Why Do People Make Quick Decisions When Gambling?

gut brain connection concept scientistsThere is one thing that bookmakers and casinos are desperate to avoid you doing: research. Gambling companies rely on the fact that people tend to make quick decisions when they are placing bets, which is fascinating when you think about the fact that there is money on the line every time a bet is placed.

Whilst some people will only bet with money that they can afford to lose, others will not be so wise in their decision making, yet fail to do even a modicum of research before choosing to place a wager on something that they know little about.

This is why bookmakers put signs in their shop windows offering odds on an event that aren’t very good. They know that the chances of a team winning the football match that they’re playing precisely 3-1 are slim, but they also know that most people walking past the shop window won’t bother to do any research about what the odds actually are.

As a result, they will put a sign saying ‘Everton to win 3-1 @ 10/1’ up and know that there will be some people happy to take that bet because it looks like a possible scoreline and good odds.

Quick Decisions Are Not Always Good Decisions

Thumb DecisionIt is common for people to feel as though trusting their instinct is a good thing. They will ‘go with their gut’ when making a choice, convinced that this means that their decision will be a good one. Did you look at the offer in the introduction of odds of 10/1 for Everton to win 3-1 and think that they were good?

Even without the knowledge of who it was that Everton were playing against in the invented scenario, you might well have thought ‘I’d have taken that bet’. If you’d have done so, you would have been making a quick decision that was also the wrong one.

In the 2021-2022 Premier League campaign, Everton won just two games 3-1. The opening game of the season against Southampton ended by that scoreline, as did their next home game against Burnley. That means that two out of 38 matches ended in a scoreline that would have seen you win your bet.

38/2 is 19/1, so without any other information we can already see that the correct odds should have been nearly double the odds that you would have accepted. That is by doing just a modicum of research into the likely outcome of an Everton match.

Research Is The Enemy Of Quick Decisions

risk planning people pointing at charts on a deskProfessional bettors would never walk past a bookmaker and take the odds being offered in the window. They would not sit down at a blackjack table and ask for another card when Basic Strategy tells them not to.

Those in the know are aware that the thing a bookmaker, casino or other gambling establishment wants you to do more than anything else is to make a quick decision. Betting without some sort of plan is an almost sure-fire way of ensuring that you will lose your money repeatedly, which is why you shouldn’t do it.

The reality is that research is boring, which is why not many people bother to do it. Instead of stopping to look up how many times Everton have won 3-1 across the past five seasons, punters simply decide it looks like a good bet and head into the bookies to place it. If they had done the research, they would know the following information about Everton:

Season Number Of 3-1 Wins In The Premier League
2021-2022 2
2020-2021 0
2019-2020 2
2018-2019 1
2017-2018 2

Across five seasons and 190 games, Everton won 3-1 just seven times. The most they did so in one season was twice. That means that the odds of them winning 3-1 are 190/7, which equates to about 27/1.

The decision to act quickly outside the bookmaker might have seen you win your bet, but you would have been too fast in accepting odds that were well below the real odds. That is the problem with bettors who act before they think and refuse to do even a little bit of research, simply because it is a boring thing to do.

If You Make Quick Decisions Regularly, You’ll Lose Regularly

a mistake repeated more than once is a decisionFor most people, making quick decisions is what they do. There might be some punters that opt for a hybrid state, making occasional quick decisions alongside the rate decision made after doing some research, but in the majority of cases, the decisions that people make are done quickly and without thought.

The problem is, if that is what you are doing then there is a real chance that you’ll be doing so on a regularly basis. Given that most people are nowhere near as fortunate as they think they are, this means that they will be losing regularly.

Indeed, if you’re making quick decisions on a regular basis then the likelihood is that you’re losing money just as regularly. Ask yourself, how often do you make a decision to place a bet based on the research that you’ve done and how often is just because of your gut?

If you find that it is the latter far more often than the former, then it is likely that you’re losing money much more than you’re winning it. This is exactly what bookmakers and casinos want to hear from their clientele, but it isn’t something that you have to do.

The wise punter knows that the best thing that they can do is stop and think before placing a bet. If you’re betting on a tennis match, have you looked at the stats of how often the two players have faced each other? If you’re playing blackjack, do you know what Basic Strategy tells you to do in the situation in which you find yourself?

These are the questions that the clever bettor will ask themselves but the instinctive one will happily ignore in favour of just following their gut. The latter is the quickest way to lose money regularly.

Of course, we can do all the research in the world and bets can still lose, but it is key to remember that good bets can lose and bad bets can win.  In the long term, though, bad bets will lose more than good bets.