How You Can Win More Money Through Your Betting? The Mind of a Gambler

Everyone loves a winner, and there is no greater feeling than walking out of a bookmakers with a few hundred quid in your pocket. It’s over to the pub or out with your wife for a night you won’t soon forget, all from a few well placed bets.

It’s just a shame that this doesn’t really happen all that often in the real world.

Sure, watch an advert from the bookies and they’ll make it seem like a sure thing. Especially some of the more “laddish” campaigns that feature a Cockney Geezer sort talking about the thrill and the win.

Let’s look at the reality though. If you’re reading this, you are reading it because like almost all punters you aren’t actually winning. Sure, you might have the odd win and the buzz that comes with it is something that you will continue to pursue.

Why Gambling/Betting is Addictive

It is a very strong and positive high that can quickly become addictive.

It is estimated that 95% of people who bet on a regular basis end up losing money to bookies. Whilst this may come to a surprise to a layperson, as somebody who is somewhat involved with the betting industry it is actually more than I would expect.

A big part of this is that everybody knows somebody who makes money through gambling. Without fail, if you ask anybody in a bookies, there will be somebody who knows, if not claims to be, in that elusive top percentile.

Why do people think this? It’s simple. Mentally speaking, we are programmed to remember the good and not the bad.

When somebody talks about how a few weeks ago they hit their strike and had 10 horses come in, half of which were outsiders, it is interesting to press exactly how many weeks ago.

Henry Royce (of Rolls Royce) once said that quality will remain long after the price is forgotten. In the same vein, wins will always remain when the losses are forgotten.

This leads me to my first step to winning more through betting.

Remember Your Losses as Well as the Wins

As boring as it may be, if you want to be a decent bettor, you also have to be prepared to be an accountant in some small way. By keeping a detailed log of your winnings and your losses, it allows you to gain a much better idea of how you are doing.

More importantly, this approach can help you to understand where you are earning money and where you are losing it.

lost money gambling

It is a simple enough thing to do as well. All that you need is a simple spreadsheet or even an old fashioned ledger is plenty enough.

Keeping track of the dates, what you have bet on, how much you have bet and how much you won/lost is more than enough to get started. At the end of the month, it can be worth totalling up how you have done and using this as a starting point.

This works in two different ways…

The first is that you don’t sit around thinking that you are constantly winning. By the end of the month, it is very easy to trick your brain into forgetting a couple of losing £10 bets. Do this often enough and you can lose track of hundreds of pounds of losses.

The fact is that in acknowledging where you have lost money, you don’t become overly confident with your betting which allows you to become more disciplined.

It is only through discipline and avoiding erratic staking and chasing losses that you can really make betting a consistently profitable endeavour.

Find What You Are Good at and Stick to It

The second method of improving your betting actually ties into the idea of keeping a full log of your bets. Recording your bets in this fashion allows you to improve is by highlighting where you are winning and where you aren’t.

This can be as detailed as you want it to be too. For example, you might bet on football and horse racing and find that you are losing on football but winning on horse racing.

By cutting football out of the equation, you are left with only profitable bets. Of course the whole process is rarely this black and white, however it does give you an idea of where to start looking to trim some of the losses off your betting record.

Finding what you are good at however is an inexact science at best. This is in part because you should try to understand why you are picking winning bets in a certain market or sport, whilst also trying not to overcomplicate things. Good look juggling to paradoxical statements like that.

What this really means is, if for example, you are picking obvious wins in European Football then lumping them into small accumulators, then don’t stop. Most people who are fans of football recognise an easy game when they see them.

In fact, I would be inclined to say that even people who don’t like football can identify them. To keep on point with this, if you start trying to analyse what constitutes an easy game, then you are complicating a process that doesn’t require it.

On the other hand, you spend each morning going over the form of horses on a given day. You have a preference for those that have ran in similar conditions in the last few months. Those that have done well, you decide to back.

Here you have a system and something like this can be refined. For example, you may decide to see how many that have won their last race go on to win again, or if a horse has placed in the last few races by how much?

The difference between a system and betting on instinct is that a system can be refined. It is a series of numbers that you can add factors to in order to produce a more accurate result.

Remember that the House Always Has an Edge

Whenever bookmakers make their books, it is in their interests to price betting markets so that the odds on offer do not necessarily represent the statistical probability of an event occurring.

As you can probably guess by now, this section is not going to be light reading however I do feel that it is something that is important to address. It is only really by understanding how a bookmaker works that you can hope to beat them.

The best example that I have ever seen of explaining how bookmaking works is based on a 6 sided die (presuming for the purposes of this that it is entirely fair and shows no bias).

