Bookmakers – Soccerwidow http://www.soccerwidow.com Football Betting Maths, Value Betting Strategies Sun, 26 Feb 2017 11:21:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 How do Bookmakers Tick? How & Why do they Set Their Odds as they do? http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/bookmakers/how-do-bookmakers-tick/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/bookmakers/how-do-bookmakers-tick/#comments Thu, 12 Jan 2017 08:00:20 +0000 http://www.fussballwitwe.com/?p=2343 Becoming a successful bettor requires not only a deep understanding of odds calculation but, it is also necessary to understand how the market works and especially how the bookmakers operate.

Of course, bookmakers are in the business of setting odds and determining prices which are offered for certain betting events.

Cartoon: Group looking at a whiteboard with very strange word on it / Karikatur: Gruppe vor einem Whiteboard mit einem sehr seltsamem WortIf I had to use just one word to describe how bookmakers think…

Image: Cartoonresource (Shutterstock)

When viewing odds in betting exchanges such as Betfair, Betdaq, Smarkets, or WBX, you should understand that it is neither the exchange platform or the traders using them who set the odds.

The fact is that the bookmakers are used as the market guide for traders on the betting exchanges, and it is the bookies who compile and publish their odds weeks in advance of the events in question (sometimes even months), and certainly well before the exchanges even open their markets for trading.

If you have ever calculated odds you will have noticed that the bookmakers’ offers often do not represent the ‘true’ picture, in other words, the ‘true’ mathematically calculated values (the statistically expected values).

Only occasionally (probably in less than half of all cases) are odds close to the statistical expectations of the betting event. However, in the vast majority of games, odds are either considerably higher than mathematically expected or far lower…

Why Is This So?

You have to appreciate that bookmakers do not really intend to predict an outcome (correctly). If you enjoy statistical analysis, then take a little time to do a simple calculation for any league of your choice. Simply convert bookmaker odds into probabilities and compare them to the actual distribution of the results.

Bookmakers have been around for thousands of years in one form or another. Their main goal is of course to make a profit. They price their odds to ensure that sufficient action is taking place on both sides of a bet.

If a bookmaker’s betting odds are not aligned to public opinion then a disproportionately large amount of money will be placed on only one side of a bet. This would be a gamble for the bookmaker. However, bookmakers are not in the business of speculating on an outcome.

The role of bookmakers is, strictly speaking, rather the function of an intermediary, similar to a stockbroker. They take money from various people on various outcomes and after the game is finished they pay out the winners.

In return for this service, the bookies take a “fee” known as the overround.

The bookmakers’ priority is balancing their books

The closer to the kick-off of a game, the more ‘fluid’ the odds become, as salient information such as team news becomes public knowledge, and this then has a knock-on effect with bettors’ opinions being confirmed or changed on the outcome of the match in question. Thus, the odds tend to change more as the start of the match gets nearer and nearer and more money changes hands.

Always remember

  1. Bookmakers set odds based on a mixture of statistical probabilities and public opinion.
  2. Bookmakers do not speculate (gamble). Their priority is balancing the books.
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Top 10 Crucial Benchmarks for Online Betting Sites http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/top-10-crucial-benchmarks-for-online-betting-sites/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/top-10-crucial-benchmarks-for-online-betting-sites/#respond Sat, 26 Nov 2016 16:29:39 +0000 http://soccerwidow.com/?p=4738 more »]]> What do professional bettors consider the 10 most vital factors when choosing online bookmaker or betting exchange accounts?

This guide gives you our top 10 things to look out for and check when picking a list of reliable online betting sites with which to invest your hard earned money.

Young woman juggling balls made of bank notesImage: tyrin (Shutterstock)

(1) Free Bets and Bonuses

Many bookmakers and exchanges offer free bets either at the opening of a new account or periodically throughout its lifetime. Some also offer ‘matched deposit’ or ‘deposit top up’ bonuses to increase your war chest with that particular firm.

A good example is Coral Sports who not only provide an account opening free bet, but also a range of offers throughout the season, sometimes limited to particular bet types on particular matches. By the way, we reviewed some of the top sports betting sites and came up with a detailed Coral free bet offer which is worthwhile mentioning.

They are also very cute in depositing cash into your account a couple of days in advance in the guise of a ‘birthday bonus’. It’s a personal touch – they don’t have to do it, but it gives a good impression when a firm can take advantage of a tiny detail and reward customers without them feeling exploited.

(2) Price Comparison

Buying cheap is definitely a good approach to save money in personal life. However, buying under-priced bets only increases profits for the bookies not for the bettor. Therefore, in betting, the opposite applies. Buy at the highest price possible!

