Emotions Management for Sports Bettors

Emotions Management for Sports Bettors


As a bettor, you will almost certainly be familiar with what it feels like to lose a bet that was practically guaranteed to win. A big bet on a favourite for instance, with lower odds that goes on to lose to a very well-priced underdog.

On the other end of the spectrum, you are probably also quite familiar with the feeling of excitement and relief that comes with a big payout from an underdog victory.

Betting can be an emotional rollercoaster, but to be a good bettor, you need to minimise, eliminate, or regulate your emotions. This is because emotions affect a significant part of your decision-making process, and this means that your betting results may suffer as a result.

Our brain

The human brain has developed to prioritise emotion over thought. The brain structure behind this is the amygdala. Before we can consciously act, every single thought or stimuli we experience is first scanned by the amygdala for emotional impact. This is why emotions hold such power over our lives.

flight or fight response

To relate this to betting, think over a big loss you had from a bet. In a short span of time, your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen consumption rate probably rose considerably. This is our response to what our primitive brain identifies as trouble or danger. Fortunately for us, a loss here only means money, and not our lives.

What can we do about it?

When you are having a bad run, you are most likely to be feeling a lot of negative emotions, and under a lot of stress.  When stressed, it is estimated that we humans only use 5% of the available information to make decisions. This is alarming for us in the betting industry where we need as much information as possible to make the best bets.

So how do we go about eliminating this? The easy solution here would be to never place a losing bet. However, we all know that is near impossible in long-term scenarios.

The first thing you can do when you’re having a bad run of bets is to accept your fate. This sounds pretty obscure, but as stated previously, it is just money you’ve lost. If you’re in a situation where a losing run means you cannot afford to feed yourself, you need to stop betting all together and seek help.

Secondly, simply stop. I don’t mean permanently. Just don’t place another bet out of frustration or anger. Just because you’ve lost 10 bets in a row, does not mean that you are owed a ‘win’. Take your time, regather your thoughts and bet smart. This means using all the available information, using logic and reason when making bets, and sticking to your betting limits.    

To sum it all up, always bet with your head. It seems cliché but it really is the best solution. Think over all the information you have at hand, do your research, and make the right bets.

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