When a man wants to have a fun, he has a plenty of choices. One of them is going to Vegas, to play some poker or try luck in roulette. In case, that Vegas is too far to away, he can choose sports betting online. However, it is good to have some basic knowledge before placing your first bet. Nobody wants to lose and therefore it is good to read some sports betting book before.
The basic question is clear “Is it possible to be profitable in betting in long term?”. The answer, unfortunately, is not as clear as we would like. I tried to find the best sports betting book for you. The book which will provide all answers to every question you could have. Not just the one about the profitability, but also questions about how odds are compiled, how bookmakers earn their profits, what are the most common mistakes of punters and much more.
My choice – The Betting Industry: Who makes the most money and how
Here is the excerpt from a book from Simon Kostrava The Betting Industry. With courtesy of the author, we publish one chapter from his book.
10. The psychology of the bettor
Probably the most important part of the betting game is your mental state, aka the psychology of the bettor. We know all about the goal of the bookmaker. As in every other business, the bookmaker wants to make a profit with the smallest possible risk. This is because the booking industry is working in a field where the outcome of events is unknown. So, bear this in mind every time you are betting. The bookmaker is not there to let you win and make you rich. Every action and every promotion by the bookmaker are all because he wants a bigger profit and less risk. Free bets are not offered because the bookmaker wants you to be rich; the only thing bookmaker wants is your money as therein lies his profit.
Now that we know what the bookmaker wants, we can turn our attention to you, the bettor. What is the driver that makes you visit a betting shop or log onto a betting website? Generally, there are two basic drivers. One is to have fun, the second is to earn money.
Both of these drivers are used by bookmakers when attracting newcomers. Generally, there are two types of advertising.
One is about fun, that is, to have fun watching a sports match and have even more fun by betting on that match. In the process, you will be really attracted by the game. Every bettor tries it at least once. Remember those times when you were bored and watching a not very important match between two teams you either disliked or were indifferent towards. If you want to be excited by such a match, there is no better way than betting on it. Whether you bet on a winner, or the number of goals or cards in that match, your feelings and attention will dramatically change. You will follow the match more closely, you will take sides, you will feel you are taking part in that match. There is no better way to be drawn into the game. And if you win your bet at the end, then the probability you will repeat it during one of the boring afternoons is pretty high. There lies the motivation for bookmakers to point out the fun you can have when offering you a free bet. They need you to register and have fun. They want you to think that Sunday afternoons can be fun, not boring, as they were before you started to bet.
The second motivation regarding bettors is profit. They want you to win, they want you to have more money and they want you to change the life you have. But this is where bookmakers start to differentiate. If you are strict, have a strategy and a strong will, and keep to the rules you write for yourself, it will be hard for any bookmaker to earn a lot of money from you.
But, if you are in despair and you need a win to change your life, then bookmakers will focus on you. If you are not thinking rationally because you are under stress, if you do not have your own strict strategy that you keep to, then, sooner or later (depending on the amount you put in), you will probably end up without your money.
We will now devote our time to people who usually lose their money on bets. We will describe the typical mistakes they make and the patterns they usually follow. The successful ones are covered in Chapter 13, which looks at the rules and advice you need to follow to be a long-term winner. However, to be a winner means that you must avoid the mistakes of losers. So it is very important that you finish this chapter if you want to know what you should avoid.
The usual pattern of a recreational or occasional bettor is as follow. You bet for fun and you want to win a little bit. You bet until you start winning and have the time to do it. Once you start losing money, if your life is in balance, you will probably stop betting regularly.
When you only bet occasionally, you will probably not carry out intense research into the match you are betting on. You want to have a bit of fun, so you watch the match, have a feeling about the result and bet. Your chance of winning is not slim; statistically, it is 50%. If you win, you will go on betting. When the odds are against you, do not forget that there is margin there, meaning that, in the long term, you will lose money. Probably not a big amount, just a small one, but it will still be a loss. And, to repeat: bookmakers want customers who will spend often and lose a lot of small amounts.
There is the reason why bookmakers target your desire to have fun and give you the feeling that you are earning something extra. This is where all the free bets and deposits come in. They want bettors to have the feeling that they are winning, even when they are actually losing.
As a matter of fact, betting companies know that only a small number of people will draw down their winnings immediately after they win. Usually, people leave their money on their account, with their winnings increasing their thirst for another win. That is the reason why you cannot withdraw your “we match your deposit” mo
ney immediately after you receive it. Bookmakers usually have statistical models and exact numbers to help them know how long it takes for a newcomer to lose his deposit. Hence the condition, “you have to bet at least five times with the free deposit amount in the following months”. They know that the probability to win is continually very low and they also put the bettor under time-related stress, so they are forced to bet. He will also bet on events he would not normally bet on if the clock wasn’t ticking. If a bookmaker adds the condition of a threshold regarding minimum odds, here is your chance for fair play. The higher the odds, the smaller the probability of your win. If you recalculate all the conditions set out in any promotion to hard probability numbers, you will see that your chance of going home with some money is pretty small.
You have to know that anything a bookmaker does is done under two assumptions. The first is that, if you are winning, you will continue to bet in order to exploit your luck and increase your winnings. The second is that, if you start losing, you will likely cover your losses with future wins. You will continue in the hope that, once you win, you can make up for everything you lost before.
And now we come to the basic mistake of bettors.
If I am losing, that is just bad luck, but it has to change eventually. That is not true; it is not bad luck, it is your bad decisions about the odds and probabilities against you. In the long term, if you were to bet on every single event offered by the bookmaker, then the margin regarding the odds will ensure that you lose. That magical 4 to 7% that bookmakers have in their odds as a margin will decide.
However, the average bettor will never realize that he just bets, while blaming his loss on that one goal or that one bad decision of the referee. Then, at the point where he suddenly wins, he feels that the tide is turning and now it’s his time. He increases his bets; indeed, he starts to choose more and more bets. And, from a statistical point of view, it is just a matter of time before he loses all his former winnings.
Even if statistics can lie, probability never will. You can have luck once, but you cannot have luck forever. Then comes the magic of probability, where you do not have a chance against the odds of bookmakers where a small margin is involved.
I know that, psychologically, it is very hard to stop. That is the reason why the number of people addicted to gambling continues to rise. It all starts with boredom and finishes with financial catastrophe.
The End of the chapter 10 of my choice of the best sports betting book.
|Name||The Betting Industry|
|Would I buy this book again?||DEFINITELY YES|
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