Getting started with sports betting

Although it seems lucrative to make money from sports betting, this could be a dangerous activity for your psychological wellbeing and financial situation. Before you start putting money on sports events, there are a couple of things you must know about.

My advice at first would be that you either start playing with small sums or you join some tipster competitions where you do not take on any financial risks.

Furthermore, there are a lot of fantastic betting communities where you can acquire betting knowledge from the very best in the business! If with time your smart bet calculator shows that things are going well, you may then decide to invest more money.

1. Novices tend to make the same mistakes

More than 90% of bettors lose money in the long-run, and a recent report showed that UK bettors are losing around £1.5bn per annum on sports betting alone.

If you are betting “just for fun” – watch out! The possibility of winning some money while watching a fast-paced sport event with friends is too appealing and not many people can resist the temptation to bet. The truth is, most humans place a lot of emotions when gambling, due to the adrenaline rush they get from it, and that clouds their judgment.

Therefore, if you are a beginner, it is quite likely that you will fall for the cool advertisements the bookmakers are baiting you with. Another frequent occurrence in novices is that they get overconfident when they hit a few winners, especially accumulators! You need a lot of patience and have to cultivate the ability to deal with losing runs if you want to make betting something to get solid funds from consistently.

Another remarkable trend is that new bettors tend to back the favourites. However, the bookmakers have realised that while ago and therefore usually would push prices down for the favourites and hence cut punters’ potential winnings.

Most amateurs also do not designate a specific betting bankroll and keep on depositing money and thus losing more than they realise. It is imperative that you manage your betting bankroll and you should ideally use a sophisticated betting tracker. Such a smart tool would truly enable you to realise when “the fun” is turning into financial losses which you cannot bear any longer.

2. Do not bet if you do not know what is VALUE BETTING

If I have to recommend you to implement one thing when staking money on sport events, that would ABSOLUTELY BE VALUE BETTING!

Betting on sports is a class of investments, and you have to approach it as such if you are serious about increasing your betting bankroll. If you implement Value Betting, you will only put money if you believe the bookmakers have their odds wrong. Naturally, better judgments can be made if more factors are taken into consideration when using your bet calculator to assess risk.

As a rule of thumb, if the odds on the bet you have placed are dropping, then that is a sign that bookmakers are “admitting their mistake” and hence you have taken of nice odds.

3. Familiarise yourself with the basics

There are a few other concepts you have to be aware of. I have briefly summarised them here, but you can read more about them in other articles on our website:

  • Bet Tracker – a very useful tool for both novices and professionals it enables them to identify patterns and take the most advantage of value betting.
  • Margins – this is what bookmakers charge you for using their platform. You will never see odds of 2.00 for Chelsea to win and 2.00 for Chelsea not to win at the same bookmaker – the odds would likely be 1.83 and 1.95)
  • Arbitraging – betting on two opposite outcomes, in different bookmakers, with guaranteed profit (e.g. betting on Chelsea to win at Unibet at odds of 2.01 and Chelsea not to win at bet365 at odds of 2.03)
  • Cashout – an option which has been growing in popularity in recent years. If you have made a wager on a game, you can close the bet and get some money without having to wait until the final whistle. Although that may seem cool, the reality is that you can get more money if you simply bet in another bookmaker.
  • Kelly Criterion – one of the most sophisticated tools for smart bankroll management. However, to fully utilise its potential, you should also use a betting tracker.
  • Asian handicap – a rewarding betting option that can get you a bit more money.
  • Tipster – a person who is providing advisory services on sport events. You should be critically and analytically selective when you choose to invest in subscriptions for such type of consulting. Even if the tipster is profitable, you should still implement some strategies to follow him/her successfully and make good money.
  • Accumulator/Parlay/Combo – a lucrative option that allows you to combine several betting options across many games and thus boost odds. However, although you can see various stories about people winning millions, I personally do not know any professional investors that use such options.
  • IBAS – The Independent Betting Adjudication Service. If you experience an issue with a bookmaker, you should consider getting in touch with this organisation (If you are a non-UK citizen – check your local legislation for a similar government body!).

4. You need more than one bookmaker to make money

The obvious reason for that is – you will get some great sign-up offers which is one of the ways to make money from betting.

The other argument, which is more important in the long-run, is that you will get access to a lot of different odds providers and truly take advantage of value betting! Fortunately, there are a lot of firms that would enable you to compare odds across different bookmakers for free – thus saving you a lot of hassle.

5. Bookmakers are not playing fair

I have written a whole article about bookmakers. It is essential for you to know that withdrawal issues, incorrect bet settlement and account closure can occur to anyone and you must know how to react!

6. There are a lot of scammers in the industry

The betting industry is nowadays rapidly moving into online platforms. Therefore, relying on someone just by looking at his Facebook profile… is not too much to judge on!

Here are some common frauds you have to stay alert for.

  • People selling “Fixed” games with absurd odds. It highly appeals to people that there is a game out there with pre-determined outcome and odds of 30.00! If you bet 1000 GBP on it and all goes according to plan, you can stop working!

If someone has knowledge of a fixed game (not an unusual occurrence, especially in countries such as Singapore and Albania), it is highly unlikely that this person will go around and shout all around social media about that and sell such information for 20 EUR.

  • People offering you to send you a game with the condition that you pay “after the match has finished”. Although that seems more legitimate, from my experience it is merely a slightly more sophisticated scam. Essentially, if two people message that fraudster to obtain the precious prediction, he will send the first person the pick Team A to win and to the second person – Team A not to win. Therefore, at least one of the clients will be happy and can send money for more (poor) forecasts.
  • Unverified track record of tipsters’. That is not necessarily a scam. However, in my perspective, an advisor has to show a strong, third-party verified betting history before you can start trusting him with your own funds and paying that individual a subscription fee. The quality of this person’s previews and the depth of their betting analytics is paramount but the Return on Investment they are generating and the volume of picks they have produced are an even more salient measure of success!
  • People selling “Premium Picks” on games from top leagues with superficial analysis. Well, you can surely do better by reading the Sky Sports website!
  • Inconsistent staking system from tipsters: This is hard to spot initially and you should firstly read about why tipsters use units. However, some advisors would use staking with 10 units at the beginning, and if they are successful would start sending predictions with 1-2 units. Thus, you would see an impressive return on investment over a large volume of picks and be tricked into investing in a fraudster with no real talent… You have to properly track your tipsters to identify such a scam!

7. You may have to pay money to your government

Although gambling is tax-free for the bettors in the UK, in countries like Germany, punters have to pay taxes for profits. Check your local legislation to avoid huge fines.

About the author:

Nikola is a highly renowned professional tipster with 4 years of experience in the industry. You can contact him at: [email protected]


Please note that any previews, recommendations or information available on the website is just with informative purpose. All betting activities do involve risk, please bet with funds that you can afford to lose. cannot be held responsible for any gains or losses occurred as a consequence of information found on the website!

This site uses cookies to enhance user experience.