Let’s face it:
Risk is a love/hate relationship. It’s what keeps you on the edge of your seat with excitement, or what drills a hole in your bankroll, if you’re not careful (and a tad unlucky).
It is a known fact that there is no right formula to winning bets. Each profit-making system employed depends on the individuals’ traits and betting intentions.
However, many bettors tend to lose their money as they fail to lay the groundwork before actively using their betting account.
That’s why we’re here to help you out. Below are our 10 commandments for online sports betting that will steer you in the right direction.
So beginners, make this your betting to-do list and pro punters – well, we hope you’re nodding in agreement.
#1: Bench Your Emotions
It is a common mistake made by many, to let emotions get in the way of placing the best bet.
As online sports betting goes, it is almost always advised to keep your personal influences dormant while placing any kind of bet.
We understand that your family might give you silent treatment if you don’t root for Manchester United, but put that aside. Bias (even if it’s unintended) will end up decreasing your bankroll.
#2: Know Your Stuff
If you’ve never followed horse racing in your life, does it make sense to place a wager on the sport? Probably not.
That being said, punters tend to fall for enticing odds and bonuses offered by different sportsbooks.
The most rational of decisions are usually backed up by research or at least a basic understanding of the sport. The more you know, the clearer your decision will be.
So do your homework (which is free, by the way!) and get to know your platform inside out.
#3: SWITCH IT UP
Most pro punters have accounts on multiple betting sites.
Why might you ask?
First off, one of the perks of online betting is that the competition between bookmakers is real, offering punters various odds and promotional offers.
Also keep in mind that different bookmakers target different audiences, each having their own strengths and weaknesses in doing so.
We recommend tapping into three types of sportsbooks, which you can read more on here.
Just like every bookmaker knows their audience, get to know them and take advantage.
#4: Budget Like A Boss
Ever heard the words bankroll management? If not, go ahead and get familiar with the basics. Put simply:
Your bankroll is the investment you put aside specifically for betting. We’ll get into the importance of this statement later on.
Managing how much you’re betting each time is crucial to maintaining a healthy bankroll.
If you’re a beginner and still unsure on what or how you should bet, don’t waste your bankroll on the first bet that comes along. Paper test your handicapping techniques to see where you can improve before investing money.
Set stake caps for yourself, making it easier to not give into tempting wagers. Remember, discipline is key when betting online.
#5: Bet Responsibly
Separate your betting bankroll from your personal savings. At no point should your bankroll have any effect on your daily life. Work out a limit before you start betting know when to stop.
Even though betting might simply be a recreational activity, everyone is susceptible to the stress that might be brought about. Betting with a clouded mind, be it through emotion or stress will lead to miscalculated risks, ultimately making it easier for you to lose your bankroll.
Thus, we advise to take a break every now and again; let’s say the last week of the month to go over your strategies and get your mind back on track.
Oh, and don’t gamble and drink. That almost never ends up to be a good idea.
#6: Choose The Best Strategy
Amidst all the probability in online betting, one thing is for sure – you won’t win all your wagers, and losses are inevitable.
Gamblers with no structure, are more likely to lose their bankroll quicker due to inconsistent tactics.
While there are many strategies out there, here at Alpha, we advocate The Kelly Criterion, whereby not more than 5% of your bankroll is consumed for each bet.
Whichever strategy you decide to implement, take a page out of how businesses should be run, and make sure that your goals are SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Based.
This will most definitely maximise your betting bankroll.
Success doesn’t happen overnight.
It might take you a while until you settle into the strategy and begin to yield results.
While we advise you to hang in there, don’t get too frustrated if you eventually need to switch up your strategy.
Identify what’s lacking from your strategy, and fail fast. Take it as part of your betting education to become better.
Moreso, don’t get ahead of yourself. Winning the first few wagers placed doesn’t make you a betting expert. Overconfidence can ruin of any bettor, be it a beginner or a pro punter.
#8: Take Note
Tracking your betting decisions and actions is essential. This way you can record all your bets and their results; more importantly which mistakes you made that need fixing.
A simple journal or Excel Sheet is enough to get this self-reflection exercise going. Listing your chosen bets, odds and any other necessary information is a good start.
That being said, you should be open to thoroughly criticising yourself without getting attached. Remember that there is no room for emotion in betting.
Keep a record of your betting activity and highlight which strategies are working for you as well as in which markets you’re striving or plummeting. This will streamline your overall strategy to better optimise your bets and ultimately increase your bankroll.
#9: Understand The Concept Of Value
If you’ve ever followed a pro sports bettor, you would definitely hear2 them mention the value of a bet.
“There is no value with Arsenal at that price”.
The key to successful betting is scouting the value situations.
This is how value can be calculated:
(Probability x decimal odds) – 1
If the value is above 0, then you’ve got yourself a value bet.
While value betting is a good tool to accompany your staking plan, keep in mind that bookmakers are always at an advantage. Bookmakers never intend to present punters with value situations.
Don’t worry, no need to get disheartened. All you need to do is understand probability, or more accurately, implied probability.
#10: Enjoy It
What fun is there in betting if you don’t enjoy it?
The more seriously you take it, the less fun it becomes.
That being said, always keep in mind that the fundamentals of betting purely boil down to entertainment. As thrilling as it may sound, don’t rely on potential winnings to fuel your personal life and know when you’ve reached your limit.
If you’re a beginner or a pro punter, we believe that these ten rules are fundamental in helping you maintain your betting career as a long-term hobby.
So get researching, and get lost in learning. And then go win some bets.