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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Psychology and self-discipline are everything

There are times in the gambling game when everything seems to be going your way – and you seem to have found the goose that lays the golden eggs. At such times, our over-exuberance and optimism based on the most recent events are our biggest enemies. The natural human tendency during such times is to think of you as something of a world-beater. The fall-out form this is that we also tend to become a little less industrious, a little more slapdash in our approach – and a lot less self-disciplined in sticking to the rules we may have set for ourselves.

Of course, the converse is also true; when we can’t make a profit no matter how hard we try and however closely we stick to our system – the natural tendency is to become despondent and again to act in a slapdash “devil-may-care” type of way – or simply to cut our losses and give up.

So both these situations are bad for the would-be professional gambler. As Kipling said about triumph and disaster – we should treat these two imposters both the same.

In other words, we should stick to our system, whatever that system may be, to test its efficacy, rather than becoming either overly optimistic or too pessimistic bases solely on recent events.

And when it comes to gambling on horse racing, this is probably truer than with other sports. That’s mainly because there are so many pertinent statistics and relevant factors to take into account for most of us, most of the time, when developing our own gambling systems.

This isn’t the same for everyone, though. But for students of form, it generally is fair to say that a whole battery of evidence along with some kind of points or weighting system for those factors is the way ahead. You then need to balance this with a strict and disciplined approach to the management of your fund – gambling only within certain percentage parameters that you’ve set yourself, over a sufficiently long period to be able to test your own hypothesis or hypotheses.

These days, though, the way in which we back and lay has become both more complicated and fuller with opportunity thanks to the advent of the betting exchanges like Betfair and others.

In particular, it has become more complicated for gamblers to establish systems. With Betfair, it’s perfectly possible to make a profit or to cut a potential loss, before a race has even begun. If this is your desired system, then this may work for you and good luck. But for most mere mortals among us – it’s generally more advisable to study all the form you can within your own system then to back, or lay, or both – according to your findings at the best possible price you can find on Betfair or anywhere else.

Then stick to your guns and don’t be tempted to increase or decrease your stakes etc., and test the system without ever deviating from your own rules – because psychology and self-discipline are everything for the professional gambler. Good luck.

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