Sports Betting Beginners Guide
Welcome to the Betbubbles Sports Betting Beginners Guide. If you’re new to the world of sports betting and if you want to get your head around it in a short time then this guide is for you.
What you’ll find is a step-by-step comprehensive guide that will start by explaining what sports’ betting is all about, and then we’ll work our way up from there.
By the end of this guide you will know the legality of online sports betting, the type of sports you can bet on, my recommended list of sports betting sites (and some nice promotional codes), wrapping your head around odds, and a whole lot more.
The guide is delivered to you across 7 pages that you will find below. Once you finish the content of each page you will have a link to go to the next section.
Is a guide like this the stuff you’re looking for? If so, you’re in for a real treat in the following pages.
The below links make up the guide. Of course my recommended way to go through this guide is to start from the top and work your way down.
It should take you about an hour to go through it all. So set the time aside and let’s jump right in.
What is Online Sports Betting
This is part 1 of the Betbubbles Sports Betting Beginners Guide. On this page, you’ll learn what online sports betting is all about and some history on how sports betting came about.
I have no doubt that you know what online sports betting is all about. But for the sake of giving a clear and concise definition, I’d like to offer you the following…
In the simplest way I know how to explain it, online sports betting is the wagering of money on an unknown sporting event outcome with the main intention of winning money from your initial stake via the Internet.
In most cases the outcome of the event is known within a short while, which results in either a payout for getting the outcome right, or losing your money for getting it wrong.
Sports betting a very long time ago
The above definition of the online side of sports betting is not a new concept at all. It’s actually old… Very very old! There’s evidence that this type of betting where taking place back 1,000 BC. Of course minus the Internet.
Back then the Chinese had a punt on animals and insects racing against each other (we’re talking about horses, dogs, grasshoppers and who knows what else).
It was common for most major cities in China to have specific areas where people could place bets. A modern day equivalent of the TAB
The next civilization that took on sports betting was the Greeks. They were in fact the first to place bets on humans, instead of animals. But there’s no doubting that they didn’t also bet on animals as well.
With the introduction of the Olympic games, people started to bet on mostly track and field events like discus, javelin and running. This goes back to 400 BC.
Probably the most popular civilisation that people associated with sports betting was the Romans back in 300 BC. This was the time of the gladiators, and the unfortunate thing of fighting to the death.
The type of bets people placed was on who they thought would survive the battle. Think of the movie Gladiator with Russel Crowe. No doubt the bookies back then would have cashed in on him.
The modern era of sports betting
For the last few centuries people have adopted the Greek style of betting by wagering their hard earned money behind sporting events that doesn’t involve fighting to the death!
These events range from Soccer to Football, to Swimming and Horse Racing – and really any other sporting event out there that guarantees an outcome.
These bets are placed with a modern day bookmaker who set the odds of the event. Also with the introduction of betting exchanges, people can nowadays set the odds. But we’ll not get into that right now.
With the introduction of the Internet in the 1990’s, this form of sports betting simply moved online. So instead of visiting your local bookmaker to place your bets, you’ll place your bets over the Internet using their dedicated website.
The evolution of sports betting
You’ve read the text, but not everyone is good with text. So here is an image of what the hell I was just speaking writing about. Hopefully this here should give you a clear timeline of the evolution of sports betting.
In Australia sports such as the AFL, the NRL and Soccer have all become popular sporting events to bet on. The biggest event is the Melbourne Cup, where tens of millions of dollars is wagered on the single race.
Most countries have their own favourite sports to bet on. Obviously I can’t list them all here because it’ll just to far too long – but I honestly don’t think that’s important anyway. What’s important is that you know what the popular sports are to bet on in YOUR country.
The gambling industry as a whole has grown enormously over the last few years. In 2009 total market estimates come to $335 billion.
This is only an estimate because unfortunately this takes into account gambling over the Internet from countries that have outlawed the activity – hence no true figures can be provided.
Also, this is the gambling industry as a whole. Betting on sports is part of this, but it’s not the only part. You also have online casinos and poker sites.
