Learn How to Bet on Sports
1. Keep it simple
It could be tempting to place those more complicated and advanced wagers, since they often offer huge payouts. While we would not go as far as to say you should never make such wagers, there’s a lot to be said for sticking to the simple bets, especially when you are just starting out. You can always start experimenting with the more complex wagers once you have some experience under your belt.
2. Use bonuses and promotions
Most sports betting sites offer bonuses to new customers to encourage them to sign up or to reward regular customers for their loyalty. The bonuses and rewards available are one of the major benefits of betting online, so you should always try and take advantage of them when you can. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for the promotions and special offers that many sites run. These can provide even more extra value.
Bonuses, rewards and promotions can potentially have a significant impact on how much money you make (or lose) overall. Time spent working out how to get the most out of them is time well spent.
3. Stay disciplined
Good discipline is an absolute must if you are going to be a successful sports bettor. First and foremost, you should only ever bet with money that you’re comfortable with losing. If you are using money that you simply cannot afford to lose then this will almost certainly hinder your ability to make sound judgments and you may end up placing the wrong wagers.
Decide how much money you can spend on betting, and then set that money aside as your bankroll. Don’t use this money for anything else. If you follow this tip, you’ll know exactly how much money you have to play with and can decide what percentage of your bankroll you want to risk on any given bet.
Staking around 1-2% of your total bankroll on each wager is a good approach, and will help prevent you from going. You should certainly never risk more than 5% on a single bet.
Sticking to this is especially difficult when you go through a bad run, but bad runs will happen and you need to be prepared for them. Remain calm and stay in control. Chasing losses is one of the biggest mistakes that sports bettors make – even experienced ones – and it is something that you really have to try and avoid.
Placing bigger and bigger stakes in the hope that you can get back all of your losses with one winning bet rarely works out and almost always ends badly. If you keep your stakes and keep making sound judgments, then things should turn around for you eventually.
4. Stick to what you know
What do we mean? Well, we think it’s wise to bet on the sports you know the most about! This isn’t an absolute rule: more of a suggestion really. However, knowledge is key when it comes to betting. The more knowledgeable you are about a sport, the bigger advantage you have against the bookmaker.
Avoid betting on sports you know nothing about, and instead focus on the sports you know inside and out. Your chances of making accurate predictions will certainly increase if you take our suggestion.
5. Spend time on research
As we mentioned in the above tip, using your sporting knowledge is vital to successful sports betting. If you are prepared to do your research, then you can become more educated about a number of different sports. The more you know, the more likely you are to make good predictions. The better your predictions, the more money you are likely to make.
The best part of all? Watching sports on television can be considered research when it comes to sports betting.
You don’t necessarily need to pour hours upon hours into your research every day, but it’s worth spending some time reading relevant news articles and studying statistics. Just keeping up to date with recent form can make a big difference to how much money you make, so any effort you put into this is likely to pay off.
6. Understand value
Value is a term that gets used a lot in sports betting, but it’s not something that bettors always fully understand.
People often assume that a short priced favorite cannot be good value if it is heavily odds on, but that’s not necessarily the case. If the odds are about right in comparison to how likely the favorite is to win, then it may well represent good value.
People also frequently assume that a long shot must be decent value if the odds are really good, but this is also not always true. Even if the odds are high, they still may be too short in relation to the true chances of the long shot winning, meaning that there is no real value in the wager. As a general rule, you should try and work out the real chance of a wager winning and then compare that chance to the odds available. That will help you determine whether there is any value.
7. Compare the odds
The odds available on any particular wager can vary at different sports betting sites, often quite significantly. We’ve just mentioned the importance of finding value, and to get the best possible value you should always try to bet with the best possible odds.
Finding these odds isn’t as hard as it sounds. It does mean comparing the available odds before placing your wagers, which is another reason why we suggest having accounts at more than one sports betting site. If you’ve got a few different accounts, you just need to see which site has the best odds for any wager you’re about to place and go with them. Over time, this can make a noticeable difference to how much money you win.
8. Consider in play betting
In play betting, also known as live betting, can offer some great opportunities for making money. If you aren’t familiar with how it works, check out the following page.
To put it simply, live betting involves placing wagers on an event that’s currently taking place. This means you have the chance to watch some of the action before you decide which wagers you want to place. If you are good at analyzing what is happening, then this can put you at a big advantage when it comes to making winning wagers.
9. Maintain records
Record keeping is something that most bettors don’t bother with, and yet it can make a big difference to the chances of success. If you keep accurate records of all the wagers you place, then you can spend some time studying and analyzing your results.
As an absolute minimum, you should record the following information for each wager.
- What you bet on
- What odds you have
- How much you staked
- The result and any return
If you want to be able to do some serious analysis of your betting, then you should also consider breaking your bets down in to different categories. The following are some of the different ways you can categorize your wagers.
- By sport.
- By type of wager.
- By event or competition.
- By confidence level.
Once you have a decent sample size this can help you gain insight into what’s making you money and what isn’t. Knowing this will help you focus on the type of bets that are the most profitable for you. To help fine-tune any strategies you are using, you should also record your reasons for making each of your selections.
10. Check the Rules and Regulations
It’s always a good idea to be fully aware of all the relevant rules and regulations at a sports betting site before you actually start placing wagers. This is especially true when it comes to claiming bonuses, as there are usually a number of terms and conditions that apply, including but not limited to certain wagering requirements that have to be met before you can make any withdrawals. You will also want to know things like the minimum stake you can place, the maximum amount that can be won on a single wager and other specific rules that may affect you.
11. Beware paying for tips and picks
There are lots of individuals and organizations that offer paid services for giving out tips and picks. Very few of these are worth it. There are a few out there that know what they’re doing and are worth using, but there are far more that are a complete waste of money. We would advise that you focus your efforts on trying to improve your own betting skills rather than waste time trying to find someone that will do the hard work for you.
12. Only bet when you’re sober
This might not be relevant for many of you, but unfortunately it’s not uncommon for bettors to undo a lot of their hard work by going on a betting spree when they have had a few too many drinks. This is obviously something that you really want to avoid. If you do enjoy having a drink, then we’d suggest making a rule that you don’t place any wagers when doing so.
If you take one thing away from these tips it should that you’ll need to put in some considerable effort if you’re going to be a successful sports bettor. You won’t go from beginner to expert right away, as there’s a lot you need to learn. It will take time to improve your skills to the level where you are consistently making money.
You will probably make some mistakes along the way and you’ll probably have a number of bad runs. Just make sure you learn from those mistakes, remain patient and stay focused on the long term goal. Be honest about what you are doing right and where you can improve. Above all else, practice good money management. If you do all that, then there is no reason why you cannot be successful in the long run.