5 Steps to Sports Gambling Success

Closeup of Hundred Dollar Bill With Sportsbook Background

Gambling on sporting events is one of the few options if you want to have a realistic opportunity to make more money than you lose. But only a small percentage of sports gamblers have learned how to make money.

The 5 steps to sports gambling success listed on this page are designed to give you some of the most important tools you need to learn how to win. Pay special attention to the information in the first section. The information in the first section might be enough alone to change your long term results.

1 – Don’t Do What Everyone Else Is Doing, Because They’re Losing

The title of this section kind of says it all. Almost all sports gamblers lose in the long run, so anything that you’re doing that most gamblers do is probably a bad idea.

Here’s how most sports gamblers make wagers. They bet on their favorite team and don’t try to be better at evaluations and handicapping. Or they take a quick look at a few things and think they can beat the sportsbooks without putting any real time or effort in. Or worse yet, they get a hunch or gut feeling and make bets based on that.

This probably covers somewhere around 90% of people who bet on sports. This is just a guess on my part, but I feel it’s pretty accurate.

Now consider the other 10%. This 10% is made up of the small percentage of gamblers who are currently beating the sportsbooks and the ones putting in the work learning how to beat the books. You need to be in this 10%, even if you’re not winning yet.

So, what’s the opposite of the 90%?

The first thing is to stop betting on your favorite team or teams. You can find hundreds of other betting opportunities, so you don’t need to do this. Even if you’re a good handicapper, it’s difficult to make good judgments about your favorite team.

NCCAF Players Celebrating

The second thing is to stop making any bet based on a gut feeling or hunch. I hope you understand why this is such a bad idea, but if you don’t I’m going to explain it.

Though it might not seem like it on the surface, sports gambling is all mathematical based. This doesn’t mean you can solve sports betting with math, but you can use math to help you make a profit. In math, gut feelings and hunches don’t have anything to do with results. Gambling on sports is the same.

It’s simply impossible to make a long term profit using hunches and feelings. In fact, the odds are strong that you’re going to lose roughly 5% over the long run on these games. This is because the average loss when you consider the vig for a gambler that wins 50% of their even money wagers is 5%.

The third thing you need to stop doing is only spending a few minutes picking the games to bet on. This isn’t usually any better than guessing, and it’s a waste of time. Instead, learn how to evaluate sporting events correctly and learn how to find value before you make a bet.

2 – Nothing Matters without the Betting Lines

A mistake that the 90% often make is looking at games and thinking they find value or a reason to make a bet before looking at the available betting lines. The fact is that you have no way of knowing if a game or bet offers value until you see the betting lines.

If you’re evaluating an NFL game and determine that the home team is going to win by 7 points, the game doesn’t offer any value if the line is 6, 7, or 8. It only offers value if the line is 5 or lower or 9 or higher.

The bad news is that you still have to evaluate the games to make an accurate prediction. Once you evaluate a game, then you look at the available lines to see if there’s value.

Another mistake is looking at the lines first and seeing value before you do a deep evaluation of the games. You can look at the lines first, but the danger is forming preconceived notions based on the lines. This can interfere with accurate evaluation of games.

3 – Start Small, Build Your System, Ramp Up

The smart way to build any kind of success is to follow the path that others have used to achieve the same type of success. If you can’t easily find the path others have traveled, you might have to start small and use a great deal of trial and error.

It’s difficult to find the path others have followed to be a winning sports gambler. Winning sports gamblers aren’t eager to share their secrets with others.

This is why you need to start small and learn as much as you can. Keep learning until you can build a profitable system, and the learn some more. Once you have a system that beats the sportsbooks on a consistent basis, then ramp up your bets.

You need to be patient and don’t bet too much. Just because you win a few bets or weeks in a row doesn’t mean you have a proven system. Eve a string of 3 to 6 months of profit isn’t proof you have a winning system. It’s likely, but not a guarantee.

Be smart, learn as you grow, and remain patient. You can win, but it’s going to take some time.

4 – Winning Is a Full Time Business

This is the thing that stands between the 90% and the 10%. The 10% understand that winning sports gambling takes a lot of time and dedication. And they’re willing to do what’s required.

Some of the 90% know these things, but they’re not willing to do the work. It’s fine if you don’t want to do the work, but make a conscious choice. If you want to win as a sports gambler, dedicate yourself to putting in the work.

Most winning sports gamblers treat their betting just like a business. They invest in their business, try to constantly improve, and watch their money closely. This is how you need to approach sports gambling.

Invest in your mind by learning as many tricks as you can, and testing as much as you can. Never stop trying to improve, by always looking for new ways to win and an extra edge. And finally, dedicate yourself to putting in the work.

This is the only way you’re going to have to realistically become a successful sports gambler.

5 – Bankroll Matters, Even If It Doesn’t Seem Important

One last thing that the 90% do that you need to avoid is betting without a bankroll. You need to have a bankroll for all of your sports betting activities. Don’t make the mistake of just using money from your regular accounts or that you carry around on a day to day basis.

In addition to setting aside a bankroll that you only use for betting on sports, you also need to build a bankroll as large as possible. Even if you have to start with a small bankroll, you need to use your winnings to build your bankroll and add to it any other way you can until you can build to a considerable size.

NCAAB Player Driving the Ball

The importance of a large bankroll is two reasons. The first reason is that you need a large bankroll so you can survive the down streaks you’re going to have. Every sports gambler has losing streaks. The second reason is that you need to make large bets in order to make enough money to live on while betting on sports.

It’s almost impossible to make decent money betting on sports while betting less than $500 or $1,000 per game. And to do this, you need a bankroll of $50,000 to $100,000 or higher.


The number 1 rule for sports gambling success is never doing what most gamblers are doing. Most sports gamblers lose in the long run, so why would you want to do the same things that they’re doing?

Once you learn the first rule, learn the importance of the lines offered by the sportsbooks. You never know if a game can be profitable until you see the lines. Start small when you begin gambling, then ramp up as you learn how to win.

The final two things you need to understand are that you must have a bankroll, and if you really want to win you have to treat your sports gambling like a full time business.