Responsible Gambling – Soccerwidow Football Betting Maths, Value Betting Strategies Thu, 06 May 2021 14:38:53 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Over Under Betting in the Season of the Coronavirus Thu, 08 Apr 2021 08:12:55 +0000 more »]]> This experiment in association with online magazine was suspended on 5th May 2021.

In July 2020, after the first wave of the coronavirus, when most of the leagues resumed their games Soccerwidow performed a public experiment to see whether old statistics could be still used and if the Over/Under Betting coursebook remained potent.

If you followed our live experiment last year with real money then you would have increased your starting bank by over 50% in just 25 betting days.

Now, many months have passed and the leagues have just about returned to their regular schedules, albeit without fans in most stadiums. What is quite obvious to all observers, as well as punters, is that there are now more away wins than previously: ‘home advantage’ seems to have shrunk.

But what about the goals?

Above are the statistics for the four leagues we tested in our portfolio last summer: Italy, Spain, Poland and the EPL. These were four randomly chosen leagues and our campaign covered the last six weeks of the respective seasons.

This time we are adding the German Bundesliga 1. Firstly, because the BILD (the German broadsheet newspaper) is going to publish our picks on its website and secondly, to allow our course buyers (who are in the possession of the German Bundesliga Cluster Table courtesy of their purchase) to follow the calculations and reasoning.

This season’s campaign will again follow the last six weeks of each featured league and we will once again concentrate on Over/Under selections using our Cluster Tables.

The rules of engagement are the same as last time (for comparison purposes) and are explained a little further down in this article.

What’s pretty obvious this season is that in many leagues the ‘home advantage’ seems to have suffered due to the empty stadiums. Apart from the Bundesliga, the other four leagues, Poland, Spain, Italy and the EPL, have seen considerably fewer home wins than in the previous season – for example, a drop of 17.8% in the EPL thus far.

However, despite the shift in the home and away wins the total goals per match have hardly changed. Italy so far this season is down just -0.7% of goals, Spain -0.4%, Poland -2.7% and the EPL -2.2%. The highest change in the observed goals per match is in the German Bundesliga: -6.9%, although they have exactly the same number of home wins as the previous season.

What is interesting here is that the Bundesliga home goals per match do not show a high deviation – only -3.6% – but the away goals scored per match have dropped by -11.0%. In the other leagues, except in Italy, the away teams are currently scoring more goals on average.

Whatever the reason is for these changes it cannot be solely down to the missing crowds at games. It’s truly fascinating – just have a look at the numbers in the above graphs and make your own conclusions.

Slideshow Picks

The picks for the respective day will appear here around 1 p.m. (sometimes earlier) as well as the results of the previous matchday. For the German audience, the picks are also published by the BILD, so no one will be able to tell us that we don’t publish our picks in advance! 🙂

You may have to press the F5 button to refresh this page if you don’t see the picks for the day. However, please note that there won’t be picks on every day as not every day of the week has qualifying matches.

Sadly, we have had to suspend our live experiment in association with on 5th May 2021 after just 18 rounds of games. We were spending an awful amount of time compiling the data and making the picks entirely for free. was using the novelty of a female pundit (yours truly) to attract readership and to entice them into buying subscriptions for the full version of its website. Indeed, every Soccerwidow featured article on Bild was attracting between 20-50,000 views each. Yet, an organisation as large and as powerful as Bild was arrogant enough to take our work for free with no guarantee of payment at the end of it. Apparently, we were supposed to be grateful for the exposure we received as a result of having our hard work taken advantage of. Sorry Bild, but that’s not the way to build lasting associations or bonds with your business partners… We are off to spend our time on more fruitful labours!

*Best (Odds): The odds at the time the picks were made/published

The expected probability and zero odds are calculated exactly as described in the coursebook using the Cluster Tables.

The original selection criteria was:

  1. the chance to win the bet has a Probability between 60% and 80%, and
  2. the expected Yield is between -15% and 30%
  3. the Profitability of the bet is between -50% and 95%
  4. the Disparity of goals between the home and away team is between -25% and 30%

According to this season’s statistics so far, the following additional rules were to be applied:

  • ITALY >> Avoiding ‘Over 2.5’ bets
  • SPAIN >> ‘Over 1.5 goal’ will be preferred even if they have a negative value
  • POLAND >> Under Bets will be preferred
  • EPL >> Under Bets will be preferred
  • BL1 >> Being careful to place Over 1.5 and Over 2.5 bets

If all the above criteria were applied and there were 2 bets to choose from, then the last knock-out criteria were:

  • bet has a positive value, and if not,
  • the bet with the lowest negative value in the 60% – 80% cluster is selected
  • only 1 bet per match is selected


After the first four betting days, our bank reduced by almost 25%.

Rather than waiting for the stop loss margin (60% of the bank) to check the stake amounts and prevent total loss of the bank, we reappraised the portfolio and changed the selection rules with effect from 16th April 2021 (betting day 5).