The easiest way of checking the consistency of odds offered by the industry is via an odds comparison site, and the only one to offer both ante post odds plus a full archive for a whole range of bet types and sports is Oddsportal.

Getting the highest odds possible is crucial to the performance of any betting system. Historical odds are crucial for checking the future sustainability of any theory.

You will need to register a username and password to access the full range of bookmakers Oddsportal offers but this is a small price to pay to utilise one of the most useful odds sites out there. If you can’t find the bookmaker or exchange you are looking for amongst their list of almost 80 players, it’s a strong indicator that your prospective choice needs further investigation before you can assume anything about its reputation.

(3) Educational Content

There are two main schools of thought here. Do betting sites offer educational and mathematical articles to help their customers or is it all a smoke screen to make you feel more looked after?

Personally speaking, we place high importance on how bookmakers choose to nurture their customers. Some bookies have absolutely nothing to guide or assist the punter, which lets you know straight away where they stand.

Others, such as Pinnacle, contain a bank of useful articles and information to help the discerning bettor educate himself on the importance of odds, mathematics and statistics.

Any bookie willing to add more transparency to the whole process of betting alchemy is worth taking notice of.

(4) Markets Offered

The terms and conditions of any bookmaker should show you straight away where they are licensed and which countries they are licensed to accept business in.

No two betting sites are the same – they all offer a diversified portfolio of available betting opportunities, but some are more specialised than others.

Betfair continues to lead the betting exchange field (despite the many public criticisms about its business model) purely because it offers the most comprehensive backing/laying opportunities on the market together with unrivalled liquidity. The range of bets it caters for is huge and far outstrips its main rivals such as Matchbook, Smarkets, Betdaq, and WBX.

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Eastbridge – Sports Betting Service For High Rollers! http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/betting-exchanges/eastbridge-sports-betting-service-broker-for-high-rollers/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/betting-exchanges/eastbridge-sports-betting-service-broker-for-high-rollers/#comments Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:09:04 +0000 http://www.soccerwidow.com/?p=5609 more »]]> Despite a significant track record in the betting industry, the Ole Group may not be a name many of you are familiar with. It is in fact the leading Asian football brokerage and has been for over 10 years.

The group deals with all the biggest syndicates in the world and services many full-time professional traders.

If you are a high roller who bets big, then the platforms offered by Ole Group will certainly be of interest to you. Prices are comparable with the likes of Pinnacle but without the stake limitations so often seen there.

Customers can also benefit from a trusted method of accessing the secret world (for many of us) of the low margin Asian bookmaker platforms.

Lending me a helping hand to reveal all is Savak Limbuwala, Head of Marketing and Operations for the European arm of Ole Group.
 
 

Savak, welcome to Soccerwidow. Let’s talk firstly about the newest of Ole Group’s operations, Eastbridge, which is a free-to use, no restrictions sports betting service.

Hello Robert, yes, Eastbridge has been around for two years now and for UK residents operates in a similar manner to Pinnacle, laying bets directly, and managing markets with low margins in order to offer best prices to our customers. We specialise in Football, Tennis and US Sports, which is where we can offer best prices and substantial, pooled liquidity.

 

Is it fair to say that Eastbridge is not for the average punter?

Yes, Eastbridge is a phone and Skype service for professional punters, syndicate groups, high rollers, and high net worth clients. Our customers deposit funds in the normal way through bank transfer, card or e-wallet but contact us personally to strike their bets.

We hold a UK license, which is good news for our European and UK clientele looking to fill the void left by Pinnacle’s withdrawals from certain territories over the last twelve months.

Winning clients are not restricted and our service is entirely free to use and we have no minimum turnover thresholds. In fact, we believe we are currently the only licensed operation like this available to UK residents.

 

What exactly do you mean by ‘high rollers’?

Well, there is no practical reason why a client cannot have a seven or eight figure bank. There is no maximum withdrawal amount either, although clients moving larger funds tend to do so in multiple smaller tranches. Obviously, we cannot control the charges they may incur from their own banking arrangements for deposits or withdrawals but there are no hidden charges made from our side.

 

If you are a ‘broker’ and receive no commissions or fees from your customers, how does the business model work?

For UK clients we operate like a traditional bookmaker, laying the bets ourselves and therefore profit as any normal UK bookmaker would, although our margins are very small to maintain the high prices we are able to offer.

In relation to clients from outside the UK we are a broker to the Asian books we support and our income is in the form of rebates on turnover, again very small in percentage terms, but received regardless of their profits or losses. And because we deal with several big Asian books, our eggs are not all in one basket.

