How can you improve in the shortest amount of time?
The golden rules of football betting
There are many websites that offer exhaustive lists of do’s and don’ts intended to help you improve your results. We’ve found however that the longer the list, the lower the chances of readers actually putting things into practice. The following seven rules therefore have been selected to immediately improve your success rate. Before we start though, the most important rule is that if you find you are having a problem with gambling then you should seek professional help – www.gamcare.org.uk
Understand that you're going to lose
We don’t mean that you’re definitely going to lose but that you can’t get everything right all of the time. You need to understand that and learn to ‘ride the swings’. When you win twenty bets in a row, you need to understand that it’s not sustainable. When you’ve lost twenty bets in a row you need to understand it’ll get better if you’re doing the correct things.
What is of value however is looking at your performance over a significant amount of time, or number of bets. This will give you a really useful figure, your average success rate. If you then only choose the bets that offer higher returns than your average success rate you should be in a great position to be successful in the long run. Put simply, the more accurate you are, the lower the odds you can choose. The following table will give you an idea the odds you need to be successful at different success rates:
This guide isn’t meant to show that if you’re rubbish at picking winners that you should only go for high priced bets. Far from it, what it actually shows is that by increasing your accuracy, more bets are made available to you. Let’s say you ignore this approach and although you have a 50% success rate you place most of your bets at about 1.4. After 20 bets at £10 you will have spent £200, you will have won 10 bets for a return of £140. That’s a £60 loss – save yourself the money.
You need to choose the best odds available
This might seem obvious but you’ll be amazed at how many bettors have a single account with a single bookmaker. How much of an impact does it have? Let’s say you do a simple 4-fold accumulator – I am choosing Chile and Brazil in the Copa America and the Japanese and Canadian women at the Women’s World Cup. A £20 bet with Betfair will return £238.80 whilst the same bet will Betway will return £207.40. That may not sound a massive difference but with one bet a week for a year you would be £1,632.80 better off simply by betting with a different bookmaker.
When we release our weekly tips email we save readers the hard work and detail the best possible odds available. If you want to do the work yourself we believe there is just one place to go – www.oddschecker.com.
Never place a reactive bet
At I’m a winner, we release our weekly tips email by Friday at the latest if mid-week matches dictate, and we suggest that our followers place their bets immediately. Once placed, you should sit on your hands until the weekend is over. It is far too easy to ruin a very successful season by leaking small bets for a ‘bit of a laugh’. Try to memorise this essential phrase to help you – ‘You should be watching the match because you’ve had a bet – you shouldn’t be having a bet because you’re watching the match’.
Never bet more than you can afford to lose or chase losses
There are two different types of football bettors; one is a gambler and the other a speculative investor. The latter uses investment approaches to analyse performance, control risk and secure favourable positions giving themselves the strongest chance of a profit at the end of the season. The former looks for higher odds for bigger wins, believes in streaks, spends their rent money to fund their gambling and is generally a bit of a jerk.
If you find that you share more characteristics with the gambler profile then please stop reading now. Having more money than we started with at the end of the season is our only goal – you can get your kicks doing something else.
Practice good bankroll management
It is imperative that you have a dedicated amount of money put to one side to use for gambling. This is called your bankroll. This money is controlled with accurate records so you can have an exact record of your performance. This will ensure that if you like to leak bets when your down the pub with your friends, you’ll know just how much that ‘fun’ will cost you.
Being successful in football betting is about minimising leaks, accurate record keeping is the first step to identifying these. It doesn’t have to be complicated, a simple piece of paper with a starting balance, the details of each bet and a current balance is all you need. The next step is to review what you’ve recorded – are you good at all sorts of bets? Do you lose most often with some? Can you see if you’re objective with some teams or not? Are you winning? It is this interrogation of the information that can really bring you the benefit.
The next stage is to move to a spreadsheet. We know that not everyone is an excel guru so we’ve created a very usable one which you can find on our page dedicated to Bankroll Management.
Understand the rules
Every bookmaker has their own rules; whilst it’s impossible to expect you to know them all, you should read up on those that impact the bets you normally place. Let’s say you want to place a bet on a match finishing 0-0, there are two ways of doing this; a correct score of 0-0 or ‘no goalscorer’ in the ‘to score first’ market. Whilst generally the odds on offer for both are the same, some bookmakers ignore own goals in the goal scorer market so a score line of 2-0 from own goals would lose your 0-0 bet but your ‘no goal scorer’ bet would still win.
Whilst it’s unlikely to make a huge difference, winning at betting is about taking every edge you can.
There is a massive amount of choice available to the average football punter including hundreds of leagues, thousands of matches and at least sixty different markets for each. To be successful, you’re going to need to focus on a specialist area and really get to know it.
The requirement to offer a huge range of markets actually puts the bookmakers at a disadvantage. They don’t have an infinite number of staff so they have to concentrate on the markets where they believe they will receive the most bets. This means that the English Premier League is likely the most accurate but 3rd division Icelandic football isn’t. This creates an interesting balance between form and opportunity. Where the odds are most accurate the performance of individual teams is easier to rely on. On the flip side, where you might find some great odds are leagues where the teams are more suspect.
Why not join up with a number of likeminded bettors and choose an individual specialism and then share your weekly tips? One can take 2nd division Scottish football, another under 21’s tournaments – you get the idea
Wait for changes to take effect
Let’s take the EPL for our example again, during the opening weekend there are newly promoted teams and a raft of new players in every team and every position. Whilst it is possible to be successful at this time of the season, you’re far more likely to be successful later on when both form and your understanding of teams has improved. Always remember your advantage over the bookmaker – he has to offer a market for every match, you don’t have to place a bet.
We know of a number of bettors who take an annual approach to betting focusing on different sport depending on when the form is most reliable. For example, horse racing on the flat become more reliable in July, August and September, then the Premier league form becomes more dependable from September onwards.
Motivation is key
here are many of tipsters, and bookmakers alike, who fail to look outside of match ups to the motivations behind teams and this can give you an edge. Let’s say it’s near the end of the season and the already crowned season winners are away to a team who are hitting form, charging out of the relegation zone and stand just 3 points from safety. I know who my money is on.
Other good examples of motivation includes the taking over of a new manager, especially one who says that the current players will have to prove themselves, newly promoted/demoted teams and players who are publicly linked with transfer rumours.