How to avoid the most common mistakes made by sports gamblers

There is a conception that sports bettors come in two different types. The professional gambler who makes a business out of placing sporting bets, by studying the odds and form, and the keen enthusiast who likes to place a bet for a bit of fun to add some spice to the enjoyment of his or her favourite sporting events.

But surely this is coming at it from the wrong direction. After all, the enjoyment of placing a bet is nothing compared to that of scooping a significant win. True, nobody is going to get it right all the time, but perhaps we should all take a lesson from those seasoned pros who get it right more often than not. Here, we provide some betting tips for new players by taking a look at what the most successful gamblers do – and more to the point, what they don’t do.

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Head before heart

If you like to place a bet on your favourite team or player in a spirit of optimism over expectation, you are never going to come out on top. By all means, do so if your only objective is to show support for the team or patriotism for your country, but be prepared for the fact that this approach will cost you money in the long run.

If you want to make money, you need to look at the game, race or event from a completely impartial perspective. That might still mean backing the underdog sometimes, but only if you think the odds being offered make it a tempting risk – not because it is your team and you know they can do it!

Manage your bankroll

Whether you are betting on sports, a casino game or even the stock market, you will suffer an almighty crash if you don’t manage your money properly. One of the key tenets to bankroll management is only to bet what you can afford to lose. That means setting aside a budget that is specifically for your sporting wagers. You don’t use it for anything else, but at the same time, you don’t supplement it with additional funds. With your budget in place, the next step is to draw up a staking plan – this is how much you will place on each wager.

Often, the difficult part is not so much creating the plan, but sticking to it. It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of a winning or losing streak and to throw all caution to the wind. But stick to the plan, and you will not only protect your finances, you will ultimately make better decisions, too.

Keep it simple

In many areas of life, the KISS principle can save you from disaster, and this is certainly the case when placing sporting bets. Avoid over complicating things, particularly when you are starting out. In particular, adopt a “less is more” approach. Many who are new to betting place far too many wagers. Do that, and the law of averages that states the house always wins will just catch you all the faster. Be selective, and only place wagers on those events that you have studied up on and where the odds are in your favour.

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