 

Which sports do you specialise in?

Using Asian books means we are especially sharp on the Asian Handicap, Total Goals and Corner markets in soccer betting. Tennis markets are also very strong. The full range of US sports is also well serviced such as basketball, baseball and American football, but understandably, we cannot cater for customers from North American territories.

 

And I’ve heard that you also offer free business-to-business solutions?

Our API service is the fastest and most reliable aggregated feed available in the market and is available to non-UK/US clients. Again, we offer this for free to companies due to the turnover rebates paid from the books we support. In this way, I believe we cater for a wider range of client and offer a broader suite of solutions than any of our competitors.

 

And that brings us on nicely to two more of your services, Vodds and Mollybet. What’s the deal here?

Vodds Logo

Vodds.com is our own brand new online Football betting platform, like any traditional bookmaker’s but the difference being that it is once again based on the brokerage model funded by rebates from the bookies concerned.

The odds available are aggregated from currently eight Asian books including Pinnacle and SBOBET.

Effectively, it’s a one-stop shop for placing bigger stakes than you would perhaps be limited to using just one of these bookmakers at a time. It’s also a one wallet solution and includes full-time and half-time 1×2 betting options. Many of our Eastbridge clients also use Vodds for their smaller scale betting.

 

Do you mean this is the equivalent of any online bookmaker as far as the punter is concerned?

Yes, the only difference is that your stake will either be matched to one bookmaker taking the whole line or several bookmakers each taking a percentage of the risk. The pooled liquidity here should still satisfy clients with four or five figure stake requirements and upwards.

 

Click on the images below to enlarge them in a new tab:

Norway Tippeligaen: Stabaek vs. Brann - £10k Stake on Brann Accepted Within SecondsNorway Tippeligaen: Stabaek vs. Brann – £10k Stake Accepted on Brann Within Seconds
£10k Stake Aggregated Between Three Bookmakers (Pinnacle, GA288 and Crown)£10k Stake Aggregated Between Three Bookmakers (Pinnacle, GA288 and Crown) at Odds of 3.171. In Comparison, Highest Odds at Oddsportal were 3.15

 

Apart from Pinnacle and SBOBET, the majority of gamblers are going to be unfamiliar with the ‘dark and mysterious’ world of Asian bookmakers.
Who are they exactly? Why should punters trust them?

There is no real reason not to, many of them are larger than most European books and all are licensed in Asia. For example, Crown, Bet-IBC, LX168, GA288, BetISN, and SBC to name but a few. They are trustworthy because ultimately our customers are dealing through us to get to their products. We are the main European broker for these companies.

 

And what about Mollybet?

Mollybet is a third party platform similar in nature to Vodds. Again, we are a broker for this facility. This platform also offers Tennis and US Sports, as well as Football.

 

Savak, thanks very much for your time and I’m sure many of our readers will be interested to investigate Eastbridge, Vodds and Mollybet further.

Thanks for yours, Robert. Our various helplines are always open to field any enquiries about the mechanics of our operations.

 

So, in summary:

  • Eastbridge: Phone and Skype betting service/brokerage for high roller clients offering best prices, unequalled liquidity, no restrictions, and all absolutely free of charge.

>>> visit eastbridge <<<

  • Vodds: Online betting platform accessing Pinnacle, SBOBET and a range of difficult to reach Asian bookmakers offering high odds, high liquidity, and again free to use.
  • Mollybet: Access to a second Asian bookmaker brokerage platform as an alternative to Vodds; free of charges.

By all means leave any feedback about using these services in the comments box at the bottom of this article.

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Weird and Funny Novelty Bets offered by William Hill and Notable Payouts http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/bookmakers/weird-and-funny-novelty-bets-offered-by-william-hill-and-notable-payouts/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/bookmakers/weird-and-funny-novelty-bets-offered-by-william-hill-and-notable-payouts/#comments Wed, 09 Mar 2016 08:36:13 +0000 http://soccerwidow.com/?p=3591 more »]]> In 1998, William Hill were the first bookmaker to accept wagers via the Internet, and their online betting platform is one of the most sophisticated in the market.(For sports betting alternatives check out this list).

Hill also have a tongue-in-cheek reputation for offering odds on literally anything you can think of, and here is a compilation of our ten favourite left field bets they have accepted, and some notable payouts they have honoured:

Attractive brunette with sunglasses fanning herself with a wad of bank notesImage: Poznyakov (Shutterstock)
  1. In April 1964, David Threlfall placed a £10 bet at odds of 1000/1 that man would walk on any planet or heavenly body before January 1970. His was the first officially recorded ‘space’ bet and the stake was equivalent to the average weekly wage at the time, worth over £170 today.

