Managing The Emotional Aspect of Betting

Managing The Emotional Aspect of BettingAlthough there is no magic rule for winning in sports betting there are indeed quite a few principles that should be considered and learned by bettors, perhaps one of the basic ones has to do with how to keep your emotions in check when you’re betting

Nick Leeson the financial rogue trader, once said that “When markets are going your way, the feeling is brilliant – more intoxicating than champagne, more exhilarating than sex. A successful trade makes you feel invincible”.

Neuroscience and brain imaging has now shown that he was right. Research in neuro-economics shows that when you are making money the neural activity in the brain is indistinguishable from that of someone who is high on cocaine or morphine, and on the flipside that financial losses are processed in the same areas of the brain that respond to mortal danger. Is it any wonder then that dealing with such highs and lows in betting is difficult, and is compounded by the fact that these ups and downs are the norm rather than the exception.

Long-term success in betting is dependent on how you manage these highs and lows, how you deal with the euphoria and overconfidence that can arise from big wins and winning streaks. And the fear, frustration and anger that can come out of your losses and losing streaks. The emotions that you experience impact on your betting decisions and behaviors, your discipline and consequently your results.

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Dealing With The Lows

The difference between a professional and an amateur is not necessarily the ability to analyze a match, it’s how they handle the emotions of a sustained losing period. Losing punters find it hard to stomach losing runs and quickly lose confidence in the strategy or tactics they are using. This is where emotions take over and we feel vulnerable. How you channel these emotions will determine how successful you are going to be long-term” Matt Finnigan.

It is not whether you have losses, setbacks or mistakes that is most relevant in whether you are successful in betting but how you deal with them when they arise. For example imagine taking a loss on a horse race, one person might after that event become annoyed and angry, want to get their money back and so look to place a bet on a horse in the next race possible. Another person might be annoyed or frustrated with the loss and decides to not bet again at all. A third person might look at the loss, analyze what had happened, and then wait for their next planned bet. For any given event there are a range of possible reactions all of which will give different outcomes, so the most important factor is not the event itself but your reaction to it, in other words how you manage the emotional aspect of betting. Sign up at