1. Avoid Betting On Your Favourite Team Or Player
The cardinal rule of sports betting is to never bet on your favourite team.
This may seem like common sense, but it’s actually one of the most common mistakes people make when betting on sports.
When you have a vested interest in the game, it’s difficult to be objective about the outcome and make rational decisions about your bets.
As a sports betting beginner, you might think that you know your team inside-out. And that when they play against certain opponents you believe that will know the final result. How often has the result went the other way?
And do you feel that you can bet against your favourite team or sports person?
It will be a strange feeling when you are watching the football game or golf match hoping that they will lose – just so your bet will come in!
Our tip is not to bet on your favourite team – as it’s near impossible to do this without being biased.
And when you let your heart rule against your head when placing sports bets, it will end up costing you money.
2. Place Small Bets To Start With
When you are just starting out, it is best to start small.
This means betting relatively small amounts of money on each game. This will help you to minimize your losses if you happen to lose a bet, and it will also allow you to make more bets and potentially make more money.
Imagine if your first bet is £1,000 and you lose! You would probably give up. You have to appreciate that it takes time to learn different winning strategies.
It would be wiser for your first bets to £5 or less, as you can learn the “betting” ropes without losing a lot of money in the process.
Manage your betting bankroll, determine how much money you want to place on sports before you start betting. Stay disciplined and only bet what you can afford to lose.
If you want to start with the lowest risk, look for betting sites (or casino sites) which offer “free welcome bonus no deposit” offers – as this will allow you to start gambling without using your own money (to start with).
The tip is – don’t place bigger bets until you have learnt how to win consistently.
3. Bet On Sports Events You Know
Start by betting on a sporting event that you are familiar with. This will help you to better understand how betting works and the potential risks involved.
For example, if you are a football (soccer) fan and you follow the English Premier League, it is not wise to bet on sports such as horse racing, world series of darts or big games such as the NFL super bowl just because good odds were offered.
Bet on what you know. Don’t bet based on emotions or hunches.
In the same respect, avoid betting on too many games at once. It is important to stay focused when making bets, and spreading your money out over too many games makes this difficult.
So keeping with the example of following the Premier League, to start with only place a bet on one or two games. Don’t be tempted to place bets on every match – that is a sure recipe for disaster.
The tip is to become the best punter that you can be in one sporting event, and to win more often than not in this sport before you start betting on other popular sports.
That way, you increase the chances of winning every time you place a wager.
4. Always Do Your Research Before Placing A Bet
To become a winning sports bettor, it is important to start gathering data (knowledge about players and teams) as they play each week / match.
Get to know the teams and players involved as well as the odds for each outcome.
Watch who scores, who doesn’t, when do they score (i.e. is it early in the match, after half-time, at the end of the match). Does the home team win more often at home or away games.
Record things such as the final score for each of the different teams (or points scored by each player). Even factor in things like the weather, do they win more often when its hot or cold, dry or raining etc.
This is one of the basic building blocks which will allow you to move onto a more advance strategy at a later date.
Research can apply to other sports, whether it’s golf, basketball, ice hockey, tennis or F1.
And be sure to check out injury reports and other news that could affect the game, tournament or championship. All of this information will help you make informed decisions about which bets to place.
Applying this tip will give sports bettors a better chance at predicting winners and walking away with a consistent profit from their wagers.
5. Use A Sports Betting Calculator
One thing many sports bettors who are first time bettors are not aware of, is that bookmakers offer sports betting calculators which you can use as part of your betting strategy.
There are numerous free betting market calculators that you can use when placing a betting line. They include different bet types such as:
- Lucky 15
Betting calculators effectively tell you what the bet size (final odds) will be, and can help you make decisions on whether to place the bet or not
The vast majority of bookmakers have a calculator on their website, you just have to search for them.
Here are three:
Of course, these are only available for legalized sports betting, so don’t go searching on licensed online bookmakers websites looking for bare knuckle fighting or such like.
Our tip is, use a sports betting calculator to learn about different type of bets and what the profit will be for your stake should your wagers turn into winning bets.
6. Find A Reputable Bookmaker – Read Reviews
Not all bookmakers are created equal, so it is important to find one that is trustworthy, caters for low wagers and who will allow you to withdraw winnings easily.
