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tennis match

Two-Way Bet Explained

Some of the terms that we use in gambling can be a little confusing when you first come across them, and one that often confuses people is the 2-way bet. The difficulty is that many people confuse this with an each way bet, which is an entirely different animal. That is unless it is a two-horse race you are betting on, in which case they are very similar, though not quite the same.

To avoid any future confusion, we will explain both.

What is a two way bet?

A two way bet is a bet on an event that can end with just two possible outcomes, and there is no chance of a tie or a draw. The perfect example is tennis, either singles or doubles, where only one player, or side, can win. You never get a tie in professional tennis; you just bet on the player you consider most likely to win.

Another form of a 2-way bet is a bet on an event with three possible outcomes such as a football match they may end up as a draw, but the bet is offered on a Draw No Bet basis. Should the game end as a draw, the bookmaker will return your stake.  

It is important to realise that games such as football elimination matches in which the result may be finally decided by extra time or a penalty shootout are not 2 way bets as the bookmaker pays out according to the full time score. So should the game go to extra time, any bet other than on a draw would lose.  

Obviously the odds will be less for a football match where you are betting on two outcomes rather than three. 

So for example, here are the odds for Crystal Palace v Everton in the Premier League in the normal match odds (1×2) market:

  • – Crystal Palace: 2.7
  • – Draw: 3.5
  • – Everton: 2.88

But when reduced to a 2-way bet where the draw has been taken out of the equation (i.e. draw no bet), the odds are then:

  • – Crystal Palace: 1.93
  • – Everton: 2

So you are getting lower odds for either side to win, but if the game finishes in a draw you get your money back, which doesn’t happen in the normal match odds (1×2) market. That is the advantage of a 2-way bet.


           —————————–Get free football tips from top experts here————————–


What is an each-way bet?

An each-way bet is typically used in horse racing. Effectively it is a bet in which half of your total stake is bet on your selected horse winning, and half is bet on the horse being placed in one of the top ranks. What counts as a place depends on several factors such as the size of the field (which is the number of horses running in the race), the specific event, and on the strategy or whim of the bookmaker. The payout for each way bets also varies, again depending on the size of the field and other factors.

Each way bets are not usually available on small fields of two to four runners. In races with five to seven runners the payouts are typically one quarter (1/4) of the betting odds on first and second places; when there are eight or more runners, bookmakers usually offer one fifth (1/5) odds on first, second and third place. Handicap races tend to be a little different, for instance, if there are 16 or more runners one quarter (1/4) odds are usually offered on the first four places.

Here is an example that should make it clear. Say you place an each-way bet on a 12 horse race where the bookmaker is offering quarter (1/4) odds on the first three places. Your selection is priced at 16/1, and you bet £10 each way. The following payouts apply.

  • – If your selection wins, you win £5 x 16 for the win half your bet = £80, plus 1/4  x 16 x 5 = £20 for the place half of your bet. The bookmaker also returns your full stake, so you walk away with £110.
  • – If your selection is placed second or third, then you lose your bet on a win, but you wind your place bet. Your payout is plus 1/4 x 16 x 5 = £20 and half your stake (£5) is returned. Thus, you walk away with £25.

It is only worth making a two way bet if the odds offered by the bookmaker are high. Making each way bets on low odds is a waste of money.

See how this system made $100,000 from betting on the draw





horse racing pic

Maria Laying System

In September 2005 Maria Santonix began to publish her lay selections on a popular racing forum. She kept the thread going for over 300 days, and in that time she had turned her initial payroll of £3,000 into a little over £100,600.

That was quite a result, and it didn’t go unnoticed; in fact, it collected a great deal of attention. Naturally it also received a fair amount of dissent; after all, there is no shortage of sceptics. How did Maria choose which bets to lay? What was her system? Indeed, did she have a system?

What came to light only later was that Maria’s father was connected with several bookmakers, and through her contacts, she was able to obtain privileged information that helped with her selections. No doubt this contributed considerably to her winnings.

While most of us do not have access to the kind of data Maria had, we can still profit from her laying system. But we must state that her selections were, in fact, remarkable. Of her 4,131 selections over 303 days she achieved 3,547 wins; in other words, a strike rate of almost 86%. While Maria’s system does not in any way help us with our selections, it does provide a mathematical plan that will help us maximise our winnings.  

Here it is as she stated it.  It is straightforward; there are just four rules which determine the amounts to lay depending on the odds.

  1. 1. Prices below 3.5: lay to 1% of bank
  2. 2. Prices from 3.6 to 7.4: lay to 0.6% of bank
  3. 3. Prices from 7.5 to 11: lay to 0.4% of bank
  4. 4. Prices higher than 11 do not lay.


           —————————Get Free Racing Tips from Top Tipsters Here——————————


So how does that work out in practice?

In a nutshell, the system says that you lay larger amounts when the odds are low and that the actual amounts you lay change depending on the amount of money in your bank. When your bank balance is high, you increase the size of your bet.

