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Kelly criterion method
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Sports-betting- a game of numbers
Market movement in betting
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Martingale Considerations in Sports Betting
In-play betting
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A Crash Course in Horse Racing
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American odds versus decimal odds
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Paying for Picks
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Betting psychology- a crash course about aspiring professional bettors
Popular Sports Betting Beliefs
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Exchange betting
Randomness in sportsbetting
Fractional versus decimal odds
Home team advantage analised
How bad at sportsbetting are you?
Reasons to Keep Betting Records
How bookmakers make money
How bookmakers work
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Should You Bet on Multiple Sports or Specialize?
How do free bets work
How does luck influence short term betting
How good are betting tipsters
Sports Betting for Beginners
How loss aversion impacts performance
How many sports to bet on
How Much Should You Bet On a Sporting Event?
Staking-one method to improve your betting
How much you should risk per bet?
How Sports Betting Has Changed Over the Last 20 Years
How To Avoid A Big Sports Betting Loss
The art of multiple betting
The history of lotteries
The value of information in soccer betting
Three careers ideally suited to betting
Tips for Better Sports Betting Results
Types of Online Sports Betting Bonuses
Understanding and managing your risk of ruin
Understanding Horse Racing Bet Types
Understanding Live Betting
Value betting is an essential skill for bettors
Ways to Increase the Percentage of Sports Bets You Win
What are drawdowns and how to manage them
What are the most common mistakes the bettors make
What are the real chances of winning the lottery?
What distinguishes winning from losing betors
What is a handicap soccer betting?
What is the Fibonacci betting system?
What is the Labouchere betting system
What is the Martingale staking system
Why do we gamble? Irrationality and overconfidence
Why patience is an essential trait for any serious bettor
Poisson Distribution: Predict the score in soccer betting
Fixed Staking vs. Variable Staking
Basketball betting: Bet types explained
7 Sure-Fire Baseball Betting Strategies
How Does In-Play Betting Work?
To Parlay, or Not to Parlay?
Wisdom of the Crowds applied to betting
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5 Gambling Tricks You Can Only Use Online
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5 REASONS CASINO GAMES ARE SO ENTERTAINING
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The 12 Types of People I Meet in Casinos – Analyzing My Fellow Gamblers
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What I Love Most About My Three Favorite Video Poker Games
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What’s Next for Online Gambling?
Using Self-Discipline in the Casino
20 ONLINE GAMBLING TIPS
Going All-In – When to Bet It All in Poker
10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Roulette Before I Started
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BEATING BACCARAT – WINNING SYSTEMS & STRATEGIES
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Gambling and Poker Playing: 10 Things to Know
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HOW TO AVOID GOING BROKE AT THE ROULETTE WHEEL
HOW TO GET YOUR FIRST ONLINE CASINO SIGNUP BONUS
How to make a million playing video poker
How to Spend Your Gambling Winnings
HOW TO SURVIVE A BLIZZARD AT THE CRAPS TABLE
HOW TO WIN AT ROULETTE
How to Win Consistently at Casino Gambling
How to Win Consistently at Craps
How to Win Consistently at Roulette
HOW VOLATILITY WORKS IN CASINO GAMBLING
Is It Possible to Play Roulette as a Career (Or Even as a Part Time Gig)?
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MONEY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY FOR YOUR NEXT CASINO TRIP
ONLINE CASINO DISPUTES
SKILL BASED CASINO GAMES: PROS AND CONS
The 5 secret joys of casino gambling
The Benefits of an Online Gambling Environment
The Best Long-Term Strategies for Playing Progressive Jackpot Slots
THE BIGGEST JACKPOTS IN ONLINE GAMBLING
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Why patience is an essential trait for any serious bettor

Betting for a living is often romanticised as being about big-decision moments and the highs of pulling off life-changing wins. The reality couldn’t be more different. Bettors need to work hard, learn quickly and be disciplined in order to succeed. Patience is also an essential trait for any serious bettor, and this article explains why.

Understanding the psychological side of betting is just as important as having the right kind of information and betting with the right bookmaker. Not everybody bets for the same reasons; there are a multitude of various reasons why we gamble, but regardless of the motivation, if you want consistent profits it is useful to adhere to certain rules.

Why bettors need to be patient

Patience - the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious - is often overlooked as a key component of making money from betting. Being able to calculate expected value and beat the closing line is obviously important but in an environment that can be influenced by randomness and luck, bettors also need to be patient.

