What not to do when you lose in sports betting

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Sports betting can be a fun hobby and a profitable side venture. The rise of its popularity and topnotch sportsbooks like Bet365 make it easier to access more than ever. But the dark side can be the losses and the bad habits that follow.

In order to be successful as a sports bettor, you will need to learn to react properly when suffering losses. They say the measure of a person is how they deal with adversity. This can’t be any truer with sports betting.

So let’s look at some common bad habits that you may develop when reacting to a bad sports betting loss and what NOT to do.

1. DO NOT: Chase Your Losses With More Bets

This is number one because this is one of the hardest urges to resist. It’s a natural reaction for us to want to chase a loss, especially if it’s a bad loss, with another bet to “make up for it.”

Sure, sometimes this works. You’ll win and you’ll recoup some or all of your losses. But in the long term, this is a bad idea mainly because it is motivated by emotion – a negative emotion of desperation.

If you get into the bad habit of chasing losses, you start to spiral into some potential problem gambling. Then sports betting doesn’t become fun or even profitable. It just becomes something painful.

This is why you’ll always see writers and hear pros advocate discipline and bankroll management.

2. DO NOT: Wash Your Losses Away with Booze or Drugs

A lot of us get into sports betting not just to make a profit but for the fun of it. The thrill of winning is an unrivaled feeling but on the flipside, the low of losing can also be excruciating.

Turning to substances like alcohol or drugs can be an ill-advised reaction to “wash away” the pain. This is a terrible habit that you need to watch out for.

Consuming alcohol and recreational drugs, when legal, can be fun when done in moderation and during social events. But using it to get over betting losses is a big no-no.

3. DO NOT: Abandon Your Strategy Before Proper Review

This happens way more often than you think and is a knee jerk reaction to losing, not just in sports betting.

Like in many other activities that require skill, we spend several hours preparing for the event only to have it go up in flames. It feels like all our hard work was for nothing. We feel hopeless and dejected.

But even if we had the right strategy and prepared adequately, we could still lose. That doesn’t mean we have to abandon everything we’ve been doing, especially if it’s also led to some victories.

Similarly in sports, teams do not abandon their philosophy because of a bad loss or two. Give a proper review first before deciding if changes need to be made.

4. DO NOT: Blame It All on Bad Luck

On the opposite end, blaming your losses on bad luck can border on being delusional. Sure, there are many losses that come as a result of bad luck or a “bad beat” as they say. If sports betting won’t be nearly as popular if it did not have an element of luck to it.

But there is a reason there are folks who can consistently cash bets and make a living out of it. And it’s not luck.

The best bettors factor in “luck” when it comes to betting. There is no panacea for bad luck. But, if you look hard enough, you can find statistics that factor in the luck equation to sports teams or players’ success.

5. DO NOT: Move on and Forget About Your Losses

It is true that they say having a short memory can be good for betting, but it can also be bad. If our losses teach us more than our victories do, then it’s worth looking back at some of your worst losses and reviewing them.

Where did you go wrong? Why were you off on your analysis? Was it just bad luck?

These are just a few questions you could ask yourself when reviewing your losses. If you do this consistently, you may spot some trends and prevent yourself from making more bad bets in the future. Remember, betting is just as much as knowing yourself than knowing the sports you bet on. 

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