The psychology of winning a wager

You will be surprised to know that sports betting has been around for thousands and thousands of years. The wagering of something valuable or money on a sporting event with an uncertain outcome can be traced back to the Roman empire actually.

These days you can win wagers with wild jacks online real money games gambling casino in a matter of minutes but let us go over the psychology of wagering to learn more about it. It requires three basic elements – consideration, chance and money (or prize or something valuable). You might just think that extensive knowledge of the game or the ability to make predictions are the only things you need to improve your winning chances. However, picking the right strategies and/or numbers is equally important. Furthermore, you should think objectively. You must calmly assess all the information available and make rational decisions based on your findings. Let’s go over couple of these biases to learn more about what factors may/may not work against you:

Desirability bias

This is a common bias which affects sports bettors everywhere. Most people who bet on sports are also fans of that sport. As a result, they often like to bet on their favourite teams and players, which, unfortunately, works against winning propositions. Desirability bias is often referred to as preference to bet on what we wish to happen. In simple words, we can replace desirability bias with the term wishful thinking because this is exactly what the heart wishes for even when it is unlikely to happen. It is not surprising to note that most sports bettors get influenced by desirability bias at some point in their career.

Loss Aversion

More than winning, people actually hate to lose their money. We approach things in such a way that we work towards avoiding negative feelings of loss more than the positive feelings of winning. We exhibit such strong emotions towards loss aversion that we instinctively try to avoid loss of any kind. In principle, it helps us from being reckless and also in avoiding making bad decisions. Consider the example of purchasing extended warranty for your electrical items just in case they breakdown beyond the first year of use. While such warranties do not really provide true value for money, we still proceed to pick them as we are too scared of paying more money to get them rectified in case we face an issue sometime later with them.


In sports betting, falling prey to such biases can be disastrous for your wallet; because if you fail to calculate the risks vs rewards ratio correctly, you might end up exposing yourself to extreme losses that you’d never be able to make up.

While we all realize that sports betting involves plenty of risk, we still place wagers just for the thrill, adventure and fun of it. We need to remember that all of us get affected by loss aversion at some point, however, it can be avoided if we take only calculated risks.