Gambling is, by its very nature, a risk-ridden way to fill your time or even to try and make money. But, when done sensibly, it can also be a fun and exciting addition to watching sport.
But how do you make the most of your bet? What’s the best way to get round the bookies’ tricks that try and pull you through their doors?
It’s all about finding the best value for money. Whether that’s the right prices, the right markets or even the best time to put your bet on, follow these tips from an ex-betting shop employee and see if you can make the most from your gambling experience.
1. You must know the sport you bet
It’s not just about which football team has won their last six games but how well they have really played offensively and defensively. Were they good at keeping possession or were they lucky?
Which tennis player is having a spat with their coach? That golfer might have won two majors this season but how much experience does he have on a links course?
These are the kinds of details that will inform your betting and will better prepare you for spotting those good-value markets.
Check the odds everywhere you can!
There is a big emphasis on brand loyalty in the betting business. Because it’s such a competitive sector, companies will try and lure you to bet with them and only them.
Whether this is through various loyalty schemes or special in-shop offers, the intention is the same. Don’t let them make you think you shouldn’t shop around. Use www.oddschecker.com to see which bookmaker has the best price for the market you want.
Check the offers available for specific bets. The first goalscorer market is one of the most popular bets in football and as a result, bookies all have their own spin on it.
Betfred will double the odds if your player scores twice and treble the odds if he scores a third time.
Ladbrokes, on the other hand, will double the odds if he scores within 25 minutes and you will probably find that most other bookies have their own version to try and get you through their doors instead of someone else’s.
Your research should tell you which of these offers will most suit you for any given match. Be flexible and be prepared to put in the leg work.
The favourite doesn’t always win
This seems obvious to point out but it is difficult for any punter to ignore the price bookies have given.
A good example? When Rafael Nadal took on Fabio Fognini at the Barcelona Open back in April, bookmakers had Nadal as the heavy favourite. He was as short as 1/10 with some.
On the surface this would make sense. Nadal is the King of Clay and has won this very tournament a record-breaking eight times.
What the bookmakers had overlooked was that Fognini had beaten Nadal on clay only a few months earlier in Rio De Janeiro. Combine this with Fognini’s record of knocking out top seeds and suddenly his 8/1 price is looking very attractive.
Fognini went on to beat Nadal in straight sets.
So you can go on yourself or you can get real info: fixed matches