Sports betting represents huge business in a well-regulated market such as the UK, with players wagering at an unprecedented rate both on and offline. With sports betting now more popular and accessible than ever before, we have an entire generation of casual players who are also familiar with other types of wagering.
To make the most of your money and gamble effectively across multiple platforms however, you’ll need to adhere to some clearly defined betting strategies. We’ll discuss some of the most effective in this post.
Effective Money Management Strategies
To begin with, you’ll need a basic strategy for managing your money and executing bets. It’s crucial that this relates directly to your philosophy as a player and appetite for risk, as you’ll need to ensure that your strategy is sustainable.
Similarly, the size of your gambling capital should dictate precisely how you manage it. After all, there’s no point in having an aggressive, high-risk strategy (which typically involves raised stakes) if you don’t have the bankroll to sustain this for any length of time.
This is something that casino players are familiar with, as games such as roulette require participants to deploy a suitable betting system based on their outlook and existing bankroll. The range of systems currently used by players can be split into either positive or negative progression strategies, where players increase the value of their betting unit with every win or loss.
Negative progressive systems tend to suit those with a larger bankroll and a healthy appetite for risk, as players are required to increase their stake and invest more with every loss. Conversely, positive progressive systems are ideal for risk-averse gamblers with a smaller bankroll, as they only increase the value of their bets when they win and are able to minimise their initial losses.
Whichever system you utilise remains a personal choice, but you should strive to increase your stake by around 10% with each trigger. Then, once you’ve broken even, you can return half back to the lowest betting value with every subsequent win.
This is a simplified version of the classic D’Alembert system, and it can be extremely effective so long as you accurately determine whether negative or positive progression is for you.
Betting Strategy Tips
With a system in place for managing your bankroll, the next step is to develop a generic betting strategy that informs your decisions. An overarching strategy should include a number of individual rules and tips that influence your behaviour, each of which can be applied across various disciplines. These include:
- Don’t chase your losses: Losing streaks are part and parcel of betting, so it’s important that you embrace this rather than continuing to wager larger amounts to regain losses. While there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with increasing your bets with every loss, this must only be done as part of a sustained strategy.
- Make bets with your head, not your heart: You cannot allow emotion or a heartfelt love for your favourite sports team to influence your bets. All wagers should be made with your head and after a process of critical thinking as you consider tangible factors such as odds and the probability of success. This can be particularly hard to do with sports betting, where you’re usually compelled to back your favourite team.
- Don’t forget the variables: If you’re going to make successful wagers, you need to recognise the variable (and often opportunistic) factors that impact on specific outcomes. Just as roulette outcomes are determined by the random spin of a wheel, sporting events can be heavily influenced by conditions, injuries and suspensions. Although these factors sit outside your control, they have a direct impact on your chances of winning so it’s crucial that you aware mindful of them.
- Optimise the value of your bets: No matter where you wager, optimising the value of your bets enables you to increase the frequency of your wins. In sports betting, the best way to achieve this is to seek out prices that are superior to the true odds of a specific outcome. This can be done by using objective predictions to define the value proposition. In casino games like roulette, players need to optimise value by covering as many betting options as possible, increasing their probability of winning without being required to raise their stakes.
Sports Betting Strategies
By this point, you should have a progressive money management system in place and an overarching strategy that underpins your bets. For sports betting enthusiasts however, it’s also important to develop tailored strategies that are specifically designed help inform accurate wagers relating to football, tennis, cricket and numerous other disciplines. For example:
- Bet against public opinion where possible: We talked earlier about true odds, which objectively reflect the likelihood of specific outcomes. The issue with consumer odds is that they’re affected by various factors, including the amount of money laid down on each potential result. Owing to this, teams or participants that have a strong public following (think of Manchester United, for example) often offer disproportionate odds of winning that does the opposition a disservice. You can profit from this by pushing against popular opinion and backing outcomes with inflated odds.
- Back the draw: As humans, we’re always inclined to back decisive outcomes, but this always leaves us open to the prospect of the draw in sports (and particularly football) betting. A high proportion of games (particularly those involving evenly-matched teams at the top of the table) end in stalemates. So, try to analyse games that have a higher probability of ending in a draw, paying attention to derbies and contests between direct rivals. Simply increasing the range of outcomes that you back can have a big difference on your chances of winning.
- Back motivated teams: Some may argue that sports bettors are at a distinct advantage to those who prefer casino games, as there are a more variables involved and virtually no opportunity to deploy any kind of skill. Some of these variables may offer you a chance to profit, particularly when you consider the all-important element of motivation. Backing motivated teams (such as those that simply have to win a specific game) will incrementally increase your chances of winning over time, as will hedging against sides that may be demotivated by specific factors.