UNITED STATES—Sports betting has never been more accessible than it is now, thanks to online providers. While it may still operate in a legal grey area, the good news is that punters themselves are protected so long as they follow a few basic precautions. Here is a quick guide on making the most of online sports betting.

1. Find the right betting site

We put this one first because it really is the most important and basic piece of advice that we can give. Only ever trust your money to a properly licensed sports betting provider. Finding one is as simple as consulting a reliable source like https://casinopilot.ca/bonus, where you will also find a range of online casino bonuses to help your money go even further.

2. Start small and learn the ropes

We all hear so much about sports betting that it would be easy just to dive in headfirst and start making bets indiscriminately. That is always a bad approach – much of successful sports betting is about discipline. That starts with learning about all the different ways that you can bet on sports, and there are a lot. You won’t get far without knowing your parlay from your points spread.

3. Keep your expectations realistic

For the vast majority, sports betting is neither a get rich quick scheme nor a viable career option. Betting can and should be fun, and occasionally it is also profitable. It is certainly not something to rely on. Even a pro sports bettor loses more than half of the time.

4. Specialize in one sport

Apart from having a flutter on the occasional major event, it is better to be a specialist in a single sport. Luckily for us, there is usually one sport that we enjoy above all others. Having a natural interest in a particular sport is an advantage, as you will naturally be more knowledgeable about that one. Learning the different betting markets and possible permutations is also much easier when you focus on one type of event.

5. Stick to a strict budget

From the outset, it is important to decide exactly how much you can afford to lose. You can choose to make a weekly, monthly or even seasonal budget. Use the tools available in mobile betting apps or online portals to keep an eye on spending. One approach is to deposit your full budget and then make sure that you do not transfer any more funds to your betting account until your decided time period has passed. This obviously requires discipline, but if that is something that you think you lack then sports betting is not for you.

6. Manage your bankroll

Bankroll management is an extension of budgeting. Say you have decided to budget $100 for the whole of the NFL season. This amount will fluctuate over time as you make bets – sometimes you will be successful and at other times not. No matter the amount in your bankroll, you can make it last longer by deciding on a percentage that you can spend on any single wager. A rule of thumb would be to bet only up to 10% of your total, whether you have $100 or $10 left.

7. Keep your head clear

It’s a given that you should never bet while under the influence, but keeping a clear head means more than that. Judgement can be clouded by passion as well. As sports naturally inspire intense feelings, this can be a tough one. When you feel very strongly about a particular event, it is probably better to simply enjoy it without putting any money down.