Handling a Losing Week


After a great start to the NFL football season, I crashed and burned last Sunday. Despite this, it won’t change my methods, bet size, or attitude going forward.
How bad was last Sunday for me? I had four underdogs all hovering around the pointspread, and all four failed late in the fourth quarter. Based on this, I received some interesting advice from many parties. My favorite suggestion was from a guy who suggested using new darts for this coming weekend.

Seriously, I’m amused by the over-reaction many seasoned winning players have to winning and losing streaks. When they win on a weekend, they talk about being ‘dialed in’ on that card, and how they handicapped the games well. When they lose, they often talk of suspect handicapping and mistakes made.

The truth is that most winning players would be better off ignoring any short term successes or failures. Instead, they should focus on how they have done over the past few years in various areas, identifying where they are strongest and where their games may have holes.

Contrast this with the typical gambler who often focuses only on his most recent performance, trying to find a pattern in data that is typically too small to find any meaningful patterns.

Savvy gamblers know they are betting into one and only one betting session during their playing lifetime. The session started when they made their first bet, and will conclude when they make their last wager.

Week in and week out, lifetime winning bettors should look to take advantage of their edge by betting conservatively and proportionately. Whether they won or lost the previous week should have almost no impact on their bet size or methods.

Lifetime losing bettors should look to bet little to nothing each and every week, regardless of whether they won or lost the prior weekend. Sadly, too many of these players ramp up their bets when they are on a hot streak, or even worse make ‘bail out’ bets to try to cover losses on a losing streak.

The final result is fairly easy to predict. They will lose close to five percent of their total handle, while the increased bet sizes just magnify their eventual losses.

All gamblers would do best to remind themselves of the ‘memory’ rule of gambling. Regardless of whether one went 9-2 or 2-9 the previous weekend, it has no impact on one’s chances of success during the upcoming weekend.

Personally, I currently like this concept, as it will enable me to forget last Sunday’s train wreck.