Sports betting is, just as the name suggests, the activity of placing wagers on what the outcome will be in a certain sports event. Sports betting is usually performed through a bookmaker, although it can be as simple as betting with your friends on whose favorite football team will win.
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Sports betting has been around for centuries, just like most types of gambling, but started to become organized in the 19th century when betting on horse racing became very popular among the higher social circles. Bookmakers then started popping up on the streets, offering different odds to certain outcomes, and it wasn’t long before sports betting started spreading to other sport activities, such as baseball and football, and it became a common social activity for everyone to enjoy.
With the revolution of the internet, sports betting have now naturally moved from the bookmakers on the streets to online websites, and the selection of games on offer has sky rocketed. Whereas players used to have a fairly limited selection of games to choose from, they can now bet on everything from popular sports like football, golf or rugby to more uncommon sports such as archery or judo. A lot of websites even offer odds on bizarre things such as which year Prince William and Kate Middleton will have their first baby.
Whether you are new to Sports Betting online, or have a bit of experience, there are few things that every online player should know.
Choose your bookmaker carefully
The first thing to look for when choosing your bookmaker is that it is a legal website that is licensed under the proper authorities. This way, you know that you won’t get ripped off, and that the company will have to abide by the laws in the country they are registered in. You should always look for the bookmaker’s license number before you register. All serious websites have this information available on their website. If you can’t find it, you should always contact their customer support in order to obtain this information.
The next thing to think about is the types of bets the websites offers. It is recommended for beginners to bet on singles, i.e. the outcome of a single match or event. Bookmakers usually favor offering doubles or triples, where a player is forced to bet on more than one game, thus decreasing his chances of winning, although offering a bigger reward in the event of a win. Although some doubles and triples can be worth playing, singles are to be preferred in general. Therefore, try to avoid playing on websites that do not accept singles. As competition has grown, especially online, a good and fair bookmaker is not too hard to find. Have a look through our recommended bookmakers and our reviews to find the websites that offers the best deals to their customers.
Another thing worth thinking about is the selection of games to bet on. Choosing a bookmaker that only offers bets on the big leagues in popular sports like the top leagues in football, baseball etc. limits your chances of finding really good odds. Try to find a bookmaker that has a wide selection of sports to choose from, and preferably with games in the lower division leagues. The more games they offer, the bigger the chance is for you to find games with good odds.
Set up a playing budget and a bankroll
Whether you are a serious player who wants to make a big profit, or just in it for pure entertainment, it is always important to keep control of your gambling habits and keep a cool head when you play. Set up a bankroll, and a budget for how much you are allowed to play for under a certain amount of time. This money should be set aside only for betting purposes, and you have to be willing to accept that you might get unlucky and lose your stack. In other words, only bet money that you can afford to lose.
A rule of thumb is to bet a maximum of 3-5% of your total bankroll in one single game. If you want to make a profit in sports betting it is always better to think long term instead of short term. If you bet a large amount, or even your whole bankroll on a game that you think is a sure thing, there is still a chance to lose all your money if the outcome turns out to be different from what you expected. Players who bet small amounts of their bankroll on games with good odds are more likely to increase their bankroll over a longer period of time, than someone who always goes for the big win.
Play with your head, not your emotions.
A scenario that is not too uncommon for the player who might not be very serious about sports betting, but in it for entertainment rather, is that when he eventually makes a fortunate play and wins big, it leaves him wanting more. Say a player has a gut feel about a match and place a wager of €10 on a team that has very high odds of winning, and ends up winning €100 on a single game. It leaves him feeling very good about the win, thinking that he’s made a very skillful play. Here, it is easy to lose your cool and start thinking that more money could easily be won, and instead of keeping his win he now starts betting on more high risk games, and soon he’s lost €50. Now, while still being €50 on the plus side, the player still feels like he is losing money, and it’s hard not trying to win his way back up to the €100 he had after his first win, and he might end up losing his whole stack trying to win back his original win. This is a classic trap, which can be quite easily avoided by always remembering to play with your head, not your emotions.
Bet on the sports that interest you
This one is rather self explanatory. It is always better to bet on games in a sport that you are interested and updated in. This gives you a big edge as it really helps you to determine whether the odds for a particular game are in your favor or not.
If you do decide to bet on sports you don’t know much about, keep an eye out on betting forums where odds are discussed as you might be able to find some good tips, but keep in mind, just because someone writes as if he has knowledge about something, doesn’t mean he actually has. Try to double check the information you find in the forums and make up your own mind of whether it’s a good play or not.