Welcome to the Honest Betting Reviews news section. Here you can find the latest news and information on the betting industry, betting systems and tipsters.

footballer goal celebration

Guess the Footy Results and Win $100 – Free to Enter!

One of our top recommended football services, JK Diego, is running a contest that is FREE to enter – you just have to guess the results of the weekend’s Premier League games. The best guess wins $100 – more details below from Diego.




Introducing our weekly EPL prediction contest (Diego is personally giving away 100 USD every week – could you be the one?)

Before you get too excited, here are the rules to take note:

1) Every week, the link to the entry form for the contest will be posted in our telegram channel. Stay tuned the first weekly contest will be posted LATER TONIGHT.

2) You MUST be subscribed to our telegram channel –this is the link if you’re not in it yet.

3) The first contest (for this weekend’s games) will close on Friday night before the first match kicks off (Norwich vs Watford).

The rest of the contest regulations will be spelt out clearly in the contest form. Do read them carefully to avoid being disqualified.

Meanwhile! Do your research for this weekend’s round of EPL games – you will need to predict the scores of all 10 games, and the winner with the most number of correct scores/results will receive 100 USD out of my own pocket.

Here is the form where you can enter. Please note your entries must be in before the first game kicks off on Friday. 

Good luck!






betfair website pic

Get 2% Commission on Betfair!

There was some great news for Betfair exchange customers recently with the announcement that you can get just 2% commission on your winnings – down from the 5% it has been up until now. 

This represents a huge discount and for those who trade regularly on the exchange, could represent hundreds or even thousands of pounds saved in commission fees over the course of a year. 

Why exactly Betfair have chosen this course of action after having the basic 5% rate of commission on winnings since the inception of the exchange way back in 1999 is unclear, but it may be due to increased competition from the likes of Smarkets, who offer 2% commission. 

How to Get the 2% Rate of Commission

You can opt for the 2% commission rate by going to “My account” and then going to “My Betfair Rewards” and then choosing which plan you wish to opt for. 

If you want the 2% commission rate,  then you need to choose the “Basic Plan,” although please bear in mind that this plan also means:-

  • – No Access to the Cash Race
    – No Best Odds Guaranteed on the Betfair Sportsbook
    – No Access to Promos

So if you are an infrequent trader on the Betfair exchange but benefit from BOG on your sportsbook bets and take advantage of lots of promos and bonuses, then you may be better off going for one of the other plans. 

Other Plans Available 

Let’s take a look at the other plans and what they offer: 

First up is the “Rewards Plus,” which includes: 

  • – 10% Refund on Losses
  • – If you make a net loss in a calendar month, Betfair will refund you 10% on the first working day of the following month (T&C’s Apply).
  • – £10 Free Acca Every Month
  • – A free bet to use on accumulators every month (T&C’s Apply).
  • – 25 Free Spins Every Month
  • – Free spins to use on Age of Gods every month (T&C’s Apply).
  • – Cash Race – Extra Prizes
  • – 2 free play(s) on Beat The Drop where you could win up to £32,000. 
  • BUT you will pay 8% Commission on net winnings in Exchange markets (T&C’s Apply).

So this would be the best option if you rarely place any bets on the Betfair exchange but like the idea of free accas, bets and spins. In reality you should only choose this option if the net commission you are currently paying is say less than £100 per month, because you will need to more than make up in bonuses and free bets what you are losing in having to pay an 8% commission rate versus the 2% available with the Basic Plan. 

Finally the other option available is the “Rewards” package. This is more akin to what has existed up until now and includes:-

  • – £5 Free Acca Every Month
    – 10 Free Spins Every Month
    – Cash Race Access
    – 1 Free Play(s) on Beat The Drop
    – 5% Commission

So that’s the 5% rate of commission plus some bonuses to enjoy each month. This package is probably suitable if you do some exchange betting but not enough for a drop to 2% commission to make a difference to you. 

Here the plans in summary form:

Which Plan Should You Go For?

In reality we suspect most people will either opt for the Basic or Rewards+ packages. If you are a regular exchange user than really it’s a no-brainer to use the Basic Plan and pay just 2% commission – that is certainly what we are doing and already reaping the benefits. 