One of the best betting tips is to look for reputable bookmakers who offer good odds and sign up offers such as “Free welcome offers with no deposit” or “£5 deposit betting” – as well as plenty of betting options.
Your best bet is to review some of the bigger bookmakers first, we have listed out top 10 bookmakers for you to check:
- bet365 review
- Betfred review
- BetVictor review
- Betfair review
- Unibet review
- Coral betting review
- Paddy Power review
- William Hill review
- Ladbrokes review
- BoyleSports review
By choosing a bookmaker who has free sign up offers or low deposits (£1, £5, £10 etc) then it helps you manage your entire bankroll and will you maintain responsible gambling.
If your gambling gets out-of-control, you should speak to the bookmaker or seek help from a gambling help organisation such as GamCare or Gamstop.
7. Avoid Accumulators & Parlay Longshots
Betting on an accumulator (or ACCAs or parlay bets) is a risky betting strategy when you are a beginner.
This is when you pick multiple selections on different games or even across different sports so that the odds become much bigger – but so does the chance of losing!
For you to get a payout from an ACCA or parlay bet, all your selections must win.
When you become more experienced and want to try a more advanced strategy, have a read at our “How To Place An Accumulator Bet” guide.
It explains what an accumulator bet is and how you can place the same amount on a single bet, but by making multiple selections as part of the betting lines, you can win big amounts of money.
Our tip is, in the beginning sports bettors should stay away from ACCAs, as even one loss can mean you lose your entire stake.
If you are tempted to place an accumulator bet, set aside a separate bankroll and find a bookmaker who offers “ACCA insurance”, that way you may get some winnings back or a free bet on another accumulator (subject to T&Cs).
8. Don’t Pay For Tipster Picks
Some punters who are just beginning think the easiest way is to pay for sports betting tips from expert tipsters.
They believe that these experts are a “sure bet” and every tip they offer are the “best tips” – well, in many cases this is wrong.
There are experts out there who will tell you to always bet on the home teams, what the best sports to bet on, or that you have to stay in for the long haul in order to make money.
We have tried paying for different tipsters in the past (see here) and have lost hundreds of pounds as a result of following their betting strategies and betting tips.
It was the easiest way we have ever lost money!
On that point, another tip of the Betting Punter is, “never chase your loses”. If you keep throwing good money at bad bets, the chances are you will make more risky bets and not necessarily place the best lines.
Don’t get us wrong, there are very good tipsters out there – it’s just hard to find one that you can trust as a beginner.
9. Shop Around For The Best Odds
Not all online sportsbooks offer the same odds on the same games.
By shopping around between bookmakers, you can increase your chances of getting better odds – and that means more money for you when the bet comes in.
We listed our top 10 betting sites above, you can be sure that if you pick a certain Premier League match or horse race, that one of those bookmakers will offer better odds than the others for the exact same event.
A good rule is not to stick with the first sportsbook that you find, try to find a sportsbook that offers good welcome bonuses and promotions.
Most bookmakers do not charge a fee for registering a new account, but some may have deposit limits and betting / wagering limits.
Our tip is to register with a few different sportsbooks to check the odds they offer – but also make sure to read the terms and conditions of any bonus or promotion before signing up.
10. Don’t Bet While Drunk Or High
And for our last Top 10 tips for sports betting, the one that many betting beginners are guilty of – placing a bet while drunk or under the influence of drugs.
In one of the previous points we mentioned not to bet with your heart, but with your head (brain). As evidence shows, people do not think as rationally when drunk or high, placing a bet in these circumstances is likely to result in a lose.
And you may just be tempted to keep throwing money at more bets in order to make back those loses.
I for one, have been guilty of doing that at the roulette wheel, where I have just doubled up each time, trying to make back the losses from previously spins of the wheel. It never works, you only end up penniless.
Our final tip is, don’t bet when you are not thinking straight, know when to walk away from a bet.
Sports betting should be enjoyable, not stressful.
When you are just beginning, don’t worry about trying to learn advanced strategies, keep it simple – start small, try registering with different sportsbooks to use their free welcome offers.
The most important things are, to take your time to learn the different betting markets and don’t bet on every game (or player) – there is no rush. Just enjoy the experience.
That’s it for our tips for sports betting! We hope these betting tips help you win more than you lose.
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