The online gambling industry is thriving, and there are thousands of sports betting sites available on the web nowadays.
Many people believe that their knowledge of a certain sport or competition will be enough to make money from betting, but that’s rarely the case. The vast majority of players are losing money in the long run, often because they don’t really know what they should be doing.
This article will go through five fundamentals of sports betting that will help you improve your results. It won’t make you an instant winner, but it will most certainly show you the right direction.
Learn to Evaluate Instead of Simply Guessing
Most people simply try to guess what’s going to happen. That’s a really flawed approach because you can be right most of the time and still lose money. The reason is simple — the betting odds represent a certain implied probability.
If you are correct in the same percentage of cases as the price suggests, you will be breaking even. To win, you need to pick the right outcome more often than the implied probability of the odds you are getting.
Let’s explore a short example so that you can understand the logic better. Imagine that you are flipping a balanced coin against one of your friends. The chances of heads and tails are 50-50, and you bet $1 each, the winner takes all.
That’s a great example of a break-even game because you have a 50% chance to double your money and 50% to lose it all. That’s the equivalent of odds of +100 for a random betting market.
However, if you were betting $1, and your friend was putting down $1.10 under the same conditions, you are now in winning territory. Essentially, you bet $1 to win $1.10, which is the same as a betting price of +110, but the 50% chance to win is more than the roughly 47.6% that the odds of +110 suggest.
You should apply the same principle to the bets you are taking and look for odds with a lower implied probability than the real one.
Bankroll Management Is Essential to Success
Even the most successful bettors out there have losing streaks. In the short run, you depend on luck. It’s a game of probabilities, not certain outcomes, so you should be prepared to face the bad periods.
The most important thing is to keep your betting bankroll safe. If you consistently place wagers that are too big, a couple of losses in a row could be enough to make you go bankrupt, and it could happen even if you have a winning strategy.
That’s why you should learn more about bankroll management and pick a staking plan that suits your needs. There are two main paths here. The first one is to go for fixed bet sizes, and this is the better option for beginners.
The harder to master but more beneficial approach would be to go for variable stakes. The concept is to maximize your profits by placing more on the bets with higher expectations. Most models use the Kelly Criterion or similar formulas to find the optimal value.
Take Full Advantage of Bonuses and Promotions
There are hundreds of bookmakers on the internet, and they are constantly battling to attract new customers and keep their existing ones. As a result, the players are offered a bunch of juicy promotions that provide extra value.
The best among them are usually the welcome bonuses of the betting sites. You can get a significant boost to your bankroll, and you should take full advantage of them.
When the offer for new customers is done, there are other ways to benefit, such as reload bonuses, enhanced odds, moneyback, loyalty programs, and so on. Make sure to regularly check the promotions section of your sportsbook, so you don’t miss an opportunity to make some extra money.
Of course, you should be reasonable. Don’t place wagers just for the sake of some bonus, because you will probably end up losing money. Stick to the deals that simply improve the value you get for bets you were going to make anyway.
Work with the Numbers
All bookmakers use advanced statistical analysis to calculate the betting odds that are offered to the customers. You can’t beat them at their own game unless you are a semi-genius, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore the stats altogether.
The truth is that the raw data provides a good overview of the big picture. It can help you understand how strong a player/team is in general and also highlight recent trends in their performance.
Whatever you do, you should find a way to apply some level of statistical analysis into your strategy, especially since it’s so easy to dig up numbers nowadays. A couple of clicks and Google searches should be enough to find what you need.
Use More Than One Bookmaker
Most people prefer to stick to only one betting site, and that’s understandable. You don’t have to remember multiple login credentials, you don’t have to constantly move your bankroll between the different sites, and in general, you save some time.
These are the negative sides of using more than one sportsbook, though, and there are plenty of perks most people tend to underestimate.
For a start, you can consistently find better odds and lines if you use a couple of bookmakers. The prices of the leading sites are usually close, but they are rarely identical. Simply imagine the impact of even 3% higher odds on average after a couple of hundred bets.
On top of that, you will have access to more bonuses and promotions. Grabbing the welcome bonuses of several bookmakers alone is usually worth a couple of hundred dollars.
If you are serious about sports betting, you should most certainly join multiple betting sites. You can mitigate some of the downsides by using password managers to handle your accounts and picking a fast payment option so that you can use your money seamlessly. Most e-wallets and cryptocurrencies will do.
As already mentioned at the start of this post, these five sports betting rules won’t instantly transform you into some kind of gambling superstar. Any article that claims that is lying to you.
However, you simply can’t win in the long run if you don’t follow the fundamentals we covered. They apply to pretty much any type of sports betting on the internet, so make sure to understand their meaning and use them to your advantage.