Betting for beginners

Things to avoid

If you've ever been on a losing run then you can understand how bad habits can creep in. It isn't nice to lose and even more so when money is involved.

Human nature means we often shirk responsibility, pass the blame and endeavour to get that money back somehow. In betting terms this means we overlook the real problem in search of an unlikely solution. Betting extra to win back what you've lost is called chasing your losses and it's the worst thing you can do in betting.

There are a number of bad habits that are frequent amongst bettors, but recognising these habits as an issue and consciously aiming to remain disciplined can help you overcome them.

A quick checklist of bad betting habits to avoid

  • Don't chase losses. Just place your bets and let them ride. Tomorrow is a new day.
  • Don't bet without a goal. Take some time to think about what you are trying to achieve and how. You should also consider the risk.
  • Don't let performance dictate your stakes. Just because you're on a winning run, you're not invincible. Doubling your stakes out of greed can set you back to square one.
  • Don't blame others for your losses. If you lose a bet, no-one is on the **** list. You accept you lost, work out why, and try again.
  • Don't be a sheep. It's not comfortable at times betting on an underdog, under a total or against the public, but the bookmakers try to mislead you and the general public are usually wrong, otherwise everyone would betting rich by betting.

Things to avoid when betting

Betting can be a joyous activity, or it can be a serious investment. However it can also be a tricky habit or even addiction to shake. Which category you fall into depends very much on your betting habits. Here and some do's and don'ts of the sports betting world.

Chasing losses

One of the biggest problems of a gambler is their self belief. Confidence is a nice trait, but many believe they can always recoup the losses they just made. Chasing losses is the act of trying to win back money you just lost. Chasing losses can lead to you being in an ever bigger hole than before, and then perhaps placing more bets at larger stakes.

When temptation kicks in, it pays to think ahead. Can you afford to bet more? How might you feel if you're down £50 instead of £25? Placing bets when frustrated leads to bad decisions. If you bet and lose, it's OK! Tomorrow is a brand new day.

Betting without a goal

Why are you betting? You must have a goal, aim or idea. If you want to bet casually and enjoy some televised bets, that's OK. Most of the betting world do that. Just be disciplined still. Understand what you will bet and how, and just be OK with the fact that casual, unresearched gambling will mean you'll lose. Just place small stakes and enjoy the ride.

If you have professional aspirations and you want to make money, it helps to map everything out. How much will you bet, what's your bankroll, what's your end aim and how will you get there (what methods, sports, markets).

Keep your feet on the ground

Level staking is key. If you lose, stick to your stake. If you win, stick to your stake. The latter is key because so much negativity can come from greed. Everyone has had that nice feeling of invincibility when you're on a good run. And it's usually quite timely that as soon as you up those stakes, you happen to start your bad run. That can lead to a lot of emotions and may even bring you back round to point number one about chasing losses.

No matter how things are going, just keep your stakes level and regulate your emotions. It all evens out if you're doing the right thing.

Do you own a **** list?

You know what those stars mean. It's probably the most common possession of the casual gambler on social media these days! Everyone has launched a few expletives the way of their television over the years, and some losses do have the ability to frustrate. But understand that aside from the odd occasion where refereeing or unfortunate luck can impact a result, YOU pick the bets. No one else.

If you lose a bet it's because you picked a losing bet. Whether it's a good bet or a bad bet, just focus on you and what you're doing, stick to your plan and don't shirk responsibility.

Don't be a sheep

Here is where a casual bettor will differ from a professional bettor. If you placed one of each in a crowded room and let them listen in on the same discussion about who will win the big game tonight, they'd probably bet on different outcomes. A casual gambler is easily led. They take too much notice of what's on TV, on the radio, the newspaper and more importantly what the bookmakers tell them.

If the bookies price a team at odds of 1/2, they must win they think. The professional bettor will know that the betting public is wrong far more often than not, and they'll look for good reasons to bet against them and get the value. Never be afraid to go against what the bookies odds tell you and what the betting public are backing. Both are wrong a lot of the time.

One of the biggest things that a casual bettor, someone with a lack of experience or a person with bad betting habits needs to realise is this: it's OK to lose. You don't have to go place another bet, blame someone else or double up on your next selection. You just need to accept that losses occur and that is fine. Did you lose because something unusual and unlikely to reoccur again soon happened, was it just not your team's day today or was it down to bad habits?

Remember that even the statistically strongest bets in the world of sport will still lose at some point, so stick to your values, avoid bad habits and always assess the situation.

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

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