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The 10 Golden Rules of Punting

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"Gambling, the sure way of getting nothing for something"

Of course this old adage is very often true, it is not always. Plenty of people manage to make money through sports betting and the ones that do all have some qualities in common

So what are these qualities?

1) Money Management

First and foremost, they have good money management . An ill thought out or non-existent management strategy can wipe out the otherwise sharpest of bettors in a flash. Before you start, get your strategy fixed and never deviate from it, which brings us neatly onto....

2) Discipline

Rule your mind or it will rule you (Horace, Roman lyric poet).

If you enter into gambling transactions without discipline then you are sure to reduce your chances of winning consistently. The golden rule here is to never chase losses. If events are unfolding against you there is always a temptation to pour more money into the bet to try and force a profit or to bet on something else that you have zero edge on. This tactic only increases the chances that you will lose more.

3) Be wary of betting systems

Some have merits but for those that do the edges relating to these exist only fleetingly and then the market adapts and the door is closed. A lot of betting systems circulating around on the internet have been doing so for years, the more known a betting system is and the longer it has been around increases the chance significantly that this system is no longer a viable method to make a long term return. Some systems not only offer zero edge but are downright reckless such as "bet an increasing % of my bank per day" schemes. These schemes will lead you to ruin. A good question to ask before adapting a system is has it proven to generate a profit at level stakes over a recent (but lengthy – 6 months plus) time period.

4) Be emotionless

Statistically you are going to have losing day, a lot of them. Treat it for what it is, a statistical certainty. The only question that matters here is ‘continuing with your strategy are you likely to end in profit this year’? One day’s losses is a drop in the ocean so using daily time frames to judge your performance is bad for your state of mind. How you cope psychologically with losses plays a huge part in how successful you will be at gambling. Of course, no-one likes to lose but you have to learn to walk away at the point you set yourself, whether you are losing or winning. Not every session will be a winning one and it is important to have the ability to deal with this before you gamble.

5) Avoid Greed

Gordon Gecko was wrong, greed is bad, it clouds judgement. True betting is about cutting down the chances of losing, not increasing them. Any profit is good profit. After a good day you can be left wanting more and by doing so you can end up deviating from your defined strategy and risk losing it all. It’s about getting rich slow, never fast.

6) Specialise

Specialisation is an absolute must to be make money long term, be it on a certain market of a popular sport ( Football correct scores) or on a particular niche sport in general, the key lies in understanding your area better than the majority of the market. All successful businesses specialise and gambling should be no exception. By specialising you will understand better and research more ably your particular chosen field. Fewer, more focused wagers based on sound statistics and research is a much better way of investing hard earned money than employing a scatter-gun approach. Look closely at your betting patterns and see which area is ripe for specialisation. You should certainly avoid betting on sports that you know nothing about unless you have a very compelling reason to do so.

7) Research

If you are prepared to do your research then you can increase your knowledge base, even on sports that you already know well. The more you know, the more likely you are to make good predictions. The better your predictions, the more money you are likely to make.

8) Paper Trade First

Once you have researched your chosen market and found a strategy in a specialised area, then test it on paper first without risking any money. If the strategy is making a profit over a statistically significant length of time, only then should you invest real money. Never risk money on an unproven idea.

9) Understand value

Good value is not simply about the size of the odds; it is about the size of the odds relative to the chances of a bet winning. People often assume that a short priced favourite cannot be good value if it is heavily odds on, but that is not necessarily the case. If the odds of the favourite winning are greater than the true statistical probability of it winning then the bet most likely represents good value. As a general rule you should try and work out the real chance of a wager winning and then compare that chance to the odds available. That will help you determine whether there is any value.

10) Compare the odds

The odds available on any particular bet can vary at different sports betting sites, often quite significantly. This follows on from the importance of finding value above, to get the best possible value you should always try to bet with the best possible odds. This means comparing the available odds before placing your bets, which is another reason why we suggest having accounts at more than one sports betting site. If you’ve got a few different accounts, you just need to see which site has the best odds for any bet you’re about to place and go with them. Over time, this will make a noticeable difference to how much money you win.

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