Whether you’re one year into the game or over a decade in, what are some of the tips and tricks you’ve picked up along the way that have helped you become a more profitable bettor?
Seen a couple posts on here lately from people looking for tips on gambling, bank roll management, etc. Figured I’d add in some things I’ve learned that have helped me this season.
1). Figure out your unit size and stick to it religiously, win or lose.
I would say this is the first and most important step you should take before placing a bet. A good rule of thumb is to make your unit size around 5% of your bankroll. So if your bankroll is $1,000, then your one unit should be $50.
And when making bets, try to be consistent with the unit size you’re betting. Personally, I never go over 2U on one single bet. Far too often I’ve seen someone bet $100/bet and go on a four-bet win streak, then on that fifth bet they decide to risk it all and lose. Now, instead of being 4-1 (+$300ish), you’re now 4-1 (-$100).
2). Start tracking your bets.
We’ve all had that moment trying to navigate to the “graded bets” section of our Sportsbook to look back at past bets, only to find an unorganized rambling of words.
Instead, try keeping track of your bets in an organized manner. There are several apps out there that help with tracking bets (i.e. Action Network, BetQL, etc.) but an Excel spreadsheet works just as good. This is how I set up mine.
This helps for several reasons. For one, it helps me ensure I’m keeping my units bet consistent. But it also helps me keep track of how much I’ve won (or lost). For instance, when I first started out, seeing that I was minus-$1000 helped bring me to the moment where I had to tell myself that either I need to stop gambling or I need to seriously reconsider my approach.
3). Don’t be a full-on parlay whore or a teaser slut.
It’s easy to get sucked into the lure of the parlays and teasers. As a former whore/slut to these sucker bets, I know.
Sure, winning $2,000 off of a $100 parlay sounds a lot better than winning $90 off a $100 straight bet. However, the probability of hitting one compared to the other is a heck of lot lower as well.
But if playing parlays and teasers is an itch you just need to scratch, consider playing them in smaller units. I personally play one parlay a week, but I keep it at 0.25u and I limit it to three teams max and when I play teasers, I only do two-teamers (-110 or -120 depending on your book).
4). Never make emotional or angry bets. Ever.
In simpler terms: Don’t chase losses.
In betting, you’ll have winning nights and you’ll have losing nights. But the main difference between profitable bettors and losing bettors? One knows how to take a losing night on the chin and live to fight another day while the other foolishly adds on to the losses.
Sure, you might get lucky and hit a desperation bet to recoup some of the losses. But at that point, you’re making bets purely off of emotion—or under the influence of alcohol—instead of off research. More often than not, you’re not going to like the result that comes with that style of betting.
5). Don’t pay for picks.
You’re already giving the house juice, why add more by paying someone else daily or monthly for their picks?
Instead, look into purchasing resources that are not only far more cheaper but also can help you make better-informed picks (i.e. Pro Football Focus, Action Network, Sportsline, etc.) Once you start to educate yourself on line movements, knowing which side the smart money is coming in and which sides are getting steamed, you’ll start to make educated bets on your own.
6). Learn from your mistakes and successes.
At the end of the week, I always like to take a look back at what worked and what didn’t.
If a bet lost, I try and look back and see what I read wrong. For instance, I was on the Saints spread in their MNF game against the Raiders. All the experts, all the smart money was on the Raiders. Even the line movement on the day of was going the Raiders way (from -5.5 down to -4). In hindsight, with the smart money and my gut being on opposite sides, this should have been a “no play” for me. As a result, moving forward I usually highlight 3 or 4 games I like around Tuesday and keep track of the lines posted on my books, the bet% and money% and anything else. Then when game day approaches, if everything aligns, I place the bet. If not, I hold.
As they say, sometimes the best bet you make is the one you don’t place.
That’s really all that jumps out to me. Anyone else have other things they’ve learned along the way?