Ever wondered what it takes to become successful at betting? Or what tactics do you need to undertake to avoid getting taken to the cleaners by the bookies? Well, you are in luck! With years of experience in the industry we have complied a betting guide in to ten simple points so that you can increase your chances of getting more winning bets.
Turn into a betting whiz by following our 10-step betting guide to becoming a successful bettor.
Top 10 Betting Guide
The top ten betting guide is a great starting point for punters who are just starting to bet, or who have experience but need some additional tips to find out some of the weaknesses in their game. Starting off with one of the most important aspects of any betting strategy is the amount you are willing to stake…
1. Have a staking system
When following any notable tipster, you will notice that the recommended stakes for their tips come in a staking system and are not expressed as a conventional currency. Everyone’s bankroll is different and you need a staking system that caters for yours. Should you only have £100 that you can afford to lose, staking £10 per bet would likely leave you exhausted of cash very quickly should you hit a bad losing streak.
And similarly, stakes of £0.10 will not go very far in a bankroll of £500. Much research has been done into the topic of what staking system works best but as a general rule, the higher the odds of a selection, the lower your stake should be and vice versa. As an extra word of warning, one should stay clear of staking systems that supposedly ‘guarantee profit’. A common example of such a system being the ‘Martingale’, which states you should simply double your stake after each loss until you hit a winner. What this system fails to account for however, is the fact you’d need an infinite bankroll to maintain it and could lose a sufficient amount of money should you again, hit a bad losing streak.
2. Bet in singles only
Have you ever wondered why bookmakers are so hell-bent on pushing ‘acca insurance’ offers or promotions which encourage you to have bets with multiple selections? The reasoning behind why bookies do this, is the fact that the margins when placing multiple bets i.e. trebles, are much less favourable to the customer.
Using an example, should one place a bet on Aston Villa in a win/draw/win bet that contains three selections, your coupon may look a little something like this:
- Aston Villa – 4/1
- Draw – 3/1
- Fulham – 4/7
By calculating the margins, you will see the bookmaker stands to make a 8.6% profit overround. If you were to add Villa to your betting slip in a double bet as well as a selection from another game i.e. Chelsea, with a 9% overround figure for example, you are essentially adding these two margins together to make a much more profitable 17.6% figure for the bookmaker.
- Aston Villa – 8.6%
- Chelsea – 9%
- Total margin for the bookmaker= 17.6%
By placing single bets only, you increase your chances of being profitable a whole lot more in the long run.
3. Understand what ‘value’ means
Whilst the odds are inherently stacked in the bookmaker’s favour, there are times when the bookies can get it wrong and be a little generous with their prices; and this, is something every serious punter should capitalise on in the form of ‘value betting’.
In most cases value can be found in lesser-known leagues and competitions where competition data is hard to come by. As an example, odds compilers of betting firms are generally very clued up on the on goings of the Premier League but may not be so confident of their knowledge of Swiss second tier football. Find your niche and study it closely to enable you to gain an advantage over the bookmaker.
4. Utilise the bookmakers’ offers
With such fierce competition in the UK online betting industry, many, if not all bookies offer their customers a generous ‘welcome bonus’ as well as several retention offers to keep their players betting. To make your money go further, it is crucial that you take full advantage of these promotions by signing up to as many bookmakers as is possible. It must also be noted that not all offers are created equal however; a risk-free bet of £50 offered by ‘bookmaker a’ is certainly not as enticing a proposition as a £5 Free Bet with X8 wagering requirements from ‘bookmaker b.’
The real skill comes in knowing when bookie’s offers are worth bothering with. As a general rule, offers that don’t have extra wagering requirements prior to withdrawal should be seen as the most favourable. You can get an overview of all the available bookmaker offers here.
5. Stay grounded
As Kenny Rodgers famously said in his song ‘The Gambler’, ‘you never count your money, when you’re sitting at the table. There’ll be time enough for counting, when the dealing’s done.’ What we believe Kenny eluded to back in his 1978 smash hit song, is the fact that you should never dwell on a big win as after all, the only thing that matters is how you’re faring when it’s all over, or, ‘when the dealing’s done.’
Much like the ‘gambler’s fallacy’, getting carried away after a big win is a common mistake made by a lot of bettors. Keeping your feet on the ground, regardless of your last result is unarguably the key to success in the long term.
6. Have multiple betting accounts
With so much variation in the odds that bookmakers set these days, you can never be guaranteed to be getting the best value if you are only a member of one or two bookmakers. Whilst the difference between 9/4 and 5/2 may not sound a lot, mathematically there is a huge difference which will affect the bottom line in the long run. Using the above example, when placing a bet at a price of 9/4 when 5/2 was available, you stand to miss out on 10% of your winnings, which for a stake of £10 would equal £2.50 (see below).
- Returns at 5/2 – (£10 ÷ 2) X 5 = £25.00
- Returns at 9/4 – (£10 ÷ 4) X 9 = £22.50
Again, £2.50 may not sound like a lot, but over the course of 100+ bets, consistently placing bets on less favourable odds will soon take its toll. To remedy this, one should create betting accounts with as many bookmakers as deemed possible to make it more likely for you to obtain the best market price.
7. Accept that the odds are still against you
As is stated in every ‘responsible gambling’ message that has ever been produced, gambling, in any form should be seen as a recreational activity and not a means to make a primary or secondary income. The reason being, quite simply, that the odds are never in your favour.
To demonstrate this point, it is worth noting that betting giants Bet365 recorded profits that surpassed £400 million in 2015. Year-on-year, bookmakers make a tidy profit off the back of their customers’ losses and anyone looking to pursue online betting as a hobby should be firmly aware of this to manage expectations.
8. Avoid the ‘gambler’s fallacy’
The ‘gambler’s fallacy’, also known as the ‘Monte Carlo fallacy’ is a form of cognitive bias that occurs not only in betting but in everyday life situations. The concept states that humans, generally speaking, become more emotionally invested in something the more they have invested in something financially.
As an example, a Texas Hold ‘Em poker player who has made a poor attempt of bluffing a weak hand should in theory fold their hand early on when they know their opponent has them beat. However, being human, many people in this situation would continue betting with a losing hand citing the flawed logic that ‘they’ve already invested a large amount into said hand, it would be a waste to give up now.’
The gambler’s fallacy or as it can sometimes be known, ‘chasing your losses’, is one of the most common mistakes recreational punters make. As a rule, bettors should accept when they’re beat and discontinue backing a losing selection to minimise losses.
9. Understand the odds and how bookmakers set them
Many bettors, especially those starting out, start placing bets with little to no acknowledgment of how the odds work. Expressed in either fractional or decimal form, knowing why an online bookmaker has decided that Chelsea, for example should be 8/1 to win the Premier League is important, because should you conclude that said 8/1 price is a little generous on the punter’s behalf, this is where ‘value’ can be obtained.
Whilst fractional odds have typically been the preferred choice of betting companies in the UK, most modern day bookies display decimal odds on their site which are much easier to decipher for those new to online gambling.
10. Keep a record
It goes without saying that keeping a record of your betting endevaours is imperative to long-term success. When developing a betting system that you hope will be profitable, keeping a record will ensure your betting is consistent and help failsafe against any random or ‘spur of the moment’ gambling which is not based upon sufficient research.
No advanced software programs are required in order for you to keep a decent record. An excel spreadsheet will do just fine, or if you’re really feeling rogue, a good old-fashioned pen and paper.