Betting Basics

Profitable Betting Basics

You should never place a bet unless you are satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that the odds are wrong.

You cannot win money, in the long run, unless you bet only when the odds are wrong - in technical parlance, when your prospects of winning are better than is implied by your prospective winnings.

Odds are supposed to express the chances of something happening. For example, evens implies a 50 per cent chance. If the probability of that event occurring is really greater than 50 per cent, you have a good bet. If not, you have a bad bet.

If you accept only good bets, you will win sometimes and you will lose sometimes. But overall, you will win more money than you lose. And vice versa. Sometimes bad bets cop. But not often enough to yield a profit over a substantial period of time. In theory, it all sounds so simple, doesn't it? In practice, of course, it is anything but.

Before placing a bet on any event, you need to know two things. You need to know how to work out what the odds should be. And, where appropriate, you need to know why the odds you are actually being offered are different. The second is an essential cross-check of the first.

We are all human. We all make mistakes. Unless you know why a bookmaker is offering the odds he is, and are confident that he is wrong to be doing so, you cannot be convinced that your own assessment of the odds is right.

When the odds on a football match are wrong, it is nearly always because they express not the chances of a result occurring but a commonly-held misconception about the chances of that result occurring.