Best bettors in the World go through different stages. They all started from zero at some point and then they take important steps on their journey to become the best bettors who bet on sports.

This is a step-by-step process on how to win at sports betting from zero. Or even better, how to benefit from sports betting in the long run.

If you look at how best bettors develop over time, I found that there are basically four stages of growth.

I named them as follows:

  • Childhood
  • Adolescence
  • Adulthood
  • Maturity

Every stage has its own problems, questions, and challenges. First, two stages are the hardest ones.

It is a framework designed to help sports bettors to gauge where they are right and begin to make certain decisions so they can move to the next stage of growth.

The fundamental question is how to benefit from sports betting so that before we die, we can say it was worth it.

Most gamblers are looking for the easiest way how to follow someone’s picks, someone’s system, or someone’s strategy.

Of course, there are some basic strategies and concepts on how to win at betting in the long run, like betting on the value, beating the closing line, dividing your bankroll into small parts and betting like 1% per game…

But there is no single magical strategy that will work for every single person, because we are all different and in different stages. And this is very important to understand.

We don’t have the same starting position. We have:

  • Different age
  • Different IQ
  • Different background
  • Different EQ

The strategy can not be the same for a gambler/sports fan without any math background, who doesn’t have any other investment and for example, a 30-year-old data scientist, who already made 100k in recent years from sports betting and this represents only 10% of his overall portfolio.

Of course, the strategy can not the same, because they are not in the same stage….but once you can identify and honestly accept your stage, you can focus on the most important step, which will bring you to the next level.

For the purposes of simplicity, I also described these 4 stages as follows:

  • From 0-$1000
  • From $1000-$10,000
  • From $10,000 – $100.000
  • From $100k+

This classification will help especially new sports bettors who start from zero.

Every stage has its own problems, questions, and challenges. This is why we will answer these important questions for each stage:

  • What is the main problem
  • What is the main challenge
  • What to avoid
  • What is the action plan to move to the next stage

But please understand that we have many unskilled bettors, rich gamblers, who will always be in stage 1. They bet huge amounts of money because they can afford it. These four growth stages are focusing more on the level of knowledge and skill that is necessary to move to the next stage and then finally to benefit from betting.

STAGE #1 – Childhood ($0-$1k)

In this stage, the biggest problem is that we have no idea, that we don’t know. Overload information and sports handicappers, who are basically more marketers, than actual bettors, give us a wrong picture about the whole thing.

Most sports bettors never move from this stage and they are stuck in stage #1 their whole life. They try to pick winners, they bet without and long-term approach or long-term strategy.

However, many sports gamblers decide that they will be gamblers on sport because they can afford it, they are willing to lose some money for the joy of betting. Nothing wrong with this. The beauty of gambling for entertainment is making your own bets, not following someone else.

There will always be gamblers, but we focus here on those, who want to benefit from betting in the long run and turn betting into an investment opportunity.

How can you identify bettors in this stage?

Usually, they are active on social media, betting chat groups, forums, betting portals and they try to share picks, follow picks, or even worse – buy betting tips. But the whole focus is on betting games and hitting that “winner”. Bettors in this stage are the main funding resource of the whole betting industry.

  • Main Problem of this stage: We don’t have enough knowledge about betting, probabilities, investing, money, we are delusional about the whole thing. We focus on short-term results and don’t understand the power of the long-term approach.
  • Main Challenge of this stage: To learn betting basics, to build investment habits, to learn basic statistics, and get familiar with the tool, that you will use later. The big challenge here is also honestly identifying if we love betting (numbers) or we just love the idea of money.
  • Things to avoid: Don’t bet in this stage. Stay away from social media and betting groups.

What to do – Step-by-step action plan for stage #1

  • If you bet, stop betting. First, learn to bet and how it works
  • Stop being active on social media groups, stop following handicappers, stop watching games for the purposed of betting, stop hanging around betting forums, portals, etc…they are not helpful and you can spend this time on your betting knowledge.
  • Do not pay for any picks, betting advice. Spend zero money in this stage.
  • Research (google) these topics:
  • What is probability and implied probability in sports betting
    How to calculate the margins, vig or juice in betting
    What is a sports betting model
    The importance of closing line value in sports betting
    What is the value in betting
    What are the odds and how to calculate the US odds, decimal odds (or fractional)
    What is survivorship bias in betting
    Dopamine in sports betting and gambling
    Skill and Luck in Sports Betting
    Wisdom of crowd
    Gambler’s fallacy
  • Read at least 2 books about investing and money (recommended for rookies: Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Kiyosaki and Money – Tony Robbins)
  • Read at least 20 betting articles (good source of info are pinnacle articles)
  • Read all Joseph Buchdahl books about betting
  • Research tools (betting software) that you’ll use later for analysing games and bet numbers. Some of the most popular are: excel, google spreadsheets, python, R,…

