Below is some practical advice for those who are new to sports betting. This advice comes from the experience of placing thousands of bets. The most important trait of a successful punter is discipline, but as you will find out, it’s much easier said than done.
Take time to assess your betting performance and learn where your weaknesses lie. This will enable you to make beginner errors without incurring any stress.
A good approach is to not make a deposit at all, but to make hypothetical wagers and track your progress had you wagered actual money.
Track your performance
Betting agencies don’t want you to have a good picture of your betting history because it is in their best interest that you don’t. Online bookmakers add new, innovative features all the time, but none of them provide more than the most basic betting history tool. No betting agency that we’re aware of provides graphs of your performance history over time, or lists your performance summary by bet type and sport. It is vitally important that you remain aware of exactly how much you have won or lost. It is also incredibly easy to misjudge your track record. You may feel you dominate tennis betting, only to find you have a losing record when looking at the data. Australia Sports Betting offers a free Excel betting tracker worksheet that enables you to track your performance across betting agencies, sports and bet types over time.
Resist the temptation to delete disastrous bets. Don’t measure your performance using the approach of “if only I hadn’t made this particular bet.” Include every bet you’ve made to give yourself a true picture of your betting history.
Become a specialist
Due to the existence of bookmaker margins, if you place bets at random, you will win around $90-$95 for every $100 wagered. With each additional round of bets the likelihood of having more in your account balance than you deposited dwindles. You need to become an expert on a few selected sports to improve your chances of consistently beating the bookmaker. Becoming familiarised with a market concerns not only being familiar with the teams & players, but with the odds to expect and the value they imply. Over time you will be able to look at, say, head to head odds of 1.45, and know immediately whether that represents good value based on your expectations for the game.
Don’t hesitate to bail out by making an opposing bet
There will be times where you’ll place a bet early in the week only to feel you’ve made a bad wager in light of new information. Don’t hesitate to place an opposing wager to cancel out the first bet. Due to bookmaker margins this will result in a guaranteed loss, but this loss will be much smaller than if you hadn’t acted and your hunch is correct.
Don’t try to win back your losses
The fastest way to end up with a zero account balance is to try and quickly win back your losses. All it takes is a couple of losing bets, and before you know it you’re wagering the rest of your account balance in an angry fit trying to regain parity. The best strategy is to walk away. Always think “at the margin.” Forget the past, and always aim to improve on your account balance at any given point in time. If you deposited $100 and are down to $60, either withdraw the $60, or set yourself the goal of simply having more than $60. Patience and discipline are the best two characteristics a punter can have.
Stay clear of exotic bets
A major factor that will determine your success with betting is the choice of markets you participate in. You can get a rush from betting on who will win the next point in tennis, or who will score the first try in rugby, but these bets tend to be bad value and the bookmaker generally has a huge advantage over the punter. You will fare much better by focusing on end-result betting rather than events during a game.
Don’t bet for the sake of it
Be patient. Don’t bet for the sake of it. Due to bookmaker margins, betting at random will almost guarantee losses over time. Only bet when you have a strong opinion of the value of the odds on offer. If you’re trying to bet just to entertain yourself you are playing into the bookmaker’s hands. If you can’t gauge whether the value of the odds for a particular wager are good or not, then stay clear. In summary, “if you don’t know, don’t bet.”
And most important of all…
The most important traits you need are patience and discipline, but as I’m sure you’ll find out, it’s all easier said than done, so never wager more than you can afford to lose. Don’t get greedy and focus on the potential upside of a big wager. Always consider the possibility of losing your entire account balance and ask yourself what the implications would be if that happened. You should only deposit an amount that you can easily afford to lose. Make use of the self imposed lock out services that most bookmakers offer. These will prevent you from making additional deposits for a set period of time of your choosing. Learn more about responsible gambling.
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