It’s often said that there are two types of bettors in the world: There are those casual punters who are just happy to have the occasional wager and if they win that’s great but if their bets lose then they just shrug and move on to the next game.
Most players fall into that category of a social punter who just likes to discuss betting with their mates in the bar at the weekend but there aren’t too many concerns if they make a profit or not.
In the second category are those who treat sports betting like a business with a view to making consistent returns over a long period of time. To make professional gambling a full-time job takes dedication and an unwavering will to succeed but above all, it has to be taken as seriously as any full-time job.
Crossing the line from hobby to profession isn’t for everyone but follow some basic rules and it is perfectly possible to make a very good living from the world of sports betting.
Have You Got What It Takes?
Nobody would start a company without proper research and organisation otherwise it would be doomed to fail before it even starts trading so why would anyone treat professional betting with the same weak attitude?
Proper preparation is required before starting out and painstaking attention to detail is needed for anyone to succeed on a short or long-term basis. If you’re even wondering about how to treat sports betting like a business, please read on and take in some of the qualities that are needed for success.
#1 Get Organised
There are literally hundreds of online sports betting apps and sites and while professional gamblers have their favourites, it is helpful to have as many accounts as possible. One of the reasons for this lies with arb betting – a process where two different bookmakers set odds for an event in such a way that there is the potential to stake in a certain manner and guarantee a profit no matter who wins.
The point here is that many of the bookmakers involved are less well known so an arb bettor could have hundreds of signups to their name. That can, however, lead to confusion.
Remembering so many passwords and usernames can be a nightmare but if you’re going to treat betting like a business, you don’t want to waste time in resetting logins every time you forget your details. No-one is going to recommend that you write those details down so the first thing to do is read up on professional password storage. There are many options available and a quick online search will outline the benefits of each one.
That organisation also extends to keeping a track of each bet made and the corresponding result. There are software packages available that can do this while the less technically challenged can record and do their sums using basic spreadsheets.
These may seem like quite basic tips but without proper organisation, it will be impossible to treat sports betting like a business and your leap into professional gambling will be destined to fail.
#2 In the Bank
Having taken care of basics, it’s time to move on to advanced techniques and we start with the finances. This involves the size of your bankroll and this will be determined by how much you need or want to make. Once a sum has been decided, strict rules need to be applied in terms of how much you can bet on individual stakes.
Those rules must be adhered to and temptation to chase losses must be resisted. Chasing losing bets is a common pitfall for the amateur punter and this isn’t how to treat sports betting like a business so set those staking limits and don’t go over them under any circumstances.
Once that’s understood and those numbers have been determined, it’s time to talk about value.
#3 Picking out the Glitches
Even professional gamblers will admit that there is no such thing as a sure-fire system and anyone who suggests otherwise is wrong. For them, it’s all about mathematical probability and that can either come from trading, matched betting or finding value in the markets.
Matched betting involves picking up free bets, usually sign up offers from around the sportsbooks and then using a back and lay system with the help of the exchanges to return a profit. If you do your sums right, those profits should be guaranteed but matched betting can be finite and not much use as a long-term strategy for those who want to treat sports betting like a business.
Many bettors start out believing that they can make a living by picking out winners but this is the wrong approach because quite simply, no-one is going to be right all of the time. Even a high percentage of wins is unlikely because the bookmakers have everything in their favour and they will always win out in the long term.
The answer for those who successfully treat sports betting like a business is to find value in the markets. This is a little hard to define but essentially, it involves exploiting frequent glitches in the system where the probability of an outcome landing is higher than the odds suggest. In short, the bookies will have undervalued a certain bet and got the price wrong.
By concentrating solely on this aspect, many punters find continued instances where value occurs and over time, they successfully turn their betting strategy into a profitable business. It all comes back to the notion of mathematical probability and that’s one of the biggest keys to success.
The example that is always used is a coin toss: Many bookmakers have markets in sports such as cricket where a coin is tossed in order to make a certain decision at the start of a game. In theory, the odds of either heads or tails landing is 50/50 and where a bookmaker does offer prices, both outcomes tend to be listed at the same decimal price of 1.91.
However, what if a bookie was offering 60/40 on either heads or tails to land? The odds suddenly have value and this is where a profit can be made. While it may be unlikely that unbalanced odds will actually be provided for a coin toss market, there are many examples where the probability of an outcome coming in is higher than the prices suggest. The best advice that can be given is to research this in more detail because for many, this is the essence of professional betting.
#4 Join the Gang
It’s also recommended that would-be professional gamblers should start to get involved with the community. Rather than hide in the shadows, many pros are very open about what they do and are happy to share advice on one of the many betting forums that can be found online.
It’s all about accumulating as much information as you can but be sure to avoid those sites that are set up just to sell tips. They are there to treat sports betting like a business but they have a slightly different approach because they get their funds from subscribers. There are plenty of blogs and also books that are available either for free or for a nominal one off fee which can help in earning the type of long-term profits that turn betting from a hobby into a business.
#5 Dedication’s What you Need
Throughout this guide we’ve given you the basic tools and advice needed that teach you how to treat sports betting like a business but the best quality you will ever require is fanatical dedication and an unbending will to make this a success.
The key word here is business: for many players, sports betting is no more than a hobby but for those that cross the line, there are many potential pitfalls along the way. Some punters think they can simply use their own judgement to call a series of winning bets and while we all like to think of ourselves as top sports analysts, no-one is going to make a living in this way.
Similarly, a strategy that involves following tipsters isn’t going to work for the same reasons. By all means look to follow those who have a good track record but ultimately, as we have mentioned throughout this guide, it’s all about finding areas where mathematical probability beat the odds and turn them in your favour.
Remember too to treat betting like you would any other business: That involves being organised and keeping proper records of your bets and the returns / losses that come back to you when the stakes are settled. Prepare properly, take a business-like approach and you have the basic tools needed to succeed.
The rest is down to knowledge and skill: Remember, it’s all about mathematical probability and luck doesn’t come into the equation so treat sports betting like a business, be single minded and dedicated and you can make a very lucrative living.