We are no longer concentrating exclusively on the 60-80% probability range.

We will now focus on two specific ranges of over/under options: from OVER 1.5 goals to OVER 5.5 and UNDER 3.5 goals to UNDER 0.5 (0:0).

If there are two bets with a very similar probability in a single game, such as O 1.5 and U 3.5, both will be played with the stake evenly distributed between them. (For example, if the higher odds option represents 2.5% of the bank, then this amount is split 1.25% on one result and 1.25% on the other).

If there are several qualifying bets in a single game, for example, O 1.5 – O 2.5 – O 3.5 – O 4.5 – O 5.5, all bets that contain value are played. In this case, we will stick to the maximum stake of the bet with the highest probability and split this equally between all of the bets.

With this approach, more bets with higher odds will enter into the scope of the portfolio – for example, Under 0.5 and Over 5.5 goals.

Here is an example calculation of a bet that would have gone really well:

Overall results of betting on multiple over goals options in the same game

The basis for calculating the stakes has changed from this:

  • Odds up to 1.1: 5% from the bank
  • Odds between 1.1 – 1.16: 4% from the bank
  • Odds between 1.16 – 1.39: 3.8% from the bank
  • Odds between 1.4 – 2.25: 2.5% from the bank
  • Odds between 2.25 – 7.50: 1.5% from the bank
  • Odds over 7.50: 0.5% from the bank

…To this with effect from 16th April 2021:

  • Over 1.5 Goals = 3.5% of bank
  • Over 2.5 Goals = 2.5% of bank
  • Over 3.5 Goals = 1.5% of bank
  • Over 4.5 Goals = 1.0% of bank
  • Over 5.5 Goals = 0.5% of bank
  • Under 0.5 Goals = 0.5% of bank
  • Under 1.5 Goals = 1.0% of bank
  • Under 2.5 Goals = 1.5% of bank
  • Under 3.5 Goals = 2.5% of bank

Stakes are always rounded up to the nearest whole number.

However, not only are the stakes calculated according to the risk but a ratchet system will also be applied. This means that the stakes increase with each round in accordance with the highest bank total achieved and remain at that level even if the bank then decreases again. The stakes are only reduced if the bank reduces to 60% of the starting bank (i.e. starting bank loses 40%).

Starting Bank (at the start of the experiment on April 9, 2021): 3,000.00
Highest Bank (9th April 2021): 3,000.00
Bank will increase each day if there are winnings; bank for calculating stakes will only reduce when it drops below 1.600,00 (60% of starting bank).

Duration of the Experiment

The first pick is due on Friday 9th April 2021 and we will continue until the end of the seasons in our five selected leagues.

The EPL concludes on May 23rd 2021.

Germany’s last match is on May 22nd 2021.

Italy’s last match is on May 23rd 2021.

Poland finishes on May 16th 2021.

Spain’s last match will be on May 23rd 2021

So, we are looking to cover seven full weekends and the midweek games in-between them. Whether we continue publishing picks using Summer Leagues thereafter will be decided at a later date.

Important information about the risk!

Even if we trust our own coursebook and cluster tables and are pretty sure that the published picks will lead to a profit, we urge you to play it safe by not risking more money than you can afford to lose.

Please stick to the above staking plan and do not carry out any experiments with the staking. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you and increase stakes if there is a good spell going on. And please don’t chase any losses if there are a few bad days in a row. Please always remember that we are playing statistics and that they never line up in a regular manner.

It is interesting to see that the total goals in the games haven’t really changed despite the fluctuations of home and away wins but what we do not know for sure is whether the Cluster Tables, which are based on the statistics of the last five full seasons of the teams involved, are robust enough to cope with this change.

Therefore, we urge you once more, be careful! Should you follow our picks with real money, then please stake only what you are prepared to lose and stick strictly to the staking plan!!!

Fingers crossed that things go our way again! 🙂
Enjoy & share, Your Soccerwidow

]]> 3
Gambling for Fun or Gambling for Money? – The Truth Wed, 27 Sep 2017 05:19:56 +0000 more »]]> When people tell me they gamble for the fun of it, I find this hard to believe. It beats me but I simply cannot see the point of ‘enjoying’ losing money for the sake of it.

Honestly, if I would find any pleasure in losing money, I would seek out far more thrilling methods of departing from it. I can assure you that watching cinders of cash spiralling away in the air is great fun. Alternatively, take a wad of bank notes and flush them down the toilet – Disposable income can be art!

Gamblers are masters in the art of self-deception. They are convinced they gamble primarily for fun and don’t mind losing.Collage of Shutterstock images; Foreground: Edel Puntonet, Background: Jag_cz

If you Enjoy Losing Money…

The point is if you truly enjoy losing money then there are better ways of getting rid of it than gambling it away with all the dashed hopes and strained emotions which go with it.

Unfortunately, gamblers are masters in the art of self-deception. They are convinced they gamble primarily for fun and don’t mind losing. However, I would bet their real motive is to make as much money as possible from as little funds as available.