What is the Legality and Requirements of Online Sports Betting
This is part 2 of the Betbubbles Sports Betting Beginners Guide. On this page, you’ll learn the legality of online sports betting in your country, how to discover if your country accepts online sports betting and the requirements that governments imposed in order to bet online
First of all, the legality of online sports betting all depends on where in the world you live. Some governments have placed a complete ban on this type of activity altogether, while others have it strongly regulated (I think this is a good thing).
In the circumstances of the latter, there are requirements you’ll need to pass in order to bet online. If your situation is in the former, then I’m afraid things aren’t all rosy for you.
All of the reputable online betting agencies will have strict rules set in place that prevent local government laws to be broken. Therefore if you try to register to one of these agencies from one of the countries that do not allow you to, the betting agency will and should reject you.
Countries that have banned online sports betting
If the place you call home is any of the following countries listed below, then it saddens me to tell you that online sports betting is illegal in your country.
- China & Hong Kong
- USA (with the exception of the State of Nevada)
The countries listed above have on-going debates about legalising online sports betting. This is very noticeable in the USA where members of congress have been disputing this issue recently (2010).
Should the USA legalise this activity past the boundaries of Nevada (and a few other States) to the rest of the United States, there will be a significant increase of punters to the industry due to Americans interest in sports betting.
Hey “My Country”, why do you ban sports betting?
Countries that ban online sports betting do so for a number of different reasons. Firstly they’re trying to shield their people, and especially their youth from being exposed to this form of gambling.
Sports betting can become a dangerous thing if done in excess and with an addictive approach. The same can be said about alcohol and many other things in our society.
The trick with the two is discipline and an understanding of the consequences of doing either of the two things in excess.
Later on in this guide I’ll talk about the dangers of becoming
addicted to online sports betting and steps that you can take to prevent
this from happening.
The second reason why some governments ban online sports betting is because of money laundering.
It’s mostly an unsupervised electronic transfer of money and therefore governments are cautious that criminals could exploit it, even though transactions are usually done via credit card that is traceable.
Online sports betting agencies are well aware of the counties that ban this activity. These agencies are big businesses usually listed on stock exchange markets. Most are reputable and will not take part in any illegal activities.
What Country can I bet from?
Anywhere else should be ok – although the countries that accept online sports betting heavily regulate it. They have certain requirements that must be met in order for a person to bet online – which I’ll get into below.
Countries require sports betting agencies to have a betting licence and they often have independent audit companies coming in to check that their businesses are run ethically.
Not all betting agencies have licences so it’s important to only sign up to those on the recommended list (Feel free to jump over to this section using the link, but I’d advise that you keep going with this guide step by step).
Or in other words, do not sign up with a sports betting agency, whether it be a bookmaker or a betting exchange if they do not have a betting licence.
Laws are always changing, so a country that had previously banned online sports betting might not anymore.
The best way to find out if your country accepts you making an account is to try and create one from our recommended online sports betting agencies that we’ll list a little later on in the guide.
What type of requirements do I need?
There are certain requirements set on people in order to bet online. The first one is that the punter needs to be over the age of 18.
Some agencies require you to show proof of age when signing up. They do this because there are some hefty fines if they allow people under 18 to place bets.
The second is that you’ll need to be in the country that allows betting in order to log into your account and place bets. Obviously already discussed above.
There’s been a case when someone in Australia created an account with a reputable betting agency and then flew over to America to a state that online sports’ betting is illegal. He had logged into his account and placed a few bets.
This type of activity got him and the betting agency into trouble… No this “someone” was not me. It was “someone else”. I of course do not recommend you do anything like this.
Now come on, if you live in Australia, there’s absolutely no reason to ever travel to the United States of America.
What are the Sports You can Bet on
This is part 3 of the Betwiser Sports Betting Beginners Guide. On this page, you’ll learn what type of sports you can bet on through sports betting agencies, and you’ll see just how many options are available to choose from
What can you bet on? … Almost anything is the simple answer. Really Anything?… Yes almost. Some betting agencies have taken this to the point of saying “If it moves, you can bet on it”.
I guess you can’t blame them for offering so many different things. It makes perfectly good sense for them to do so.
From a betting agencies point of view, the more sports (and other events like TV shows) they have available to bet on, the more chances to attract a large number of people, and the more people that are betting, the better it is for them.
