Getting The Discipline Right

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Getting The Discipline Right

Stick To What You Know

It’s tempting to bet on anything and everything you are interested in, particularly if you can watch that event. However the sports and events you are most likely to win money on are those that you have the most knowledge on so it is almost impossible to make money on sports or events you don’t know very well. This is because the only way to beat the bookies are to either know more than them or to be extremely selective with your bets, either way you won’t be placing plenty of bets on a variety of sports or events that you don’t follow that closely.

Start A Betting Bank

Betting School ImageOne of the best ways to encourage betting discipline is to set yourself a strict betting bank. Separate your betting bank from your day to day money and your usual bank account and only bet out of your betting bank. Fluctuations in profit and loss will be detected more easily by taking this approach and it also means betting won’t impact your day to day finances.

The amount of your betting bank will be determined by how comfortable you are with risk and also how much disposable income you have. You should never put any money into your betting bank that you rely on for anything else. All bets should only ever be made with money that you can afford to lose. If you get through your betting bank quickly it is probably time to take a break from gambling.

Read about setting up a betting bank on the OLBG Forum.

Don’t Bet For Fun

It is often tempting to place ‘fun bets’ on events you are interested in but haven’t necessarily found an edge in. Fun bets are usually based more on gut instinct than research and are therefore more likely to be losing bets - and losing money isn’t fun, even if the stakes are smaller than your usual bets.

If you think you need a ‘fun bet’ in order to enjoy an event you are watching perhaps it’s time to switch that event off and not watch it.

Place Only Your Planned Bets

Decide what events and outcomes you want to bet on a day or two in advance of the event (time before varies depending on the sport and odds availability) and then don’t place any more bets. This can be easier than it sounds as you can find yourself getting sucked into placing more vets for a variety of reasons, be it chasing, wanting a fun bet, stumbling upon new information, or anything else.

If you find this difficult place your bets and then find something else to occupy yourself with whilst your bets are taking place, go shopping or visit some friends or do some much needed DIY around the house. If you want to watch the event you have bet on try Sky Plussing it or watching it online after it’s happened, that way you can’t bet on it whilst you are watching it.

Don’t Ever Chase Losses

Betting SChool ImageChasing is one of the worst habits a punter can have and it can be one of the hardest bad betting habits to kick. Chasing losses occurs when you’ve had a bad day betting and you try to win back that lost money by placing more bets. These bets won’t be the planned bets that you placed at the start of the day but instead are bets on any event later in that day or weekend.

Chasing is bad because it shows a distinct lack of discipline. The bets placed when chasing your losses are not as confident as your initial bets that lost otherwise they would have been placed with your initial bets and the pool of events to bet on by the time it comes to chasing will have narrowed so the chances of finding any decent bets are pretty slim.

You may find that chasing bets works on some occasions and you make your money back but in the long run it is highly likely that if your more confident bets aren’t winning then your less confident bets are very unlikely to yield a profit. Instead of chasing put more time into researching your bets or read more of the OLBG Betting School for more helpful advice on betting strategy and how to bet on individual sports.

Learn From Your Mistakes

The most disciplined punters will always learn from their mistakes. Throughout your betting life your betting habits will be forced to evolve due to a number of factors and one of those reasons should be learning from your mistakes. Over time you will figure out that certain sports and markets don’t suit your betting habits and the quicker you can avoid betting on those sports and markets the sooner you should be making more profit.

Choose Your Bet Types Wisely

The more disciplined punters will usually stick to betting on singles as opposed to accumulators and there is a very good reason for this. The phrase ‘the more you choose, the more you lose’ is very applicable to betting and accumulators in particular. The more selections you add to a bet the more variables you are adding to the bet.

One of the main shortfalls of betting accumulators is you are often mixing up different value selections. Your bet of the weekend might be a 2/1 shot and you might put it in an accumulator with two or three shorter priced selections. The 2/1 Nap may well win but there is a good choice one of the other selections will let you down and cost you any returns.

Picking value singles is the way most successful punters operate and that is what bookmakers look for when they are restricting accounts. The more clinical you are with your bets, the more the bookies will worry. There are very few people who find themselves struggling to get a bet on with the bookies if all they do is back accumulators. Accumulators can be a fun bet, but as we know there is very little room for ‘fun bets’ when it comes to making money.

Punter's Mentality

In a forum thread entitled ’winning and losing’ OLBG member oldmansea made a valuable point about the mentality of some punter's and how betting can distort opinions:

Quoted from the Daily Mail, though I read much the same elsewhere:

”Dr Luke Clark from the University of Cambridge, who led the research, explained that during gambling games, people often misperceive their chances of winning due to a number of errors of thinking called cognitive distortions.

For example, ‘near-misses’ seem to encourage further play, even though they are no different from any other loss. In a random sequence like tossing a coin, a run of one event (heads) makes people think the other outcome (tails) is due next; this is known as the ‘gambler’s fallacy.

There is increasing evidence that problem gamblers are particularly prone to these erroneous beliefs.”

I often think punters are incapable of thinking consciously of cognitive distortions and of forcing themselves to justify their dearly held belief that horse A can beat horse B, when all the evidence points to the contrary. Almost as if it is the act of belief that is significant, not the weighing of evidence and to question the belief is to betray an act of faith. It perhaps chimes with today's preoccupation with the cult of celebrity and the oft quoted rubbish from them that, 'If you want it enough will happen' Can there be anyone who wants it more than the gambling addict who needs a win just to put food on the table.

More On Betting Discipline

If you are looking to follow some sort of betting discipline checklist you could check out a couple of OLBG blogs by OLBG member ebookconverter. His series on Betting Tips To Help Improve Your Punting offers quick fire tips on what to do and what not to do when it comes to betting and staying disciplined. You can check out ebookconverter's 1-20 tips by clicking here whilst ebookconverter's second checklist can be found by clicking here.

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Comments from the Forum

  • monkeytennis

    <r>Is discipline the most important asset a punter can have? Do you keep your betting money separate from your day to day money? Any advice for how to improve discipline?<br/>
    <URL url=""><s></s>Getting The Discipline Right<e></e></URL><br/>
    Think this Betting School lesson needs anything else added to it? Disagree with anything written above? Let us know your thoughts and your insight could be included in the OLBG Betting School!</r>

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