The importance of emotional management in sports betting

November 29, 2021

Sports gambling has grown into a behemoth of an industry. Would you say less of an industry that has exploded into a $400 billion valuation? 

In 2019, the online gambling industry – of which is a major player – was valued at $58.9 billion, and projections show this number doubling by 2023. Numbers don’t lie, and you can see from these figures that sports betting has come to stay. 

No, sports betting is not exclusively an American or European obsession. Even here in Kenya, we have a thriving community of sports bettors with some of the biggest bookmakers in Africa – as seen on – operational in Kenya. 

The profitability of sports betting is uncontested. What is rather contested is the possibility of being profitable with poor emotional management.

Emotions play a huge part in your bets

Oh, did you really think betting was an unemotional affair? Come on, we are talking about money here, and for high-stake bettors, serious money. How could you expect to keep emotions out of it?

If you have been in sports betting long enough, you will agree emotions like fear, greed, and anger are intrinsic stakeholders in betting. 

What, however, separates expert (and successful) bettors from those losing is the capacity to manage those emotions. 

Greed is commonplace in betting

Greed – is by far – the most lethal of these emotions if uncontrolled. Just like in any sphere of life, unrestrained greed ends up devastating.

The unfortunate thing in sports betting is greed often disguises as courage. A greedy bettor may readily pose as a bold, high-risk bettor. 

But a closer inspection of such greed-inspired bets would reveal nothing close to courage but something closer to an alarming obsession to get rich too quickly. 

Such greed typically blinds the bettor to the frightening risks associated with a dangerous bet– with such bettor consumed in an exaggerated illusion of quick wealth (large rapid wins).

The best way to manage greed is sticking to a concise strategy. Have a compilation of parameters that must be fulfilled before you place a bet. 

Also, be specific about when you should close the bet. Objectivity helps as well. See the situation for what it truly is, not what suits your pocket most.

Bettors get angry too quickly

Anger is another emotion you want to reign on when betting. In sports betting, it is not uncommon to see bettors aggressively chasing “vengeance”.

Possibly, they lost money on a previous bet and are hell-bent on recovering their losses in their next bet. Such desperateness to recover losses drives them to make irrational betting decisions. 

Ultimately, they lose again, and the cycle of anger and losses is sustained. There is no cowardice in conceding a loss in sports betting. Strive to let go so you can live to fight another day.

Never place a bet in anger. The truth is, at that point, you are not thinking straight. That is your most vulnerable moment. Take a break and decompress your mind. 

When you are calm and settled, re-examine the bet and what you did wrong. Next, apply the derived nuggets in fortifying your next bet. This gives you the highest chances for a win.

Some bettors are scared

The last emotion we would talk about is fear. Quite at the opposite end of greed, fear is over-magnified cautiousness, consequent to a previous loss.

When you are afraid, you become too conservative, unwilling to take even the smallest or most calculated risk. Fear would deny you massive opportunities when betting.

Fear again is controlled by investigating your previous losses. Strive to audit them and decipher where you went wrong. When you know where you veered off plan, you can then correct that mishap in your next bet.

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