For example, when Maria started with a bank of £3,000 her maximum lay would have been £30. But, as her balance improved, by the time she had a bank of approaching £100,000 her maximum lay would be £1,000. Increasing your average bet size from £30 to £1,000 in under a year takes a certain amount of courage, however much you believe in your system.

Maria laying system merely is about minimising risk and maximising profit. While intuitively it appears to be a very sensible approach, it does not seem to be based on deep-lying mathematical principles. It is an empirical approach that certainly worked for Maria, but only because she also got such a good strike rate.

Some of her critics claim that she also achieved much better odds than that most people would be able to get. Some people posted that after she had published her selections, they were unable to get similarly attractive matching bets. But the reasons for that could be just that after Maria had posted her choices, the game changed.    

Are there similar systems around?

Based on Maria’s approach it is easy to create similar systems by playing with the numbers. As we have indicated, Maria’s approach is empirical, and there is nothing magic about the specific price ranges or the percentage of your bank to wager. You might even choose to lower the percentages of your bank to lay in line with a growing balance. This will reduce the risk of losing large bets, but if you can maintain strike rates of around 80%, it will also take you longer to build your balance.


The Maria Laying System is a reasonable approach to lay betting that is apparently effective at managing risk and maximising profit. At the very least it will curb potential flights of fancy by imposing strict discipline on your betting strategy.

On the other hand, it is no panacea. If you make poor selections, no plan will compensate. If Maria could have told us exactly how she achieved a strike rate of 85% and provided us with access to the data that led to her choices, we would all be better off no matter what system we applied to that data.

The scariest part of the system is how bet sizes can potentially increase exponentially as your bank improves. We would suggest putting some brake or throttling back on that a little. Also don’t forget that the most crucial aspect it to make your sections with care; unlike Maria, you probably don’t have access to privileged information, but by following form and taking notice of the best tipsters we can all learn how to pick high-value potential winners.

You may not be able to match Maria’s amazing success, but you could follow a top tipster like this one who made over £3,000 to £10 stakes in its first 18 months of tipping




football players fighting for ball

Lay the Draw Insurance

For those unfamiliar with what “Lay the Draw” betting and trading is, here is a quick overview of this popular trading strategy. Following that, we will look at how we can use lay the draw insurance, and whether doing so is a smart move.

As no doubt you are aware, one of the benefits of betting exchanges such as Betfair is that they allow us to lay bets as well as placing them. In football betting, one of the lays available to us is to lay the draw. To do so, we identify a football game that we believe to be unlikely to result in a draw, locate it in the match odds market, and lay the draw.   

As an example, if we lay the draw for £10 at 4.0, then our liability is £40 – 10 = £30.

Thus, if the match resulted in anything other than a draw, we would have a loss of £30, but if we are correct in our prediction that the game will end with one of the teams winning, we will win £10.

Lay the draw trading is a little different. In the above example, a draw would always result in a loss. However, lay the law trading in play betting provides us with an opportunity to profit even if the game ends in a draw. In this case, our profit stems from how the odds change during play.

Hedging your Lay

Assume that the favourite team scores the first goal making the score 1-0. A draw now seems less likely than when the score was 0-0, and as a result, the odds on a draw will almost certainly rise. By now backing the draw to hedge your initial lay, you can lock in a profit.

Say the odds on a draw increase to 6.0. We now bet £6.67 on a draw so should the game end in a draw we would win £40.2 – 6.67 = £33.53.

With this strategy we have locked in a profit whatever the result:

  • The game ends in a draw – win £33.53, lose £30, profit = £3.35
  • The game ends in a win – lose £6.67, win £10, profit = £3.37

This is just one strategy; there are many options. For instance, you could adjust your second bet to just cover the liability of the lay, effectively giving you a free bet.


            ——–See how this system made $100,000 from betting on the draw————



While the hedge we have described above will result in a profit whatever the outcome of the game, it does rely on the favourite scoring the first goal and the odds changing accordingly. But what if the underdog scored the first goal? Now a draw would seem more likely, and the odds would move against your hedging strategy and your chances of losing £30 would increase.

Go to the correct score market and look at the odds of a correct score of 0-0. These are likely to be considerably higher than the lay draw odds; possibly five times higher. Thus, by placing a small bet in this market, you can protect your lay the draw liability against a 0-0 draw.

While in theory that might seem attractive, in reality it is less so. The downside is that as soon as any side score a goal the insurance is worthless; you are not protected against any other drawing scoreline.  The reality is that very few football matches end 0-0. Depending on the league, the percentage of matches in the 2017/18 season ending 0-0 range were from 4.2 to 8.4% – the English Premier were the highest and Dutch Eredivisie the lowest.

To insure lay the draw or not?

It’s up to you and your attitude to risk. Some people do it routinely; others consider it a wasted cost. We can’t decide; it depends on the odds at the time and what other hedging opportunities are available.

Check out this top betting system and make up to £500 per month with low-risk bets. 




slot machine pic

Choosing The Best Online Slots

It can be difficult to choose which online slot game to play with so many gaming and casino sites claiming to offer the best online slots. To help you pick the best online slot for you, we have put together this concise but informative guide on what you should be looking for before you start a single spin.