I am sorry to shatter this dream, but getting rich quick with gambling is practically impossible!

Be Honest With Yourself…

Indisputably, there are sometimes cases of people winning the lottery, or making a fortune by placing a high odds accumulator. This cannot be denied. These rare examples exist and are widely broadcast in newspapers, used for marketing by bookmakers, casinos, and stock exchanges.

Why? – Because big wins such as this happen rarely and people get sucked into dreaming about replicating such successes.

Please, be honest with yourself…

How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by pure gambling? – I don’t know any. On the other hand, I am acquainted with a good number of people who have become rich by managing or investing money in businesses.

Therefore, if you are a pure gambler, if you are somebody who regularly bets or plays cards, or risks money on financial trades such as shares or forex, your lack of knowledge and skills probably mean you are just ‘hoping’ to strike it lucky on something you know little about.

People are Losing Large and Small Fortunes with Gambling

I can assure you that I also know enough people personally who have lost large and small fortunes; people who cleared their hard-earned savings accounts and in some cases undid a lifetime’s work by overestimating their own abilities.

Those people believed they were smarter than the average person, which gave them a licence to think they could beat the market.

Greed is the worst guide. Boredom is another enemy. Believing that you can beat the market whilst others fail is delusional. What are your special skills? Where is your advantage?

It Is So Much Easier to Make Serious Money With Any Activity…

… but not with gambling!!!

Are you looking to escape the rat race and join the nouveau riche?

What do you have to offer? Which standards of expertise and excellence can you exhibit in a conversation interesting enough for successful people to value your thoughts?

Why should managers, investors, businessmen, and other entrepreneurs listen to your opinions and wish to spend time with you?

It is likely that you won’t be able to answer these questions immediately, but start thinking. It is never too late!

Begin working on changing your mindset. Reflect on your skills.

Become somebody successful people want to mix with.

Re-think Your Position in the World

Here are a two quotes collections which may help you reflect and re-think your position in the world:

Top 50 Money Quotes to Change the Way You Think

If You Are Truly Into Betting – Then Learn The Maths!

]]> 3
Top 10 Tips: How to Get Rich with Football Betting? Sun, 27 Nov 2016 09:35:45 +0000 more »]]> Does Rich Mean Happy?

If you type into Google the exact phrase, “how to get rich in a short time” you will find around 37.5 million search results. That’s 37.5 million web pages tackling the topic of finding wealth. In comparison, the expression, “how to live a happy married life” produces only 4 million results.

Mathematically speaking this equates to just 1 in every 10 websites writing about a “happy life” whilst the other 9 are trying to show a route to riches! This is certainly an indicator of which is more important to the public!

Value Life Quote: Nothing is to be rated higher than the value of the day - Johann Wolfgang von GoetheCollage of Shutterstock images; Foreground: stocknadia, Background: Nuno Monteiro

As Soccerwidow focuses on gambling, finances, and football betting in particular, we have compiled a list of advisory tips on the subject of how do you get rich with football betting (around 580k Google results). Of course, the following elements can be applied to any form of betting or gambling.

Top 10 Tips on How to Get Rich with Betting

1. What is your Perception of being Rich?

What is your acceptable level of wealth before you consider yourself rich? Without knowing the answer to this question, you will be unable to set wealth targets or plan for how much money you wish to earn over the time period you have set yourself. Obviously, the answers are different for everyone but the question is relevant to us all.

2. “SMART” Targets

Success with online football betting should be planned for as thoroughly as setting-up a business. It requires a well-thought out and methodical approach. There is no get-rich-quick scheme or system and commitment to your chosen strategy must be applied long-term. Targets have to be ‘SMART’: Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Realistic; Timed.

3. Identify your Target Leagues and do your Homework

At Soccerwidow, we only analyse and bet on league games with plenty of historical statistics as cup matches tend to be one-off events, are more volatile, and include too many upsets or giant-killing episodes.

Which leagues do you want to research? Do your homework; is there liquidity with the bookmakers or betting exchanges for your chosen markets to allow the size of bets you wish to make?

4. Understand the Different types of Bets

Absolute clarity and a firm grasp of the differences between back and lay bets is needed. This is especially the case when trading or hedging for a profit with little or no intended risk of loss involved.

5. Excel Spreadsheet Competence

A strong knowledge of Excel spreadsheets is also needed to save time calculating formulas, staking plans, net winnings, effects of betting exchange commissions (i.e. their slice of your winnings), and also to record your results for full control and continued focus on how well the ‘business’ is performing.

How do you get rich with a business? You become rich by constantly monitoring and evaluating performance, fine-tuning trading areas that require improvement, and cutting away the loss-making areas. What is going right; what is going wrong? Without a spreadsheet or copious written records, you will have no idea and the question, “how do you get rich?” will have had no chance of a solution from the outset.

