Betting on sports is a fun activity when done casually, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t aspire to make a profit. Savvy punters are well familiar with the intricacies of gambling, but beginners and recreational players stumble upon many obstacles. These 7 simple tips will help you avoid many of the setbacks suffered by inexperienced punters and will improve your betting experience and results.
1. Bankroll management is the key
You should always bet within your means and never go over the top with wagers that you can’t afford. Setting up a bankroll for sports betting is the first and most important step and an effective way to avoid catastrophic losses. Amateur punters should not bet in excess of 5% of their bankroll on a single match or accumulator, no matter how safe it looks. Risk-averse players frequently go beyond this threshold and bet 1% or 2% of their bankroll, to minimize the risks.
2. Set clear and reasonable objectives
Once you have a bankroll dedicated exclusively to sports betting, you need to set clear goals. Some punters would rather bet on the matches they watch live, for the sake of entertainment. A bet is a surefire way of making even a dull game exciting and there’s nothing wrong in having a bit of fun. The alternative is to take the more professional approach of betting on the leagues and matches that you know. It’s important to make an early decision and determine the importance you place on sports betting.
3. Research is essential in sports betting
If you are to have a chance at winning when betting on sports, you must be willing to commit some time to researching the games and markets. Take the time needed to analyze the standings, the form and the overall performance of the team or athlete you plan on backing. Read betting tips if needed, but don’t rely exclusively on the advice provided online and use the information to enhance your own research. Go over several sources, never base your decisions on preconceptions and always keep an open mind.
4. Review your sports betting performance
Some people mostly remember their winning bets, while others have the tendency to focus exclusively on their losses. The truth is usually somewhere in between, but you can only know the facts if you are willing to look at your sports betting performance with a critical eye. Keep a record of your bets and see how much you won and lost over a certain period of time, to get better. This is where the importance of having a bankroll for sports betting becomes self-evident, as it keeps players grounded and reasonable.
5. Seek value in the odds available
The sooner you realize that there are no safe bets, the more successful you’ll become as a punter. The only thing that matters is finding matches and betting markets where the odds offered exceed the risks. Don’t hesitate to bet at odds of 10/1 on a match that has a 20% chance to deliver the desired result. At the same time, don’t take odds of 1/10, if the chance to win is anything less than 90%. Use odds comparison tools if needed and seize the opportunity of placing bets where the reward is slightly higher than the risk.
6. Cut your losses when necessary
The sunk cost fallacy is a serious threat that affects punters and left unchecked, it can lead to utter bankroll destruction. It is always difficult to accept the fact that your decisions have led to undesired results. Most people tend to chase losses and hope that if they persevere long enough, they will ultimately recuperate the money lost. Emotional attachments have no place in sports betting and you should always try to cut your losses instead of trying to cover losing streaks.
7. Stick to the sports and markets you know
There’s nothing wrong with placing a bet every now and then on a sporting event that you are unfamiliar with. In the long run, it is important to stick to a single sport and ideally to a handful of betting markets. This will make it easier to undertake the needed research, help you find the value in the odds available and overall improve your betting performance. Exotic markets are usually the ones that carry the highest house edge and bookmakers also make most of their money from niche sports.
The Golden Age of sports betting is now and with so many bookmakers to choose from, punters enjoy all the advantages. They are still hard-pressed to find a solution to dealing with the proverbial house edge, but they have the tools to succeed. Proper bankroll management, sufficient research and a cool head are the key ingredients for making sports betting fun and profitable.