Betting Experts Answer: Top 3 Most Common Betting Mistakes? | Part 2

Welcome to the 12th question in our series: “Betting Experts Answer The Industries Biggest Questions.”

No matter what level you are at in your betting, everyone was once a beginner, making really common mistakes. So to save you a bit of time in your learning curve, we asked 14 experts the question:

Q12: What are the top 3 mistakes people make when betting?

Check out Part 1 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of sports betting analyst - Joseph Buchdahl, pro gambler - Anthony Kaminskas, Tennis betting analyst - Dan Weston, Nenko from Church of Betting and odds compiler - Jeeve Jeyaratnam.

Check out Part 3 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of Football betting analyst, pro sports bettor - Danshan, Smart Sports Trader - Ryan Bruno & author - True Poker Joe.


  1. Not understanding what returns are reasonably achievable with different levels of time and effort.
  2. Not understanding their own psychology and attitude towards risk.
  3. Not understanding both previous points when trying to implement a coherent and consistently doable staking plan.

Check out Matthew’s podcast ‘Inside Betting’ here.


  1. Not being honest with oneself. Regardless of the reasons an individual chooses to bet on sports, step one of the process should always begin with what the goals are. I could not think of a greater mistake than gambling without knowing why you are doing so. This isn't even unique to sports betting. Not every person wants to bet for profit, as surprising as that might seem. If this was the case the biggest sporting events would not have the greatest handle time and time again. The thrill of having something on the line is a dopamine trigger and it is very potent. Self-assessment as to why you are placing each wager is necessary. For those who are not betting for fun and have the intention of earning long term, reflection is still needed - is it to test your skill from a predictive standpoint, to pay for a holiday, a side income, or perhaps you would like to pay yourself an annual salary. Even within each category of these there is a necessary set of goals within goals that should be broken down.
  2. Results oriented thinking. The simple way to look at this would be winning bet = good, losing bet = bad. Of course, I am not suggesting the opposite to be true, but rather all bettors should reflect on what results they use to analyse their bets. As a rough example, if I back a team because they have the best defence in the league and they win but allow twice their statistical average, or twice the league average against then was it a good bet? Or maybe you are trying to beat the market move as your indicator for long term profit. If you win the bet, but the line moved 3 points against you how would you assess the result?
  3. Correlation equals causation. I think the most pronounced example of this in the industry is the ambiguous and overused 'trends'. We have all seen them on social media or television in gross excess, and we will never be fully rid of them. Trends are the lazy man's approach to sports betting, but the funny thing is they'll work enough times to convince people they are valuable. The biggest concern is that the mass populace who use them don't understand why they appear, nor look behind the curtain to see what may have been happening in those games to cause them. It is frequently a superstition as though all things in the universe are bound beyond trends. There are certainly ways to land in trouble by attributing the wrong statistical evidence to results. This can have a domino effect in causing one to think that what they were doing in one month or season will translate to the next, or the playoffs.

For the social media aficionados, I've got a hashtag for you to keep close: #friendsdontletfriendsbettrends

Follow @Lockeqwerty on Twitter.


So many topics I could talk about here, but if I had to select just 3 mistakes, they would be the following:

  1. A failure to understand probability and chance. Perhaps the best thing you can do as an aspiring bettor is to acquaint yourselves with the laws of probability and chance, especially the kind of strike-rates you can expect to endure and enjoy during losing and winning runs.

I regularly refer people to the CD Systems website as their 'Don't Go Broke' table outlines the likelihood of the type of sequences that can kick in based on your strike-rate. For example, how many people who have a 50% strike-rate would believe that they could lose 11 in a row? Not many, but it's about a 25% chance to happen over a sequence of 600 bets.

Understanding sequences and probability is therefore hugely important and the mistake many punters make is a failure to educate themselves on this very easy to understand concept.

  1. Making rash short-term decisions. This next point is in relation to the tipster world, yet will probably apply to anyone with a winning system/strategy - that of quitting too soon and making rash, short-term decisions.

I could give 10 people the same profitable tipster to follow, yet if the strike-rate is low and say month 1 and 2 don't make a profit, then come month 3, maybe only 5 people will stick with it. Yet in month 3 the profits made more than dwarf any losses incurred in month's 1 and 2 and all looks rosy. Those who quit in month 1 and 2 never see any of this and their rash decisions, coupled with point (1) on not understanding strike-rate and probability cost them.

Ultimately this is the very simple difference that many punters fail to appreciate - they need to be patient with their betting and see the big picture at all times. Profits don't come in a straight line!

  1. Bad or inconsistent staking / Failure to use betting banks. Another major mistake is a complete failure to assign a betting bank and staking plan to any tipster/strategy you follow. There is a very simple reason so many winning bettors use them - they work!

I constantly bang the drum on this point, if your stalking is all over the place and based on your mood or recent wins/losses, it will ultimately cost you. I have seen punters with such a poor and inconsistent approach to staking that they have turned a winning tipster into a losing one.

Follow @SBCinfo on Twitter & check out the Smart Betting Club website here.


If we are talking about a new punter starting out on his journey, these are the simple mistakes they are making which stops them making a long-term profit.

  1. Not searching for the best odds.
  2. Not setting up a betting bank and figuring out how to stake.
  3. Not recording bets and looking at their results.

These all add a few seconds to each bet, and by taking these extra steps you will be ahead of 95% of other punters. Get these right and then you can move onto the more advanced stuff.

Follow @Day25 on Twitter & check out the Daily25 blog here.


I think the most important area to address that constantly arises is related to your bankroll and managing your money. Most gamblers have been in a position where they overbet a certain match or race, chase losses after a losing run to return to previous levels and allocating funds whilst impaired in some form (alcohol, a bad loss etc). Being able to be of sound body and mind whilst allocating your funds is critical so that decision making is as optimal as possible. This is why many talk about process being so important to long term success and that unless there is manual override or human error, the process and system of betting allows you to avoid mistakes. Avoiding manual override is not easy and takes ongoing discipline. If you can take care of your bankroll and limit mistakes in this area, the other mistakes can hopefully be absorbed a little easier than potentially going bankrupt.

Follow @BettingPod on Twitter & check out The Business of Betting Podcast here.

Check out Part 1 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of sports betting analyst - Joseph Buchdahl, pro gambler - Anthony Kaminskas, Tennis betting analyst - Dan Weston, Nenko from Church of Betting and odds compiler - Jeeve Jeyaratnam.

Check out Part 3 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of Football betting analyst, pro sports bettor - Danshan, Smart Sports Trader - Ryan Bruno & author - True Poker Joe.

Love getting the opinions from experts in the betting industry? Then subscribe to the Trademate Sports Podcast, where we interview the most important people in the sports betting industry.

Here are the other questions we have got our industry experts to answer so far:

  • Q1: Top 3 tips for betting beginners? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q2: How do you define “finding value” in betting markets? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q3: How do you determine whether your betting results are based on luck or skill? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q4: Kelly criterion or flat staking: Which stake sizing strategy do you consider to be the best and why? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q5: What is the best method to use to make money from sports betting? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q6: How difficult is it to beat the sports betting markets? How efficient are the odds? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q7: How to manage risk when betting? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q8: Is there a best sport to bet on? If so, what is it? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q9: Assuming you have an edge, at what point can you start accurately evaluating your results and say that variance has played out? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q10: What is the one thing you would like to see change in the gambling industry? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q11: How to overcome emotions in sports betting? Part 1 & Part 2.

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