If you enjoy watching sports – especially your favourite team or player battle it out to become a reigning champion – you may be inclined to place a bet here and there to increase the excitement. Having a bet going throughout the sporting season may even be commonplace; a ritual. While you may have got lucky and perhaps taken a couple of wins, you most probably are not experiencing a steady bankroll growth; but, with the right betting know-how, strategy and approach, you can make some serious cash, and maintain it.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, betting is a dangerous game. So, if you’re looking to give sports betting a real go, you should consider these 5 things first, before you take the gamble.

  1. If you want to make real money, it won’t happen overnight

Before you enter the world of sports betting, you must understand that you won’t get rich overnight (unless you are a one in a million and win a huge accumulator). Let go of any hope and dream that you will hit jackpot every time – this is unrealistic and will only hold you back from taking the right approach. In fact, it helps to remove the concept of luck as playing any part in growing your bankroll through sports betting. Instead, think of it more as a formula you must learn over the course of a long and slow journey – one that includes losing as well as winning. The sooner you are realistic about winning money, the better you will be at sports betting.

  1. It takes hard work and research

Another thing that you should consider before you contemplate sports betting is that being successful takes hard work, patience, perseverance and a lot of studying. It’s vital that before you start putting your money on sports that you research the sports and the team(s)/player(s) inside out, first. For example, say you wanted to hedge bets on the Melbourne Cup 2019, you should acquaint yourself with the horses; the stables where they live; the conditions and moisture of the ground; and also the effect of the draw. Having this background knowledge will set you in good stead to make the right bets, as all of these factors will hint at which horse will likely come out on top on the day of the race.

  1. You must learn how to pinpoint the value

In order to successfully make money through sports betting, you must be able to pinpoint value. Pinpointing value is about predicting and judging probabilities as well as the experts, and is not an easy task for professional sports gamblers, let alone amateurs.

Pinpointing value is about backing the underdogs and avoiding odds that are consistently high. Similar to the logic in investing in stocks, undervalued team/player/participant(s) will hopefully appreciate in value and earn you some serious money. Only after a lot of practice will your knowledge of the sport improve, and with that, you will have a greater ability to pinpoint value, as well as the bookmakers, can. Once you can do this, your bankroll will start to significantly grow.

  1. Bookmakers may penalise you

Something else to consider when you’re sports betting is that the bookmaker and the betting exchange is not always on your side, even if you’ve stayed loyal to them. For example, some bookmakers won’t allow you to win and will ban big-time winners from using their services, meaning that your chances of increasing your bankroll are slim to none. This is why you must be prepared to shop around for more than one bookmaker and invest in ones that are reliable and reputable. You should also keep a lookout for betting exchanges that put on deals and discounts around big sporting events, and it may work in your favour.

  1. You must detach any emotion

While betting on your favourite sports team what betting is about for many punters, it’s not exactly a fail-safe strategy. In order to win big, you must remove emotion from the act, and be more business-minded. If this feels like a betrayal to you, pick an entirely new sport to invest in – one that does not hold any sentimental value.