Gambling For a Living
Authors David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth
Synopsis of Gambling For a Living
Is there really such a thing as a professional gambler? The answer is an unequivocal yes! The authors of this book are but two examples. The truth is that there are many thousands of people around the country who make a good living exclusively from gambling. It is not easy, but it can be done. The key idea is to understand which games are beatable and how to beat them. David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth have both spent many years writing about the finer points of poker, blackjack, and other beatable games. (As you will see in the book those other "games" are horses, sports, progressive slots and video poker, casino tournaments, and special promotions.
They don't include craps, roulette, keno, or baccarat for reasons explained therein.) This book, however, was written for the not quite as experienced aspiring gambler. It shows you everything you need to learn and do if you want to gamble for a living both from the practical and the technical standpoint. The rest is up to you. (305 pages; ISBN 1-880685-16-7)
Excerpt from the Book Gambling For a Living: Half-Time Bets
Another opportunity for making money at sports involves what is known as half-time bets. These are bets on the outcome of the second half only. They have become very popular in recent years, especially in the sports books of Nevada. They work like this: The bookie will put a line on most TV games as soon as the first half ends. So you have about twenty minutes to make a decision.
There are two reasons why half-time lines can be easy to beat if you know your sports. The first is that the bookies have to make the line on the spur of the moment. They don't have access to the normal amount of research, and while they do have experts coming up with that line, you may have noticed something while watching the game that those experts didn't.
The second reason why the half-time line could be profitable has to do with the fact that, as usual, the bookies are out to balance their books and thus normally try to put out a number that they think will get equal action. There will be many times when the bookie will not put up what he thinks is the proper line. He will put up the line that he thinks will split the action. And for half-time bets that line could be far different from the true line. This is the case because there are prospective hedgers out there who have made a bet on the game and now want to guarantee a profit on the bet.
To understand, let's look at an example. Suppose Team A is a 10-point favorite over Team B and at the half the score is B 10 and A 3. The people who have bet on B are in great shape, but they still could conceivably lose. At this point the book might post a half-time line making Team A somewhere around a 7-point favorite (for the second half only). There are a few reasons for this. Presumably Team A is still the better team. If the 10-point line is right it would seem that the half-time line should be about 5. The fact that team A needs to win the second half by more than 5 to win the game could be a justification for making the line higher. But the biggest reason the half-time number is 7 could well be because the books know that they will get action on Team A from those who bet on Team B at the beginning of the game! This is because some players will think that it is smart to "hedge." By betting the opposite way at the half they can cut down their loss to almost nothing regardless of the outcome. At the same time they will win both bets if Team A wins the second half by more than 7 and less than 17.
The above scenario might indicate a profitable bet for you because there are times when Team A deserves to be nowhere near a 7-point favorite. After all, they were outplayed in the first half. An astute game watcher should be able to tell when this is the case.
So what do you do? The answer should be obvious. You seriously consider betting Team B. The bookie puts up a number knowing that even though the number may be wrong he's going to get a lot of people hedging to ensure a profit. You bet the opposite way of the hedgers because the number is inflated to charge the hedgers a maximum amount.*
*Needless to say you should never make bets just to hedge a previous bet. The side you bet on a half-time bet should never have any relation to where you stand on previous bets on the game. If you spot a good half-time bet you make it regardless if you're betting the same way as before the game or not.
Other Books Written by David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth
Other Books Written by David Sklansky
- Getting the Best of It
- Hold 'em Poker
- Sklansky on Poker
- Sklansky Talks Blackjack
- The Theory of Poker
- Tournament Poker for Advanced Players Expanded Edition