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What Emotions Are Standing In Your Way?

Most gamblers struggle to keep their emotions in perspective, but the danger of wagering on emotion is perhaps more pronounced for sports bettors than for any other type.  Not only do you have to deal with the usual highs and lows of winning and losing, but you also may be invested in the teams you are betting on.  You might be pulled two different directions by your mind and your heart.  Your mind may tell you the smart choice, but your heart wants you to bet on the team you support.


Here is a list of emotions to keep in check when you bet on sports:

  • Fear:  Probably the single most dangerous emotion for the majority of gamblers is fear.  Fear makes us see the world through tinted lenses.  We make foolish decisions based on past wins and losses which may have no bearing whatsoever on the present.  Our flagging confidence causes us to repeat our mistakes and lose even more confidence.  Remember, your fears are there to remind you of your past mistakes, but they do not necessarily mean you are about to repeat them—not if you stay smart and focused!
  • Anger:  A lot of punters go “on tilt” when they lose money on a wager.  They feel a need to get back, and to try and win their money back.  As such, they may take a wager they would normally pass on out of desperation, or put more money on the line than they should.  This is a fast way to lose even more money.
  • Conceit:  Not all emotions which drive bad betting behaviours are necessarily “negative feeling.”  Some may actually feel positive.  Sometimes we find ourselves feeling extremely optimistic because we are on a winning streak or recently had a big or surprising win.  You may feel invincible, on top of the world.  This is actually a good time to pause and ask yourself whether you are feeling confident or overconfident.  This is another emotion which causes gamblers to go “on tilt!”
  • Conceit in a team or player:  Sometimes the emotional conceit which drives us to make betting mistakes actually is not linked directly to us, but to a player or a team that we enjoy following.  You may feel like your favourite player is on a streak, and maybe he is—but remember, just because you like him, that doesn’t mean you are an objective judge of the situation!  This kind of conceit can also cost you wins.


What do you do about these emotions?  To whatever extent you can, try to bet when your head is clear.  But do not expect that you can leave emotions entirely behind you.  They will always be there.  Your job is not to try and get rid of them, but simply to learn how to keep them in perspective. 

While intuition is an important tool for any punter, your heart will not always guide you in the right direction.  Sometimes you need to be prepared to make cold, rational decisions.  And if you are feeling too emotional, that may mean sitting out on a few bets until you get your perspective back in focus.  The world of sports will still be there tomorrow, waiting for you to come back strong.


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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