Guide to Sports Betting

This is a guide for advanced players. If you are not one of these, please check out our beginners guide.

1. Introduction

There are many methods, bets, and systems of playing, but players can be divided into two types: “players – winners”, and “players – losers”. The difference between them is that winners are able to accept being occasionally defeated, and this can even make them stronger.
However, “losers” are incapable of coming to terms with a defeat, and this makes them unlikely to win with bookmakers. I put a lot of effort into making this guidebook the first step to your final success.

2. Elements and factors determining victory

  1. Mental factors – a “winner” has a positive attitude even when being defeated. They understand that negative emotions, the willingness to regain the money, and playing at all costs cannot be the priority.
    However, “losers” are restless and nervous, defeats are difficult for them to take, and when losing they cannot help themselves and immediately take further risk by betting more and losing a double or triple amount of money than what they invested at the beginning. They bet on events they have not analyzed before (in particular this applies to “online” players).
    It is, in my opinion, a mental factor. Each player should learn a way of controlling this because without this skill they act in the dark – and this leads to certain failures.
  2. Indispensable personality traits
    Players – winners can be patient. They wait for an opportunity and persistently act in accordance with their system or scheme.
    Players – losers do not know and/or cannot manage self-discipline.
  3. Systems or methods of playing are fundamental to each kind of bet: if you play “by chance” with no system and without understanding one’s actions and one’s goals results will be poor. Every player should set the amount of money to be invested and the method of investing it. It should not be done by chance, or even worse, on the spur of the moment. Nobody forces you to play on a daily basis. If you do this it is only because you are convinced of placed bets.
    It is a mistake to play in accordance with various systems. The primary rule is to understand and find a system which suits your goal. This system should be perfectly adjusted to the amount of money you want to invest in your bets. People who cannot control themselves will never gain any profits. To resolve doubts – there is luck but in the long run it is not possible to move on with no route. It is like sailing at night when you do not know where to go.
  4. Another significant factor is risk control.
    Whoever decides to play for money should primarily get through a trial period, during which they will have a chance to check their skills. One can undergo this trial period on JohnnyBet. You don’t need to invest money but you will be able to check your betting efficiency. If your profit will be negative in the long run, perhaps you’d better give it up and count on somebody else.
    “Player – winner” is able to accept every defeat (obviously it is not possible to be happy when one loses, but if obtained information is right and precise it is the player and not the bookmakers who wins), whereas “player – loser” cannot understand being defeated and simultaneously bets again, non stop, being deluded into trying to quickly regain the money he lost.
  5. Multiple bets – try not to place bets which consist of more than 2 events in one coupon. The principle is simple – it’s no use making our lives more complicated by taking extensive risk.
  6. Progressive system – do not be deluded by the progressive system which is based on increasing the amount. This type of betting requires a high degree of self-control, and in practice players find it hard to maintain this state of mind for a long period of time. Subsequent to numerous losses there is a risk of “getting panicky” and at the same time falling into the bookmakers’ trap.
  7. Budget management – it is necessary that you invest part of your savings in playing. Select an amount so that even a series of losses cannot lead you to bankruptcy. It all depends on the tips you use, but if this is possible you need to analyze their history in order to calculate a safe amount for an individual bet. A generally accepted rule is to bet no more than 1-3% of your budget on a single bet. Remember that more funds can help you win more without the necessity of taking extensive risk when betting on events with high odds. A budget with reference to your savings is a very important factor when placing bets since a bookmaker has no knowledge about this compared to other factors such as odds or news about teams. Therefore suitable budget management is a key to the long-term victory.
  8. Value betting – many people think that placing a single bet with odds 1.60 or 1.70 does not pay off: IT IS NOT TRUE. If a bet of this type was successful, for example, after spending €10, our profit would be €6-7, that is 60-70% more when compared to the invested amount of money. One should not think that they win little (victory is dependent on the invested amount. If I bet €10 with odds – 1.70, I win €7, but if I bet €100, I win €70). It is important to adjust the amount of money to your budget. If you think that chances compared to the offered odds are sufficient, then you ought to bet. How should you calculate it? Use the following formula: (bookmaker’s odds) * (chances of winning) / 100. If the score exceeds 1 it means that the bet pays off, but if the score falls below 1 then you should resign.

    See the examples below:
    • The odds of Arsenal’s victory equals 1.6. You assess the chance of winning – 70%. According to the previous formula: 1.6*70%/100 = 1.12. In this case the bet pays off, the value equals 12%.
    • The odds of Barcelona’s victory equals 1.7. You assess their chances of winning – 55%. According to the previous formula: 1.7*55%/100=0.93. In this case the bet does not pay off and you’d better leave it.
      Having placed bets on many events you will know which bets pay off and you will not have to calculate it every time.
  9. The last issue one needs to take into account is profit management.
    “Player – winner” is able to control the situation and profits. They are not affected by the idea of fast wealth and they do not take redundant risk. They follow the system which helped them win.
    “Player – loser”, who does not understand defeat, is not able to manage the possibly obtained profit, and they soon lose their profit and resign from the successful system by trying to be lucky elsewhere or taking risks on bets which they consider to be valuable without undertaking an accurate analysis.
    For instance: “player – loser” wins €100 and immediately bets €5 each game 4-5 times (they want to win €1000), forgetting that this is the way in which they lose 25% of the obtained profit. They are convinced that it is a great success, and at the same they totally lose their initial control.

