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6 Proven Strategies to Increase Your Chances of Beating the Bookies

Are you tired of losing your hard-earned money to the bookies? Do you want to increase your chances of winning big on your next bet?

Look no further, because in this article, we will be sharing with you 6 proven strategies to beat the bookies and come out on top.

The bookies are our worst enemy, our nemesis, our bete noire. They offer us unfair odds, bombard us with obnoxious adverts, close us down if we win and always seem to have some obscure rule to fall back on if you ever end up in a dispute with them.

There is nothing sweeter than getting one over on the bookies – that thrill of picking up a big wad of cash from some smarmy bookmaker or even better, the thought of one massive win that will set you up for life.

But the question is, can you really beat the bookies in the long run? After all, the house always wins, right?

Well some people do manage to make money from betting – there are some very successful professional gamblers out there who have proved it can be done. And the good news is there are lots of tools and strategies out there these days to help you put one over on the bookmakers.

Having tested hundreds of tipsters and betting systems here at Honest Betting Reviews, we know what works and what doesn’t. 

Below we take a look at the very best of these and show you six potential ways to beat the bookies.

So whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, read on to discover how to increase your chances of winning and turn the odds in your favor.


Why Is It So Hard to Beat the Bookies?

Firstly we need to understand why it is so hard to beat the bookies.

Only about 2% of punters win in the long term and the big bookmakers like Bet365, Betfred, Paddy Power, William Hill and others make billions of dollars in profit each year combined. 

This is no accident – the bookies operate to make a profit, and their business model is designed to ensure that they have an advantage over bettors in the long run. Here are a few reasons why bookies tend to win over time:

  1. The Odds are in Their Favor: Bookmakers carefully calculate the odds for each event, incorporating a margin called the “over-round” or “juice.” This margin ensures that the bookie makes a profit regardless of the outcome. Let’s take an example: imagine a coin toss. The chances of the coin coming up heads or tails is 50% (presuming it’s a fair coin of course). So the bookies should offer you even money (2.0 in decimal odds) on heads coming up. In reality though, on a simple 50-50 outcome like this they would offer you perhaps 10/11 (1.91 in decimal odds) or worse, perhaps just 5/6 (1.83 in decimal odds). So even if a bookmaker gets an equal amount of money bet on both sides, they still make money because the odds are balanced in their favor. 
  2. Knowledge and Expertise: Bookmakers have access to vast amounts of data, statistics, computer models and expert analysis to help them set accurate odds. They employ experienced oddsmakers who specialize in evaluating the probabilities of various outcomes. 
  3. Balancing the Books: Bookmakers aim to balance the amount of money bet on each outcome so that they are guaranteed a profit regardless of the outcome. They adjust the odds as necessary to attract more bets on the side that is less popular, ensuring a balanced book. 
  4. Human failings: Many bettors fall victim to cognitive biases, such as overconfidence, confirmation bias, or the tendency to favor their favorite teams or players. This leads them to make bad bets, chase losses and do other irrational things that benefit the bookie.
  5. Overcoming Variance: In the short term, individual bettors can experience winning streaks due to chance. However, in the long run, the law of large numbers comes into play. The more bets that are placed, the closer the actual results will align with the expected probabilities, and the bookmaker’s advantage becomes more apparent over a large sample size of bets.

For these reasons, consistently beating the bookies is challenging, and they have mechanisms in place to ensure they make a profit overall. The old adage “you never see a poor bookie” isn’t too far from the truth! 


Is It Possible to Beat the Bookies?

In light of the above, you may be wondering if it is possible to beat the bookies at all. 

Well the good news is that it is possible. There are a number of professional punters out there who beat the bookies and make substantial long-term profits.


Some of the most famous include:

  1. Billy Walters: Considered one of the most successful sports bettors in history, Billy Walters achieved legendary status for his sports betting prowess. He specialized in football and basketball and was known for his meticulous research, analysis, and ability to identify value bets. Walters reportedly made millions of dollars through his sports betting ventures.
  2. Alan Woods: an Australian professional gambler known for his success in horse racing betting. Woods was a pioneer in the use of computer analysis and mathematical modeling to gain an edge in predicting race outcomes. He reportedly generated substantial profits from horse race betting.
  3. Zeljko Ranogajec: an Australian professional gambler of Croatian descent, he made significant profits through various forms of gambling, including horse racing, sports betting, and casino games. Ranogajec is renowned for his use of computer analysis, statistical modeling, and for being one of the world’s biggest and most secretive professional gamblers.
  4. Edward O. Thorp: Although primarily known as a mathematician and author, Edward O. Thorp is also considered the father of card counting in blackjack and wrote the groundbreaking book “Beat the Dealer,” which introduced card counting techniques. Thorp’s strategies allowed him to consistently beat the casinos at blackjack and gain a significant advantage.

These are some of the most famous names, but there are many punters out there who produce a decent profit without necessarily being famous or making millions. 

