8 tips for successful sports betting
No one gets rich quick from sports betting. Most of them just get poorer. So that this doesn’t happen to you, we’ve put together a few tips from journalist and gambling expert Radek Vegas.
He has been running a YouTube channel about sports betting for three years and has been up every season, especially in the Bundesliga. Attention: This is nothing for adventurers, but the boring truth!
1. Realistic goals
In order to win at sports betting, you should first and foremost pursue realistic goals. If you don’t have money to invest, you won’t win much or it will take a long time. The less money you have, the more likely you are to bet relatively too much.
This increases the risk of ruin and you will have to pay more quickly than you would like. In the long term, really good sports betting experts have a yield of 5 to 10%. This means that for every bet you win on average this percentage.
If you place 100 bets a month at 10 euros each, you have a turnover of 1000 euros. On this turnover there is a maximum profit of 10% (sometimes more – usually much less). With this you win 100 euros as a really VERY GOOD sports betting expert.
Anything beyond that is absolute luck and not the norm. The reality is very different. Very few manage to achieve such returns over several months. Anyone who brags or advertises big wins (one off wins) will sooner or later be caught up in reality.
Of course there are exceptions that have a sensational run on a few bets (100 to 1000 bets) and win more than the 10%. But there are also extraordinary footballers like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. And while many others have some good games, not many will score as many goals in the long run.
So it’s better to calculate conservatively and be surprised if things go better. But don’t think you or anyone you know who has placed a few bets is the chosen one. Sports betting is above all a lot of learning money, time for research, experience and mathematics.
2. Interventions within reason
In order not to keep giving the money you have paid in to the sports betting provider, it is important that you do not play beyond your means. Sure, everyone thinks they’re special. But statistics and the experience of many show that one should not risk too much on a single bet.
While there are a number of ways to bet, for beginners it makes the most sense to only bet 1% of your money at a time. And by that I don’t mean 1% of total assets or salary. It’s 1% of the money you can lose without getting very upset.
If you deposit 100 euros into your betting account, you bet 1 euro per bet.
If things go well for a month and you make a profit, you can deposit money again and use it to increase your account balance. Assuming you then had 210 euros in your account, you could then bet 2.10 euros per bet. Better to increase your bankroll than to risk too much on a bet.
3. There are no safe bets
“That’s safe” is a dictum among gamblers. In the Radek Vegas Facebook group, people who write something like this are kicked out immediately.
Of course, there are bets that are more likely than others. But mostly the people who write something about “safe” can’t judge that.
Because a low rate does not necessarily mean a high probability. It means little gain.
Here, too, one should not be so arrogant as to think that one would have a better perspective than the betting providers, who have done nothing else for decades than pack probabilities into odds and thus earn a few billion euros every year in Germany alone.
If there was any sure bet, the bookmaker would know that days in advance and factor that into the odds.
It’s not about winning a sure bet (unless you never bet again after that), but about winning more than you lose over the course of a month, a year or a betting career.
Even the best do not always succeed because fluctuations (luck and bad luck) are unavoidable in sports and especially in gambling. The best team in the world has a bad day and will lose to a weak team.
In the NHL, for example, since the start of the 2019/2020 season there have only been 30 more favorites wins in 300 games than outsider wins. In the case of favorite wins with low odds of 1.6 to 1.9, you were very often wrong, while you can make a small fortune with blind bets on the higher odds.
This only shows that on the one hand the odds do not always express the true probability and on the other hand there is more to it than dealing with low odds.
4. Hit rate is meaningless
You may have seen a Facebook ad where some awesome tipster advertised that he has a super-duper hit rate. E.g. “80% hit rate” or something like that. You should report such promises immediately or acknowledge them with a skeptical comment.
The hit rate is meaningless. You can win 80% of 10 bets by winning 8 bets. That is possible. Winning 16 out of 20 bets is also possible. 40 out of 50 bets is more difficult – regardless of the odds. And 80 out of 100 is quite an achievement! Anything that goes beyond that is very unrealistic and says nothing on its own.
Because it always depends on the average odds of the bets played. I can have an 80% hit rate and lose.
But I can also make a profit with only a 40% hit rate if the odds are high enough. The best tipsters on Blogabet have a relatively low hit rate of around 50%. This is because betting professionals mostly place bets with odds around 2.0.