Initially they offered horse racing and boxing as betting options – but soon they realised that any sport that was televised attracted a very big betting market… Why? Because it made the sport more fun if you were able to place a bet on it and watch it live.
Now with the introduction of streaming sporting events live on the Internet, betting agencies have just about all sports available to bet on. Some websites even offer you to stream the sport straight from their website for free. How nice is that.
The sports that you can bet on
Some caution here is necessary. You’re about to see some very big lists. I have done this to prove a point that there are a lot of things you can bet on, and the best way to show you this is to break it down.
All the good betting agencies offer the same sports to bet on – basically there isn’t all that much that separates them when choosing things to bet on (the differences between them comes down to who offers the better odds and promotions mainly).
Although with that being said, I’ve put the below list together from the options available from Betfair and Sportsbet.
Once again, this is a huge list, and I have intentionally added everything so you can see just how many options are available. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so.
- American Football
- Australian Rules
- Canadian Football
- College Basketball
- College Football
- Greyhound Racing
- Horse Racing
- Horse Racing – Virtual
- Ice Hockey
- Mixed Martial Arts
- Motor Sport
- Football (soccer)
- Winter Sports
There’s a lot to chose from inside the categories
The above list is the top category of the sports. But this than expands into further and further categories. Let’s look at one of the examples just to see how many options are available.
If we expend the category of Soccer – the categories inside this are:
- Argentinian Soccer
- Australian Soccer
- Austrian Soccer
- Belgian Soccer
- Brazilian Soccer
- Bulgarian Soccer
- Chilean Soccer
- Copa Sudamericana
- Croatian Soccer
- Cypriot Soccer
- Czech Soccer
- Danish Soccer
- Dutch Soccer
- English Soccer
- Euro 2012
- French Soccer
- German Soccer
- Greek Soccer
- Hungarian Soccer
- Italian Soccer
- Japanese Soccer
- Mexican Soccer
- N Irish Soccer
- Norwegian Soccer
- Polish Soccer
- Portuguese Soccer
- Romanian Soccer
- Russian Soccer
- Scottish Soccer
- Serbian Soccer
- Slovakian Soccer
- Slovenian Soccer
- Spanish Soccer
- Swiss Soccer
- Turkish Soccer
- UEFA Champions League
- UEFA Europa League
- Ukrainian Soccer
- US Soccer
- Welsh Soccer
So inside of the Soccer category, you can pick almost any country that has an organised Soccer league.
The rabbit hole still goes on
… And then once you get into one of these categories, let’s say English Soccer, the following options are available:
- Barclays Premier League
- Blue Square North
- Blue Square Premier
- Blue Square South
- Carling Cup
- FA Cup
- FA Trophy
- Johnstones Paint Trophy
- Npower League One
- Npower League Two
- The Championship
After all this drilling down we finally get to where most will be familiar with. The leagues. But then inside of this it still goes on.
The betting markets
Now let’s get into the Barclays Premier League category where we are finally shown the betting markets:
- Fixtures 21 November
- Fixtures 22 November
- Fixtures 27 November
- Fixtures 28 November
- Head to Head Leagues
- Month End Markets
- Season Match Bets
- Team Specials
- Best of Rest 2010/11
- Handicap Win 2010/11
- Straight Forecast
- Top 10 Finish 2010/11
- Top 2 Finish 2010/11
- Top 3 Finish 2010/11
- Top 4 Finish 2010/11
- Top 6 Finish 2010/11
- Winner 2010/11
- Top English Goal scorer
- Top Goal scorer 2010/11
- Top Goal scorer – Top 4
- Finishing Positions
- Premier League Points
- Relegation 2010/11
- Winner/Top GS 2010/11
I’ll stop the list here just because once you get into one of the categories above it lists a lot of individual players. This list is far too long to show here but I hope that from this demonstration you can see the sheer size of the Soccer market.
So there are quite a few things here that should keep you busy for a very very long time.
Now here’s the warning. Even though there are a lot of sports to choose from, it’s recommended that you pick one of the above sports and focus on becoming an expert on it.
