Some Essential Gambling and Sports Betting Basics
If you delve deeper you’ll understand that there are three firmly established professions that share the exact attributes which are much-needed when it comes to enjoying a successful betting career. In case any of these 3 professions are currently your day job, you already have a head-start in making handsome profit from part-time punting. In a similar manner, all aspiring sports bettors seeking a job which best complements and improves their betting abilities might want to have a look at these professions and contemplate a change in career.

Professional gamers – Always one step ahead!
Professions which are highly focused on analysis and management of risk can be considered as fairly evident breeding grounds for highly successful traders and/or sports bettors. Talking about it in a more generic way, what we’re referring to here is actually a mindset which is more inclined towards rational decision making under conditions which can sometimes be very uncertain in nature. There is another very popular type of profession wherein this ability is very important for being successful in the long term – Professional gamers.
In fact, if you look at some of the most popular online bookmakers such as Bet365, Pinnacle etc., a major portion of their trading teams is made up of professional gamers. A good number of them are actually professional MTG players. For people who may not be aware of the term, MTG stands for Magic the Gathering, a highly popular trading card game which is actually a combination of different elements of trading and conventional card collecting, game theory, game strategy and fantasy dynamics of various role-playing games.
Considering the fact that there are more than 20 million active players of MTG throughout the world, it speaks volumes about the kind of huge genre that it belongs to. If you look at the various attributes of successful MTG professional players, all of them clearly align with successful traders. And when we say professional, we don’t mean it only in a symbolic way, MTG actually has some very important six figure prize pools in its tournaments.
As it’s mainly a card game at core, similar player attributes that are relevant in MTG also extend to the more-recognised card game formats, for instance, poker, bridge etc. that are played regularly at any and every off-line or online casino. All these games involve an equal level of skill. The same can be said about strategic board games, for instance backgammon. Gaining some amount of expertise in such games means that you have developed a mindset which is compatible with the field of sports betting. Coming to the digital hybrids of various old school fantasy board games, such as Dungeons & Dragons, they must also be looked at the same way.
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Any professional trader who has a successful background in MTG, can also be seen having migrated towards e-sports such as League of Legends, Dota and more, all the games that are a fair combination of maintaining cool under pressure, split-second strategic thinking and fine motor skills. The former two definitely fall under the required attributes when it comes to conventional sports betting or a trader’s job. They’re also the ideal characteristics that every effective sports bettor should have.

Actuary - Bookmakers in the making
Ask any actuary about what exactly does he do, and you’ll most likely receive a puzzled reaction! Although not a great number of people are aware about what actuaries actually do, you should know that an actuary’s main job is knowing all about you.
He’s responsible for predicting the number of years you may live to anything like measurement of your driving abilities. Putting it more clearly, an actuary’s job is to comprehensively compile and analyse various statistics so as to calculate the insurance risks, for the purpose of medical insurance, life insurance, car insurance, home insurance etc., followed by working out the premium amount that must be charged in order to successfully run a profit-making insurance business. Although this kind of job specification may sound quite familiar to someone who compiles odds at any off-line or online casino cum bookmaker, for instance, the kinds of Bet365 and more, the only major and real difference in this case is the context.
If you look at bookmakers such as Bet365, William Hill, Ladbrokes etc., they’re all involved in compilation and analysis of statistics on various sports events, followed by calculation of the underlying probabilities or risks, and then addition of their own premium or margin, so as to register a consistent profit.
If you study them deeply, you’ll understand that there’s quite a lot of similarity in both these industries, fairly apparent in the manner in which consumers compare the value of the products offered by them, with only little difference existing between insurance and odds comparison websites. But, as the similarities aren’t very apparent to the end consumers, you’re likely to find them being highly attentive when it comes to getting the best deal on their insurance than when it’s about finding the best value odds.
Further studying these industries would reveal that succeeding in them is often determined by how well you assess the involved risks, and since the possible liabilities in case of actuaries are more volatile and complex in nature, it’s a profession that suits quite well to making successful sports betting decisions.

