Top Ten Betting Mistakes
The first step to formulating a solution,
is to define the problem.
The following points are areas of betting
where many punters often get it wrong. My views arise
from long personal experience and years of communication
with successful and unsuccessful punters alike.
My aim here is to highlight these common
areas of failure in the hope that I can speed up your
learning curve towards successful betting.
Read the following thoughts and you may
be able to side step many of the pot holes others have
fallen into in the past.
1) Failure to Use Betting Banks
Most gamblers fail to understand that the best method
of achieving a healthy and sustained long term profit
from racing is to set aside a sum of money away from
your main finances, solely for the betting of horses.
Whatever method or system you are using, whoever you
are following or subscribing to or however your own
bets are calculated, you are better off with a "Betting
Bank" that has built -in advantages that can help
you. It needs to be independent from your own personal
finances and needs to be protected from factors that
can threaten it. This can take a lot of emotion out
of the decision making process. Emotion is a factor
that threatens all punters.
The size of your betting bank will of course be dependant
upon your own individual circumstances and free capital
available. An analogy to the world of shares perhaps
may be that no financial advisor worth his salt would
advise you throw all your capital into the stock market
The vast majority of punters fail to use any form of
set aside bank. They bet randomly with what ever money
they have in their pocket at the end of the week or
go in too deep with stakes far in excess of their personal
A punter with a professional attitude will set aside
what he can comfortably afford to invest and then determine
the best use he can make of that fixed sum of capital.
With a fixed sum of capital available you now move
on to the next reason for failure.
2) Failure to Stake Correctly
It is vital that you consider your betting bank as
capped in amount. You do not have an endless pool of
resources to dip into. Betting by its nature carries
inherent risks. These risks include periods of low strike
rates and long losing runs. Your betting bank and staking
should be adapted for the method you use.
You must in advance, prepare yourself for the possibility
of a worse than average sequence of losers through adoption
of a sufficient number of units in your betting bank.
Correct methodical staking in addition to the mathematical
advantage, can also help overcome the risk of emotional
reaction to a sequence of unusually positive or negative
Take the Pricewise column in the racing post as an
example. Long term if you could get on at the advised
prices, it would have returned a decent profit overall.
During this time however followers would have to have
endured runs of up to 40 losers in a row!
Despite the overall long term profit I suspect the
vast majority of Pricewise followers would have been
terminated either by a failure to set aside a sufficient
amount of points or through failure to cope with the
emotion of the losing run.
in essence key to winning money is to manage your
accounts in a way that protects them as far as possible
from the element of risk that the game presents you.
With a long term profitable approach at level stakes
you need to plan for and anticipate lean or losing periods.
3) Chasing Losses
Chasing losses at first sight may appear to be an easy
way to guarantee an eventual profit but the true story
is it is a game for fools and statistically will not
work unless you generate an overall level stakes profit.
Chasing losses is a game for the ill informed who do
not want to make the effort to seek value in their bets.
Bookmakers have to price
up every race. Punters don't have to play in every race,
they can pick the races they want to bet in ,and that
is the main edge that people fail to understand. If
you have had a losing day, by attempting to chasing
your losses you give up that advantage and bet in the
races that you should not be betting in. You are therefore
betting the way bookmakers want you to and not in the
way to win.
Many punters will alter their stakes in the last race
"chase" losses or "play up" winnings.
Its no coincidence that the
bookmakers have ensured that the last race on each day
is often a handicap or one of the hardest races that
day . There will be more racing the next day and the
day after that. The secret is waiting for opportunities
and only betting when you know you have circumstances
which favour you and not the bookmakers. You must never
change your approach, or deviate from sensible staking
as there is no such things as "The Last Race".
4) Lack of Value Appreciation
Appreciation of "value" in a bet is core
to long term success.
To profit over a long series of bets you must be betting
at odds greater than the true chance of winning your
selection have. To do this however over the long term,
you need to concentrate on each race individually and
seek the value bet in that race.
There is value to be had in every race. The key to
it is understanding
where that value is. Many times a punter will screw
up a losing betting slip and say "At least I had
some value". There is absolutely NO relationship
between value and prices. A 33/1 chance may be diabolical
value yet a very short priced favorite may be supreme
value. It does not follow that the bigger the price
you take the better "value" you have . The
value is sometimes clear but more often well hidden
and it takes a trained eye to see that.
