How to win at sports betting, by betting over a period of time using real money and standing or falling by the results
Today I begin a series on how to win money at sports betting, and although I don't expect or claim that what I detail will be an exhaustive series of articles, one thing in their favor is that each of the principles and method's examined have been tested and refined over several years.
Rest assured that nothing here is an intellectual exercise, but was discovered, sometimes painfully, by betting over a period of time using real money and standing or falling by the results. Many of you are experienced bettors and will already understand most of the principles involved, but I believe there is much to gain by having a further look at them with a little self examination.
I resemble this to driving a car. To pass a driving test we do everything by the instruction book, and after passing the test we add further knowledge and experience of real life driving conditions to make us better drivers. Be honest with yourself, we also pick up bad habits that become part of our technique almost un-knowingly. Our betting techniques are also subject to the gradual intrusion of bad habits and practices. In the absence of losing our bankroll we tend to ignore them, lessening our overall effectiveness as bettors.
Know the Enemy. For anyone new to sports betting to even consider starting without first knowing how a bookmaker operates is suicidal. To get involved without first knowing the rules is simply crazy as all eventualities should be weighed up as part of the process of determining the likely success of any wager.
Know Myself It is essential to know your strong and weak points, and brutal honesty is what's required here if you wish to succeed at sports betting. The kind of tongue in cheek statement that follows the accusation, "you're drunk" with "I only had a couple", when it's clear you're arse faced, is of no use to us in our quest to win. Most of us think we are better than we actually are in any field of endeavor, and sports betting is no different. The big difference is that telling a little lie about the size of your penis won't empty your bankroll in the same way that misleading ourselves about our tipping skills will. The only certain way to get an un-biased and truthful picture of the facts is to keep detailed records. Not just the winners, but the losers too. Complete, extensive and accurate records is a must for anyone with ambitions to succeed at beating the bookmaker. Do not trust to memory, it's fallible. If you are new to this sphere, then the safest way to begin is what is known as "paper trading". This simply means that selections are made, a stake is chosen, but no (real) money is used. Phony money, fake dollars, monopoly cash, call it what you like. The point is how can you establish a pattern of strengths and weaknesses without first testing the water ? Why risk hard earned money while you're finding out the big picture ? I know the thought will spring to mind during this testing period if you're showing a profit, "if only I'd used real money....", but that is not the point. There will always be plenty of opportunities to profit for real once the basics are taken care of.
The number of sports being punted is also worth careful consideration. I know of no successful sports bettor who can devote enough time and energy in the study of their profession to cover more than 2 or 3 sports with any long term success when they first start out. It is simply not possible to cover all the information angles necessary a maintain a winning career if any more sports are tackled simultaneously. I started with two sports and increased to three after a year and now I have my data bases and manage my time more effectively, I have managed to start researching and betting a further three sports. In Part Two next week I will detail exactly how I keep my records, and separate the records from the accurate facts and statistics that will actually be of benefit. Make sure you check back, you have nothing to lose and plenty to gain.
How to win at sports betting
Accurate record keeping and a diligent money management policy are equally if not more important than the ability to pick winners for anyone with ambitions to make consistent profits in the sports betting arena. I have posted several articles on various staking methods and money management and one should copy these and file away for constant viewing. Most people with a general interest in sport have the ability to pick a winning team in any contest, but the belief that this alone is enough to secure a steady flow of profits is a certain recipe for disaster. Without an overall plan and accurate records of all bets placed it is impossible to rise above the level of intuition and lucky guessing over an extended period. Make no mistake about it, there are countless punters all over the world who fail regularly to make a decent income from betting simply because they rely totally on their ability to pick winners without regard for money management and a cohesive strategy that covers the "bigger picture." I know of many gamblers who have ended their days with little to show for a lifetime's work despite having reasonable ability in researching and weighing-up the factors involved in determining a winning bet because they didn't formulate a long-term plan and strategy. Am I making myself clear? Have I got your attention? Let me say it again. To have any real prospect of making long-term profits from the field of sports betting - accurate records, money management, and a dedicated approach to research and fact-finding are crucial and compulsory, or a lifetime of disappointment is guaranteed.
So where do we start? That's easy, first of all we need a few items to help us along. Get yourself a pen and a notebook, some refreshments (tea, coffee, fizzy carbonated drinks and chocolate are good, alcohol is not) and get comfortable. Today I am going to establish the principles that will last a lifetime, and go a long way towards turning enthusiastic amateur punters into full time professional sports investors.
Let's be clear that there is no magic formula or secret ingredient that will turn a pin sticker into a bookie-plunderer overnight, and there are simply no shortcuts that I know of. Hard work and persistence are the main qualities needed here, and if you aren't willing to invest some time and effort then it's time to stop reading. If on the other hand you have a desire to move up a level from a hobby bettor, then get ready for many hours studying your new profession, and be ready to reap the rewards.
