Sports betting is a fun pastime for many sports lovers around the world. To get the most out of it, however, it’s important that you follow a few key rules. Take a look at our ten golden rules of sports betting below.
- Do your research
This is pivotal. It’s easy to just see a market that you think looks appealing and chuck a bit of money on it, but that’s a great way to guarantee that you’ll lose over time. Make sure that you always do your research on whatever it is you’re betting on prior to placing the bet.
- Bet within your means
One of the most important things to remember when punting is to always bet within your means. If you’re putting money on with betting agencies that you’ll be really disappointed to lose – or worse, that you can’t afford to lose – then don’t put it on. Make sure that any money you do bet is money that you’re willing to part with.
- Find the best value
Particularly for major markets, the odds you get might not seem vastly different from one bookmaker to another. If you’re getting $1.90 for a team to win somewhere, they’re probably paying within 2-3 cents of that at most, if not all, bookmakers. Over time, however, ensuring that you get the best odds is a good way of reducing the bookmaker’s margin and giving yourself a better chance of breaking even, or coming out positive.
- Stick to what you know
This one is pretty self-explanatory. As tempted as you might be to put a multi on an international table tennis tournament, unless you’re a serious ping pong enthusiast it’s probably best to leave that one alone. Understand which sports you have the best feel for, be it something common like the AFL or something more niche like pro surfing, and avoid those that you don’t follow or don’t know a whole lot about.
- Never chase your losses
This is one of the most important rules in punting, and one which every punter needs to know. If you lose a couple of bets, it can be easy to get into a mindset of chasing those losses. You’ve gambled away however much, and think that in one foul swoop you can earn it all back. This is a trap many have fallen into in the past, and far more often than not will just end up resulting in even greater losses.
- Don’t gamble because you’re bored, or intoxicated
If you’re looking for something to do to pass the time, or if you’ve had a couple of drinks, it’s probably best to stay away from the betting agencies for the time being. Wait until you’ve got a clear mind and a particular reason to be punting before you jump in.
- Make sure you’re having fun
This one is closely tied to the above golden rule. Punting is supposed to be fun; very, very few people actually make any sort of decent money from it, so unless there’s some particular advantage that you have over other people, be aware that this is an activity which you should only be partaking in if you enjoy it. Don’t start gambling because, as above, you’re bored, intoxicated, trying to win back money, or any other reason aside from the fact that you’ll enjoy it.
- Think before you bet
The more you bet, the easier it becomes to just chuck a bit of money on without thinking too much about it. This, however, is a great way to start losing your money. Each time you put on a bet, take a couple of deep breaths, consider whether you think it’s realistically a decent bet or whether you’re punting for one of the aforementioned reasons to avoid above.
- Have a limit
This one is key. If you don’t have a limit of how much money you’re willing to bet over a certain period of time, things can easily spiral out of control. Set yourself a maximum amount that you’re willing to bet over the course of a week, month, year or whatever it may be, and stick to it. Betting agencies often have a feature which allows you to set these limits on their website, meaning once you reach your limit you won’t be able to bet with them anymore, and this is a good way to ensure you stick to your rules.
- Demonstrate patience
The final golden rule is one which many may find hard to implement, but which is really important. This one is closely tied in with many of the above rules, and if you show a bit of patience it likely means you’re following a number of those rules too. Patience means if there’s no sport that you have a good grasp of, no markets that appeal to you, or no particular reason for you to bet today, then leave it out – there’ll always be more sport tomorrow.
By following these ten golden rules of betting, you can make sure that gambling remains a fun pastime for you – and give yourself a better chance at making a little bit of money.