Everyone has this "Foresight" on occasions,
it is a game
about opinions after all and nobody is always right
or wrong. Value can be the most expensive word in racing
if you can't bet winner. The old cliche is that value
is about betting a horse whose true chance is better
than its price reflects. That's only a small part of
it. You also have to make sure that you bet in the right
way and in the right races as that is the only way you
can keep strike rates high and protect a betting bank.
You should continually strive to increase value in
your bets. Once you have a selection you feel is value
do not just take the first acceptable price that comes
along. Seek to improve it by shopping around the various
bookmakers or try and top the best bookmakers price
by looking to the betting exchanges.
Marginal improvements on odds on each bet you make
can have a dramatic effect on long term profits.
5) Greed For Instant Wealth
Many punters seek the thrill of a life changing bet
that will produce huge gains of instant wealth for a
small outlay. Bookmakers play on your natural desire
and go out of their way to encourage you to bet exotic
multiple selection bets that can in one hit, turn a
small stake into a large sum.
Professionals however rarely bet in multiples. Most
professionals bet singles and steer away from the multiple
bets. Bookmakers relentlessly promote a host of multiple
bets with exotic names such as Yankee, Lucky 15, and
Goliath. The reason they are heavily touted is the profit
margin in the bookmaker's favour increases the more
selections you add to your multiple bet.
Say you select any random 5/1 selection. If you bet
this as a single the bookmaker may have a theoretical
edge in his favor of 15%. Taking two such selections
however and betting them in a win double, the bookmakers
profit margin rises to about 30% !
Yes your win double can produce a much bigger win from
the same stake however over the long term the bookmaker
is eating away at your capital at a much faster rate.
It is a waste of time debating which type of multiple
bet is 'best'. Unless your prediction skills are supernatural
or you are incredibly lucky, then betting in singles
is more often the best option.
You may say that many "Pros," do bet in multiples
in bets like The Scoop 6 or the Jackpot, but that's
only because they know there is plenty of "Dead"
money in any given Pool and they are betting against
people who don't understand the dynamics of those types
of bet. There are times you should bet in multiples
but in truth they are few and far between.
You can't approach this as a "Get Rich Quick "
scheme. It is a long slow process of serious and sustained
profit and not a game for Get Rich Quick schemers. If
you go Into any Betting shop, have a look at all the
posters on the wall offering "special offers",
"enhanced terms " and "bonus offers".
You will see they are all multiple bets. Bookmakers
want you betting in multiples and it is easy to see
why . They carve most profit from them. You never see
a Bookmakers promotion offering extra's on a win or
each way single. Ask
yourself why .
6) Lack of Discipline
Lack of Discipline is the big hurdle for punters trying
to turn a losing
hobby into a winning one. Bookmakers know that. That's
why in every
betting office you can bet on numbers, lotteries, ball
games, racing from all over the globe with horses nobody
has heard of before and even now computer animated,
or as they call it, virtual racing.
Bookmakers just believe that its a case of punters
sitting all day betting on what ever is put in front
of them and sadly they are right in many cases .They
are simply thrill seeking and don't care what they bet
on, as long as they can bet. There is no methodology
at all and many betting office regulars are simply a
bunch of headless chickens prepared to pay long term
for the warming buzz of the occasional win.
Even more experienced regular gamblers who are savvy
enough to turn down bets that they know are stupid always
down by continually bleeding their profits with a fun
tenner here and a fun tenner there.
It takes great discipline to NOT bet at times. It takes
discipline to walk away from a horse when the price
isn't right. It takes discipline to say no to that small
fun bet. It takes discipline to keep your money in your
pocket and deny yourself the emotional buzz of watching
Punters come in all shapes and sizes. Even the shrewder
punters who could win at the game, fall into the trap
of lack of discipline
of study. After a winning period they forget that what
made them winners in the first place, was the effort
they put in. They fall victim to
over confidence, laziness and indiscipline.
Being a long term successful punter is like swimming
against the tide. It takes an effort to stay still,
even greater effort to move ahead and as soon as you
relax or slack off you start to go backwards.
Betting is a lonely game. Its also a highly skilled
undermines success in many ways . There is comfort in
knowing that as a sheep when you are wrong it is not
your fault as you were simply doing what everyone else
was doing. With betting, the laws of market supply and
demand, dictate that long term, the sheep will get fleeced.