6. Enough Knowledge to Recognise a ‘Value’ Bet

Absolute knowledge of what a ‘value’ bet is and how to calculate value bets using statistics is paramount in order to add the ‘edge’ that you will need in order to compete with the bookmakers on level ground. It is a myth that people ever become rich gambling on gut-feeling alone. The Soccerwidow course teaching you about statistics and value bets is a good starting point.

7. Staking Plans

These are an essential element of any successful betting strategy. Without a staking plan, your betting will be directionless, unreliable, and unrewarding. The staking plan will also help minimise losses and keep your betting bank trading for as long as possible (with a stop-loss mechanism in place), seeing out the losing streaks you will undoubtedly have to endure.

Equally important is the ratchet mechanism, to increase staking levels when you have achieved desired betting bank targets. Ratcheting stakes down again (i.e. stop-loss) is required if the bank drops back to previous target levels.

Ratcheting your stakes in this way will ensure you achieve the most reward for your money when things are going well, but retain full control when you hit troughs of losses. “How do you get rich” will be a roller-coaster ride, full of highs and lows.

Happy man fondles his money tree houseplantImage: (Shutterstock)

3. Start-up Capital and Money Management

Like a business, money is needed to bankroll the venture and we suggest a starting betting bank of no less than 1,000 currency units if you are serious. You will need to open accounts with at least one of the major betting exchanges, Betfair or Betdaq, in order to place ‘lay’ bets, and perhaps up to 20 bookmakers (or more) to achieve the best possible price when placing ‘back’ bets.

You can easily convert many bookmaker bonuses (free bets) into cash without risk using matched betting techniques to boost the size of your war chest, and this is where we would recommend you begin.

Ultimately, a wide range of bookmaker accounts is also needed to dilute and spread your success. You will need to consciously minimise the risks of account closure for being too successful with some bookmakers. Perhaps withdraw winnings via matched betting into your betting exchange account rather than withdrawing directly from the bookmakers.

8. Be Disciplined, Unemotional, and Patient

If you are gambling because you are desperate to earn money then you are doing it for the wrong reasons. You are already too emotionally attached to the task ahead.

If you enjoy the buzz and have decided to adopt a business-like approach to securing a regular income then you have a chance of succeeding.

Start by stop asking “how do you get rich?”. There is an established theory that if you put 10,000 hours of time into a project and really apply yourself to it, then success will invariably follow.

Keep financial records, just in case the taxman needs answers as to how you became rich! (We are being serious here!).

10. Never Gamble Tired or Drunk and Never Chase Losses

A fool and his money are easily parted. Casinos ply customers with free alcohol because they know it is a surefire way of unhinging your discipline and sense of reality.

“Never gamble more than you can afford to lose” is a mantra you will see repeated many times over in this blog.

]]> 20
Self Check: Do I Have a Gambling Problem? Tue, 15 Mar 2016 06:00:33 +0000 You may have chosen to open and read this article because you have a gambling problem, or perhaps you are trying to help a family member, or one of your friends?

Most gamblers will have come across the expressions “responsible gambling” or “problem gambling” but, not everyone will know the true meaning of this term. Indeed, actually recognising and admitting a problem may be quite a challenge.

The following questions are provided by Gamblers Anonymous as a test to help an individual decide whether or not he or she has a compulsive gambling habit. We reiterate that this is not a Soccerwidow test.

To use the test, please count the number of times you answer YES to the following 20 questions, and we emplore you to be completely honest with yourself:

  1. Have you ever lost time from work or missed an appointment due to gambling?
  2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  3. Has gambling ever affected your reputation?
  4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
  5. Have you ever gambled in an attempt to win money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
  6. Has gambling ever lowered your ambitions or efficiency?
  7. After losing, have you ever felt you must try and win back your losses as soon as possible?
  8. After a win have you ever had a strong urge to carry on and try to win more?
  9. Have you often gambled until your last credit is gone?
  10. Have you ever borrowed to finance your gambling (e.g. used credit cards or an overdraft)?
  11. Have you ever sold anything to finance your gambling?
  12. Have you ever been reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
  13. Has gambling ever made you careless about the welfare of yourself or your family?
  14. Have you ever gambled for a longer time than you had planned for the session?
  15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness?
  16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
  17. Has gambling ever caused you difficulty in sleeping?
  18. Have arguments, disappointments or frustrations ever created within you an urge to gamble?
  19. Have you ever had an urge to celebrate some good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
  20. Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling activities?

If you answered seven or more of the above questions with YES, perhaps it would be advisable to check out one of the following links:

Whilst the majority of people do gamble within their means, for some, gambling can become a problem. It may help you keep control to remember the following:

  • Gambling should be entertaining and not seen as a genuine or guaranteed way of making money (believe us, in order to become a professional gambler it will not only take up huge amounts of your time, but it requires a great deal of knowledge which is probably more difficult to obtain than a proper university degree in any subject)
  • Never chase losses
  • Only gamble what you can afford to lose
  • Keep track of the time and amount of money you spend gambling
]]> 0
Football Addiction – Am I Addicted to Football? Sat, 12 Mar 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Most people are passionate about a particular subject or have a time-consuming hobby. Unfortunately, this enthusiasm may in some individual cases develop into extreme fanaticism which may become a tough test of the patience and loyalty of others.

