Demystifying Betting Myths
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The Gambler’s Worst Enemy: Emotions!

Instructions on How NOT to Bankrupt Yourself!

When you’ve spent many hours calculating a statistically sound betting system, you must remember at all times that in order to execute the plan, you have to stick to it, no matter how uncomfortable you feel.

There is always a tendency to think, ‘Oh, I’m throwing money away on that bet’, which stops you from placing it and ends up scuppering your system when it wins.

Ideally, you must become totally unemotional about your play or, at least be in a position where you can control emotions to the stage where they don’t cost you money or lost opportunities.

It’s always better not to get hung up betting on a team you follow or support. It is also not a bad idea to bet in leagues where you have no emotional attachment at all. If you’re a big Premier League fan, then it may be an idea to skip betting on the matches and concentrate your efforts on leagues where you have less perception.

Train to Succeed!

Florian had done all the hard work. The filtering, the number crunching, and the preparation to succeed.

See it like this. You are trained to enter a battlefield and kill the enemy and avoid getting killed yourself. It’s drilled into you. You have prepared well. You have all the equipment you need. You are the perfect fighting machine. All you have to do is carry out the job.

But it’s uncomfortably quiet across no-mans-land and you’re not winning many battles. You poke your head above the parapet to find out what’s going on. It gets shot off before you even know it – you disobeyed the rules of engagement.

The analogy here is why would you take such risks with your money? Because it’s only your bank balance and pride that are at stake, not your life? If you think like this then you really should think twice about gambling.

Diversify! Play Portfolios!

If you only operate a single ‘biased’ strategy, such as our Hamburg example above, then there are usually a couple of weeks between qualifying bets. If you lose a bet, it is always a long wait for the next, and if you hit a losing streak, it can be psychologically very challenging.

With multiple systems in place, the time between each bet is reduced and it is easier to keep emotions in check knowing the next opportunities are imminent.

And Watch Out For Your Enemies!

Punter’s enemy #1: Inadequate Preparation and a lack of knowledge about what you are doing!

Without question, preparation is the most time consuming part of the exercise, indeed, of any job, and therefore justifiably fills our number 1 spot!

Those who flunked school for whatever reason need not be surprised if only low-paying jobs are on offer in later life.

Of course there is always the exception that proves the rule, but to hope that you get far in life without professional training and studies is a real gamble!

Betting is at least 80% preparation.

Analysis, odds calculation, market knowledge and paper-testing to identify potential strategies is where you earn the biggest part of your wedge with betting.

Punter’s enemy #2: Lack of self-discipline in the execution of your plans is probably the most common cause of failure for those who have at least bothered to prepare!

Self-discipline accounts for probably 5% of what it takes to be a betting success.

You would like to think that if you stumbled across a potentially great betting system, you would then be disciplined enough to follow its rules.

After all, you’ve probably already invested a large amount of time picking out your lines, dovetailing them with others to create a diversified portfolio, and identifying the right markets, all before even placing a bet.

If you are at this stage then there really is no excuse for not being self-disciplined enough in the follow-through.

Punter’s Enemy #3: Deficient execution!

You can prepare yourself as much as you want but, if you then fail due to poor execution, then the whole effort was in vain.

Doing the job as well as you’ve trained for it is responsible for about 15% of betting success.

And be aware that execution can also be very, very boring!

Okay, so you’ve analysed the weekend’s games and identified 30 potential candidates for your systems. Week one is a flier, full of excitement to see if your homework will pay off. Week two holds similar promise.

Once you get to week 22, the gloss has worn off and all the calculations, bet placements, and money management starts to become a chore. Even if you are succeeding, it’s hard work. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. Can you keep up your standards into week 52 without ever missing a bet opportunity?

Related Articles

Whilst we’re on the subject of ‘preparing to succeed’ there are plenty of other helpful articles within this blog:


To kick your balls in the right direction, we offer plenty of professional betting products to save you time and open your eyes to possibilities you probably wouldn’t have thought of before.

Our flagship products are the Odds Calculation Course, the Value Bet & Probability Calculator, and the popular HDAFU Tables.

Have your say!

So, we conclude this article with a call to you today.

If you feel inclined (and not too embarrassed!), please write a comment in the box below and tell us about your experiences with emotions and betting.

Were you:

  • super cool under pressure?
  • more efficient than a German back four?
  • all over the place like a dodgy penalty spot?
  • as loose as a can of vanishing spray rattling around in a referee’s shorts?

If not so good, how do you plan to do it better next time?

We all enjoy reading stories of other people’s misfortunes (the more painful and/or humorous, the better) – it’s an education to us all! And there’s many a true word said in jest…

Last Update: 26 January 2018

Categories:Betting Advice Betting Guidance

3 Responses to “The Gambler’s Worst Enemy: Emotions!”

  1. 9 October 2017 at 7:44 pm #

    I trialled a lay system I developed on horse racing, at small stakes I was up to £400 profit in less than a few months, and then it turned against me and I dropped to £200 profit. Through fear that the £400 was just a fluke and fear of losing the rest of the profit I stopped the system and never tried it any further. Emotions meant I never found out if the system would be able to be profitable over the long term. Very good article

  2. 10 September 2016 at 10:40 am #

    Hello to you all, who are following this useful site. Soccerwidow for punters is like Jose Mourinho for players. There to tell you there is no other better bet than YOU. Bet on you. Study, prepare, rehearsal 500 times, 1000 times, 10 000 times, and then go to war.

    Best article , #1Must read.

    Like Rod my focus and work gravitates around live fixtures – trading positions, since now it worked pretty well.

    Tip for begginers: after each day, analyze what you did well and what you did wrong and compare the results. Be objective . This way you will keep confidence and you’ll see where was bad luck, bad performance from you, or gambling(emotional -gut betting) .

    Keep up with the good work, Soccerwidow.

  3. 13 February 2016 at 12:00 am #

    Nice article. Since I started to pay a lot more attention to my emotions in an inplay match, my winnings have skyrocketed. I took a vow to convert 100 dlls into 10 000. I achieve it in 3 months just by watching the games and applying some stats from soccerwidow’s lessons.
    Keep in mind I did this on live fixtures and trading my positions. Emotional control becomes a must when you are winning but should sell or when you are losing but should keep your stake at the game. Its easier on your mind betting prelive with a bet and forget portfolio but I discovered I could make a lot more by exploiting the momentary value bets you get inplay.

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