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Even if you happen to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of any or all sports, that does not guarantee that you have what it takes to make a successful bettor. In fact, successful sports betting is a tricky thing to pull off. This is why it is generally considered a good idea to develop for yourself a top betting strategy that will allow to maximise your chances of success. To help you do this, we have constructed this page which will guide you through everything you need to know about sports betting tips and strategies that will actually help you win in the long term.

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Why You Should Have A Betting Strategy

If, in the long term, you are looking to beat the bookies and make consistent profits when betting, then you will really need to develop a fully formed betting strategy which you can use to attack the bookies with. Remember, when you are taking on the bookies, they are holding all of the cards. They are calling all of the shots, setting the terms, and are basically in charge of everything. It is the bookies that hold an advantage, a house edge if you will, of around 3%. This is the reason that you need more than just blind faith to win. If playing online casino slots is a game of chance and poker is a game of skill then sports betting is a blend of the pair.

We cannot control what happens in a sporting event, but we can manipulate our approach to it in order to turn things in our favour and increase our chances of landing a successful punt. So, while it is entirely possible that you can get lucky, only with a top notch betting strategy, sometimes referred to as a betting system, will you post long term profits over time.

Betting systems and strategies offer a planned and structured approach to taking on the bookies. They are about putting you in control rather than carelessly wagering an amount based on a whim or a mere gut instinct. Above all else, these are about enabling you to effectively manage your budget and make wagers with a higher chance of success that are based on statistical evidence and other variables.

Most Successful Betting Strategies

For those of you still looking to land that life changing acca, or whatever other way you are trying to get one over on the bookies, you are not alone. Most of us try week in, week out or even on a daily basis to place the bet that we believe will change everything. Sometimes we bust out early, other times we fall at the last hurdle, but either way we need a new approach. Hence, the emergence and importance of betting strategies.

Top Betting Strategies

Here are out top five betting strategies designed to bring UK punters long term success and a positive return on investment.

  1. Bankroll Management
  2. Fixed Wager Betting
  3. Martingale Betting Strategy
  4. Fibonacci Strategy
  5. Kelly Criterion Proportional Betting Strategy

Bankroll Management

It sounds an obvious place to start, and it is, but managing your finances is the most critical element of betting or gambling in general for that matter. To that end, never bet more than you can afford to lose and stay within you budgetary limits. A simple way of achieving this is for punters to continuously wager a very low percentage of their budget to avoid the risk of heavy losses or going bust entirely. It might not sound that thrilling to bet so little, knowing that in most cases your wins will be minimal too, but this conservative approach to wagering could be the difference between staying safe online and doing yourself some real damage. This is especially true when we all appreciate that cold streaks are as likely as hot streaks. But, with low percentage betting, even a disastrous losing streak wont break the bank and can still land you in a profit when your luck returns.

For example, if your bankroll is £2,000, then 2% of your budget is £40 meaning that you can still make bets worth anywhere up to and including £40. The pros of using this betting system are clear and obvious as not blowing all of your money at once basically keeps you in the game and wont require you to reload your balance with another top up. The main issue with low stakes betting is that the wins, unless you land a once in a lifetime acca, are also on the small side. But, with patience, even the small wins, which are all profit at the end of the day, add up in the pot. One way of keeping a lid on your spending is to set up deposit limits. As well as protecting you online, deposit limits are designed to allow you to state a maximum total amount of money that you are able to deposit into your betting account. They are usually set against a rolling 24 hour, weekly or monthly period which means you can cap your spending leading to better bankroll management. Below you can see the process in action at William Hill.

Fixed Wager Betting

The fixed wager betting strategy is where bettors always bet the same amount regardless of how much they win or lose. It is an unswaying loyalty to a stake amount that you have pre-agreed with yourself. Betting this way means that you have significantly reduced the risk of blowing through your entire budget. Betting this way also eliminates the chances of you getting drawn into chasing your losses. You simply bet a fixed amount for each bet regardless of the odds involved or the potential return.

