I was once introduced to a guy who claimed to be a betting expert. He had made tens of thousands of pounds worth of profit from gambling, and lived happily from his winnings. However, he had only placed a single bet that year. How did he do it? Here's what I found out when I spoke to the gambler who almost never gambled.
The only bet this gambler would have placed would have been an online
The good gambler does not bet on impulse. He does not look at the fixture list on a Saturday morning and say "hey, I'll have a five-way accumulator on this, this, that, that and erm, that." He looks at each sporting event and lists the top ten reasons not to bet on it. Let's take the Cheltenham Gold Cup as an example. The only bet this gambler would have taken would have been an online Cheltenham free bet, which would have been cost-neutral. This year, everyone was talking about Kauto Star and Denman as the only two horses in the race.His list for not betting on the Gold Cup was as follows:
Kauto Star possible winner, Denman just as good - no clear choice Large field,increases risk Largely ignored in-form outsiders such as Imperial Commander, increases risk Handicapper has been favourable to some mid-possibility horses Kauto Star's jumping is not perfect
You have to accept that every sporting event has an element of risk about it, from a gambling point of view. However, the aim here is to minimise the risk as much as possible. The risk factor, for this gambler, was above 80% in the Cheltenham Gold Cup - and he often looks for a risk factor below 20%. Here's what a good risk profile might look like:
One horse in the race, and only one horse, has form over course, distance and ground Competing horses lack form over course, distance and ground The one horse who does have form is fresh - i.e. not coming back from a lay-off & not raced too recently
The odds may be stacked in that horse's favour, but if a good gambler can pick the right race, and the right horse, then a bet of 1,000 at 1/5 will still bring a profit of 200. Imagine yourself putting a bet on every single outcome. Do this - it takes time - and you'll start to appreciate the possibilities from every single angle. Let's take a simple example - Bolton Wanderers vs Blackpool. Bolton, who are in good form, have just hit five past Newcastle, and are now fourth in the league. They look like a great bet, but have not played Blackpool for over twenty years, so there is little past evidence to go on. Blackpool have surprised many in the Premier League but results have proved erratic - a win at Anfield followed by a home defeat, followed by a win away.
Betting on Bolton obviously provides the lower risk profile, and as we have little to go on in past form, the draw appears to have an even higher risk profile. If you are leaning towards Bolton, think about betting on Blackpool - how confident would you be putting a bet on Blackpool? There's always a chance that they could steal a victory, regardless of another team's form, which makes this match one that you should probably not touch.
Don't bet on lightning striking twice
Very few teams or sporting individuals manage to maintain a consistent winning streak. A very good example would be Sunderland, who won 3-0 at Chelsea in one of the shock results of the Premiership season. A good gambler would look at that result and say "I'm not touching them until I know more". Find as many reasons as you possibly can not to place your bet - a match that on paper, they could have won. At least, having beaten the Champions, there was every chance.
The rule here states that the Chelsea game was something of a freak result - a very good performance, but freak nonetheless. A kind of return to form would be more appropriate, especially against a side that they had not beaten in 15 starts. A 2-2 draw appeared logical, although the risk profile for all three results was significant enough for the good gambler to leave this well and truly alone.
The same very often applies to horses - especially 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds early on in the Classic season. One win does not a superstar make: there are a host of conditions that contribute to a particular result - so you need to analyse several results over a long period of time, with as many variables as you can find, to understand what is really happening.
Those betting on Workforce this summer will have been scratching their heads after he romped home in the Derby, but failed badly in later races that summer. In their next game, they were up against Everton at home. Workforce has provided a number of head-scratching conundrums for gamblers - so the good gambler is quite happy to avoid a race with Workforce involved. Lightning may strike twice, or it may not strike at all.
So - three main tips for you there - list the reasons why you should not bet on the event, imagine yourself betting on every outcome, and don't bet on lightning striking twice. You'll probably spend more time not betting than you do betting, but you will improve your results massively. Only betting once a year is perhaps extreme, and only for those with cash reserves to lose, but betting less - and betting better - is a much wiser technique.