Check out these five factors below to help you decide whether you should play or leave an online slot offer:


What To Consider When Choosing Your Online Slot Game

Before you choose your online slot game and make a single spin, we highly advise you consider these following five factors:

  • – Types of slots
  • – Denominations
  • – Numbers of reels
  • – RTP
  • – Maximum payout


What Type of Slots Can I Play?

When you are searching for the best online slots experience you really need to know about the different types of games out there. Listed below are the main types of online slot games available for you to play:

  • – Classic Slots
  • – Fruit Machines
  • – Video Slots

Classic slots are often the simplest and easiest to play of all the different slots available. The graphics and animations tend to be simple with sound effects and distractions kept to a minimum. This simplicity of game play makes it an ideal introduction to beginners whilst the addition of bonus games and multiplier symbols keeps the interest of more experienced players.

Fruit Machines are at first glance similar to classic slot games. However, there are clear differences as fruit machines are much more interactive due to the gambling features contained within these games such as the hold and nudge feature and gamble option. The nudge feature allows a player to decide whether to nudge a specific reel or reels down to aid in the match of symbols. The hold feature gives you the choice to hold a specific reel or reels in the same place before the next spin. The gamble feature allows the player to gamble their winnings for more profit at the risk of losing it all with the wrong outcome.

A classic slot machine in a casino.

Video slots are the opposite of classic slots in terms of design as they have highly detailed and creative graphics combined with video technology. Video slots can offer over 100 paylines, interactive bonus games and a wide variety of bonus symbols. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of 3D slot games with further development in graphics, animation and realistic gameplay.  This slot type is all about entertaining and enhancing the visual and audio appeal for the player whilst also giving the player a chance to win substantial payout wins. It is these video slots that you see at online casinos with games such as Jurassic Park, Bloodsuckers, Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest being among the most popular. 


Get £88 free to use at the 888 Casino with no deposit here (T&Cs apply, 18+, new customers only).



Why Do Denominations, Paylines and Number of Reels Matter?

It is important to know about denominations, paylines and number of reels when playing slots, so let’s have a look at each of them in turn:-

Denominations are the value of currency an online slot game will accept. Many online slot games will accept different types of currency including the UK pound and the US dollar. In addition, virtually all online slots offer a wide variety of different stake options per spin in the game. Focusing on the UK pound, stake options vary from 1p per spin to over £100 per spin. Although higher stakes will result in higher payouts, you need to consider how much you are prepared to bet before deciding on your stake per spin. 

Reels are a row of spinning symbols on each online slot game. The most basic reel combination is the “3 reel combination” which is often found on your classic slots and some fruit machines. The “5 reel combination” is now the most popular slot combination and is available on virtually every type of slot game. The “7 reel combination” offers the largest variety of ways a player can win. However, there are relatively few online slot games offering this option at present.

Paylines are the line or lines within an online slot game which payout on a winning combination. This varies from 1 payout (found in classic slot games) to 100 or more paylines which feature in most online slots and video slots. It is important to note you will only win on the paylines you bet on. In addition, your winnings will be based on the stake placed per spin. Both of these factors will determine your payout amount on winning combinations.


What is RTP and Why Is This So Important?

The acronym RTP stands for “return to player” and is a measure of how much an online slot will pay back to the player over time. RTP is most commonly shown as a percentage value and in all cases is below 100%. The best online slots offer an RTP of 97% and above. To get the most value out of your slot experience you should be aiming for an RTP of 95% (at an absolute minimum). You can view more info about RTP in our article here. 


What Are the Maximum Payouts and Why Does the Type of Online Slot Matter?

When you decide to play an online slot the maximum payout is in the form of two different types of jackpot: flat and progressive jackpots. When you play your chosen online slot, you will be playing for one of these types of jackpot, but not for both. Knowing the difference between these two types of jackpot is very important as this is likely to influence your decision to favour one style over the other.

A flat jackpot is one that sits at a fixed amount regardless of how many players are playing the online slot. When these jackpots are won, they are instantly replaced with the same amount.

A progressive jackpot is one that grows each time a player plays an online slot. For each game, a player adds a percentage of the stake to the jackpot.

The progressive jackpot leads to larger wins (sometimes in the millions). However, you may be more comfortable with smaller fixed amount flat wins as you have a better chance of winning these than the progressive jackpot.


Ready To Start Playing

Once you have taken into account all of the five factors outlined above you will be able to choose the best online slot game for you. If you are looking for a casino with a wide variety of slots then you may want to check out Volt Casino. 







Augusta National Leaderboard

Get Your Masters Tips Here!

It’s the first major of the golfing calendar this week from the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia and it is set to be a classic with so many great storylines heading into the event.

The favourite for the tournament is Rory McIlroy at around 7/1 as he looks to complete a career grand slam before the age of 30. Meanwhile Tiger Woods will be relishing the chance to add to his four green jackets and is best priced 14/1. Many people however fancy Rickie Fowler to break his major duck having already won this season and he is available at 20/1. You can check out the full odds here.