At the end of the day, there is a case to be made for the argument that the amount you bet is more important than what you bet it on. In short, betting with a fixed staking strategy helps bettors manage risks better. Think of it this way, if you bet £10 with a bookmaker, in the example below VirginBet, on Tottenham to win the first match of a Saturday televised double header and they lose, then you still bet £10 on the next match regardless.

Martingale Betting Strategy

With the Martingale strategy, punters bet double their stake after any failed bet in order to cover their losses with the next bet’s winnings. You are probably thinking that this is potentially dangerous, and you are right, this can be a risky strategy. You could be betting very large amounts to cover your losses before too long. However, its popularity comes from the fact that it provides a faster increase in winnings than fixed wagers where, as we have discussed, stakes remain static.

With this progressive sports betting system, losses are aimed to be dealt with swiftly because bettors have doubled their stakes on the follow up bet. It works like this, if you were to make a £10 bet at, say, Betfred, on a golfer to win an event outright and they don’t, you would then bet £20 on your follow up wager. The idea being that when you eventually win, you will have covered your losses and while it is easy to see the problems with this system, so long as you are able to set yourself a fixed betting budget, then this is a betting strategy that can help you score some pretty decent and consistent profits.

Fibonacci Strategy

For those unaware, the Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers where each number is formed by adding the two numbers that preceded it together. It begins like this 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, and so on. In this sequence the 2 is found by adding the two numbers before it (1 and 1) together and the 3 is found by adding the two numbers before it (1 and 2). We are telling you this because you can actually apply the Fibonacci sequences to your sports betting.

The Fibonacci strategy is not dissimilar to the Martingale technique but instead you follow the maths model laid out above. This means that if login to your betting account at a betting site like bet365 and you bet £1 on a football match and lost, you would then raise your stake to £2 for your follow up bet. Should this lose then you would add up 1 and 2 and make a £3 bet before betting £5 next and so on. Employing the Fibonacci sequence as your match model in sports betting will reduce how quickly your stake increases as opposed to the Martingale method, but otherwise works in the same way.

Kelly Criterion Proportional Betting Strategy

Named after John L. Kelly, a Texan born computer scientist who devised the formula, the Kelly Criterion is a betting strategy designed to give bettors an edge over the bookmaker. This betting system is based around staking proportionally in relation to the likelihood of success. The Kelly Criterion is used to help calculate the amount you bet, rather than sticking to amounts agreed upon as with the other betting strategies outlined above. It works best when there is a difference between the true odds and the stated odds.

With this system, bettors can wager a fraction of their bankroll in proportion to their edge. The amount wagered is their edge divided by the odds. So, if the punter’s edge is 10% and the odds of their bet is evens, then they divide one into ten. So, 10% of a £100 bet is £10 and that £10 becomes the stake for that particular bet, just as we have done below at QuinnBet. Done correctly, using the Kelly Criterion as your betting strategy means that winnings should increase quicker than with other systems and the losses should slow down considerably.

Sports Betting Strategies

So, we have seen how betting strategies can be employed to heighten betting success and outlined five of the most popular betting systems used by bettors the world over, but what about dedicated betting strategies for individual sports?

Football Betting Strategies

It is absolutely right to say that football is one of the most popular sports for betting on in the UK. In fact, there are suggestions that as many as 76.8% of football fans enjoy a bet on the beautiful game. But there is still plenty that could go wrong when betting on football which is why many football bettors use betting systems to turn a profit when wagering on individual matches and tournaments. One way of beating the bookies when football betting is to try your luck with double chance betting. This means to bet on two out of a possible three outcomes of a football match, ie Win, Draw or Lose. By betting on two thirds of the possible match results you will have increased your outlay but also reduced your risk.

Horse Racing Betting Strategies

Another one of the UK’s most popular sports for betting on is horse racing. Each day of the week in the UK there are around five race meetings, plus more in Ireland. This means there is always plenty for UK punters to get their teeth into. One way to make your horse racing betting more profitable is to look for outliers which are essentially out of place betting odds. It can be a time consuming method as you will need to compare different bookies, meaning you will need to open up multiple betting accounts.

