What Makes More Money For You – Sports Betting or Poker?

What makes more money for you - Sports Betting or Poker?

Staking your money either in a betting game or a gambling game is quite thrilling. When you make risky bets, it is an automatic adrenaline rush, and when it pays off, it rewards you with instant gratification. Many of us who wager on odds do it for fun. But the thrill is not enough for all. The casual crowd who gamble for entertainment may be a majority, but the real point of betting is the tangible reward: money.  So the million-dollar question is: where do you make the most money? The answer is often more complicated than a simple either/or. Let us make this comparison between two of the most popular forms of betting: playing poker and betting on sports. Poker vs. sports betting is an excellent comparison to make. This is because both of these sports can grant long-term benefits to players who have mastered the craft. 


One of the big aspects of poker is that it is relatively fair. Every casino game is skewed to favour the casino by design. This is called their ‘house advantage.’ Different card games have different house edges. And most popular forms of poker have a relatively low house edge. So right off the bat, this makes poker much better in long-term earning potential than, say, slot games.

A standard game of poker goes something like this. First, the dealer deals with every player’s cards from a shuffled deck. Then the players take turns placing bets in the first round. You can either match the previous bet, raise it, i.e., call a higher bet, or ‘fold,’ thereby losing all involvement with the bet. This progresses in the round until there are only one or two players standing. If everyone else folds, a solo last man standing will take the whole pot, i.e., the whole money without having to ever show their cards. 

As you might have noticed: the only element of chance in this whole process is what cards you and your opponent initially get. The rest of it depends on how you play the game. You don’t need to place bets in the pot if you wish not to. If you think your hand is no good, you can cut your losses and move on. But playing poker is not just a show of your hand’s actual value; it is a tool that you can use to call ‘bluffs’ to strategically deceive other players. You keep a ‘poker face,’ you guess the other players’ hands, you try to read their minds and influence their decisions to suit your interests. It is a game of mathematics, probability, and psychology. If you have the right skill set, you can win even with a weak hand. 

These skills take time to develop, but once you are better at these than your opponents, you can win enough games to make poker wagering a viable source of long-term income.

Sports Betting

In its early days, sports betting used to be seedy underground gambling rings. But that is far from the case now. The big draw of sports betting today is how accessible it is. The recommended and reliable method of wagering in sports is through reliable online sportsbooks. But how do you ‘win’ at sports betting? If the definition of winning is breaking even on your seed money with a little profit over it, that can be achieved with just basic strategizing. Of course, basic knowledge of the sport also helps. These days, though, you can rely on odds made by sportsbooks as they are more or less accurate.

So, where do you make more money?

We have known top-tier pro poker champions to get comfortably rich just from playing poker. A virtuoso like Moneymaker can walk out of a tournament with enough cash that they never have to work for the rest of their life. On the other hand, punters do not usually reveal their winnings if sports betting is their full-time earnings. Hence, it is not always possible to make a fair comparison between the two. 

So let us look at what a poker player and a punter will make when they do it as a secondary side-hustle. Generally speaking, the money you make in poker largely depends on its ROI. This varies based on casinos, and the type of poker played. With basic strategy and sound money management, your ROI on sports betting can be anywhere from 5 to 15%. On a multi-table poker tournament, the average ROI for experienced poker players is around 10%. But statistically, that 10% ROI is achievable by seasoned poker players, who are the minority. With newbies in poker, anything above a 0% ROI is considered good.

So here is the bottom line: with greater skill, you have higher earning potential in poker. The caveat is that you need to be better than nearly 9/10th of all poker players. Compared to that, earning long-term in sports betting is more plug-and-play. You can sustainably generate money in small amounts. But the money ceiling is also low, as a tradeoff. 

However, in the end, it depends on your skill and passion in the world of betting.

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