Football players legs close shot with ballImage: Lario Tus (Shutterstock)

Soccerwidow has put together a list of 20 questions which may help you decide whether you are perhaps a little too ‘involved’ in your fascination with football.

Please count how many of the following questions you answer with a “yes”, and enter this number in the poll at the end of the article (allocate half a “yes” where you feel the statement is only partially correct).

The first 10 questions

  1. In European Championship and World Cup years you’re on the verge of losing your job because you always heavily insist on four weeks’ holidays not to miss a game, or take fake ‘sick days’ in order to watch games during these periods.
  2. Every year during the Winter mid-season break or the break between seasons you feel distracted, aggressive or depressed. To avoid withdrawal symptoms, you watch games you have recorded from previous seasons.
  3. You can state names, (with or without dates of birth!), clubs and the club location of footballers in the German, English, Spanish and Italian leagues by heart, but you have no idea what your neighbour’s names are.
  4. Now and again perhaps you miss an important personal or work-related appointment, but you never forget football fixture dates.
  5. You feel restless and disturbed if on football days your partner has invited friends or family to your house who are not interested in the beautiful game and protocol dictates that the TV is switched off.
  6. You have had numerous arguments with your partner because he/she accused you of spending too much time on football.
  7. Your best friends are those with whom you can talk on the subject of football. Conversations, no matter how they started, often develop into football related chat.
  8. You have none or at least very few ‘real’ friends, people you would trust entirely. Your friends are more ‘mates’, but all of them are interested in football.
  9. It is hard for you to remember your wife’s birthday or your wedding anniversary, and sometimes you also forget other important events in your personal life calendar, but you certainly know all the match results (half-time, full-time, scorers, goal times, et cetera) of your team. Probably of most of the league too, and perhaps in previous years also.
  10. In your spare time, e.g. weekends, evenings, and in the car, you have radio commentary broadcasts of football matches on in the background, even if it’s not your team playing. You feel disturbed and misunderstood when your partner asks you to put on your headphones, or to change the channel.

Continue to the next (and last) 10 questions

]]> 6
Sports Betting for a Living? Is Earning Money from Gambling possible? Thu, 18 Feb 2016 14:00:45 +0000 more »]]> Whether it is possible to earn money from gambling and make a living from betting are questions which seem to bother many punters.
To give the short answer…

Yes, it is absolutely possible to make money with sports betting.


Man jumps from word Impossible to PossibleImage: Gualtiero Boffi (Shutterstock)

Bookmakers make money; sports analysts make a living from gambling by compiling odds for bookies; some of my own income derives from sports bettors using this website. Programmers earn a living from gambling by developing various betting applications. Manufacturers of gaming machines make money from people’s gambling habits.

I could certainly continue this list as the betting business is a big industry providing many, many people with jobs.

But this is probably not a satisfactory response for sports fans who bet themselves and pursue the dream of supplementing their income, or becoming rich from gambling one day.

However, for these hopeful punters, the answer is also clearly positive…

  • Yes: it is possible to develop long-term profitable betting strategies.
  • Yes: it is possible to find betting odds which hold value and provide a mathematical edge.

Nothing is Impossible!

The big question is whether you will manage to join the minority, the tiny crowd of betting enthusiasts who finally become successful.

Another question is whether you have the patience (and time) for acquiring the necessary knowledge to win more than you lose, because only knowledge is power; without knowledge there is no chance.

Reliance on luck is not a foundation for lasting success. With luck alone nobody can build a house – only a handful of lottery millionaires can claim the opposite.

Successful Sports Bettors – Examples

In September 2005, in “Expert Betting Advice” forum, a young woman named Maria Santonix started publishing horse racing lay bets. I followed her thread at the time, and I must say that it came across as very authentic. She published daily picks (except Saturdays) and in only 303 days, her initial bank of £3,000 increased to £100,603.78.

The thread has since been taken offline by the operators of the forum, but if you google “Maria Laying System” you will find a plethora of articles referring to her experiment. Naturally, doubt breeds skepticism and most of the responses are quite critical.

It is difficult to find really credible information about betting success on the Internet. In the majority of threads you will read statements such as “I know someone who knows someone who makes his living from betting”.

The only website I am currently aware of which has published quarterly betting results for several years is Alan Seymour’s Sports Arbitrage Review. Alan writes about his experiences as a professional arbitrage trader and has been arbing since 2002.

Famous Last Words

If you have anything substantial to contribute to this topic please leave your comment below. It will warm our hearts and be absolutely great!

As I continue to develop betting courses and tutorials, I would be very keen to learn which specific content you are interested in most.

