Five Things to Know About Losing Streaks
- Understand That Losing Streaks Happen
- Take A Break
- Analyse Your Betting History
- Don't Be A Coward
- Get Over It!
1. Understand That Losing Streaks Happen
What is a losing run? One person’s losing run is another person’s ‘accounted for blip’. But no profit-making strategy ever survived by relying on every single selection being a winner. It’s nice to go on a winning run, granted, but the reality is that even successful bettors, those who have shown the ability of a number of years and thousands of bets, will hit a losing streak at some stage.
If your losses are costing you and undermining your betting bankroll, however, then there’s something fundamentally wrong with your staking plan (i.e. how much money you’re placing on each bet) and/or your selection criteria (i.e. the reasons underpinning your pick). Losing runs will come and go. But every losing run is a good opportunity for you to review both your staking plan and bet selection process. If both your staking plan and bet selection process are founded in sound betting theory, then just continue to bet and work through the losing streak. If your staking plan and selection process are inconsistent without betting theory to support them, make the appropriate changes before you go bust.
2. Take A Break
Compare the activities of a professional sports bettor to that of a professional sports person. This analogy works well when it comes to dealing with the heartache of a losing run. Even the best pro bettors go through losing streaks, but it’s the way they deal with their losses that sets them apart from consistent losers.
Imagine you’re a football manager who has just witnessed his team lose after extra time in a hard-fought cup tie. The last thing you want to do is wait a couple of minutes after the final whistle, then go straight into another high-intensity match. The team needs some rest and you need time to re-think your tactics, assess injuries and select a side capable of winning the next match. Exactly the same principles apply to dealing with a losing run in betting. If you feel the losing streak is going to lead you to make poor decisions or apply your staking plan inconsistently, simply take a break. Give yourself a couple of days to take stock and work out why you’ve been making the wrong selections. There isn’t a punter in the world that makes consistent profits by putting ill-researched bets on in a rush or by failing to follow a sound staking plan. There is no harm in taking a few days break. Freshen yourself up and get back at it when you're ready.
3. Analyse Your Betting History
If you go on a long losing run, resulting in your betting bank dropping to unacceptable levels, then there’s something seriously wrong. Never, ever chase losses, however. Go through your spreadsheets of shame and if you look close enough you’ll see where you’ve gone wrong.
A good habit to get into when recording your bets, is to make a comment on your approach when placing this bet. Did you stick to your staking plan? Did you analyse that particular event as you had planned to do? And be honest. If you failed to stick your plan, make a note of it, even if the bet ended up being a winner. Why? Because when you review bets where you did not stick to your plan, you will see that they are costing you money. Some will be winners, but the majority will be costing you money. There's no better way to help you develop betting discipline and work your way though losing streaks than seeing the cold hard facts that these moments of poor discipline are costing you money.
4. Don't Be A Coward
This may sound a little harsh, but standing tall and resolute will help you work through a losing streak. As we stated earlier, losing streaks will happen, even when you apply a sound staking plan and bet selection process. So when a losing streak comes, if you're doing things right, keep doing them. Keep to your processes. Keep to your staking plan. Keep making your selections. If you are doing things right, you will work through your losing streak and come out the other end with greater confidence.
Yes, losing streaks are difficult, especially your first or second prolonged losing streak. You will feel great self doubt, worrying that your good results have just been luck and that maybe you are not going to be the long term profitable punter that you hoped to be. But take it from us, your first losing streak will be the hardest. Once you realise that losing streaks are common, and that you will work through each one by sticking to sound betting theory, your confidence as a bettor will grow and grow. If a losing streak throws you off course and leads you to make changes to a sound betting strategy simply because you need to find a couple of winners to restore your confidence, the only sue thing is failure. So when a losing streak comes, be brave.
5. Get Over It!
Pick yourself up, dust yourself down and prepare more thoroughly for your next selection. The bottom line is that there’s no shame in admitting to yourself that you can’t turn a regular profit at a particular sport and calling it a day, or at the very least taking a break while you assess why and where you went wrong. It’s better to stop punting on a sport with which you never seem to achieve consistent wins than continually haemorrhaging cash.
Have a look at what else is out there, do some paper trading (that is, placing imaginary bets and keeping a record of their success or otherwise), identify a new sport to get involved with or attack the existing sport of choice with a brand new strategy. As the old adage goes:
“Fail to prepare, and prepare to fail.”