An Introduction To Sports Betting & The Types Of Bettors

Written By: Mike Lovatt
Last Updated: February 14, 2023

Sports betting has been around as long as sports themselves, as people have been betting on the outcome of athletic activities for many centuries. In this series of betting guides we cover why sports betting has increased so dramatically over the past few years and the different stereotypes of players involved.

The development of modern sports, and in more recent times, the internet, has seen a drastic rise in the number of people betting sports in both brick-and-mortar and online sportsbooks.

Hundreds of thousands of sports bets are being placed on a daily basis across dozens of sports, but the end result always seems to favor the bookmakers. The more recent years have seen the introduction of sports exchange markets, where players are allowed to bet for and against certain outcomes without actually competing against the bookie, but rather playing betting against the pool of other players.

The rise of betting exchanges and online sportsbooks, in general, have made it more possible than ever for players to actually bet on sports profitably, but the fact remains that over 90% of all punters still lose money in the long run. The main reason behind this is because the vast majority of sports bettors are casual punters who only bet for the thrill or to support their team, with little consideration of any actual strategy or tactic.

Types Of Sports Bettors

At a very basic level, we could say there are several basic types of sports bettors.

The Casual Bettor : This is the type of player who bets on sports every once in a while, usually only if their favorite team is playing, if there is a big competition happening – like the Grand National – or if his or her friends talk them into it. A large number of bets are placed with the bookies by casuals and since most of their bets are made with no strategy whatsoever, the bookmakers make lots of profit off such players.

The Punter : Punters are a very common sight at the live betting shops and these are the kind of players bookies simply love. They come to the bookie basically on a daily basis, betting significant portions of their bankroll and often their overall income, without any real strategy or tactic in mind, but rather chasing the thrill of victory and praises from their fellow punters.

Professional Bettors : A very small portion of sports bettors can call themselves professionals and this is the category you want to get into. These players don’t play for fun, they don’t chase their losses and they don’t bet the favorites. Instead of picking the winners, they pick the best spots and look for deviations in mathematical probabilities that allow them to beat the bookmakers in the long run.

There are several other groups of people who bet on sports on a regular basis, which includes the obsessive gamblers whose behavior is a real problem to be treated as well as the semi-professional bettors who use strategies similar to those of professionals, only lack the time or bankroll to bet full time.

In either case, it is clear which category of bettors you want to strive to fall into and which you will want to avoid being a part of at all costs. While there may be a certain allure in punting for an average person on the block, an intelligent bettor strives to make themselves profitable in the long run and does not care about short term wins or what the other people may think of his choices.

Can You Really Win & Beat The Bookies?

You will often hear sports betting sceptics talk about why sports betting is just the same as roulette and how the house always has the edge, making it impossible to win. In many cases these people are right, as bookies do tend to make very good predictions and create their odds based on those predictions, making it very difficult to win.

However, with hundreds of sports events happening on a daily basis and dozens of bookies offering different odds on each of them, it quickly becomes clear that it may be possible to win. In fact, since the bookies also work with a limited scope of information, just as you do, their only advantage is the fact that they make the odds.

The professional bettor’s job is not to pick a winner, but rather to find those bets where the bookmaker made a “mistake” when setting the odds. A great example of this is with horse racing, where bookies tend to lay some pretty big odds on horses who actually stand a solid chance of winning a given event.

What’s even more, modern sports betting exchange markets allow you to bet both for and against certain outcomes and instead of betting the bookie at the odds they set, you are betting against people whose opinion differs from yours, often punters who are simply supporting their local team. This means you can take even more advantage in such a market as the odds adjust based on the bets that are placed by other players.

Overall speaking, it is quite clear that winning at sports betting is not only possible, but is something that is done by a large number of people on a daily basis. The reason not everyone is doing it is because professional sports betting is actually a difficult job. To be profitable in the long run you will need a skillset that includes knowledge, discipline and a deep understanding of mathematics and the way probabilities work – and these are skills obtained only through practice and study.

Where To Get Started?

Many of you out there may have thought to yourself at one moment, I should try doing this for a living, but you simply lacked the discipline to study and wait for the right bets. If you are seriously thinking about starting a sports betting career, make sure you read all of our materials first and learn the basics of how sports betting actually works.

Once you have completed our guides, you will be ready to embark on a journey that may very well end in your complete financial independence and a lifelong career of professional sports betting.

Our next article has a brief overview on why most people fail to beat the bookies. We look into the most common traps that people fall into that profits the bookies year after year,

Mike Lovatt

Mike has over 14 years of experience with online sports betting, having used countless online betting sites. Mike previously provided football betting tips on goals and corners in Facebook groups before starting his own betting website. A huge football fan, Mike has been writing betting guides and football betting advice for years.

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