    The bet led to an avalanche of wagers on the same event. Neil Armstrong duly obliged on 21st July, 1969, and Threlfall was £10,000 richer. William Hill eventually paid out over £50,000 on this event (around £860,000 today), ruing the fact that the man in the street knew more about space than they did.

  2. Elvis Presley related novelty bets are struck even now, almost 40 years after his ‘death’. Notably, Ciara Parkes stands to win £125,000 after the King’s next comeback following a £250 bet at 500/1 in the mid 1990’s.

    Elvis also features in the biggest betting odds ever offered by Hill: A Glaswegian postman took a price of 20,000,000/1 that Elvis would crash a U.F.O. into Loch Ness, striking the legendary monster supposed to inhabit its depths. Urban myth suggests this bet was actually for Elvis to ride into town on the long lost, kidnapped racehorse ‘Shergar’, and then to play against the missing and disgraced Lord Lucan in the Wimbledon tennis final!

  3. Betting on the outcome of TV shows was first introduced by William Hill in 1980, when they allowed punters to wager on ‘Who shot J.R.?’ in the popular American soap, ‘Dallas’.
  4. Screaming Lord Sutch, the late leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party, stood to make the biggest betting shop payout of all-time at a cool £15,000,000 from a £1 wager with Hill that he would one day become British Prime Minister. Sadly, the ‘loony’ never made it, much to the chagrin of us mere mortals.
  5. In 1988, Chris Bonnington, the famous mountaineer, bet with Hill that he would return from his Himalayan expedition with proof that the ‘Yeti’ existed. Upon his return, he claimed he had the required evidence, until the Department of Agriculture confiscated and burned it.
  6. In 1995, John Richardson, aged 55, struck a novelty bet with William Hill that he would father a child in the year 2040. You can do the math!
  7. In 2008, Fred Craggs, won an eight-horse accumulator, triggering Hill’s maximum horse racing payout clause of £1,000,000. His selections were random and Craggs had no idea he had won until he next visited the shop. Not bad for just a 50p stake at combined odds of over 2,000,000/1, and during his 60th birthday week. Bonza!
  8. William Hill’s penchant for bizarre proposition bets entered the World Cup 2010 arena. Odds of 7/2 were offered on any England player repeating Paul Gascoigne’s 1990 watershed moment by crying on camera at any time during the tournament.
  9. Euro 2012 also received the Hill treatment with 4/1 offered that the Euro currency would collapse before the end of the tournament. Eyes were on Greece not to rock the boat in either contest!
  10. Of course, proposition and novelty bets are usually fun and good-natured and in mid-2013, Chris Brooker cashed in odds of 6/1 to return £700 that his romance with a fellow student would outlast the duration of their university studies together.

Whatever your betting requirements, William Hill has just about every online option you can imagine but if you can think of something weird, wonderful, and original you are encouraged to contact them for consideration and pricing of your proposition. You never know, you might even get some publicity!

How about buying a funny, weird, or eclectic novelty bet from Hill for a family member, or even a colleague during the Office Secret Santa gift giving season? It would certainly create a topic for debate in the pub, and it doesn’t have to be too expensive. The choice is yours and limited only by your own imagination!

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Why do bookmakers ban their customers, close accounts or limit stakes? http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/bookmakers/why-do-bookmakers-ban-their-customers-close-accounts-or-limit-stakes/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/bookmakers/why-do-bookmakers-ban-their-customers-close-accounts-or-limit-stakes/#comments Fri, 20 Nov 2015 08:11:44 +0000 http://www.fussballwitwe.com/?p=2390 more »]]>

Recently we received an email from a distressed reader who after a very short time scale (just 2 months!) employing a strategy based on our Home-Draw-Away article, found that without warning several bookmakers (e.g. Boylesport, Stan James, Expekt, Betway, 888Sport, Sportingbet) cancelled his accounts and literally barred him from their e-premises.

Other bookmakers didn’t close his accounts but effectively also ended their relationship by limiting his stakes to ridiculously small amounts such as 2 € per bet.

Our initial response was that bookmakers are free to choose their clients and accounts belonging to customers who do not satisfy their business model are subject to cancellation. This was half accepted by the reader who stated you can read similar suggestions throughout the Web without ever finding a clear explanation but he was insistent and what he really wanted to know from us was WHY?

Therefore, this article attempts to answer in detail the legitimate question as to why customers are banned by bookmakers or accounts are limited.

