Profitable Sports Gambling Begins With Discipline

By Ross Everett

I get some of my best sports gambling concepts from non-sports gambling books. Thats not really surprising, since there are so few serious works addressing sports handicapping and gambling. Of all the various gambling related disciplines, sports gambling is perhaps the most complex. The paucity of written work on the subject is downright shameful in light of that fact. Since theres so little specific literature available some of the best theoretical resources available to the serious sports gambler can be found in books written for the serious poker player.

Poker--like sports betting--can be a profitable endeavor, and one in which knowledge and skill can counteract the theoretical odds against him. Legendary poker theorist Bob Caro once noted that while there are some professional poker players, sports bettors or blackjack players there's not a single professional roulette player.

The reason for that is that the house advantage in roulette is too high to overcome by any combination of skill, money management, strategy or discipline. To throw in another Caro concept, its a case where the decisions made by the roulette player simply don't have a role in overcoming the house advantage. Over the long haul whether you choose red or black, even or odd the house edge remains the same.

Caro argues that one of the poker players most valuable weapons is discipline at the table. The reason for this is that the average person goes into a casino for precisely the opposite reason"he wants to have some downtime away from the discipline and order that circumscribes the rest of his life. He wants to down a few cocktails, leer at some cocktail waitresses, and throw some money around for awhile. Hes not worried about theoretical return on investment, pot odds or other concepts of serious play. Casinos exist for the sole reason of providing him all of the escapism he wants while they slowly use their house advantage to make a profit off of him. Granted, poker operates differently in terms of the house advantage but the motivation that drives the recreational gambler to the poker table is no different than that which drives him to the slot machines or blackjack layout.

The importance of discipline that Caro imparts to poker players also applies to serious sports gamblers. The most fundamental component of sports gambling success is to look at it with the same degree of seriousness, discipline and professionalism that you would any other vocation. It's crucial to rework your thought processes to those of a professional, and abandon all vestiges of the 'recreational gambler's' approach to betting. The greater degree to which you can be disciplined and methodical in your sports gambling, the greater your level of success and profitability.

This isn't to say that there's anything wrong with being a recreational sports gambler. In fact, those of us who do this professionally *need* recreational players--they're the financial lifeblood of the casino and sportsbook industry. Handicapping sports would be pretty pointless without a bookmaker to take our bets.

If your goal is to bet recreationally, that's great. Unless you have the dedication, desire and discipline to approach it at a profession a recreational approach to gambling is ultimately better for most people. You might benefit from some greater money management discipline, but at the end of the day as long as you don't bet more than you can afford to lose it's really no big deal. - 30230

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