There are a few things that prevent the majority of punters from being successful in their betting. Without a doubt one of the biggest causes of losing is emotion.
Betting with emotion is dangerous!
That is the only way of putting it.
It is not only in sports betting where the most successful can prevent their emotions from influencing their bets. This is also a feature in successful stock brokers, forex traders and all forms of investors.
If you talk with anybody who is successful in any kind of investment field, you will find out that they have their own tricks to prevent emotion from becoming part of their decision making process. The only way of finding out the best way to do this for yourself is to practice.
As sports bettors we actually have a harder job than most other investors!
I was chatting with a successful stock broker the other day and he is a horse racing fanatic. Although he has owned racehorses and knows a lot about the sport, he has been unable to ever make a profit on it. This is someone who makes millions in profit for the company he works for every single year, by investing!
So why can’t he make a profit on horse racing as well?
In his own words it is because…
“I get emotionally involved in a horse race and that prevents me from looking at the basic facts”
When he is betting with his own money he finds it very difficult to stop becoming emotionally involved, when he is betting with someone else’s he is no longer emotionally involved and makes sound investment decisions.
So how do we stop this from happening?
The first step is to realise that sports betting, like other investments, is a long term proposition. Even though a race is over in a few minutes, does not mean that you can expect to make a profit every day, every week, or even every month!
There will be losing runs, that is the nature of betting whether it is on a horse race or a share price. So…
- Do not watch the races you have placed a bet on and only check the results once a day at most, ideally you should update your results weekly.
Yes this is hard, but it will prevent you from becoming emotionally involved in whether you are making a profit throughout the day and placing bets you otherwise would not have.
Secondly, you should make records of EVERYTHING!
I cannot stress the importance of records enough. If you don’t have a record of what you have bet on and the reason, then how are you ever going to be able to find out what is making you money and what is losing you money!
While records are absolutely essential, it is very easy to get obsessed with the profit/loss figures in them. To prevent this, only analyse them monthly at the most. Personally I only really look into my records in detail every 3 months, without 3 months worth of information I am basing any changes on emotion rather than statistically significant data.
- Keep accurate records of all bets and the reason for choosing the selections.
- Only analyse these records once a month at most. Ideally every two or three months.
If you put these three steps into practice, then you will have started the journey to preventing emotion from becoming a part of your betting.
There is a reason that most pro-bettors don’t watch much horse racing, unless it is post-race replays to analyse how a horse ran. The reason is that they do not want to become emotionally involved, the real interest is in how much profit they are making not in whether any one horse won a particular race.
Always remember, you are getting involved because you want to make a profit in the long-term.