Sharps will tell you, there are no short cuts to becoming a successful sports bettor. While this is largely true, there are a few quick tips we’d like to share that should have a positive impact on your long-term bankroll.
Don’t cash out too quick – punters love the cash-out feature available at most online bookmakers. It puts you in control of your bets, which is great. However, bookies also love this feature. It’s reported that bookmakers actually save a ton of money from punters cashing out their winning bets early. It’s a fine line if you should or shouldn’t cash out, but more often than not, it’s best to let it ride.
Follow the money – a few online bookmakers inform punters where the big money is going, or they provide price fluctuation information, so you can work it out yourself. For instance, if a horse is priced up at 10/1 in the morning and it shortens to 4/1 near the start of the race, you know lots of bettors fancy it. In general, it pays to go with the flow and bet with the smart money.
Calculate the bookie’s margin – for every betting market, there will be a margin, which if the two betting sides are perfectly balanced, will be the bookmaker’s margin of profit. However, the bookmaker often uses different margins for different markets. As a punter, you want the lowest margin you can get, as this will represent better betting value. Check out this list of betting sites to find a margin calculator before placing your bets.
Proportional betting – plenty of inexperienced punters flat bet; meaning their stake is the same regardless of the betting odds. For example, they would bet €10 on a 2/1 selection, and also €10 on a 25/1 shot. This isn’t the best strategy to use. Plan your stakes based on the likelihood of your bet winning. The shorter the odds, the higher your stake, and vice versa.
Statistics and form guides – Make full use of the statistics data provided by the bookmaker. Virtually all sites have this information on hand. It allows you to research your bets more effectively. Furthermore, you may uncover a market with more generous odds once you have a more detailed knowledge of what you’re looking for.
Those are just a few of the basics that any punter can implement next time they want to place a wager. While an element of luck is always involved in gambling, being a savvy bettor and applying knowledge will help improve your chances of winning.