Betting for beginners

Chasing losses

Chasing losses is one of the most dangerous thing you can do as a bettor. Sports betting should be enjoyable, entertaining, and for some an investment.

Having a bankroll, a staking plan and understanding that betting is a long term investment that requires a patient hand are all key traits of a successful bettor.

There are no get rich quick schemes without sheer luck, and so there are no 'recover your losses quick' schemes either. Increasing your stakes to try to recover what you've already lost will more often than not lead to more losses - it's very bad practice.

The risks of chasing losses

  • Your betting bank could run out very quick if stakes increase too significantly.
  • An increase in the likelihood of making bad betting decisions by betting with emotions.
  • An increased chance of betting with money you can't afford to lose.
  • Chasing losses can be a sign of addiction which can be damaging to yourself and those around you.

Giving up the chase

Regardless of how good you think you might as a sports bettor, chasing losses is not the way to recover from a bad spell. Chasing losses to begin with is usually a sign of someone lacking discipline. The below steps could help you ensure that you never feel the need to chase losses.

  • Promote discipline with a bankroll method. Bankroll and bankroll management has been covered in greater detail and you can read about it right here, but in short there are several key steps to bankroll methods that promote discipline. Most notably, structured staking ensures that risk is minimised.
  • Always think of the worst case scenario. Chasing losses is an emotional decision made after losing money. Instead of thinking about the potential winnings, a better practice is to think of what will happen should the bet lose.
  • Beating the bookmakers is not about making profit on every single bet. The bookies are winning against the vast majority of punters. So how do you beat them? Well, it's all about finding value. Finding value with each bet will help you focus on the real goal of betting, thus making losses easier to deal with.

Learning from past mistakes

For those of you that are realising your mistakes and bad habits as you learn more about betting, here is some advice you can take to prevent yourself from chasing losses:

  • Some bets lose, learn to live with it. Profitable sports bettors with average odds of around the 2.00 (evens) mark will lose 45-48% of their bets. Long term, that's enough to make a profit. Think longer term.
  • Take some accountability. Track your bets, see what you're doing right, and what you're doing wrong. Do you make money in the Premier League, but lose money in La Liga? Pick up on trends, and adjusted your betting accordingly
  • Relax, take a break. Research suggests that long term habits can be developed in as little as 3 weeks. If you're struggling with your sports betting, take a break.

Simply put, avoid chasing losses

Chasing losses may not seem like a bad idea at first. After all, 'the next bet is a banker, it can't lose!'

We all know that nothing is guaranteed, so that banker can and might lose. It's important to understand that chasing losses is equally dangerous whether you've been betting for 50 years or five days.

Chasing losses is a bad betting strategy that can see significant losses very quickly. Even for those fully in control of their betting habits, it's important to be aware of how quickly chasing losses could cost you, and that avoiding the temptation to 'lump' on a bet is always a good decision.

Ready to learn more? Why not get to know the different betting terminology used by the sports betting community.

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