In the second in the series of articles aimed at improving betting performance long term, we look at the reasons for striking a particular bet. Bets should always be well researched, well thought out and offer good value in the eyes of the bettor. What scenarios might cloud this reasoning and how can they be avoided?

Betting to have an interest.

One of the many pitfalls that stop a losing gambler from being profitable is the compulsion to bet, regardless of whether a suitable opportunity presents itself or not. The majority of the time, the root cause will be the fact that the punter wants to “have an interest” in an event. High profile football clashes are one example where all like minded fans will be watching the match and have an opinion, so a bet seems almost a necessity. Ironically, because of the volumes of cash being wagered on these games, and the time and effort the layers go to to get their prices right, these are the very fixtures where true value is least likely to be found. If there is no value on offer, then there is no bet. Any other outcome is certain to be a drain on any bankroll.

Do your own research.

As well as the need to have an interest, many punters do not have the time or inclination to properly research markets, work out a price that they see as value and bet accordingly – it does require time and effort. Many will read tips in the newspaper, watch them on television or find some on the internet – and much of this advice will take the hard work out of finding value selections, but, and it is a big but, tips can not be followed blindly. Each article should back up any selection with reasoning and justification for the advice – punters should always dissect that information, mull it over and ensure they are in agreement before committing any funds. If the reasoning does not ring true or seems ill-thought out, leave it alone. A phrase regularly used in the stock market is “Do your own research”, it applies to betting in exactly the same way.

Chasing.

In the world of Poker, going on “tilt” is the phrase used when a bad hand, or run of them, affects a player in search a way that his thought processes are scrambled and their judgement clouded. Errors usually follow, often in the form of overly aggressive bets. A similar phenomenon can affect even the most successful bettor. Gambling long term means there will be inevitable losses, and on occasion a whole string of them. Many professionals advocate taking a step back from the action and taking stock when this happens – as a way to clear the mind. What must be avoided however, is striking bets purely in an effort to catch up, or equally damaging, raising the stake levels in such a way as to recover losses more quickly. Both of these approaches are doomed to failure long term and discipline during these demoralising runs is imperative.

Verdict

Ensuring that every single bet struck is a well researched, well thought out selection, offering genuine value, is the only way to eliminate the annoying ‘leaks’ that can blight even the most dedicated betting professionals.