Can you really make money from online gambling?

You’ve seen the advertisements. Maybe you’ve even tried a few games. But is online gambling really an effective way to make money? Happy online gamblers on television adverts usually appear to be enjoying the games they’re playing. Yet, while they seem pleased as punch that  they didn’t have to leave the house to play, there’s rarely any thought given to any actual winnings. Still, the implication is clear—these games can win you at least some money. But is that really the case?

Here, we’ll take a look at whether it really is possible to strike it big, and how best to approach online gambling if your aim isn’t just to play games, but make some serious money.

Making money from gambling online can be tough

Since online gambling does offer cash prizes, it is theoretically possible to leave the virtual table with money in your pocket. The real question is how hard that is to do in practice. One successful online gambler answering the question on Quora suggests that anyone who asks this is “not ready” to have much success of their own. Making a start in games like poker, which is based on skill, rather than luck, may be the easiest initial foray into the world of online gambling.

For the uninitiated, though, online poker will take a serious amount of investment—not only of money lost during practice games, but, perhaps more significantly, of time. To make money playing online poker, you have to study the game, dig deep into statistics and theories, and install analytical and graphics programs which can help you assess your options with each hand.

After that, actual playing poker can seems very stressful. The gambler commenting on Quora noted that he would keep “about 12 tables open at a time” while playing poker online. Those who want the ease and comfort of enjoying a bingo or Candy Crush-style casual game while raking in the cash will not find what they’re looking for here.

There are easier ways to (potentially) win big online

Thankfully, there are still ways you can make money from gambling online. One of these is through entering the old-fashioned lottery. A luck-based game rather than a skills-based one, the lottery involves simply buying tickets and crossing your fingers that your numbers are going to come up.

Though your odds of winning the lottery on your own are extremely low, entering as part of an online lotto syndicate greatly increases them. Lottery syndicate websites like Lotto Social allow you to pool your tickets with fellow players and share any winnings. If you previously had a 1 in 139,838,160 chance of winning the EuroMillions jackpot, joining a 20-strong syndicate will give you 20 in 139,838,160 odds of winning at least part of the prize. A small increase, but a significant one. The online platform Syndicate Tools also allows you to set up and manage your own syndicate, keeping fellow members in the loop about winnings and putting your own agreement contract in place.

Of course, the problem with luck-based gambling is that, statistically, there’s always a chance you could never win anything, no matter what your odds are. This is why the charity GambleAware recommends that players “don’t think of gambling as a way to make money”. It’s better to think of gambling as a form of entertainment. If you treat it any differently you are likely to be disappointed, or worse, broke.

So if you’re looking for an answer to the titular question, here it is: yes, you can make money from online gambling. However, you shouldn’t approach it that way. Instead, like the stars of TV adverts, online gambling should be about enjoying the game. If you happen to win some cash as a result, then that’s just a lucky bonus.

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