What they all have in common though is a dedicated work ethic: investing significant time and effort into researching, analyzing, and identifying value bets.

It’s important to understand that even among those who do achieve success, winning consistently is challenging, and it requires a high level of skill, discipline, and adaptability.

Most of all it requires winning strategies that can overcome the bookies aforementioned “juice” over the long term. 

Let’s take a look now at some of those strategies.


Top 6 Strategies to Beat the Bookies

Okay let’s get on to looking at our top 6 strategies for beating the bookies. These are listed from six to one, with the best saved for last.


6. Always collect the sign-up offer

Sign-up offers have become increasingly rare precisely because the bookies lose money on them. This is their way to entice players to join their casinos in the hopes of turning them into loyal players, and the return only comes if enough players choose to stay and play with their own money. 

While sign-up offers are rarely particularly big, not to mention that most tend to come with a max win requirement, they are a way to win money without betting a penny of your own. Just sign up, collect the offer, make a bet and see if you win. 

As more and more punters have gotten wise to these lucrative offers, fewer and fewer bookies offer them. Luckily, the betting comparison site Bojoko has a consistently updated list of no deposit free bets available in the UK market. Keep an eye on their overview and never miss a sign-up offer again.


5. Take Each-Way Value

Bookies have a few blind spots when it comes to providing odds, particularly in each-way bets. These bets are unique because the place odds are derived from the win odds, typically at a fraction such as a quarter or a fifth. Consequently, there are occasions when the place part of the bet can hold significant value.

There are various methods to take advantage of this value, but we have discovered two particularly effective approaches in the horse racing and golf markets.

To begin with horse racing, there is software available that scans the each-way markets offered by bookies and compares them to the exchange markets.

When it identifies value, an each-way bet can be placed. You can either hedge your bet with the exchanges or keep it as a value bet. In either case, these situations represent a value opportunity for the place part of the wager.

During our live trial of such software, we utilized the Each-Way Sniper software initially, which provides alerts for bets that you must place yourself.

Subsequently, we tried out the Each Way Sniper Auto-software, an impressive tool that automatically places the bets for you on your bookie accounts. We achieved an excellent profit of £1617 during our live trial of the software.

A similar principle applies to golf betting, where bookies nowadays tend to offer generous place terms, extending up to the top 8 or even top 10 for each-way bets.

We conducted a trial of software designed to exploit this opportunity, known as the 20 Minute System, and it performed exceptionally well. It yielded over 200 points in profit and secured remarkable winners at odds exceeding 100/1.

Similarly to the art of matched betting discussed below, it is crucial to exercise caution when engaging in each-way value betting. It is important to employ certain strategies, such as placing additional “mug bets” and avoiding excessive actions, in order to avoid attracting suspicion from the bookies and having your accounts limited.

Even if limitations are imposed however, it is still possible to place bets with smaller stakes and generate smaller profits.

By systematically utilizing each-way betting with value odds to extract value from bookies, we have found it to be one of the most effective methods to outsmart them.


4. Find a Niche

The internet has revolutionized the way bettors access information and compare odds from various bookmakers with ease. It has also provided access to betting systems, theories, and statistics, as well as the opportunity to bet on exchanges without concerns about account limitations.

However, this accessibility also means that others have access to the same information. Knowing about team injuries or struggling away performances, for instance, is no longer a significant advantage because most bettors are aware of these details, thanks to platforms like soccerstats.

If you choose to develop your own betting strategies, it is best to focus on a specific niche within a particular market.

A prime example is a former colleague who devised a system based on corner supremacies in football matches. Corner supremacies are the predictions made by spread betting firms regarding which team will have more corners in a match.

Using statistical software, this clever individual identified a flaw in how spread firms calculated these supremacies. While the actual formula was more intricate, he discovered that the firms placed excessive emphasis on team abilities and insufficient consideration on playing styles.

For example, if a stronger team like Liverpool was playing against a weaker team like Newcastle, the spread would predict a significant corner supremacy for Liverpool.

However, this failed to account for the playing styles of the teams, such as Newcastle’s attacking football and reliance on wingers, which often resulted in more corners for them.

By systematically identifying instances where the spread was incorrect, he consistently placed bets and earned a substantial amount of money.

Eventually, the spread firms caught on and closed his account, forcing them to reassess their approach. 

The moral of the story is that this expert bettor found a niche, dedicated time to studying it, developed an approach that gave him an edge, and capitalized on it for maximum profit.

Simply taking a random approach like “I fancy Arsenal this weekend; they’re playing well” is unlikely to yield success. To beat the bookies, you need to find an angle, preferably an original one that is not widely known among the betting public.

If you invest time in researching a potentially profitable angle and it proves to be successful, the rewards will be much greater, both financially and in terms of the satisfaction derived from outsmarting others in the betting realm.


