1. Perform Intensive Self Analysis
To simply keep track of wins or losses, and strike rates is not enough when betting at a professional level. To improve, you need to delve deeper and find trends in your results. As successful bettors we should already be quite good at this. You must use all of the analytical skills that you apply to selecting bets, to perform an unbiased account of your own betting record. Doing so, you will find the true nature of your edge.
A good place to start is by finding the odds range where you are most successful. For instance some punters specialise at picking long shots and win a disproportionate number of bets on these underdogs. Other bettors know when to back favourites to create a steady stream of small wins. Whatever your speciality is, you need to find it and make a conscious effort to concentrate in that odds range.
Discovering trends in fixture timing can be a telling factor as well. See if you find any patterns in success rates during certain times of the season or on match days that coincide with outside events that could be having an effect on overall match outcomes. For instance, some bettors are cautious when betting on league matches the week after the international break because they have noticed that historically they are making a large loss on these selections. Use information such as this to further refine your betting strategy.
2. Reign In Your Emotions
Everyone has an emotional weakness in their game. Perhaps you are susceptible to chasing losses or maybe you place hasty bests due to overconfidence during a long winning streak. Either way, these emotional responses are affecting your results.
Develop a hypersensitivity to your particular emotional weaknesses and investigate how they are influencing your betting. Think back to all of the times where emotion has influenced the picks you have made and think of all the profits it has cost you. Once you have done this, it will be much easier to realise in the future what is happening and to control your instincts before you act.
The bookmaker is counting on you to become victim to the emotional chemistry in you brain. Channel these feelings into a more positive mindset and use logical calculation instead of emotional reaction to maintain your edge. It is crucial that you identify your emotional weaknesses and do your best to eliminate them from your process.
3. Refine Your Strategy And Be Consistent
When you started betting you may have experimented with a plethora of different strategies such as doing form research, creating statistical systems, or combining several different methods. In order to get serious about your betting method you need to focus on what is the most proven method for you. You should develop a type of ritual and use it to select bets every time. If you are particularly knowledgeable in a sport, NHL hockey for example, focus on that.
Never cut corners and never be in a rush to place a bet just because the line initially looks good to you. It is better to place no bet at all, than to place a bet through a half hearted and haphazard research process. You must be disciplined to go through your full process with each bet. A professional has no time for untested systems and approaches. If you want to try a new system or have an idea for a new edge, first paper trade that strategy for an extended period of time. After trialling the approach, first put it into practice with very small stakes, only then if it continues to prove successful should you fully incorporate it into your overall betting strategy.
4. Manage Your Money Like A Banker
Successful bettors are not successful before one, they have the ability to find winners and profit from them, and two, they implement a sound and consistent staking plan. If you’re a successful punter looking to take your betting to the next level and become a professional, then you are likely already implementing a sound staking plan. To become a true professional bettor you must continue applying a sound staking plan and treating your betting and your betting bankroll as an investment. Whether that be an investment that you wish to skim regular profits off as a secondary or perhaps primary source of income, or treat your betting bankroll as ‘hands off’ investment fund is up to you.
If you are wishing to take a weekly ‘wage’ from your betting, then you need a bankroll and betting schedule that will allow you to do this without threatening your betting bankroll itself. For example, if you wish to take an average of £1,000 a week from your betting (a yearly wage of £52,000), then your bankroll, bet schedule and staking plan needs to flexible enough to support this. Let’s say that you’re average return is 5% profit per bet, to make £52,000 a year, you would need a yearly bet turnover of £1,040,000 (I..e 5% return on £1,040,000 being £52,000). If you are placing an average of 1,000 bets per year, each bet would then need to be an average of £1,040 to achieve the £1,040,000 in total turnover. For this size of bet, with a recommended betting bankroll of 100 average units, you would need a bankroll of £104,000.
Like any investment plan, you need money to make money. So even if you are showing the ability to make a profit from your betting, in order to make a living at it, your first priority is in building your bankroll.
5. Bet With A Striking Mentality
By this we absolutely do not mean that you should bet recklessly. Instead you should be aggressive and decisive in highly selective circumstances.
Betting odds are by nature defensive measures employed by bookmakers to protect their commission. Bookmakers are not particularly interested in which side of an event pays out (although this is not always the case), only that they have created an even amount of action on either side so as to take their commission no matter what the result. The only way they can do this is by moving the price on a line to make it equally appealing to backers of both sides. In this way, the bookmaker is at a disadvantage to the educated punter.
Because the bookmaker has an incentive to create as much action as possible, their line can often inaccurately reflect the real probability of a given outcome. The essence of successful betting is recognising instances of these discrepancies. Bookmakers must offer lines on many different events. Even events where they know they have no advantage. Lucky for us, we can wait on the sidelines for the exact line we want. When you do choose to attack, it will be because you understand your edge fully and know when you are in a position to take full advantage of it. In understanding what the bookmaker’s incentives are you can use their position to your advantage, control your exposure and secure success.