Your guide to soccer betting…

Know yourself

With sportsbetting as with everything else in life, it's important to set yourself a goal. If you don't have a goal with your betting, it may get out of hand. You may start betting every day, you may start betting harder to make up for earlier losses, you suddenly place impulsive bets, and the whole thing can become rather unpleasant. Therefore, take a few moments thinking over the following:

Risk profile

Who am I to tell you how you're going to bet, and where to place your bets ? You're right, I can only suggest, not command. There are no correct answers to how you should bet to make money. It all depends (among other things) on your risk profile. Therefore, an answer can only be given when you know your willingness to take risks. A punter who wants to win big money fast, often has a risky way of betting (betting on outsiders, often with high stakes). The opposite is the punter who's content with making a 10% profit on his bets. He has a rather low risk profile, and places his bets on a big favourite at low prices and very often with low stakes aswell.

Long term/short term

This is one of the most important things to decide. Do you bet on a short term basis, or long term ? If you bet long term, you're probably willing to bet on outsiders, with a relativly low matemathical chance of winning. In that way, you don't have to win each time, but when you do win, you win a lot because the odds on outsiders are high.
The question is: Have you got the patience to wait for the outsider. Will you loose patience, and start changing your strategy ?

The short-term punter will most likely bet on big favourites at small prices, and often with high stakes. He will feel he's winning often , but when he wins, the payback is so small, that one loss, and it's all down to scratch again. This is due to the bookie's fear of favourites. The relative value on favourites is often very slim, due to the fact that the bookie fear the favourites big chance of winning (thus a large payout for the bookie, as most punters bet on big favourites). In other words, you get less value out of each bet when you bet on big favourites, because they don't win as often as the prices offered reflect.

"Modus operandi"

Some people fancy a bet just to have some excitement watching a televised footballmatch or sport event. And that's OK. They don't care too much whether they win or loose. It's just for the sake of entertainment. And these people don't bet everyday, they've got a relaxed relation to sports betting. The opposite is punters who intend to win money on their betting, big money. Often these punters need to play often, and they bet on low-priced games, which the bookie is very aware of, and therefore has slashed the odds notably. Therefore, these punters don't get the long-term value which high-odds often provide.
But what happens when the "entertainment-punter" suddenly starts winning ?
Yes, correct, he suddenly starts increasing his stakes, because he feels he has been lucky or clever, he's betting more often than before, and then suddenly his money has gone. This is a result of human behaviour. It seems as if we, for some strange reason, want to loose the money we've won. When we win, we don't stop, and say: "Allright, I'm satisfied". No, we stretch the limits further, and suddenly we start loosing. And when we've crossed the limits, we really don't notice it, because now we're trying to get back what we've "lost". And then everything start going downhill. If you started with 100 $, then winning 500 $, you've got a nice profit.
Instead of taking the profit, you stretch the limits further, and suddenly you're down to 300 $. Still you've got a 200 % payoff, but you'll feel that 300 on the way down is much less than 300 on the way up, and therefore you'll continue betting without taking the 200 $ profit. Chances are that your profit has disappeared before you even realise what's happening...
This is somewhat self destructive, but it can be dealt with if you've got a minimum of self dicipline.

When you win, don't feel unbeatable, and start increasing your stakes straight away. Continue where you started, and remember that even though it's easy to win, it's even easier to loose what you've just gained. Ofcourse you should take your chances when you're in a winning streak, but keep in mind it's very easy to let it all get out of hand. When you're loosing, don't get tempted into irrational actions (dramaticly increasing the stakes, changing your strategy, bet on more games, etc). If your strategy has worked before, it will work again, it's all about dicipline and patience. Sometimes you will hit a bad run, and this is the time to show dicipline. Maybe take a few weeks break from betting, do something else and come back later.


Have you got the time to gather info about the participants in the events, or do you just put in a bet every know and then just for the sake of excitement ? Analyse what kind of time you're willing to use on this hobby, and act thereafter.

How much money have I got at my disposal ? How much can I afford to loose ? Never bet with borrowed money. Do not bet whith money who's intended used for housekeeping or other more important things than sports betting. Always keep in mind that you can loose all your money. Set yourself a target, and take the profit when you've reached the target, then start all over again. Example: If you start with 100 $, set a target of 500$. If you reach 500$, order a payout of 400$, and continue with your initial 100$. In this way, you'll see the fruits of your work, real cash, not only virtual money on the bookie's server.

Naturally interrested

Are you really interrested in sports, or do you bet just for the sake of the possible profit? If you enjoy sports, it's much easier to keep updated on what's going on, thus maybe having an extra edge on the bookie. If you feel that the whole thing is getting boring and no fun anymore, then it's time to call it a day. Do not bet just for the sake of a bet. When the motivation is gone, there's a big chance that you will lose patience and interest, and finally your money.

Enough of this psychologic stuff? Then go on to read about "Match analysis"

Parts of this article are inspired by Geir Høistads book "Oddstipping som levebrød" (in Norwegian only). His excellent book can be purchased by mailing

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