Be realistic with your sports betting bankroll

Nov 21, 2017 3:00 AM

Sports betting is one of the easier gaming hobbies to get into. It can even start out to be fun and exciting when leading off with a winning streak.

Let’s face it, for anyone reading this publication, when you’re not gambling, you might believe life is very dull and boring. Betting sports can easily fill the void for people who need action every day. And winning a close game in the closing seconds can create a feeling of euphoria.

For the ones who want to get more serious about betting sports, and treat it as a business, like I always say, I would not even watch the games. This way you can separate the emotions involved in betting sports. This decision to bet sports year after year requires the same mindset as maintaining a business. So, it’s important first to do an honest evaluation of yourself and identify if you can really handle all the swings in betting sports.

Just like banks now do periodic stress tests to ensure they can withstand the worst of times, every sports bettor should also have one to ensure their bankroll can withstand severe losing streaks.

Also important is writing out a business plan with a set of rules. Have an adequate bankroll and never over-bet or chase losses. The secret to longevity in this business is to know the betting threshold you can handle that wouldn’t get you rattled.

For example, losing six bets in a row at $100 each would not steer you to start breaking your rules and chasing to quickly get back to even. However, if you were betting $175 a shot, now you are down $1,050 after losing six in a row. The feeling of being down over a $1,000 may be over your loss threshold, which can lead to irrational behavior; and now you start chasing bets, which in the end will always lead to ruin.

One of the dangerous things I do not like about sports betting for newbies is it is easy to be a closet gambler – especially as compared to other forms of gambling. If you gamble on many things in a casino you have some kind of interaction with an employee, gaming personnel or fellow gamblers around a table. But when you bet sports, a writer punches your ticket and you go back to your seat.

You can lose and, for the most part, nobody knows about it. That can lead to over-betting your next ticket because there is no one overseeing your wagers and human nature says try to recoup earlier losses.

Whereas at a table you may experience a sense of embarrassment because you keep taking out all the money you have left in your pockets and playing with it. So it’s important to know your risk tolerance. The goal is to be “in the game” for the long term.

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