Bettors’ biggest mistake: which is it and how it affects their choices?


Bettors generally make a number of mistakes when they are making decisions and choices over how and where to place their wagers. This is very common and it is in fact an acceptable thing, considering that it is in the nature of betting to entail the element of false and mistake as well as the greater element of risk. 

Inherent in betting is, therefore, the fact that people will certainly and by definition, make some poor decisions and incorrect choices. Afterall, if everyone was to make the right picks, then everyone would be millionaires by now, betting would simply not be feasible and all bookmakers including German betting sites would go broke!

This article will help you deal with one of the most frequent mistakes that bettors make. This mistake is in fact considered to be one of the basic factors leading to bad decisions. This is the availability heuristic. 

So, what is the availability heuristic?

It is the phenomenon within which an individual considers as a basic source of decision making all information that is easier to recall. In simple words, the individual bases the choices he makes on the readily available information - the information that comes right in front of one’s eyes and mind. 

For example, we tend to use the first bits of information that come to our mind when we want to make a decision instead of thinking about other information and data that exist out there and which may have a more reliable and credible nature in terms of assisting our decision making. 

One bettor may like F1 betting and choose to bet on an F1 driver to win a certain circuit, basically because the first thing that comes to his mind is that he has heard the driver is in a good shape, is at the front of the qualifying rounds and also there are no other competent drivers in the specific race. Ok, this is a very hypothetical scenario but let’s consider that it can really happen. 

Here the bettor believes that he will make the right decision in betting on this driver because the first available information existing in his mind is that this driver is more likely to win the race. 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 the/ story. 

Or in another case, someone has watched an underdog play exceptionally well in the last two of its three match ups in Bundesliga, but has missed its third appearance which was really poor. When this someone 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 does  availability heuristic influence bettors’ decisions?

There is a simple explanation and this is none other than the fact that bettors eventually make a “mental shortcut” in their decision making process. It becomes easier to make a choice, quicker to make a decision 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, simply because we fail to consider all information available out there. 

How to deal with it

The best way to deal with the availability heuristic is to train ourselves in searching for information and always question the credibility and reliability of the first information that comes to mind. If we manage to realize that too often what we think we know is only a small fraction of what we can know, then it will become easier to recognize when our decisions are biased and so, act accordingly. 

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