The weather forecast looks mixed, with some thunderstorms looking possible during the event and quite a bit of breeze. The course is already very long at nearly 7,800 yards but if it is wet as well then it will play even more into the long hitters’ hands. 

If you are looking for some top tips for the Masters, we can recommend:

Both tipsters have some strong fancies for the event so don’t miss out on their expert picks.

Whether you follow their tips though or place your own selections, good luck this week and here’s hoping you find the winner! 






cheltenham racecourse pic

What are the Bankers on Each Day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival?

Cheltenham Racecourse” (CC BY 2.0) by UAV Filming

The 2019 Cheltenham Festival will soon be upon us. That means 28 races across four days of National Hunt horse racing that comes thick and fast.

As is the case every year, some horses are hotly fancied to win certain events throughout the prestigious meeting. We break down the 2019 Cheltenham Festival day-by-day and highlight which horses are the banker bets this year. 

Tuesday – Benie Des Dieux

Champion Hurdle day always provides a sensational start to the meeting. The opening day’s sure-fire bet this year is clearly Benie Des Dieux in the 2m 4f Mares’ Hurdle. This race comes hot on the heels of the Champion Hurdle itself.

Willie Mullins is an absolute master when it comes to training mares. He’s dominated the race since it was introduced at the Festival and Benie Des Dieux is the defending champion. She looks to have a much easier time of doing so than she could have, with major rivals Apple’s Jade and stable companion Laurina targeting the Champion Hurdle instead.

While Benie Des Dieux is odds-on with bookmakers as a result, she simply isn’t facing top calibre opposition in their absence. There are others from her own stable such as Limini and Stormy Ireland, but these lack her fine form at the highest level.

Wednesday – Altior

While Tiger Roll is all the rage to defend his Cross Country Chase crown on Ladies’ Day, he’ll face more serious opposition over a far greater distance than Altior. Nicky Henderson’s awesome stable star is unbeaten in 17 outings over hurdles and fences and has plenty of opponents running scared.

Altior (left) is among 2019 Cheltenham Festival bankers” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Carine06

Given he won the Queen Mother Champion Chase last year off the back of a last-minute lameness scare, we should see an even better Altior as he goes for back-to-back triumphs. There are more Cheltenham tips from Betting.Betfair which provide even better value but, with so many swerving this race, it looks at his mercy.

Looking beyond Altior in the win only market is very brave. He’s long odds-on with good reason, and in the betting without him, a case can be made for quite a few. It won’t be clear until final declarations which of the Mullins horses entered in the Champion Chase will take Altior on and he has the beating of all them anyway.

Thursday – Paisley Park

Henderson’s highly-regarded Epatante could easily be considered a banker for the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle on St Patrick’s Thursday. Paisley Park from the Emma Lavelle stable in the Stayers’ Hurdle over three miles is preferred, however, as this race has fallen apart somewhat.

Last year’s winner Penhill misses the defence of his title through injury, while Samcro also misses the Festival. With these two major players and Irish raiders not running, Paisley Park has popular veteran Faugheen up against him.

There’s a big age gap between the two and, while Faugheen will attract sentimental support, Paisley Park simply has more scope to improve again and make further progress. Although the consistent Grade 1 performer Supasundae is also a contender if lining up, the favourite is more than worthy.

Friday – Sir Erec

And finally, on Cheltenham Gold Cup day, the Triumph Hurdle is set up to be the finest hour in the career of Sir Erec so far. Trained by Joseph O’Brien, the four-year-old used to run on the Flat for father Aidan. He posted very smart form in that sphere and was then bought by leading Irish owner JP McManus.

After back-to-back Leopardstown victories, including at Grade 1 level, Sir Erec is a hot favourite for the Triumph. He was impressive in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle and, although facing a respected opponent in Paul Nicholls’ Quel Destin, is still unexposed over the obstacles.





Get Top Tips for Cheltenham!

It’s nearly upon us – yes tomorrow is the start of the “Greatest Show on Turf” – aka the Cheltenham Festival.

We hope you are ready for a week of top-class jumps racing.

If you’re anything like us – you’ll want to boost your profits at this year’s festival.

Well fortunately we have a service that has a record of doing just that.

This is a tipster that we have reviewed here at Honest Betting Reviews and we gave it a strong recommended rating, having made 38 points profit during our trial and over 900 points profit since starting tipping.

Get your top tips for Cheltenham here.

And it has a record of picking high value priced winners at Cheltenham that is second to none.

The service has made an astonishing 298 points and £14,900 in profits at the Cheltenham Festival to £50 stakes since 2010.

Last year it made 26 points profit for its members, which equates to £1,300 tax free profit to £50 level stakes, with winners at 28/1, 16/1 and 12/1.

And this service was voted the Number One Horse Racing Service of 2018 by you, the members of Honest Betting Reviews.

What service are we talking about?

Well you can check it out here and get all their tips for Cheltenham.

Act now before their special Cheltenham page is taken down.






