Again big thanks for all of your replies last week.
There was a lot in there!
I think I’ve opened up not one but several cans of worms but my goal is to help you make money from your betting, so I’m gonna try and help.
The problems ranged from small “easy” to answer type things to much more broad issues that I can only really scratch the surface on. (I’ve still to reply to many)
I’ve decided to create a series of “workshop” articles, as its obvious I’m not going to be able to wave a magic wand a solve everyone’s problems overnight, but maybe in small steps we can get there!
The mentality of betting seemed a good place to start so I’ve started with that.
A Correct Mindset – The Emotional/Psychological side of betting.
When I first started betting I’d say that I was “average” at keeping my emotions under control. Now I would say that although I’ve still not quite achieved mastery, I am very good at managing my emotions. So, you get better at this through experience.
Now, I know at least one of you has told me how having a bet on something is exciting and makes it worthwhile watching. I agree. And that’s all well and good if you’re betting as a pastime or a hobby. That’s not what I’m about. Don’t get me wrong I can help you “hobby” gamblers out there bet more profitably or more likely “lose less”.
But I’m out to make a profit from betting, period. If that means not betting on one day, or several days, weeks or whatever – that’s what I’ll do.
At this point it is worth mentioning that a small percentage of people, perhaps 1%, will develop into “problem gamblers”, that is they become addicted. Its worth reading this article: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/features/the-psychology-of-gambling/ , just so that you know the signs.
Now assuming you’re not the “addict” type and that your primary reason for betting is profit, there are number of ways you can approach the emotional side of things. I believe that there isn’t a right or wrong way. But from my own experience though I will say this:
If you’re constantly getting the “ump” after a losing bet you need to change your approach. No one likes losing bets, but you must accept that they are a necessity, no one ever in the history of time has just backed winner after winner with 100% success.
If you find that the pain of losing a bet is too great, or even the stress level waiting for a result is too great, then perhaps your stakes are too high for you. Even if you are working to a set bank/plan, sometimes the actual act of having a sum of money that you consider significant is too stressful and you end up making bad decisions. Building up stakes incrementally over a prolonged period is the way to avoid this.
Techniques for success
- Pre/Post bet thinking.
This is one I use myself as a tipster and punter. All I do is before I give out the tip/bet money on a selection, I imagine the race is already over with the horse having run a shocker and I ask myself “would I still be happy with this bet if it loses?”, now that might sound silly as no one likes losing bets, but as I’ve said you have to accept them and move on. If you feel as though you could see yourself saying “I knew that wasn’t solid enough” or “I knew I shouldn’t have bet in a race type xyz” then forget it and don’t bet. You should be able to say, “yes I’d be happy if it wins or loses, as to me it was a value bet and the type of bet that will make me a profit -long term”.
- The wider picture – Keep in view and in mind.
The other tactic I use when perhaps I’m on a series of losers or barren spell is to take a look at the overall picture. That’s why I always create a graph of the running profit/loss for all the parts of my portfolio plus anything I’m paper trading. It gives a visual guide as to how important the actual upturn/downturn is and how relevant it is.
Of course you need to have enough of a results history to do this with real confidence, which again is where being patient, starting small and doing your research beforehand comes in. A figure that stuck in my head many years ago with regards to testing horse racing systems was 500 bets. That’s how many you need as an absolute minimum to have a statistically viable sample size. So to clarify, a smaller sample of bets might not actually prove anything at all either way, a profit could have been down to luck or short term factors. Of course it could be argued that this is a somewhat arbitrary number, and that’s true in some ways as certainly you might need a much bigger sample with long shots yet with a real high strike rate a smaller sample would do. But keep in mind that small samples prove nothing. 6 months, 12 months, the course of a season, and/or several hundred bets should be the sort of data sample sizes you are concerned with. Those who draw conclusions on small samples or worse still individual bets will always end up making bad decisions.
Make thought out educated decisions; ask yourself “am I sure”. Then stick by them and don’t beat yourself up when they go wrong. Everyone backs losers but occasionally even the most diligent of punter will decide to follow a tipster or system that goes pear shaped. So don’t beat yourself up over decisions that go bad, but keep a record of them and try and understand what went wrong and why.
- Be philosophical when things go wrong.
Even with all of that taken into account, accept that luck will always play a part, both in betting and in life in general. Some people out there may suggest that you can influence it, but basically its all just perception. I mean if my house were to be hit by lightning and burn down, some would say that’s unlucky. Others would say “lucky you wasn’t in it!”.
- Make a plan, stick to a plan. Plan again.
Whenever you start a certain system, follow a tipster or indeed start a whole betting portfolio, make a plan. That should include your stakes, or staking plan, a point of review, and set figures at which you will take a profit or cut your losses. It doesn’t need to be anything spectacular or complicated. But you need to know what it is and you’ll need to refer back to it. Deciding beforehand on all of this will mean that you’ll be less likely to make those knee jerk decisions that are often made after a losing or winning run.
I’ve seen both scenarios many times; the punter on a winning streak increasing his stakes only to lose all on the following downturn; the frustrated punter who calls it quits on a losing run only to miss out entirely on the winning run that would have put him in the black. You can avoid both scenarios with a proper long term plan.
Still to come:
- Finding Winners
- Finding Tipsters
- Sorting the wheat from the chaff, dealing with the “inbox noise”.
- Beating Bookmaker restrictions and closures.( I know this is a real issue for lots of you)
- AND….Much, Much More!!