If you rarely use the exchange but do use the Sportsbook quite a bit then the Rewards+ is probably the best option as you get lots of bonuses and the increased commission rate to 8% would affect you less if you hardly place any bets on the exchange (e.g. less than £100 per month). 

It’s really up to each individual to decide which package is best for them. We suggest having a look at your betting history for the last six months to a year and see how much you have been betting on the exchange and how much commission you have been paying, which should help you work out which package is best for you. 

Anyway, there you have it – in summary we think these new changes from Betfair are very welcome and let’s hope they are here to stay. 

Want to learn how to scalp the Betfair markets like a professional? Well check out this top trading package and see how. 







5 Ways to Be Green and Love Your Winning Race Horse

Buying, rearing and training a race horse can be an incredibly rich and exciting process. Your love of racing is transferred into reality when you are training and looking after your racehorse investment. The sheer thrill of getting your horse into prime peak condition and seeing it romp home over a race or just pip the second at the post is a fantastic feeling and one that many equestrian lovers have each month. It will often take time money and energy to get to that point, of which of course will be paid back with winnings.

Looking after a prime race horse is of course paramount and something to look at when choosing the right runner for your betting. The extra care that the stables put into the care of the horse can make a real difference. Why not check out some stables and put a more well considered bet on – you can get a great Ladbrokes bonus code from here to give you a further advantage.

Unfortunately, horse ownership is not the most traditionally environmentally friendly activity; horses require a large amount of resources and create quite a bit of waste. However, there are a number of easy ways to help reduce your horse’s impact on the environment.

Manure Composting

Horses have large appetites. Large appetites result in a large amount of manure, which needs to be dealt with. Composting is a great green way of turning what could be a potential issue into something that is incredibly useful. Composting can be done by adding manure and a combination of other materials, such as moldy feed and straw, into a bin. Once the material converted to sludge, or the end result of the compost cycle, it can be used for manure. As an added bonus, purchasing an anaerobic digester can convert methane, a byproduct of the compost process, to biogas, which can be used to heat the home or parts of the stable.


Using eco-friendly horse bedding, such as pellet bedding or compressed cardboard chips. These types of bedding are biodegradable, and are both made either using recycled wood products or are grown in sustainable plantation farms. These types of bedding are made to absorb more, which means that less can be used. Further, bedding pellets can actually be more healthy for the horse, as they emit less dust and reduce any hoof problems a horse may develop due to a damp stall.

Natural Nontoxic Fly Sprays

Switching to nontoxic fly sprays not only offers benefits for your horse, but will also keep the groundwater safe from contamination when the horse is bathed. They are also particularly good for horses with sensitive skin, as natural fly sprays do not contain any chemicals that will irritate the skin. Even better, many of these natural fly sprays can be made right at home.

Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk is one of the easiest ways to go green. Essentially, purchasing more of the feed and bedding at once not only saves money on transportation costs, but also saves gas as fewer trips are made to drop off materials at the barn.

Recycling and Reusing

The barn can reduce the amount of waste it produces by reusing barn items. For example, old mop buckets can be washed and reused as planters and old, torn feed bags can be reused as trash bin liners, ground covers and even as bags to store other bags. It is also always important to recycle anything that cannot be used again, such as used horse shoes, and to buy products that use recycled material, such as toilet paper.

Reducing a Horse’s Impact on the Environment is Easy

While horses do require a large amount of resources, those resources can be made with the environment in mind. By simply switching to nontoxic sprays, using recycled materials for bedding, cutting down on transportation and turning horse waste into something useful, the barn can be a much greener place.





rugby ball

Join the Live Trading Webinars!

If you are interested in seeing how some professional traders produce regular profits from their trading, check out these FREE live webinars coming up over the next week:-


Sunday 22nd 11.00 Rugby England vs Tonga

The Rugby World Cup has just got under way and it’s a great opportunity to make some profit. Even if you don’t like/watch or know anything about Rugby this will be something you have never seen before. Phil the team’s Head Rugby Trader took over £100,000.00 from the bookies in under 12 months. He uses his in-depth knowledge and understanding of the game to beat the markets and find value, he somehow predicts what is going to happen long before the bookies react and that is how he finds the value. I wouldn’t hesitate to say he is the best Rugby Trader I have ever seen.