However, we cannot promise that our conclusions will be agreeable to everyone because sometimes it is better not to know WHY, as dreams are sometimes all too easily shattered by the truth.

Warning: If you prefer to cling on to aspirations of becoming very rich one day with sports betting then perhaps you should stop reading this article now!

Doubtless, life is more bearable if there is some hope of better fortune involved. The reasons why bookmakers close accounts are banal. Using simple logic to interpret the business approach of bookmakers, the bigger picture almost certainly conveys a straightforward message to the masses of people with gambling dreams. Unfortunately, the truth which evolves is contrary to the popular belief system of becoming rich from betting.

Soccerwidow’s survey results for the question “Do you make money with betting?”

This poll has been present on the Soccerwidow site for many months. Let us take a look at the current vote scores to discover whether readers admit to making money from betting:

Soccerwidow’s survey results for the question Do you make money with betting?

Survey results (up to November 2012)



So far (as per November 2012), the survey has accumulated a total of 832 votes. Although this is a fairly representative sample, we cannot claim any scientific significance as it has not been carried out under controlled conditions.

Unfortunately, the survey also has a design error. It contains the option, “I make a living from betting”, but fails to quantify voters’ winnings over and above £5,000 (English site) or 5,000 € (German site). Therefore, we have to accept that anyone regularly winning more than £5,000 or 5,000 € per annum had no other option but to tick, “I make a living from betting”. Of course although this is insufficient for survival in most European countries, our readership is worldwide and it may be that 5,000 currency units is enough to live on in some countries.

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Betting Odds Converter – Fractional, Decimal, Moneyline, Hong Kong, Indonesian, and Malay http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/bookmakers/betting-odds-converter-fractional-decimal-moneyline-hong-kong-indonesian-malay/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/bookmakers/betting-odds-converter-fractional-decimal-moneyline-hong-kong-indonesian-malay/#respond Sun, 01 Dec 2013 18:48:47 +0000 http://soccerwidow.com/?p=3405 more »]]> Quick Odds Converter to switch odds between US, decimal, fractional, percentage, Hong Kong, Indonesian, and Malay formats – converts odds into their implied probabilities and net returns, and vice versa – converts probabilities and net returns into their corresponding odds.

Betting Odds Converter – Fractional, Decimal, Moneyline, Hong Kong, Indonesian, and Malay


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Moneyline, Hong Kong,
Indonesian, and Malay

Betting Odds Converter

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What does the Betting Odds Convertor do?

Automatically converts odds into their implied probabilities

Automatically switches odds between US, decimal, fractional, percentage, Hong Kong, Indonesian, and Malay formats

Automatically converts probabilities into their corresponding odds

Automatically displays the net return for each odd type

What Additional Information is included in the Spreadsheet?

Excel formulas, explanations and toggle facilities for the following conversions: –

Probabilities into Odds

Net returns into Odds

Odds into their Implied Probability

Odds into Net return

Why do I need to know how to convert betting odds
into probabilities and net returns, and vice versa?

In order to compare odds, you need to be able to convert them into implied probabilities and their net returns, because this is the foundation of all odds in the market. Only when you convert odds into their probabilities can you compare them.

Otherwise, how would you possibly know that 6/5 fractional odds, 1.2 HK odds, 2.2 decimal odds, +120 US moneyline, 1.2 Indonesian odds, or -0.83 Malay odds , all stand for a 45.45% chance of success and 120% net return?

Further reading:
Probability, Expectation, Hit Rate, Value, Mathematical Advantage: Explained
Understanding Betting Odds – Moneyline, Fractional Odds, Decimal Odds, Hong Kong Odds, IN Odds, MA Odds


What is the advantage of being able to switch between different betting odds formats?

As you compare prices and look for the best odds available in the market, you limit yourself if you are only at ease with one or two types of betting odds.

For example, you may wish to find the best price for a tennis match, and if you are only comfortable with European style odds, then you probably won’t even consider checking the US market or Asian bookmakers.

However, they may have far better prices on offer; you just simply don’t know because you don’t know how to convert them into probabilities and net returns.

You will never become a winner if you buy your bet at the most conveniently available price, without searching for the best price offered by the market.

Further reading:
Football Betting Odds: Study Comparison Bookmaker vs. Exchanges Odds
Why A Pinnacle Account Is Essential


Why is it important to know the formulas behind odds calculation?

If you calculate your own probabilities and need to check them against the odds offered by bookmakers to find value bets, how on earth would you work this out if you don’t know the formulas behind the odds?

