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Top 20 rules of gambling and how to protect yourself from mistakes

Follow the 20 rules of gambling and protect yourself and your betting funds. Everything from researching data to accas and bookmaker promotions.



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Updated on 08 October 2018
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Betting Tips for Today's Football

Find more value in your next football bet. You could gain a betting edge by checking out the tips and stats for today's and tomorrow's fixtures...


Gambling and sports betting should be good fun, but sometimes the uncertainty can get on top of anyone.


Waiting for soccer results and constantly checking cash out screens on our betting app can make betting a frustrating experience and challenge our betting mindset.


That’s why we should all review the rules of betting every so often to verify we’re always making the best betting decisions for long-term bankroll growth and a healthy betting approach.

1.    Your betting stake should be calculated and not random


Ensure you understand the definition of a betting stake and you understand all of the betting terminology linked to wager, ROI and betting yield.


You need to make sure that you check out your betting stake and you know what to spend your money on. You should not risk a random money, which bears no relation to your bankroll or your bankroll management plan.


The betting stake should be small enough, so it does not affect your long-term betting, but large enough to provide you with returns that are based on discovering betting value and taking into account your expected longest losing sequence.


Remember that we all want to win money betting, but this does not mean that we should risk a random funds, without first understanding our betting goals, bookmaker odds alongside wider betting statistics.

2.    Calculate the right betting stake for your bets


How do you calculate the right stake for your bets?


This should be based on expected value, how much you would like to profit and football form.


At a more detailed level you should either place level stake bets (i.e. The same value is used for all your bets) irrespective of the conditions or base your bets on arbitrage (i.e. matched betting) process, which involves checking out the odds offered by different bookmakers and modifying the stake to achieve a specific return.

3.    Review the deposit bonus and betting promotions


Never risk money with a bookmaker based on the betting promotions or bonus cash deposits.


There is no such thing as free money. Promotions and bonuses are offered by bookmakers to increase betting volume as part of different marketing campaigns.


Unfortunately, most people do not read betting promotional small print and punters are sometimes subjected to unrealistic demands of their winnings.


There is nothing wrong with deposit bonuses and other promotions.


However, when some punters win significant amounts on the back of a bonus campaign, they may have to follow terms and conditions by continually placing bets before they’re permitted to winning withdraw funds.


When the promotions are used in a sensible way they could be a great way to verify one your betting models without risking your bankroll.


Bookmaker promotions should always be used in alongside a well thought out plan, as accepting bets with conditions attached sometimes reduces your flexibility.

4.    Understand that you cannot win everything


It’s another accepted piece of betting wisdom, that you will not win every bet and depending on the your bets, you may not even win 50% of your bets, as randomness and variance all come into play.


If you’re risking bankroll money on underdogs and longshots, this could very easily reduce your betting success rate to under 40%.


Your betting success is all dependent on the betting approach, the betting system and the betting model deployed when the expected longest losing sequence is also considered.


The table below shows the anticipated losing sequence based on the bookmaker odds and the implied probabilities, which allow you to recognise the success rate you need to break even.


Bookmaker Odds Break-Even Success Rate Expected Longest Losing Sequence

1.15
87% 49

1.30
77% 26

1.45
69% 19

1.60
63% 15

1.75
57% 12

2.00
50% 10

2.25
44% 9

2.50
40% 8

3.00
33% 6

3.50
26% 6

4.00
25% 5

5.00
20% 4

6.00
17% 4



5.    Limit your deposits and control your liabilities


The modern betting world is fast paced; we can bet on the move and we can quickly risk large sums of money.


The use of mobile betting apps and betting websites are great, but we need to consider that some people find it hard to regulate their activities.


That’s way we should all make use the deposit and betting limits that many bookmakers have introduced.


This is a way for us to identify how much we can realistically risk in one go without it becoming a problem.


We should review everything that goes through our betting accounts and have the ability to identify where bets levels are increasing that are not in line with long-term bankroll goals, etc,

6.    Betting as a pastime and not a full-time job


It’s important to recognise betting as a pastime and a hobby (unless you’re able to consistently return enough money to support your day-to-day activities).


Remember that a pastime is something to do when you have a few spare moments!


This is vital and plays into how you should approach betting from a newbie perspective and all the way through to someone that’s more experienced.


You can easily increase your experience over the long-term and this does not have to be lived and breathed 24x7, but it could be something that you gradually look to improve over time.

7.    Always tell people the truth about your betting


Do you find yourself lying to family or friends about your betting? Do you think they may not approve of your betting?


Either way, you should always tell the truth when it comes to gambling and all related activities. When we lie to others, we tend to build up stories in our minds that are inaccurate.


When we lie to others we can easily make excuses for our poor performance. Removing our accountability to people we care about also removes our need to be honest with ourselves about our betting performance.


You should continually check your betting performance by keeping an eye on your bankroll and your different betting accounts.


You should be aware of any deposits, withdrawals and profits to ensure that you’re on the right track to profitability and growing your bankroll.

8.    Is gambling still fun for you?


This one is simple, but soccer betting and gambling should be a lot of fun.


There is no reason to risk your money if you’re not enjoying the process. Why would you continue betting if you’re not finding it enjoyable?


There are many different pastimes that you may enjoy without risking money, so if you find yourself betting when you’re not enjoying the process, I recommend taking a break and evaluating why you even started betting…

9.    Do not use betting to reduce boredom


This rule of betting plays into the previous betting rule 9, but it’s more detailed.


Remember a time when you were last bored, and you did not know what to do to reduce the boredom.