In this way you can make the best possible informed decisions about the outcome of the event, and therefore have the best possibility of making a good return on your money.
I’d suggest that you make your decisions based on your interest for the sport, the frequency of bets, the betting market size (important for betting exchanges), the size of the market in terms of keeping updated with information about all aspects of it.
It goes beyond sports
Going back to the point about the more things online betting agencies offer you to bet on, the more people they will attract – in recent times betting agencies have started offering things to bet on apart from sports.
These days you can bet on the winner of Australia’s next X Factor, the date of a royal wedding, or the divorce of a famous celebrity couple – even who you think the BBC sports personality of the year would be. Yes, some of the things that you can bet on are ridiculous.
The basic idea is that any event that people are interested in is open to becoming a betting market, so long as that event has an outcome. Some of the categories you will find are:
- Financial Markets
- Financial Bets
- Special Bets
I don’t recommend using any of the four markets above as part of your professional online betting endeavours.
If you watch X Factor, or any of those other reality TV shows then it might make it more interesting to have a bit of a bet on it, but in my opinion, these markets should not to taken too seriously.
Sports Betting Sites to Use and Promotional Codes
This is part 4 of the Betbubbles Sports Betting Beginners Guide. On this page, you’ll learn about what betting agencies are, which ones to use and promotional codes you can use when signing up with them to get the most for your money that you deposit
Online sports betting sites (bookmakers and betting exchanges) provide websites where you can bet on sports.
These websites are fast, powerful and intuitive to use. The thing is their websites have to be at the top of the game as their whole business “is” the website.
Bookmakers – The traditional way
The way bookmakers make their money is not by betting against you – the punter. This is the biggest misconception people have about how bookmakers work.
Instead, the way bookmakers make their money is by trying to make the odds attractive enough so that they get an equal amount of people to bet for and against the sporting event.
Picture an English Premier League game, Manchester United versus Chelsea. What are the betting options here? Well, Man U can win, Chelsea can win, or it could be a draw. Three possible outcomes right?
The whole aim of the game for a bookmaker is to balance the amount of money they receive from punters on all three outcomes.
If they are successful in balancing the amount of money on all sides, they have effectively managed to make themselves a nice pile of cash regardless of the result… How?
They make their money from the difference between true odds and their set odds. I’ll show you this in an example as it should make it a lot easier to understand.
We’ll use that same example as above. Chelsea is playing at home against Manchester United. The odds may be represented as the true chance of each of the three outcomes occurring might be:
Chelsea at home: 2
Man United away: 6
Just a quick note here that the true chance is obviously not spot on correct. It can’t be because the outcome is not known. But what it represents is the closest odds to the event occurring.
Now let’s look at the relative probabilities for each outcome:
Chelsea at home: 50%
Man United away: 17%
I explain the maths behind odds in the next part of this guide.
If you add all the percentages together you will have a total of 100%. This represents a fair book. If bookmakers run fair books, they’re not making any money. Not too good for them I imagine.
If the bookmaker wants to make some money on this bet the odds will need to be reduced, to something like the following:
Chelsea at home: 1.8
Man United away: 5
We’ll take a look at the relative probabilities again for each outcome:
Chelsea at home: 56%
Man United away: 20%
Now by adding the percentages this time round we have a total of 112%
The amount that is over 100% is known as the overround and it represents the bookmaker’s potential profit if the proportion of bets has been successfully managed on all three outcomes.
Therefore using the bookmaker’s odds, if $112 is wagered in the correct proportion, only $100 will need to be paid out no matter what the results are in the example. How’s that possible?
Home win: A stake of $55.56 at odds of 1.8 returns $100
Draw: A stake of $37.71 at odds of 2.8 returns $99.99
Away win: A stake of $20 at odds of 5 returns $100
The total incoming amount of money (the stakes) totals $112 and the maximum payout to the winner comes to $100 irrespective of the result.
This leaves a profit to the bookmaker of $12 – this is a 10.7% profit on turnover (12 x 100/112)
The rise of Betting Exchanges
In the last decade a new way of betting has emerged. This way is called betting exchanges and leading the method and technology is Betfair.
