Betting responsibly during the 2014 World Cup

Betting responsibly during the 2014 World Cup

The seven habits of highly effective gamblers, by Professor Mark Griffiths, Psychologist, Nottingham Trent University.

Published 13th April 2014

Over the last few World Cups, almost all bookmakers have reported increased amounts of betting activity during the tournament itself. Given I am a Professor of Gambling Studies, it probably shouldn’t surprise you that when I gamble  – even on World Cup matches – I expect to lose in the long run. However, that is not to say that I don’t have my ‘Golden Rules of Gambling’ that I apply in any gambling situation to help keep things in perspective.

This article briefly provides some tips that affiliates can pass onto their website visitors to help them be more informed before they make their bets. Some of you reading this might say my rules are about the psychology of winning, but I would prefer to describe them as the psychology of minimising losses.

In some situations, there is a very fine line between psychology and common sense and this is one of those occasions. So, here are my ‘golden rules’ for safe and enjoyable gambling on World Cup football.

1. Never gamble without some kind of pre-set plan and amount that you are prepared and/or can afford to lose.
Winning gamblers set themselves win/loss goals before they enter a betting shop or use an online betting exchange. Planning and goals are the catalyst to life success and gambling on the World Cup should be no different. Don’t use any winnings as a reason to place even more bets and never, under any circumstances, chase your losses.

2. Don’t let the excitement – or the lackof it – of a football match detract from the pre-set plan you started with.
If you are watching a World Cup game and your only wager is on who will win or lose, then don’t get carried away with the excitement of the game. When the game itself is dull, don’t get side-tracked by gambling on spontaneous ‘in-play’ side bets during the game to increase the excitement.

If you do like a little in-play action, give yourself the option of (say) five in-play bets (or whatever you can afford to lose) and stick to it no matter what.

3. Remember that the excitement of gambling itself can lead to irrational thought processes.
Psychological research has consistently shown that when gamblers are in the thick of their gambling ‘action’, they tend to be more irrational in how they think and make decisions. Irrationality leads to poor decision-making and pre-set plans and budgets often go out of the window. Just like alcohol, gambling can make the betting punter do things that they would never have done in the cold light of day.

4. Do your research when using promotions.
As a general rule, betting promotions are the highest money earners for the gambling establishment’s marketing department. They are designed to get you to gamble or to get you gambling in the first place or on something new.

Avoid gambling with offers that seem too good to be true (because they usually are). Stick with your pre-set plan and budget and you’ll be fine. If through your research you find a good promotion that suits your betting needs, then by all means use it. Just don’t use promotions impulsively or use the first promotion that you see.

5. Learn to think for yourself.
General advice (like that contained in this article) is one thing. Winners learn to sort things out for themselves and not rely on others. They are comfortable with how they approach their betting. You should also disregard rumours. Gambling can often invoke certain urban myths, such as, ‘your first bet after opening an Internet gambling account is always a winning one’. Banking on such speculation while betting is a recipe for disaster.

6. Do your own ‘research’.
As with any other product that involves the exchange of money, making bets on World Cup football requires that you do the research to establish the best deals around. This is especially useful on Internet gambling sites and betting exchanges via mobile phones and tablets, but can be applied to offline gambling too. Only factual information should inform your decisionmaking when betting.

7. Gamble with your head and not with your heart.
When it comes to gambling on the football team I support (in my case, England), I try to employ strategies that leave me feeling good whatever the outcome. That is why (from a psychological perspective) I tend to bet against England. I ask myself how much I would be prepared to pay to see England progress in the tournament. If England get to the World Cup Final, I would be more than happy to pay £100 to see them do it; therefore, I would happily put £100 on England’s opponents to win. My logic has always been that I win either way. If England win the game, I will be on an ecstatic high. I wouldn’t care about losing £100. If England lose the game, at least I would have the winnings to soften the blow.

I can’t promise that these tips will help anyone win lots of money, but they will certainly help the players visiting your sites minimise any losses.

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