I thank you in advance for you valuable contribution! Every thought helps to develop this website into a sparkling source of knowledge in the often far too confusing worldwide web. 😛

]]> 137
The Ten Golden Rules of Gambling Mon, 05 Jan 2015 08:00:05 +0000

If you survive the assault course of these 10 Commandments of Gambling then you may have a chance of being successful with your betting activities…

There are no more than ten “golden rules” for gambling success and it’s certainly worthwhile to follow them.

Closeup of bunch of skeleton keysImage: Jiri Hera (Shutterstock)

Rule 1: Discipline

It doesn’t matter what type of gambling activity you get involved in be it Horse racing, Football, Poker, Roulette, etc., if you enter into gambling transactions without discipline then you are sure to reduce your chances of winning consistently.

If you have no discipline and no intention of inheriting any then make a vow to yourself never to gamble.

Rule 2: Never Chase Losses

If events are unfolding against you there is always a temptation to pour more money into the bet to try and force a profit. This tactic only increases the chances that you will lose more.

Likewise, adopting the strategy after a loss that you must recoup your losses by betting more on the next event is also a recipe for disaster.

Please seek professional help if you have this trait as it is an obvious symptom of ‘problem gambling’.

Rule 3: Staking Strategy

The one certain thing is that you will never win all of your transactions and some losses are inevitable. Managing your bankroll correctly means that these losing transactions get swallowed up in the big picture and are not noticed in the long run.

We advocate that no single transaction should eat more than 2.5% of your starting bankroll, or the maximum below this that you set yourself (depending on the probabilities to win). Failure to manage your bankroll correctly is symptomatic of greed.

Most gamblers have no structure to their betting activity and place bets without thought to how much they may lose or how much they are trying to win.

You need to act like a business and your goals need to be SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. Your staking strategy then needs to be structured to achieve these goals without variation.

Rule 4: Coping with Winning Days & Losing Days

How you cope psychologically with losses plays a huge part in how successful you will be at gambling. Of course, no-one likes to lose but you have to learn to walk away at the point you set yourself, whether you are losing or winning. Not every session will be a winning one and it is important to have the ability to deal with this before you gamble.

Rule 5: Specialising

All successful businesses specialise and gambling should be no exception. By specialising you will understand better and research more ably your particular chosen field. Fewer, more focused wagers based on sound statistics and research is a much better way of investing hard earned money than employing a scatter-gun approach. Look closely at your betting patterns and see which area is ripe for specialisation.

]]> 5
The Birth of a Problem Gambler Sat, 24 Aug 2013 13:37:39 +0000 more »]]> I recently caught up with an old friend of ours who used to passionately follow EPL football and bet on matches hoping to make a fortune. He staked ‘real’ money. Sometimes a lot of it!

We had a great chat, which he allowed me to record. He now calls himself a “reformed gambler”, and has actually stopped betting. Of course, he still watches the matches, but for pure enjoyment and not with the false belief of becoming rich at the same time.

It took him a long time to realise that he was suffering from gambling addiction. Naturally, I questioned him deeply about his compulsion.

The following interview is a real life insight into the mind of a gambling addict.

Don’t be scared… However, there is a chance that you may recognise yourself in some of his statements…

Winning your First Bet is a Guarantee of More to Follow!

SW: “How and when did you begin football betting?”

DM: “It all began waiting at a bus stop next to a bookmaker shop every night on the way home from school. One day, a friend and I went in and got a fixed odds coupon and, although we were underage at only 17, began betting every so often. Not much, 50p here and there, and never more than a pound.”

“However, it took off after I got my first job with more money in my pocket. I was 19 when five of us chipped in a couple of pounds each and placed a five-fold accumulator, the minimum you could do in those days when including any home win. Unfortunately, looking back, the worst thing that could have happened, happened, and the bet won. It was the day Manchester City beat Huddersfield 10-1 at home, so it sticks in the memory.” [SW: 7th November, 1987].

SW: “How would you describe your understanding of football odds in those days?”

DM: “Absolutely non-existent; we were all totally naïve. With that first bet, none of us could even work out in advance what the winnings would be, so I was shocked when I cashed in the slip and received over £75 – it was a lot of money back then – in comparison my monthly salary was only £350, and suddenly, our collective eyes had pound signs in them.”

“It was the one and only five-fold accumulator bet I ever won!”

SW: “How influenced were your football betting decisions by being a fan?”

DM: “Oh, hugely. I would spend hours reading recent match reports, watching highlights programmes, checking on injured players and suspensions, and getting the most up-to-date pre-match information I could by listening to radio sports channels in the days and hours leading up to kick-off time. It was a science for me!”

“I would then choose an arbitrary stake for my selections and run down the road to the local shop – my pulse rate would be up before settling down to follow my games at home on the radio. It was a real buzz.”

SW: “Did you connect football odds with the probabilities of success they indicated?”

DM: “Not really…No, I had no idea. I would be put off from selecting events with higher prices because in my mind they indicated more unlikely outcomes.”

“For a long time I continued to bet on either team winning the match without any concern for the draw. I think my football betting was dictated by what I hoped would happen, rather than what was more likely to happen.”

