For most people, betting is a form of entertainment. It can be a lot of fun to bet on games you already planned on watching, especially if you are watching with friends and they have money riding on it as well. If you are hoping to take betting more seriously, however, then you should be ready to do a lot of studying.
There are people out there who make a living from placing bets. And, while it is very hard to reach that level, there are some strategies you can adopt to improve your odds of success in the near future. Or at least limit your losses.
Here’s what sports betting beginners should keep in mind.
1 – Choose where you bet carefully
Beginners can be targeted by fake betting websites and online scams, so it’s important to be extra careful when choosing where you’ll start betting. You can stay safe by checking online reviews on a given website and checking to make sure they are registered with the UK’s Gambling Commission.
Different sites and bookmakers also offer different payout rates, and they differ on what types of bets they make available for each sport. For example, not every Football betting venue will allow players to take part in Football pools, a form of betting similar to the lottery with low stakes and big jackpots.
2 – Start small
If you want to be serious about betting then you need to treat it like you would any other skill. You wouldn’t perform surgery on your first day of med school, and you should also not make big risky bets when you are just starting out. Doing so can not only lead to catastrophic financial losses, but it can also discourage you from ever betting again.
Stick to small bets and sports you’re familiar with for the first few weeks, get a feel for how the bets work on your chosen venue, and start reading up on the subject. Being patient in this learning phase is what separates the pros from the people who never improve, or who gave up entirely.
3 – Study up
There are hundreds of books on bets as they relate to odds, statistics, and various financial theories. And while you don’t need a Ph.D. to get good at betting, having some basic knowledge of the mathematical fundamentals can help guide your decisions. If you get bored while reading, try videos or podcasts, but do work to learn more about the field so you won’t be flying blind.
4 – Keep your mind clear
Betting when you are angry, frustrated, or drunk are all surefire ways to lose money fast and feel terrible after. Make sure you’re in a good mental place when you sit down to place some bets and, if you’re having a rough day, maybe avoid betting. There’s always tomorrow; your bankroll isn’t going anywhere. And it’s better to be safe than sorry.
5 – Manage your bankroll
Finally, it’s important to have a good bankroll strategy as you start betting. You can read more on bankroll management theory, but the most basic option is also very effective: set aside an amount of money to bet every week or month, and never go past that amount. This will limit your losses, which should be one of your key priorities as a beginner figuring things out.