Keeping Your Cool

Betting is tough. You can be winning one minute, by a mile, then within a few minutes your team concedes twice in injury time and that 2-0 lead is gone, along with your stake. It happens all the time, and can’t be avoided. Similarly, sometimes it’ll go the other way, and your team will look dead and buried only to nick a late goal and turn your losing bet into a winning one.

The main concern with betting is being able to keep your cool when things don’t go your way – and not to get carried away when you’re on a hot streak.

Managing your emotions when it goes wrong.

It’s not easy, but it is important to try and remain as impartial and as objective as possible when it comes to betting. Emotion is a variable that is impossible to quantify, meaning it can impair your decisions and get you to find justification to place bets that you simply shouldn’t be placing.

Losing a bet, especially in tough circumstances, whether it be a disallowed goal, a last minute goal or something else can really put you on ‘tilt’ (traditionally a poker term I know, but it’s still relevant here). You’ve lost when you think you deserved to win, so you’re understandably frustrated. The key here is to leave the frustration behind before you look at placing your next bet. Take a deep breath, and if that doesn’t work try something else until you can look at the next bet with a clear and impartial mind-set.

The absolute cardinal sin in sports betting is chasing your losses. Do this at your peril. However, it’s not surprising to know just how prevalent this epidemic is. You lose £50 on a bet, but know if you just double your stake to £100 on the next bet (which you really fancy) then you’ll have recouped your losses and then some. Seldom does this work, and long term, it definitely won’t work as part of a viable betting strategy.

Controlling expectations when you’re on a roll

Just as important as staying calm and consistent when the results aren’t going your way, is staying level-headed when you are on a hot streak. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance – we see this on any tipster or trading website that has a great track record, and it’s right. Just because you’ve won your last ten bets on the bounce doesn’t mean you’ll win the next one. Not only this, but it I s important to stay disciplined with regards to what you’re betting on. If you’ve found an edge on English football, and have been winning at a tremendous rate, don’t start dabbling in less familiar markets because your confidence is through the roof. Betting profit can drop just as quickly as it can grow (sometimes even faster) – so stay focussed.

Confidence can be a negative sometimes, but one worse than too much confidence is too much excitement. It works in a similar way to confidence, but can often me more erratic, more impulsive and more dangerous. Any big win can leave you ‘buzzing’ and wanting more, but getting over-excited and lead to poor decisions – such as deciding that your winnings from the previous bet is extra money or ‘money to play with’. This mentality means that ultimately when you lose the money to play with, you’re left using the initial bank you started with, and you’re just a bad run away from tilting!

By @Stufferonald.

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