“I ended up backing favourites mostly, because the shorter odds indicated to me that they had a better chance of winning, and in the early days I only used to bet on a few teams I thought I could trust; you know, the usual suspects, Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, the favourites in most matches they played. Any accumulator bet I placed usually included some or all of these teams.”

“Also, I always backed the team I supported whenever I selected them and would never bet against them, purely because I wanted them to win.”

“Football odds to me indicated purely what the bookmakers were prepared to pay you if you won the bet. It never crossed my mind to query this notion.”

Read the whole interview:
Part 1: The Birth of a Problem Gambler
Part 2: The Mind of a Problem Gambler
Part 3: The Pride of a Problem Gambler
Part 4: The Rise of a Problem Gambler
Part 5: The Reform of a Problem Gambler

]]> 0
The Mind of a Problem Gambler Fri, 23 Aug 2013 17:02:21 +0000 more »]]> This is Part 2 of my interview with DM, a self-confessed problem gambler… I have to admit that although it was hugely interesting to dive so deep into the mindset of a hardcore gambler, it was also a little harrowing.

He undoubtedly considered himself extremely knowledgeable about the game of football when selecting matches to bet on. However, essential skills such as calculating statistical probabilities and connecting them with the odds offered in the market were hardly considered at all.

If a bet went wrong DM put it down to matchday events such as poor refereeing decisions, missed opportunities, star players out through injury, etc.

It seemed to him far more rewarding to work out winnings in advance, and also to permutate bets in the hope of even higher potential returns, despite the fact he was losing regular sums of money.

Determined beliefs stick even when evidently fruitless

SW: “What role did luck and chance play in your betting results?”

DM: “I always thought I was highly skilled and deserved to win due to the amount of time I spent analysing the matches. Even if the winning goal came in the 95th minute off the referee’s backside, I would put the rewards down to my hard work.”

“But when you win a few bets in a row, you become over-confident and take more risks, and when things go against you, being ‘unlucky’ is an excuse you readily use. It’s crazy, really, how you kid yourself when you lose – it’s never your own fault – it was the referee’s for not giving a blatant penalty, or the striker’s for missing an open goal.”

SW: “Which betting markets/types did you prefer?”

DM: “Accumulator bets were all you could do in the old days before betting became tax free in the UK: minimum of five selections with a home win included, three without. Then the EPL came along and with it Sky TV coverage, and gradually the bookies relaxed their limitations and allowed you to place single bets on matches.”

“I was still doing doubles and trebles, and I experimented with permutations for a while, but stuck mainly to singles through the late 1990’s and into the 2000’s.”

SW: “Why did you like accumulator bets?”

DM: “Of course, after that first bet, I learned how to work out the winnings in advance and by combining the odds of matches, the rewards were far greater. Looking back, I suppose it was just basic greed – I was chasing the big numbers.”

SW: “Did you ever think your chances of winning were lower with accumulator bets?”

DM: “To some degree, yes. I mean selecting one result from the 1×2 options for three games in a treble still gave me a basic one-in-three chance of succeeding in each game, or so I thought. I just didn’t know my thinking was flawed or, that my complete lack of odds calculation knowledge prevented me from thinking about things such as overround, which I have learned since from your site.

SW: “How would you feel when you lost a bet?”

DM: “It’s human nature I suppose, but when something bad happens in any part of your life, you tend to want to make amends, put it back the way it was, or make things better as soon as possible.”

“My immediate reaction would be to rush into another bet in order to win back what I had lost, staking it to make a little profit on top for my troubles.”

“If it was a Saturday afternoon and I had lost money on the 3pm kick-offs, I would be ready to run down the road before the shop closed to place a bet on the 5.30 game. Of course, there was no preparation time and more often than not, these bets were all based on gut feeling. Usually, this later game would be televised, so I would go and watch it in the local pub after I had placed my bet.”

SW: “And how did you feel if you lost this bet too?”

DM: “Depressed. Very low. Losing twice in a day was always bad. You get home from the pub, perhaps a little drunk, and realise how much you have lost, how little you’ve achieved in your day off, and the icing on the cake was of course the money you had also just wasted in the pub. You curse yourself.”

“You then go out again and waste even more money on a Chinese take-away or something, just to make yourself feel better. And then later, watch ‘Match of the Day’ to justify that it wasn’t your fault you lost – just a dodgy off-side goal or a missed penalty, or even poor team selection by the manager which let you down.”

“You make mental notes after the event and vow to avoid certain situations next time, but you never do – you just carry on making the same mistakes because you’re a football fan, not a professional gambler. You can’t see the wood for the trees.”

“But recovery was always quick for me and I would soon be excitedly counting down the days until I could bet again to redeem myself. The process of moving from despair to hope was almost like being reborn each time.”