Best Casino Game Odds

Going to the casino is a favorite pastime of many people. The idea that with one hand, or deal, and a little bit of luck we can have a huge win is too good to resist.

If you’re going to go to the nearest casino – or having a little flutter online – to try and hit the jackpot, what games can get you that payoff? Where are you most likely to make your fortune? Today we’re going to look at the most popular casino games and see which ones have the best odds and the worst odds. 

When playing games in a casino, there is something called a “house edge.” The house edge is the advantage that the casino has in a game. Essentially, this is how likely it is for the casino to win the game, rather than for the player to win. So, which games have a lower house edge and favor the player?



Roulette is a game we all recognize. It is a simple game that anyone can understand and play. The roulette wheel has 37 slots. These slots are numbered 0 and then 1-36. The wheel is spun, and a small steel ball is spun in the opposite direction. It will eventually fall into one of the slots.

As a player, you can bet on almost anything. You can bet on black numbers, red numbers, even or odd numbers, and on high or low numbers (1-18 or 19-36). All these bets have a 48.6% chance of landing in European Roulette and pay out at even money. 

If you want to increase your payouts, you can bet on columns, or dozens, and end up with a 1-in-3 chance of winning. You can also bet on groups of six, four or two numbers together. If you’re looking to make your fortune, you can bet on a single number, which pays 35-1.

The house edge in roulette varies depending on which type you are playing. On European roulette (i.e. with one zero), the house edge is 2.7%, whereas on American roulette (with two zeros) the house edge is 5.26%.



Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games, and for good reason. The rules are simple: Dealer and player compete to get as close to the number 21 as they can without going over. The one who gets closest wins.

When playing against the dealer, he is required to keep drawing cards until he has at least 17. If he has less than 17, the dealer has no option other than to keep drawing until he has 17-21, or he goes over 21. This is called a “bust.”

If the dealer busts and you don’t, you win. If the dealer scores between 17-21, you simply have to get a higher score than he does. If you get a higher score, you win. This simplicity makes blackjack an easy game to play, and an easier game to win. In fact, the odds of winning at Blackjack are really good, at pretty much 50/50. 

The house edge in Blackjack is less than one percent (0.28% to be precise) if playing with just one deck. This means that the house has almost no advantage over the player. On top of that, as a player, you are only competing with the house, and not with the players around you.



Craps is not a simple game. For an in-depth explanation of how craps works, you can go here. The simple explanation? There is a shooter who rolls the dice. You can bet on the roll. If you want, you can bet pass on the come-out roll being either 7 or 11. If it is either, you win. You can bet on the “don’t pass” line, meaning if the shooter rolls a 2 or 3, then you win. There are a few more rules which complicate the game a bit, but once you’ve played it a few times you will understand it.

The odds in Craps are what make it such a good game to play. There are a few strategies to master with craps, but if you can figure them out, the house edge ends up being about 2 percent, giving the player a good chance of winning.The pass/don’t pass bets have a house edge of just 1.4%.

Craps isn’t quite as player friendly as blackjack, but it still has much better odds than the video poker games do.



Baccarat is another casino game of chance. When you play baccarat, you have three possible bets: the player’s hand, the banker’s hand, or a tie. Baccarat is very similar to Blackjack. Instead of playing to 21, however, the game is played to nine. Cards 2-9 are worth their number value. The Ace is worth 1 point, and all face cards are worth 0 points.

In this game, the two cards drawn are added together. If the sum is a single digit number, that is the sum of the hand (2+3+5). Now, if the numbers added together equal a double-digit number, the left number is dropped (9+9=18, so this equals 8). Now, when trying to figure out how to win baccarat, the players hand wins 44 percent of the time. The banker’s hand will lose 45 percent of the time. And they are rare, but ties happen about ten percent of the time (and pay the most).

If playing to best advantage – and the best value bets are normally the player bets rather than the banker bets – then the house edge is around 1.5%.



Slots are machines where you are trying to match certain symbols in a row or in given sequences to give a specified return. 

There are a huge number of online slots games these days, often designed around specific branded themes – whether it be the popular Blood Suckers (based around a vampire theme), Mega Moolah, Jurassic Park, Wheel of Fortune and Game of Thrones. 

There are essentially two different types of slots: progressive and non-progressive. The progressive ones have a much higher jackpot, with some games (like Mega Moolah) often having jackpots of €1m. They often have a higher number of lines to play however and to get a chance of winning the jackpot you normally have to play the full bet possible and all lines. Non-progressive slots by contrast do not have such high payouts but pay out more frequently, thus making them more attractive to players who prefer a steady return. 

The house edge varies by each slot and can be anything between 2% and 10%. In terms of online slots, the best value games tend to be 1429 Uncharted Seas (1.4% house edge), Blood Suckers (2%) and Immortal Romance (3.1%). 




As you can tell the house edge varies a lot by casino game and even within each game depending on how you play it. There are of course other games we haven’t mentioned here too: video poker tends to have a house edge of between 0.5% and 5% and Caribbean Poker has a house edge of 5% for example. 

