So, you want to gamble on football? Actually – if you’re reading this then it’s likely you already bet on football.
How did you go last season? Did you pick Real Madrid to win the Champions League? Did you know that Arsenal would win the FA Cup at the start of the season? How about picking Man City to win the Premiership?
You probably picked some of those – but, despite all your great predictions, I suspect that you still ended up losing money over the season?
Just how did that happen? Usually, it happens because you take bets when you didn’t fully understand the situation or what you were betting on. Here are some good rules to help you turn good predicting into good gambling.
Rule number one: Never bet what you can’t afford to lose
This is the simplest rule to understand, but the hardest rule to stick by for most punters. Every gambler who has hit a winning streak or a losing streak has fallen into the trap and gambled away money they couldn’t afford to lose. DON’T DO IT !!
It is very easy to fall into the trap that because you are winning, then bigger stakes won’t hurt (after all – it’s the bookies’ money right?) or if you are losing then you think that you put a little bit more on this ‘certainty’ you can get your money back. DON’T DO IT !!
It is the gambler’s curse. Win or lose this time, it will lead to disaster in the long-term. Bigger stakes on a winning streak are a sure way of guaranteeing that the bookies get back every penny you won off them – and a lot quicker than even they anticipated. DON’T DO IT !!
The safest way to get as much enjoyment out of the gambling experience is to work out how much money you can afford to lose before you start. Betting big when you are losing is a sure-fire way to lose your rent, food money for the week. DON’T DO IT !!
Remember – before you place a bet – imagine how you’ll feel if/when the bet loses. If the thought of losing it makes you feel sick then DON’T DO IT!!
Rule number two: Don’t try and be too clever!
Just because your friend is convinced that the only way to beat the bookies is backing your selections in a ‘Dundee Shuffle’ doesn’t mean you should follow them.
Unless you know exactly what a Dundee Shuffle is (it’s a type of bet, honest), then don’t even attempt to invest in one. You’ll only end up disappointed. The bookies have created these more complicated multiple bets for a reason – to take your hard-earned cash off you.
It is worth remembering the old Chinese proverb ‘every journey starts with a single step’ when you place your first bet. Try a single bet. A small profit is better than any sized loss.
- Learn how to place a bet
- Learn how the odds work
- Learn how difficult it is to pick one winner
- Learn and enjoy the feeling that collecting the “payout” gives you
An easy and cheap way to learn without making expensive mistakes is to read books on betting. Learn, Learn always Learn. Visit the local library or buy a copy from Amazon.co.uk. Look at my Betting Library for suggested reading.
Be a smart punter – do your homework!
Rule number three: Bet on what you know
It is hard enough working out who will win a football match without complicating things still further by betting on an event when you know nothing about the teams or the league. Don’t be tempted to place large amounts of money on an obscure match in the Mexican or Peruvian League just because you read one article on it.
If you consider the people involved (Ie. the players, the referees, the managers) that means more than 30 variables (with substitutes). That doesn’t even include variables like the state of the pitch, international call-ups, long-term injuries, financial implications, transfers, legal and disciplinary procedures etc..
Exotic games seem exciting – until the bet loses. And when you find out (after the match) that a star forward was rested or great goalkeeper was out injured then you’ll feel stupid. The bookies knew – that’s why they set that tempting price.
I make 80% of my money on the English Premier League and Italian Serie A because I get to see extended coverage of every game. And my most profitable team is ARSENAL because as a fan I follow every move very closely.
Do the research on your favorite teams … learn about your bets !!
Rule number four: Long shots are high players for a reason
A 50/1 shot is a long shot for a reason. If the bookies are prepared to give you £50 for every £1 you wager, then this horse, golfer or football team is probably not going to win during your lifetime.
That’s not to say that 50/1 shots never, ever, ever come in. But they don’t win often.
Remember that the bookmaker likes to take between 5% and 10% profit from each transaction, and the higher the odds the more “juice” they take so it’s reasonable to say that only about 1% of 50/1 bets actually win.
There is a very good reason why bookmakers are very successful businesses – and it is not because they are charitable or give money away.
Rule number five: Have fun!
Don’t forget to have fun when you are gambling. The more serious you take it, the less likely you are to get anything out of the experience. Later on, I’ll show you how to get serious.
If you enjoy the experience, the exhilaration of cheering home your selection – no matter which – and boasting that you knew best … then you are more likely to have fun!
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