Emotion neutralises discipline and long proven successful
practices. The result of any isolated race has little
or no relation to races just before that or just after
that . Races should be viewed in isolation from each
other. We are all emotional in betting but the players
at the top of the tree have this down to a fine art
and can control those emotions. Other punters have long
since been conditioned by bookmakers to EXPECT to lose
rather than win.
They have an in built psychological factor that makes
them feel like
losers and they have been conditioned to losing by years
of doing so.
Over 95% of punters are flawed emotionally. Examples
of emotive gambling include punters following a horse
,trainer or a jockey blind . The "Hype" horses
are cannon fodder for emotional punters. They may also
follow tipsters blind as they "hate" the thought
of missing out on a winner.
They pay no attention to the changing conditions of
a race that may follow non runners or the ground changing.
They misunderstand confidence and can't cope with a
lack of confidence. Emotion also prevents people from
advanced betting subjects such laying , hedging and
arbitrages. Emotion forces some punters to bet horses
with certain names that remind them of loved ones. Names
such as "Long Tall Sally " and "Susan's
Pride " attract many to them just for a name that's
relevant to them .
Most punters have a grudge against their own money
and winning and being successful is alien to them. Emotional
punters lose their heads in barren times and fail to
capitalise on winning runs. They mess about with systems
and staking plans that make no sense. The more emotion
you can rule out of your betting , the more successful
you will become . You have to view everyone in the game
as your enemy and as people trying to take your hard
earned money away from you in the same way as you would
a pickpocket . Once you can master your emotions you
have made the first big step to betting profitably .
8) The Grass is Greener
The grass is rarely Greener on the Other Side. The
truth is that the grass that isn't working for you has
not been grown, cultivated or looked after properly.
Many punters change approaches and methods so quickly
that they don't give any method a true test . If they
find a system that works they don't continue after a
few bad results . It is the same as gamblers who write
down every bet they have . Once they have a few losers
they often lose the heart to do this and stop doing
so and move on to another area .
They are like children with new toys at Christmas .
They never stay with any method long enough to prosper
. They always feel the" Grass is Greener"
, when in truth the "Grass" they are using
has been abused and left to deteriorate.
They want the next Big "new idea " or "method
" and that doesn't work either as the fault lies
not in the Grass, but the Gardener .
They have no long term consistency in their betting
and are constantly tinkering with what wasn't broke
or moving on in search of the holy grail before a full
evaluation of what they are currently examining has
A competition to win best garden will be won by the
can spend most time in the garden and master its challenges,
gardener who is prepared to care about his garden and
invest in the tools that will help his garden grow and
keep the weeds at bay.
It's the same with betting. You will do far better
long term if you can make a concentrated effort of learning
and research in one key area rather than flitting from
this to that.
Most punters are LAZY! They have religiously followed
a doctrine of poor planning and lack of research. They
refuse to study and spend hours looking at how they
can win at betting. They refuse to invest in the game
and invest in their own learning . You cant refuse to
spend money, just look at the racing for 30 minutes
and expect to win long term. You simply can't get away
with that in the hardest trade of all , Winning Money
at Betting. If it was that easy , then millions would
do it .You must either invest in your betting , or pay
someone to do just that .
Natural human tendency is to try and get away with
the least amount of effort. Lazy punters are cannon
fodder for the bookmakers. They make little or no effort
in their selection process nor make an effort to extract
maximum returns from their bets. Those who put the most
work in are the more likely to succeed.
My philosophy is simple. I believe that if a bookmaker,
journalist or odds compiler spends 3 hours on a race
then I'll spend 6 hours on that race to gain the edge.
The famous golfer Gary Player once said "The Harder
I Work the Luckier I Get". That is true about both
golf and betting .Most people can't spend 12 hours a
day studying betting as they have families, jobs, commitments
and lead their own lives. That is what you pay us for.
We do that study for you and re-invest money in our
betting so that we can find every edge possible to Help
Amazingly most punters fail to learn from their mistakes.
They continue for years making the same basic errors
time and time again. Pure stupidity.
Strive to improve your betting performance by continually
learning from the mistakes and weakness is your game.
Your bookmaker may have been laughing at you for years.
You have it in your power however to improve your betting
and hopefully wipe that smile from his face for good.