3. How to place bets

Narrowing down the area to the kind of “players – winners” who are able to control the above-mentioned elements, those who can take risk and do it consciously should also be patient. We often encounter a large number of opportunities (particularly at weekends) and a huge number of matches which take place in various parts of the world.

Take a pen

  • Begin with excluding competitions you do not know anything about. Do not be deluded by exotic names: it is all about money and is not about organizing distant travels.
  • Exclude any bets with odds below 1.40.
  • Analyze information available on the Internet – which you can find on official websites of clubs or experts’ sites.

Remember that everybody can be an expert. You must decide whether a given person is credible. As a rule this can be done by monitoring the statistics of a given adviser (on JohnnyBet you can find the statistics section in the profile of the user). Personally I recommend only following the tips of 2-3 experts who gain regular profits at 10%. If you notice that a given adviser publishes tips for at least a year and these tips are profitable at 10% you can be sure they are professional.

Key elements the experts find fundamental when selecting:
  • teams’ scores in the period of last 4-6 matches
  • squad: absent players due to disqualification or injury. One has to answer the question of whether teams are able to replace certain members. Do not let your attention be drawn by numbers. Pay attention to the role and importance of absent players: no primary goalkeeper, the best striker, team captain or defenders are key elements responsible for a team’s strength.
  • pitch: to my mind it no longer matters as much as it used to, especially in the strongest European leagues, yet you ought to focus on HOME/AWAY scores as if a given team has gotten 80% of their points at home it is certain that playing at home is crucial.
  • situation in the club and in dressing rooms: arguments and tension between a team owner and a coach and players are key to understanding the atmosphere in the team.
  • new transfers: can be an impulse but it’s necessary to accommodate.
  • change of coach: has negative effects ( a new coach needs to get to know players and use his methods), but also positive ones (particularly regarding players who are assigned new roles, substitutes, but also in the case of a lack of communication and trust between an old coach and players).

4. How to obtain good information

Good news is usually credible information which comes from a credible source. It often happens that news we read is incorrect and does not correlate with the facts. It also happens that we link a single piece of information with a sudden drop in a bookmaker’s odds and we do not analyze the whole match, and we believe that it must be a 100% victory. Remember to check all competitors. On the basis of my experiences, I advise you to be careful about other Internet users’ comments on blogs (free or chargeable) and forums: remember that everybody can publish their opinions “from the point of view of a fan” and can also post untrue information, which is close to placing reckless bets.

In my career I posted my tips for many websites which offered bookmaker’s recommendations for free. This is where I met a lot of talented tipsters, however a serious drawback of such websites is the fact that administrators propose monthly rewards for posting recommendations. This results in the fact that tipsters post reckless tips at the end of the cycle, often with high odds in order to hit the jackpot and win the prize in the contest. Such behavior does not go hand in hand with long-term success.

An alternative is websites which offer paid tips, yet I have certain reservations regarding the quality of published tips. Users of such services who pay fees require access to the tips at any time. Speaking of the work of professional tipsters, there are moments in which there are no suitable bets and one should refrain from betting, but advisers present on chargeable websites cannot afford to stop due to the pressure exerted by subscribers. In my opinion the best advisers are tipsters who do not earn money or rewards in contests but who post tips in order to share their knowledge. To them profits obtained in bets are high enough that they do not have to win prizes or take money from users, and their only goal is to exchange information with other experts.

5. My tips

  1. Every player should understand the method of betting. They should make a decision and stick to it. The biggest mistake is to frequently change applied methods.
  2. If we decide to follow a given way, we shall not turn away from this but instead improve it and adjust it to our betting.
  3. The difference between high and low odds is inconsiderable (apart from the matter of increased stake). The most important thing is to be aware of what to do. Then it’s all about being consistent.
  4. Stability of time and professionalism are vital to a professional adviser. In the case of the average players they will be able to tell the difference between a good player and the one who got to the top.
  5. Always remember to be cheerful and stable. IT’S THE BASIC RULE WHEN PLACING BETS!
  6. You should NEVER place bets if you are in a difficult personal situation, such as if you are nervous, tired or stressed out. You should NEVER place bets if you are not in a peaceful place (it’s best to be alone and nothing should distract you).
  7. You should NEVER (in the past I also made this mistake) place too many bets just like that without assessing the risk or being convinced of victory. One should not place bets which have not been analyzed in accordance with the tips listed above and without a “sufficient” amount of data or income. As I’ve already mentioned, they will give you an advantage over hated bookmakers, who can actually be helpful because if you think alike you can become a PROFESSIONAL.
  8. To illustrate this, I listen to music when I analyze a match I want to invest a lot of money in, but I do it ON MY OWN, and nobody is close to me!

The aforementioned tips are, in my view, THE MOST IMPORTANT: they seem to be small in detail but they make a big difference.

Giovanni del Bosco
Giovanni "levsky" del Bosco
He is a professional sports betting tipster who received the "JohnnyBet Expert of the Year" title in 2012. Since 2011 he has been cooperating with the website. The result of this cooperation is the professional Guide to Sports Betting prepared by him. More...

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Last comment 10inchpow 10inchpow Great guide with lots of bright ideas! ...
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