Dealing with losing

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When it comes to sports betting, losing is very much at the forefront of each and every punters mind. In a nutshell, losing is something that simply every punter will experience. There are several different ways in which a sports betting punter deals with losing, some positive, some not so positive. The ways in which a punter deals with losing will have a major effect on whether or not they are successful in the long term.

What type of punter are you?

Firstly, punters should assess their attitude towards betting, and ask themselves a few key questions; such as,

  • What are my betting goals?
  • Am I just betting for fun?
  • Am I looking for fast money?
  • Am I serious about making a profit in the long term?
  • Can I handle losing in general?

For those punters who place a few small bets every now and then without investing any real time or thought into their selections, losing isn’t really an issue, as they aren’t looking for anything other than a bit of fun and therefore aren’t expecting to make money.

Elsewhere, there are punters who will be looking to place bets all the time and are usually happy to part with large majorities of their cash. These are the punters who are often looking for a quick fix, whether it be financial, emotional, or both. It is this type of punter who generally finds losing hard to deal with. However, for this type of punter – unless they change their attitude towards betting – this article is unlikely to help. This article is aimed at those who are serious about making a success and are therefore willing to put time and effort into betting both logically and rationally.

Reactions to losing

Making mistakes, suffering setbacks and more significantly taking hits financially, are all common experiences for the sports betting punter; however, it’s not about whether these experiences occur or not, it’s about whether or not the punter can deal with them in the right way.

When punters suffer a losing bet, there are generally three types of reaction. Firstly, there is the punter who becomes angry or upset at losing their money, and as a result feels the need to get it back immediately by placing a bet on the next available event. Secondly, there are punters who will feel equally angry or frustrated with losing their money; but, on the flipside to the first reaction, in order to prevent losing any further money they stop betting indefinitely. These are the two most common types of punter reaction. And, unsurprisingly they are both ill-advised.

What is far less common, is the third type of reaction. After losing a bet, there are those punters who are able to sit back, look at the loss, take into consideration what went wrong, and wait patiently for their next carefully thought out bet. This third type of reaction is the only one that gives the punter any hope of success in the long-term.

Controlling your emotions

As touched on above, every punter will experience losing, it is part and parcel of the game. Before you can get anywhere, this is something that needs to be accepted. And, it is of course incredibly easy to sit and say what you need to do is to remain unemotional, this isn’t something which is easy for most people. Which is why – out of the vast number of sports betting punters that exist – so few are able to make a success of their betting.

In order to deal with losing effectively, being able to control your emotions is key. If you are someone who simply cannot accept losing and finds it too hard to take, then success will never be achieved. For example, if you are the type of person who bets £50 on a horse and then paces up and down before the off and hides behind the sofa during the race, then you’re probably better off taking up something other than sports betting.

When aiming to take control of your emotions, what you have to remember is don’t get caught up on any one particular bet/one particular day of betting. Providing you are experienced and have a betting system that has thrown up successful results in the past, it is important to remain confident and to stick with it. Don’t lose sight of the fact that for all serious punters, long-term success is the aim. Every successful punter there has ever been will have experienced losing in the short term; but, one of the main reasons they were successful is because they dealt with it correctly and didn’t allow short term losses to displace their focus.

Resilience not recklessness

There is nothing in this life that can destroy you but yourself. Bad things happen to everyone, but when they do, you can’t just fall apart and die. You have to fight back” – Alexandra Monir

When the punter experiences losing it is indeed important to “fight back”, but you have to do this in the right way.

After a losing bet or a losing run of bets, again, remind yourself that the goal is always the long-term profit. It would be easy to go straight back in and try to recoup your losses on unplanned and unwise bets, but this will only make things worse.

You need to build up a betting resilience. This can be done through positivity. When experiencing losing, try to remain calm, sit back and have a look at the loss, analyse what happened and learn from it. Perhaps you overlooked something or made an error in judgement, these things happen. Be confident in what you’re doing, think back to successful bets and tell yourself that you are a sensible punter, betting only when good value exists and that it’s important to continue in this vein.

Don’t go overboard when winning

Although this article is about dealing with losing, it is relevant to establish that punters should also take a similar approach when winning. Just as it is important not to get too low with the lows, when experiencing the highs you shouldn’t get too high either. It is important to remain balanced.

As a punter who’s taking their betting efforts seriously, there’s no better feeling than seeing your hard work pay off with a winning bet; however, it is important to remain grounded and not get carried away. After a few good wins or a winning streak, it’s easy to be careless. Punters should be wary of this, don’t think that you’ve cracked it and that winners will just come easily, because they won’t. Keep working hard, keep devoting plenty of time and thought into your betting and be prepared for the losses.

Key things to remember

Avoid chasing losses

Perhaps the single most important thing a punter can do when experiencing losing, is to avoid chasing their losses. This cannot be stressed enough. Unless your aiming to lose all of your betting bank as quickly as possible, then chasing losses should be deemed as an absolute no go. Of course this is sometimes easier said than done, and we have all been in that position where a particularly well thought out and planned bet has lost, it’s frustrating and the temptation to try and get the money back straight away can be hard to rid. In these situations you have to be strong, remember that the goal is always long-term profit, don’t get caught up on short term losses.

Take a break

Don’t be afraid to take a step back from the action. When you have a serious approach to betting, it requires a lot of investment, not necessarily in terms of money, but time. Not only is serious betting very time consuming, it can be both mentally and physically draining, not to mention emotionally. Experiencing a losing run can make you feel over-tired in all of these ways. This is when bad judgement and poor decisions are most likely to occur.

As is the case in many different situations, sometimes all that is needed for us to perform at our best, is a rest. Taking a period of time away from the game, where you are able to enjoy other things without having to think about betting, can often help to yield positive results in the near future. So don’t hesitate in taking that little break if you feel it is needed.


As mentioned above, always try to remain positive. Losing is frustrating, but as a serious punter it is something you are prepared for and are expecting to happen regularly. After a losing bet, analyse what you think went wrong, sure, but don’t dwell on it. Think about previous successes and be confident in your ability, if your methods have led to success before, keep going, don’t deviate from your system and the winners will return again in the future.

Lastly, never forget that for you to yield success your goal will always be long-term profit, don’t allow singular or short-term losses to cause you to lose sight of this.

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