social gaming

The Rise Of Social Gaming

Can online card games ever match the social element of playing with friends?

The traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ casino experience has always been a highly social one. For many players, a night at the casino is as much about the glitz and glamour as it is about the cards and dice.

For some, it is the opportunity to see and be seen, to mingle and network, while for others it is simply a great place to enjoy a night out with friends. While online casinos can recreate many of the games of their real-life counterparts, from slots to table games like poker and blackjack, they have often struggled to recreate the atmosphere and the social aspects of a casino visit.

However, this is slowly changing, as more and more online casinos start to consider their players’ whole casino experience, rather than just their individual gaming needs. With features like live dealers, football roulette, and social gaming, online casinos, such as 888 Casino, are becoming much more like the real thing and that authenticity is what’s driving a huge surge in online gaming.

Live dealers and croupiers
One of the major ways in which online casinos are seeking to emulate the real casino experience is through the use of live dealers and croupiers. These games deliver the best of both worlds, with the convenience of being able to play from home, or anywhere else for that matter, combined with the presence of a human face.

Instead of playing a computerized version of your favorite games, with digital cards and a simulated roulette wheel, you get to see a real game unfold, with actual playing cards and a real ball bobbling around the roulette wheel, all backed by the charm and chat of your dealer.

Live dealers add a touch of glamour and social interaction to the online casino experience

Live dealer casino games feel more like the real thing because they offer interaction with a friendly face rather than a faceless computer. For many players this also makes the games feel fairer. Seeing genuine playing cards being dealt, rather than an electronic card appearing on screen, can appear more authentic, even though the electronic version is every bit as random and as fair as a real pack.

Football roulette
Football roulette takes this live dealer concept to a new level, by integrating live soccer updates on match days. A screen behind the croupier shows live-action, while players can also choose to access a range of match and player statistics within their gaming screen.

This not only allows fans to multi-task, keeping up with the action while still enjoying a spin at the roulette table, it also significantly adds to the social side of gaming. Players can share their thoughts on the matches via message board, and the croupiers are always well informed about the sport and can join in the football conversation.

Social gaming
This kind of social interaction with fellow players is an important part of online gaming for many people. Games with message boards allow players to chat while they play and feel part of the crowd around the table, rather than just another anonymous participant.

Some sites, such as Big Fish, even allow players to invite their friends to join them at the online casino, so they can play against each other. The sheer size of most online casinos would make finding a friend at the same table virtually impossible, so this feature is handy for anyone who wants to share their experience as a group.

You can take social gaming further by playing through sites like Facebook. These games are usually free and put the social side first, with leader boards and group interaction the focus, rather than cash winnings. Although they are free to play, the industry is still worth $2.7bn thanks to in-app purchases.

The future of social gaming
Perhaps the biggest step forward in social gaming will be the rise of virtual reality casinos. There are already several early examples on the market, and as these become more mainstream, they will provide the closest thing to being at a real casino, including the opportunity for vastly increased social interaction, albeit via artificial avatars.

We may still be a long way from the virtual world of the OASIS, as featured in Steven Spielberg’s movie, Ready Player One, but technology is certainly heading in that direction. Until then, we will just have to make do with message board chats with our fellow players or get dressed up and head out to the real thing to meet real people.




horse racing

Precision Value – New Review

One of the very first reviews we did here at Honest Betting Reviews way back in 2015 (remember those days?!), was for a betting system called the Morning Value Service. 

We followed it for a full eight months and in that time it made an excellent 330 points profit and therefore warranted a definite PASSED rating, with bells on!

Since then it has continued to churn out steady profits, having now made nearly 5000 points profit in total since starting up in 2012. That’s an insane £100,000 profit to £20 stakes. 

Needless to say, those are some of the very best results achieved anywhere and are pretty phenomenal by any possible measurement. 

Understandably though, with such incredible results Kieran had to restrict the number of new members in order to protect prices. 

However, Kieran started crunching the numbers a few months ago and noticed that there was a performance ‘sweet spot’ on those bets priced between 7/4 and 5/1.

He dug a little deeper and they looked better and better. The number of bets each day was dramatically reduced while still having a reasonable turnover, the strike rate improved massively and it became a much more user-friendly, manageable service.

He started trialling this new ‘pared down’ service with a small group of clients over the summer. The results were phenomenal – almost everybody who trialled the service has apparently now signed up for the long term.

The new pared down service – which has been named Precision Value” – produced a fantastic 1900 points profit at a strike rate of 25% and an ROI of 11%

That equates to over £38,000 profit to just £20 stakes – pretty amazing stuff! And the workload was considerably reduced with just 5 bets per day on average compared to 10-15. 

