When Should You Hang Up Your Betting Boots for the Day?
Quit as soon as you are in front for the day?
Set a stop loss and quit betting for the day if you reach that point?
Set a profit target and quit as soon as you reach that goal?
If your first few bets lose, then you should quit because you luck isn't with you today?
If you win your first few bets then you should quit because you have already used your luck for the day and from now on you must have bad luck? Sound familiar? I am sure you have heard them all before. Self confessed gambling experts usually will advocate one of the above, or a slight variation of one of the above. They say that this one decision is just as important as the game they are playing or the skills they possess in the game.
Which is correct? Well, if you are a serious long-term player, there is only one answer (well, to be honest, maybe two).
Quit Betting For the Day if You No Longer Have an Edge.
I want you to read this one line, out loud 10 times, as it is that important.
This is the only reason you should stop betting (providing of course, that you hold an edge). I am not plucking this idea off the top of my head. No, this is a mathematically proven fact! I don't care how much money you have either won, or lost, on any particular day. If you have good bankroll management and your judgment is not affected by a winning or losing run (which it shouldn't be, once you become experienced), then I would suggest that you continue to bet. It is that simple. You should not view your betting as separate sessions where you calculate your profit or loss. No . . .
You must view your gambling as one continuous session, which NEVER ends.
This is the reason it would make no sense to quit just because you are ahead or behind. This is reality. As long as you have an edge, tell me why would you stop betting? OK, we all have to sleep, eat and live our lives. I believe this is the only other reason as to why you would consider calling it quits for the day. Also, if you are mentally fatigued, it doesn't make good business sense to continue your betting either.
In saying this, I certainly can understand how punters perceptions may lead them into false beliefs. After all, how many times have you been a few hundred in front at the TAB, casino or track, only to leave with your tail between your legs and twenty cents in your pocket? On the way home you think to yourself, 'I knew I should have stopped when I was ahead'. How did you know? Keep in mind I am assuming that you hold a long-term edge on your game of choice.
If you don't hold an edge, then yes, you should quit while you are ahead, or to go one step further, you should be playing with small stakes for a bit of fun only.
However, providing you hold an edge on the game, are still mentally alert, have not become emotional (become over confident or are reeling from a loss), and would like to make some money, then you should continue to play your game regardless of recent results.
Providing you continue to make positive expectation bets, tell me why you would stop, if you lost a couple of bets in a row, or if you struck a winner with your first bet? (I am assuming you have established a betting bank that you can afford to lose.)
The only benefit I can see in stopping, when you have either won or lost a certain amount, would be to boost your confidence. To stop betting for the day, when you are showing a profit, may help to boost your confidence. In reality, you are reducing the amount that you will make in the long-term (because your turnover is not as great), but maybe your confidence and enjoyment derived from gambling may rise. In this case, stopping after a couple of good wins may be the way to go for you personally.
If you don't have an edge, and you are serious about making money from gambling, you should develop your gambling skills so as you can create an edge. Find out more about your 'Edge' int he article, 'The Difference Between Your Edge and Your Expectation' at http://www. puntingace. com/hints/
However, if you are gambling purely for the enjoyment, then setting stop losses, either at a winning point or losing point, is the best way to play. This way, by reducing turnover, and thus not losing as much in the long-term, is smart play.