When you’re trying to figure out what casino game is the best one to play, keep these things in mind. Craps is complicated, but the odds are good. Roulette can give a high payout if betting on individual numbers, but the house edge is large, especially on American roulette.

Blackjack has the smallest house edge at under 1% so from the point of view of giving you the best chance of winning, that is the game to focus on.

Of course, whichever game you play it is important to remember that casinos always have an edge over you, unless you are using a bonus offer to weight the odds a little more in four favour. LV Bet has some good bonus offers, including a £1000 bonus at the moment which is worth checking out (T&Cs apply, 18+, new customers only).





man losing at slots

Why Most Gamblers Lose Money

The facts are pretty stark – over 98% of people who gamble lose money overall. That’s pretty shocking – it means very few people actually have anything to show from their betting activity and some people have sadly made huge gambling losses.  

And yet millions of people around the world still carry on betting, many of them on a regular basis.

So what’s going on? Why do so many people lose money gambling and is there a way to join the elite 2% who make an overall profit? 

We’ll take a look at these questions below. 


“The House Always Wins”

You’ve probably heard the popular phrase “The House Always Wins.” It is usually used in reference to casinos, who have an in-built edge on all games they offer.

What it means is that whilst you may have a lucky evening occasionally and come out having won some money, over the course of the millions of bets placed each year the casino is statistically guaranteed to make a profit.

This in-built edge is often referred to as RTP, which means “return to player” and can be quantified so you can see exactly how much of a disadvantage you have against the casino on each game.

The casino has an in-built edge which means it always wins over time.

If we take roulette as an example, imagine you are betting on red. There are 18 red numbers, 18 black numbers and one green number, 0. So your chances of winning are 18 in 37, which means the house has a 2.7% edge over you.

And that’s only on European roulette – in the US there are two zeros so the house edge is even bigger at over 5%. So for every £100 bet, the casino takes an average of £5 profit. 

The house edge varies by game, with the house having only a 0.28% advantage in Blackjack to over 5% in Caribbean Stud Poker. 

In sports betting, the house edge is normally called the “overround.” In football it tends to be around 5% when comparing the best odds across the market but in horse racing can be even worse, often over 20% when looking at starting prices.

On popular sporting events on the exchanges you will often see a very low overround of less than 1%. But you have to factor in commission which will eat into your winnings. Commission can be as high as 5% with Betfair.

What all this means is that unless you are able to identify instances where the odds are wrong – often referred to as “value” – then the more you bet, the more likely you are to lose. Ouch!

And of course if we are talking about casino games then the odds are fixed so there is no chance to find value – quite simply the more you play the more likely you are to lose money (unless you happen to get very lucky and hit a jackpot or defy the odds of course). 

Denise Coates, CEO of Bet365, which made over £650m profit in 2017

So taking all this into account, it really isn’t surprising that most gamblers lose money. The house has have an in-built advantage that means over time they will win and punters – overall – will lose.  It’s a mathematical certainty. You have probably heard the phrase “you never see a poor bookie.” Well, it’s pretty accurate. Just for the record, Bet365 made £682m profit last year, whilst Paddy Power Betfair made £473m.  That’s all money they took from us, the punters.

But then at the same time, there are some people who do make money gambling. A select few make a lot of money – Patrick Veitch, for example, apparently took £10m off the bookies in 8 years and figures like Alan Woods and Bill Benter have made hundreds of millions from betting. 

So what’s going on? Why do some people make money whilst the rest of us lose? 

Let’s have a look at these questions below.


What Type of Gambler Are You?

When looking at why people lose money betting, it is necessary to break people down into different categories of bettors, depending on their behaviour and goals. We would say there are essentially four categories of gamblers.


1. The Pro

This is the elite 2% of gamblers referred to earlier who actually make a profit from their betting. They approach their betting like a business, are cool-headed, disciplined and devote a great deal of time and effort to finding value. They keep meticulous records of all their bets, refine their strategy over time and are always trying to make sure they have an edge over other punters. 


2. The Recreational Gambler

This type of gambler sees betting as a bit of fun, something to make a match they are watching more interesting or to have some banter with their mates down the pub. They normally just bet a fiver or tenner and don’t spend much time researching form or studying stats. For them it’s just a form of entertainment – something they do occasionally and don’t really expect to make a profit from overall. That’s fine with them though – the odd win here and there keeps them happy and they are only risking a tiny percentage of their income on betting, so even if all their bets lost it wouldn’t be a problem for them. 


3. The Addict

This type of gambler suffers from an addiction and is always looking for the next opportunity to gamble. They tend to bet on a whole variety of things from casinos to slots and bingo, scratch cards and any number of games of pure luck, hoping the next win will be the big one that makes back all their previous losses.

They are probably in denial about how much money they have lost and don’t keep records of their bets. They gamble in a scattergun way, betting at random and compulsively. For this group it would be best to stop gambling altogether and seek help, as it is unlikely they will ever make a profit from betting and risk suffering considerable harm by continuing.