Betting on all the selections as doubles also produced a profit of £13,420 to just £5 stakes as well. 

We have proofed the main service extensively in the past, both on this website with our aforementioned eight month review and also in a personal capacity. However, given the launch of this new “pared down” service focusing on selections at between 7/4 and 5/1, we thought it would be worth taking a look again and running a review specifically for these selections. So that is what we will do today!

It’s worth pointing out that you will need bookies accounts if following this as it doesn’t tend to work very well on Betfair. 

Anyway, let’s get things cracking and get a review underway. We will update results here as we go along.

In the meantime you can check out Precision Value here.





Half Time Method Review

Today we are going to take a look at a new football betting system called the Half-Time Method.


Football betting pic

Asian Handicap Explained

Asian handicap is a football betting market in which teams receive a handicap that reflects their previous performance. Like most sporting handicaps, its aim is to level the playing field when teams are mismatched in terms of ability.

The stronger team receives a negative handicap, meaning they must score more goals than they otherwise would in order to win; while the weaker team receives a positive handicap. The handicap can vary from a fraction of a goal through to several goals.

Effectively, the Asian handicap is a way to remove the draw as a possible outcome and reduce betting to just two potential outcomes.

For beginners to can be a little confusing, as a bet on the team that wins in the actual game may lose. However, if you read the rest of the article and study the examples given in the payout table, all should become clear. 

Note that it is called an Asian handicap as the system originated in Indonesia. It can be applied to any football game, not just those taking place in Asia. Originally called “hang cheng,” it remains the most popular kind of betting in the Far East. Today it is popular in all football betting markets in the UK, Europe, and the US.

Elimination of draws

The most significant difference between normal football betting and the Asian handicap is that there are no draws. With football betting, you can bet on a win, a loss, and a draw, but with the Asian handicap, you can only bet on a win or loss.

In the case of perfect handicapping, the odds for either of these results is 50-50, however, handicapping is rarely perfect. The challenge is to beat the handicappers by understanding more about the teams and other factors affecting the match than they do.

As there is a roughly equal chance of either side winning, odds tend to be low; typically ranging from 1.9 to 2.0.

Other points

The score is the result after 90 minutes including any stoppage and injury time. Penalty shootouts and goals scored in extra time are excluded from the bet results.


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Some examples

Here we will look at some practical examples. There are three types of handicaps:

  • – Level Asian Handicap: When there is no perceived difference between the teams, neither carry a handicap, but unlike usual football betting if the match is a draw the bets are voided.
  • – Single Asian Handicap: When there is a perceived difference between the teams, the playing field will be leveled by handicapping the better team. The stronger side will receive a negative handicap of -0.5, -1, -1.5 or -2 goals and the weaker team with a balancing positive score of 0.5, 1, 1.5 or 2 goals. Thus, if the game is drawn, bets placed on the weaker team will win.
  • – Split Asian Handicap: This is used when the difference between the two teams is uncertain. Effectively you are betting on two different handicaps at the same time, and half your stake is placed on one and a half on the other.

Pay-out table

This is an abbreviated pay-out table. Once you can understand this, it is easy to work out the pay-outs for other fractional handicaps. It is a good exercise to ensure you understand exactly what’s going on, so we recommend you do it.


Handicap Game result Your bet Handicap Game result Your bet


Win Win  


Win Win
Draw Voided bet Draw Voided bet
Lose Lose Lose Lose


Win Win  


Win Win
Draw Lose half stake Draw Win half stake
Lose Lose Lose lose


Win Win  


Win Win
Draw Lose Draw Win
Lose Lose Lose Lose


Win by 2+ goals Win  


Win Win
Win by 1 goal Stake returned Draw Win
Draw Lose Lose by 1 goal Stake returned
Lose Lose Lose by 2+ goals Lose


Win by 2+ goals Win  


Win Win
Win by 1 goal Lose half stake Draw Win
Draw Lose Lose by 1 goal Win 50%
Lose Lose Lose by 2+ goals Lose


Win by 2+ goals Win  


Win Win
Win by 1 goal Lose Draw Win
Draw Lose Lose by 1 goal Win
Lose Lose Lose by 2+ goals lose


Win by 3+ goals Win  


Win Win
Win by 2 goals Stake returned Draw Win
Win by 1 goal Lose Lose by 1 goal Win
Draw Lose Lose by 2 goals Stake returned
Lose Lose Lose by 3+ goals Lose



Although Asian Handicap betting is more complex than ordinary football betting, there are many occasions when it is likely to provide a closer match to your thoughts on the game. For instance, if you think that your team will win, but there is a reasonable possibility that it could end in a draw, then you could select bet on a handicap that would pay out on both eventualities, in other words keeping the draw on your side.

