Betting on sports and events is easier than ever these days, thanks to the many online bookmakers available at the click of a button. But with such easy access, it’s also easier than ever to fall prey to some of the classic mistakes to be made when placing money on sports. Of course, making mistakes is all part of the learning process, but if you avoid these typical errors from the get-go, then you’ll be off to a better start.
1. Poor Money Management
Anyone who is betting on more than just the odd game needs a budget and a staking strategy. Start by deciding exactly how much money you can realistically afford to spend on wagering within a given time frame, and stick to this number religiously. Then decide the upper limit for each wager, usually calculated as a percentage of your total bankroll. In combination, these two things will prevent your spending getting out of control and stop you from pursuing reckless bets.
2. Not Finding the Best Odds
Gone are the days when we had to rely on just a couple of high-street bookmakers to place our wagers. There are so many online sites dedicated to sportsbooks now, and they all offer varying odds. This means that you need to shop around a bit and do some research to find the most favourable odds for your sport of choice. You can even open up more than one sportsbook account.
3. Not Taking Advantage of Bonuses
Another great thing about betting online is that most sites will offer promotions, bonuses, free bets and more to their customers. If two sites provide similar odds, but one of them has a bonus attached – for example one site will give a partial compensation for a lost bet – then choose the one with the offer.
4. Betting on Too Many Events
If you’re new to sports betting, the temptation can be to place bets on as many different events as you can. This can be especially true if you have a shiny new app on your phone for that very purpose. However, it pays to be a bit selective. Make fewer bets and think each one through carefully – quality not quantity.
5. Too Many Parlay Bets
Also known as accumulators, these can be very tempting because of the potentially huge payout compared to the stake. Of course, the payout is so big because these types of bets are very hard to get right. A bet on two or three outcomes on the same ticket is achievable, especially if you know your stuff, but beyond that isn’t recommended. Accumulators are where the bookies make the most money, not only because they are harder to win but because as the number of events increases, so does the margin that goes to the bookie even if you are successful.
6. Betting with Your Heart
This is probably the most common pitfall with online sports betting. Sports bring out some strong emotions, and when that happens it’s easy to place a bet using your heart and not your head. In some cases this is fine – by all means support your team in a big match for some added fun. However, if you’re interested in actually making a profit, then stick to bets that offer a good return and that you can be reasonably sure that you can win. The same goes for making bets in the heat of the moment, which is something that has become even easier thanks to smartphones, sportsbook apps and in-game betting.