Cool Girls Bet Responsibly

Our columnist shares the best tips for keeping sports betting fun, and avoiding the pitfalls of problem gambling.
Betting responsibly

This is a column in our ongoing series “On Her Line,” exploring the ups and downs in the life of a sports bettor. Catch up here!

The first rule of sports betting is…you don’t talk about sports betting?

As if! The Podcast Bro Industrial Complex would instantly collapse!

No, the first rule of sports betting is: DON’T BET MONEY YOU DON’T HAVE. 

Betting on sports should be fun. It’s a way to enhance your engagement with the game, learn more or test your knowledge of sports, and maybe add a little friendly competition into the group chat. 

If it stops being fun, you know it’s time to stop.

If you start losing more money than you should, you know it’s time to stop. 

If you’re betting more than is safe for you, you know it’s time to stop.

There are hundreds of thousands of TikToks and YouTube videos claiming they can help you win big with their tried-and-true betting strategies. And while it’s true that sharps exist, and there are ways to become a better bettor (and we’ll talk about them here!), gambling is by its very definition a risk. 

The house always wins.  

So here are some of the top tips to manage your sports betting habits. (Tip number one: Don’t form a habit!)

Tips for Responsible Gaming, From One Cool Girl to Another

Here are some of the best tips I’ve learned along the way. I’d love to hear yours, too!

Budget, Budget, Budget

“I like my money right where I can see it. Hanging in my closet,” says Carrie Bradshaw. Well, she got one thing right, at least – keep your money right where you can see it. 

It’s important to set a budget and only bet what you can afford to lose. Set aside the money you want to bet with, and don’t add to it. Also, don’t chase losses by betting more money than you should. They say that gambling addiction is less about the desire to win and more about the desire simply to break even. That’s thanks to the bottomless pit of chasing losses.

Managing your bankroll is essential for long-term success in sports betting. Learn how to allocate your funds wisely, avoid chasing losses, and stick to your budget.

Keep the “game” in gaming

Betting on sports should be an enjoyable pastime! Don’t let it become an obsession or a source of stress. If sports betting isn’t fun anymore, that’s a critical red flag that you might need to take a break or quit the game.

Also, keep an eye out for whether you’re using betting as an escape or depending on it too much as a stress reliever. Any dependency is risky to your mental health and could lead to real problem gaming. 

A great way to keep it fun is to follow the next tip…

Bet with friends

Being a sports fan is so much about being part of a community – watching games with friends, identifying with your local teams, and cheering with a crowd. Sports betting is best served together, too.

Betting with friends and making sports betting social also helps with responsible betting. It makes gaming more fun, your budgeting goals more accountable, and the risks of becoming isolated and addicted far lower.  

In fact, the awesome benefits of betting with friends led to the creation of the Betting Ladies community! Join us to make new friends, talk about sports, and get great tips on your gaming strategy. Or, share your responsible gaming tips!

Do your research

Before placing a bet, do your research and gather as much information as possible. Consider factors such as team form, injuries, and head-to-head records. 

Or, check out our “Lady Locks” for daily betting tips on the action that week!

Don’t be a lemming

In other words, don’t just follow the crowd. While it’s a great idea to learn from others and bet socially, you should also avoid blindly following the opinions of others, including tipsters and social media influencers. Gather the info and then make your own decisions. 

Avoid emotional betting

Too emotionally invested in a game’s outcome? Maybe avoid betting on that specific event. 

Another strategy is to bet against your own team so you’ll have a win whatever happens. (Or is that cold-hearted a strategy for you?)

One study from New Jersey showed that women tend to win more often when betting on sports than men. One theory as to why that’s the case is that women tend to have more emotional distance from teams than men do. (As a straight woman married to a man, I can attest to this! Let’s just say I’m not the one who’s standing inches away from the TV and holding my head in my hands on a regular basis.)

Being honest about your losses can help you keep a clear head about betting, too. I’ll be honest about my losses here in this column as we follow sports betting together.

Take breaks

Take regular breaks from betting to avoid burnout and to make sure it’s still all in good fun. 

Use tools to manage your betting

Many sportsbooks offer tools to help you manage your betting activity, such as setting deposit limits and self-exclusion options. Use these tools if you feel that your betting activity is becoming problematic. Nobody is an island, and we all need help! The smart bettor recognizes their own limitations and hedges their bets.

Know when to quit

One of the most important skills in sports betting is knowing when to quit. Learn how to recognize the signs of problem gambling and take steps to prevent addiction. Talk to friends, talk to our betting community, and keep your focus on the fun.

Next time, we’ll talk about identifying what kind of bettor you are, in addition to being a responsible one! 

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