Avoid these six rookie mistakes when sports betting


WE'RE delighted to have Alex Vella (@AlexVella_) from Trademate Sports back on WLB to pinpoint six rookie mistakes that punters should avoid.

Avoid these six rookie mistakes when sports betting

Whether you’ve been betting for one day or five years, the chances are you’ve fallen victim to betting strategies or habits that are rookie mistakes.

So, I thought it would be beneficial to list seven of the most common rookie mistakes in betting, to give you the best chance of becoming profitable in the long-run!


This is probably the biggest one of all. There is a reason why betting companies love telling you about that one punter every weekend who won £100,000 on a 10-leg accumulator.

As I referred to in this article, bookmakers take a margin on the odds of a game. So by combining those bets together, their margin is only getting bigger. Yes, your payout is getting bigger, but your chances of losing are also multiplying at the same time.

There is a caveat to this though. If you combine two or more VALUE bets together, you are actually multiplying your edge over the bookmaker in this case. So if you are a sucker for accumulators, at least combine bets where you have an edge. 

If you’re confused as to what a value bet is, this article should help.


Lack of knowledge and analysis of your performance against the bookmakers is one of the biggest factors in not becoming a profitable long-term sports bettor.

Keeping track of your results enables you to determine whether your strategy is working and whether you are running good or bad. This can in turn enable you to change your strategy for the better.

Like I said in my previous article, you should measure your performance against the closing lines of the sharp bookmakers, in particular, Pinnacle Sports.

If you are able to consistently place bets where you get better odds than a sharp bookies’ margin-free closing line, you should be profitable in the long term.


Even if you are placing profitable bets most of the time, without a correct staking strategy, your losses could still wipe you out.

So what does a profitable staking strategy look like? Well, there’s two options you can deploy. A flat stake or a proportional stake.

With a flat bet size, you either put the same wager on every single game, or you put the same wager on games that have the same odds and edge.

Flat bet sizing is fairly easy to use, but it’s hard to select a proper size. A size too big will increase the chance of going broke, while a size too low will not yield big enough profits.

A proportional strategy is where you place a certain percentage of your current bankroll on each bet. The Kelly Criterion is a formula that maximises the growth rate of your bankroll.

You should be aware that following the Kelly Criterion is high risk. You can reduce your risk by following 30% of whatever the Kelly Criterion tells you to do. We at Trademate Sports use the Kelly Criterion but that is because we have a defined numerical edge. Without that, Kelly is not useful to implement. 

Also, on the Trademate Sports blog, we asked 11 betting experts what staking strategy they use and the limitations surrounding each method. Check it out here.


The majority of soft bookmakers offer bonuses with a turnover requirement. For example, if you deposit £50, they might give you £50 back in bonus money.

If you play your cards right and turnover that money without losing it, you will make a pretty easy profit. So if you’re comfortable with doing so, max out that signup bonus to get as much bonus money as possible!

You can also use a popular method known as matched betting to turnover those bonuses to make a guaranteed profit.


By signing up with one bookmaker, you are going to miss out on a lot of value betting opportunities. 

For example, say you think Arsenal are a good chance of beating Tottenham in the North London derby, by having multiple bookmaker accounts you will have a much better chance of finding the best odds available in the market. 

If you are constantly getting the best price available, over the long-term, you have a much better chance of being profitable.


You cannot be a betting expert on every single league in every single sport. Even the best professional bettors out there only focus on one sport, and only a few competitions within that sport. 

If you’re just starting, bet on something that you know a lot about, and hopefully that’s a 2nd or 3rd division football league where information and news is scarce.

Like Odds Compiler, Jeevan Jeyaratam, said on our podcast: “One of the key weapons a bettor has over an operator is that they can be selective and only choose to bet the prices and selections that they wish to. Operators must present blanket coverage across all manner of sports and events. Soccer is another mammoth wide-reaching sport that has multifaceted betting angles and I’d suggest that finding a suitable niche is again the best strategy.”

If you’re looking to eliminate all of these rookie mistakes, start a free week trial of the Trademate Sports value betting software. We help you place value bets, with in-depth analysis and the optimal staking strategy!

About Author

I started betting as soon as I turned 18 with absolutely no strategy, thinking it would be an easy way to make money because, of course, I knew more than the bookies! Now having worked with Trademate Sports for a year I can happily say I’m a profitable value bettor on just about every sport on the planet. On the weekends, you’ll find me watching rugby, MMA and football and abusing my three teams; Arsenal, Gold Coast Titans (League) and the Hurricanes (Union).

1 Comment

  1. Matthew Gamble on

    Really useful stuff. This sort of information is rarely shared.

    I would love to read a feedback from a number of professional tipsters who breakdown how they bet. Not as in-depth about monetary stakes, but certainly the type of bets they place (is it always singles all season?) and also their favourite niche markets and how they got into that.

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