Football betting is hugely popular all over the world as thousands of people try to turn their love of the beautiful game into a profitable pastime. Of course, you need more than enthusiasm if you want to become a successful sports gambler, but it can be done. In fact, whether you are new to sports betting or a seasoned gambler, brushing up on your skills is an important part of honing your craft. So what can you do to improve your skills?
Do your homework
If you’re new to football betting, one approach is to take advice from the experts. For example, you might consider looking at betting tips from Mr Green or another sports site. While that can be a good place to start, soon you will want to move on to doing your own research, and that means doing your homework. As in all walks of life, there is no substitute for hard work. If you’re betting on football, you need to know all about the teams in your chosen competition – what style of football they play, their key players, their overall ability, their injury problems. Information is power, and that certainly applies to the world of sports betting.
Learn to find the best odds
One of the fundamentals of sports betting is that the odds are everything. You may think that Manchester United are a sure thing to beat Stoke City, but at what price? Backing teams to win regardless of the price is a fast route to failure. In sports betting, just as in stock trading value – or the idea of backing a team at a price bigger than they should be – is an important concept. And to maximize your value, you need to get the best possible price on your bet. Punters who always bet with the same bookmaker are needlessly limiting their profit. Always take the time to shop around, just as you would if you were buying a car or a television, and take advantage of the many odds comparison sites online. If you always make it a habit to find the best possible odds, you will maximise your chances of profit.
How to find the best free bets online
Free bets are bonuses given to punters, usually when they sign up to a new bookmaker. Typically, the bookmaker will match your bet with an equal amount. So, for example, you may make a £10 bet on Arsenal to beat Chelsea, and the bookmaker will give you a ‘free’ £10 bet which you can use without risking any of your own money. If the free bet wins, you will receive the profits, though you won’t receive the original free bet stake.
There are usually terms and conditions attached to free bet offers and you will usually be required to turn over the profits from any winning free bet at least once before you withdraw the money, but free bets can be a useful addition to any sport bettors armoury. Odds comparison sites will often show details of the latest free bets offers from various bookmakers and it is a good idea to take a look at what they are offering in order to find the best free bets.
Manage your bankroll
Effective bankroll management is a vital part of sports betting. Too many punters lack a bankroll management plan and as a result, their staking is erratic; they veer between betting too much on risky bets to not betting enough on strong bets. Even if you are good at spotting good bets, poor bankroll management can mean you make a loss rather than a profit.
The particular bankroll management approach you adopt depends on your betting style. The simplest method is level staking. With level staking, you bet the same amount – usually a percentage of your bankroll – on every bet. This is a solid, safe option, particularly for those just starting out, or with small bankrolls. More advanced punters sometimes use variable methods such as the Kelly system – betting a variable percentage of their bankroll according to how much of an edge they think they have on each bet. But whether you choose a fixed or a variable method, having a bankroll strategy will make you a more consistent punter.
Betting on sport is a competitive way of life and if you’re going to make a success of it, you have to work hard to develop your skills. Making sure you do your homework will give you the edge when you’re up against bookmakers and other punters and a solid bankroll management method will help you to be consistent in your approach. If you also take the time to find the best price on every bet and take advantage of free bets when they are available, you will be well on your way to making a success of your sports betting.