Sports betting can be a thrilling and even lucrative pastime. However, you don’t want to just jump right in and start placing bets. You need to educate yourself and consider a few fine points before you get your feet wet with that first wager. There are several things to keep in mind that will make the difference between huge mistakes that will leave you with regret and calculated risks that, win or lose, won’t have you liquidating your assets just to rescue yourself from a financial blunder.

Smart money management is a basic lesson of Life101. Unfortunately, not all of us learn it, nor are all of us good at it. However, you can be, with a little knowledge, practice and setting of rules for yourself. Managing your sports betting money is not only a great idea for preventing your gambling from getting out of hand and affecting other aspects of your life; it can go a long way in making your sports betting practice a much more enjoyable experience.

Here’s four great tips to help you manage your sports betting money and optimize your gambling fun.

Set a budget and stick with it.

First and foremost, take care of all your bills and other expenses prior to embarking on your sports betting endeavor. That way, your starting out on the wrong foot and have little to worry about if you do lose some money. Decide what you have as far as extra income that you can earmark for your wagers. Set a budget for the month, season, year, whatever. Once you have exhausted your budget, your done. No more bets until the next budget can be set. When placing a wager, only use a small percentage of your bankroll for each bet. 1%-5% is recommended, depending on who you ask and what you can afford. The best advice is just to keep it reasonable and don; t bet any more than you can afford to lose.

Lock in your wager amounts.

With each bet you make, try to keep the amounts consistent or within a particular range. By setting yourself a standard amount and putting a ceiling amount on your bets, you’re much less likely to find yourself in trouble over losses later on. Self-control will help you to avoid the pitfalls of gambling addiction, allowing you to enjoy your sports betting and possible earnings much more.

Don’t try to make up for losses by doubling up on the next bet.

So, you lost. In gambling, there are no guarantees. You win some. You lose some. You try again next time. However, doubling your wager on the next transaction is not the way to go. Sure, if you win, you could easily recoup your prior lose and then some, but what if you lose? You might find yourself in the hole and kicking yourself for your blunder. The best course of action after a loss is just to remain consistent and continue betting within your pre-set parameters.

Employ smart betting tactics.

Know your sport. Study up on handicapping, trends and other important factors and only place bets on games you find value in. Don’t place a bet just because some rival is betting on the other team or just because you feel like betting on so-and-so today. Gut feelings are not always right. Be smart. Get the information and choose to place informed bets rather than random wagers.

Put these smart tips for managing your sports betting money into action and you’re sure to be on your way to becoming the smart and savvy sports better you have it in you to be.

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