There is a 100% chance of a number between 1 and 6 being rolled. Resultantly, this means that each side has a 16.66% chance of coming up and should be priced accordingly. Instead, imagine that bookmakers decide to round this number up to 17%.

….After all, it is seemingly close enough. This means that the actual market percent is 102% rather than 100%. This 2% represents the houses edge.

Now consider this being applied to something like horse racing where there aren’t fixed odds, and you can easily see how bookmakers can manipulate their market percent.

With many bookmakers, it is estimated that this number can be as high as 110%. Despite this obvious house edge, it is something that is often overlooked, especially by people who are new to gambling and don’t understand the concept.

This explains why bookmakers are able to offer fantastic odds on certain outcomes on certain events. I’m sure you’ve seen them in the bookies window before now.

Bale to score first, Real Madrid to Win. 3/1. The market percentage that is lost on this bet outcome is made up through other bet outcomes so that no matter what, the bookies theoretically can’t lose.

Avoid the Gambler’s Fallacy

Whilst we are talking about the house edge, I feel that it is important to look at a similar although actually quite different concept. The Gambler’s Fallacy is something that I have watched wipe out more people who are interested in betting than I care to admit.

These are not typical “mug punters” either, but intelligent people. The problem with overcoming the Gambler’s Fallacy is that we are also programmed mentally to look for patterns.

This is why if you look at something random for long enough, you will begin to perceive shapes.

The same thing starts to happen with gambling. We think that we’re beginning to see patterns emerging however the reality is often very far removed from this.

The most well known examples of Gambler’s Fallacy come courtesy of the roulette table. For the last 5 spins, a fair roulette table has come up on a red number. The next spin must surely be black because the odds of getting 6 reds in a row is 1 in 64.

The reality however is that the odds reset for each spin and the odds remain the same for both black and white.

This same method of pattern searching can be seen when looking at any sporting event. The important part is to ensure that any pattern that you think that you have seen can be tested in a productive and structured fashion.

Only Bet What you can Afford to Lose

This is something that seems so blatantly obvious on paper and yet, I have seen people ruined by trying to stretch a betting bank to increase their profits. Generally speaking, you should be looking to bet to level stakes.

This not only makes it easier to keep track of how much you are betting, but also ensures that you don’t start to chase losses. I would strongly recommend steering clear of any staking plan that offers recovery.

These seem great on paper but often end up leaving you broke very quickly.

I would personally recommend starting with a 100 point betting bank. A point is a term used to represent how much each bet should be. For example, a £500 betting bank would mean betting £5 per bet. If you just had £100, then it would be £1 per bet.

Whatever your initial betting bank is, it should be money that you are hypothetically be willing to lose. It is only when you have  this mindset that you are likely to be able to bet in a consistent and professional manner.

Level staking doesn’t mean however that you are tied down to simply betting a quid at a time and making a fiver back on the odd horse.

As well as a level staking plan based on single numbers, you can also use a percentile approach in order to increase your profits through compounding.

This means that instead of staking £1 per bet, you bet 1% of your betting bank. This will slowly increase the amount that you are betting and increase your profits, however it also means that you can lose more.

It is also worth pointing out that whilst your betting bank is hypothetically infinite, you may find that you quickly end up betting so little that  it is impossible to build your bank up again.

However you choose to bet with your bank, the amount should be something that you can afford to lose. If you start to stretch yourself, realistically, things will only end badly in the long run.

Shop Around for Odds and Value When Betting

Generally speaking, bookies odds will not vary too much from one to another. The key thing to take away from this however is that there is some variance and this is one way that you can quickly and easily increase the profitability of your betting.

Once upon a time, this was a difficult and time consuming thing to do however the landscape of betting has changed a lot over the last 10 years or so.

One of the major game changers for punters is a website called Oddschecker (https://www.oddschecker.com/). What Oddschecker does is list all the prices that bookies are offering on a given market. This means that you can make sure that you’re getting the best possible value from your bets with very little real effort.

Whilst shopping around for odds may not see a huge increase in your profits, it is important to note that this is probably the single easiest way to boost them.

Take Advantage of Bonuses and Offers

(But Check the Terms and Conditions)

Because it is such a competitive industry, bookies almost always have some offer or another on. These range from free bets to boosted odds but they all have one important thing in common. They let you bet on the bookies money.

You should look to take full advantage of these whenever possible (this approach has been taken to the extreme with matched betting). This kind of bet can be a good way of boosting your betting bank with very little risk.

With the positives out of the way, it comes to something that I cannot stress enough and that is to check the terms and conditions of these bonuses and offers.