3. Take a Portfolio Approach to your Betting

In the world of investing, fund managers often emphasize the importance of having a diversified “portfolio” of shares when participating in the stock market.

The underlying theory is that by investing in a range of stocks from different sectors and with varying risk profiles, the negative impact of one or two underperforming investments or unforeseen setbacks is mitigated.

This strategy prevents potential catastrophes, as the overall performance is balanced by the success of other investments. It’s another way of expressing the principle of not “putting all your eggs in one basket.”

stock market chart

A portfolio approach can work in betting as well as financial markets.

The same principle cab apply to betting. If you are considering following a tipster or betting system, it is wise to spread your risk across multiple tipsters or strategies. For instance, if you have £1,000 to invest and solely rely on one tipster, you may experience great results if that tipster performs well.

However, if they encounter a rough patch or a streak of bad luck, you could face significant losses. On the other hand, if you diversify and follow several top-quality tipsters with proven track records, you substantially improve your chances of long-term success.

Similar to investing in the stock market, the key is to carefully select the tipsters or strategies you follow and distribute your risk among them. By diversifying, you adopt a safer approach that minimizes the likelihood of depleting your funds.


2. Use a Good Tipster

It is undoubtedly a difficult task to truly beat the bookies in betting (excluding matched betting). Statistics reveal that only 2% of gamblers actually make money, and even fewer manage to turn it into a full-time profession.

The dedication, time, and nerve required to succeed in this endeavor are qualities that few possess. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the expertise of individuals who have invested the time and effort to make a living from betting.

Man betting on phone

To make a success of betting takes time, dedication and focus.

The encouraging news is that there are indeed excellent tipsters who consistently generate profits from their betting. Some notable examples include Hugh Taylor and Ben Coley, who provide their tips for free via At the Races and the Sporting Life respectively.

However, their tips are so widely followed that it becomes extremely challenging to make a profit from them, as we discovered during our trial of Hugh Taylor.

Nonetheless, there are other tipsters who have not garnered such massive followings and thus do not encounter the same issue. Their recommended odds are more accessible, and their long-term results are solid.

Based on our extensive research and testing, we would recommend the top three tipsters:

  • JK Diego’s Draw Betting SystemA specialist system for betting on the draw, this has made over $100,000 profit in total and made over 100 points profit during our live trial. One of the few profitable football betting strategies we have come across.
  • The Bookies Enemy – over 900 points profit in 4 years of tipping is a highly impressive tally from this top tipster, including over 100 points in our review. They have a track record up with there with the best in the business, including a long-term ROI of over 15% and a strike rate of 20%.
  • Hanbury Racing –  A horse racing tipster with over 800 points profit made since May 2020, including 238 points in our live trial. An excellent ROI of over 30% and over 75% profitable months. A penchant for long-odds tips at over 100/1!

There are many other top tipsters to check out on our Winning Systems list. Not only can a good tipster make you a profit over the long-term, but they can also save you hours of hard work studying form and stats. They do the hard work so you don’t have to!


1. Try Matched Betting

Matched betting is considered one of the most effective methods to beat the bookies.

It involves leveraging the bookmakers’ free bets and bonuses to generate low-risk profits. This strategy entails using betting exchanges like Betfair and Smarkets to lay off the free bets obtained from the bookmakers.

By doing so, it is possible to secure a significant amount of cash with minimal risk.

Bookmakers compete fiercely for customers, and they offer enticing incentives to attract bettors. The savvy punter can take advantage of these offers. It’s important to note that matched betting is most effective in countries that permit free bets, such as the UK and Ireland.

While it is possible to engage in matched betting independently, using a matched betting product like Profit Maximiser is highly recommended.

Such products consolidate the best offers in one place, provide training videos on how to maximize the benefits of these offers, and send weekly emails highlighting the top opportunities to beat the bookies. This ensures that bettors never miss out on advantageous chances.

However, it’s crucial to avoid drawing attention from the bookmakers, so disguising your matched betting activities with some mug betting is essential.

With careful execution, matched betting can yield additional monthly income. In our own review of Profit Maximiser, for instance, we generated a profit of £2,469.

There are individuals who have turned matched betting into a full-time job, earning upwards of £25,000 per year.

We highly recommend incorporating matched betting into your betting strategy as it provides a steady income that can be used for further betting activities or other personal expenses. Make it a valuable component of your arsenal if you aim to outsmart the bookies.



There are ways to beat the bookies, but essentially you are probably either going to need help in the form of a matched betting product or tipsters, or do a lot of hard work. 

You definitely can beat the bookies because there are people out there who do it – but certainly only those who are prepared to put in the time and have rigid discipline will succeed in the long run.

If you do manage to pull it off though, there is really nothing sweeter…As Paul Newman said in the Color of Money, “A dollar won is twice as sweet as a dollar earned.”

Please remember whatever strategy you use to take on the bookies to always bet responsibly and only risk what you can afford to lose.




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