Register here https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_umxhIu_DSbKmjG-fzGI3wg


Thursday 26th 19.30 Football Torino vs AC Milan

Kevin the Head Football Trader is the author and publisher of many unique trading strategies. He has been trading since the Betfair Exchange was launched and in that time has blown more banks than he cares to mention. He has been through the pain it takes to learn to trade and is now without doubt in the top 1% of traders in the UK.

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__BSX2JMYR3aEvv3JGzr-8A


These Webinars are totally FREE and open to anyone – hope to see you there!





football players celebrating

Join the Live Trading Webinar on 16th September

Last season we conducted a review of a group of professional traders who made £2,000 profit trading football matches during our live trial.  

We are pleased to say they are holding a live webinar this Monday 16th September and you can follow along and see how they do it for FREE.

Here are the details:

On the 16th September at 19.45 (BST) – Live Webinar when the team will be trading Aston Villa vs West Ham.

The webinar is free and anyone can join by registering here https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aOuqdGV2QgC0nptrmFPN1w

During the Webinar they will also be officially launching a new auto-trading system that has been 2 years in development and is one of the most exciting new systems we have seen in some time.

The webinar is completely free, everyone is welcome and it is not to be missed.

Register here https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aOuqdGV2QgC0nptrmFPN1w

Galway races

Top Horse Trainers

When it comes to horse trainers, we probably all have our favourites. Many of our bets are highly influenced by a horse’s training history.  Here is a short profile of some horse trainers who we think stand out from the rest. If we have missed your favourite, then apologies. Let us know, and we will look to include them next time.


Paul Nicholls

Of all the British National Hunt trainers, Paul Nicholls is arguably the most outstanding. Born in 1962 and based in Ditcheat, Somerset, he has trained over 3,000 winners. Accolades include four Cheltenham Gold Cups, eleven British jump racing Champion Trainer titles, and a Grand National win. He was quite a reasonable jockey in his time too, lifting the Hennessy Gold Cup twice and the Irish Hennessey Gold Cup.

Nicholls became a trainer in 1991, though it took until 1999 to make his first breakthrough with three wins at the Cheltenham Festival. But what really added icing to his cake was his partnership with stable jockey Ruby Walsh. The pair formed an unstoppable team winning, amongst many other prestigious events, the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2008 and 2009, the King George VI Chase five times with Kauto Star and with the same horse two Cheltenham Gold Cups.  

Despite his prolific success, Nicholls is a nice guy. Approachable and friendly, he is always willing to give his opinion on any aspect of horse racing. He is currently with his third wife with whom he has two children plus another from his second marriage. 


Aidan O’Brien

The Irish horse trainer Aidan O’Brien is based at the Ballydoyle Stables in County Tipperary where he has trained many top class horses. He is generally proclaimed as the top flat racing jockey in the country. Just some of the famous horses he trained include Galileo (who he co-trained with one of his sons Joseph then 19)  best known for winning the Derby and the Irish Derby, Rock of Gibraltar part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, George Washington, and High Chaparral who won ten of his thirteen races before going to stud.

During the 2017 season, O’Brien trained a record-breaking 26 Group 1 winners. Other career records include training 7 winners are the 2016 Royal Ascot festival. He often works with his wife Anne-Marie with whom he has four children.

As a person, O’Brien is a little cautious and keeps his cards close to his chest and is never very keen to engage with journalists even after a big success. His characteristic dark glasses add to his aura of secrecy.


               ————–Check out this top recommended horse racing tipster here————


Willie Mullins

Willie Mullins began his career as a trainer in 1988 after previously assisting his father, Paddy. He has a wealth of successes having collected almost all the major prizes in Ireland and many of the major prizes in the UK and France. A small selection of these includes The King George, The Grand National, The Supreme Novice Hurdle English, the Irish and French Champion Hurdles,  along with multiple Cheltenham festival winners. During the 2017/2018 season, out of 797 runners, he had a record-breaking 212 winners making it his all-time most successful season.

