Identifying bettors’ biggest mistake and how it affects winnings



Eliminating every form of doubt, it is crystal clear that bettors do make a number of mistakes when they are making important decisions over how and where to place their stakes. This is indeed the nature of betting because it entails risks and it could be impossible to completely eradicate mistakes.


However, decision-making is an integral part of betting as it determines your profit-making. Inherent in betting is, therefore, the fact that people will certainly make some poor decisions and wrong choices. After all, if everyone should make the right picks, then everyone would be wealthy, betting would simply not be totally easy and all bookmakers would declare bankruptcy.


This write-up will assist you in dealing with one of the most popular mistakes that bettors make. This particular mistake is considered to be one of the basic factors leading to poor winnings, and it is called ‘availability heuristic’.


What is availability heuristic?

It is described as the process an individual makes biased and fast decisions based on readily available information. These decisions are most times incorrect and badly assessed. It involves relying on information that comes to mind quickly.

For instance, we tend to use the first bits of information that come to our mind when we want to make a decision instead of making further researches about other information and data that exist.

One bettor may be interested in staking on cricket and choose to bet on a team to win a certain match, basically because the first thing that comes to his mind is the popular team being heard on radio. Without doing any research, the bettor staked on the team. This is a very hypothetical scenario but let’s consider that it can really happen.

At this point, the bettor believes that he will make the right decision in betting on the team because the first available information existing in his mind is that the team is a popular team. But he neglects that there is much more information ready to be explored if one searches. And this information might tell the whole story and not just one part of it.

Or in another case, someone has watched an underdog play exceptionally well in the last two of its three matchups but has missed its third appearance which was really poor. When this bettor uses the information readily available for betting, they will choose to bet on the underdog to win the next game, but the reality is that they did not see the entire performance and also they are not taking into account the previous performance – the one prior to the two won games.


How availability heuristic influences bettors’ decisions

The simple and most logical explanation is that bettors eventually make a ‘mental shortcut’ in their decision-making process. It becomes easier to make a choice, and the thing is that we believe this decision to be informed. But the truth is that we are far from making realistic assessments and predictions because we do not consider all information available.


How to tackle availability heuristic

The best way to deal with it is to train ourselves on searching and researching for information and always asking the right credibility and reliability questions of the first information that comes to mind. If we manage to realise that too often what we think we know is only a small fraction of what we can know, then it will become easier to recognise when our decisions are biased and so, act accordingly.



Availability heuristic is indeed bettors’ biggest problem, and if not properly managed could lead to greater losses of hard-earned money. Always do adequate research before you place any wager and do not forget to stake responsibly.


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