There is no substitute for backing winners, so if you always back winners you don’t need to read this. Just go enjoy your winnings and have a good laugh at the expense of the rest of us!
However, for the other 99.9% of gamblers what follows is a cornucopia of lessons learned from my personal betting experience and, more importantly, from observing the betting of all levels and types of gambler from all over the world – from the rankest of amateurs to the most disciplined and professional syndicates.
They didn’t all bet on golf but the strategies of betting don’t vary from sport to sport; only the tactics vary in terms of addressing issues – such as the large sizes of golf fields.
Here is a selection of my observations and lessons learned:
Staking (How much you will invest)
Staking is all about discipline. I’ve never seen a successful gambler over any decent period of time who was not disciplined in his staking. The typical recreational punter’s staking discipline is running out of money!
Have your own Staking Level & Expectations
Every gambler should have a staking level, or amount that he will spend: per bet, per tournament and per week; preferably all three.
Personally, I structure my golf staking so that if I hit anything, my smallest possible payout in any week will equal roughly two times my total weekly outlay.
Have a Bank
Closely allied to your staking plan is the size of your ‘bank’; money in hand and set aside for betting. I recommend your bank be at least 10 times your weekly staking level. Golf wins can be far apart and before you embark on your journey you need to have enough fuel to keep you going for a reasonable period of time.
Have a Plan
It doesn’t matter what the plan is, just make one. You’ll find it will help keep you more disciplined and structured in your betting. For example for golf, will you be backing: win only, each way, place, first round leader, head-to-heads, make the cut or are you backing to lay on an exchange or will you combine certain selections in doubles?
Psychology & Remorse
Closely allied to the above sustenance issue is that there are few worse feelings than having decided you’ll have 5 units to win on every longshot you like, conscientiously doing so for 8 tournaments then changing to zero units the following week owing to lack of funds or inattention. Because the inevitable will happen; one of them will win that week!
Eliminating the opportunity for this type of remorse to arise, and its related self-apportionment of blame and beating-up of oneself, is an underrated psychological component of betting.
Don’t get Carried Away by a Win
Just as you should not reduce your staking level after losses, you should not increase it after wins. Many golf punters allow one (typically rare) win to go to their head and will stake 5-10 times as much the following week.
In my opinion, there are only three reasons for such increased staking:
- You’re well in funds and the step-up to a higher investment level is justified by sustained winning performance or;
- You’re now ten times smarter than you were last week and with ten times more analysis under your belt or;
- You’re a certifiable moron.
Don’t back too Many Players to Win a Tournament
This is a common trap for persons who bet on golf tournaments. It’s a common failing of many golf tipsters too. So, be guided by price in determining how many to back; the lower the prices, the fewer you should back.
If you like to back favourites (which I claim you should rarely do) it makes no sense to back five players in the 6.00-29.00 range because your winners will not be frequent enough to sustain your betting. Try to restrict your favourites’ betting to 0, 1 or 2 players.
If you like to back longer shots, in my opinion it’s possible to justify backing up to four of them each way. For argument’s sake let’s assume their win prices are 51.00 -101.00, making their place prices 13.50 – 26.00. If you back three, each way, your total outlay will be 6 units and if one places (no ties) you’ll more than double your money.
Put another way, one placing will sustain your staking for perhaps 3 tournaments.