Starting today, not tomorrow, but today, establish a bankroll. How much are you prepared to lose? How much can you afford to invest in yourself? Set a figure that you can live comfortably with and be prepared to lose every single penny of it. Hang on, isn't this supposed to be about winning money? I hear many of you shouting at the page. Yes of course it is, but let's use the initial bankroll and set ourselves the "worst case scenario" where it all ends up in the bookies wallet if we fail. It won't happen if the principles I outline are followed, but let's assume it all goes horribly wrong and if the bankroll is an amount we can afford to lose, then nothing will be lost except a little money. Our lives won't be dramatically altered by a miss-guided attempt to enter an arena for which we have no aptitude.
Starting today you will make a note of every single bet you make. I don't need to do this with you as I already do and have every bet I have made be it ?1 or ?1000, it is all logged. Date, selection, price, stake, percentage of stake in relation to bankroll, returns, profit/loss and finally accumulated balance. No exceptions, no misses, no excuses. Every single penny of the bankroll must now be accounted for every step of the way with no room for the "I'll do it later" attitude. Quite simply, without this record keeping there is absolutely no possible way of getting an accurate picture of a betting campaign, and if it's left to memory we cannot hope to progress beyond the level of amateur punting. The next rule to ingrain on our thought process is how much to bet with on each bet, and the rule here is simple. Never bet more than 5% of the bankroll on any given game. Less would be better 2 - 3%, but 5% is high enough and should be only betted when as much is in your favour as could possibly be. This means that if the bankroll is ?1000, on no occasion should any more than ?50 be at risk on any one game.
It doesn't matter if a "sure thing" is offered (there will always be sure things), no more than 5% is a rule that I adhere to except under the most exceptional circumstances. These exceptional circumstances have presented themselves to me on three occasions the last calendar year and I was fortunate enough to win on all three. The reasons are easily explained. By never risking more than this percentage you are assured that a bad run of losing bets will not wipe out your entire bank, and all the while you'll be building up an exhaustive record of bets placed that will help you to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses in the tipping area of your strategy.
I cannot emphasise strongly enough how vital this first-level money management principle is to long term success. Without the discipline required to stick to the strategy you might as well give up and go back to whatever methods you used before. In summary here's what I've outlined today. Establish an initial bankroll Keep accurate records of all bets Never risk more than 5% (less is better) of the bank on any one game.
How to Win at Sports Gambling
Okay then, you've stocked up on notebooks, pencils or a computer spreadsheet, and the refreshment cabinet is full to the brim. What do we do now? Review the 3 rules below and then let's move on. 1/ Establish an initial bankroll 2/ Keep accurate records of all bets 3/ Never risk more than 5% (less is better) of the bank at any one time. The next step may seem like an obvious one, but it trips up so many people there should be a Government health warning along these lines on every bookies coupon.
WARNING: Betting on sports where you have no in-depth knowledge can seriously affect your wealth. Q1: How obvious is that? Q2: How valid is the point? Q3: How many of you will ignore it? A1: Very A2: Very A3: Plenty: I know from experience that many punters, once the decision to have a bet is taken, will bet on almost anything just to satisfy their need and craving for the excitement that goes along with the process. The adrenalin rush associated with gambling is a potent and powerful force that occasionally cannot be denied, and unless it can be tamed, there is nothing but a headlong rush into long-term losses in prospect for the unfortunate sufferer. I am not suggesting that the excitement and enjoyment be taken out of the equation altogether, only directed into an area where at least the punter has a better chance of ending the day with some profits in the bank. Punting on any sport without in-depth knowledge reduces the chances of winning to pure luck and relying on the opinions of others to make the decisions on our behalf. This doesn't mean that proven sports tipsters should not be acknowledged and followed, but that blindly going with the flow of someone else's opinion without some further capping by yourself to substantiate the play reduces the winning profit over an extended period of time. To be successful we simply must build our own opinions, and those can only be made by using our own records and methods for selecting likely winners to bet on.
The first thing to do then is be honest with yourselves and choose one or two sports in which you have some sound knowledge. These are the sports in which you will attempt to make your betting pay dividends. There is simply no point in punting on events of which you know little about. Whatever sport you choose, you must now learn everything that can possibly help you in your quest. The websites with the latest news and information should be bookmarked and visited regularly in fact make that daily. The newspapers and magazines with current information should be read regularly, and the opinions of others involved in the betting arena should be noted (although not blindly followed) and all the while you should be formulating your own opinions.
When you have decided on a bet, and carefully noted your stake and all other details into your records, you should also add a few words as to why you selected the bet. These can be read at a later date and patterns will be seen in your overall strategy.
Does this seem like a lot of work? Perhaps even verging on the bounds of over-kill? The answer to that question will determine just how serious you are about making a living from sports betting. I will go a step further and suggest that without this type of preparation there is absolutely no chance of long term profit taking. That's a pretty strong statement, but one which I believe to be true and all those with an ambition to rise above the herd would be well advised to take note of it.
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What Are Biorhythms, NFL Playoff Observation, Assessing Handicapping, True Odds Parlays, Cooking up the odds, Analyzing soccer matches, Analyzing basketball matches, Analyzing tennis matches, Different odds formats