Every sports bettor’s been there; stuck in soul-searching mode wondering what it is I want to accomplish with sports betting. Is it entertainment? Do I want to take things a little more seriously? Do I truly enjoy betting the same way I once did? Here are 10 betting questions important for bettors of all ability levels to ask themselves regularly in order to gain valuable self-awareness.
1 How do I see my gambling different from the actual results?
Keep records of your wagers. It’s not easy to do because looking at red on a balance sheet tests your perseverance, but it’s important to know how much you’re winning and losing even if betting games is just a hobby. We’re all competitive; wins and losses matter.
2 Do I take accountability for my losses?
Our timelines get filled with bettors blaming us for providing an occasional loser. Trust me, every loss we experience on Bet the Board costs us more than you — and impacts us plenty knowing we’ve offered up poor advice. That being said, nobody forces you to bet a game. Nobody told you to tail the numerous Twitter handicappers or forum picks down a dark path; if you don’t agree, then pass, or feel free to bet the other side. But know at the end of the day each of us is responsible for every wager we place. Ultimately, it’s you clicking submit, or walking to the window.
3. Am I betting to my strengths (more importantly do I know them)?
Am I better betting the NFL or NHL? Do I have a knack for identifying overs with more regularity than unders? Keep notes and recognize your tendencies. Each of us are wired differently, meaning we look for different angles in breaking down our games. There are multiple ways to skin a cat; the sports betting buffet caters to all of us in a very different manner.
4. What kind of situation would I be in financially if I lost my entire bankroll?
As professional bettors we’re prone to taking greater risks with our bankrolls than recreational bettors. We all started in the same spot betting $50 bucks a throw long before we started risking $500, $1,000, $5,000, $25,000 etc. on our strongest positions. However, we tell people in this strictly for enjoyment all the time: if you lost your entire bankroll would it negatively impact your life? None of us ever like to lose; gambling shouldn’t be a form of unwelcome stress, instead it’s a different way to engage in our favorite games.
5. Why do I bet sports?
Do I want to bet for fun? Do I want a hobby where money isn’t always going out and not coming in. Do I want to bet to make money? Do I want to make this a career? Ask yourself these questions knowing once you arrive at the answer to this difficult question, it will dictate not only your amounts, discipline level, and bankroll, but also the sacrifices you’re willing to make for achieving success.
6. Where do I need to spend more time learning about the craft (sides, totals, moneylines)?
Identify trusted voices in the space and treat their work like the gospel. Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours minimum to develop a craft; for gamblers to be successful tack on a few extra zeroes. From reading betting books on game theory or probability, to season previews and team websites, there’s no such thing as an idle hour in the life of a bettor looking to take advantage of the betting market.
7. Do I become a different person when I have a losing weekend?
If you can’t control your gambling, and instead it controls you, then it’s time to stop! Don’t ever let a game that won’t bother you five years from now bother you for more than five minutes. Not only will it make you miserable to be around, it can often lead to making further poor decisions. I know it’s tough in the moment, but I promise if you do this long enough you quickly become immune. Once you get your money in good and beat the closing line, the rest is out of your control. It’s extremely obvious the guys that don’t bet, or wager outside their means based on reactions to singular game results. Don’t be that guy, it’s not a redeeming quality.
8. What sports bettors do I respect and should I be trying to emulate their behaviors?
When we say this it’s not meant for mirroring Twitter ‘cappers, or those professing to be professionals when they don’t actually bet. Do your homework and figure out whose betting style works for you. Is it the smaller amounts while playing larger volume? Is it working like a sniper trying to call your shots? It goes without saying every successful bettor isn’t cut from the same cloth, so figure out what makes the most sense for your personality and sensibilities.
9. What problems do I encounter regularly when betting games and what am I doing to prevent them from happening again?
Do I chase when I lose? Do I get scared to fire when I’m slumping? Do certain teams have my number? Look at all these kind of mistakes and figure out how you can create change to make you better at perfecting the craft. Gambling isn’t just about winning, since we know even the best aim for 55% leaving a lot of unsuccessful investments that create valuable learning experiences.
10. What’s the single most important lesson I’ve learned betting sports I can share with others?
We’ve all lost plenty before we’ve learned to win. Ask yourself what lessons you’ve endured that you can pass on to new bettors to shrink their learning curve. There’s no chance any of us are completely self-taught or spend our time covering multiple sports with proper depth without the help of others. Rather than be jealous of talent in others, recognize it and figure out what you can learn from them while adding value to the situation yourself.