So value like that 80% is just an attempt to trick lay people into paying money for these super-duper tips.
As written at the beginning, a return of 5% per bet is already a very good value. However, on 100 or 1000 bets. Anyone who has recorded fewer bets can have a deviation in a positive or negative direction, which can be either good or bad luck but says nothing about the actual quality of a tipster.
So ask for the balance sheet of a tipster and only believe him if he has had a complete balance sheet verified by a third party for months. Very few do that because it is time-consuming and at least frustrating when things are not going so well. It would also show that those who struggled with even the simplest of math and boasted an 80% hit rate would be losing a lot real quick.
5. Test how good you are before playing for money
It is also better to simulate 100 or more picks without betting. There are websites like Blogabet.com, where you can place your bets virtually and then always have an overview of whether you would win money.
As long as you don’t make a profit there, you won’t do it for real money in reality either.
6. No accumulator bets
Bayern win combo with Barcelona, Juve and Manchester City at odds of 2.5. This is what a possible combination of favorites looks like, which allows millions to flow into the cash register of betting providers every weekend. If it were that easy, every pub-goer would be a betting millionaire in no time.
In truth, the wealth of bookmakers is fueled by these combination bets. The crazier the better. Sure, every now and then someone wins who, for example, has bet on Leceister City as champions in England or has a ticket with 15 games right.
On the downside, however, there are the many attempts that are necessary before something like this happens. Not only your own, but also those of all the others who try and are less fortunate.
Such individual prizes are then widely promoted and even make it into the Bild newspaper. There can’t be any better advertising for bookmakers because they know full well that such high winnings are the exception and that the winners will eventually bring the money back anyway.
I understand anyone who bets 5 euros on a five-man combination on a Bundesliga Saturday. There is nothing wrong with that. Homer Simpson said almost 30 years ago: Betting makes a good thing even better. That’s true to a certain extent.
As long as it’s 5 euros a week, which you would otherwise pay for a drink in a café or bar. As soon as you pin your hopes on these bets and bet more, it starts to become problematic and you should urgently undergo a reality check:
Do I really know enough about this sport to bet that much money?
Do I have enough knowledge of odds and probabilities to judge what is a good and bad bet? Do I have a positive profit expectation? No? Then stick to the occasional €5 combo, but save the money for other things.
7. Know the probabilities!
Betting is a game of chance. A odd is an inverse probability. If you divide 1 by the odds, you get the percentage probability that the bookmaker grants the event. In order to make a profit in sports betting in the long term, you have to recognize when the odds are too high or too low.
Most of the time, the crowd of bettors will drive the odds in one direction or the bettors will intentionally mislead the bettors to maximize profit according to an algorithm. Betting is not about winning a bet. It’s about beating the odds. And not once, but over and over again, so that in the end there is more money than before.
The principle is called “value bet”. Only bets with “value” ensure that the account balance grows over a longer period of time. On the other hand, if you only bet on obvious favorites, you will never get anywhere, despite the high hit rate. Because as I have already written: Of course, the bookmakers know that too.
8. Sport that you follow regularly
The best way to win in sports betting is to be very familiar with a league. Ideally, in a small market, you know more than the bookmakers. For example, if you have a favorite club in lower-tier soccer leagues and follow a lot of games from them, you might be able to provide better predictions than the bookmaker’s algorithm.
It becomes particularly lucrative when you have insider information, such as when an important player is missing or there is a crisis in the team. Such things can also be found in good local newspapers. These are also very rare. It is better to have direct contacts in the clubs. Either players or regular viewers. In this way you can develop a decisive knowledge advantage, which, however, is quickly curbed by the betting providers.
So don’t believe anyone who tells you they’ve won thousands of euros at a bookmaker. Because the well-known betting providers, which you see on TV every Saturday, block players as soon as they have won a certain amount or limit the stakes for winners, so that high profits are no longer possible or it is simply luck.
What do you think of these sports betting tips? Do you think: The guy has no idea, I’ll make it! Or do you think: Oh, I was probably a bit naive and will approach the matter more carefully.
In the end it doesn’t matter as long as it’s fun. In order to really earn money with sports betting in the long term, you have to do a lot for it. Analyze, watch games, calculate. That’s a full-time job that requires certain skills. If you can’t afford that, you should stick to the occasional fun mission or stick to tip 5.