Sports betting can be an exciting and lucrative pastime. Whether you’re looking to get into it as a job or simply to earn a little money on the side, you could definitely do a lot worse than betting on some of your favourite sports. There are few things more thrilling than watching a game unfold, cheering on your team from the sidelines and wincing as your betting hopes and dreams fluctuate with the state of the game. Sports betting is thrilling, but it’s also dangerous for those who aren’t au fait with it.
That’s where we come in. We’re here to assemble a guide on how to get started if you want to enter the world of sports betting. It’s not easy – there are plenty of variables, percentages, and concepts to learn and remember – but anyone with a decent head for mathematics and an understanding of the sport they’re betting on can get into it. You’ll need perseverance, dedication, and a love of sport, but if you’ve got all those things you’re the perfect candidate. Here’s our beginner’s guide to succeeding in sports betting.
Pick a site
If you’re new to sports betting, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s easy to know where to actually place your bets. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Sports betting is a complex and difficult art, and each website that offers the chance to bet on a sport is different to the next. If you’re new, we’d strongly recommend you get started with this page. It’s a comparison website that will show you all the best sites to go for good odds, swift payouts, and great offers. As a beginner sports bettor, you’ll need all the help you can get.
Aim for the best odds
It might sound obvious, but the real trick to sports betting is to always aim for the best odds. Sometimes, it might look like betting on the underdog is the right way to go, but in reality you might be better off with the safe option. Higher odds offer a lower chance of winning, but a better payout in the event you do win. Lower odds are safer but less lucrative. You’ll become a good sports bettor when you learn which one to opt for and when. The choice isn’t always as obvious as it might seem; sometimes, the favourite is actually in a worse position than the underdog.
Learn your game
Whatever game you’ve decided to bet on, it’s good to know the rules and the ancillary structures before you start. What tennis event are you betting on? Is it a Grand Slam? Are you betting on Wimbledon? If it’s football, is it the Premier League or a lower division? What teams are playing and which players are strong right now? If you learn your game and understand it thoroughly, you’ll be able to make informed, calculated betting decisions that take everything into account before you commit. This is definitely a worthwhile skill to have.
Manage your money and set your stakes
Understanding how much you’re actually going to bet on a game is crucial to victory in sports betting. If you’re on a winning streak, you might be tempted to up the stakes and bet more in the safe assumption that you’ll win. Conversely, you might be tempted to overly damage-limit if you’re not doing well. The truth is that sports betting responds well to measured money management. Keep a very close eye on your bankroll at all times and mentally allocate funds to games. Don’t keep going on a bad strategy, and don’t be tempted to raise the stakes because of adrenaline.
There’s nothing that causes the downfall of a sports bettor quite like losing their cool. If you allow yourself to become angry or frustrated while you’re betting then you’re almost guaranteed to start making mistakes. Keep a cool and calm head, and don’t let unexpected developments in each game get to you. Allow room in your mind for failure and adjusting your strategy on the fly. Staying calm isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do, but with the right mental strategy you can make big strides towards becoming a calmer, cooler bettor.
Track your stats
If you’re a skilled sports bettor, one of the best things you can do is to keep a close eye on your statistics. Being able to immediately discern which games were victories for you and which were defeats will tell you something about your strategy, if you’ve got a good eye for pattern recognition. Is there a commonality between all the games you’ve won? Adjusting your strategy based on past performance is a surefire way to increase the chances of success in the future. On the flipside, knowing where you’ve lost and where you need improvement will keep you on your toes.
Know the difference between accumulators and singles
All sports bettors ought to know the two most common and simple types of bet. Accumulator bets are placed on multiple outcomes and require all of these outcomes to happen in order for a payout to occur. For example, you could place an accumulator bet as follows: my team will win, this player will score the first goal, and we’ll win by this margin. If you’re right, the potential payout is massive, but of course you’re far less likely to be right with an accumulator. Single bets are single outcomes – “we will win this game” – but they’re far less lucrative in comparison.
Don’t give up
There will be times when you feel like giving up. You might be on a losing streak (as many sports bettors eventually are) and be feeling pretty negative about your whole sports betting experience. Don’t allow a few losses to colour your burgeoning career (or your hobby). Every sports bettor loses from time to time. Of course, if you’re consistently losing, it might be time to switch up your strategy. Still, you shouldn’t throw in the towel until you’re absolutely certain sports betting isn’t something you want to persist with.