Psychological traps in sports betting

Psychological traps in sports betting

Many, even experienced sports betting fans, cannot answer the crucial question: “Why do I always end up in the red for a longer period of time?” Betting shouldn’t be that difficult. Anyone can predict a few sports results – just not.
First, the betting enthusiast should be aware of the starting point. It generally starts in a de facto minus, since the bookmaker has a mathematical advantage due to the bookmaker margin. Although this plus point is very small at five to ten percent, it is simply not possible to make up for this deficit in the long run.

One reason for this are the psychological pitfalls in sports betting, which we would like to briefly discuss below.

Normally, one should believe that the person who is better known as a “cautious animal” can do a very good job of weighing up the benefits and the risks. If this were the case, he would estimate the odds realistically and recognize his factual disadvantage compared to the bookmaker. But even knowing about a bad starting position does not stop sports bettors from placing the tips. How does this come about? In our view, there are four different psychological reasons for this.

1. Unrealistic optimism

Psychological traps in sports betting

“Optimistic people get through life better” – wisdom applies to sports betting only to a limited extent, because an unrealistic positive thinking arises very quickly. The best example is the favorite bets . FC Bayern Munich or Real Madrid will already win their games at the weekend – this is as certain as the amen in the church. Think you, because the rule here is “things always turn out differently than you think”. Many betting fans are guided by the low betting odds, assuming that the favorite wins their matches. However, reality shows that this is by no means the case. Almost every day, even the smallest betting odds of 1.1 crash and the customer asks how this could have happened. The mistake is obvious. The betting friend has pure optimism only let the quotes influence you, without actually questioning the event.

If a sports bettor permanently puts his tips on favorites, he will end up with the same result over a longer comparison period as the player who only bets on the underdogs. The unrealistic optimism can undoubtedly be contained with discipline and serious money management. It is important to drive your own enthusiasm to zero and to set the tips completely emotionless.

2. Control illusion

No gambler trusts a lottery. Everyone knows that this is pure happiness that cannot be influenced. However, if the same player sits at a slot machine in the casino, starting the spins independently already suggests that he has a decisive influence on the gameplay, although in reality this is logically not the case.

The trend in sports betting is even more evident. The own specialist knowledge, which should undoubtedly exist, gives the customer the feeling that he is on the “safe side” . If you then bet certain strategies, for example only on a tie, you already feel like a winner when you place your bet.

There is a very insightful long-term test in which experienced sports bettors compete against a random number generator. In the end, even the computer won the comparison. The tipsters were roughly based on the actual payout key for the bookies. The illusion of control is difficult to counter in practice because it is a normal human instinct.

3. Anchor effects

Humans react in the subconscious to numbers that are memorized as “anchors” in the brain. Some sports betting providers skilfully take advantage of this detail by, for example, publishing high winning tickets as advertising on the homepage of the betting portal. The user now perceives, for example, that a betting friend has won several thousand euros with five euros. Even if the sports weather knows that this can only be achieved in rare cases, these numbers remain in the back of your mind.

The negative consequence is that when typing, the already risky combination bets are extended by one or the other supposed safe match, only to generate similar winnings. Logically, one does not have exactly the high amount of the ticket as a comparison value in mind, but the “anchor” is set with a large yield. Ultimately, the only beneficiary of this subconscious thinking is the bookmaker.

Sports betting professionals who consistently stick to their money management can almost exclude the anchor effect in practice.

4. Selective perception

“The world is not what it seems “. Although everyone sees the same landscape through their eyes, the brain then plays a “trick”. The images are perceived selectively in the head. A different feeling is associated with each impression. Applied to sports betting, this could mean, for example, that the customer still remembers the tie in basketball with a betting odds of 20.0 and always uses this variant. The fact that he has already lost the same tip 50 times on the opposite side is hidden. This distorted perception of reality is human. Logically, one first remembers the beautiful moments.

However, the psychological fact can also be combated quite easily with a bookkeeping system and a strict strategy.

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