Recreational vs Professional Betting
When you are betting, there is an important question you need to ask yourself, “Do I bet for fun and enjoyment and the chance of success or am I more serious about making long term profits?” In other words, Are you a recreational or professional bettor?
A small percentage of bettors are serious and aspire to be professional full time gamblers and make a living from their betting while the vast majority just want to have fun while hoping they will enjoy the occasional win.
A study of bettor statistics shows that if you only place random, unresearched, bets and hope to win, it’s unlikely you will ever make a profit over time. And there is nothing wrong with that! It’s all about the psychology of the activity, which feeds into your approach to betting and your emotions after wins and losses.
For the recreational bettor, having a small financial interest in a football match is just one among many choices he makes about how he will spend his discretionary income. He might take his girlfriend to a movie, his parents to a restaurant dinner, upgrade his phone or have a couple of bets.
It’s one of the ironies of sports betting that betting for fun and betting for profit are not mutually exclusive. It’s perfectly possible to have fun and make money and there are plenty of people who do exactly that. This is because even though sports betting involves skill, luck does play a part and on any given day a lucky bettor can outperform the best professional.
However, it is advisable that you have one mind-set or the other. What’s your approach going to be?
Betting for Fun
If your primary goal is to have fun, it’s important that you stick to that ethos. Celebrate your wins and complain about your losses, be honest with yourself and others, stay within your budget and don’t take either the wins or the losses too seriously.
There will be a lot more losing bets than winning ones and you don’t want to permit the losing ones to affect you any more than that the cost of that movie ticket, restaurant dinner or phone upgrade!
So, for recreational betting there are a number of things you should take into consideration:
Keep it simple and fun;
Set a money limit you are prepared to risk and stick to that limit;
Don’t use money for betting that is required for necessities of life;
Focus on sports that you love and know and;
Experiment with different types of bets to see which are the most enjoyable for you.
Betting for Profit
If you are serious about making long term profits then you have to be business minded and have the balls and money to ride out losing runs.
Being profitable in the long term implies minimising the luck factor and focusing on those elements that make a difference. Especially research, analysis and an opinion about price.
A wise man once defined luck as “when preparation meets opportunity”. In a football context, this might be a match where you think a team should be the favourite and paying a price of 2.10 and when the betting prices become available your team is the underdog and paying 2.50.
In these circumstances, you have done the preparation and the price of 2.50 is your opportunity!
Betting for profit also means a businesslike approach including recording all your bets - in order to always know your profit or loss ( by bet type and by league) and to enable you to analyse your betting tactics and maintenance of discipline..
There is an old saying that you never see a poor bookmaker. This is because in the long run a bookie will always make money, simply because the odds are in his favour. Over time, you can only make money if you can remove the margin in favour of the bookmaker; the 2.50 price scenario above is such an example.
Here are the main elements you need to have:
A staking strategy;
Tactics for the protection of your betting bank;
Knowledge and research into your preferred sport(s) or league(s);
Your own independently-assessed prices for every outcome on which you might bet;
Discipline and finances so you can execute your tactics, every bet, every day, regardless of whether you are on a winning or losing streak and;
Sufficient time to dedicate to your research, analysis and bet placement.
With smart strategy and tactics, and enough time and money, anyone can become a successful bettor.
This article won’t turn you into a winner, but it has hopefully provided some realistic perspective for you.
Remember, always bet responsibly