When it comes to successful gambling – psychology and self-discipline are everything.
All types of betting are, to some extent, motivated by “fashion” and this probably applies to football more than any other form of betting. Football is, after all, the world’s most popular sport with an unbelievable amount of attention devoted to it.
This is great news for the shrewd gambler as it offers the value seeker some wonderful opportunities. Manchester City are “bound” to win game X etc…
Most of us are victim to fashion of some form or another at some time in our lives. The trick is to try and ignore it. Leave your prejudices, personal favouritism, irrational likes and dislikes, and emotions to one side and concentrate only on the cold, hard facts – let the stats be your guide in other words.
In football, as in many other walks of life, people are attracted by past successes and are inclined to believe it will continue. People are also fundamentally optimistic by nature. But value bets are easy to identify once you’ve developed the knack. The trouble is that Saturday comes and after your financial success of last week, you’re dying to put the principles into practice again to trouser yet another gain.
But this week, there don’t seem to be any screaming bargains. So what do you do? Well, it’s easy to think “I’d leave it until a suitable opportunity arose at some subsequent date.” The problem is, though, that most people simply cannot achieve this in practice. Most of us would have a bet for its own sake due to our irrational optimism. This is the gambler’s trap and it has no place in a value betting strategy.
The only way around this biggest of all potential pitfalls is to establish your own value betting criteria and stick to them rigidly – never making a single variation for any reason whatsoever. This is easier said than done.
Remember that betting isn’t always “gambling” if the balance of probabilities is continually weighted in your favour. Many people who wouldn’t bet on anything other than a pound or two on the Grand National – because they don’t see themselves as gamblers – do have their life savings tied up in pension schemes, shares or property. This is because the balance of probabilities is in their favour.
But if you really study a sport like football and ignore the vagaries of fashion, you can win out over time. The problem is that we will always get a few wrong. It’s all about finding value. So let’s say you think that a team at 3-1 is too good value. Then that team would only need to win one out of four games for you to break even. Anything else is a profit – and a handsome one at that. Let us presume that your selected team played each year for four seasons running and all the factors influencing the game and the odds available were identical each time. You have £1 each time. Simply put if your selected team won two of the four games you would be in a profit of £4 – representing a 100% gain. With three wins out of four, we would be looking at a 200% profit and so on. A series of single bets like this minimises the downside risk for the patient and system-based gambler. But you have to develop a detailed knowledge of the game first – and stick to your own self-discipline.