As I write this I am currently in a -21 unit (-€1,050 my real money) unit slide after seeing a nice winning run through the first half of the year.
Such drawdowns aren’t that uncommon I tend to see one or two a year, but that doesn’t mean they get any easier to stomach.
During every ‘missed chance’, ‘player sent off’, ‘penalty not awarded’, ‘last-minute goal’ I keep reminding myself “You’ve been here before, it’s all variance, keep trusting your methods, this is all normal.
Below are just some of the methods I use to practice Betting discipline during a losing streak:
1. Remembering the Betting Bank
During losing streaks like this one, I like to remind myself that the money I have allocated to betting is money that I can afford to lose without affecting mine or my families quality of life.
If you’re betting with money that you really can’t afford to lose you’re inevitably going to hit a few losers and start making erratic betting decisions. This is just a part of human and nature, see sunk cost fallacy for more.
When I first started getting serious about Sports Betting back in 2004, I placed a stupid €1,500 bet on a 1.1 (1/10) shot in a Darts match which lost.
Before that, I was on a long winning streak betting in-play at short odds, I thought I was invincible until the inevitable happened.
After that significant loss, I continued to lose a further €4,000 on more dumb bets trying to chase my losses without reasoning. At the young age of 19 I’d blown all my savings in a weekend of degenerate gambling.
Since learning the hard way in my younger years, I’ve put measures in place to make sure this never happens again.
Along with a conservative staking plan (See Bankroll Management) and a starting bank of money I can afford to lose I started to make fewer rash decisions.
It’s not a guarantee to bring you success, but it should help keep your emotions in check during downturns.
2. Reviewing my results
We always advise our members to track their results with great detail. The more detail you can track the better. Some decide to do this themselves on a simple spreadsheet, for us we use a free service like bettin.gs.
Having results documented in a way that makes the data easy to filter is important so you can keep an eye on what’s working for you and what isn’t.
Let’s take my Football results for example. Since 2017 I can see that my best performing competitions are International Football, Serie A, Ligue 1, and the Bundesliga. I can also see that I have a higher ROI on bets above even money (2.00). The Data also shows that I struggle with Premier League matches to generate a long term profit.
The more data at your disposal and the more bets logged will give you a better idea of your strengths and weaknesses.
Looking at a long term trend can also make you feel a little bit better about your current downturn too. In my situation, the current 21 unit drawdown just looks like a blip when viewing total results for the last 5 years.
We’ve all been there, you spend hours researching a bet, pouring over all the stats and historical data only to be let down when your selection gets blown away before you’ve had a chance to get your money’s worth from the bet
Variance can be a bitch and no one evades it. Sometimes the best course of action is to disconnect from the Internet completely so the temptation to bet isn’t there.
Talking from experience I find for myself taking at least 24-48 hours away from Sports/Internet, in general, does the trick and I come back with a much clearer head.
For this reason, I’ll be less likely to make a bet fueled by the emotion of my last losing bet.
4. Scrutinize more
During a losing streak, you should take time to scrutinize your bets even more and become more selective with the types of bets you decide to take. For me, this means putting in more hours of research (watching matches) and more time monitoring betting markets.
I’ll also tend to err on the side of caution with bets. Let’s say I fancy a team to win, but I still see value in taking them +0.5 on the Asian Handicap… then I’ll play the safer option providing it still has expected value +EV
Getting a few wins under your belt can help you see things a lot more clearly too, at least in my experience.
5. When the wins return
Learn to keep a level head when you’re winning just as you do when your losing. This means you shouldn’t increase your staking drastically because you think your invincible and you shouldn’t bet on more events because your balance is high and you have “money to play with”.
Think long-term, monitor results, use a Betting Bank, and disconnect when needed.
If you enjoyed this article you may enjoy reading our post on Cognitive biases – Mistakes everyone makes