Read the whole interview:
Part 1: The Birth of a Problem Gambler
Part 2: The Mind of a Problem Gambler
Part 3: The Pride of a Problem Gambler
Part 4: The Rise of a Problem Gambler
Part 5: The Reform of a Problem Gambler

]]> 0
The Pride of a Problem Gambler Fri, 23 Aug 2013 15:00:03 +0000 more »]]> This is Part 3 of our interview with DM, a self-confessed problem gambler… Here, we feel the excitement of watching matches with a bet riding on them, and the growing power and success as the stakes increase; the wins get bigger, but so do the losses.

The feeling of pride is certainly a phase in many gambling careers; belief that everything is under control, with a more and more daring approach for bigger and bigger victories and triumphs.

Whilst the more prominent football players are paid millions each year for kicking a ball, a whole industry of broadcasters, pundits, and betting shops make a fortune from the masses of followers who dream of joining the millionaire’s club too…

Consistent disappointments are outweighed by the thrill of a big win.

SW: “What was so exciting about watching a match you were betting on?”

DM: “If the match was panning out as hoped, of course, the feeling was ecstatic. If you’re an ardent football fan, the most exciting thing you can do is watch a game with money riding on the outcome – your fate in the hands of your heroes, who you believe are going to do the business for you – you’re all on the same team, fighting together for the same cause – it was a proxy way of being involved in their lives and their successes.”

“Sitting in the pub with a winning slip burning a hole in my pocket made me feel powerful; sat in the ‘pound seats’ overlooking all the mug punters in the pub who had bet on the other team and were bemoaning their luck all around me. I would go and buy another beer to reward myself.”

SW: “And what were the lows of watching a match you were betting on?”

DM: “If my team were losing I’d be inwardly philosophical about it, take it on the chin, and maintain an air of dignity, even if my insides were churning. After all, no-one in the pub knew I was a loser, and I certainly wasn’t going to admit it. I’d go and buy another beer to make me feel better about losing.”

“When I think about it, the time I wasted following the games and the peripheral money I spent probably far outweighed my career gambling losses – that’s something you don’t think about at the time – it’s all part of the general loop you get into when gambling grabs hold of you.”

SW: “What else made you feel more successful than other punters?”

DM: “By this time I had a well-paid job and was able to play with bigger numbers. I would wait in a queue at the bookies watching people hand over their fivers and tenners thinking their bets were hardly worthwhile, and then I would plonk a couple of hundred on the counter with my slip. Mr Big!”

“If the bets won, I would be back to collect a huge wad of notes, again in front of people I considered would be watching on jealously. The first time I received a £50 note at a counter was the first time in my life I had ever seen one – it just added to the feeling of being a high-roller, someone with the means to do something that others couldn’t afford. Someone with the balls to gamble big.”

“There were several occasions when I handed over my winning slip only to be told by the cashier that he needed to go out the back to their safe as he didn’t have enough cash in the tills to pay me! It felt like I’d broken the bank or something, and I could only imagine what the other customers waiting in the queue behind me were thinking, patiently waiting to collect their £10 wins, when I was about to collect £500.”

“After one win I asked my girlfriend at the time to go in and collect my winnings whilst I waited in the car outside the shop. She came back enthused, with over £800 in her hand! Of course, she didn’t know that £500 of this was my stake money. But, I was successful in her eyes and we went out for a lovely meal. Later, at home, we showered each other in bank notes – it was a real George Best moment!”

SW: “How were you treated by the cashiers in the shops?”

DM: “With indifference mainly. Some were surprised at the size of some of my stakes. Some were put out when they had to hand over large winnings.”

“One guy in my local Coral shop struck up a rapport and he would praise me to the sky when I won accumulators. I had no idea then that he was probably encouraging me to carry on placing accumulator bets purely because they are the bookies’ bread and butter – I learned that lesson far too late.”

SW: “How did your friends treat you?”

DM: “I am a quiet, introverted person…honestly! And on the whole, I kept my gambling habit to myself. I was working in a professional environment and didn’t want to lose face admitting something that people generally find socially unacceptable.”

“I suppose I was a little embarrassed about it but I revelled in the fact that beneath the suit and tie was a guy who dabbled in the underworld, doing something more daring than most of his friends and colleagues would try. I was Jekyll during the week and Hyde at the weekend. But leading a double life made me feel special. No-one knew Mr Hyde really, apart from girlfriends, and even then they would see me bet only very occasionally.”

SW: “Did your gambling addiction affect any of your relationships?”

DM: “When I was in a relationship my gambling activities would always be limited – I never had the time to juggle both, plus a responsible job. But when I was single again, the urge to get back into betting every weekend soon returned.”

“Overall, betting was an on-off activity and I never really got into any rhythm or patterns. Every bet was based on what I felt like gambling on at the time. Some seasons I would bet and other seasons I would miss. I wouldn’t say I had a problem with gambling until the age of internet betting. I never went to casinos, for example – I thought they were for mugs…”

Read the whole interview:
Part 1: The Birth of a Problem Gambler
Part 2: The Mind of a Problem Gambler
Part 3: The Pride of a Problem Gambler
Part 4: The Rise of a Problem Gambler
Part 5: The Reform of a Problem Gambler

]]> 0