4. The Apprentice

The fourth category is made up of those who understand most of the basics around gambling such as the concept of value, the bookies’ overround, how markets work and so on. They could, with the right attitude and by applying themselves, become profitable at gambling but at the moment there are things holding them back and tripping them up. It is on this group that we want to focus our attention now. 


Where It’s Going Wrong

For those in the “Apprentice” group, there are some classic mistakes they tend to make that contribute to them losing money. We have made many – if not all – of these mistakes ourselves so know how easy it can be to fall into them. But learning to spot them and to avoid repeating them is the key to moving out of the Apprentice group and into the Pro group. 


Mistake #1: Jumping From System to System

This is one of the most fundamental mistakes aspiring gamblers make. Whilst recognising that following an expert could help them become a better gambler, they go about it in the wrong way. 

Rather than picking a tipster (or group of tipsters) and sticking with them, they hop about from one tipster to another, giving up on each one as soon as it hits a losing streak. What this means is that they are consistently losing money, because they never stay long enough with a tipster to see it succeed in the long run. After a losing week or month they give up, taking an incredibly short-term approach to their betting.

This sort of mentality is very damaging and greatly inhibits the gambler’s chances of becoming profitable. They are psychologically unable to deal with losing runs and without changing their mindset to a more long-term one are unlikely to ever make money from gambling. 


Mistake #2. Wanting to “Get Rich Quick”

In a similar vein is the gambler who is looking to “get rich quick.” This person gets roped in by the alluring promises of riches made by the sales pages of online betting systems, with stories about how some “ordinary bloke” discovered a brilliant betting strategy that lets him live the life of his dreams with flash cars, exotic holidays and the like. 

These betting systems almost always turn out to be duds and not only has the buyer had to fork out for the system, but they have lost a fair amount of cash from following it too.

The sad fact though is that rather than learning from the experience, they will get roped in again not long after by another system making the same promises of untold riches. 


Mistake #3: Not Having a Big Enough Betting Bank

This is perhaps the most common mistake the aspiring gambler makes. Having discovered a promising strategy, they don’t allocate a big enough betting bank to following it, staking far too much money on each bet and therefore not having enough money to withstand the losing runs.

Inevitably a downturn will hit at some stage and they will either get wiped out completely or be so dispirited they give up on the strategy, even if it was a long-term winning one. Had they allocated a more sensible bank and smaller stakes, they would have been able to withstand the losing run and to enjoy the long-term profits that would ensue.


Mistake #4: Not Keeping Records

There is no prospect of identifying where your weaknesses are and improving unless you keep detailed records of all your bets. Even worse, you may not have an accurate picture of what your overall profit/loss figures are. Gamblers can be guilty of self-delusion at times, only remembering the wins and forgetting the losses. That thought-process can be damaging, potentially hiding the extent of a gambler’s losses.


Mistake #5: Not Spreading Risk

Any system or strategy has its ups and downs, no matter how good it is. Putting all your eggs in one basket and following just one strategy is risky. Much like in the stock market where people don’t just put all their money into one share but instead spread it around a of portfolio of different shares, so it can pay to do the same with betting. Picking a portfolio of tipsters and systems and allocating a suitable bank to each of them can help to spread the risk and allow for the ups and downs of individual tipsters to be smoothed out across the portfolio. 


The Mistakes – Summary

These are just five of the main mistakes that gamblers make but of course there are many more like chasing losses or risking more money than you can afford to lose. Those are ones we would associate more with the “addict” rather than the “apprentice” though and it is these five that are the most common with gamblers who have the potential to make a profit but just aren’t doing so at the moment.  


Getting It Right

By identifying the most common mistakes aspiring gamblers make it allows us to identify what people could change so they can get it right and start making a profit. Here are some suggestions in that direction:-

  • – Don’t jump about from system to system and give up as soon as you hit a losing run. It is advisable to follow something for at least 3 months before judging its performance. That is our minimum review time on this site and we often run reviews for 6 months before passing judgement – and then continuing following services for years after that. Find some good tipsters and systems and stick with them, don’t give up at the first hurdle. 
  • – Avoid big bold sales claims promising you fantastic returns. The old phrase “if it seems too good to be true it probably is” contains a lot of wisdom. If something claims to make thousands of pounds per month in profit, ask yourself why the author is selling it for a fraction of that. Wait to see if the system stands up to testing from a trusted third party like a review site, or if its results aren’t independently verified anywhere then just avoid it – most likely it’s a scam. 
  • – Make sure you have a big enough betting bank. It is easy not to allocate a big enough betting bank to following a tipster or system. Often the tipster themselves won’t even advise a big enough bank. But if you have a suitable bank it will make it a lot less stressful to follow the tipster and those drawdowns will be much more bearable. A rule of thumb is look at the advised betting bank and then double it – that will probably be more appropriate.
  • – Compound your winnings. Using a bigger betting bank will mean smaller stakes, but you can grow those stakes by compounding the winnings or using a fixed percentage of your bank (e.g. 1%) on each bet. Einstein called compounding “the eighth wonder of the world” and if you allow your bank to grow in this way then the rewards can be quite amazing.
  • – Don’t place random bets. When there’s a big sporting event on with lots of hype around it, there is a temptation to put a bet on to make it more interesting. Other times you may be bored and fancy a wager. Don’t do it – professionals never would.  
  • – Keep records of all your bets. This will allow you to keep on top of all your betting and see where you are going wrong – and right, thus facilitating improvement. 
  • – Spread your risk. Decide how much money you have to invest, then split that investment between say 5-10 different tipsters or systems, making sure of course that each one has a sufficient bank allocated to it. 