In 2015 he achieved the record number of winners at the Cheltenham Festival with eight victories, though that record has now been broken.

In total he has been the Champion National Hunt trainer thirteen times, twelve of which have been in the last twelve years and in 2013 he achieved his 3,000th winner Timi Roli who was ridden by Willie’s nephew, Danny Mullins. Probably Mullins’  most famous horse is Hurricane Fly who won 24 out of his career total of 32 races including a record-breaking 22 Grade 1 wins, three of which were in his final season.


John Gosden

Currently based at Clarehaven Stables near Newmarket, John Gosden is considered to be one of the most outstanding racehorse trainers in Great Britain. With over 3,000 winners over 100 of which were Group Ones, he has undoubtedly earned his place in the record books.

Before starting his career as a horserace trainer, he attended Cambridge University from which he graduated with a degree in economics in 1974. His first job was in Venezuela where he was involved in developing a science park but returned after a year to become assistant to Vincent O’Brien, the champion trainer and later he worked with trainer Sir Noel Murless.

Next, he moved to the USA where he worked as an assistant to Tommy Dole in California, obtaining his US horse training license in 1979. His first big winner was Bates Motel, who won numerous significant events. Many more followed, but in 1989 he returned to the UK where he became a trainer at Stanley House Stables in Newmarket. Success followed success and the following year he moved to Manton where he achieved many more prestigious wins before moving on to Clarehaven in 2007.  

He lives with his wife Rachel who he met in Cambridge; they have four children. He is one of the sport’s leading communicators and makes frequent media appearances. He loves music and is a keen Bob Dylan fan.


Saeed bin Suroor

Saeed bin Suroor is one of the UK’s leading trainers. He has been British Trainer Champion four times, the first of which was in his second year as chief trainer. The other occasions were in 1998, 1999, and 2004.

He was born in the United Arab Emirates, where for some time served as a policeman before moving to the UK where he became a trainer at the Newmarket branch of Godolphin, the international thoroughbred racing stable owned by Sheikh Mohammed and headquartered in Dubai. He splits his time between Newmarket and Dubai.

In 2010 Saeed bin Suroor was involved in a major scandal. Mahmood Al Zarooni, a new appointee to the stable whose role it was to share the training surprisingly proved far more successful than predicted. Following an investigation, his success was subsequently attributed to doping 11 horses with anabolic steroids. The horses were withdrawn from racing for six months, and Mahmood Al Zarooni received an eight-year ban.  

Saeed bin Suroor has a reputation of being easy going with a strong work ethic. Despite his colossal success, he considers there is still much to be achieved, including the Grand National, the Kentucky Derby, the Melbourne Cup and the Japan Cup.  

Want to trade the Betfair markets like a pro? Well check out this top system from a professional trader.





Frankie Dettori

Tipster Lands 180,000/1 Acca!

Members of horse racing tipster Russell Blair Racing were popping open the champagne over the weekend as he landed a quite astonishing four-timer at combined odds of over 180,000/1. 

Things got off to a promising start on Friday as Russell tipped 14/1 shot Air Raid to win the 7.40 at Hamilton, which netted a nice profit of 26 points on the day – or £260 profit to £10 stakes.

It was on Saturday however that things really took off, with a quite astonishing run of winners the likes of which we have rarely seen before. Here are the winners that Russell landed from 8 bets advised on the day:

  • – 2.10 Market Rasen – GRAPEVINE @ 33/1 2pts WON
  • – 3.20 Market Rasen – CASABLANCA MIX @ 11/1 2pts WON
  • – 4.50 Cartmel – PENA DORADO @ 33/1 2pts WON
  • – 7.45 Doncaster – KAESO @ 12/1 2pts WON

A £1 accumulator on those four would have netted an incredible £180,336!

Now not many people would have put an accumulator on but even just backing them all as singles would have netted 170 points profit on the day to advised prices, or £1,700 to £10 stakes.

