New Year's resolutions for all sports bettors to live by

As with so many well-intentioned endeavors to self help, vows to improve your sports betting discipline often can go the way of countless other New Year’s resolutions.

You know, the same ill-fated list of grandiose endeavors that includes more gym visits, less jaywalking and fewer late-night Cinemax programs.

In other words, an afterthought.

So while the glow of the cheap champagne on New Year’s Eve will inevitably fade, here is a printed reminder of sports betting resolutions to keep in mind in 2013.

No. 5: Thou shall not parlay (excessively)

We all understand the temptation: Small risk, big reward. Thus, the glorious potential of it all clouds our judgment and we end up putting the “sucker” in sucker bet. Sure, there’s no harm in playing the proverbial lottery ticket once in a while, plucking down $5 on an eight-teamer and hoping the planets align correctly. But to risk the majority of your bankroll this way? Forget it. Of course, there are those days when you go 6-0 on straight bets and lament not doing a parlay. But what about the others when you go, say, 4-2?

Another common argument is the one in which a bettor says he only has $20 to his name, so he might as well go for a big score. Come again? Let me get this straight: You would rather have a terrific chance at walking away broke, as opposed to a pretty good one at walking with about $40? Don’t get the “logic” here. Just remember, bet straight, bet great. 

No. 4: Thou shall not complain (nor celebrate)

Emotional detachment is key for a good sports bettor. While losing generates a natural disappointment, don’t let it linger. Negative feelings can lead to a lack of confidence. Try to see each bet as an individual business transaction and treat it as such. Don’t get too high, either, as a sense of invincibility after a winning streak also can be detrimental.

No. 3: Thou shall not exceed thy bankroll


As with many gambling endeavors, this is a critical component to success, but easier said than done. It’s why you can consistently beat a sportsbook and they will gladly still take your business. In the long run, those who accept the bets expect you, the gambler, to self-destruct. Disappoint them. While everyone’s limit might be different, you know what you can afford. Stick to your means.

No. 2: Thou shall not bet blindly

How many times have you walked up to a ticket writer and said, “Give me a bet on number one-eighty-sev … make that 188?” If it has happened more than once, take caution. Betting for entertainment purposes only certainly has its place and, if that is your goal, then have at it. But how many times have you let an “action” bet put a dent in your profit for the day? When you were a collecting a day’s worth of winnings and fired on the 7 p.m. game just to keep your juices flowing? These often are low-percentage wagers. Know when to say when.

No. 1: Thou shall not back down from a great bet


With all due respect to discipline, there are times when you need to let loose and fire. Mainly, when you’ve found what you believe to be a can’t-miss game. Granted, the term “sure thing” is an oxymoron in sports betting.

But we’ve all had particular games in which we were certain of the outcome. When this feeling comes, if you have any sports savvy at all, you likely are right about 90 percent of the time. But how often is this accompanied by the empty feeling afterward, when you had just a small bet or no action at all? When you find a great game and are sure of yourself, it’s time to gamble, whatever the maximum unit your bankroll allows. As an old axiom states, “The less you bet, the more you lose when you win.” Keep this in mind when you find a good bet.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2009 but these resolutions ring true no matter what year you're betting in.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for our Editorial Team, please contact us at Editorial

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Posted by TSD04GT
1 year ago

Bet fewer games, win more money.
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Posted by nightmancometh
1 year ago

"When this feeling comes, if you have any sports savvy at all, you likely are right about 90 percent of the time." I can't express enough how stupid this sounds. How has no one pointed this out? just wow
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Posted by winnerwinner99
1 year ago

RULE NUMBER 6......when ur hot...PRESS...when ur cold...REDUCE
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Posted by LIMover55
1 year ago

Fall asleep while playing slots on auto and wake up 3 hours later to find a zero balance and that you lost your entire account Wow playing slots online for money? Not to mention on auto ,and that your playing so long you fall asleep? You might rethink you resolutions,and maybe get a hold of your gambling practices....,6 team parlays on quarter bets? cmon man put down the pipe and shut off your computer
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Posted by dandyjefe
1 year ago

No 6 Thou shall not cover half of your winning parlay ticket! If you have a four team parlay and you have hit the first three don't attempt to wager on the other side of the last game you have in the parlay. Might as well not make a four team parlay you should have done a three team parlay.
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Posted by jim8165
1 year ago

Some more deadly sins to avoid #5 Thou shall read all parts of my parlays and st8 bets to make sure I got the bet done correctly before hitting send and ruining a winning 6 team parlay by betting 2nd quarter under when I got an entire system based on q3 unders. #4 Though Shall NOT throw a team into a parlay in sports I do not know well just to round and make parlay bigger thus turning a stone cold winning 3 team parlay into a losing 4 team parlay #3 Though shall not fall asleep at the computer and miss my Late GAME NBA halftime hedge bet on the last part of a two day 8 team parlay worth thousands and wake up just in time to see the last part of your halftime lead evaporate into a 1/2 point loser #2 Though shall not press bet when in the midst of an epic losing streak turning a large loss into a catastrophic one. #! and my favorite one. Thou Shall NEVER EVER EVER Fall asleep while playing slots on auto and wake up 3 hours later to find a zero balance and that you lost your entire account (YES I REALLY DID THIS) The Hammer PS Being Smart is learning from your own mistakes. Being Wise is learning from the mistakes of others
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Posted by phancard
5 years ago

Very well said, I will definitely try to live by these 5 rules..
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Posted by johnnyjammer
5 years ago

love this and all is how I live by.....gotta stay cautious and particular and never bet with emotion!! especially if you love or hate a team you may have lost on in the past!
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Posted by Metivier
5 years ago

agreed some sound advice to take into the new year
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Posted by nc1capper
5 years ago

excellent words of wisdom - its seems to me gambling is always more fun when you are winning , dont let the demons get you down - fire with confidence or dont fire att all !!
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Top Response

Posted by johnnyjammer
5 years ago

"love this and all is how I live by.....gotta stay cautious and particular and never bet with emotion!! especially if you love or hate a team you may have lost on in the past!"