Say goodbye to profits if you’re chasing losses, playing hunches and placing bets hastily. Sports betting is both a lucrative skill and a form of entertainment that requires discipline and bankroll management. At some point most casual sports betting fans realize there’s more to learn to maximize profits.
Having a winning bet is a start, but learning how to manage your money, find value in the lines and stick to a plan are all essential to a healthy bottom line. Any article on bankroll management will tell you to set a budget that you can afford to lose. The amount of cash you gamble with might be a fraction of a paycheck or the same $50 each week. If you’re transitioning from recreational betting to betting for profit, consider a weekly or monthly budget while honing your handicapping and betting skills. Betting on games simply to break even on the day or just to have a winner are signs you’re not ready to increase your bet size.
Set rules that determine how much you stake on any given wager, for example 2% of your total bankroll. When you set a stake, it’s there to protect you, not limit you. Also, make a rule to never blindly bet on the team your root for or your “lucky” team or bet emotionally. Betting odds illustrate the probability of an outcome and are blind to your hunches. Seeing your wagers from a more mathematical perspective can help you learn restraint. Betting too much on each game will also compromise your ability to win long-term. If you follow your own staking guidelines it will keep you disciplined. Even the most profitable bettors around will hit some rough patches. You can prepare for lulls by managing your bankroll with your established system, the more losses you have the more important discipline is to keep your cash from dwindling.
Study the odds and learn how to spot value and get the best of the number. Check out live odds and look at various sports books before you confirm any tickets. While you line shop remember that if you don’t see any value, it’s probably not worth the wager. This becomes especially important after a bad streak when it inevitably starts to seem reasonable to bet more on a wager you wouldn’t normally make. That’s called chasing. Bad idea. Sometimes the best plays you make are the ones you don’t.
Keep an account of your wagers that includes wins and losses in dollar amounts along with all relevant wager information. Over time you will see how you do with favorites, underdogs, sides and totals if you’re tracking your wager types and outcomes. It’s hard for emotion to overcome raw data in black and white. For recreational bettors, chasing losses is extremely common. But if you keep records and refer to your regular tendencies, strengths and weaknesses, it ought to help keep you in check and identify where your handicapping skills are strongest.
Winning sports bettors stick to a system, compare odds for value, and never bet more than they can afford to lose. The more methodical your system, the more you study and learn, the more natural spotting good bets will become over time.