Hobbies Card Games & Gambling Why Most Sports Gamblers Lose Money Share PINTEREST Email Print malerapaso/E+/Getty Images Card Games & Gambling Sports Gambling Gambling Strategies & Tips Casinos Poker Blackjack By Allen Moody Allen Moody is a journalist with more than 35 years of experience in the sports-gambling arena. our editorial process Allen Moody Updated May 09, 2018 It's a widely known concept that the vast majority of sports bettors are going to lose money. The most popular concept is that 90-percent of sports gamblers will lose money over the course of the year, but that doesn't stop people from wagering on sports. When those bettors eventually go broke and cannot wager anymore, there's always somebody else waiting to take their place in line. Money Management The number one reason most sports gamblers lose isn't because of poor picks but instead is because of poor money management. There are far more bettors who can pick winners than there are who can make money, and money management is the key. Betting $50 on one game and $500 on another is a sure way to find yourself separated from your cash in the long run, just as betting 50-percent of your bankroll on one game will ultimately lead to disaster. A sports bettor may win a few games when betting more than they should, but eventually, the loss, or losses, will come and the bettors end up in trouble. Doubling up after wins or losses is another recipe for disaster, and is a common mistake many bettors make, including those who have been betting for many years. If you've ever read books on sports betting, you'll find that nearly everyone has at least one chapter devoted to money management and that isn't because authors enjoy writing about it. It's because it is that important. Betting on the Wrong Events It's no secret that football and basketball are the two sports that receive the majority of the betting dollars, just as it's no secret that most long-time sports bettors will say those are probably the two toughest sports to show a long-term profit in. The sport of choice for most professional gamblers is baseball, which happens to rank well below the top two sports in the amount of money received. Hockey is another sport that many long-time bettors believe can give the sports gambler an advantage over the sportsbook, but hockey nets less than even baseball. A sports bettor doesn't have to particularly like baseball or hockey. As long as they like money, those are two sports that should be followed, or at least find somebody who is a good baseball or hockey handicapper and follow their plays. Lack of Knowledge Most sports bettors know just enough to make them dangerous, as there is a great deal of difference between being knowledgeable in the NFL and being knowledgeable in NFL betting. Being able to name the starting offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys isn't likely to help a person win a bet. What many sports bettors don't realize is that they're actually competing against other bettors who spend countless hours on handicapping, studying trends, injuries, and betting angles. If you don't have the time to study the games try to find somebody who does, whether it be on a posting forum, a reputable sports service, etc., but don't assume you know more than everyone else. There is the old joke of a sports bettor who loses week after week, and finally, his bookie starts to feel sorry for the guy and suggests that he might want to try betting hockey. "Hockey! I don't know anything about hockey!" Betting Too Many TV Games There are a large number of sports bettors who feel if a game is televised, it's their duty to have a wager on the contest. While this didn't create much of a problem years ago, there are so many games televised now, that bettors can easily have seven or eight wagers on a single night, and even more on the weekend. Typically, the lines are the sharpest on televised games, as the oddsmakers and sportsbooks realize that those games will be bet the heaviest. If you have to have a wager on every televised game, those bets should be much smaller than your typical bets, somewhere around one-fourth of the amount. I've seen a number of solid handicappers lose money over time by betting the same amount, if not more, on games that are televised than they do on games they honestly believe are good bets. Casino Betting This is a relatively new one for sports bettors to deal with, as many online sportsbooks now have casino-style gaming, which is too much for some sports bettors, including some very good sports bettors, to walk away from. It's not unheard of for a solid sports bettor to generally show a profit each week, but give that money back, plus a little extra, playing the casino games their sportsbooks offer. There's always the legitimacy of online casinos to worry about, as well. It's one thing to be at a blackjack table and see the dealer draw a 5 to their 16 to beat your 20, but it's a bit different when it takes place online. It's easy to see the allure. Why try to grind out a small profit betting sports, when you can hit a Royal Flush playing video poker and quickly win $1,000 or $4,000? If this is a problem for you try e-mailing the sportsbook and ask them to block you from their casino. There isn't any one key to becoming a winning sports bettor, but those who practice money management, put in some time, and practice discipline, are generally a step above the majority of bettors.