There’s nothing more frustrating than fancying yourself as a bit of an expert when it comes to sports betting, only to consistently lose with relentless regularity. If this applies to you, cold comfort can be taken in the fact that you’re far from alone. In fact, there are millions of sports betting fans and followers all over the world who never seem to be able to take penny home for their efforts, regardless of how hard they try.
But why is it that some punters seem to flourish while others flounder?
It’s difficult to say specifically, but for those in the latter category it is often a case of banishing bad habits from the equation. There may not be a magic formula that guarantees you’ll win, but there are certainly a fair few ways of guaranteeing you’ll lose.
So if you have little choice but to put your hands up and admit you’ve fallen foul of any of the following, chances are you have your answer right there:
Faith in Punditry
First of all, and while it may come as an unpleasant surprise to some, not all pundits are out to help punters place profitable bets. Instead, they are quite frequently hired for the specific purpose of influencing odds, stirring debate and generally making things more interesting. What’s more, given the fact that pundits often have massively contradictory views on the same subjects, it’s really not as if you can trust any of them wholesale. It’s one thing to take a little advice and guidance from the experts, but it’s something else entirely to base all (or most) of your bets entirely on what they have to say. If this is a habit you have fallen into, it’s one you should think about falling out of as soon as possible.
Spreading Yourself Thinly
Is it a good idea to put all of your proverbial eggs in the same proverbial basket? Of course not. But at the same time, this doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to spread yourself too thinly, either. Roughly translated, if you insist on betting on dozens of weird and wacky sports and events from all over the world, you can’t expect to become particularly well versed in any of them. Think of it a little like the ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ theory. If you focus on just a couple of sports of primary interest to you, you stand a much greater chance of building your knowledge and making better decisions accordingly. It’s not to say you need to focus on one sport and one sport alone – it’s simply a case of knowing where to draw the line.
Not Shopping Around
Of course, the bookmaker you decide to do business will have no direct bearing on whether or not you make the right decisions. Nevertheless, if you do happen to make a correct prediction, it simply makes sense to ensure that you’ve chosen a bookmaker offering the best possible odds. While most leading bookmakers come out around the same level in terms of overall averages, differences from one event to the next can be significant. Which means that if you aren’t shopping around to find the very best odds, you could be short-changing yourself significantly.
Betting against the team you’ve been supporting since you were 7-years-old always feels a little uncomfortable. Wrong, even. And of course, you might not want to reveal you’ve done as such to your fellow supporters. Nevertheless, remaining loyal to a team simply as a matter of principle when it’s pretty obvious they don’t stand a chance in hell is a very dangerous approach to sports betting. It’s also a very common approach, too. Actually making a success of sports betting activities means remaining 100% neutral, impartial and objective at all times – something that is understandably difficult if you are highly passionate about any given team.
Bogus Bonus Offers
It’s important to be extremely careful and to a certain extent sceptical when it comes to online bookmaker bonuses. The reason being that while a £200 or even £2,000 introductory bonus/free bet might seem generous enough, it’s of little use to you if you first have to wager £20,000 of your own money before being able to withdraw a penny. It sounds extreme, but it happens – a lot! You can make all the perfect predictions in the world and rake in a fortune, but if you don’t check out those terms and conditions in full, there’s a chance you will never see a penny of it. If you are not willing to read the terms and conditions from top to bottom, don’t even think about going anywhere near bonus offers.
Trying to Recoup Losses
The key to success in absolutely every example of gambling lies in knowing when the time comes to walk away. This applies to both quitting while ahead and quitting while behind – the latter of the two often proving the most difficult of all. It doesn’t matter whether you have lost £1, £10 or even £1,000, chasing losses is a terrible idea. Why? Well, quite simply because chasing losses inherently means that you are not playing for the purpose you should be playing for – entertainment. Instead, if you are playing in a negative frame of mind, you’re guaranteed to make terrible decisions and you only stand to come out worse off than you already are.
Last but not least, it’s one thing to place a sensible wager on a major event and subsequently enjoy a couple of beers as it plays out. However, it’s something else entirely to enter into a sports betting session of any kind while under the influence of anything. There’s no denying the fact that booze and betting seem to go hand in hand pretty well. Unfortunately, the fact that you are almost guaranteed to make ill-informed decisions from start to finish means you could be looking at a financial hangover, as well as the conventional variety. Just remember; there’s a reason why most casinos hand out free alcohol and it is certainly not just for the sake of being generous!