Betting at a bookmaker is not a matter of “just do it and see where the ship runs aground. In fact, if you use this strategy, you are sure to lose money in the long run. A smart sports bettor therefore follows a few clear rules when visiting a bookmaker. We list the most important do’s and don’ts!

These are the do’s when betting at a bookmaker

Anyone involved in sports betting could use a few pointers. Fortunately, there are a few tried-and-true methods that have more than proved their service.

Do: start with good preparation

The moment you turn in your betting slip is instinctively perhaps the most important moment of all. From that point on, your prediction is fixed and you can’t go back (unless, of course, you have to activate that cash-out!). Yet you actually experience the most important moment of all a few minutes before. That’s the moment when you are preparing and you dive into the statistics and the latest match news.

If you want to make a profit at a bookmaker, preparation is everything. Because only then will you come to the right judgment. Take your time to study all the match data and then let that be the basis for your bet. It takes some extra time, but good preparation really pays off!

Do: Find value for money with value betting

Find value for money with value betting

Your first goal is to win bets. Right behind that comes that second goal: you want as much value for your money as possible. This brings us into the realm of value betting.

Value betting means looking at the odds with an extra critical eye. You are looking for bets with odds that are higher than you expect based on the statistics. Say you expect a 50% chance of winning, which corresponds to a odds of 2.00. But the bookmaker puts the value at 2.15, so you know you’ve found value. You can’t pass up that bet.

Do: spread, spread and spread again

Your betting budget plays an important role when betting at a bookmaker. Before you delve into all those match statistics, you need to know exactly how much money you have available per day, per week or per month. But it doesn’t stop there! If you dream of a successful life as a sports bettor, then you need to start spreading, spreading and spreading again. It is simply not enough to cut your gambling budget in half and hope to see your winnings grow quickly. The chances of wasting your play money in no time with this tactic are simply very high. Therefore, take a more careful approach and spread your gambling budget over a good number of bets. This way you can easily catch any losses and ensure that your profits grow steadily in the long run. After all, a long-term view is the best tactic in the world of sports betting.

Do: check if you’re doing well

You see your playing balance at the bookmaker slowly growing. But… are you really sure you’re doing well?

The fact that you are regularly winning says little. Because although you make a profit, you can still leave a lot of money lying around. That is why it is wise to check every month to see if you are still doing well. Your checking moment starts with calculating the ROI (Return of Investment). The formula (total bankroll * 100) / total bet will get you to a percentage that is above or below 100%. If you end up between 105% and 110%, then you may just be very happy. But if you end up lower, then you have work to do. Your track record then works wonders.

A track record is nothing but a list of all the information about your bets. If your ROI shows that you are losing too much money, your track record shows exactly where you are going wrong. Maybe those handicap bets are producing losses much more often than you actually thought. Or maybe you don’t turn out to be as successful at tennis at all as you always thought. Such a monitoring moment gives you the chance to adjust your betting strategy when needed.

Do: spot a great bonus promotion? Grab it!

A smart sports bettor always keeps one important maxim in mind: never miss out on anything when betting at a bookmaker. So do you see a bonus promotion coming along? Then grab that free bet, cashback bonus or free play money.

Most promotions don’t give you huge winnings. Say you receive a free bet of 5 euros, then you can only keep the pure profit. So with a odds of 2.50 you get paid 7.50 euros instead of 12.50 euros. Still, it’s a shame to pass up these kinds of benefits. Just check the conditions before you activate the bonus. That prevents a lot of disappointments.

These are the don’ts when betting at a bookmaker

These are the don'ts when betting at a bookmaker

The do’s of sports betting are important to keep in your head. But so are the don’ts. You will achieve the greatest success if you know how to avoid mistakes. Because how bad is it if you lose (too much) money when you really shouldn’t have? Of course, no one is perfect and even you will sometimes make decisions you shouldn’t have made. Fortunately, you can avoid many of those wrong decisions and mistakes. If you go through the don’ts below, you’ll be well on your way.

Don’t: take extreme risk for that big hit

They stick in your head month after month. They are those stories that tell you that a gambler made tens or even hundreds of thousands of euros in profit. Inspiring? Definitely! Only it is not so realistic to think that you are the next one whose big hit deserves a mention in the news sections.

Sports bettors who are angling for a big hit often do so by taking huge risks. They select bets with extremely high odds, stretch their stakes higher and higher, and they keep piling up predictions for their combo bets. If you have the potential win amount sitting on your betting slip, it is absolutely tempting to take that risk. But really beware of too high odds, too high a bet or too many linked predictions for that combo bet. You may get lucky, but most gamblers only lose money when chasing that huge hit.

Don’t: bet like a headless chicken

You just created an account at a bookmaker. That means only one thing: you immediately feel like plunging into those bets full on! You put money on that Serie A clash between Juventus and AC Milan, you predict the winner of the Premier League match between city rivals Chelsea and Tottenham, and of course you think you know who will win the Eredivisie match between FC Utrecht and FC Groningen. Still, it is not wise to act like a headless chicken. It is better to pass on a few less predictions that you are reasonably sure of, than to fire off one bet after another almost without thinking. Chaos and carelessness have not yet made any soccer bettor better.

Don’t: let your emotions take over

Sports is emotion. This is true not only for the players on the field or the spectators in the stadium cheering on their club. For soccer players, emotions can run at least as high.

It is very human to be upset when you lose a bet. And of course you get even more upset when you lose your bet two, three or even four times in a row. At times like these, emotions and frustrations quickly take over. You want to do everything you can to compensate for the loss, so you probably take more risk than is sensible. For you as a sports bettor, it is very important that you stay cool and let your mind rule. There is simply no place for emotional decisions. So accept your losses and distance yourself when you find you can no longer think rationally. Also betting on a club/player you are a big fan of is not a good idea. Being objective is then very difficult.

Don’t: take the first bookmaker you come across

A bookie is a bookie, right? Well, not quite. Indeed, all bookmakers have the same job. They put sports bets online, determine the odds and make sure you can fully focus on the (upcoming) matches. But even though the basics are the same everywhere, bookmakers do differ from one another. There are differences in the setup of the platform, the accessibility of customer service, the exact betting offer, the options in terms of live betting and so on. So never sign up with the first best bookmaker you come across, but look around a bit before making your choice.