In betting exchanges you are betting against other people in which you set your own odds. Betfair take a small commission from customers who win their bets. If you lose you pay no commissions.
Let’s take an AFL game where two teams are playing against each other. In the traditional bookmaker type betting you can bet on Team A winning, Team B winning or a draw.
Betting exchanges give you 5 ways to bet. You can bet in the same way as above, but now you can also bet against an outcome taking place.
An example is that Team A will NOT win. Here’s a table from a betting exchange where it shows all the ways to bet (odds represent betting options)
- Team A – Back
- Team A – Lay
- Team B – Back
- Team B – Lay
The bookmaker type of betting looks like this:
- Team A – Winner
- Team B – Winner
As you can see, betting exchanges make do without bookmakers. Usually in this way of odds are much lower.
Bookmakers or Betting Exchanges?
I recommend that you use both bookmakers and betting exchanges. They both have their own advantages.
You should open up multiple accounts at both agency types for the following reasons:
- To compare odds – odds are not the same – they can vary significantly from one betting agency to the other
- Betting agencies don’t like you winning all the time – If you consistently win, you may raise alarms. To stop this from happening, spread your bets across all your accounts
- Special promotions – Some promotions that come around are just too good to skip. I usually pounce onto any of these
Update: See our article Betting Exchange vs Bookmaker
What are Sports Betting Odds all about
This is part 5 of the Betbubbles Sports Betting Beginners Guide. On this page, you’ll learn what are odds, how to figure out probability and converting odds to and from European, UK and American
The odds given by bookmakers or set by people on betting exchanges, represents the probability of a certain outcome for that event occurring.
Outcomes for events are not only limited either winning or losing, for instance like a Tennis match. You can get three way outcomes as well – like in a Soccer match where you have win, lose or draw.
You also have events with a lot of different outcomes such as over 20 possible outcomes like in the case of Golf.
No matter what the sport is, the information contained below will help you make sense of odds and the probability that the bookmaker (or player) thinks about the outcome.
Odds are shown in different formats usually depending on the country you’re in. There are three different formats.
This is a really popular method of displaying odds in Europe, Australia and Canada. It’s also known as European odds or continental odds in the United Kingdom. Decimal odds show how much money is paid out from your stake.
Example: You have a $100 bet at odds of 1.5 for your favourite tennis player to win a game. If your guy comes out on top the profit and payout are as follows:
Profit is stake x (odds – 1) = $100 x (1.5 – 1) = $50
Payout is stake x odds = $100 x 1.5 = $150
You’ve probably seen this type of way to display odds if you’ve been to a horse racing track. This type of odds format is popular in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It can also be called British odds, UK odds or traditional odds.
Fractional odds show the net total that you will be paid out if you win.
Example: You have a $100 bet on odds of 1/2 for your favourite tennis player to win a game. If your guy comes out on top the profit and payout are as follows:
Profit is stake x odds = $100 x 1/2 = $50
Payout is stake x (odds + 1) = $100 x (1/2 +1) = $150
This is the one popular in America, which is way it’s often called the American odds. The representation of the odds can be either negative or positive.
If the odds shown are a positive number, it shows how much money can be won betting with $100. If the odds are negative it shows how much money needs to be wagered in order to win $100.
Example: You have a $100 bet on odds of -200 for your favourite tennis player to win a game. If your guy comes out on top the profit and payout are as follows:
Profit is stake x (100/odds) = $50
Payout is stake x (1 + 100/odds) = $150
Finding out the Probability through Odds
The odds determine how much profit you will make based on your initial bet (your stake). How about if you wanted to find out the probability of an event? You can use odds to figure this out.
What is the probability with odds of 1.5?
Probability = 100/odds = 100/1.5 = 66.66%
What is the probability with odds of 1/2?
Probability = denominator/(numerator + denominator) x 100 = 2/(1 + 2) x 100 = 66.66%
What is the probability with odds of 200?
Probability (%) = 100 – (100/(100/odds + 1)) = 100 – (100/(100/200 + 1)) = 33%
Here is a quick view of the different representation of the odds in different formats; from decimal to fractional to moneyline. You can see how it corresponds to each other by viewing it this way.
|Decimal||Fractional||Moneyline||Win% (toBreak Even)||Return(minus stake)|
Be sure to check out the tools section of the Betwiser website where you will find an odds conversion calculator… Trust me, it’ll make life easier to use it.
