Four Common Mistakes made by Punters

When it comes to betting, whether you are a newbie who is just beginning to venture into the world of serious betting or if you are a veteran who has been betting for years and years, there’s still common mistakes that people make (and mistakes that people might not even realise they make).

Below, we list 4 of these HUGE mistakes made regularly by punters – Just make sure you’re not making any of them!

Not Fully Understanding Betting Banks

Setting yourself a limited betting bank for your betting ventures is a MUST. This ensures your betting does not begin to get out of hand and you slowly, without realising, spiral deeper and deeper into debt until you become completely addicted to your betting.

You need to treat your betting as a project, or even as a business. You have a set amount of money put aside each month that you can use to turn a profit, if you lose it all then you stop and you wait until you are next funded the following month.

None of this, “I’ll just put another tenner on” or “I can afford to deposit £50?!” No! No! No! You need to set your betting bank for the month and stick to it. Not doing so is the biggest mistake you can make if you’re serious about making money from gambling.

Not Using a Staking Plan Effectively

(No, I’m not talking about the Martingale system, please don’t use that) – We’re talking about a well calculated, mathematically supported staking plan that can ensure you maximise your wins and minimise your losses.

The key to a good staking plan is money management – That is the main role of your staking plan, to manage your money effectively.

I’ve said it, time and time again, 50% of your betting system is the selection method, the other 50% is the staking plan. If you’re using a particular selection method then don’t make the mistake of not coupling this up with an effective staking plan.

Chasing Losses

At some point, everyone is guilty of this… You hit a loss and you increase your next stake a little to win some of the loss back, or you get a little careless with your selections and you’ll back any selection that REMOTELY matches your system. Been there?

It’s a really common mistake made by many punters but one you need to stop making. Chasing losses can and will cause you to become reckless and careless which leads to mistakes. Mistakes lead to further losses which is what you were trying to win back by chasing your losses – It’s the vicious circle of loss chasing, so stop doing it!

Not Being Focused and Disciplined

Something that really concerns me with a lot of punters I talk to is that they just don’t seem to focus on a particular method – Testing out a method for a week is not long enough, I’d usually say that even testing a particular method for a month is not long enough. In order to determine the effectiveness of a particular system, you need to stick at it!

None of this dancing around between this method and that system, and his strategy and her selections… Research your way through several systems, find the one that is right for you and stick with it for 3 months.

Whether you paper trade the system during this 3 month period is totally up to you but DO NOT deviate from this system until you have fully tested it.

There you have 4 COMMON mistakes made by punters when betting. Go through them all and make sure you’re not making any of these which could dramatically affect your betting results.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. You may have said it time and time again, but that doesn’t mean it’s correct. If your selection method is successful you don’t need a staking plan and if it’s not no staking plan will ever make it successful.

    I’d be grateful if you could give me an example of “a well calculated, mathematically supported staking plan that can ensure you maximise your wins and minimise your losses” that doesn’t rely on the ability to accurately predict a sequence of results, otherwise known as clairvoyancy.

    1. At no point did I state that a staking plan will turn a bad selection method into a good one. What I did say was that a staking plan should be used alongside a good selection method in order to maximise your profits and reduce your losses (in terms of money, and not winning/losing selections).

      An example staking plan:

      That staking plan for example, covers your bets by placing a percentage of your stake on the place market and the remainder on the win.

      Another interesting read:

      Read the FREE guide book (instant download link) on that page for an in-depth explanation of staking plans that can be applied to lay betting.

      There are hundreds of staking plans, each with their own twist.

      Remember, that staking plans are not only a way of pushing that profit up, but also a way of sensibly managing your betting bank. It’s no good placing bets ‘willy nilly’ on just a selection here and there… You need to have a calculated stake.

    2. I think the point is to start off with x amount of money and divide by x to give a regulated stake. Trying to avoid placing £5 on a 4/1 winner then £25 on a 11/10 loser for example will leave you losing eventually.

      1. Interesting discussion here. I agree that you shouldn’t need a staking plan to make a profit, however if you can make a profit to flat stakes then the right staking plan can increase profits while the wrong one can decrease them.

        Most of the time a staking plan will actually reduce your ROI which means you not only need to make profit to flat stakes but have at least a 5% or higher ROI. The ultimate goal of a staking plan is to bet more on winners and less on losers, and that should be the aim when employing any of them.

        For example, a lot of big teams use the Kelly Criterion (or a fraction of) for their staking. This works for them because they know their edge as accurately as it’s possible to know. However it rarely works for regular punters because they don’t know what the edge is with accuracy and so are more often than not over/under betting the optimal stake.

        There’s a great article in one of the SmartSigger magazines by John Jackson looking into this in detail and outlining one of the best methods of staking for regular punters. It does require some maths but essentially revolves around staking different amounts depending on the odds range the horse is in. By definition your lower odds selections have a higher chance of winning and so you should be staking more on them and your higher odds horses have less chance of winning so you should be staking less on them. Of course there is more to it than that but that’s the basic principle. Using this approach will often, if you’re making flat bet profits, increase the profit and ROI you’re making as well as reduce downswings.

  2. Hi Michael, i enjoy your articles and i am still learning something new each week! I can’t get access to your staking plan website. Could you tell me in a sentence which is your favorite?

    what about the “Fibonacci sequence”? 1; 1 ; 2; 3. – then back to one: ie if £10. is the unit stake to start with; then £40 and so on. but as soon as you have a loss, go back to “one” and stay there until you have a winner? And don’t up your stake until you have two winners in a row?

    1. Hi Trevor, thank you for your comment. My favourite staking plan is flat staking, that’s what I use on a rolling bankroll increasing stakes as the bankroll increases but not decreasing.

  3. Hi Michael,

    I’m guilty of failing in one or another of the above mentioned crimes at one point or another! It pains me to say it as I do believe I have the capacity to make it work properly. Boredom is one key factor that has turned me to the dark side, being sat at home waiting between bets. I don’t bet at the moment as I’m too busy with work and planning my approach for my proper attempt when I’m not.

    As for bank size I will calculate the most common probable losing run say 10 and multiply this by my stake say 10 and start with a bank of 100. Most of the bank/stake sizes I read about say not to put your bank at risk and bet to around 2% of the bank, but I kind of think that it’s better to maximise your profit with a minimum bank. Obviously there is a higher chance of failing but I will be able to reload and I’m taking the chance of hoping to hit the ground running. I’ll be using a portfolio of micro systems and considering/calculating my chance of avoiding reloading. Basically its deciding how much total investment I’m prepared to make and making them in installments, which gives me the chance of not making the full investment on the outset.
    Would you or others consider this approach too risky?

    1. I wouldn’t consider this approach to risky at all. Bankrolls are always based on what you can afford, if you can afford to lose it and whether or not you can reload it. Which makes them very personal. A better way to do it than simply multiplying the potential losing streak by 10 is to either look at downswings, a single losing streak may only be 10 but a downswing could be 40. Even better is to use risk of ruin to determine the probability of losing different levels of bankroll and then go with one that you’re comfortable with. You can read more about it at

Back to top button