And at Betfair SP it would have been even better, with 172 points profit made on the day.

Add that to 26 points profit made on Friday to advised prices (or 12 to BSP), and you would have had quite a weekend if following Russell Blair’s tips with just under £2,000 profit made to £10 stakes.

We have seen some of the messages from Russell’s members and it is clear they are very happy with the weekend’s events!

The great news though is that they are currently offering a 14-day free trial of the service to new members.

This weekend’s huge success was no fluke either. Since starting up in April 2015 Russell has amassed a whopping 2,000 points profit, a quite remarkable feat and one we haven’t seen matched just about anywhere else in the world of tipping. That would be £20,000 to £10 stakes or £50,000 to £25 stakes.

And the return on investment over the last four years has been over 30%, which is quite outstanding over such a long period.

So don’t miss out on grabbing a free trial of the service as we expect places to fill up fast after this weekend’s massive coup.

You can get your 14 day free trial of Russell Blair Racing here.







Tour de France pic

Four Mad Moments in Tour de France History

The 2019 Tour de France is already underway and this year’s race is certainly more open, with Chris Froome unable to participate due to his horrific injury earlier in the season. But, if you think you can predict who will win the Tour de France bet on the winner now.

Despite being in its early stages, incidents and drama are already unfolding – with Jakob Fuglsang, Dylan Groenewegen and Geraint Thomas all suffering crashes in stage 1, but able to continue the race. Here, we take a look back at some of the craziest moments in Tour de France history, beginning with who else, but four-time winner Froome himself.

2016: Froome forced to foot it

Chaos ensued at the end of stage 12 of the 2016 Tour de France. Race leader Froome was forced to run up the steep incline of Mont Ventoux after his bicycle was so heavily damaged. The route had been revised due to plummeting temperatures and strong winds and as Froome rode to the finish line with Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema in tow, a TV motorbike came to a sudden halt and the trio crashed into the back of it. Froome came off worse, with his bike hit by a second motorbike that was following the three, breaking his seat stay.

His spare bike on the team car was a lot further down the mountain, so he decided to run the route instead – in his cycling shorts and helmet. A service vehicle eventually arrived with a much smaller bike, which he rode for a while, before his spare Pinarello was brought by the team car, allowing him to ride to the finish.

But the chaos wasn’t over. Froome finished sixth, with the yellow jersey awarded to Adam Yates; however, the bike was eventually found and whisked off for checks. It was then announced that Froome would be awarded the same finish time as Mollema, not only retaining his yellow jersey, but extending his lead to 47 seconds.


2007: dogged determination from the German

It was a tour to forget for the T-Mobile team in 2007. With Michael Rogers and Mark Cavendish failing to finish stage 8 and Patrik Sinkewitz unable to start stage 9, it seemed as though the team were cursed and stage 9 wasn’t without incident.

As Marcus Burghardt was innocuously cycling through a fairly easy stretch of the course, from Val d’Isere to Briancon, the German found himself flying over the handlebars after colliding with a Labrador that had decided to cross the path. Luckily, neither the dog nor Burghardt were injured, with the bike coming off worst in the collision. He quickly replaced the buckled front wheel and carried on… eventually finishing 127th in the race.


1999: Guerini bounces back

Every year, the Tour de France sees plenty of crashes, usually between riders but in the 1999 edition of the race, Giuseppe Guerini was felled in spectacular fashion. It was during stage 10, near the end of the difficult stage, at the Alpe d’Huez.

As Guerini was ascending the Alpe, a kilometre from the summit, a spectator holding a camera jumped in front of him to take his photo, with the Italian riding straight into him. Luckily, he managed to re-mount his bike and carry on (after receiving a pat on the back and slight push from the spectator to urge him on) to win the stage, his first in the Tour de France.

1950: water into wine

One of the strangest stories to have ever unfolded at the Tour de France belongs to French-Algerian, Abdel-Kader Zaaf, riding for North Africa. It was during the 13th stage, from Perpignan to Nîmes that the legendary tale developed – and it took another 30 years for Zaaf to confirm it himself, leaving many people wondering its validity for the years in between.