The Internet is full of advice and explanations, but unfortunately the vast majority of information is either wrong or intended to lure you into betting. It is rare to find reliable information on the implied probabilities for odds offered in the markets, or the net returns from the odds.

Furthermore, only people who understand the probabilities behind the odds on offer are able to assess the potential value of a bet.

If you are not skilled in converting betting odds into probabilities you will, without exception, lose money in the long run. Keep reminding yourself: odds stand for probabilities. Bookmakers earn money from gambling, but they do NOT gamble themselves. Neither do they rely on luck. They know how to calculate probabilities and convert them into odds and vice versa. It’s as simple as this.

Therefore, if you want to become a winner, you need to start thinking like a bookmaker, and this means that you simply have to understand probabilities and odds. There is no alternative.

Further reading:
How do Bookmakers Tick? How & Why do they Set Their Odds as they do?
Calculation of Odds: Probability and Deviation


What impact does the knowledge of implied probabilities
and odds conversion have on my betting decisions?

There are two types of gamblers: successful and unsuccessful. The majority of bettors belong to the latter.

If you lose more money than you win, maybe you are basing your betting decisions more on gut feeling than mathematics. Perhaps you place your hard-earned money on a favourite team believing they are in a ‘must win’ match, thinking that they surely cannot lose against the underdog.

You may not even be aware that bookmakers adjust their odds to public opinion, and that odds offered in the market often do not represent their true value.

If your betting decisions are more gambling than anything else, relying on luck, without understanding underlying probabilities of the odds offered, then it is not really surprising that you lose more money than you win.

True understanding and lasting success is based on knowledge, not on ignorance, beliefs, or public opinion.

Only if you develop knowledge of implied probabilities from bookmaker odds, will you be able to check them against your own calculations. Then your betting decisions will be not gambling any more but a planned investment with the goal of a structured and organised increase of your bank.

Further reading:
Heart Beats Brain – Is Accurate Forecasting of Specific Results in Football Matches Possible?
How Bookmakers’ Odds Match Public Opinion


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Oddsportal Archived Odds – Identifying and Correcting 1×2 Odds Errors http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/bookmakers/identifying-correcting-oddsportal-odds-errors/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/bookmakers/identifying-correcting-oddsportal-odds-errors/#respond Sat, 22 Jun 2013 14:00:13 +0000 http://soccerwidow.com/?p=3003

As we have mentioned before, one of our favourite sites for collecting historical data is www.oddsportal.com, and in our recent article about the concepts for football betting systems we outlined how to set-up an Oddsportal user account and how to optimise the settings.

In this article we concentrate on the rare occasions when it will be necessary to rectify errors in Oddsportal’s information to safeguard against distorted results. At the end, we offer a free Excel spreadsheet download to assist you with this process, plus an exercise to test what you have learned.

Oddsportal Archived Odds Overview

When clicking on any match in the Oddsportal “Archived Odds” section, you will be met with an image similar to the (cropped) screenshot on the right.

Oddsportal Screenshot of Swiss Super League odds: Xamax v Vaduz 31.8.2008

Swiss Super League: Xamax v Vaduz 31.8.2008

Click on the picture to enlarge it in a new tab and then use the magnifier provided to increase the image size further.

From first glance this appears to be a fairly ordinary summary of a match that finished 2-2, with a snapshot of the full-time home, draw, and away odds provided by a selection of traditional bookmakers.

At the bottom of each column is the average odds price from all the bookmakers and shown below this, the highest odds on offer.

In the extreme right-hand column is each bookmaker’s “payout” (not their overround) together with the average and highest figures.

All of the figures shown relate to the point in time when the 1×2 odds were suspended by each bookmaker as the match kicked off and went “in-play”.

But there is obviously something very wrong with this image.

Some of you will see the problem immediately but before we tell the rest of you what it is, try and work it out for yourself before moving onto the next page of this article…

Identifying False Football Betting Odds

The odds for the home win are distorted by a rogue price.

It will not take you long to see that the bookmaker, Sportingbet, is shown as offering odds at a price of 4.30, which is far in excess of the others. This is of course also distorting the average odds price, which is currently shown as 1.78.

The big giveaway is the “Payout” column on the right-hand side, which shows 149% for betting on the three highest prices for home, draw and away. This represents a huge arbitrage situation that is very unlikely to occur in 1×2 betting at a fixed point in time before kick-off (ante post betting).

The problem of false odds in an individual game may not sound serious but we have encountered a fair few of these situations during our data collection exercises with various sites and sometimes several in the same league in the same season. In the extreme examples, there is more than one bookmaker mistake in a single match.

