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Do Not Overvalue Individual Wins and Losses

What leads you to make a change in how you bet?  A string of losses?  A single devastating loss?  A loss that takes a toll on your confidence and not just your wallet?  How often do you make adjustments to your betting methods?


I think one common mistake made by both beginning and veteran punters is overvaluing individual wins and losses.  Part of this comes back to how we define success and failure as a society.  We all grow up believing that if you win, you are a success, and if you lose, you are a failure.  That belief can become so set that we may gauge our entire sense of self according to our recent performance.  And if that performance includes some especially painful losses, we may constantly feel it is time for a change.


There are a few problems with this mindset:


  • Not every loss is the direct result of a mistake that you made as a punter.  Sometimes you can do everything right and still lose a wager.
  • Not every win is the result of doing something right, either.  Sometimes you win by pure coincidence, including when you make mistakes.
  • In the world of sports, there are numerous flukes.  These are surprise events which nobody, including you, can foresee.  Oftentimes it is those flukes that cost you money (and sometimes fuel your wins).
  • As a sports punter, you are doing really well even if your win percentage is only around 55%.  If you devalue your performance based on your losses, you are going to constantly feel like a failure, even when you are actually a total success.


When you have this mindset, you overlook the big picture.  If you are winning largely through luck, you may consider yourself a “winner,” and may refuse to look at the reality that you have little to do with your outcomes.  Eventually your luck will turn against you and you will lose.  When you do, you will end up sacrificing all those gains. 


The same problem is just as damaging from the other end of the curve.  Maybe you have what it takes to make it as a punter, and you make a lot of right choices.  But you still lose more often than you are comfortable with, and you are never happy with the wins you do have. 


You overemphasise individual losses, and assume they mean doom for your account.  This causes you to start making wrong decisions.  You continuously adjust your betting method to try and deliver better results, and actually end up betting inconsistently as a result.  Now you are suddenly betting poorly, and wonder what happened.


Basically, if you place too much emphasis on the outcomes of individual bets, you are going to fool yourself into believing that flukes are responsible for your success or failure.  When you are struggling with a particular rough loss or you are caught up in a glowing moment of unexpected victory, pull yourself back.  You are standing too close to the picture, and you are missing the broader context. 


Look at your betting as a whole.  Are you profitable or successful overall?  Are the choices that lead you to wins or losses logical and directly resulting in your overall pattern of outcomes?  Place value on making smart betting decisions, repeatable victories, and on the overall direction of upward movement in your account.


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Gambling on the Internet

A few things to consider when gambling online:

  • Take advantage of first deposit bonuses
  • Have a budget and stick to it
  • Don't lose more than you can afford
  • When drunk, don't bet!
  • Don't chase losses
  • Bet on markets you know well
  • Don't abuse bonuses