You can use 80/10/20 rule in this stage in terms of investing time, energy and effort:


STAGE #2 – Adolescence ($1-$10k)

In this stage, we already understand the betting theory. We also understand the importance of value betting, but now we must build our unique profitable betting system, betting method or sports betting model.

  • Main Problem of this stage: We don’t have a model or method to bet +EV.
  • Main Challenge of this stage: Build a system, model, or method. Test it on paper or with small money (0.1%-0.5% per bet). Patience will be tested.
  • Things to avoid: Betting too much. Once you build a profitable sports betting model, it is very important to control emotions, so we don7t overreact if we start winning. It is important to stick to the long-term plan.

What to do – Step-by-step action plan for stage #2

  • Research these topics: Regression analysis
    Advanced statistics in betting
    Sports betting models
    Expected goals, expected runs, expected whatever
    Tracking bets against the closing line
    Volatility and variance
    What is arbitrage betting
  • Use the tool that you picked in stage one and start building your betting model and test it against sharp bookmakers odds
  • One of the first things you should build is a simple betting tracker. This will be a good test if you gained enough knowledge in this stage, before moving on to creating a probabilistic model.
  • Research bookmakers/sportsbooks options in your location

You can use 80/10/20 rule in this stage in terms of investing time, energy and effort:


STAGE #3 – Adulthood ($10-$100k)

After we already have solid basics about sports betting and after we already successfully created our unique betting system, we start betting more. This is the stage, where the main challenge is how to keep profitable results and how to update our betting models. We will also have to deal with bookmakers.

  • Main Problem of this stage: Keeping profitable results. Dealing with bookmakers
  • Main Challenge of this stage: Keep updating your betting skills, model, method, connection with other similar thinking bettors. Finding good bookmakers, exchanges or even people who will bet for you.
  • Things to avoid: Betting too much.

What to do in this stage?

  • Keep updating your betting knowledge (reading books, seminars, betting courses, etc…)
  • Connect with similar-thinking bettors to share ideas, etc… (don’t confuse this with hanging whole day on betting chat groups, social media groups,…)

STAGE #4 – Maturity ($100k+)

Sports betting has its own limits and the best bettors know this.  This is why it is important to see the whole picture and include betting in our daily and healthy life.

As I see sports betting is the whole benefit. Not just money. A sports gambler who wins money, but can not sleep at night because of gambling or he is angry on social media and fights against other bettors, who is better, didn’t really benefit from betting.

Sports betting as a single income stream is very dangerous. Any income stream that we have in life and if this is only income stream in our life – no matter how good – it is still only one step away from poverty.

The goal in our life is to generate as much as possible incomes streams.

Usually, we trade 3 things in life:

  • Time for skill (usually when we are young,…this is also a goal in the stage 1)
  • Skill for money (usually a job)
  • Money for money (investing)

Sports betting is an active income stream and can be a great channel for building investment portfolios and passive incomes. Sure there are professional gamblers who rely only on gambling, but it is very dangerous. I have never seen a healthy and happy gambler who relies only on a gambling income stream. Successful bettors I met in my life have more income streams and most of them use betting profits to invest later in passive incomes, business, building portfolios, etc…

And sports betting can be a great way to make money.

  • Main Problem of this stage: How to make more money, because there is a limit
  • Main Challenge of this stage: To accept that sports betting has its own limits (bookmakers, health,…).
  • Things to avoid: Focusing only on betting.

What to do in this stage

  • Start re-investing betting profits.
  • Stay under the radar when it comes to betting. Even betting less than in stage 3 and using profits as a channel for passive income
  • Connect with other similar-thinking bettors and other successful people (not betting related)

Maturity is once you understand that sports betting must be used as a very long-term approach (at least 10, 20 years).

Final Words

Hope this guide will help you to identify at which stage you are and then take actions like best sports bettors in the World on their journey. A good start to becoming a profitable sports bettor is a Free Betting Course.

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