With scorching temperatures of up to 40C being recorded, there was still a long way to go in the stage (200km in fact) – and despite building up an impressive lead with his teammate Marcel Molinès, here’s where the story takes a twist.

Zaaf accepted a bottle from a spectator and hoping to seek hydration, drank from it. The liquid turned out to be some kind of alcohol and that mixed with the heat, caused Zaaf to zigzag, before he decided to shelter under a tree and fall asleep. He awoke when supporters claimed the peloton was fast-approaching, but Zaaf cycled off in the direction he came from – luckily not colliding with the peloton. But he was forced to dismount and was rushed to hospital. His compatriot Molinès won the stage.




Venus Williams

Remembering Venus Williams’ Five Wimbledon Singles Titles

You won’t find Venus Williams in the Wimbledon 2019 women’s competition odds – the 39-year-old suffered a first-round shock defeat to fellow American, Cori Gauff.

The 15-year-old, who is the youngest female to qualify for a Grand Slam tournament, as well as the youngest player ever to qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon, won in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. However, Williams has won the Rosewater Dish on five occasions and is up there as one of the best female tennis players of the Open Era. Let’s take a look back and remember those five special wins.


2000: a first Grand Slam title

The 2000 final saw Venus Williams take on defending champion, Lindsay Davenport, with Williams victorious: 6–3, 7–6 (7-3). This was the first of her Grand Slam titles, which marked her domination of the sport.

Williams went into Wimbledon as the fifth-seed and in the early rounds, managed to avoid any of the seeded players, beating all of her opponents in straight sets. She faced the number 1 seed Martina Hingis in the quarter-finals and it was the first – and only – time that year, any of her matches went the distance. Despite losing the second set, Williams won the match: 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 and found herself up against sister Serena in the semi-finals. A straight sets victory: 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) saw Venus progress to her second Grand Slam final, but a first at SW19.


2001: successfully defending her title

The number 2 seed this time, Williams successfully defended her Wimbledon ladies’ singles title, beating the eighth-seed Justine Henin in the final: 6-1, 3-6, 6-0. It was the Belgian’s first Grand Slam final.

Much like the previous year, she won all of her early round games in straight sets, before taking on the ninth-seed Nathalie Tauziat in the quarter-finals. The semi-finals saw a repeat of the 2000 final, with Davenport the opponent once again. She provided a sterner test this time, taking the match to the full three sets, but Williams overcame a close second set loss to win: 6-2, 6-7 (1-7), 6-1.


2005: Williams v Davenport II

After only winning the Australian Open in 2003 and failing to win a Grand Slam in 2004, Williams went into Wimbledon as the 14th seed, but managed to make the final. The 2005 final will always be remembered as it saw Williams take on her compatriot Davenport again, in what has proved to be the longest women’s final in Wimbledon history.

Straight set victories over lesser-ranked opponents in rounds one to four saw Williams face Mary Pierce in the quarter-finals. It took a second-set tiebreak to hand Williams victory 6-0, 7-6 (12-10) and her opponent in the semi-finals was defending champion, Maria Sharapova. After a close first set, the American triumphed, winning in straight sets: 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 to repeat the 2000 final. The match lasted two hours and 45 minutes, going to three sets, but Williams won her third Wimbledon – and seventh Grand Slam – title to defy the odds.


2007: a return to form

Having not won a Grand Slam title since her previous Wimbledon success, Williams went into this year’s tournament as the 23rd seed, and she was ranked 31st in the world at the time. Beating Marion Bartoli in the final: 6-4, 6-1, she was – and still is – the lowest ranked and lowest seeded woman to win Wimbledon. Interestingly that year, she was the first female champion to pocket the same prize money as the male champion (who was Roger Federer).

Williams suffered a scare in her third-round match against unseeded Akiko Morigami, but overcame that and faced Maria Sharapova in the fourth round. A straight sets victory saw her up against the fifth and sixth seeds, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ana Ivanovic in the subsequent rounds, winning both games in straight sets to set up a final with the 18th seed Bartoli.