A number of years ago, I thought that I had hit on a pretty sound system for playing roulette (I still argue that it holds up on paper).

Being inexperienced and having returned from a reasonably successful night at the casino, I signed up for a free £10 bet on roulette when you deposited £10.

What I didn’t realise was that I had to bet the free £10 300 times to withdraw any winnings. This mean that when I came to cash out my £30 (not bad for a nights work), I couldn’t.

I would have had to have staked this 100 times in order to withdraw anything. I ended up losing a tenner on that night but the lesson that I learned was invaluable.

It hasn’t put me off using free offers, however I do now double check what the terms and conditions are as you can very easily end up getting stung down the line.

Avoid the Casino Games at All Costs

I don’t know how you like to place your bets but since you’re reading this online, I am going to hazard a guess that you use the same method for betting.

If you want to make money by gambling online, then one of the worst things that you can do is play online casino games. These are fixed odds and whilst they sound enticing (some promise that they pay out as much as 90% of all money wagered), the  reality is that they are easy money for bookies.

For those who prefer to go into a bookmakers, you will see their in store equivalent. Fixed odds betting machines.

Again, these sing about a 70% pay out rate, however this means that bookies are still taking 30p on the pound from them. This kind of “easy money” betting is something that bookies will always encourage.

As a punter however, you can even the scores a little bit by avoiding them.

The main reason for the appeal of Casino games is that they are sold as quick and easy money. Just come and have a quick spin on the roulette wheel, have a hand of blackjack.

If you win, then it is genuinely some of the quickest and easiest money you will have made. On the flip side of the coin, it is possible to lose £10 in literal minutes. When you are up against “the computer” so to speak, what this really means is that you are going to lose.

Betting Exchanges Are Your Friend, Sometimes.

Betting exchanges are a gift and a curse in the world of betting. They are a great way of getting the bet that you want. Sometimes bookies offer much better or worse odds than are available on an exchange.

Betting exchanges are also the only way to lay a bet (that is to bet against an outcome happening) as well. This is a valuable strategy that can be used for some very strong profits in the right hands.

There are also much more varied and arguably better betting strategies that can be implemented when you are using a betting exchange.

gambling friends

The core reasoning for this is that a betting exchange allows you to do so much more than simply bet, you can actively trade your position as the day goes on. This allows for savvy bettors to lock in profits before an event has concluded or even begun.

Despite the positives that come with a betting exchange, there are negatives. The first I that unlike betting with a bookie, you have to pay a small percentage of your winnings to the company who operate the exchange.

This typically ranges from around 2% to 5%. The other thing that can be a problem, particularly for those who aren’t familiar with them, is that betting exchanges can be overwhelming.

There is a lot of data and information being updated at a very fast rate and until you understand what it means, it can be a very intimidating place.

Find Reputable Help

Help with betting is available in a number of different formats. Some of it is free, however I cannot sugar coat the fact that a lot of people online will charge for their services.

Whether these are as a tipster or somebody with a betting service, odds are you will find some cost to you somewhere down the line.

This makes finding decent advice a difficult thing. I have known free services that have produced a decent profit and I have known of people losing tens of thousands of pounds to scam artists.

Finding genuine help is a difficult thing however the best places to start in my opinion are the multiple forums that are out there. It is also worthwhile finding a decent website that offers advice (if you’re reading this, you’re on one ).

In terms of different products that are available, it is worthwhile looking long and hard at results and testimonials before you commit to making a purchase. Some websites have a lot more integrity than others so you should look for websites that are impartial or independent.

There are some websites out there linking to products that are for the company that funds said website. Not surprisingly, they also come with glowing reviews.

The best help will introduce you to interesting and new ways of making money through your betting. Sometimes they may seem intimidating but the best products talk you through everything step by step.

This can really help you to add new string to your bow and increase your overall profits.

Be Prepared to Lose, But Don’t Expect It

Nobody simply becomes good at betting in the straightest forward sense of the word. Going into a bookies and placing bets, even with the best system in the world will lose. Unfortunately, nobody likes to talk about this side of things.

I have already talked about remembering your losses and that is massively important, but it is equally important to be prepared to lose.

If, on some level, you are prepared for your bets to lose then it can massively help you to keep your composure. This is where preparing to lose is much different than simply noting your losses.

It is easy to write down that you are losing £10 here and £10 there. It may help foster a broader understanding of betting, but dealing with that feeling in your gut where you are simply losing money is a difficult beast.

On the flip side of the coin, being prepared to lose can lead to expectation and in much the same way that being overly confident can lead you to make bad calls, so can sloppy betting where you’re playing to lose.

