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Betting for Beginners: 7 Tips to Start Off Right

Americans illegally wager more than $150 billion on sports every year through offshore betting sites and illegal bookmakers, according to the American Gaming Association, but with the 2018 Supreme Court ruling, more states are legalizing sports betting every day. Cue the flood of new bettors sure to make the kinds of rookie mistakes that help keep sports books in the money.

But you don’t have to bet blindly! Protect your bankroll with smart, time-tested advice from the experts that can help you enjoy your new hobby with a minimum of drama. Read on for our top-10 tips to help you get savvy—fast!

1. Do Your Research

Sports betting is a big moneymaker for sports books, casinos, and handicappers of all stripes—and these businesses are in it to win it. They spend incredible amounts of time and money to gather all the data they can to help them win as often as possible. But don’t be intimidated—you can do your own research. Learn everything you can about the teams and the sport. Use Twitter to gain insight on lines and bone up on all the analysis you can. Be sure to understand your own stats, too: your winning percentage, units, and ROI. This bit might seem a little tedious, but time spent on research will help protect your bankroll.

2. Be Safe

As in any gold rush-type scenario, con artists abound, just waiting to prey on newbies. In the sports betting world, these guys are called “scamdicappers,” and they’re often found on Instagram. Be smart and avoid them with a few simple tips. Watch out for accounts with no verifiable win/loss records, an obsession with showing their high-roller lifestyle, and promises of “guaranteed wins.” A lack of user comments or reviews is also a big red flag.

3. Make the Most of Rewards and Bonuses

Most online betting sites are always on the hunt for new customers, and many offer special sign-up bonuses you can tap into to extend your bets and help defray your losses. Don’t shy away from enrolling in loyalty programs, as these sites often reward repeat customers with special offers.

4. Playing Favorites Doesn’t Pay

Of course, you have favorite teams, but limiting your betting to wagers that favor them can prove disastrous. Betting is all about the cold, hard numbers. Keep that in mind to ensure you’re betting with your head and not your heart. Feel free to bet your favorites, from time to time, but be smart about it.

5. Remember: Lines Are About Betting, Not Score Predictions

Know that lines shift constantly due to random new information, betting action, weather, you name it. Don’t fall into the trap of believing they indicate outcomes. Books want as many people betting on both sides as possible, and lines are all about encouraging that tension.

6. Put on the Brakes When You’re in a Slump

Pretty self-explanatory, right? Experts agree that chasing your losses in an attempt to recover is a sure-fire way to end up in serious trouble. Try to think of each bet as separate from the last one and the next one.

7. Set a Limit, Stick to It, and Quit While You’re Ahead

While it sounds like common sense, we all know how easy it can be to get swept up in the heat of the moment. Be sure you know your limits and don’t exceed them. Some reputable sites, like BetMGM (owned by BetMGM’s parent company) will even help you do so, with the options to set—and easily decrease—spending limits, temporarily suspend your account, and even limit the time you spend on the website. They also make it harder to increase those limits once you’ve set them. Final note: all good gamblers know to quit while you’re ahead.

Live Your Passion at BetMGM

If you love sports and want to join your passion with your career, we invite you to join us at BetMGM. We’re seeking energetic sports enthusiasts to join our team. Created as a joint venture from industry leaders MGM Resorts International and Entain Holdings, one of the world’s largest sports-betting and gaming groups, we’re backed by the best and driving the future of sports betting in the US. Are you ready to bring your A-game and committed to always doing what’s right? Be part of the Pride of Gaming history: join us today.

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