For instance, if you selected a +0.25 handicap, if your team wins then you win at the stated odds, and if there is a draw, then half your stake will be returned.

Certainly, understanding the Asian handicap is another string to your betting bow, even if you use it just occasionally. At the very least, it’s a fun way to bet. 

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Match fixing

Are Football Matches Still Fixed and Can You Profit From Them?

Across the top leagues in Europe, investigators maintain that up to 300 games are fixed every season. In fact, football match-fixing is a global problem that may penetrate all corners of the game, even the Premiership.

We will look briefly at some of the more notorious examples and examine how we might be able to identify potentially fixed games; it’s all in the betting patterns. Touching briefly on the ethics of betting on fixed games, we will look at the possibility of making a profit and how to avoid some of the football betting scams that you might come across on social media.

Famous Football Betting Scandals

Over the years, many football scandals have been exposed; here are some of the most infamous and the most recent:

  • – One of the most notorious British football betting scandals was uncovered in the 1960s. It was organised by the late Jimmy Gauld, a football player who turned to match-fixing after his career ended prematurely after he broke a leg. After several lucrative years, he eventually came clean and, in the process, incriminated several other football players. Sentenced to four years imprisonment and a huge fine, he was immortalised in a movie called “The Fix.”
  • – The most recent British scandal emerged in 2013. Revealed following various press investigations, six people were arrested for conspiracy to commit bribery, five of whom were found guilty. It emerged at the trial that it cost around £70,000 to fix a match.
  • – In the same year operation VETO investigated Asian organised crime syndicates which influenced 380 football matches globally. The scam raised around €8,000,000. Fifty people were arrested.
  • – The latest scandal was revealed in July 2018 and resulted in Emanuele Calaiò, a Parma forward, receiving a two-year ban for match-fixing.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. There is little doubt that football match-fixing is at least as prevalent today as it ever has been. Last year the football manager Joey Barton received an 18-month ban after placing 1,260 football bets. Following his ban, he revealed to the newspapers that match-fixing is rife and the FA is incapable of dealing with the problem.

Making money from fixed football matches

If it were possible to know in advance if a match had been fixed, then there is a clear opportunity to profit from this knowledge. This brings in a big ethical dilemma. For those of us who love football, match-fixing is a huge threat to the integrity of the sport. In fact, following the 2013 scandal mentioned above, sentiment analysis of the resulting social media posts and tweets demonstrated that overall the public was outraged, with disgust, fear and anger being the most common responses.

Of course, not everyone feels that way. What would you do should you find a £20 note on a deserted street? In the final analysis it’s your decision, but next, we will look at how some people might go about trying to identify potentially fixed matches. The answer is in the betting patterns. 

How to identify a fixed football match

The only realistic way to identify fixed football matches is to adopt the same approach as the authorities and organisations such as Sportradar who gather and analyse sports data on behalf of bookmakers.

Don’t underestimate the sophistication of seasoned match-fixers. Their aim is to place bets on outcomes they can readily influence and that are hard to detect. The large football betting markets are match odds and over/under 2.5 goals. However, exact score markets and over/under 1.5 and 0.5 goals markets are relatively small, so any high-volume bets placed on these are easy to spot and will ring alarms.

Thus, a favourite target for match fixers is over/under 2.5 goals. In a league where the number of goals is close to 2.5 it would need only a small influence by players and match officials to force the result one way or the other, and the activity would be very difficult to detect. Sophisticated statistical analysis of betting patterns in these markets can reveal anomalies in betting volumes that suggest match-fixing. The analysis can also highlight the potential influence of specific match referees.

However, doing this requires access to massive amounts of betting data, which is simply not available to the public. It also requires a deep understanding of sophisticated data analysis techniques. While organisations such as Sportradar do all this on a routine basis, for the ordinary punter identifying fixed football matches isn’t feasible.

What about the adverts that claim to identify fixed games?

It is sad that given our current degree of internet savvy people are still taken in by the most basic of scams. Such websites are simply a variant of getting rich quick scams that will leave you high and dry. Don’t be taken in; if they really knew which matches are fixed, why would they go to the effort of telling you?


Sports betting is the one area of gambling that rewards detailed sports knowledge with value bets which over time will provide a profit. Your time will be far better spent developing your football betting techniques that chasing rainbows such as fixed football matches.

Probably the best thing you could do is join a matched betting service like Profit Maximiser, or a top tipster like the Football Guru.