If you mention to your friends that you’re looking to put a bet in on a game, you’re likely to be inundated with all kinds of advice on why you should make this play or that play.
Most bettors have experienced the situation laid out above more times than they can count. The vast majority of the time, your friends mean well, but they just aren’t informed enough to really give sound advice.
Other times, they really have no idea what they’re talking about and can lead you in the wrong direction. Or worse, they might give advice that could cost you a lot of money.
In this article, I’ll lay out four pieces of bad gambling advice that you should ignore.
1 – The Gambler’s Fallacy
You might say, “This isn’t a friend’s advice,” but I think every bettor has heard a friend say something to the effect of, “X event hasn’t happened in a while, so I think it’s due to happen now.”
This one is true across both casino gambling and sports betting. For example, you might hear a friend say that 75% of favorites have covered earlier in the day, so it’s best to get your money in on the underdog. Similarly, you might hear a friend mention that the ball has landed on black five times in a row, so you should put your money down on red because it just has to hit it sooner or later.
The reason this phenomenon, known as the “gambler’s fallacy,” has persisted for so many years is because in some ways, it does seem logical. If you flip a coin and it lands on heads four times in a row, it’s got to land on heads soon, right?
Unfortunately, what this philosophy ignores is that what happened in the past has absolutely no impact on what will happen in the future. As they would say in academic or scientific circles, each trial is fully independent.
The bottom line is that it’s absolutely vital to recognize that you should never, under any circumstances, base your picks off of what happened in the past if it has no real impact moving forward. This is especially true when it comes to casino games, but it also applies to sports gambling, too.
2 – Don’t Play, Gambling Is a Losing Proposition
Yes, the house or sportsbook gets the best of most gamblers, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t real money to be made. On any given day, one casino reported that about 20% of people leave with more money in their pockets than they came in with.
When done correctly, gambling can provide a nice supplemental income. Of course, you need a little bit of luck, but more importantly, you need discipline.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, your bankroll is the pool of money you use for the explicit purpose of gambling. It acts as protection against losing an amount of money that could significantly harm you financially, and it also helps you to monitor your overall performance.
Just like if you were managing your investments or regular bank account, you need to have a way to “budget” your gambling money so that you know what’s coming in, what’s going out, and how you can make that equation work in your favor.
Don’t let someone tell you there’s no money to be made through betting just because they’ve been unable to do it themselves. More than likely, they didn’t put in the effort that is required to be successful.
Remember, although many people think of betting as a game of “luck,” the difference between the overall winners and losers comes down to money management. Needless to say, this takes no luck at all and is simply a reflection of how much time you want to put into it.
3 – It’s All Luck, There’s Nothing You Can Do to Improve
I touched on this in the previous section, but it deserves a deeper explanation.
Yes, gambling does involve a significant amount of luck, but over time, luck is going to favor those who prepare themselves to be successful. For example, sports bettors who put in the time and do their research before making bets are going to fare better in the long-term than your average fan who pops open a betting app and bets on “instinct.”
On the casino side, players who study the games and know which plays to make or to make (such as whether or not to take insurance in blackjack) are going to put themselves in a better situation. If you gamble frequently, making the right decisions, no matter how small, will add up over time.
Those who gamble for a living are a testament to the fact that conscientious effort is worth much more than luck. They aren’t simply “luckier” than the general population, but rather, they put themselves in a position to capitalize on the numbers.
To be clear, you can be the most well-informed bettor, make all the right decisions, and still lose money. However, if you take a long-term approach to gambling, the tide will eventually turn in your favor. When it does, it’s up to you to make the most of it.
4 – Find a Good Sportsbook or Online Casino and Stick With It
Most people are creatures of habit. When they find something they like and get comfortable with it, looking around for something better is typically not high on the priority list.
The difference between winning and losing over a long period of time is often something that seems insignificant at first. In this case, I’m referring to looking around for the best odds. This can apply to both real money sports betting and casino gambling, as each has a vast number of options available to players.
When it comes to gambling on sports, it’s essential to shop around. Different sportsbooks receive different action, the odds will vary slightly from site to site. Now, you might be thinking that the differences aren’t all that significant. This is another time when it’s important to remember that you’re looking to win in the long run, and every point matters.
If you take this theory to the online casino realm, it’s equally important to look around to find a site that gives you the best chance to win. For one, not all games are created equal. Blackjack, for example, might seem like a good game, but Spanish 21—a blackjack variation—gives you slightly better odds.
Even standard games like blackjack and roulette have alternatives that slightly reduce the house edge. A 1% increase in win probability doesn’t seem like much if you’re just looking at a dozen or so hands, but over the course of several months, you’ll begin to notice the impact.
Finally, the last reason you shouldn’t stick to one betting platform (even if it’s comfortable) is because you’ll miss out on bonuses.
If you’re not familiar, bonuses are the perks that gambling websites offer to new players who sign up. These perks might come in the form of a deposit match, free tournament entry, or even just credits to use toward gambling that function just like cash.
Take advantage of bonuses any time you can. The more sites you utilize, the more freebies you’ll get.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions on the best strategies for gambling. That doesn’t mean you have to believe them.
With the right strategy in place, being a profitable gambler isn’t nearly as difficult as some people would have you believe. Like anything else, it takes discipline, learning and experience, and a mentality that focuses on sustainability in the long run rather than getting rich quick.
If you put in the time, manage your money properly, and ignore these four pieces of bad advice, there’s no reason you can’t turn a profit in your betting career.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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