
The odds of winning Megabucks, though, is lower than 100%. We don’t know the exact odds, but estimates say that the actual odds of hitting that jackpot are between 1 in 17 million and 1 in 50 million.
If you make 17 million spins on Megabucks at $3 per spin, you’re looking at $51 million in wagers. If you make 50 million spins, you’re looking at $150 million in wagers.
Of course, not all those wagers are going to be losing spins either. If you play long enough, you’re bound to hit, and the average jackpot combined with how soon you hit the jackpot will determine whether you’re rich (having $2.3 million in profit left) after the end of your gambling career.
In this scenario, I am assuming that once you’ve won your $2.3 million, you will quit gambling and retire.
Based on a cursory look at the list of winning jackpots on LVOL, I’d say that the average amount won is between $10 million and $15 million. Sometimes, the jackpot gets as high as $30 or $40 million, but it hits a winner before $20 million more often than not.
I don’t think a 1 in 50 million shot at a $15 million jackpot is a good way to gamble your money away trying to earn $2.3 million, but you could try it.
If you play 40 hours a week, you’re looking at spending 2,500 weeks playing. If you take a two-week vacation every year, you’re still looking at playing the game for 50 years before hitting the jackpot. And that’s an average. It may well take longer than that. Standard deviation might force you to play for 100 years before hitting the jackpot.
But who wants to be 70 by the time they hit the jackpot? Oh, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll even see a profitable result when you do hit.
Progressive jackpots are a lousy way to get rich with casino gambling.
You Could Count Cards in Blackjack and Gamble With an Edge Over the Casino
I’ll admit it, I was being a little facetious when I suggested trying to get rich with casino gambling by playing Megabucks slots. A better strategy might be to count cards in blackjack.
Let’s assume that you’re a good enough card counter to get an edge over the casino. An average profitable card counter might have an edge of 1%.
Now, let’s assume that you have a big enough bankroll to bet an average of $50 per hand. If you’re playing an average of 100 hands per hour, you’re able to get $5,000 worth of hourly action.
With a 1% edge, you’re looking at making $50/hour playing blackjack. If you can play 40 hours a week, you can earn $2,000 a week counting cards, which is the equivalent of $100,000 a year.
This means it would take 23 years to earn $2.3 million playing blackjack. You could shorten that time period, though.
As your bankroll grows, you can increase how much you’re able to bet per hand. This will increase your hourly earnings. Realistically, though, it’s going to take years to get rich from being a card counter in blackjack unless you’re part of a team.
Parlay Your Winnings at Negative Expectation Games
Here’s the idea: You start with a small bet on a close-to-even-money proposition, and you bet your winnings along with your additional stake. As you double up, your profits get big faster than you might think.
Let’s suppose you’re going to try to get rich by doubling up after each bet playing roulette. How many bets in a row would you need to win to get rich?
Let’s say you start with a $5 bet and you just keep betting your winnings along with your original stake. The progression would look like this:
As you can see, you only need to win 20 bets in a row to win $2.6 million at roulette. This sounds like there might be a better way to go about it than trying to win at Megabucks.
Here’s the problem, though: Casinos limit the size of your bets at these games. The maximum bet at the roulette table is usually $5,000, although it can vary from casino to casino and from table to table.
Also, the odds of winning at roulette 20 times in a row aren’t good at all. They’re better than the odds of winning at Megabucks slots, but they’re still terrible. Back to the drawing board!
Maybe You Could Become a Poker Pro?
Playing poker for real money, strictly speaking, isn’t really casino gambling. You’re playing against the other players, not the house. By definition, if you’re playing a casino game, the house is banking the action. This is good and bad.
It’s good because when you’re dealing with other players, you can get an edge by playing more skillfully than they do. It’s bad because you’re taking money from other people instead of from a large, soulless corporation.
Winning consistently at poker isn’t the easiest thing in the world to pull off either. I’ve read from multiple reliable sources that only 5% to 10% of all poker players show a profit in the long run. The rest are breakeven or losing players.
Even if you can break into the top 5%, the number of players who actually get rich instead of just grinding out small amounts is even smaller.
If you’re a low stakes player, you might be able to win $500 a month playing online no limit Hold’em games. If you’re getting good and have the bankroll to pull it off, you might be able to go up in stakes and make $2,000 a month.
At $2,000 a month, you’re looking at $24,000 a year. It would take less than 10 years to get rich doing that, AND you get to play poker while you’re at it. That sounds like a winner to me, Bob!
If you can go up in stakes and really beat the elite players, you might even be able to make a quick score at the World Series of Poker. That worked for Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, and multiple other surprise wins at the WSOP.
Betting on Sports Is Another Way to Get Rich With Casino Gambling
Strictly speaking, betting on sports isn’t exactly the same things as playing casino games. The sportsbook model is different. But like casino games, sports bets are designed with an edge for the sportsbook (casino) in mind.
They usually set up point spreads on football games in such a way that a bet has a 50/50 probability of winning.
This means that just to break even in the long run at sports betting, you must win 52.4% of your bets. To make any kind of profit, you need to do better than that. And the best handicappers and sports bettors in the world max out at about 60%.
You’ll probably never see a winning record that good, but luckily, you can still make plenty of money just being right 55% or 56% of the time.
If you think the ways to get rich from casino gambling sound impossible, well, you’re mostly right.
Casinos wouldn’t stay in business or generate the kinds of profits they do if they made it easy to get rich from them. Businesses don’t exist to lose money. They exist to generate profits.
Sadly, for gamblers, that means they need you to lose. You CAN get rich gambling at casinos, but it’s hard. Only the most elite gamblers can pull it off.
But wouldn’t it be worth it to try? After all, the hardest goals are always the most satisfying goals to achieve.