This is where you bet on a team or a horse to win a particular event.
You bet on a selection to win or be placed. Half your stake is put ‘on the nose’, while the other half is put on your horse / team to finish second, third or fourth etc (depending on what the place terms are). If your horse wins a race or your team wins a league, then you win both parts of the bet. If they are only placed, then you collect a smaller amount. Naturally, there are some events, eg a football match, where each-way betting isn’t possible.
This is where you bet on two selections both to win, eg Chelsea to win the Premier League and Kauto Star to win the Gold Cup. Placing a double means a greater potential return, although you need both your picks to win.
Similar to the double, you can bet on any number of selections all to win. Many customers like to back Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool to win at the weekend and putting them in an accumulator means that their odds are all rolled up into an odds-on price. However, the more picks you have in a multiple, the riskier the bet!
An increasingly popular type of bet for the slightly more advanced customer. This is where bookmakers take away the option of backing the draw in a football match and the perceived weaker team of the two are given a half-goal or more start. So, for example, Chelsea play Hull on the opening game of the season. We might expect Hull to be around even money with a 1.5 goal start, while the Blues will be off -1.5 at the same price. Do you think Chelsea will beat the Tigers by two goals or more, or do you think that Hull will either win the match, draw or lose by a maximum of one goal?
THE 12 GOLDEN RULES OF BETTING
1) Be disciplined at all times
The golden rule when it comes to betting is making sure you’re disciplined at all times (unless you’re happy to fritter away a few quid and make a sporting event more enjoyable). Many professional gamblers only place a handful of bets every year, although these are carefully researched and based on their theory that the odds are a value proposition. Less is often more when it comes to your weekend football or racing selections – you might write down five teams that you think will win their matches on a Saturday, but when you think hard about it, are there one or two that you’re less keen on than the others.
It’s also vital that you don’t start chasing your losses. We all have bad days at the office when the team we’ve backed can’t convert their chances, or the horse that we’re on gets beaten by a short nose. However, it’s important to swallow your medicine rather than double your stake and try and win your lost amount back. There will be losing days, but it’s important to keep the losses to a minimum.
2) Choose a stake size that suits you
For many of us, a win is a win as far as betting is concerned. Some people get just as much pleasure from placing 50p each-way on a horse than those that place £50. It goes without saying that you should only bet what you can afford to lose, no matter how confident you feel about the selections you’re going to make. Many punters like to start off betting with small amounts and trying to build up a betting balance that way. If they’re proving good at their wagering, they then steadily increase the amounts placed and hopefully reap the dividends.
3) Allocates a points system for your bets
You’ll often see tipsters reel off a list of different bets, while advising punters to place different amounts on said selections. Take the golf for example, although there’s only one player that can win a particular event, many customers like to back several golfers to win as there are usually 100+ runners in the field. Therefore, someone might write down their selections and then decide on whether each of them is ‘high strength’, ‘medium strength’ or a ‘low strength’ wager. Similarly, some people like to use a points system for their betting. So if your maximum bet is £10 and your minimum is £1, then an advised 5-point selection might mean you would put £5 down. Implementing a points system helps you stay disciplined and not get carried away when you unearth a sure-fire winner!
4) Watch the market movers carefully
We’ve all seen it. Ten minutes before a race, there’s a big gamble on a horse which causes the odds to drop from 20/1 to 10/1 and everyone rushes to get their money away. However, in this example, the bookmakers are still only giving the horse a 1 in 10 chance of winning, so it’s important not to get carried away and think it’s already past the post. A big plunge such as the above might just be a result of a high-roller slapping a massive wager down in the ring and others following him / her in like sheep.
However, there are occasions when it pays to watch the ‘steamers’ and ‘drifters’ on the market. If the horse is friendless in the market, there’s every chance that there might be something wrong with it, especially if the odds are going south on betfair. With regard to football matches, it’s worth looking out for price changes. This might be a result of a team having a number of injury problems, or alternatively a team welcoming back a number of key players.
5) Don’t be put off by a big price – back your judgement
Although adopting a points system such as the above is a good idea, it doesn’t mean that odds-on shots should be allocated ten points and that 33/1 chances should be given one point. If there’s a horse, team, golfer or tennis player that you think has a greater chance than the big odds suggest, it may be worth upgrading from a ‘low strength’ bet to a medium or high one, especially if you’re backing each-way. There’s nothing worse than getting a big priced winner and saying “I should have had more on it”. There’s nothing better than getting a big-priced winner and saying “I put my money where my mouth is”.
6) Backing favourites every time will not make you a profit
When Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool all win their weekend Premier League matches, you can bet (!) that the bookmakers will have had a bad day? That’s because there are lots of people who like to blindly back ‘big name’ teams, especially if they’re at odds-on. While the irony is that the shorter the price, the less money you can make on a selection, some see these selections as a ‘dead cert’ and subsequently lump on.
