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How You Can Become a Professional Gambler

I get an annoying amount of email from people asking me how to gamble like I used to. The truth is that what I used to do isn't profitable anymore. It was a right time, right place sort of scenario. Although I'm not a professional gambler anymore, I have been spending time studying and improving at poker (I'm a break-even or slightly profitable player), and I have friends who are pros. There are surely several different paths you can take to make a living gambling; this is the one that I'm aware of and is feasible for someone of above average intelligence.

Despite offering a rough guide to making money gambling, I don't necessarily recommend that you do so. I gambled professionally for seven years. During that time I made a lot of money and enjoyed my life. One morning I woke up and all of my money was gone. The story behind that is complicated, but the gist is that "they caught on". The strongest emotion I felt was a sense of relief. Gambling is fun, but it's not "big". It doesn't contribute in a meaningful way or leave you with a body of work.

Most casino games have a house advantage ranging from 2-5%, assuming "perfect play". That means that if you play perfectly, you can expect to lose, on average, about 2-5% of the action you put through a machine. Perfect play for slot machines is simply to bet the maximum amount of coins (the jackpot is skewed heavily in favor of maximum coins). For blackjack you need to memorize what to do for every combination of player hands vs. dealer hands, specific to each set of rules (hit on soft 17, resplitting aces, etc).

Diplomacy Lessons from the Game Diplomacy

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

There's a board game called Diplomacy. As far as boardgames go, it's one of the best. Was designed by a guy at Harvard in the 1950's, and it's been distributed and played nonstop at a high level ever since, including regular international tournaments.

I won't talk about the game too much - I haven't played it in 10 years, so I don't remember the exact details. The only things two you need to know - first, it's a game set during the start of World War I, with the seven powers of the day vying for control. Second, there is no luck involved. No cards, no dice, no randomness, no chance. Success or failure is all dependent on what other players do and negotiation - no luck, no chance, no randomness. It's a game that's played and won purely in a social way.

This article is because I found this rather amazing piece by Dr. Lewis Pulsipher analyzing how to play Diplomacy well. I learned a lot from it.

I'll let Doc Pulsipher take over now:

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