The 5 Degrees Of Losing A Bet


Today Andrew Brocker takes a look at what it's like to lose a bet. Not all lost bets are the same. What's the worst way to lose a bet? How do you get over a losing streak? And how do you move on to the next bet? Andrew let's us know.

Anyone who has endured a losing streak of any length knows that not all lost bets are the same. On an infinite timeline, its probable that any successful sports bettor will experience the full range of bet busting torments. And if you ask me, you're not a veteran bettor until you have experienced each of The Five Degrees of bet losing at least once, and you're not a true Zen Master of The Bet until you've mastered your ability to recover and move on from even the most devastating of losses.

First Degree Loss

The "Whatever. It Was Still A Good Value Bet" Loss

This is the long odds bet that was lost big and was lost early. The Cavaliers are down to the Lakers by 20 at the end of the 1st period. Wigan are down 3 goals to 0 against Man United after 25 minutes. The 25 to 1 long-shot in race 5 of the day is gone on the first turn. DId you expect anything different? Not really. Was it good value? Yes. Would you do it again? Sure. You update your spreadsheets and move onto the next bet knowing that you have at least been spared from the Second Degree of bet losing.

How to get over it?

Hold the faith in your ability to recognise value.........and don't be such a cry baby.

Sports more likely to give you a First Degree Loss - College Basketball.

Ive never really tracked it, but from my experience it seems like when big underdogs get down big early in College hoops, they rarely rally to make the result even remotely interesting. Its just a long slow death.

Second Degree Loss

The "Oh Man, That Would Have Been Sweet" Loss

Arguably not as bad as the First Degree Loss but I rate it higher because as each moment passes and the 15 to 1 long-shot looks like pulling off the upset of the season, your hopes inflate and inflate and inflate, until.....Pop! The bet collapses in a flash. You wince. You mutter. You move on.

How to get over it?

Despite losing, you can walk away with greater confidence in your ability to recognise value. You almost got the upset long-shot. So get back in there and attack the next days odds with vigour.

Sport more likely to give you a Second Degree Loss - NBA basketball

So many NBA games seem to just roll along indifferently until the last 5 or 6 minutes of the 4th period when the superior team asserts itself and pulls away for the comfortable win. I tell myself every time not to get my hopes up when the Sacramento Kings are 2 or 3 points up midway through the 4th period against the Lakers. But I never learn.

Third Degree Loss

The "Tell Me That Didn't Just Happen" Loss

Also known as 'The Heart-breaker' or 'The I Think I Will Just Collapse Onto The Floor And Lay Very Still For A While' Loss. It's late in the game, the bet appears locked up and in your mind you've banked the winnings, started browsing online stores to find a new laptop to purchase with your profits while calling your girlfriend to tell her you're taking her out for a grand dinner that evening. And then smack. A late goal. A meaningless touchdown. A useless personal foul and a couple of free throws. And the bet is done. Lost. "What? How? That couldn't....Did that?" Yes, it did. Noooooooo!!!!!

How to get over it?

Think back to the times when this has happened before, but in your favour. Take the good with the bad. If you're a good enough bettor, more of these moments will go with you than against you.

Sport more likely to give you a Third Degree Loss: Football

You took the under 2.5 goals, and it's in the 94th minute in a 2-0 game. Bang! A late meaningless goal. And you're done. Or the NFL, a late meaningless interception returned for a touchdown with time expiring to blow the spread bet. A classic.

Fourth Degree Loss

The "I'm sorry, I thought it was a good bet" Loss

You've been on a good run, picking winners at will it seems. You spot a great opportunity, great value, this bet could really clean up. And ego gets the best of you. You tell a couple of your friends about your betting prowess and that you have a great bet going this afternoon. They climb on board and load up with you. Three hours later, you're trying to explain what went wrong to them. An ugly ugly situation.

How to get over it?

Bank next weeks winnings and take the boys out for a drink. Solved.

Sport more likely to give you a Fourth Degree Loss

Depends on your friends. Whatever you can talk them into. But for some reason, horse racing seems to seduce most more than others.

Fifth Degree Loss

The "What The Hell Was I Thinking" Loss

The worst kind of loss. In my early days, before I began to bet analytically, I was subject to the occasional B.S.B, the Big Stupid Bet, also known as the "Trust me - It's a lock" bet. So, trust me here now - there is no such thing as a lock. Not now. Not ever.

Ask anyone who placed any sort of bet they were offering on Mike Tyson to defeat Buster Douglas back in 1990. They weren't even taking bets on Tyson to win, only bets on which round Tyson would win in. The 42-1 Douglas winds up wearing Tyson down, taking the title in the process and the souls of many a Vegas gambler.

My own most vivid personal example was the event that I will forever remember as The Rent Game. Back in 1999, I decided to place my entire months rent (which was about $600 at the time) on a certainty - the Melbourne Demons defeating Fremantle in the Australian Football League. Melbourne were 1.15 to win, meaning I would claim just $90 profit for the exercise. Not a problem I thought, there's no way they lose. Yeah, good call. Not only did they lose, they were smashed. And by about midnight that evening I was scrambling around my apartment trying to find items I could take down to the pawn shop to offload to raise the months rent. Awful. A pure live and learn moment.

How to get over it?

It should be such a devastating experience that you can take solace in the fact you've learnt one of the most valuable lessons in sports gambling - There is no such thing as a lock. And never ever ever ever do it again.

Sport more likely to give you a Fifth Degree Loss

Take your pick. Anything that allows your stupidity to get the best of you.



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bettingexpert blog editor. Always taking the alternative route to finding the value.