With so many potential new sports gamblers coming to the United States in the coming years, one of the most commonly asked questions is back in the news: How does someone win at betting on sports? Well, there is no exact formula (there would be no industry if the players won all the time, after all) but we can try to give you some concepts that you should work with to try to end up on the positive side of the ledger.

Manage Your Bankroll

The first thing we have to tell all gamblers, no matter how advanced they may be, is to keep a close watch on their bankroll. This is your lifeline in gambling, so take care of it like any other nest egg that you have, and it will last you much longer. You should consider picking a starting bankroll that is enough for you to enjoy betting on your favorite sports, but that also isn’t going to be detrimental if you lose all of it. Then, you want to break your bankroll up into units, based on the average bet size you are comfortable making on games). Your unit size should be no smaller than 1/10th of your overall bankroll. Then, you should never bet more than one unit on any game, which means you will never have more than 10% of your total bet on the outcome of a single event. This type of simple bankroll management should give more life to your betting career.

Don’t make stupid bets

This one seems easy enough, but you would be surprised how many people make bets on such longshots and stupidity. Actually, we suppose it isn’t that much of a surprise – if the sportsbook is posting these odds, it is because they know there are suckers out there. There is a simple adage at a poker table – “look for the sucker at your table. If you can’t spot them right away, then it is probably you.” The same can be said in sports betting – if you know people who bet and you seem to be the only one making huge 12 team parlays and teasers, then you are the sucker. The best way to grow your bankroll is to make smart bets, not to take wild swings for the fences.

Do your research

If you were going to invest in a company, you wouldn’t do it blindly (we hope). So, when it comes to betting on a sporting event, you want to follow the same process – do your research before you make your bet. You would be surprised how much a simple piece of information could change the outcome of the game and your bet. For example, imagine you didn’t look at the weather forecast before betting on a football game and didn’t find out there was going to be a major rainstorm during the game. This kind of weather can wreak havoc on a game and a total score so your wager may be completely altered as a result. Do enough research that you feel comfortable making the bet.

Make Mobile your friend

These days, we are very fortunate to have information at our fingertips whenever we want it. Our mobile devices, as invasive as they can be, are an excellent way to stay informed on conditions affecting betting, as well as updated odds, etc. Add in the fact that many sportsbooks allow you to bet via your mobile device and you are only ever an arm’s length away from placing a wager.

The introduction of live betting (betting during the game itself) has made mobile devices even more valuable to gamblers. With live odds changing minute by minute, using your mobile for sports betting gives you the best chance to find the best odds.

Shop for the best lines

Another positive effect of having access to so much information via the Internet is that you have a chance to look around for the best odds on a game you are planning to bet on. With so many sportsbooks available to gamblers these days, there is bound to be some fluctuation in the displayed odds, especially when it comes to sports that are on the fringe of the gambling world. If you take the time to research multiple sites before you place your bet, you may be able to add some value to your bet or even make it easier to walk away from it a winner.

Find all the bonuses you can

Another way to gain an edge when betting is to find sites that offer you the best bonuses. These can be free bets, deposit bonuses or match play tickets – all of which add value to your bottom line. Add in the loyalty programs that typically reward players with a percentage of cash back into their accounts, and you have the makings of a system which can give you just a little bit more action for your money.

Be prepared to hedge your bet if necessary

While we don’t necessarily recommend players hedge their bets, if you are purely looking to grow your bankroll conservatively, then there are some instances where it is prudent. For example, let’s say you are on the verge of winning a multiple teams parlay bet. With one game to go, and depending on how much you stand to win, you may be compelled to hedge your bet by placing a straight bet against the outcome you need. This way, regardless of the outcome, you will come out a winner of some sort. Hedging bets (or having your bet bought out before the end result) can add to your balance while taking away the risk of a late loss.

So, this is a good start when it comes to how to be a winner at sports betting, and if you follow all these recommendations, then you will definitely be putting yourself in the position to be a winner. However, the math doesn’t lie when it comes to successful sports betting. The best gamblers in the world only win about 60% of their bets. The average player can at best hope to win 55% of the time. With such small margins for error, you can see why following guidelines like we have outlined above is crucial when it comes to winning or losing as a player.