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Handicapping Basics

Published on: 20/11/2016

Everyone has different motivations for placing a bet. Some may simply enjoy betting on their favourite team at the weekend, while others may find that watching a game is more exciting when there is a little money at stake. The truth is, most casual gamblers do not keep a track of their bets and would not be able to tell you how much they had won or lost over a period of time.

These are the type of bettors that bookmakers love because they bet with their hearts and with very little thought to probability, statistics and value. They are the type of bettors that always lose more than they win, but keep coming back for more because it is a form of entertainment rather than a genuine money making opportunity.

In stark contrast, there are many betting professionals, whose only purpose in wagering is to beat the bookmakers and make a profit. These bettors are totally focused on seeking out profit opportunities.

The best gamblers are often adept at “handicapping,” or gaining an advantage by identifying winners using research, game knowledge and statistics, and by being aware of factors such as form, conditions of play, history, injuries and more. Anyone who is interested in gambling professionally and wants to make money in the long term, must understand the five basic aspects of handicapping:

The Bankroll: Obviously gambling requires money, so it is important that you establish how much money you can afford to invest in your venture. Over the course of a season, you bankroll will fluctuate but the aim is to produce a positive yield in the long term. Therefore, it is important to know how much you can afford to set aside without putting yourself in financial hardship and how much to allocate to each bet on a day-to-day basis.

Research: This is perhaps the most important aspect of handicapping and betting. Knowing your statistics, history, game conditions, injuries, coaches, players and form is essential if you are going to find an edge. Good gamblers are always looking out for patterns and trends that can help them to identify the best value bets. This is a skill that takes time and dedication to perfect. It means avoiding hunches and gut feeling and only betting the way that the numbers dictate. It also means balancing the risk to the reward and treating each bet as a business transaction. The best bettors never bet for the sake of it.

Keeping records: Keeping a betting log is vitally important, whether it is a notebook or on a computer. By keeping detailed information about every bet, a professional can identify their strong and weak areas and tweak their strategy accordingly. To do this, the following details should be tracked:

Money Management: The bankroll should be your only source of funding so that you do not spend what you cannot afford. By properly researching bets and not risking too much each time, you should learn to manage your bankroll and watch it grow gradually. Sharp bettors never go all-in on a bet or believe in sure things. And they never chase lost money. Instead, small bets are placed across multiple markets to decrease risk and the best prices are always found. Of course, losses are part of the equation and should be expected but the idea is process a positive yield over the course of the season.

Finding value: Not all bookmakers offer the same odds. By opening multiple accounts and always seeking the best price for every bet you place, you will improve your long term yield. With experience, you will develop a nose for value and will be able to quickly identify a good price.

Published on: 20/11/2016 © Bet Bind