Joffe: The Newbie’s Guide to Being a Functional Degenerate Gambler

Joffe: The Newbie’s Guide to Being a Functional Degenerate Gambler article feature image

Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Highlights

  • Have a newfound interest in sports gambling? Great! Lauren Joffe is here to help.
  • Don’t bet the under. Just. Don’t. Do. It. All your friends will hate you, and you’ll be a miserable human.
  • Don’t bet on your team. If they lose and don’t cover, you’ll be doubly pissed off. 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week, you know about the SCOTUS sports gambling ruling. (If you’re catching up, you can get all of your info here, here, here and here.)

Given the news, I’ve put together some VERY helpful tips on how to be a functioning degenerate gambler. The lessons, as you’ll see, often come back to doing the opposite of me, which is intentional.

I want the best for all of you newbies, so much like you wouldn’t jump right into the “other” categories on, say, Pornhub, you’ll want to ease into this life. I’m here to help.

Don’t bet just to bet…

Hahahaha… OK I can’t even type this with a straight face. I am, after all, a degenerate. Sometimes you want to watch sports but have no dog in the fight, so you need a reason. I mean who really WANTS to watch the Texans vs. Dolphins — the answer is no one — but on a random Thursday night in October, that’s the only option you’ll have. If you’re going to suffer through it, you might as well make it interesting, right? Right.

But make it a small bet because chances are better than not that you’re going to lose the money. A good rule of thumb: Don’t bet more on games you know nothing about than what you’re going to spend on the alcohol you’ll be drinking while watching. It’s taken me years to figure that formula out. I also have gotten very drunk. The two things are surely not related…

If it looks too good to be true…

This is another one that’s hard for me to write, but please know, I’m a seasoned bettor and more importantly a seasoned degen. Case in point:

Do NOT try these +26500 bets at home. Take it from me: You’ll spend more time and money to chase those unicorns than you’ll make back.

But if you’re gonna do it just to do it, please, for the love of God, make it tiny. There’s a reason bookmakers are giving those odds: They’re looking for suckers and degens. Try not to be the former, like me.

Life’s too short to bet the under

As a sports fan and bettor, it really sucks when you have to pray for no scoring, but that’s what you’ll be doing if you take unders. Now, OBVIOUSLY they hit plenty of times, but the last thing you want to be doing as a newbie degen with five minutes left in the fourth quarter of a good hoops game is screaming “STOP SCORING.” Not only will it piss off everyone around you who took the over, you’ll end up having to thank people like the Tar Heels. And no one wants to do that.

Do yourself a favor and leave this to the pros. You might win less money, but you’ll also be an infinitely happier human.

Don’t bet with your heart

Yeah I haven’t quite learned this one yet, although I’m making strides. Yes, you want to root for your team, but if you bet on them just because they’re your team and they lose, well now you’re doubly pissed off.

Trust me when I tell you: If you bring emotion into this here game, you’re a goner and will end up with things like a Dead To Me List and a lot of rage.

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