Betting School

Psychology of successful gambling

psychology of successful betting

How can I be a successful gambler? This is most likely the most popular question among punters. People will buy books, read online guides, ask experienced bettors in their desperate attempt to become one.

The answer may shock you a bit, but you can’t. Before you rush to exit this page, you should understand that you can’t be both successful and a gambler at the same time.

We’ve all heard stories about successful gamblers. They are like urban legends. But as every urban legend, they don’t share the whole context of the entire story.

In this guide, we will try to examine and analyse the psychology of gambling and what things you should avoid if you want to make some extra money from sports betting.

Because even if you have the best statistics available, or if you have found and implemented an efficient betting strategy, it won’t guarantee that you will be a winner at the end of the day.

Only play to win, don’t gamble to pass the time

As we already mentioned we do not care about gambling but instead making a profit from sports betting. Have you heard any sports betting success stories? You probably have. There are all about smart betting and only a small margin comes from random gambling.

Imagine that you have just come home from the office and need something to relax and pass your time. Betting might seem like an appealing choice, however, it’s best to play a video game, read a book, go for a walk or just drive around. Although betting can be really entertaining, recreational bettors are the bread and butter of any betting site in business.

Log-in to your account only after you have made your study and have already made your mind on what to bet on. Betting is not and shouldn’t be a 24/7 occupation. When you are placing a bet simply because you have nothing better to do you will have overwhelming losing possibilities.

Betting is all about making the right decision when the time is right. You need to be calm, well-rested and relaxed. If you gamble all the time you will simply never be. Focus on your goal and try your best to make it happen.  

Don’t chase losses

You should picture betting like investing and gambling like throwing pennies in a wishing well. This is the approach you should exercise on those inevitable bad days. Those days when everything will go wrong. In situations like these, the best thing you can do is simply accept that you’ve lost and call it a day. There is no point in trying to cover your losses. Both in terms of investing and betting, chasing losses is without question the stupidest action one can make.

You must also erase these losses entirely from your mind, see where you might have gone wrong and leave all else behind. Don’t even try to make up what you have lost on the next day. It won’t work believe us. Just stick to your initial plan and in the long run you will reap the rewards you are due. The psychology behind sports gambling will back us on that. In betting you should be very calm when planning your next move. Disappointment or anger is the worst advisor you could ever have.

Tidy up your surroundings

Don’t get confused. This is a betting tip and not another feel-good or new age philosophy. It’s common sense actually. Betting is an investment of your time and money. Just picture it. You will never go to work dirty and you would not tolerate a filthy working environment. So why would you tolerate for your betting environment a room filled with food delivery packages boxes and empty beer cans? It might look great for a hard-rock band album cover or a movie set, but not the right to place invest in sports betting.

From a psychological point of view if your place looks like this, then it might mean that you may have run into some personal issues that you need to deal with. Using betting to escape your everyday problems or routine is not going to help you. On the contrary, it might lead you to addiction and financial ruin. If you want your betting experience to be successful and fruitful one then you need to behave like an investor and not a gambler.

Understand and avoid desirability bias

If you want to take steps to successful gambling, then always have in mind that you are a bettor and not a football fan. Let’s say that you are thinking of placing a bet on a supposed UEFA Champions League clash between Milan and Borussia Dortmund. You are a fan of the Rossoneri, as you grew up with football legends like Kaka and Shevchenko. Unfortunately, these days have long passed and Milan are looking in bad shape. On the other hand, Dortmund has a better roster and are looking to be in great form. So which of these two teams do you think is more likely to qualify? Obviously the better team and not the club you happen to support. Being a bettor and a fan are two totally separate things. You must not forget that.

In the same manner, many punters in their first steps will not invest any time into making research before betting. They will just blindly back the teams that sound familiar to them or may have won some silverware in the past. We hope that you have advanced past this level.

Don’t get greedy

greedyLet’s get back to our original question. How to bet on sports successfully? Simply stop being greedy. This is notoriously seen when you build an acca, but it also applies in almost every betting aspect. Let’s say that you place 20-pound stakes per bet and you have 5 wins in a row. What will be your next step? Increase your stake? Just because you think you are on a hot streak and want to win more you might say. Well, don’t. You need to stick to your initial plan until the end. Thus you can always keep your winnings and losses in control and not go overboard.

Another thing you should have in mind is the betting system you will follow. Spoiler alert! There is no such thing as a winning betting system. All the experts are providing you with tips and strategies, but in the end, it is you who makes the final decision. Don’t forget that. So don’t assume for a second that what you might be using an everlasting successful betting system. Again you need to have the absolute control of it.

Finally set the amount of money you will be satisfied once you win. If you reach it, or get close to it, the next step is to withdraw. Or even if a day is much more profitable than you might have anticipated, at the end you once again should withdraw. There is no point in risking all your hard earned money just to claim a potential biggest win.

Counter availability bias

We couldn’t hope to be able to analyse all the mechanics behind decision making, but we do know this. A lot of times you come to a decision just because you heard or read something that is negative. For instance, some people are afraid of plane crashes and thus refuse to travel with planes even if they are statistically considered as one of the safest means of transportation.

This is a well-known fallacy that can influence even the most mentally resilient among us. In terms of betting, the availability bias is sure to make you draw false conclusions.

For example, Hamburg was a well-respected football club in Europe in the early 80’s and Valencia got close to winning the Champions League twice during the 00s. As we all know, they are not competing at the same level today. So if you are planning to bet on either the Bundesliga or the Primera Division you shouldn’t consider their glorious past. Their present squad is what counts and what will lead you to win money. Don’t let previous matches between two opponents influence your decision. Don’t let yourself be carried away from somethιng impressive you may have read (Valencia has not lost to Sevilla for twelve years in a row when they are playing at Mestalla for example). History can make great reading material but It’s the squad and the form that wins a game.

Don’t follow the herd

Imagine Liverpool are facing Newcastle at home. Understandably, the most likely result will be a win for the Reds. You’ll probably include this match in your betslip. You and million other bettors. There is a rather strange psychology behind gambling. It’s called herd mentality. Many punters are looking for the most popular bets before making up their mind. The bookies are smart enough to highlight them. Don’t follow the herd. This will lead you to a certain long-term loss.  Most bettors belong in this group. A calm and well-informed bettor is a successful bettor. Do your own research and trust your instinct instead of following any kind of trend. You won’t regret it.

Clear up your mind

It goes without saying that betting may result in winning or losing some money. And although winning sure sounds fun, at some point you should set some boundaries. Don’t let betting become an obsession. You need to take frequent and big breaks from betting. Thus you won’t become arrogant if you have many wins in a row or get upset if nothing seems to go right. You might wonder every day on how to make a living from gambling. Even if you are winning, if you continue to gamble from dusk till dawn, the next step is to accept you are addicted. You should always act like an investor, and pick the days and the markets where you will place the best possible bets.

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