When it comes to gambling, the odds are against you. Whenever you place a bet of any kind, chances are you’re going to lose money. However, it is still possible to make a profit if you’re lucky enough. There are even some people who gamble professionally and are able to make a living from playing casino games and placing bets on sporting events. A few have even become multi-millionaires because of their persistence and dedication. They’ve made it not only because of extreme luck, but also because they’ve developed skills and strategies that have helped them get to the top. Here’s a look at some of the world’s richest gamblers today.

Bill Benter

Bill obtained a degree in mathematics, which certainly comes in handy when you want to earn money from playing casino games. He specialised in blackjack and practised the often-controversial method of card counting, where you keep track of what cards have come up and what ones haven’t yet come up. Many casinos actually ban card counting and if they know someone’s practising it, they may be asked to leave.

Bill ended up getting banned from all the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip because he counted cards so much. After this, he moved to Hong Kong and worked with fellow gambler Alan Woods to develop a sophisticated software program that would help people better predict the outcomes of horse races. Bill is estimated to be worth nearly $1 billion; he’s earned this from licensing his horse racing betting software and from his own betting activity.

Edward E Thorp

Card counting wasn’t always around. This specific strategy was developed by Edward E Thorp and publicised in a book he wrote, Beat the Dealer. This book was the first to focus on a gambling strategy and the card counting techniques described in it are seen by many gamblers today as the ultimate blackjack strategy.

While Edward himself made a significant amount of money from putting his strategy into practice, he also become proficient at backgammon and baccarat. The mathematics professor also invested in stock markets and wrote several other books on gambling theory and mathematics. His net worth is reportedly around $800 million.

Billy Walters

Unlike Bill and Edward, Billy Walters didn’t get a degree in mathematics or become a professor in the subject. Still, he became interested in gambling from an early age, starting to place bets on various things when he was just nine years old. Over the years he worked various jobs in different fields, while continuing to gamble increasingly large amounts of money.

It wasn’t until he was in his mid-to-late thirties that his gambling really started to take off. He became proficient at developing sports betting strategies and successfully putting them into practice. By 2020, his net worth was estimated to be $100 million. While a lot of this was earned through a number of business ventures, quite a lot of it came from Billy’s successful gambling ventures.

Phil Ivey

Born in California, Phil Ivey is known for being one of the world’s most celebrated poker players. He was the youngest to earn ten World Series of Poker bracelets and has a World Poker Tour title to his name; he’s also been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. Thanks to his many wins at top poker tournaments and his business interests, which involve both real-world and online poker, he’s believed to be worth around $100 million.

Zeljko Ranogajec

Some gamblers are happy to have the world know about their exploits. Zeljko Ranogajec, however, is more private than other wealthy gamblers. The Australian dropped out of university to make a living from gambling. At first he focused on blackjack and managed to make a living playing the game at various Australian casinos. In fact, he became too successful and ended up getting banned. This wasn’t a problem, as he switched to horse racing instead, reportedly making hundreds of millions of dollars from placing successful bets on horse races.