Financial trader - Treating bets as a type of asset class
If you look into the history of commerce, you’ll figure that professional traders are actually as old as the field of commerce itself. In fact, the term is applicable to any person who sells and buys for profit making purpose. Although that type of conventional market trading or physical products’ dealing has become a thing of the past, the term is more or less synonymous with the trading activities carried out in the field of finance.
You’ll see traders operating in several different spheres – packaged debt products like CDOs, commodities, currencies, shares, the list is actually endless. However, their objective remains the same regardless of what they’re dealing in, that is - to sell and buy in order to make some profit. This is also what the field of sports betting is also fundamentally all about - selling and buying of odds.
The odds makers of the betting industry can be identified as traders, and such trading analogy also extends to the terminologies. So, whenever the odds are shortened, these traders can be seen describing them as becoming more expensive, implying that you need to bet higher in order to win the same figure, and whenever these odds are lengthened or they drift, they are described as getting cheaper.
Trading is also a term that has become increasingly popular among a unique and growing association of sports bettors who decide to take on various bookmakers on a full-time basis. Any such group is characterised by high levels of sophistication, as it tries to score an edge over the bookmakers, mirroring what traders of all kinds, whether they are independent financial traders or institutional financial traders, already do.
One of the major consequences of the financial crash that happened in the year 2008, followed by the low yield environment for investment activities, was the move of several city traders into the profession of betting trade, for the exact reasons that we mentioned above, and also because the latter provided potentially higher returns. Trading of arbitrage bets is an excellent example in this regard, as it also provides several tax benefits.
This particular trend also led some of the thinkers of the field to predict that sports betting activity would be recognised more as a type of asset class in the future, completely distinct from recreational betting. It is at this point that trading and betting would actually and completely converge.
Portals like Bet365, take sports betting activity pretty seriously, just like most bookmakers in the business. This is also the reason why only serious sports bettors play at Bet365, which is actually an online casino cum bookmaker. This is also because Bet365 provides any sports bettor who seeks to treat this activity as a profession, the best possible payouts, zero restrictions and guaranteed high levels of liquidity.
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Therefore, if you’re already in the profession of financial trading and are looking for some new asset class for investment purposes, the field of sports betting isn’t too far removed from your regular day job!

A brief history of gambling
Gambling can easily be termed as one of the oldest pastimes of the world. It actually started as a means of entertainment during the ancient times, when the betting outcomes were considered nothing more than the wish of the gods. Over a period of time, gambling transformed into the most extraordinary profession you can practice to put bread on the table!

It was all about chance initially
The earliest traces of gambling in the human history can be found in the ancient China dating back to 2200 BC. Back then, it wasn’t about entertainment alone. Many different pieces of evidence prove that dices were used for allocating different territories to people. And the same used to be case in the Europe of the bygone era. Going back to 100 A.D., one can find enough traces of the dispute over District of Hising between King Olaf of Sweden and King Olaf of Norway. How this dispute was resolved in favour of Swedish King was through the roll of a double dice. The Swedish King got two sixes back to back (which is actually a 1 in 36 chance)!
When it’s about betting on the different outcomes of sports events, the credit for that can be given to Greeks, the original host of the Olympic Games. All sorts of athletic competitions, for instance, hurling of the discus, footrace etc. used to be held in different cities of Greece thousands of years ago, with winners getting bestowed with handsome prize money! However, the actual big money used to be made in the viewer stands where people used to sometimes even bet their entire estates!
Even the biggest sports bettors of the history were Romans, with some of them not just losing their material possessions because of heavy bets, but also their freedom. Anything and everything used to be fair in Rome, whether it was chariot races, board games, knuckle bones, dice throws or anything else. Early Romans also used to employ magical lead tablets intending to bring bad luck, and sometimes even death upon their opponents!
Gambling used to be viewed as an important metaphor for life in the Rome back then.

Lightning-up of the times!
The risk factor wasn’t scientifically studied up until the Renaissance period, when it became a cause for major breakthrough in the field of probability, which then became the basis of the modern day Risk Management employed by professional sports bettors and bookmakers.
There was plenty of extraordinary innovation, religious turmoil and a vigourous scientific approach during those times, which had put mysticism out of the picture. It was in the year 1654 that a French nobleman named Chevalier De Mere, having some taste for mathematics and gambling had posed a major challenge to Blaise Pascal, the famous mathematician, to solve a puzzle created by Luca Paccioli, a monk, almost 200 years ago (at that time). The puzzle converted into a mathematical riddle, which no one was able to solve. Pascal turned to Pierre de Fermat, a mathematician and a lawyer, for help.
Their combined efforts resulted in the end of superstition in the field of risk taking. A 17th-century version of Trivial Pursuit, a popular game, is what resulted in the formation of the probability theory, the mathematical concept which forms the basis for risk management.
Mathematicians converted probability theory from merely being a gambler’s tool into something very powerful for organisation, analysis and application of information - the various quantitative techniques which are employed in all important aspects of the modern day life, right from wine tasting to stock picking to drug testing and opinion polling.