The same happens in racing, although the bookmakers are happy to install a horse or greyhound as a favourite, even if the traders don’t actually believe it’s going to win the race. They know that enough people will back it, simply by virtue of it being top of the list. Quite simply, you will not get rich from backing the favourite every time, instead you will lose money in the long run. The bookies wouldn’t offer teams at these prices if they didn’t profit in the long run and it’s therefore vital to think for yourself if you want to make money. Don’t be greedy and try to boost your potential winnings by adding in a selection at odds-on – you’ll be sick if it stops you striking it rich.
7) Big events don’t equal big profits
In the UK, the Grand National is the most popular betting event of the year, yet it’s a day where bookmakers rub their hands together. You have 40 horses going round a challenging course and sometimes the form guide goes out of the window as it comes down to which ones can stay on their feet and make it round unscathed. People also like to place bets on events such as the Champions League final and The Ashes, although this is often where the bookies and their traders are particular sharp. After all, the more bets placed on an event mean that firms have greater liabilities to manage. It’s therefore concentrating on events which offer good betting value, not mass media coverage! Arsenal might be playing Manchester United on a Sunday, although Stoke v Hull might be throwing up a splendid betting opportunity the day before.
You can take this argument even further by looking for sporting events that bookmakers supply odds for, but don’t necessarily have great knowledge. While the Premier League has a high degree of media attention, value can often be gleaned from betting on the lower leagues, where you might have spotted a penalty-taking midfielder being offered at a big price for first goalscorer. While the bookies are never happy to lose money, they clearly prefer to make money on high turnover events and will put all their efforts into pricing these up correctly.
8) Bet on the sports where you have knowledge
You might enjoy placing bets on football, racing, cricket, tennis, golf and anything else that happens to be televised, although do you have reasonable knowledge when it comes to these sports? It’s important to separate the sports into a) those where you might have an edge and b) those that you know little about but still enjoy watching. If you still want to place bets on those sports in category b, you are advised to limit your stakes to a minimum if you’re in this game to make a profit! Keep most of your betting focus on the sports where you feel that the bookmakers can be exploited, otherwise the traders might expose your lack of expertise. In addition, there’s nothing wrong with looking at a racecard or a football coupon and deciding that there’s no suitable bet for you. It’s better to keep your powder dry and break even, rather than bet for the sake of it.
9) Shop around for the best price and each-way terms
It’s advisable to have several bookmaker accounts. Not only do you get plenty of new customer free bets thrown into the equation, it also gives you greater flexibility when it comes to placing a bet. Sticking with one bookie means having to take their prices every time, which are never always going to be the most competitive. Make firms work hard for your custom by shopping around for the best price on a particular selection, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find. A horse that’s 8/1 with one firm is likely to be 10/1 with someone else. The same goes for each-way terms, with bookies varying when it comes to how many places that they’re offering and at what % of the odds. Start a routine of visiting your favourite bookmakers every time you want to place a bet.
10) Bet In-Play with your head, not your heart
In-Play betting is getting increasingly popular and it’s easy to see why. When a football match kicks off, the top bookmakers will provide a range of various betting opportunities ranging from ‘which team will win’ to ‘which player will score the next goal’. It’s a rollercoaster ride and it’s easy to get carried away with such a flurry of activity happening before your eyes. However, it’s important to keep a cool head if you’re wanting to bet ‘In-Play’, setting aside a maximum amount of money that you’re prepared to wager. It’s also advisable that you set an objective – what are you hoping to achieve from your live betting? What markets do you think offer the most value? We’d recommend you steer clear of unpredictable bets such as ‘which tennis player will win the next point’ and ‘how many runs will be scored in the next over’. You might as well go to the casino if you’re prepared to bet on these sort of things.
11) Place any free bets wisely, any winnings will boost your bank!
As mentioned above, opening a betting account online is likely to mean you qualify for a free bet, usually your first stake being matched up to a maximum amount. Many customers lose these free bets very cheaply, giving little thought as to how they can profit from this wager. There aren’t going to be many occasions where a bookmaker gives you something for free, so it’s worth investing some thought as to how you can make some extra money on the side. In the majority of cases, your free bet stake isn’t included in returns, but it doesn’t therefore mean you should aimlessly back a 25/1 shot. A well-researched even-money chance will give you the free bet stake amount as real profit, something which will swell your betting bank.
12) Do your homework
Making a profit from betting is not easy, so you must be prepared to put some hard yards in to succeed. Once you’ve identified the sports where you’re likely to make some money, it’s important to swot up and be able to justify why a particular wager makes sense. Take football for example, you may end up finding out some important team news or discover that a manager is likely to be resting players ahead of a more important game. At the start of the season, the bookies themselves aren’t aware of how strong / weak each team will be, having nothing more than pre-season friendlies and the former campaign to go by. Do your groundwork and you could be rolling in clover on a regular basis.