Why punters should never let the heart rule the head

Money Management & Betting Systems

Have you ever allowed friendship or even affairs of the heart to influence your betting? For example, a friend of mine is a lifelong supporter of Hull KR. I always look out for their results, even though I have little real interest in Super League, but I would never think of backing them simply because it gives me some small pleasure when they do well. On a slightly different tangent, my wife is Welsh in everything but the place of her birth and a massive supporter of the Scarlets in particular and Welsh rugby union as a whole. She has close family connections to several former players and no-one is allowed to speak out of turn once the Six Nations starts. Now I would never do anything to upset the other half – but was I right to sit in silence while England were giving Wales a good going over in the Millennium Stadium last week and, more importantly, should I be allowing a guilty conscience to dictate how I bet? I knew England were a good investment to see off the men from the valleys in their opener but I didn’t risk a cent on the match because I thought the missus would be upset if she learned I’d backed against her boys. In more general terms, I think even the more objective among us can get caught out by perceived loyalties when it comes to betting.

For example, if your football team needed a point to avoid relegation on the final day of the season – would you back the opposition to win to make a profit, or would you regard that as a betrayal? I’ve fallen into the trap on more than one occasion in backing horses. If I bet on a loser, do I follow the same horse next time to see if I can recoup my losses – or do I go against the nag and hope it doesn’t make a fool out of me? Of course, you can’t go on forever backing the same team or horse until it wins – but how many times do you hear a punter say, ‘I don’t believe that, I backed that last time.’?

Loyalty and betting, two words that should never share the same sentence. Take my word for it.