2008: Venus beats Serena

2008 was Venus’ last win at Wimbledon and she’s only made two finals since, but what a fitting way to win your fifth title at SW19. The two sisters had met in finals previously (2002 and 2003) with Serena the victor on both occasions, so it was certainly third time lucky for Venus, who won: 7-5, 6-4.

Venus had a fairly easy run-in to the semi-finals stage, at least. Four of her opponents were unseeded, while she also faced British wildcard Naomi Cavday and Spanish qualifier MJ Martínez Sánchez. She triumphed in her semi-final against the fifth-seed, Elena Dementieva to set-up a showdown against sister, Serena.






Is VAR Ruining Football Trading?

Anyone who’s traded football over the last few months will most likely have been affected by the operation of VAR at some stage. 

VAR (aka the Video Assistant Referee) has caused some controversy not just on the pitch and amongst fans all over the world, but in trading circles as well. Such has been the frustration some have experienced, they have gone as far as to say VAR is ruining football trading. 

Is that fair though? And what should traders be aware of now that VAR is going to be used in pretty much all the top European leagues and competitions, including the English Premier League?

We will have a look at these questions below.


How Betfair Are Dealing with VAR

The Video Assistant Referee can be used in a variety of different circumstances currently: to check on goals, penalties and red cards as to whether they have been correctly awarded by the on-field referee, or conversely to alert the referee’s attention to something he or she has missed and potentially should have awarded one of these decisions. 

Obviously this has presented a conundrum for Betfair as if left unchecked it would potentially mean people losing out because of VAR – rather unfairly – if they traded on something that occurred in a game (e.g. a goal, red card), only for that event to be reversed via VAR. 

So for example let’s say Liverpool were playing Man Utd and Liverpool scored the first goal to go 1-0 up. Their odds drop from 2.0 to 1.3.

You bet £100 on Liverpool @ 1.3 after they go 1-0 up.

But what’s that? Oh no, there’s going to be a VAR check, it looks like there may have been a minor infringement in the build-up to the goal. And yes there it is, the goal is chalked off and Liverpool’s odds go back to 2.0. 

VAR ready to intervene at any time…

You would then be sitting on a loss of around £50, through no fault of your own, if Betfair didn’t have rules in place to protect traders in such situations.

Now of course some people might say “it should be up to people to spot whether there might have been an infringement in the build up to the goal and to trade accordingly. If VAR chalked off the goal then it’s tough luck.”

Betfair don’t take this view however and think it is unfair for people to lose out due to a VAR decision. So here is what is says in Betfair’s rules regarding VAR:

“Where a Material Event is cancelled due to a determination made via a video assistant referee, Betfair will void all bets which are matched between the occurrence of the Material Event and the cancellation of it. The voiding of any such bets may take place during the event or retrospectively once a game is completed.

A Material Event on Betfair is a goal, red card or penalty. Let’s take each of them separately:

A Goal

In the case of a goal, it is pretty straightforward: if a goal is scored but then subsequently reversed (as in the example of Liverpool v Man Utd above), then:

“Bets matched between the time of the goal being scored and the time at which the video assistant referee finishes the review will be voided.”

So basically it will be as if those bets never happened. The same goes for bets placed when a goal is not originally given but then subsequently awarded via VAR – all bets placed in the interim will be voided. 

A Penalty

This is a bit more complex, in that Betfair says it will aim to suspend all markets “as soon as we believe the referee will use VAR to review a penalty incident.”

Penalties are a point of controversy with VAR and traders should beware.

However, “only bets matched after the time at which the video assistant referee commences the review will be voided.” 

So potentially there could be a window for bets to stand if Betfair doesn’t suspend markets quickly enough if it looks like a VAR review is coming.

Eagle-eyed traders could for example back a team who are on the attack, have a shot blocked by a hand in the box that the ref doesn’t spot and Betfair don’t see either. Then a few seconds later the ref is alerted to it, Betfair suspend the market and a VAR check is initiated. Bets placed within those few seconds would stand under Betfair’s rules currently.