Spread Betting Strategies

Sports spread betting is an alternative to traditional fixed odds sports betting. Betting against the spread is where bettors basically trade event outcomes and involves buying at the higher price or selling at the lower price. You can also sell before any real damage is done if the market begins to move against you. Naturally, this helps to minimis the risks involved. In short, sports spread betting is a different way to bet on the outcome of a sporting event and the more you beat the spread by the more money you will win.

A useful betting strategy when betting on the spread is to wait until as late as possible to place your bets. If you are planning to spread bet on the cricket, make sure you have as much relevant information as you possibly can in order to make fully informed bets on the likelihood of your desired outcome. Another good idea is to stick with one market which over time you will learn to understand absolutely everything about and hopefully even dominate. This will lead to you knowing all of the quirks of that particular market which will in turn lead to better, smarter and wiser betting.

Place Betting Strategies

Place betting is where punters make bets on a pick finishing their event within the designated places. This can be for any sport where each way betting is a possibility but there are some sports where high value betting odds are available on the favourites. Golf is great for place betting because high odds can be available on the game’s best players going in to a tournament which are held weekly for most of the year. And, because of the large fields that tee off each week, many bookmakers offer extra place payouts on all the major golfing events.

It can be a good idea to place bet if you are not confident that a player will win the event, but you do believe they will go well. You can form an idea of how well a player is likely to go by looking into the form, fitness and even course history. If a player is known to go well throughout a tourney but fade down the final back nine, then they could be perfect for a place bet.

Live Betting Strategies

Betting live and in play is when bettors make their wagers on an event in real time after it has started. In play betting has boomed into one of an online bookmaker’s busiest offerings but before you try it out for yourself, is there anything that you can do to turn things in your favour? Well, you could try hedging your live bets. Similar to, but not the same as, arbitrage, hedging involves the use of more than one bet on opposite outcomes of an event in an effort to bank a win. And, because you are betting on the action while it is happening, you have a much clearer idea of how things are likely to turn out. This way, over time, you are guaranteed wins and long term profit. You can also use hedging to lower your risk.

Betting Exchange Strategies

At betting exchanges, such as betfair, punters can go head to head in their efforts to prove who is better at betting and hopefully secure a nice little profit too. Successful punt traders will use a healthy blend of stats and intuition in their approach to the market that they wish to trade on. One good betting exchange strategy is to try a simple to understand market to begin with such as the correct score market. When looking to make a wager on this highly popular betting market, be sure to pick a fixture where the likelihood of both teams scoring is high before backing a 2-1 result in favour of the team that have been made favourites. As soon as the first goal has been scored, lay the same result that you picked previously in order to Green Up.

Greening up is where punters lock in a guaranteed profit no matter what happens on the pitch and is a term financial traders use when they are buying and selling. On a betting exchange, when you back or lay your picks, your potential profit is shown in green, and your potential loss will be displayed in red. If that first goal comes early on during the match, then many punters will opt to wait a little longer before making the lay bet if they suspect that the second goal to go in soon. This way they squeeze more value out of the trade. The initial level of value of their trade will be determined by factors such as the original odds, the time when the first goal goes in and which team scored it.

Betting Strategies To Avoid

There are a few betting strategies that we suggest you avoid. It is never a good idea to bet only on the favourites. There are numerous problematic issues with this strategy for betting. Firstly, the favourites don’t always win, secondly the odds are in most cases much shorter, and finally many others also bet on them reducing their value. We also believe that only betting with one bookmaker is a mistake that can and should be avoided. One single bookmaker will not offer you the best odds every time, but many do offer different bonuses and promotions for you to take advantage of. Finally, even when you have settled on a betting strategy that works for you, don’t feel the need to stick with it forever. Things could soon feel stale and routine, in which case switch things up and try something new.

Betting Strategies Bottom Line

By now you should have some idea as to the value of working with successful betting strategies when taking on the bookies. Betting systems are useful because they allow us to stake appropriately as well as devise a plan of attack for the betting sites where we make our bets. By employing betting strategies that work we can maximize our earnings and reduce our losses and generally have a better time when wagering on our favourite sports.

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About Peter Fryres

After training as a journalist, former high street bookie Pete moved effortlessly into online gaming where he has spent the past decade writing on all things sports betting, poker and online casino related for some of the biggest names in the business