by Nikki Adams
How to approach sports betting the right way? Here are six tips to ensure that you engage in responsible sports betting practices.
Sports betting is simple, easy and fun. Plus, it can be an opportunity to make some extra cash. But don’t all rush at once to place wagers with online bookies, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t know all the ins and outs of betting online. While sports betting is easy in principle, without knowledge, information and due diligence about sports in general, things can go wrong quickly. Therefore, it’s important to follow good practices and habits when betting on a given sport. Equally, it’s important to stick to those no matter what.
In this column, we explore six betting tips that any bettor – be they novice or experienced – should always follow. These will ensure that betting is always fun and at the same time provide a solid foundation for making some extra cash too.
- Learn the Basics
Whenever embarking on something knew, learning the basics is essential. As the saying goes, “knowledge is power.” This applies to sports betting especially because information will help you make better-informed betting decisions.
To begin with, it’s important to understand how sports betting works, what’s involved in placing a bet, and what types of bets are available. Getting a handle on these basics of sports betting will start you out on the right track.
After taking these initial steps, learning how to bet with bookmakers and researching the various online sportsbooks in the market are the next recommended steps to take. The latter of which is an important step that can be done by looking up various sportsbook reviews that are readily available online and are there to guide sports bettors.
When choosing a sportsbook, it’s always best to go with those that have earned top ratings in the industry. These are conducted by industry insiders and based on a variety of factors and best business practices, including positive customer experience, safety records, reliability, cutting-edge technology, fast pay-outs and top-notch customer service. Knowing the state of play in your jurisdiction and whether sports betting is legal in your area is also something that bettors should take the time to become familiar with.
- Get off to a Slow Start
The excitement of starting something new can lead many to get carried away initially. Resisting the impulse to do so is challenging, but it can’t be stressed enough particularly when starting out in sports betting. By starting out slow and placing a few wagers here and there, a bettor can apply the basics while continuing to learn the nuances of sports betting. As well, it makes it easier to monitor the progress of bets while increasing the chance of winning.
- Bet Sports You Know
As with anything, stick to what you know best in the beginning. Doing so will help you learn how to bet on sports and develop good practices at the same time while making a profit.
If the NFL is your thing, then start there. If soccer is your thing, then start there. And so on. Using what you know will help you make better decisions and earn money at the same time. There’s no point in rushing off to bet on cricket or horse racing if it’s not a sport that you know well or have ever followed with any attention to detail. More often than not, this will lead to a losing enterprise.
- Money/Bankroll Management
One of the most vital tips that a sports bettor should take stock of right from the start is: money/bankroll management. What is bankroll management? In layman terms, it’s simply a plan or budget to set aside a specific amount of money (bankroll) to bet with over a set period of time. The amount should never exceed what a bettor can afford to lose daily, weekly, monthly or seasonally. Of course, nobody likes losing, but it’s an unavoidable reality of sports betting.
Experienced bettors prefer to set aside a seasonal lump sum of money before starting. From this lump sum, bettors will work out a set maximum amount per bet anywhere between 2 to 5% of the total bankroll and sticking to this amount throughout. A common trap undisciplined bettors can fall into is to start increasing the bankroll or per bet amount when winning or chasing losses. Such behaviour is reckless and inevitably can lead down a slippery slope.
- Shop For Odds and Lines
As a bettor gains experience, shopping for odds and lines will become second nature. Initially, this might be a daunting process but it’s one that all bettors should exercise eventually in order to increase their profits. No two sportsbooks are identical, so too the odds and lines from sportsbook to sportsbook will differ on occasion. For example, different online sports betting sites, might offer the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 3.5 points but another site might be offering the Buccaneers in the same game as 3-point faves. That half-a-point could well prove the difference between winning and losing a bet.
To counter the wide selection of odds and lines in the market, it’s quite common for bettors to have three or four top sportsbooks on the go.
- Bet with a Clear Mind
It goes without saying, a bettor should always bet with a clear mind. This point can’t be stressed enough. Bettors should never bet while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Remember you’re betting with your hard-earned money and you really only want to do that when you’re sober and have control over all of your faculties.