Tools of the Trade for Online Sports Betting
This is part 6 of the Betbubbles Sports Betting Beginners Guide. On this page, you’ll learn the tools that I use to get key information and to stay up to date with all the latest and critical news.
Hey nice work so far, you’ve learned about the history of sports betting (information that you probably never need, but entertaining nonetheless), by now you should know if you’re country accepts betting online, you probably even know the particular sport you want to bet on.
I’ve given you my recommendation for betting agencies and we’ve gone through understanding odds and turning them into probability percentages.
I’m glad to tell you that you’re almost done. There is just one more important piece to the puzzle.
This is one part that’s easy to get right so use it effectively if you really want to make some money online and, at the same time, enjoy watching sports more. This part is about tools.
I use a number of tools to help me get the edge when making decisions with my sports betting. These tools primarily provide me with key information or general knowledge that I need to know in order to make good betting decisions.
These tools will change the way you use the Internet should you accept to use them. It involves you visiting certain websites, joining forum conversations, creating alerts that get sent directly to you, or via RSS and a whole lot more. Let’s get into it.
Visiting sports websites as a daily practice
One of the best ways to get updated about what’s happening in your sport is by visiting sports websites. There are a number of key sites that I usually visit on a daily basis. These sites are:
This one might sound very obvious right? If I’m going to bet on soccer game I’d obviously read up about it by checking ESPN for example… you’d be surprised how many people don’t check out the news and just place a bet on gut feeling.
Of course depending on the type of sport you’re planning on becoming an expert in will determine the website you visit and the frequency of the visit as well.
If you follow a smaller niche sport, then it’s likely that you don’t need to be updated on a day-to-day basis – however if you follow something as big as Soccer, then you’ll need to visit daily.
Forums – The opinion of people
From my experience I have found forums to be a great resource. Many years ago I used forums as a place where I would ask a lot of questions.
Most times I had professional, friendly and sound advice – but there are times when there are idiots in these forums. That’s just the way it is.
Instead of asking questions in forums nowadays, I’m usually there to answer questions – but mostly there to have discussions in general about sports, such as Soccer and Formula 1.
I’m not going to list the forums that I usually visit because it’s probably of no use to you. You need to find a forum that’s on the subject you want. So if you want to follow Rugby Union try doing a Google search on “rugby union forum”
Two minds are often better than one. I’d recommend you find a forum that is specific for your sport, and get involved in conversations.
Use RSS – Big time saver
Have you heard about RSS? Hopefully you have and that you’re using it on a daily basis. If you’re not using it, quite simply you should be.
Who doesn’t want to save time and get the most out of all the content that’s written out on the Internet?
You use RSS by subscribing to a website’s feed using software such as Google Reader.
Whenever that website publishes new content, you will be informed on the Reader.
In this way you can add all your websites to the Reader and have a single place to check for updates.
Depending on the way the site has set up their feed you might be able to read the entire article from your Reader instead of going to the site.
Others will have little snippets of their articles – and to read the rest, you’ll need to click through to the website.
I explain how to use RSS feeds in a blog post that I created a while back. Check out How to Use RSS Feeds to Give You the Edge in Sports Betting for more information.
If you understand the concept of RSS feeds you’ll have no problem getting your head around Google Alerts.
In the same way that RSS subscriptions push updates to your Google Reader software, Google Alerts scans all web pages it has in its index and sends you updates based on keywords that you have set.
So if you want to be informed whenever there is a blog post created with the keyword “tim cahill” that Google has indexed, they will send you this either directly to your e-mail, or to your Google Reader.
I have created a blog post that guides you through using Google Alerts. If you want to find out more go to Google Alerts for Sport Punters.
Power Search with Google – My 11 Tips
There is a whole new way of how to use Google to search for things. Most people type in a specific keyword into the space provided and proceed to clicking on the Search button.
There is another way of using Google that will help you get better and accurate search results. I recommend checking out my blog post 11 Google Search Tips for Sports Betting for all the details.
