They’re our worst enemy, our nemesis, our bete noire. They offer us odds considerably worse than they should, 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.
Who am I talking about? It’s those damn bookies of course.
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.
As punters we are constantly on the hunt for a way of beating the bookies – of talking some crisp clean notes from their grubby mits.
But the question is, can you really beat the bookies in the long run? After all, the house always win, right?
We have a look at five potential ways to beat the bookies – and assess if you can really slay these beasts in the long run.
1. Try Matched Betting
The best way to beat the bookies is through matched betting, which basically means using the bookies’ free bets and bonuses to guarantee yourself risk-free profit. To do this you use the exchanges like Betfair and Smarkets to lay off the free bet you have made with the bookies. It’s simple to do and can make you a load of cash without any risk. It’s like using the bookies own ammunition against them – sweet!
You can do matched betting yourself but the best way to do it is using a matched betting product like Profit Maximiser or Profit Accumulator. They bring all the best offers together in one place, provide you with training videos on how to take advantage of the best offers and e-mail you all the best offers each week, so you never miss out on a chance to bash the bookies.
If you’re careful and don’t alert the bookies to what you are doing, you can easily make £300 – £500 per month from matched betting. And there are some people out there who have turned it into pretty much a full time job, making upwards of £25,000 per year!
We love matched betting, it is part of our portfolio and provides a nice steady income that we can use to bet with and just spend on other stuff. Make it part of your armory if you want to beat the bookies.
2. Use a Good Tipster
Let’s face it – to really beat the bookies at betting (without using matched betting) is a very, very hard task. The statistics show that only 2% of people who gamble actually make money and even fewer who are good enough to turn it into a full time profession.
The dedication, time and icy nerve needed to succeed at this game are things that few of us have. But that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from people who have put in the time and hard work to make a living from betting.
The good news is there are some very good tipsters out there who make a consistent profit month in, month out. There are the likes of Hugh Taylor and Pricewise whose tips are provided for free, but unfortunately their tips get smashed in so much that it’s nigh-on impossible to make a profit from them – as we found during our trial of Hugh Taylor.
Here are the top three tipsters that we use ourselves:
- The Master Racing Tipster – over 600 points profit in two years of tipping at an astonishing return on investment of just under 30%. And with a strike rate over 30%, the losing runs tend to be short with this one. Quite simple a cut above the rest.
- Quentin Franks Racing – over 1,000 points profit in 4 years of tipping is a highly impressive tally from this top tipster. Mr Franks is a high-quality professional gambler with a good 2-3 tips per day. This service has made over £200 profit per month to just £10 stakes since starting.
- Banker Bets – a return of over 400% bank growth from backing this service’s acca bets, the service has recently had a relaunch to improve results even further and it has worked well. The strike rate is also very high at over 80% meaning lots of winners and short losing streaks.
So if you haven’t got the time or inclination to spend large chunks of your life studying form and watching replays of races over and over again, following a good tipster is probably your best chance of getting one over on the bookies.
3. Take a Portfolio Approach to your Betting
You often hear fund managers in City banging on about having a “portfolio” of shares when you are investing in the stockmarket. The theory goes that if you have a range of stocks in different sectors and with different risk profiles, that one or two may do badly and experience some unforseen misfortune, but that is unlikely to be a catastrophe if your investments are spread around and others are likely to do well. Not putting all your eggs in one basket is I suppose another way of putting it.
The same goes for betting – if you are thinking of following a tipster, it is probably wise to consider spreading your risk across a few different tipsters. If you have £1,000 to invest and just use it to follow one tipster, it could obviously work out great if that tipster does well. But if he just happens to have a bad patch or a run of bad luck, you could be wiped out. Following a few different tipsters – as long as they are all top quality and with proven track records – will give you a much better chance of l0ng-term success.
As with investing in the stockmarket, the idea is that as long as are careful in who you choose to follow, spreading your risk around is a much safer way of going and much less likely to wipe out your funds.
4. Find a Niche
One of the great things about the age of the internet is that it has given us bettors a wealth of information about sport at the click of a mouse. We can also compare the odds from a host of bookmakers instantly, bet with exchanges where we don’t have to worry about our accounts being closed and can access all kinds of systems and theories about betting for free.
The disadvantage of this however, is that so can everyone else! There is no longer much advantage to finding out that a team has a host of injuries for example, because everyone else knows that too. Or that a team has been struggling for goals away from home. Because with sites like soccerstats, so will most of your fellow punters.
If you are going to go it alone and try and develop your own betting strategies, the best approach is to develop a niche in a particular market.
One particular example is a former colleague of mine who worked out a system to do with corner supremacies on football matches. These are the markets that spread bet firms make to predict which team will have the most corners in a match.
So for example if Liverpool are playing Man Utd, the market may predict that Liverpool may be likely to have 2.5 more corners than Man Utd and so the spread is for a Liverpool Corner Supremacy of 2-3.
What this rather clever chap figured out by using some statistical software was that there was a fatal flaw in how the spread firms calculated these supremacies. Now the actual formula was much more complicated that this, but essentially he worked out that the spread firms put far too much emphasis on the ability of the teams and not enough on their playing styles.
So if a much stronger team was playing a weaker one – say Manchester City were playing Newcastle – the spread would be for a big supremacy for Man City.
But in fact this may have ignored the playing styles of the two teams and that Newcastle had great wingers and played attacking football that led to lots of corners (I am not saying this is the case by the way, but is just used as an example).
So this chap methodically and systematically found all these instances where the spread was wrong and bet on them consistently.
He made a very considerable amount of money before the spread firms caught up to him and had to change their approach. Although spread firms are supposed to not mind you winning, apparently this was not the case here and he had most of his accounts closed as well.
But the moral of the story was that he found a niche, spent time studying it, worked out an approach that gave him an edge and exploited it for maximum gain.
Just taking a scattergun approach of “I fancy Arsenal this weekend, they’re playing quite well” is unlikely to work. You need to find an angle, preferably an original one and something that is not well known to the betting public if you are going to beat the bookies.
If you do spend the time researching a potentially profitable angle and it does turn out to work, then it will also be much more rewarding for the time you have put in and putting one over on everyone else out there.
5. Get Inside Info
This last only really works if you are lucky enough to know the right people and become partial to some much prized “inside info.” You will probably need to work in the industry or at least know someone that does.
Strangely whilst using inside information is banned in the stockmarket and a criminal offence, it is just accepted in horse racing see as “one of those things.”
I suppose that’s because it’s less of a sure thing. If you know a company is about to be taken over and its share price will rocket, that is a very clear and distinct thing that is about to happen. But knowing a horse is particularly suited by today’s conditions and has been trained for a particular race doesn’t mean it will win of course.
Then there is the more direct “betting coups” which are masterminded plans to carry out a “sting” on the bookies. They can be clever plans revolving around targeting horses at particular races like Yellow Sam and the Single Phone Line – or more blatant scams like the case of the Imposter Horse.
Either way you are unlikely to be lucky enough to find yourself on the inside of one of these coups. So how might you benefit from inside info?
Well, you might not be partial to the actual inside info but there is a lot to be gleaned from the habits of certain trainers and how they target horses at particular races. We articulate this further in our articles about “Master Trainers” in our free ebook that is available by entering your details in the box in the right sidebar, but essentially you don’t necessarily need all the information. Just learn about how a trainer works, which courses he focuses on and the types of races he likes to win – all that is like getting a tip in itself.
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…