Basing your 1×2 football betting system assumptions on a season’s worth of data with several rogue entries, some far worse than the one we have highlighted, may lead you into adopting a set of false belief systems about that particular league and its statistics.

Identifying potential problems therefore becomes necessary before working in any degree of confidence with the raw data.

If you remember from our football betting systems concepts article, we discussed the accuracy issue with mathematics in general.

Looking at a five-year analysis of a particular league’s statistics will sometimes not provide a huge pool of data (e.g. just 882 games in the Swiss Super League in the five seasons 2008-13) and it is here that accuracy with the information becomes more important.

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Bookmakers/ Bookies – What are Bookmakers? http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/bookmakers/bookmakers-bookies-definitions/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/bookmakers/bookmakers-bookies-definitions/#comments Wed, 20 Mar 2013 11:38:55 +0000 http://soccerwidow.com/?p=2736 more »]]> A collection of definitions and explanations of “bookmakers” and “bookies” as found in dictionaries, encyclopedias and web sites.

Dictionary definitions of bookmakers

ldoceonline.com (Longman): book‧mak‧er also bookie (informal)
Someone whose job is to collect money that people want to risk on the result of a race, competition etc, and who pays them if they guess correctly.

collinsdictionary.com (Collins): A bookmaker is a person whose job is to take your money when you bet and to pay you money if you win.

merriam-webster.com: A person who determines odds and receives and pays off bets

Encyclopedia definitions of bookmakers

en.wikipedia.org (Wikipedia): A bookmaker, bookie or Turf Accountant is an organization or a person that takes bets on sporting and other events at agreed upon odds. Bookmakers in the United Kingdom focus betting on professional sports, especially horse racing and association football; however, a wider range of bets, including on political elections, awards ceremonies such as The Oscars and novelty bets can also be placed.

investopedia.com: Someone who facilitates gambling, commonly on sporting events, by setting odds, accepting and placing bets, and paying out winnings on behalf of other people. “Bookie” is a slang term for “bookmaker.” Bookies do not usually make their money by placing bets themselves, but by charging a transaction fee on their customers’ bets known as a “vigorish,” or “the vig” (= overround). Bookies may also lend money to bettors.

definitions.uslegal.com: Bookmaking is the practice of laying bets on various possible outcomes of a single event. It is a practice of betting by determining odds, and receiving and paying off bets on sports competitions such as horse racing and the like. The term originates from the practice of recording such wagers in a ledger or a ‘book’ and gives the term bookmaking for the practice of making the book.

Educational gambling web sites explanations of bookmakers

gamblingbox.org: Bookmakers combine a comprehensive knowledge of statistics, a deep understanding of sporting events and other types of events where there is a winner and a loser and the ability to pull in a profit, no matter how an event turns out.

A bookmaker is generally a very accomplished expert in setting odds. Using their own knowledge and the resources they have available, bookmakers will give odds on a given team winning or losing in a sporting event or, in some cases, will give odds on other events, as well. For instance, a bookmaker could theoretically give odds on the outcome of an election and allow people to place bets on that election, if they wanted to.

The way bookmakers do business ensures that they always do come out on top. This doesn’t mean that you can’t win a bet with them, of course, but they are absolute masters at making certain that their own businesses remain profitable while still providing an opportunity for people to wager on sporting events and other events.

sportsbettingis.com: A bookmaker is a company mainly engaged in giving the possibility to make money bets on outcomes of sports events, participation in these bets and paying out of winnings in case outcomes are not in bookmaker’s favor. Events that bets are made on can be not only sports ones but also political, cultural, etc.

The bookmakers always use the mathematics in their operation, especially its following sections: combinatorial analysis, probability theory and statistics. The main task of the bookmakers is to correctly build betting odds.

“To correctly build betting odds” means to correctly evaluate the chances of each outcome and offer the odds bringing profits to the bookmaker. It is not easy to ensure such a balance. It’s a difficult task with hundreds of specialists working with it. Smaller bookmakers look at odds of larger competitors and only introduce small changes.

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Match Abandoned?! Different Rules of Bookmakers and Exchanges http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/match-abandoned-help/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/match-abandoned-help/#comments Tue, 01 Jan 2013 01:00:45 +0000 http://www.fussballwitwe.com/?p=773 This article focuses on the attitudes of different bookmakers and exchanges towards postponed or abandoned fixtures and the way bets will be affected if you are unfortunate enough to stake a game that either doesn’t start or doesn’t finish.

