10 min read

Common Gambling Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Imagine a situation. You open an account with a betting operator, place your first bets and win some cash. At the end of the week, your favorite team is facing an inconspicuous underdog, you get the feeling that this could be easy money, and play all in. Sport is wonderfully unpredictable, so it is highly likely you will find yourself with no money left on your account after a single game.

The truth is that almost every rookie has made such a mistake. At Responsible Gambling, we really care about making bettors’ gambling experience fun and safe. Read on to learn about other common mistakes made by gambling beginners. We hope this guide will help you avoid them.

Betting on your favourite team

This is a common mistake, so it’s definitely worth mentioning once again. Most sports gamblers are basically sports fans who want to make watching their favourite teams/athletes even more interesting. The tricky point here is that being a fan means believing in your team/athlete no matter what the odds.

Bettors often lose their money because they just want their team/athlete to win, and some even believe that placing a bet might help to achieve the desired result. We wouldn't say it is forbidden to bet on your favorites, but it is crucial to play with your brain, not your heart.

Choosing Illegal Bookmakers

Lots of players getting started in sports betting often ignore the legal status of a betting platform they choose. There are several reasons why this can be dangerous. First of all, illegal operators don’t follow any security standards, which means they might be using unsafe payment methods for your deposits. If you see a sportsbook which has only one payment method available, you’d better go find yourself another platform.

The other thing about illegal bookmakers is that they often don’t care if your gambling experience is safe, so don’t support the concept of responsible gambling and do not provide their customers with responsible gambling tools, which might put problem gamblers at risk.

Having Unreal Expectations

The vast majority of people dream of easy money. Lots of inexperienced gamblers tend to dive into sports betting with the idea of getting rich right away. Remember: bookmakers earn money when you lose. Sportsbooks wouldn’t exist if beating them was that easy. The same rule applies to online casinos and other gambling platforms.

Different studies suggest you need to consistently be winning about 52 per cent of your bets to break even with the bookmaker. Winning 55 per cent and more is considered to be highly profitable. Do not be tempted by social media stories of some fans betting $5 on multigame wagers and ending up cashing out several thousand dollars. These are merely exceptions to the rule.

Not Trying Out Free Games And Bonuses

Lots of legal betting operators offer various welcome bonuses for new players. They can be added to your account after you make a first deposit, or sometimes even gifted to you as a free bet. Ignoring these features is unreasonable, because they let you gain gambling experience without putting your real money at risk. Don’t forget to check your operator’s special offers before you start playing.

Placing Too Many Bets

This mistake is directly connected with the idea of getting rich right away. Players believe that placing as many bets as possible will help them win more money.

Remember: placing dozens of bets on a daily basis is not necessary and might even be dangerous. Read sports rules, study statistics, and don’t be in a rush. Only bet on those sports and events in which you are an expert.

Poor Money Management

This mistake is often made by those gamblers who take gambling too seriously. Remember: gambling can be a fun and entertaining pastime, like going to a concert or to the cinema, but not your primary job.

Make sure that the amount of money you spend on gambling is affordable for you and don’t push over your limits. It is also vital to always keep track of your earnings and expenses.

Chasing Losses

Losing streaks are common in sports betting. Many beginners think winning their money back from the bookmaker is easy. Example: you place $50 on a Saturday-night English Premier League clash believing Liverpool will beat Brighton at home and another $50 on the upcoming NHL game being sure Pittsburgh Penguins are stronger than Buffalo Sabres. Sport can be unpredictable and miraculous, so it is possible both your bets lose.

It's at this point that rookies are tempted to bet $200 the very next morning to get their money back right away. This strategy is doomed to failure. The best you can do at a moment like that is stop, take a break and rethink your betting strategy.

Not Following The News

To succeed in sports betting, it is necessary to follow the news surrounding the event you want to place a bet on. A simple example: Rafael Nadal reaches a Wimbledon semi-final right after winning Roland Garros and is currently getting ready to face Nick Kyrgios. You may assume Rafa is currently in great shape and place a bet on him.

However, if you followed the news, you’d know that Nadal was seriously injured at the end of his last match and could hardly walk off the court after it. As a result, you may lose your money because the Spaniard won’t be able to compete against a healthy opponent, or get a refund after Nadal pulls out of the competition (that actually happened this year).

Sticking With One Bookmaker

Having chosen yourself a betting platform, it is fairly typical to stick to it as choosing other operators requires time and effort. However, it might sometimes actually be useful.

If possible, check the other bookmakers’ odds, welcome bonuses and special offers from time to time and feel free to open new accounts and divide your budget between them. Switching bookmakers does not mean spending more money if you choose the right strategy.

Not Using Responsible Gambling Tools

Gambling can be more fun if you let your operator help you. Lots of legal betting platforms provide their customers with responsible gambling tools to make their experience safe and secure. Using these features will help you enjoy the process without having to remember how much money and time you spend gambling. Set your wagering, deposit and time limits, and the system will be automatically reminding you when it is time to take a break.

These tools are also helpful as a check-up. If you constantly exceed your limits, feel free to take a self-assessment test to understand whether you have gambling issues. If you feel like you need a long break from gambling, you’re always able to use a self-exclusion tool, which will block you from playing for a while.


Gambling is real fun with the right approach. However, making these mistakes can upset you and even make you give up this hobby. Use this guide, play responsibly, and you will surely have a positive experience.

Anton Spesivtsev
Anton Spesivtsev
1 December 2022 15:35