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Whether you are brand new to sports betting, or have been doing it for a while, it’s likely that there are still some things you can learn that will help you be more successful. There is more to successful sports betting than just knowing your sports, so even the most enthusiastic of sports fans can probably gain something by reading the Betting Veteran’s top tips for successful sports betting.

Learn the basic terminology

Maybe you know your sports teams and athletes, but do you know exactly what every type of bet involves? Do you know your fixed odds from your tote? Do you know when to bet against the spread and when to place an accumulator bet? Are you familiar with arbitrage betting, split handicaps, and money lines? How much do you know about strategic betting systems, such as the Martingale system or the Fibonacci system?

It is not necessary to be an aficionado of the betting industry before you place your first bet, but knowing the most important basic terminology will help you understand your betting options and make wiser decisions about where to put your betting money. Seeing as you’re already interested in sports betting, you might find it fun to delve into the details and discover just how many options you have when it comes to placing a bet on your favourite sports events.

Understand the sports betting industry

Again, you don’t need to spend years developing an in-depth knowledge of how the entire industry operates, but it can be helpful to understand how sports betting works, and how the bookmakers make their money. With sports betting, as with casino betting, there is an in-built “house edge”, meaning that regardless of whether the individual punters win or lose, the bookies tend to make money.

With sports betting, this is possible because the bookmakers set the odds, and can set them at a level where they’re highly likely to make an overall profit, no matter what happens. You may notice that in a fairly equal two-horse race (meaning any event with two equally likely outcomes), the odds will be set at slightly below even money. This is because the bookmakers are taking a commission on every wager regardless of the outcome.

With sports betting, the gamblers may win or lose, but the bookmaker always profits, just like the casino does. This shouldn’t put you off sports betting, but it should make you think about how you, as the gambler, are the one keeping the bookie in profit. You will win some and lose some, and apart from anything else, this can help you recognise your limitations and learn to quit while you’re ahead sometimes, because no one keeps winning forever.

Set a budget

Your betting budget should be carved in stone. It is arguably the most important factor that determines whether you will ultimately be successful, over the long term, with sports betting. You must set a budget, and you must always stick to it. Remember that you will be winning some and losing some, and sometimes you will hit a losing streak. Losing streaks are interesting, psychologically. When you are on one, it’s easy to think that you should place just one more bet, maybe even a big one, to try to recoup your losses. Your brain may tell you that you’ve lost a lot, so you must be “due a win soon”.

This is, of course, illogical. It’s true that neither winning nor losing streaks tend to last forever, but, all other things being equal, you have no more likelihood of winning the next bet than the last one. Setting a budget, and stopping when that budget is gone, is the sign of a disciplined gambler, and ultimately a gambler who is more likely to end up in profit.

Use a staking plan

A staking plan is just a set of rules you make for yourself that determine how much you should stake on each wager relative to the size of your total budget. Responsible gamblers set a low stake, relative to budget, often staking as little as just 1% or 2% of their overall budget on each bet placed. When doing this, you can withstand a lot of losses before your budget is significantly depleted

Using a staking plan makes you far more likely to make rational betting decisions, rather than following your emotions. You are less likely to chase losses during a bad run, and less likely to lose money made while on a winning streak by throwing it back into the betting pot. Once you learn to set a budget and stick to a staking plan, you may become that rare gambler who practices great bankroll management and comes out on top, over time, in spite of plenty of losses along the way.

Bet on what you know

There is a baffling array of sports, and other events, to bet on these days. You can bet on almost any sport, event, league or competition, and it can be fun to experiment with a few different options. It is, however, wise to be selective. Placing lots of wagers on lots of different events, especially within areas you aren’t that familiar with, is often going to lead to you losing money.

There’s no harm in having a flutter on a big international event, even if it’s in a country you don’t live in, featuring a sport you don’t usually follow, and involving teams you don’t know a lot about. This should, however, be a rare occurrence. If you want to be successful with sports betting, the Betting Veteran advises that you focus mainly on the sports you follow, the ones you know a lot about and fully understand. If you follow the teams, players or athletes involved closely, then that’s even better. You will be able to start factoring recent form, current team morale, previous experience of the track, possible injuries and other factors into your decisions. That’s when you can really tip the odds in your favour.

