5 Top Tips for Sports Bettors

We've all been there before. We shout at the TV screen, cheering on our favourite team or booing the opponents. Being a sports fan is a hectic job, but we just can't get enough of the excitement!

If you're a sports fan, then there's no better way to get closer to the action and support your favourite team than by betting on their success. Put in some stakes and the thrill shoots up to fever pitch. You'll never watch another game in the same way.

Plunging into the world of sports betting might be a bit intimidating at first. The learning curve can be quite steep. This article will help you conquer your doubts about sports betting by giving you five top tips so that you too can join in the fun.

#1 Pick up a good sports betting site

The first step for the novice bettor is to find somewhere to place their bets. The easiest option is to go online and find a reputable sports betting site. Often known as online sportsbooks, there are five things you should look out for before handing over your hard-earned money.
    1. Financial status — Start off by finding out if the online sportsbook is able to honour winning bets. Check out reviews by other players who have used it before and ensure that payments are made on time.

    2. Wagering ease — Most online sportsbooks use very simple online software that won't require you to download anything and the process to sign up should be straightforward.

    3. Making deposits and withdrawing — Find out if the site accepts your credit card and read up on how long it takes to deposit money in your betting account and how you can withdraw it.

    4. Betting options — Check that you can meet the minimum betting amount the site permits. It's no use signing up with a sportsbook that only accepts bets larger than you want to play for. Likewise, if you want to play big, you don't want to deal with a site that takes micro-bets only.

    5. Bonus programs — Many sites offer significant bonuses for players who sign up for an account. These promotions are on-going, so it's worth spending some time shopping around for the best deal on sports betting review sites.

#2 Study your teams and their opponents

If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles.
The above quote by Chinese general Sun Tzu applies just as equally for the sports arena as for the battlefield. Make sure to study the teams you will be betting on and their opponents. If you're a die-hard sports fan this shouldn't be difficult! Consult your favourite sports news site and get to know what's going on in the field and in the lockers. Take notes and use them as the basis for your betting decisions.

#3 Understand the lingo

Sports betting uses a lot of jargon that can be difficult to understand for the beginner. Learning the language is key to your betting success. There are plenty of sites out there that explain the basic terms and two very good ones are Sports Gambling 101 and the Sports Gambling Glossary on About.com.

#4 Learn to manage your bankroll

Betting is just as about self-discipline as it is about having fun. Make sure to set limits before placing bets. It's a good idea to start small and start increasing your wagers gradually as you become more experienced. The number one reason most sports gamblers lose isn't because of poor choices, but because of poor money management.
    The Kelly Criterion

    The Kelly Criterion is a mathematical formula developed in 1956 by physicist Edward L. Kelly. It gives the percentage of your bankroll to should be wagered on an event to maximize profits, based on the odds and the probability of winning the bet. The formula involves three easy steps.

      1. Multiply the odds of the event by the probability of winning (the percentage of wins you scored over time or the win history of the players on the site you use).

      2. Subtract the probability of losing from the number obtained in the first step.

      3. Take the number obtained in the second step and divide by the odds.

    This end-result is the percentage of your budget that you should wager on the event.

#5 Practice with play bets before you get into the real thing

Like everything else, becoming a betting pro takes time and experience. Try using free bets on your preferred site. If that's not possible use paper bets.

Give yourself a budget, check out the latest odds and pretend you're your own bookie. Write down your bets on a piece of paper. Later add up the wins and subtract the losses from your budget to find out how you've done.

The Final Whistle

Sports betting is a perfect way to add excitement and fun to your sports watching. Nothing adds to the thrill of the game when you've got some real stakes in it and it's also a great way to express your trust and loyalty towards your favourite team.

Like all betting, playing responsibly and wisely is important in sports. Being an informed player will increase your chances of winning, cut down on losses and, more importantly, makes you become a true expert of your favourite sport.

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