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Common Sports Betting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Common Sports Betting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Sports betting online is great fun but there are certain mistakes that people tend to make which can easily be avoided. Here we look at what those mistakes are and give advice on how not to make them.

We want everyone to be responsible and intelligent about their gambling and sports betting. Here at Gambling Metropolis we really care about our community, so whether you place the occasional bet or are a regular this article is for you.

Betting under the influence of alcohol

We start with this classic mistake. Of course, having a drink whilst betting doesn’t have to be a problem; but it’s when the alcohol starts to cloud your reason that issues can arise.

The thing about betting is that you have to use your brain. Making sensible decisions is the name of the game—picking those canny choices. Throw in alcohol and the whole idea of intelligent decision making really goes out the window!

Chasing a loss

“Chasing a loss” is the phrase that refers to something that’s very natural for us all—trying to win back the money that you’ve just lost. Put bluntly, it’s a really bad idea.

We don’t want to patronise, but chasing a loss is not an intelligent way to bet. It’s an instinct, like stubbing your toe on something, feeling a surge of anger and hurling it against the wall! It’s very much human nature to try and redress the balance in this way. The fact is that chasing a loss in betting is as foolish as seeking revenge when you’ve stubbed your toe. Your frustration doesn’t make your thinking better and it’s likely to provoke some bad decisions. If you lose on a big bet or find yourself on a losing streak, walk away and cool off before making any more bets.

Not keeping a record of your sports betting

Keeping a record of what you’ve bet is a great idea. It doesn’t have to be a state-of-the-art database or anything too sophisticated; a simple list in a notebook will do the job. When you don’t keep a record you’re in a much more vague position about all your betting activity.

You see, it’s not just about memory; true, some of us can remember and quickly recall a very impressive quantity of fact and figures. It’s about being able to map out your money—what’s coming in and going out—and being able to see it all in a straight-forward way. This allows you to be sensible about your cash. Speaking of which…

Betting too much money

This is an obvious point but it’s worth making—one of the most common mistakes people make is that they bet too much money.

It’s very easily done and the whole activity of sports betting tempts you into doing this. When you win, your body and brain both respond in a positive way. You feel great and you get excited about the cash. You think you’ll do it again. Then you lose and keep going, spending more than you really should.

The best way to handle this is to think in terms of a bankroll. Your bankroll is another term for your budget. In fact, the term refers literally to your roll of bank notes. Before betting, set a budget for yourself. It could be £5, £50 or £500; the value won’t be the same for everyone because it’s relative to what you can afford to spend. Think of your betting as a hobby—a part of your life, just like food shopping or gym membership: you spend a set amount and do not exceed it, regardless of how much you win or lose during a given session.

Being too emotional when you’re betting

Don’t bet on the basis of emotion, always use your head not your heart.

It’s easy to get carried away when you’re losing. We spoke about chasing a loss above. It’s equally easy to get carried away when you’re winning. Even during a fairly average session, emotion can get the better of us all and make us do things that aren’t too sensible such as betting on impulse.

Supporting your team no matter what

Loyalty is admirable, but be careful when it comes to your betting. It’s great to stick with your team when they’re having a bad run—that’s what being a real supporter is all about—but that doesn’t mean that you need to lose money on them!

If your team’s recent form clearly indicates that they aren’t likely to perform well then, it’s best not to risk money on them. Just because you want them to win and believe in their potential, it doesn’t mean you should make foolhardy bets.

Using unreliable betting websites

It’s easy to fall foul of this one. These days, sad though it is to admit, the web is full of scammers and tricksters. Here at Gambling Metropolis, we recommend reliable betting sites and trustworthy sportsbooks which are run by principled professionals. Sticking with us means that you can bet in complete confidence. You won’t have to fret about your bank details being misused or about being ripped off at any point.

Betting with unrealistic expectations

This is another classic mistake that we all make, not just the newbies. Even experienced betters will sometimes let their dreams overtake them. Yes, you can win big when you bet on sports online. That’s a great part of the appeal, after all. However, you’re not always going to win big, and sometimes you’re not going to win at all. By all means, be optimistic; but make sure you’re being realistic too.

Putting too much trust in tips

Now, this is a tricky one because tips can be very useful and you have to make a personal judgement on the reliability of your source. Even well-established pundits can get it wrong. Much as we’d like to, we can’t give you any hard and fast rules here. The point is to remember to engage your brain each and every time and to never put blind faith in tips, no matter who they come from.

Jumping on recent trends

Sports betting trends come and go. Just because everyone seems to be doing something it doesn’t mean that you should too. It could be that everyone is supporting a particular team all of a sudden, or backing a certain horse; or, it might be that a particular sports betting system is suddenly in vogue. Judge each trend on its merits and don’t just follow the pack!

Betting on sports you don’t know anything about

Don’t bet large amounts of money on mystery sports. A small bet on, say, a new e-sport or a niche game is one thing and can be a lot of fun; however, a sizeable investment in something you really don’t know about is never a good plan. If you want to get into betting on a new sport because you’re fed up of your regular choices, learn a bit about the game first and then put some money in.


OK, so now you know the common sports betting mistakes you should, hopefully, be able to enjoy your betting without making a single one of them! Of course, it’s inevitable that we all do make mistakes every now and then. Trying to learn from our mistakes and trying not to repeat them is what counts.

If you found this guide helpful, remember that there are lots of other handy guides on the site and they’re all completely free.


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