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The life of a dedicated sports gambler is somewhat counterintuitive. The sports, teams, and players they bet on tend to leave much to be desired in terms of consistency. Teams go on hot and cold streaks, players go through slumps and, nowadays, even sports schedules are inconsistent.
Despite all the inconsistencies that seem to surround the world of sports, gamblers must rise above it and maintain a consistent approach. If they’re unable to do so, their chances of winning regularly are about as low as the Minnesota Timberwolves winning the championship.
Strong, intelligent gamblers know this to be true, but gamblers of a lesser caliber are often anything but consistent. It’s much easier to mirror the unpredictable nature of the contests they gamble on than approach gambling with a steady hand.
But consistency and self-discipline are two traits that any competent sports bettor must possess. Here are six things every new sports gambler needs to do consistently if they aspire to win money.
1 ‒ Place the Same Amount on Every Wager
Arguably the most important characteristic of a quality gambler is the ability to handle money well. Developing smart money-management habits is challenging for some gamblers, but it can be broken down into easy-to-follow steps. And the first step is to place the same amount of money on every single wager.
Some of you might totally and completely disagree with this contention. You might find this strategy both ridiculous and ineffective. A slate of sports wagers often features certain picks that are seemingly guaranteed wins, while others don’t instill as much confidence. So, why would someone put the same amount of money on a lock that they would on a bet they fear might lose?
That’s a fair question. Some bets on your slate will seem like smarter bets that have a better chance of winning than others. But the answer to the question is pretty straightforward: It eliminates the potential of betting like a biased sports fan.
You might think that a particular wager is a lock, but it’s not out of the ordinary for sports bettors to gamble like fans. It’s hard to not let biases and rooting interests permeate the decision-making process. Using a flat betting system will help limit significant losses and keep sports gamblers honest.
2 ‒ Bet on the Same Type of Sports
Until you feel confident in your gambling abilities, it might be smart to bet on the same sports. You might even consider consistently betting on just one sport. New sports gamblers tend to stretch their gambling abilities and sports betting knowledge beyond their capabilities.
That’s because once you start gambling, it can be tempting to dabble in all different types of sports betting. Also, scheduling conflicts can arise, and it can be more convenient to bet on certain sports than others. But sticking to one sport will benefit both your development and your bankroll. You will find it easier to get into a rhythm and develop a sports gambling routine.
Once you are comfortable with a consistent set of practices, you can then spread your wings and try other, more complex sports. Until then, be consistent and develop confidence by betting on one sport.
3 ‒ Do Your Homework
Many people are drawn to sports betting for its entertainment value. The sports gambling industry often glamorizes the idea of sports betting, making it seem like a natural extension of sports fandom. While watching games you have money on is entertaining, that is only a small part of the equation. Anyone who is of a legal gambling age and resides in a state where gambling is legal can place a sports bet.
Placing a wager that has a good chance of winning isn’t a walk in the park. Sure, you might luck into the occasional win; however, winning consistently takes some dedication and patience.
An effective way to assure sports gambling success is by doing your homework. Watching games will help you make decisions in the future, but it’s much more important to monitor the things that you can’t see on a television screen. Stats, trends, injury reports, and other things tend to have a significant influence on the outcome of contests. It’s up to you to be diligent and consistent enough to notice these trends and weigh their potential impact.
4 ‒ Pay Close Attention to the Books
As a sports gambler, you need to know where you’re winning and losing your money. If you don’t, you’ll be unable to consistently capitalize on successes or will be doomed to repeat mistakes.
To do this, all you need to do is keep track of every single one of your wagers. Once again, you should be able to notice trends and patterns. If you find that a certain type of wagers is costing you money, then you can eliminate those wagers going forward. Conversely, if another variety of bet is netting profits, you can begin to invest more resources there.
While sports betting isn’t an exact science, there are ways that you can provide more stability to your approach. Once again, sports are unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean your betting strategy has to be.
5 ‒ Be Consistent With Your Bankroll
Your bankroll should be the same week to week and month to month. This concept may be simple, but it’s surprisingly hard to stick to. Let’s say that your bankroll, or the amount of money you plan to gamble with, is $500 a month. That means you can basically spend $125 a week on bets, or $250 if you prefer utilizing a bi-weekly bankroll.
If you go on a week-long cold streak and lose your $125 weekly bankroll, your week should be done. Instead of dipping into next week’s funds, you should spend your time doing research and figuring out where you went wrong.
Sports bettors, especially new ones, must display discipline when handling money. Developing inconsistent spending habits and refusing to hold yourself accountable will not benefit your long-term success rate and return on investment.
6 ‒ Avoid Bad Habits
If you’re consistent in your approach to gambling, you’ll likely find yourself forming positive gambling habits. But there’s only so much you can do before bad habits make themselves known. Those who start their sports betting with consistency and self-discipline are more likely to achieve early success. Obviously, that’s the goal, but early success can also create several issues and expose you to bad habits.
The only thing less consistent than a new gambler is an overconfident gambler. In the grand scheme of things, a few weeks of winning money on sports bets is nothing. Yet it’s hard to keep your ego in check amid early success. Once gamblers start securing wins and increasing bankroll size, it’s tempting to expand the operation. This is where problems can quickly and easily arise.
Don’t mistake minor victories for long-standing success. You might have some idea of what you’re doing, but don’t overextend your resources in the early stages of your gambling career.
Every once in a while, I’ll come across someone who is thinking about getting into sports betting. If they ask for my advice, I typically tell them a few things:
- Don’t gamble with money you can’t afford to lose.
- Don’t bet on your hometown team.
- Be consistent.
By following those three basic rules, any gambler can ensure a responsible and potentially successful gambling experience. But that last rule is the most important in my opinion. Without consistency, gambling becomes much harder than it needs to be.
When you’re starting to gamble, make sure to be consistent with the number of bets you place and the bet amount itself. Doing so will help preserve your bankroll and save you from betting with any sort of bias. Watching the games you bet on is fun, and you might even learn something by doing so. But the best way to gain sports betting knowledge is by researching the sports you’re betting on and discovering trends you won’t find on a TV.
Make sure to monitor your spending habits closely and figure out what types of wagers are winning and losing money. If you fail to do so, you can cost yourself money that could be spent on more historically successful wagers.