If you’re new to sports gambling, it can be a little overwhelming at first.  However, getting started isn’t that much of a challenge once you understand the basics.  Even if you never placed a single sports bet in your life, following some simple tips, and understanding sports gambling parlance, will go a long way toward helping you place smarter bets.

Start Slowly

The first tip for novice sports gamblers is to start slowly.  You are probably anxious to get started, but it’s important that you ease into it until you are comfortable with all of the mechanics.  Instead of diving right in and placing bets without much knowledge or experience, take it slow.  You will increase your chances of winning by learning the fundamentals as you gain knowledge and experience.

Learn the Basics

As with virtually everything, it’s essential that sports gamblers have a good grasp of the fundamentals from the start, and this is especially true with sports gambling.  Without understanding all of the terminology, the nuances and how to analyze all the data that can affect the odds, you are setting yourself up for disaster.

Have Realistic Expectations

It’s not wise to approach sports gambling as a way to become an instant millionaire.  The chances are low that you’re going to be able to make a living gambling on sports, but this isn’t to say that you can’t make money.  There are professional sports gamblers that make their living off of gambling; however, there aren’t many, and even some of these still lose quite often.  According to most surveys, even the best sports gamblers still lose their bets 40%-45% of the time.

It’s essential, as a beginner, to have the right expectations from the start.  Betting on sports can be exciting and profitable, but, to make money, you’ll need to become knowledgeable and disciplined.  Keep your expectations realistic for as long as you are involved in sports gambling.

Bet with a Clear Mind

Make sure that you bet on sports with real money only when you have a clear mind.   In other words, don’t drink and gamble.  Since you plan on wagering real money, you only want to do it when your mind is functioning at its best.  

Many gamblers bet on sports while drinking; after all, having a drink and watching your favorite game often go hand in hand for many.  However, place your bets done before you start drinking so that you’re less likely to make poor decisions.  There’s a lot of data to analyze before placing bets and it can’t be done properly if you’re under the influence.  

Develop a Bankroll Management Plan

From the first day of sports gambling, establish a bankroll management plan.  Unfortunately, many people don’t use a plan ever, or, if they do, it’s much later than it should have been.  A bankroll management plan is important because it helps you calculate exactly how much money you should bet for any given wager.

While bankroll management plans can differ, the general idea is the same.  The idea is to extend your bankroll as long as possible by calculating the percentage of your available bankroll used on a wager.  Instead of risking it all at once, you should only allocate a small percentage each time you place a bet.  

Bet on Sports That You Know Well

When you’re new to sports gambling, stick to what you know.  In other words, don’t try placing wagers on sports you’re not familiar with.  This way, you will have a greater likelihood of making better gambling decisions, which will help you win more of your bets.

It may be exciting and produce a “rush” to want to bet on a lot of different sports when you’re getting started – seeing all of the potential betting action can make a lot of gamblers want to place many wagers at once.  However, until you have a good handle on sports betting with what you know well, save the other sports for later.  

Remain Disciplined

One of the hardest struggles when betting on sports is to remain disciplined, which goes hand-in-hand with proper bankroll management.  It’s very easy to let your emotions to take over, and even experienced ones sometimes have trouble keeping their feelings in check.  In some instances, you’ll want to bet on your favorite team, even when all signs point to a loss.  However, it’s important to keep in mind that oddsmakers, when they create the odds, are making their decisions without any emotions attached.  On the other side, it isn’t wise to bet on the crosstown rival just because.  Sports gambling requires a cool-headed approach at all times.   

Keep Records

Another excellent idea for all sports bettors is to establish a method for keeping records of the wagers that are made.  Doing so from the outset of your entrance into sports gambling will put you in a much better position than many sports bettors out there.

By keeping records, you have a couple of advantages.  It allows you to track your bankroll and allows you to view your gambling record over time.  This data is extremely important, especially if you’ve been trying different gambling strategies.  Analyzing the recorded data shows you what has worked in the past and what hasn’t. This will help you improve your gambling activity in the future.

To keep records, you can use a spreadsheet program, which is how many sports gamblers track their betting records.  You can also use a notepad if you don’t want to use a computer.  Either way, make sure that you remain consistent with it so that your data is always accurate and current.

Find a Trusted Betting Site

As you begin to look into sports gambling and begin to develop a better understanding of how everything works, you will find that there is no shortage of online sites ready to accept your money. However, it’s imperative that you find a trusted one to work with so that you don’t end up risking your money or your private data on a less than trustworthy site.  There are more than a few illegitimate sites out there, but a little bit of research will go a long way toward separating the good from the bad.

Don’t Pay for Picks

Don’t ever pay for sports betting picks.  Daily life can often get in the way and prevent gamblers from having the time necessary to analyze the potential wagers.  It may seem like a good idea to turn to the “experts” and pay a little for some good tips; however, it isn’t that simple.  If the tips were 100% solid, those selling them wouldn’t bother – they would simply put all of their money on the “guarantee” and continue to grow their bankrolls.  Many of those selling picks and tips are fraudsters or just no good at what they do. 

There are some excellent tipsters and services out there and there are plenty of people who are more right than wrong.  However, they are few and far between. As a beginner, focus on learning how to place your bets yourself instead of relying on others to help you.  As you become more advanced, then you might research the possibility of buying picks.  For now, though, save yourself the cash and avoid possibly getting ripped off.