7 Important Questions You Have to Answer If You Want to Be a Successful Sports Gambler

Successful Gambler Strategy Background

Sometimes the best way to learn how to get better at something is to start asking important questions.

Then, as you try to answer questions, you start seeing areas where you’re strong and areas where you need improvement. If you want to be a winning sports bettor, you have to answer the seven questions listed in this post. But if you don’t have the right answer now, you can work on finding the right answer.

And you might learn that betting on sports isn’t the best use of your money and time after answering these questions.

If that’s the case, the questions will save you some money.

1. Are You Willing to Put Being a Fan Behind You?

I know a lot of sports fans who bet on games, and I know a lot of sports gamblers who aren’t sports fans. You might think that being a sports fan is a requirement of being a winning sports gambler, but the opposite is usually true.

Most people who start placing bets on sporting events are fans.
And many of these people are still fans. But the people who learn how to make a profit betting on sports rarely remain fans. Winning gamblers realize that being a sports fan doesn’t help them make money. In fact, being a sports fan usually costs bettors money.

I hesitate to say with 100% certainty that you can’t be a fan and a winning sports gambler, but if you’re not winning, you need to take a hard look at how being a fan is influencing your results. Fans tend to think emotionally, while winning sports gamblers tend to think analytically.

You’re going to learn more about analytically thinking in the next section.

2. Can You Be 100% Analytical?

Sports gamblers make money by evaluating teams and games and finding lines that don’t agree with their evaluations. In financial investing, some would call this inequality in the market.

For this to work you have to learn how to evaluate games effectively. Sports gamblers use something called handicapping to do this, and you’re going to learn what handicapping is in the next section.

But you’re never going to be able to effectively evaluate teams and games unless you can be 100% analytical.

For example:
A fan might bet on a team they like without thinking about whether the line gives them any value. A winning sports gambler doesn’t care what teams are playing, as long as they can find a line that has value. And you can’t analyze games using emotion if you want to win. It doesn’t matter who you want to win. The only thing that matters is value.

It takes some time to stop looking at things like a fan and start looking at everything in an analytical way. But you can do it with focus and persistence. Here’s what I had to do when I started focusing on looking at things analytically.

Please Note:
I stopped making bets on any team that I liked. I wouldn’t bet for them or against them. I acted like their games weren’t on the schedule. You might need to do the same thing as you’re learning how to be analytical.

3. Do You Know What Handicapping Is?

I touched on handicapping in the last question, but if you want to win as a sports bettor, you have to understand handicapping and use it.

The first thing to know is there isn’t a single best way to handicap sports.

Many different winning sports bettors use different handicapping systems. And most of them, if not all of them, have developed their own handicapping system.

Handicapping is simply a way to evaluate teams, players, and games so you can predict a final score in an upcoming game. Of course, you don’t have to predict the exact final score, but you do need to learn how to predict the final spread of games.

You’re never going to be perfect in your predictions, but you can learn to predict spreads well enough to make a profit.

Please Note:
When you handicap a game and have a predicted spread, you compare your prediction to the lines you can place bets on. When the lines disagree with your prediction, you place a bet. If your prediction is correct, you make money.

But how do you create a profitable handicapping system? You need two more important ingredients, which are covered in sections four and six in this post.

4. Are You Willing to Learn How to Handicap Games?

The first ingredient you need is a willingness to learn how to handicap games. Of course, you say you’re willing to learn how to handicap right now. But are you willing to work on it for months, or even years, overcoming failure after failure?

Most people who try to learn how to handicap games give up because it’s hard. They try for a few weeks or a couple of months and decide that it’s too hard.

But winning gamblers keep working on handicapping as long as they need to because they understand how profitable a good handicapping system is. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to learn how to handicap games?

5. Do You Have the Patience Needed to Wait for the Right Wager?

Once you learn how to handicap games, you might spend 30 to 60 minutes on each game. What are you going to do if you send seven hours handicapping games and don’t find a game that has value to bet on?

Winning sports gamblers move on to the next set of games and keep handicapping and looking for value. Losing gamblers make a bet or two even though they know there’s no value. They hope they get lucky, which is always a bad plan for a sports bettor.

If you don’t have the patience to wait for the right wager, you need to give up on the idea of winning as a sports bettor.

You have to wait for games and lines with value, or you’re just wasting your time and money.

You can win half your spread wagers picking teams at random, and this is basically what you’re doing if you make bets on games where there’s no value.

6. Can You Test Everything Forever?

I told you how hard it is to learn how to handicap games. But, if you stick with it and learn how to handicap games well enough to win, you might think your work is done.

But the work is never done because you have to continue testing variables and working on your handicapping if you want to continue making a profit. Winning sports gamblers test things as long as they gamble. You need to understand that any profitable handicapping model can be made worthless if the online sportsbooks adjust what they’re doing. So you need more systems and models in place so you can keep winning.

If you’re willing to continue testing things as long as you bet on sports, you have a good chance of succeeding. But if you’re not willing to keep working a testing, the odds of winning are small.

7. Do You Have a Bankroll?

It might not make much sense to you, but one of the biggest reasons I see potential sports bettors fail is because they refuse to use a bankroll.

When I ask why they don’t use a bankroll:
Most of them tell me that it doesn’t matter because it’s all their money anyway. I used to think the same way, but when I finally did what most winning sports gamblers do and set aside a bankroll that I just used for betting on games, I started improving. Using a bankroll does two important things for sports gamblers.
  • The first important thing a bankroll does is make it easy to track your progress.
  • The second thing it does is help you determine how much to bet on each game.
I also believe that using a bankroll changes your mentality a little bit as a sports gambler.

When you use a bankroll, you’re taking things seriously, and when you don’t use a bankroll, you’re more like a fan.


Don’t worry if your answers to the seven questions in this post aren’t perfect. You don’t have to have perfect answers right now. But you do need to improve in the areas where your answers aren’t perfect yet.

Knowledge is the most important skill a sports gambler has, and you can improve your knowledge.

Now you know what the seven important questions are, so you can start working on improving in each of the seven areas. Successful sports gamblers know how to answer each of these questions and use the questions to improve their results.


Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.