The Case: Match abandoned in the second half

Football stadium after a strong snowfallImage: Stanislav Komogorov (Shutterstock)

When this article was originally written, our last bet of the day was ‘laying’ Mallorca in their La Liga trip to Granada. Before retiring to bed, we checked the score, 2-1 to Granada, with around 30 minutes to play.

Upon checking our Betfair account the following day we were concerned to find the bet had not been settled!? A quick search confirmed fears that the match had been abandoned.

Usually, it’s fog or a floodlight failure, or where the match officials are concerned, a pulled groin muscle, an errant or out of control flag, a clumsy fall, or a slide-tackle from an over-enthusiastic defender.

But no, bizarrely, this abandonment was caused by a flying umbrella, which struck a referee’s assistant in the face and drew blood from his cheek.

After the referee had called a stop to the game the manager of Granada explained in the press conference that it was an unfortunate ‘accident’ and that the poor youth in the Granada section of the crowd was still holding the handle as he was arrested by police.

Much sympathy for the scarred linesman, his apparently innocent assailant and other fans deprived of the result, but where did this leave our bet? We were now in the land of limbo and searching through Betfair’s Terms and Conditions.

Which rules apply?

Like all UEFA leagues, we knew La Liga was faced with 3 options for concluding the affair:

  1. replaying the whole match;
  2. arranging for the last 30 minutes or so to be played out (probably behind closed doors); or,
  3. as it was a Granada fan to ‘blame’, awarding of the match to Mallorca with the customary 3-0 score line.

But how are bets affected by these options and what is the range of different terms and conditions employed by the bookmakers and exchanges in such situations?

Ensure that abandonment and postponement rules are clear before betting

When betting you need to ensure that abandonment and postponement rules are clear especially before embarking on strategies such as cross-market trading, arbitrage or accumulators.

No two bookmakers’ Terms and Conditions are ever identical and for arbitrage or trading it is better to use markets with similar rules for postponement and abandonment or, to know the rules instinctively before making bet selections which could otherwise be detrimentally affected by things such as inclement weather.


The next page concentrates on the different attitudes taken by bookmakers and exchanges…

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3 Very Good Reasons to have Multiple Bookmaker Accounts http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/betting-exchanges/3-very-good-reasons-to-have-multiple-bookmaker-accounts/ http://www.soccerwidow.com/football-gambling/betting-knowledge/betting-advice/betting-exchanges/3-very-good-reasons-to-have-multiple-bookmaker-accounts/#comments Sun, 02 Dec 2012 23:01:47 +0000 http://soccerwidow.com/?p=2433 (1) Improving your mathematical ‘edge’ by always picking the best odds available:

Every serious football bettor should have several bookmaker accounts at his disposal in order to pick and choose the best available prices. Having invested so much time and effort in producing a match selection system which brings consistent profits, it would be churlish not to spend just a little more time seeking out the best possible reward.

At Soccerwidow we are great advocates of the much maligned bookmakers, which have seemingly had their gloss taken away from them by the trendier and seemingly more flexible betting exchanges. But of course, there is a price to pay for the convenience of using exchanges, and the more successful your system becomes, the more commission you may be liable to pay to these trading platforms.

(2) Getting the most from 1X2 markets:

Let’s have a look at Betfair’s main attraction to bettors: the opportunity to lay an event.

Using bookmaker markets there are three alternatives available to gain a financial advantage over Betfair’s home, draw or away lay prices: Asian Handicap +0.5; Double Chance; “Dutch” Back (click to enlarge; opens in a new tab):

How To Beat Betting Exchange Lay Bet Rewards With Bookmakers

German Bundesliga Matches 26th-28th October, 2012


Here, you can see a few more red figures in the right-hand columns than we saw in the back bet comparison article, but still, 21 out of 27 (77.8%) Betfair lay prices were beatable during this round of matches.

However the extent of advantage the bookmakers have competing with lay options is far smaller than backing; purely because when laying an event two results are effectively ‘backed’ rather than just one when backing outright:

  • 11.03% bookmaker advantage laying the draw in the Augsburg vs. Hamburg match was only worth 0.40 units more than Betfair’s return with a fixed liability/stake of 10 units.
  • 11.62% bookmaker advantage laying the draw in the Mainz vs. Hoffenheim match was worth the same 0.40 unit advantage.
  • 9.47% bookmaker advantage laying Bayer Leverkusen away at Bayern Munich was worth just 0.07 extra units than with Betfair.

In conjunction with the table above, the following table shows the best alternative options to laying each event in Betfair during this round of matches (click to enlarge; opens in a new tab):

Exploring The Three Methods Of Laying Using Traditional Bookmakers

German Bundesliga Matches 26th-28th October, 2012

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