When it comes to betting and gambling the main thing that people should remember is that it should always be fun. The moment it stops being fun is the moment you need to stop.
Letting your betting get out of hand is one mistake and we’ll look more into that further down this article but it is just one of the mistakes punters commonly make. We will start though with mistakes people make that effects the performance of their betting and that boils down to how much you could be winning, or not in many cases.
Not Shopping Around
The first major mistake that online punters make is not shopping around and just sticking to their favourite, or usual bookmaker. Before the days of online gambling people were restricted to who they bet with, mainly due to which bookies had accessible betting shops near them. Now times have changed with the bookies, mainly, fully taking advantage of the mobile era and offering superb online betting platforms.
With most of the bookmakers now offering online betting services that means that most punters have access to all of them. That then leads to the fact there is a huge amount of choice. A lot of punters however don’t take advantage of this and stick to the same online bookies and just accept whatever odds they are offering. Hopefully you can start to see where this is going.
Whatever betting event you are looking at it is very rare for all the bookies to have the same odds and this is one thing you should be looking very closely at. For example, if you are betting on a certain horse in a race and the odds are 4/1 with your bookie, you need to make sure they are the best odds available. If you don’t think it matters that much think again. It is quite reasonably to imagine that if your selection is 4/1 it maybe 5/1 or even 6/1 or more with other bookies. If you were placing a £10 bet and you took 4/1 with your normal bookies and 5/1 is available elsewhere you could have won £10 more. This certainly starts to add up over time. So it is very important to have online betting accounts with all the bookmakers and compare which has the best odds. There are plenty of odds comparison sites as well these days to make that whole task easier.
As well as making sure you get the best possible betting odds you need to, if the event has each way betting, check out the each way betting terms. Horse Racing is the main sport that springs to mind when people maybe placing each way bets but there are also others such as Golf.
We will stick to horse racing though to use as an example though so you can see how important the each way betting terms are. It is worth noting as well you should be combining these terms with the odds as well. There are 2 main things you need to look out for when comparing the terms, the amount of places they are paying out on and fraction of the odds they are paying. Both are important and the places is obvious, as say in one race most of the bookies have committed to paying out each way bets for the first 4 places, there might be some paying of on 5 places which obviously gives you more chances of winning.
Then we look at the fractions they are paying out. Some can be more generous than others and normally you will see most paying out the same, lets say 1/5 (a fifth of the odds), but there maybe some that are paying out 1/4 of the odds, which if everything else was equal would again bring you more betting returns.
Obviously getting the best betting odds and betting returns is the main reason for having all the online bookies at your disposal but there is a side benefit as well from this. Most of the online bookmakers have sign up incentives as well for new customers such as free bets and first deposit bonuses. So not only could you be ensuring that you are getting the best odds you could be making sure your next bet is placed with a free bet token instead of your own money.
As well as the free bet welcome offers, once you can bet with most of the bookies there are other betting offers for existing customers that can be very beneficial as well. Most of the bookmakers are now offering different promotions and offers for their customers so it is worth checking out who is offering what. For example, if you are placing a large football accumulator bet your usual bookie may not be offering anything at all, where another maybe offering a winning bet boost or other refunding a losing bet as a free bet.
Bad Bankroll or Money Management
This is more of a responsible gambling point but some people start of with good intentions of placing a few small bets and then before they know it have blew their wages, or in some cases worse. We mentioned at the very beginning of this article betting should be fun and you really don’t want to end up in a place where you have lost all your money due to betting and gambling.
It does sound rather patronising to some people sometimes but you should only gamble what you can afford to lose. One major advancement on that front happened this year (2020) with the UKGC banning betting with credit cards, but there are other tools as well for you to use. Each online bookmaker has to provide limits and you can choose them and set them up from the very start, and you should. Whether you limit how much you can deposit weekly or monthly you can find various tools to make sure you don’t go overboard and start betting with money that you shouldn’t.
Random Betting and Uncontrolled Betting
This is something that can be done by recreational bettors and also problem gamblers and it is something you should avoid doing. A lot of the time it isn’t a ‘problem gambling’ issue although obviously it can be so it is best to know the signs either way.
This is something that can be covered with a very broad brush as there are many different parts of it but they can all end up costing you money needlessly.
For now we will keep the problem side of this separate and just look at the basic performance side and random betting can really set you back. There should be a basic amount of knowledge and/or research into your bets so at least you are giving yourself a sporting chance in winning, rather than just guessing and flipping a coin.
When going to place your bets you should know exactly what bets you want to place and stick to that. One common mistake is adding extra legs to an accumulator bet to boost the odds without really checking anything about the extra selection, effectively betting blind.
Betting blind can really cost you money and should be avoided if you want to make long term betting profits. You may have decided that you will sit and watch an afternoons horse racing from your favourite racecourse and have set aside £10 for each race. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you can afford it, but don’t get restless between the races. So many people think, they’ll just have a little bet on something to pass the time or bet just for the sake of it and start looking at betting markets they have no knowledge. This can be very costly as who really knows about some greyhounds running at Sunderland or a Chinese badminton match?
There are many other mistakes which lead to, or are symptoms, of problem gambling and we will look at them closely in another article as the subject is so huge and deserves a whole subject of its own. An excellent resource can be found at begambleaware.org though and we do recommend that all betting fans have a little look. After all there is nothing wrong with just having a little look to make sure your betting is still healthy and causing you no harm, and still being fun.