Never ask another man how much he bets
It is one of those things that is an unspoken rule between bettors. You need never go up and ask another man how much he made financially for the calendar year or exactly what he was spending all his money on. The same type of ethics and protocol should adhere to sports bettors. There is a sharp opinion out there whether it is a five dollar punter or someone who is playing for little stakes. It is all relative in terms of what your expectations are. Is it professional? Is it recreational betting? But my own take on that is no opinion should be discounted based on just the volume that you are actually putting into action.
Always reciprocate with those who share confidential information
I think it is important to develop a network. Now in this day and age as sports betting becomes more and more global, you see the proliferation of European soccer leagues here in the States and North American sports not only in Australia but throughout Europe. You need sources on the ground floor to try and share that best information for you. I would not feel comfortable walking to the window placing National Rugby League wagers without some Australians in my ear to let me know what injuries I may or may not be missing. The same way that I would expect Australians that were interested in American football to contact me indirectly and kind of ask what I would look for.
Never say a game is in the bag until it’s officially over
This is moreso superstition than anything else. I hear it all the time from people and it is funny because my dad is a smaller punter in the grand scheme of it. He loves to send a text message or give me a phone call part way through a game saying “Oh, this was a great call.” Inevitably that lead quickly starts to evaporate and you can never cash your ticket until you play the game out in its entirety. No matter if it is college basketball or rugby, gridiron or soccer. You have to wait until that clock hits triple 0 before you can walk to the window and collect that cash.
Never say a line is a joke unless you are willing to plow into it with your own money
This is one that I have plenty of friends that are non-gamblers and they always look at point spreads after the fact. You can almost say that it is hindsight 20-20 on this. They go, ‘the odds makers clearly made a mistake’. I said ‘well if you guys felt so confident about that, I said where is your six figure wager to try and put down on a particular game’. It is always easy once the game has been played and it is made final to try and look like you are a Houdini and a true soothsayer. If folks want to try and comment and they want to talk to gamblers about things, I tell them unless they are putting their own money into action, you have to swallow your pride a little bit and learn how to do it like the rest of us.
Always remain confident no matter how cold you are. The cream always rises and the breaks will come
I think a big part of it is we all go through stretches of confidence whether we are betting sports or playing them ourselves, that it is impossible to stay on top of the world the whole time. But if you trust your methods, know you have put the hard work in that it takes to be successful, then things are going to start to break your way and that 3 and 7 losing skiff will all of a sudden become 7 and 3. That is one of the toughest parts for some of the younger bettors out there who are just getting started or even people who want to try to do this more as a hobby. You just have to maintain that true bankroll management to go through the inevitable ebbs and flows of a major sports team.
Never ask someone what they saw in a game once the outcome has been decided
I think part of that goes into one of the aforementioned rules about being able to plow into a game. You know if you want to try and pick apart someone’s handicapping method, ask them before a game goes. Everybody can look like they saw this coming a mile away; but the reality of it is for every game you are on the right side of this 30-point blowout you will have games that go the other way. It is funny because our brains more than anything else are trained to remember the blowouts where you are in the wrong side more so than when you are the right side of a perfectly handicapped contest.
Always encourage others in the field to be more honest. Most gamblers lie
I think it is one of those things that you can always try and convince yourself of something very different. I tell people that if they ever have intention of taking this hobby seriously, you always have to document your plays, know exactly where you are winning and losing across all sports, dollar amounts, sides or totals. This also adheres to the tipster industry which is big here in the States where a lot of people will try and blow smoke to try and sell products. But if you are just selling snake oil to your clients, do not be surprised when you do not see that return business. There is a lot to be said about a field that does not always smile and encourage ethical behaviour to try and be a trendsetter in that arena.
Never trash another handicapper or take delight in their misfortune
I think this is one of the golden rules; not only of handicapping but also in life. You never wish onto others which you would not wished onto you. I think you see that largely through social media. Jealousy plays such a role in what goes on. People are often rooting against handicappers for whatever reason. The bottom line is you should worry about winning every bet that you place and do not worry so much about the other bets that people have going for their own benefit.
Always take accountability for your own bets
It is important like anything else in life that no one is forcing you to walk to the window and place a particular wager. Win or lose you are the one with the final decision that can determine whether if it was a good bet or a bad bet. Do not be pointing fingers at other people claiming that you took their advice and it led you astray; because at the same time we know full well that you are not willing to complement them when you take your advice and you actually get to the window successfully.
Never skate on a debt, whether it is 50 bucks, 500 or 5,000
This is always tricky. The unfortunate part of some of these folks out here that will bet and they will do so primarily on credit. When you lose money, only wager the money that you can afford to lose. Everyone one of us can afford to bet more money but if you go through a lean period, you never want to have to dip into your savings or ask your friends for a loan. So whether it is 50 bucks or 500 make sure you have that money aside because the worse thing that can happen to you is you get labelled as someone who does not pay their debts and no one is going to want to take your action moving forward.
Always respect the market
I think it is so important to watch the numbers and understand what some of the market clues are doing. When a point spread starts to move in an unorthodox way and you handicap the game from here until Sunday, you may want to try and back off or at least figure out what type of injury may not be there. What some of the professionals may see in a game and why that price is moving? I think even for our horse racing industry which is a little bit different, when you talk about parimutuel pools and how every dollar will get impacted in those numbers.
There is usually a reason if a 50 to 1 morning line favourite ends up going off at 6 to 5. It takes an awful lot of money to be able to move that price. Typically the folks that have deep pockets are in the habit of winning a lot more bets than they are losing.
Never spend time reminding people of a price that is no longer available in the market.
I think this is another technique on social media you see all time. People, especially for sports where the betting markets are open for six or seven days, it is great that you have got the best of the number at the six point underdog. But if that underdog closes at plus three reminding people 25 minutes before kickoff or whatever it may be that you had this number locked in, it just shows more than anything else that you are not necessarily in it to try and reap the benefits financially, but you are in it for social currency.
Always strive for the best of the number
I think it is called for across all sports, whether it is soccer, baseball, you name it, horse racing included. You want to make sure you lock in the best of the price because your expectations for positive ROI will decline substantially when you are taking a burnt number in the market. A lot of that is doing your homework ahead of time, being able to move, understanding what you are looking for before the game even becomes close to getting played.
Never call a game a lock
There is always a degree of chance in any of these sporting events and for me that is as much a pet peeve as anything else. If we knew a game was a so-called lock, there would be no reason to ever bet anything else. You would load up once a year and we could spend 364 days enjoying the sunshine, beaches, and fair weather for some of the better exotic destinations upon this fine world.
Todd Furhman, author of The Bettor’s Code
Click here to listen to Todd’s full interview on the Betting 360 Podcast.
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