A skilled poker player could still be showing losses after as many as 100,000 hands (two years of playing for 40 hours a week).

The law of large numbers is perhaps the best way to explain how important patience is in betting. At the core of Jacob Bernoulli’s theorem is the principle of probability distribution. In terms of betting, this would be the expectation that a coin will land on heads or tails or a roulette wheel lands on red or black an even number of times within a restricted sample.

Of course, at some point in time things like a coin toss and roulette wheel will even out. Similarly, if a bettor has an edge that is bigger than the bookmaker’s margin, instances of randomness and luck will (at some point in time) even out. It simply requires patience to avoid restricting the sample size within which this expectation will be realised.

Joseph Buchdahl also highlights why patience is an essential trait in betting in his Becoming a profitable bettor: A question of luck or skill article. He uses Nate Silver’s example of how a skilled poker player could still be showing losses after as many as 100,000 hands (two years of playing for 40 hours a week). Granted, this is an extreme example but it shows how important it is to understand that once you have an edge, you still need to be prepared to wait for the positive results.

Understanding the influence of cognitive biases

Bettors might be aware of the common traps people fall into, understand what Gambler’s Fallacy is and know that (providing they have an edge) they will make money if they wait long enough. However, certain cognitive biases can interfere with this logical reasoning.

If you have positive expected value but still suffer losses, you need to understand that it is merely a sequence of losses in a bigger sample.

There are numerous articles within Betting Resources that analyse the impact cognitive biases have on our decision-making process when placing a bet. Whether it is the favourite-longshot bias or the hindsight bias, patience is one of many mechanisms that can help stop bettors deviating from rational judgement and make more informed betting decisions.

Short-term profit vs. Long-term success

One cognitive bias that patience can help bettors control is hyperbolic discounting - the tendency to choose an immediate payoff over a larger gain that will take longer to achieve. This notion is perhaps best expressed when looking at staking methods and the fact that different betting profilesare suited to a particular method.

Some bettors want the instant big win and will bet their maximum bankroll at once; even if there’s a big risk of going bust. Others will use progressive methods (like Fibonacci) continually betting after losses to recoup all previous stakes. However, proportional (such as the Kelly Criterion) and fixed staking methods greatly reduce and even eliminate risk - so why wouldn’t everyone use these methods?

  • Learn about the Fibonacci and Kelly Criterion staking methods.

Patience and rationality

If we believe in rational choice theory, every decision we make is based on the assumption that we are maximising our advantage and minimising our losses. However, this isn’t always the case in betting.

The desire for instant gratification has permeated betting and bettors are now provided with endless means to place bets that require minimal effort.

If a bettor wants to place a $10 bet and their usual bookmaker offers odds of 2.22 but 2.25 is available elsewhere (a difference of $0.30 if it wins), will they change bookmakers? Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. If the same bettor has the same choice but wants to bet $100,000, they will be more inclined to change bookmakers (for the additional $3,000). Yet in both situations the bettor has an opportunity to maximise their advantage?

Serious bettors know how important value (the better odds) is, no matter how small a difference it might make. They know that sometimes it requires extra effort to find said value and that with some patience, they will make more profit with better odds - this is why Pinnacle’s low margins are so popular.

In terms of rationality, it also important to understand that anxiety heightens irrational behaviours. If an individual is patient they will lessen such behaviours which will help them to rationalise the decisions they make. 

Is technology is making us impatient?

Outside the world of betting, advancements in technology have made acquiring goods and fulfilling needs easier than ever. You can order a pizza at the touch of a button, you don’t have to move to do your weekly shop and even ordering a taxi requires less effort than before.

Patience is one of many mechanisms that can help stop bettors deviating from rational judgement.

This desire for instant gratification has permeated betting and bettors are now provided with endless means to place bets that require minimal effort but crucially (for some bookmakers), minimal thought. Curated bets have been around for years but “most popular bets” and “trending bets” highlight how the bandwagon effect (herd behaviour) dominates recreational betting.

Waiting for what you know is coming

In short, bettors need to be patient and “see the bigger picture”. If you have positive expected value but still suffer losses, you need to understand that it is merely a sequence of losses in a bigger sample that will produce a profit. 

Betting is about getting an edge over the bookmaker, finding positive expected value and understanding margins so you know how much your bet costs. However, in addition to a “winning formula” you have to be patient enough to see the desired results - betting isn’t a lottery, you won’t become a millionaire over night.