Consider betting online

There are many online sports betting sites, making it possible (not to mention very easy and convenient) to place bets online. You can also bet, and enjoy the event, from the comfort of your own home, or, with many sites streaming events live to any device, while on the go. Many sites also allow for in-play betting, which many gamblers find a very exciting, fun and satisfying way to bet. There is often more variety online. In fact, if you have an interest in an obscure, minority or international sport, then you may find that you can only bet on it regularly online.

You will often find that odds are slightly better online, and there are various perks available at many online sports betting sites. Competition between the sites is intense, which means that they will often offer free bets, deposit bonuses, account opening bonuses and other perks to new customers, not to mention numerous ongoing promotions for existing customers. You may also find that some sports betting sites offer loyalty points or rewards schemes that can result in cashback offers or even free tickets to sports events.

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Lastly, betting online can actually help with that all-important budget setting and money management. If you set your budget and pre-fund your account with the correct amount, then you will have an easy way of monitoring your spending, and know straight away when you hit that budget, even if you are caught up in the excitement of streaming current games and placing in-play bets.


Compare the odds

The odds offered can vary from one bookmaker or online betting site to another. Always take a few minutes to compare odds and lines for the same event across a few different sites. This is very easy to do when betting online, and you can just click through different sites making a note of the odds offered.

There is no reason why you can’t have an account at more than one betting site. In fact, doing so will enable you to take advantage of different bonuses and promotions. It will also pay off when there is a big event you want to bet on, as most sites will be featuring it, and there are bound to be slightly better odds on one site than on the others.

There is no fool-proof system for placing bets that will guarantee you a win every time, in spite of what you might sometimes read online. . Always remember that there is no magic formula and no guaranteed success in sports betting. It can be interesting to play with different strategies and techniques, but remember that your most important task when it comes to sports betting, and other types of gambling, is always setting a sensible budget and managing your bankroll.

Understand value

You will hear people talking about value a lot in relation to sports betting, but many new gamblers have no idea what it means. The concept of value in sports betting refers to the relationship between the odds offered and the probability of the outcome actually happening. When odds are higher than you would expect based on probability, a selection is said to have a positive expected value.

Those who are successful with sports betting have often learned to recognise selections with positive expected value. In an ideal world, you would only ever place a bet after identifying positive expected value, and while, as already mentioned, there are no guarantees, this should lead to more consistent winnings.

Monitor your betting activity

It may seem a little business-like to keep records of your betting activity, but that is exactly what many successful sports betting enthusiasts do. Your records will allow you to keep track of how much you are spending and what on. They will also allow you to regularly review how you are doing, test out strategies, and remember what worked and what didn’t.

Keeping a note of the selections you bet on, the odds you bet at, the size of your stake, the outcome and your winnings (when there are some) can help you monitor your betting, tweak your strategies, make better decisions and improve the odds of winning, over time. It doesn’t take long to record this information somewhere you can easily review it – anywhere from a notebook to the notes function of your phone.

Take the emotion out of sports betting

Almost every gambler on the planet has placed bets based on emotion or personal biases – from betting on your favourite football team when you know they are up against a side they’re unlikely to beat, to picking a winning horse based on the fact that it has a similar name to your grandmother. This is fine if you’re betting for fun, of course, and is a very natural inclination. It can even pay off from time to time, but if you’re aiming for long-term success, you will need to take the emotion out of your sports betting decisions. The more that you study the sports you bet on and analyse the real probability of particular outcomes, weighed against the odds being offered, the better your odds of ongoing success. We hope that you find these tips helpful, whether you’re a new or experienced sports bettor. There is always room for improvement, and tweaking your strategies can help you win bigger, lose less, and enjoy your sports betting a whole lot more.