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Jelena Kabić
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Jelena Kabić
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Jelena Kabic is a sports betting writer that focusses on responsible gambling. A psychologist by vocation, Jelena volunteered in a rehab facility, where she worked with gambling addicts. She now reviews all our content to ensure it discusses betting in a socially responsible way.
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Amy Webb
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Amy's introduction to the gambling world was 6 years ago, when she joined a casino operator as a content specialist. Since then, she's helped launch and maintain gambling review sites in over 8 different countries. She's tested dozens of casinos and sportsbooks, which is how she can spot a subpar brand in an instant!
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Intelligent vs. Emotional Betting | How to Improve Your Betting Strategy

Cover image for post Intelligent vs. Emotional Betting | How to Improve Your Betting Strategy
Intelligent vs. Emotional Betting | How to Improve Your Betting Strategy
Intelligent vs. Emotional Betting | How to Improve Your Betting Strategy

If you want to become a profitable gambler, you need to be knowledgeable enough to find value bets as well as have good bankroll management.

More importantly, you need to make sure you’re not making betting decisions based purely on emotion. And let’s face it, it can get difficult to do that when your favourite team is playing!

In this guide, we’re going to run you through some of the most effective tips on managing your emotions better when gambling, which will help you increase your betting success. Let’s get started!

Resilience is Key

Resilience plays a huge part when you’re chasing positive results.

It’s precisely that extra mental strength that delivers results, regardless of how talented someone is.

A quick look at top athletes such as pro diver Pamela Ware, who scored a 0.0 at the Tokyo Olympics in a momentary lapse, proves that focus means a lot.

And if that’s not convincing enough, think of the disappointing career of NHL rising star Alexandre Daigle, who started off with a lot of promise but never lived up to the hype.

Both are examples of individuals with great potential that either failed momentarily or over an extended period.

Even though these are examples of different extremes, they define the relevance of consistency.

The world witnessed the rise and fall of many talented individuals who never lived up to their full potential.

Whether it’s a slip in a crucial moment or a total disconnection with the mechanics of a sport, unbreakable resilience is still a factor to embrace on the road to success.

It’s OK to Make Mistakes

The same applies to sports betting, as it takes a toll on the emotional investment, especially since money is involved.

Money plays a vital role, as any mistakes quickly turn into frustration, rarely ever benefiting the process of learning.

A good gambler requires discipline above everything else, which can go from knowing how to recognize a value bet to remaining calm during a storm of bad decisions.

Top Tip!

Whatever you do when gambling, it’s essential to embrace the idea that you’ll make mistakes, and these are vital on the road to becoming a better decision-maker.

Common Betting Mistakes

There are a few basic scenarios you can and should avoid, regardless of how experienced you are with sports betting, and these include:

  • Betting on teams you support;
  • Chasing your losses – that revenge bet after a lost one;
  • Any bets placed out of emotion, without a rational and analytical approach.
Top Tip!

These three points are responsible for most of the money lost when people gamble. The more you lose, the less likely you can regain your calm and keep your emotions in check.

Tips to Avoid Betting Mistakes

The following few tips will help you bet intelligently instead of emotionally.

Read on to avoid becoming your own worst enemy when placing your next sports bet!

1. Be Realistic About Your Chances

Unless you’re incredibly talented beyond human understanding, you’ll hardly ever make any money from sports bets in a short amount of time.

Avoid considering this as a quick scheme to make easy money – it’s anything but!

Instead, accept it is a long-term process, with profits taking their time to come around. The more patient you are, the better you can fine-tune your strategy and become more consistent about winnings.

That means looking at the process from a distance, learning to spot good odds and not acting on the first temptation.

2. Avoid “Gambler’s Fallacy”

For the sake of this example, imagine an ongoing roulette game. The ball has landed on black seven times in a row. It will likely land on red on the next round, right? – Wrong!

The term Gambler’s Fallacy, also known as Monte Carlos’ Fallacy, derives from such popular events and is related to a psychological trigger.

Here, bettors believe that the repetition of a particular result is about to be broken. However, chance – and maths! – ensures that the result can theoretically repeat itself numerous more times.

An interesting article by BBC covers this behaviour in further detail.

It goes as far as claiming we are no different than our simian relatives, responding to triggers that lead to poor decision-making, which share a strict connection with our most basic instincts.

Step aside and observe someone at play on that very same roulette table mentioned before. It may seem like an intelligent decision to switch your prediction while betting on red.

Unfortunately, there is no rational foundation to sustain such belief.

Take Note!

Statistics will show that each turn of the wheel is an independent event; therefore, it has no connection to the previous one. The very same philosophy applies to the flipping of a coin.

This is the underlying principle behind betting strategies like the Martingale system.

Although sports betting is incomparably more complex from a statistical point of view, the same principle applies.

Humans have a natural tendency to disregard rationality while gambling. As a result, many unnecessary mistakes take place.

More importantly, it serves as evidence that emotions play a crucial role when we place a bet, and therefore, we should avoid listening to our heart and start using our rational side.

3. Accept Your Losses

Let’s be perfectly clear about it: you’ll lose a few bets.

It is inevitable, and it’s up to you to accept the fact. More importantly, you’ll need to remain aware that it is all part of the process to avoid sabotaging yourself and bet irrationally.

Most people do it out of desperation, in an attempt to recover lost money.

The secret lies in keeping a balance.


Although good and bad luck is a factor in gambling, these eventually cancel each other. This means you shouldn’t get too arrogant during a winning streak, nor should you punish yourself when down on your luck.

It’s important to retain balance and remain clear-sighted. Gambling out of pride is a road that leads nowhere, and why you must be analytical about each decision to achieve success.

Ask yourself the following question:

“If I lose 2 or 3 bets in a row, will I be able to deal with it?”

Because, at some point, you will. And the better you prepare yourself to deal with defeat, the better equipped you will be to walk the road of success.

4. Persistence

We won’t beat around the bush – it’s not easy to win at sports betting consistently, even if you believe you feel like you have the best betting strategy in place.

Many will try and never make it. These individuals will give up too early due to their unrealistic expectations of landing considerable profits in the first couple of months – if any!

Every successful player knows what an illogical objective it is to set out and win from the start.

Hence the importance of following a methodology that allows you to structure your approach to gambling, which we share on this page.

Take a week-long break and then come back stronger with a lesson learned.

As with any degree of success, financial gains from sports betting result from a long process that constantly forces you to evolve. Such improvement will slowly translate into positive outcomes.

5. Always Keep Learning

Constant improvement requires a humble and open-minded approach.

Work hard in identifying why your predictions fail and learn from the analysis. It’ll be a while until you can learn how to identify a good value bet and act on it, but once you do, the process will gradually feel natural.

Fortunately, it won’t be long until you start realizing you have a higher rate of right picks in a particular sport or a specific category, such as “goals scored in the third period.”

Embrace it, explore it, and take it as an invitation to dig deeper into those sports, those categories or competitions.

Top Tip!

When you specialize in a competition, you gain an edge over the house and other casual gamblers. As a result, you may soon see some serious action – and money – coming your way.


Emotions affect your gambling performance, and you should never underestimate their role. Work hard to control your emotional side and work on creating a rational approach to each bet.

Ultimately, this is a process for the long-run, and one that requires time, energy, and dedication. Only after a while will you see any return to your sacrifice.

Therefore, our recommendation is for you to practice how to gamble successfully, and money will follow.

Remember that it’s important to remain disciplined and to be persistent. It won’t be long until you’re able to turn more significant profits and place bets without losing money. Our tips will remain right here to help you reach that objective!

Now, are you ready to put your knowledge to the test?


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