Chasing Losses And Why It’s Never A Good Idea

This article might just be one of our most important sports betting guides. Chasing losses makes the bookmakers millions each year. This article covers why people chase losing bets, how detrimental it can be to your confidence and how to stop chasing losses.

If you have placed a few sports bets in your time, you will know that no matter how good your bets are and how favorable the odds may be, you will always lose a decent number of bets. Due to variance, which is a standard part of any type of gambling, even the best sports bettors out there occasionally experience significant losing streaks, followed by winning streaks that compensate for the losses.

These losses are completely natural and normal, but being human, it is very easy to get carried away, start feeling frustrated, sorry for yourself or desperate and start making bad decisions as a result. It is very common to see casual punters chasing their losses, but as a professional sports bettor, it is very important that you never let random bad luck influence your decision-making process.

Why People Chase Losses?

Pretty much everyone who bets sports, whether professional or casual bettors, wants to make their bets winners. A prolonged stretch of losing bets can cause significant frustration and anxiety and make a punter feel like his betting sensors are completely off, making him feel like giving up on the idea of betting sports altogether.

If you are working with a set bankroll, which you should be, losing a significant portion of that bankroll due to poor luck can make you feel like you will never climb out of the hole you are in and like you should increase your bet size on the next one, as you are due for a win and other similar superstitions.

The real truth is that we chase losses because we are weak creatures, ruled by our emotions and naturally prone to making poor decisions based purely on emotions. This is actually relatively acceptable for casual players who play for fun, chasing losses is absolutely detrimental to professional bettors’ bankrolls and should be avoided at all costs.

Avoid Being Results Oriented

As we said a few times in this guide, the job of a professional sports bettor is not to guess outcomes of sports events, but rather to find good value in the odds offered. For example, if West Ham were offered at 2.000/1 to win the Premiership, every sensible bettor should take this bet for a reasonable stake as the value is just too good to miss out on.

As such, the professional bettor should not be results oriented and in theory, you should be at a point where you absolutely don’t care if your bet was a winner or not, but rather only if your bet was good value to begin with.

Being too focused on the results almost regularly leads to trying to chase losses when they occur and this is absolutely the last thing you want to do. Focus on making good value bets and stick to your staking plan and the results are guaranteed to come in the long term without you having to adjust your bet sizes or change anything while you are on a losing streak.

Luck Is All About The Maths

What most gamblers in the world call luck is actually just a complex mathematical equation. Every single thing in the world of sports betting can be quantified and measured and the game is 100% based on mathematics. There are no inherently unlucky people or lucky people. If you make a large enough number of bets, every player will have exactly the same amount of luck and the end result will come down to how good you picked out your bets.

People will commonly start chasing losses when they feel they have been too unlucky, that some higher forces are working against them  and that they are due for a change in luck. If you understand betting is all about the numbers, you will quickly realize that all this is absolute nonsense and any losses you endure are either a result of being on the wrong side of variance, which is inevitable to happen sometimes, or making poor decisions, which can be avoided.

Since there is absolutely nothing you can do about the variance other than wait it out and keep playing, 100% of your focus should be on making the correct decisions, placing bets that hold true value and sticking to betting the amounts based on the plan you have made.

Let Go Of Emotions

At the end of the day, letting go of all emotions when it comes to sports betting is one of the keys to success and an absolute must if you intend to take it as your full-time job and a main source of income. Separating your emotions from the results of your bets may be difficult, but if you are to keep winning on a regular basis it will be necessary.

We advise practicing this by gradually increasing your stakes and allowing yourself time to adapt to the fact that losing streaks will happen. Remember, as long as you are betting within your set bankroll and not deviating, your winning streaks will come before you go broke so there is nothing to worry about other than making poor decisions. Your only enemy in sports betting can be yourself and nothing else is out to get you. Stick to the plan, keep studying and never chase your losses and we can absolutely guarantee that in the long term you will flourish as a sports bettor.

New Customer offer. Place 5 x €10 or more bets to receive €20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum €100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply


​Register using Promo Code BETFRED40, bet £10 (odds evens or greater) & get £30 in Free Bets plus an extra £10 in Free Bets if your bet doesn’t win.

William hillH

New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds ½, free bets paid as £15/€15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply.


Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.