Sports betting can be tricky when you’re new to it.  The most important thing is to get the basics right and a good intuition for how betting works and what’s intuitive, and what’s reckless.  That way, you will be on the right track in the long run.  When getting started with betting, it’s all about choosing one of the top UK bookmakers and understanding the rules and strategies.

Betting Emotionally

Betting with your gut is a thing according to some, but not others.  We can’t settle this debate right now, but what we can say is that this is not the same as betting with emotions.  Don’t do that.

Let’s say you believe a Premier League team will score 4 or more goals in the game – a risky bet.  What isn’t justifiable, though, is if you lose the bet to then deposit more funds and bet on another team to score 4 or more because you’re chasing the previous loss.  This is reckless.

Money Management

Off the back of the last example, it’s a common mistake to bet too much money on a risky bet.  If it has a 10% estimated outcome probability according to the odds, it’s not wise to put 50% of your account balance staked on the bet.  Devise a method of never betting more than a certain percentage of your account balance on a given bet, and stick to a strict routine of depositing money – don’t deviate from it in the moment.

Going off Gut Alone – Do Some Research!

Again, some people believe they can just “feel” something happening with no evidence to back it up.  This isn’t a disaster if you have adhered to the past two rules and no get reckless with it.  But, it’s vital to do some research for your bets.  The odd small gut-feeling bet won’t hurt, but for the majority of your bets, there’s no excuse for not researching.  Using past form, injury news, past matchups, tactical approach of both sides, and so on.

Stick to What you Know

A mistake with betting is betting for the sake of it.  Let’s say it’s a Saturday morning activity for you to bet on the 3 pm Premier League games.  But, this weekend, it’s an international break and there are no games on.  Don’t bet.  There’s no need to seek out a bet on the Argentinian second division or Lithuanian basketball if you know nothing about it.

Going Too Long or Too Short

Some people make the mistake of only betting on favourites, where there’s a small pay-out and it requires a larger stake.  Meanwhile, others place 7-fold accumulators at 10,000/1 each week.  The optimal strategy is somewhere in between.  Always picking the favourite means there’s no room for picking the underdog that you think may cause an upset.

Unrealistic Expectations

Perhaps the biggest mistake with betting is with expectations.  We need to think a bit more long-term and more about how finer margins add up.  For example, expecting to deposit £20 and bet on a 5/1 bet to take the account balance to £120 over the weekend.  A 500% return on our money.  This is possible, albeit unlikely.  But to expect a 500% return all the time is profoundly unrealistic.  You may have four unsuccessful weekends for every successful one with this kind of strategy. Sounds bad?  That would be a 20% return every 5 weeks.  A little more realistic, and certainly impressive.