I know that I have talked at length about the process of dealing with losing out on a bet but honestly, if you expect to lose, then you can become lethargic and not care if you win or lose and that is where addiction lies.

The truth is that a lot of betting on a serious level is psychological. It takes a very certain type of person to be able to bet in a sustained fashion and to ride the highs and the lows that come with it.

It is very much a balancing act and it is one that can very easily throw you off if you aren’t careful. This brings me onto arguably the single most important thing if you want to win more through betting.

Discipline is Everything

More than anything else, discipline is the single most important way of making your betting more profitable. Generally speaking, if you speak to a lot of people who have failed with their betting it is because somewhere along the line, they have broke their discipline.

If you have been paying attention to this article, you will likely have realised that the idea of discipline is something of an over arcing theme.

Quite what we mean by discipline can be a massively varied thing. For example, some people talk about discipline in the simplest sense. This means making sure that they aren’t chasing any losses that they might have incurred.

By sticking to a staking plan, you can reasonably reliably predict where your betting bank will be in the future. To others, discipline is about the bets that you place.

You  might want to back your favourite football team or a horse with a name that means something to you, but if you deviate from a system that is profitable then you can expect to lose money.

Discipline is more than this however. As well as sticking with what works, discipline can be as much about what doesn’t work. Identifying your short fallings as bettor and trying to take steps to correct them is a part of being disciplined as well.

All of this sounds so straightforward on paper and this is exactly why it is so difficult to be disciplined. It seems like a really obvious thing to say that if something isn’t working then it is worth mixing it up, but at what point is a system simply having a bad run and when is it not working?

It is only through taking a vigorous and focussed approach to betting that you can come to understand some of these differences.

Probably the hardest part of being disciplined though is that it can become something of a bore. Not the making money side of things. That is one of the most enjoyable things that you can encounter as a bettor.

Instead, there is very little thrill in placing a bet. Pursuing exciting bets is all well and good but it is rare that you will find yourself profiting from it.

Final Thoughts

Being a profitable bettor is a lot of work and that is the key word. It is work. Just like your 9-5 job, you will find that at times you resent it. You will more likely than not find that some days you simply can’t be bothered to focus on things.

This is all natural and like anybody who is self employed in any capacity, you have to rely on yourself to keep things moving forward.

The rewards from making money through betting are clear and very much there for the taking. You will find that there are a lot of naysayers in the wider world and I am loathe to say with good reason.

Most people’s idea of betting and gambling is a long way removed from the professional, almost clinical approach that seasoned bettor will make.

I have talked about discipline at length and honestly, I could probably write another thousand words on why it is so important in betting.

I think that the real way to have fun with betting, either as a second income or as your primary income if that is your inclination (although it is significantly harder trying to make a full wage through gambling) is in trying to find pleasure in what you do.

The truth is that if you look at betting and gambling it is a numbers game. From jockeys to  trainers and from bookies to punters, we are all looking at numbers.

It takes a certain kind of mind to be happy pouring over figures and results, considering in factors that can seem wholly unrelated or things that are so blindingly obvious that you overlook them.

But if you can derive pleasure from this work, if you can change the thrill that comes with betting from winning to identifying a way of picking winners, then you will do well.

Betting is not for everybody. In fact, I would be inclined to say that it is very far from it and you only have to look at the harsh reality of gambling addiction in the UK.

Truth be told though, there is a reasonable percentage of people who have substantially improved their lifestyle through gambling. It is possible. The secret is not so secret either. It is just very difficult to maintain your discipline.

Do NOT, EVER Gamble with Money You Need

I will say it again, gambling, and betting can be highly addictive, so never ever gamble, or bet with money that you cannot afford to lose.

angry gambler

Treat gambling as a hobby, a hobby that if you made a profit – great, but if not, then see it as an entertaining experiment, but never gamble with your family’s money, or money that will keep you awake at night should you lose it.

That is a golden rule.

There are far too many horror stories of gamblers becoming addicted, and this can lead to a downward spiral that is difficult to escape from.

If you do think you have any kind of problem, then there are many websites that can help you, including the following:

https://www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk/

https://www.begambleaware.org/

http://www.gamcare.org.uk/

Gambling, and betting can be highly profitable, but it must be carried out with the correct mentality, and with anything really. All in moderation, and the right focus.

 

 

Related Content:

 

 

 

How To Make Money From Gambling, What is Really Possible?

 

Online Betting Exchanges vs Online Bookmakers The Differences and Pros and Cons

 

Is Gambling Tax Free In The UK, and Do You Have To Declare Winnings?

 

 

 

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