7 Common Betting Mistakes + How To Avoid Them (2019 Update)

7 Common Betting Mistakes

In this article we look at the most common mistakes punters make when betting and explain exactly why you don’t want to be making these errors as well as advice on how to avoid them.

Common Betting Mistakes

Sports betting attracts millions of people around the world, but what if we told you that only 5% of gamblers are successful (i.e, make a profit)? There’s a reason why you’ve never heard of a ‘broke bookie’.

A lot of the time, being a successful sports bettor isn’t about what you should do, but more about what you shouldn’t do.

Only 5% of gamblers are successful.

It’s also important to understand that even the most successful bettors make mistakes. Sports betting can never truly be mastered as the process is always ongoing.

So, why do so many fail pursuit for profit?

7 Common Betting Mistakes

To become a successful bettor, you need to minimise your errors. To minimise your errors, you need to firstly recognise them and then find a solution. It might sound weird, but it’s a lot easier to learn from your failures, than it is from your successes.

With that in mind, here are 7 common mistakes punters make when betting and how you can combat them.

1) Betting Blind

It’s common for your average punter with little time on their hands to bet on a team because they are a ‘big name’ without considering form, opposition, team news and most importantly price.

For example, you might be looking through the coupon and see Manchester United at 1/2 to beat Southampton away and instantly think ‘of course they’re going to win that, they’re the better side and the bigger club’ without taking further consideration of the four aforementioned factors.

It is important to step back, take a look at the statistics of the two teams and then decide whether your selection is worth it at the given odds. Sure, they’ll be plenty of punters who like to chuck all the big names into an accumulator each weekend but you’d be surprised how often they fail, and it’s probably not going to be good value.

2) Constantly Using Accumulators

For those who bet for a bit of fun and ‘interest’ on the weekend with small stakes then that is absolutely fine and this doesn’t apply to you.

However, if you’re looking to make steady returns on investment in betting in the long term then it pays (quite literally) to back well researched picks as singles, doubles or trebles.

It’s tempting to keep adding teams when you see the accumulator price increase with each selection, however you’re relying on a huge amount to happen in your favour (there’s a reason for the big price).

So if you’re annoyed that your 45/1 accumulator doesn’t win then just remember that the bookies are saying that there was a 1 in 45 chance of all of your results happening.

It sounds simple but it’s something that is rarely thought about thoroughly. For more on this we’ve put together an article on whether accumulators are actually worth it.

3) Not Doing Research

If you do your research, you can then start to decipher whether the odds given are overpriced or under-priced – this can give you that all important edge over the bookmaker.

For example, let’s imagine there’s an upcoming fixture between two sides who have both played 10 games each. Cumulatively, 13 of the 20 games played have seen ‘Both Teams To Score’ win, giving an overall percentage of 65%. Based on those stats, it would be fair to expect odds of around 7/10. However, one bookmaker has BTTS priced up at 19/20. This can be seen as a ‘value’ price and therefore can be your edge over the bookie. It may not even win, but the point here is that you are getting value for money with your bet.

If you can fully grasp the concept of ‘value’ and are willing to put the effort into your research then you can vastly increase your long term profits.

Not Doing Research

4) Not Shopping Around

It’s not always wise to be loyal to one bookmaker, quite the opposite actually.

Just like when you buy anything in life, you’re going to look around to see who if offering the best price and that’s exactly the same in betting.

The industry is far from monopolised and there is plenty of choice which is great for punters. An added bonus of this market competition is margins are squeezed and you are likely to find a better price for your bet if you shop around.

Furthermore, the volume of bookmakers also generally means some sort of welcome offer. In fact, there are a whole host of free bet offers out there so why not utilise them to your advantage.

When betting on singles, it’s these fine margins that can make the difference and again, increase your long term profits.

5) Not Exploring Different Markets

There’s no need to always bet on a team to win, lose or draw. With the expansion of markets it is easy to find alternative angles into games that may provide a greater deal of value.

In addition to the popular first/anytime goalscorer markets, there are others such as Player To Be Carded, Number Of Corners and Half Time/Full Time markets. Asian Handicap betting markets are also becoming more and more and can be extremely lucrative.

Again, it’s vital to do your research before placing your bets as you’ll start to see trends such as Team A tend to regularly get a lot of corners or Player X tends to be booked regularly. These markets that are scarcely utilised will often provide good value also.

6) No Bankroll Management

In all forms of betting it is crucial to have a set amount as your bankroll and to manage that carefully and sensibly.

Your bankroll should be the amount that you are happy to risk losing, this capital is then to be purely used for betting.

Many punters even use a points system relative to their bankroll. Depending on your personal preference, probability and value of a bet, a varying number of points can then be allocated to a bet.

For instance, if it’s a very strong selection it may be 5/10 points on that single bet and the remaining 5 points spread out over other selections.

Bankrolls will vary from person to person and it’s paramount to not set this at a level over the top. It’s similar to people who go to the casino and will only take out the money that they’re happy to risk losing.

If managed properly, then good bankroll management can help aid responsible gambling.

7) Chasing Losses

Patience in betting is extremely important. We’ve all been there after losing a bet, the temptation to go again to win your money back is always strong, but it’s during these times where you have to be disciplined and take a step back.

Chasing your losses can be very detrimental to your mind and your bank balance. Just because you lost your last bet it doesn’t necessarily mean you have more chance of winning your next one. If you go on a run of losses then to win your money back you have to keep increasing your stakes which is a worrying sign. For more on this we’ve listed 5 tips on how to deal with losing streaks.

Sometimes after a loss, if you’re tempted to chase it then it’s good to put down your phone or laptop and do something simple like go for a walk or focus your mind on something completely different.

Most bookmakers have a deposit limit which will stop access to outside funds within a certain period and it is sensible to utilise this feature to stop going too far.

It’s very important to gamble responsibly – begambleaware.org.uk is a good organisation that works to help give advice for those who struggle with chasing losses.


Mistakes are part and parcel of sports betting. They are inevitable and it’s important to understand that.

However, it is also important you learn from then. Furthermore, if each mistake you make is new, then this is a good sign that you are making progress.

By researching your selections thoroughly, staying disciplined with staking plans and betting on the things you have a great deal of knowledge on, you will be putting yourself in a better position to improving your long-term success and profit.