Years ago, in my local public house, the Lord Nelson, I heard the landlord, Bernard, utter these words:
''Do you bet with your head or your heart?''
He was an intelligent chap. His observation detailed the potential weakness of any football fan who is loyal to their team. I mean, would a Chelsea supporter ever fancy their team to lose against Tottenham? I'm sure a supporter would viewed as a trator. Betting against your own team. It would be akin to wearing a white bobble hat in a sea of blue.
Perhaps there's more to this betting game than I thought!
Plenty of football supporters place a bet on their team to make the match more interesting. Sure, it adds a little bit of spice to proceedings. You have only to wait for the adverts between the football on TV to see betting is ''fun''. Well, that's what the adverts says. Some bloke with a beard, who twenty years back was seen on an episode of Minder, talking in a broad cockney accent, telling you how it is. You barely hear the words: ''When the fun stops...STOP.
But let's stop for a moment before we even get to the betting part. Is betting a good idea? Is there a reason why you shouldn't bet?
From someone who is an experienced gambler, the thought of betting for fun is a terrible idea. It may seem very innocent but it can open a door of ''opportunity'' which should be firmly closed. For some, the devil lies behind that door. The only fun he is interested is making your life a misery.
Betting isn't about fun. It should be viewed as an investment. Would you put your money in the bank if you automatically lost 10%? You may say: ''Well, I have a chance of winning?'' Yes, you do. But what is your basis or understanding for winning? If it is based on luck, you will lose long term.
Have you noticed in a two horse race that bookmakers will never price both horses even money. The total will never been 100%. It is more likely to be 80%, so the bookies put the 20% in their pocket.
The only way you can win is by knowledge and skill.
So what do you know about your team? More improtantly, what do you know about the opposition? In the Premier League, do you have a comprehensive knowledge of each and every team?
If the answer is no, then you shouldn't bet. Why? Because you simply don't know enough to beat the layers. Bookamakers are clever. They use extensive knowledge to make sure they have the odds-on in their favour. They are not perfect. They cannot guarantee someone doesn't know more. But they are happy to bet they know more than most. If they fear you will win their money, your account will be closed instantly.
I always remember the scene for the Carry On Film: Carry on at your Convenience. Sid Plummer (played by Sid James) had a pet budgie which tipped winning horses. Mr Plummer won a bundle of cash from the bookie who swiftly restricted all future bets to £5.
The conversation went along these line: ''What kind of sportsman are you not to take a decent bet?''
The bookmaker replied: ''If I was a sportsman, I'd be riding the horse!''
To be a good gambler is akin to being an expereinced stockbroker. You wouldn't just choose your stocks and shares because you like the name.
This is the reason why I am not in favour of people betting for fun. Losing money isn't fun. It also desensitises you for more loses. It makes it the norm to bet and the expectation of winning is equal to those of losing. You should only bet when you are convinced you have the odds in your favour. Is this possible? It is if you work to understand your niche. Why do I say niche? Because no one can ever know everything. There simply isn't time to do the subject justice. If you know one thing well you are better to bet ten times the money rather than need to know ten times the knowledge.
You work hard for your money. Don't be fooled into thinking betting is fun. That it's a normal addition to a football match, horse race, spin of the roulette wheel or turn of a card.
The fun part is also the hard work. Finding a way to turn the odds into your favour.
When you understand that philosophy, then place a bet because the chances are long term you will win.