Calculators and Excel spread sheets
The Tools section of the Betwiser website provides some valuable things that should help you out. There’s an Odds calculator for when you need to convert odds from one format to another.
Simply punch in the odd and you’ll see all the conversions for decimal, fractional and moneyline.
This calculator also works out your profit margin and the overround of the bookmaker. To find out more about overround check out the part 4 – Sports Betting Agencies to Use and Promotional Codes
Do not let Online Sports Betting Become a Problem for You
This is part 7 of the Betbubbles Sports Betting Beginners Guide. On this page, you’ll learn my golden rules for not becoming addicted to online sports betting, the reasons why people get addicted, the signs of addiction and help that you can call upon
I bet on sports for entertainment, to win money and to be more involved in the teams that I follow.
It’s a fact that gambling is an addiction for some people. It’s also a fact that since gambling has been introduced online, there has been an increase in the amount of people who have become addicted.
Obviously this is not a good thing, and I would not want this to happen to anyone who is considering taking up betting online on sports.
If you feel like you have an addictive personality, maybe this is not for you?
I have some specific rules that I follow with discipline. I do this so I don’t come to a point where I do have a problem becoming addicted to online sports betting.
My unbreakable golden rules
These 6 rules have become a habit for me now. I don’t need to consciously think about it because they have become internalised. My rules are:
- I never expect to win. I work out to the best of my abilities the outcome, place my bet and then I enjoy the show
- I never bet with money that I can’t afford to lose. I do this by setting myself a budget and a time frame to spend that budget.
- I always bet within my means. This even includes all those “sure bets” – I still bet within my means
- I don’t bet under pressure of any kind. If I feel that I’m rushed, or if I know that my judgement is clouded, I’ll not bet
- I never bet for the sake of betting. I’ve tried this before and it ain’t fun. These are the bets that can make you feel downright miserable
- I never bet under the influence of alcohol. If you drink or take any other substances, stay away from betting
By setting yourself strict rules to follow, like the points above, it will help you control your betting limits so that you can enjoy the process.
It’s fine if you don’t completely agree with my rules. After all, it’s just my rules. What I recommend you do is to write down some of your own that you will live by.
Whatever you write down, make sure it’s available to view in an easy location and that you actually follow it!
Why people bet on sports
There are many reasons why we gamble and it’s usually different from person to person. The list below contains the reasons why I think people gamble. If you can think of any others, please let me know in the comments section.
- For Entertainment sake
- For the excitement of the game
- To win money
- To get into social circles
- It helps you forget about your troubles
- It offers something to do
What are your reasons behind gambling? Is it one of the points listed above?
Signs that you might be addicted to sports betting
I found a good list from Wiki that lists symptoms to being addicted to gambling. If you have 5 or more of the follow list, you should seek help because it’s likely your gambling has taken a turn to the dark side.
- Preoccupation. The subject has frequent thoughts about gambling experiences, whether past, future, or fantasy.
- Tolerance. As with drug tolerance, the subject requires larger or more frequent wagers to experience the same “rush”.
- Withdrawal. Restlessness or irritability associated with attempts to cease or reduce gambling.
- Escape. The subject gambles to improve mood or escape problems.
- Chasing. The subject tries to win back gambling losses with more gambling.
- Lying. The subject tries to hide the extent of his or her gambling by lying to family, friends, or therapists.
- Loss of control. The person has unsuccessfully attempted to reduce gambling.
- Illegal acts. The person has broken the law in order to obtain gambling money or recover gambling losses. This may include acts of theft, embezzlement, fraud, or forgery.
- Risked significant relationship. The person gambles despite risking or losing a relationship, job, or other significant opportunity.
- Bailout. The person turns to family, friends, or another third party for financial assistance as a result of gambling.
Do you have 5 or more of the symptoms listed above? If so the below information should help you in finding suitable help.
Getting help with online sports betting
The government has taken a proactive approach to help people with their gambling addiction. If you feel the need to get support find the most convenient places from the below list.
- Gambling Help Online – https://gamblinghelp.org/
- Wesley Gambling Counselling Services – http://www.wesleymission.org.au/