A Red Card

With red cards it is also a little complicated. In the event that a red card is awarded and then reversed by VAR, Betfair says “only bets matched after the time at which the video assistant referee commences the review will be voided.”

So again there could be a window between a red card being awarded and VAR commencing a review when bets would stand. Hopefully in most cases Betfair would keep the market suspended from the time the red card is awarded until the VAR review is completed, but this is not guaranteed so it is worth being aware of. 

In the case that a red card is not given at first, but then awarded after a VAR review, again Betfair says “as soon as we believe the referee will use VAR to review a red card incident we will aim to suspend all markets,” but that “only bets matched after the time at which the video assistant referee commences the review will be voided.”

Once again there is a window for bets to potentially be placed that won’t be voided. 


So Where Does This Leave Traders?

This can all seem quite confusing and a lot to take in at first, but essentially with goals it is reasonably straightforward and shouldn’t affect trading too much. Any bets placed between the ball hitting the back of the net and VAR completing its review are voided. It’s as if they didn’t happen. 

Traders now need to be eagle-eyed and fully aware of Betfair’s rules in relation to VAR.

The complications arise in the case of penalties and red cards, when there is a potential window between an incident happening and either Betfair suspending the market and/or a VAR review happening. 

This could work for or against you. Maybe in this window you anticipate a team is going to be awarded a penalty via VAR but Betfair hasn’t realised it yet, so you place a back bet. If you are right you could be in profit, but if you are wrong you could lose out. 

In most cases traders are relying on Betfair suspending markets quickly so these anomalies don’t happen, but there are no guarantees. 


When Confusion Reigns

One of the biggest problems with VAR has not so much been Betfair’s rules in themselves, but all the confusion that has been created. A clue comes in Betfair’s main rule where it says “The voiding of any such bets may take place during the event or retrospectively once a game is completed.”

We have emphasised “or retrospectively” because it highlights something many people have experienced, ourselves included and that is a situation where you don’t know if your bets are going to be voided or not. Sometimes they are left in the market until after the game, making it difficult to know if you should place more trades given you don’t know for sure what you current situation actually is. That can be quite frustrating.

We even had a situation recently in the Women’s World Cup match between Italy and Brazil where they cancelled bets we had put on in the over/under and correct score markets about 20 mins before a VAR check!

Someone must have got a little trigger-happy and cancelled all bets in the market rather than just those during the VAR window, but the effect was to make it very difficult to trade the rest of the game not knowing the situation regarding our bets.

It took over a day for it all to be sorted out and even affected our bets in other markets like the match odds. And in that time we had our Betfair balance going up and down as Betfair cancelled/removed/reinstated bets. Sadly the customer service we received from Betfair during this time was virtually non-existent, despite contacting them numerous times. And no apology or explanation has been received from Betfair to date. 

We are not the only ones to have reported such goings-on and it does present a serious issue for Betfair as to how they deal with VAR going forward. It is not really acceptable for customers to have their bets wrongly cancelled, their Betfair balances affected and then receive no explanation or apology!


Conclusion – Hopefully Not the End of Trading

The bottom line to all this is that it has been a frustrating time for football traders. A lot of confusion has arisen about how to handle VAR – not least from Betfair themselves about how to deal with it and implement their own rules!

We can only hope that in time this settles down and some of the more egregious errors become a thing of the past. 

The main conclusions we can draw is to avoid trading altogether around a VAR incident if the opportunity arises. Even if you get some bets on just before or during a VAR review, you are likely to be left in limbo not knowing if your bets will be cancelled or not, potentially even until well after the game has finished. 

Our advice would be to try and wait until an incident has been well and truly settled and the game has moved on. And keep a detailed record of your trades and when you placed them, in case there are any issues around cancellation that don’t fit with Betfair’s rules.

Hopefully VAR doesn’t mean the end for football traders or ruin football trading and as we say, we hope that eventually all this will settle down. In the meantime though, do trade carefully and be aware of Betfair’s rules – maybe you will be better informed than them!

Have you been affected by VAR decisions or noticed any anomalies? Please let us know in the comments below.