If you have just started out in the sports betting minefield I hope this article will help you to avoid the pitfalls that many unsuspecting people will encounter. First of all you should give yourself an honest answer to the question “Why am I placing bets?” Is it for fun or for real profit?
If your answer is fun then so long as you set yourself a limit on the amount you are prepared to spend just treat it as part of your entertainment budget and accept that you will be one of the 98% who do not make a profit but at least have some fun along the way. We all know someone who has managed to back a 50/1 winner because he told most of his friends about it – he didn’t mention the many losing bets it took him to achieve that winner.
The growth of internet based bookmakers following the launch of Betfair nearly 20 years ago has meant that betting is more easily available and so many see it as a means of generating an income ie they consider themselves to be serious about their activities. As with any business proposition you should make sure you do your homework if you want to become a winner and so fall into the band of people the bookmakers are likely to hate. Remember that for you to win somebody has to lose and bookmakers are really averse to that scenario.
But before you get to that relatively happy place you should plan your route. Starting with the amount you are prepared to invest (lose) overall. Set this figure in stone and do not be tempted to top it up.
Many start out with little cash to invest and there is a way you can make a sum in excess of £1,000 with no risk and starting with just £100. Called matched betting there are several services around that offer guidance on how to go about this activity which is taking advantage of the many welcome offers that bookmakers promote. By doing this carefully and with professional guidance you can build up a betting bank that will then allow you to explore the world of tipsters and systems.
My recommended service to follow this route is Bonus Bagging – full review here – it has been around for almost 10 years and has a small one off cost. In my humble opinion an absolute must for all newcomers as it not only makes you cash but teaches you the ins and outs of different types of betting.
That world is murky to say the least. Many tipster genuinely believe they can make cash for their clients but often get overtaken by their publisher’s marketing claims. Others are really there to generate an email marketing list that they can sell on to the next entrepreneur who will find someone to provide tips for them to offer. And there are literally thousands of services available so how do you pick one that suits you and is profitable? Consider these points before spending your cash:
- Do you understand the sport involved?
- Do they publish past results?
- Can the results be independently verified?
- Will your timing schedule allow you to use the service? Its no good if emails arrive while you are working and are unable to act on them.
- Will staking at the level you can afford make a worthwhile profit after deducting subscription costs?
- Check out their customer service response – a prompt and informed response will give you some confidence
- Are there any Independent reviews available?
- Is there a free trial or money back guarantee?
On top of these individual considerations you need to look at spreading your risk – in effect you are managing your investments and want to make sure that one bad service does not bring you down completely. Start with conservative offerings and a variety of sports and when you have built up a profit use this to try and find some more diverse options. If you can get to the position where you are betting with the bookmakers cash (your winnings!) you will be relaxed about your betting and take better decisions. Remember you do not HAVE to bet at any time – only do so when you consider you have good information and the odds offer value.
Many of the services advertise that they have hot inside information on their subject and so they will give you the winner. Treat these claims with an extra large pinch of salt. Just because a horse is good in its yard does not mean it is better than the others it now faces.
In the end you may perhaps want to rely on purely your own research to generate bets and if you have the time to do this wonderful. There are many books on the subject although bear in mind there is nobody with the whole answer so you will need to apply some thought to how you proceed.
I mentioned earlier that the bookmakers are only really interested in you if they take your money and you should not underestimate the lengths they will go to to minimise their losses. Some of their activities border on the edges of legality but you can all take steps to limit their information base. Many download a program on your device before you even open an account with them and certainly without your express permission which should be sought. Called IE Snare, Iovation or Reputation Manager you should all take steps to counter this threat and the work of Justice for Punters has been great in helping with this. That organisation will also help individuals who have grievances against bookmakers and has been successful in recovering sums that would otherwise be in the bookies bag.
PS Gambling is a high risk activity and can cause addiction leading to severe financial or medical issues. If you think you are in danger of becoming addicted take action to help yourself – www.begambleaware.org offers help to individuals in these circumstances.