You most likely searched for videos, podcast, music, blogs or anything to make the time more interesting. This process is very natural to do, but this point cannot be stressed enough…


You should never place any wager when you’re bored!


It’s natural for all of us to find something interesting to pass the time, but this may lead to higher than normal risk. Therefore, risking your money and subjecting your bankroll to a potential short-term reduction.


If you continue betting while bored, your long-term bankroll could also be at risk.


I seriously suggest that you do not place bets at all when you’re bored. Simply exit your app and browse to another site, so you’re not in danger of following through with selections in this negative emotional state.

10.    Don’t believe everything you see and read.


If it sounds too good to be true…It is!

Where are you getting your information? Are you trying to get rich quick and find an easy way to make money online?

If you’re searching for that one system or plan that can make you millions without dedication to a process or learning, I can tell you right now that you will have a long and a disappointing search.


Anyone offering you the ultimate dream of professional gambling with easy sure betting predictions will only lead you to losing your money over the long-term.


Do not ever waste money with someone that promises you will win money easily.

11.    Never combine alcohol and gambling


This should be obvious, but sometimes the obvious advice should be repeated.


Never bet when you have been drinking alcohol!

12.    You will lose money regularly, so do not chase your losses


There is only one 100% certain outcome when you start sports betting.


You will lose money.


You will also sometimes lose multiple bets in a row. If you increase the quantity of bets, you will also increase your quantity of losses.


Therefore, you should never chase your losses and by that, I mean; trying to win back money that you have already lost to the bookmaker or betting exchange.


Chasing loses means under more risk of losing more bets against the bookmaker and therefore, hurting your betting plan and your bankroll over the long-term.


You need to dispassionately accept that you will lose money, but find a way to minimise your overall losses and reduce any effect on your long-term bankroll growth.

13.    Do not needlessly gamble away your winnings


Following on from rule 12...


Your profits are needed to replenish your bankroll for long-term betting.


Do not needlessly bet all your returns, as you need to increase the betting bankroll and risking all profits as soon as they come in may not help you over the long-term.

14.    Always have a betting strategy


Do not gamble just for the sake of gambling, use a betting strategy.


You’ve heard this one many times, but as with some of the other obvious examples, this is another important rule of betting that must be reiterated.

If you do not know where you’re going, you use a map or satellite navigation to get you where you need to go. These days cars either have inbuilt sat nav, or we use our smart phones to get us from A to B.


The same should be true of betting.


You should use information and soccer statistics data intelligently, so you can spend more of your time looking for potential value bets and creating value betting models rather than trying to do everything on your own.


Sometimes walking to a destination is more fun when others walk with you!

15.    Dedication and hard work will improve your team evaluation and your betting skills


You will have to spend some time looking through data and understanding the teams and their abilities before you risk a lot of money betting.


We wall want to increase our returns quickly, but life doesn’t work that way.


There are many resources for you to learn how to get more information for your soccer betting. You need to not just understand the game, but also understand how to approach your bets. Do you have a betting plan or system, which can be used to help you identify selections?


Some of the soccer prediction models provide historical test of selections which could be placed against each of the matches in previous leagues.


You will have to spend some time going through the numbers and watching the soccer stats data before you risk money betting. This only means you may take longer to find possible selections that could be viable for your betting.


Take the time to understand the betting markets before risking real money

16.    Separate your betting money and your lifestyle money


You need to identify the money that you need for your lifestyle, such as rent/mortgage, bills, etc and the money that you have designated for betting.


Never bet money that you need for your lifestyle.


Only risk money that you classify as betting money, which is placed into a dedicated betting fund, which will ultimately feed your bankroll.

17.    Always stay within your means and do exceed the money within your betting fund


Following on from rule of betting 16; you should never exceed your allocated betting funds, as the money you have within the betting fund will form you dedicated bankroll.


This means that all betting stakes are wagered using the dedicated betting funds, which is calculated based on your current lifestyle. Ensuring your day-to-day lifestyle spending is not impacted.


If you bet according to this principle, any betting losses are not a long-term cause for panic, as the betting losses will not affect your current financial position.

18.    Track every bet, every win and every loss


Understand where you placed your bets and the odds associated, so you have a long betting history of your selections, your losses and your successes.


This will be a great source of data, as you can track where you’re more likely to succeed and more importantly, you can identify the areas where you need to improve.


Without tracking everything, its more likely for you to rely on judgement rather than facts and judgement can lead to you needlessly losing money by continually betting on unsuitable selections.

19.    Stick with single bets until you’re more experienced



Artificially increasing your risk is never a good long-term strategy.


It’s far more sensible to check out the team stats and place single bets until you’re more experienced and understand the different betting markets and the different betting options within those markets.


Placing acca (accumulator) and multiple bets and accas are definitely good fun bets, but unless you’re aware of the increasing risk and likely issues that can arise from multiples, it’s better for your bankroll growth to maintain well thought out single bets rather than speculative options.

20.    Do not gamble without first knowing and understanding the rules of the game


This betting rule is the final rule, but this piece of advice is arguably the most important.


If you do not understand the bet, do not ever risk your money.


Bookmakers offer many betting selections, which we can use to make more money over the long-term, but this will only happen if you understand each bet.


There are many weird, strange and wonderful football bets across many different bookmakers and betting exchanges, but unless you understand the nature of each bet, you could place your betting funds under financial pressure.


Please take care when you start betting and make sure you understand each of the betting rules, above. Come back to this page from time to time, so you can keep improving as you move forward.


Good Luck!



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