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Chasing Losses
How it happens
The betting plan does worse than you imagined one week, so you think OK, I’ll just ignore it and carry on. The bad form then spills over into another weekend – next time you raise the stakes to try and get back to break-even. If this doesn’t work then maybe you get impatient, betting on outside chances to try and top-up the wins you’re expecting. Already the plan has started to wobble – you’ve lost discipline and broken any staking system that might have been in place. If these makeshift solutions don’t work then before you know it you’re heading towards Martingale territory – a very distant place from where you originally wanted to be.

The psychology

It’s human nature to act like that – resenting the losses when they occur and taking it personally. Everyone gets impatient for the big gains, but as ever, these need hard work and investment. Additionally, the bigger buzz experienced from backing (and winning) long odds punts can cloud your judgement – but try and distinguish your organised football betting from casual random roulette-style punting.

 

How to avoid it
Betting Discipline

Devise a staking plan and use a spreadsheet to keep control your weekly bets. If someone’s just purely looking for excitement from betting then it’s more than likely that the discipline needed will be missing and this is a barrier to long term profits. Stick to the plan – if the plan needs changing then do it ‘offline’ and not as a knee jerk reaction to a bad result. If the discipline remains intact then there’s a foundation in place for sustainable and profitable betting.

Be Objective

Separate the support of a team from the even-handed analysis that you’ll need to prosper. Trends come and go so be prepared to act pragmatically. So-called ‘dead certs’ and other received wisdom classics should always be treated with caution. Try to make your own assessment before looking at other betting information sources as they could ‘anchor’ your expectations.

Long term mentality

In the short term there can be a lot of ‘noise’; single match results appear to be really significant but when you look at a trend over a month or a whole season, the noise fades away and the big picture becomes clear. Individual matches should be examined but the whole week’s work needs to be taken into consideration. Week after week, the results from a plan with long term success in mind will start to edge further into positive territory.
A 10% profit on stakes might not initially seem much for a weekend’s betting, but if this is sustained week after week then the returns will soon start to mount up, eclipsing the inconsistent wins made from short term punting.

Losses as Lessons

Even within the best managed long term betting history, losses will still occur. Losses are inevitable – sometimes they’ll occur in a streak, and if the results were flukes then they can be written off as bad luck. However, if you lost a bet and were way off the mark, then there is probably some fine-tuning to be done on your research and choice of bet. Read more on this in the article on bet management. If a positive lesson can be taken from this then the initial loss can be seen as paying for a gambling lesson.

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