The age-old battle between bookie and punter is one in which the former has always tended to hold the advantage.
With the ability to set the odds in their favour and tempt punters in with alluring adverts and special offers, it is no wonder that the vast majority of bettors lose money whilst the bookies make millions in profit every year.
However, in recent times punters have begun fighting back and developing a range of tools and tricks to try and turn the tables on the bookies.
Below we will take a look at some top tricks you can use to beat the bookies.
Top Seven Tricks to Beat the Bookies
Taking on the bookies is no easy task. The fact is that 98% of punters lose money in the long run, so to actually make a profit from betting takes a great deal of skill and determination.
Very few will actually master the discipline necessary to do it. As Doyle Brunson once said, gambling is a “hard way to make an easy living.”
So to give yourself the best chance of beating the bookies, it is essential to use all the tools at your disposal and not to fall for their traps designed to take your hard-earned cash.
Here are our top 7 tricks to beat the bookies:
1. Don’t do what the bookies want you to do
The first step is to ensure you don’t fall into the trap of doing exactly what the bookies want you to do. “What is that?” you may ask.
Well, a clue is in the kinds of things that bookies tend to promote a lot to their customers, with free bets, bonuses and the like. These tend to be casino offers and accumulator bets. This is because these things are high margin for the bookie – or in other words, they are where the bookmakers make most of their money and punters tend to lose the most.
Casino bets and accumulators are generally poor value, which is why the bookies try so hard to send punters towards them.
The first trick is to avoid the things like this they are pushing you towards and look elsewhere. Don’t play the game on their terms, play it on yours. You can pick from any of the thousands of possible bets available – choose wisely.
2. Use a Dedicated Betting Bank
One of the most common errors we see from casual punters is to bet more than they can afford to lose, without a clear staking plan. They bet different amounts on each bet, without much thought behind it.
This is a gift to the bookies and can lead to chasing losses and uncontrolled betting, which is the worst kind. To beat the bookies over the long term you need to have control and one of the cornerstones of that is using a dedicated betting bank.
This means setting aside a specific amount of money – it could be £100, £1,000, or whatever is comfortable for your circumstances – as a “betting bank” and only using that for your gambling. Then from that, you want to decide how much to stake on each bet, whether it is 1%, 2% or more and stick to that.
Having a clear staking plan like this will ensure that you give yourself the best chance of being in control and not betting amounts you can’t afford, gifting the bookies money. It doesn’t guarantee you will win of course, but it is essential to at least giving yourself the base from which to succeed.
3. Use a Top Tipster
It can be very hard work to make a long-term profit from betting. Any professional will tell you it takes hours of study, being up-to-date with all the latest news and developments, constantly refining your strategy and a great deal of emotional discipline to not let the bad runs get you down or affect your confidence.
To do all that is in effect a full-time job. So it’s understandable if you don’t have the time to go through all of that yourself. The good news however is that a good tipster can do all of the hard work for you – all you need to do is follow their tips.
They spend all those hours studying form, stats, team news and the like and you get to benefit from their knowledge. A good horse racing tipster like Quentin Franks for example has made over £18,000 profit to £10 per point stakes, which just shows you what hard work and being able to read form can really do.
If football is more your thing then there’s the likes of Bookie Insiders Football who have made over 400 points profit from betting on the main European leagues, which is no mean feat.
We have a whole host of tipsters who have passed reviews here on the site – you can see the full list on our Winning Systems page. Following one (or more) of them can not only save you a huge amount of time but give you a much better chance of getting one over on the bookies.
4. Do Matched Betting
Probably the surest way of beating the bookies is to use their own medicine on them. Remember those bonuses and special offers we talked about earlier that bookies love to throw at punters to try and get them to bet more? Well, these same offers can be used to turn the tables and ensure you make a profit.
This can be done through a process known as “matched betting,” which basically involves setting up these free bets in conjunction with laying at the exchanges to ensure you have a risk-free or low-risk opportunity.
There are dozens of these offers every day, so there is a considerable amount to be made from matched betting. Some people have even turned it into a full-time living, whilst others just use it make a bit of extra income on the side.
Tracking all these offers can be difficult but there are matched betting packages like Profit Maximiser that bring them all together and show you exactly how to do the offers, with video tutorials and the like.
We did our own test of Profit Maximiser and it made an excellent £2,469 profit in our trial. Everyone will have different results depending on how many offers you do and how much time you have available, but really as a means to beat the bookies at their own game there really isn’t anything better.
5. Find a Niche
To be successful at just about anything these days, you need to specialise. Really focus on something, get to know it inside-out, become an expert.
The same is true of betting. As described above, professional bettors put in a great deal of work, but it is also true that they specialise. We don’t know of any pro bettors who bet on multiple sports. Indeed, many actually focus on one specific aspect of a particular sport.
So a horse racing tipster might focus on sprint races for example, or on certain tracks. Or a football tipster might focus on a particular league, or a particular market like over/unders.
If you want to become successful yourself, it’s a good idea to focus on one area. Become really knowledgeable in it and get one step ahead of the bookies. It might be for example that you follow golf and know not just the players’ games, but how they perform under pressure. Some might be more likely to wilt and blow a lead, giving you a chance to grab value from the bookies on their in-play markets.
The key is to focus on something you enjoy watching and studying, which will make it much easier – and more enjoyable – to become an expert in it.
6. Use the each-way value
One of the very few instances in betting where punters actually have an in-built advantage over the bookies is on certain types of each-way bets.
The reason for this is that the place part of an each-way bet can often be value as its price is derived from the win odds – usually a quarter or a fifth of the win odds – rather than the chance of a place itself in isolation. So the two don’t always line up as they should.
Betfair separate them out as different markets – a win market and a place market (although they do now have each-way betting as well).
In any event, the key thing here is that there are instances where the place odds represent value in themselves. Working out when that is the case can be time consuming, but fortunately there is software that can do it for you.
On the horse racing markets there is Each-Way Sniper, which we have tested out ourselves here and made a nice £473 profit in our trial.
And on the golf markets there is the 20 Minute System, which made a very healthy 302 points profit in our trial, which is the equivalent of £3020 profit at £10/point stakes.
These systems don’t guarantee winning bets every time, but they are “EV” (short for estimated value) systems – which means there is an in-built advantage in each bet, so over time they represent clear value over the bookies.
7. Keep full betting records
Finally, it may sound obvious but you will only know if you are really beating the bookies if you keep full records of all your bets.
It’s surprising how few punters do this, but it really should be second nature for anyone serious about their betting. Bookies don’t want you to really be aware of your betting history, so often only offer a betting history over a short time period and without the full P/L.
To avoid falling into their trap of hoping people don’t realise how well or badly they are actually doing, make sure you keep records yourself. You can use those records to analyse where your strengths and weaknesses are and which aspects you need to improve. It’s well worth doing.
Conclusion – Staying One Step Ahead of the Bookies
Above we have set out some tricks to help you stay one step ahead of the bookies. It is no easy task and the bookies stack the odds in their favour.
With the right tools, coupled with the kind of discipline and focus that professionals have, it is possible to beat the bookies however.
We hope this guide will help you to do that and please let us know in the comments below if there are any extra tricks you use against the bookies.