If you follow these simple guidelines then chances are you will be well on your way to improving your betting. 


Conclusion – Joining the 2%

The simple fact is that most gamblers lose money because bookies have an in-built advantage. This is called the “house edge” and can be anywhere from 1% up to 30%.  So in other words, for every £100 that is bet, the bookie takes £1-£30 in profit. In the case of exchanges, you must pay commission of around 2% – 5% on all your winnings, which you must also overcome if you want to make a profit.

That means unless you are able to identify value bets – instances where the bookie has put up the wrong odds for a selection – then the more you bet, the more you are likely to lose. 

There are some types of gambler who are never likely to overcome the house edge – what we term the “recreational gambler” and the “addict” – because of their own flaws.

There are other gamblers however who have the potential to become profitable – or at least to improve their performance – if they took the kinds of steps we have listed above. 

Overall it is about a change of mindset from one of wanting to “get rich quick” to approaching betting in a more professional, measured way. If you were running your own business, you would keep records, remove unnecessary expenses, analyse which things are making the most profit, invest carefully and so on.

That is the same approach to take in betting and it is the approach that the elite 2% of gamblers who make money take. 

Ultimately of course, making money will also rely on having a profitable strategy. If you have the time and skills to develop your own strategy, then great, with the approach we have identified above you could turn that strategy into a valuable source of income. 

If not, there are a number of strategies we have found – listed on our Winning Systems page – which could help give you the edge over the bookies. There is matched betting of course, which if done right can guarantee you a profit over the bookies, but there are also some very good tipsters like those at and trading strategies like Exponential Bet that have proved their edge over the long term. 

If you choose any of these systems or indeed choose your own strategy, we hope this article has given you some understanding of why most gamblers lose money and how you can avoid being one of them. And most of all, please make sure you gamble responsibly and only risk money you can afford to lose.








horse jumps

How to Search for an Online Tipster with Credibility

There is an increasing number of online tipsters providing selections on a daily basis and it’s impossible to follow every single one of their tips without breaking the bank. A number of these sites have sprung up on social media over the last decade with many of them posting so-called profit margins and winning sequences hourly and it is extremely tempting to jump on the bandwagon. With so many options at our fingertips, how do you start to narrow down the field and find a tipster who will genuinely help increase your betting balance?

Source: Mirror Sport via Twitter

Unfortunately, some tipsters cannot be trusted and are simply looking out for themselves and these sites will often be incredibly vocal on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. However, if you conduct thorough research and take a long-term approach to finding a tipster, you’ll soon realise that there are hundreds of good guys making regular profit across a number of different sports. 

Long Term Results 

Every tipster should log their results on a daily basis and if you can’t find evidence of a profit/loss sheet on their website then this should immediately ring alarm bells. Message the site directly and ask to see evidence of recent bets and they should be able to provide a comprehensive list of weekly totals. If they can’t produce this or they make constant excuses, it is advised to walk away. Also, ensure that their results have not been edited or amended to reflect favourably on the tipster. Keep a separate list of their daily selections and ensure that all of these are logged at the end of the day on their page. If not, they cannot be trusted. It is also a good idea to check if the results have been verified on an independent review or proofing site, much like this one!

Source: RedFox News via Twitter

Explanation and Context

Tips will come in many different forms. Some sites will simply send a list of horses or teams without any further explanation whilst others will produce detailed write-ups and analysis of their thought process. Of course, it’s down to personal preference but it’s always better to see some working out and allows followers to agree or disagree with their rationale. Experts who produce free daily horse racing tips for sites such as betting.betfair will always detail their working out and offer reasons for their pick and this is a tactic which should be deployed by all tipsters. If you’re serious about making a profit, you should be able to use your own initiative and decide whether to agree or disagree with a selection. If you find that the tipster has given very few details about the horse in question, this makes it incredibly difficult. 


Finally, communication is absolutely key to running a successful tipping service on social media. If you have a query, it should be easy to get in touch and customers should expect to receive a helpful reply within a few hours. Some services will block users who question their tips or ask for a breakdown of recent profit margins and that is a very bad sign. Accounts should treat each of their clients with respect and should offer a transparent service and make it easy to follow each of their tips. If you receive a brush-off or no reply at all, they probably aren’t worth persisting with. 

Don’t fall into the trap of signing up for the first service that you stumble across. Every punter will have different needs and it’s imperative that you match the right tipster to your preferred way of betting. Take your time, speak to them directly and ensure that they have a solid set of recent results to back up their claims – ideally independently verified by a site like ours – and you will soon find yourself narrowing down the field and being able to sort the wheat from the chaff.