- Accumulators Explained: If you place a double or a treble, you have placed 2 or 3 bets respectively. ALL your bets need to win, for you to make a profit (and get your stake back). If all the bets don’t win, you lose your stake and don’t get any profit. If your first bet wins, BOTH the winnings and the stake are combined to become the stake for the second bet etc. 4 bets can be called a fourfold. 5 bets can be called a fivefold. 6 bets can be called a sixfold. Although, all the above work in the same way (all the bets have to win, for you to make a return and get your original stake back), technically only 4 bets and above are called accumulators (although some people still decide to call doubles and trebles accumulators). Accumulators suffer from overround multiplication issue.
- The most standard bet you could make is a win bet. You will only make a profit if your selection wins. So, if you make a £5 bet at 7/1 at Sun Bets you will make a £35 profit if your selection wins (and get your £5 stake back, if you win). Another common bet, is an Each-Way Bet. If you place an each-way bet on a single event, you are effectively making two separate bets. One bet is on a win only basis, and one is on a place basis.
- A place bet, allows you to make a profit if your selection finishes not just first, but also in a certain number of other places (e.g. 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc. depending on what the bookmaker is offering). Usually, you will receive a proportion of the win odds.
- Wisdom of the Crowd refers to the phenomenon that a large number of individuals in a group, will usually be able to make better decisions than any individual in that group.
- For example, at a funfair say their was a big jar with an unknown amount of marbles. People were asked to guess the number of marbles (with the closest getting a prize). If you took all the guesses and averaged them (provided there was a sufficient number of people in the group) it would usually come close to the actual number of marbles in the jar. Obviously, the more people who participated the closer to the actual number you would get.
- This happens, because individual noise is filtered out.
- In the case of betting odds, Wisdom of the Crowd also has an effect as bookmakers are forced to lower prices getting a lot of betting action (and increase prices not getting a lot). So, highly backed outcomes get their prices lowered, and less well back outcomes get their prices increased.
- However, for Wisdom of the Crowd to work people have to be making rational and independent decisions. In the case, of marbles in the jar at the funfair this may be the case. In the case, of betting markets this may not be the case.
If you didn’t spot this betting tip scam we wrote about, you were a victim of survival bias (you were only thinking of the people who made it through a selection process, and ignored those that didn’t). Don’t worry, here’s the betting tip scam explanation:
- What has happened here is the ‘tipster’ sent say 10,000s of e-mails – some of which backed all the possible outcomes in the first event. You just happened to be in the group that the correct tip was sent to the first time.
- The second time, the ‘tipster’ e-mails only the group that he had previously sent the 1st winning tip to, and divides them into new groups backing each of the outcomes in the 2nd event.
- Again and again, this process is repeated.
- Provided the ‘tipster’ started out with a sufficiently large number of recipients to begin with, to a certain number of people it will look like the ‘tipster’ got a large number of tips in a row correct from the start.
- The people who received a wrong tip at any time were no longer e-mailed, and they probably didn’t think much of it. But to the group of people who got all correct tips, it will look like the ‘tipster’ is genuine.
- The ‘tipster’ hopes that a small percentage of people who got the large number of tips in a row correct from the start will sign-up to his ‘tipping service’ for a fee (which will be nothing more than a scam).
Although there are many tipsters who attempt to provide genuine tips (like us at betsaver.co.uk), there are some scams out there you need to avoid! Can you spot this well known betting tip scam – variations of which still catch people out?
- Let’s say you are sent an e-mail purporting to contain a betting tip that’s certain to come in on an event tonight? You don’t pay much attention to the e-mail, as it seems like a piece of spam. Later when you are watching TV you catch the end of the event the tipster predicted. In the back of your head you seem to remember the outcome might have been the same as the tip. You go back and check your e-mail, and the tipster got it right, but you don’t think much of it.
- The same day the following week, again you get an e-mail from the same sender with another betting tip. You still don’t think much of it, but this time decide to remember the tip to check it later. You check the result later, and the tip came in. He just got lucky, you say!
- The following week, another e-mail with another betting tip drops in your inbox – this time you are intrigued, and decide to tune in to the event the tipster bet on, and it wins! You are becoming tempted to bet some of your own money on these tips, if they keep coming.
Tipsters aim to look for bookmaker odds that they think do not reflect the genuine probability of an outcome in a market happening (in the case of fixed odds betting, tipsters are looking for better odds than the true probability). Tipsters have to also overcome the inbuilt overround (profit) in bookmakers’ prices, and still find profitable tips. A tip will never be an absolute certainty. IF you can find a tipster who is genuinely able to consistently provide tips where the odds are better than the true probability, and IF you have a superb bankroll management strategy, profit could be made in the long run (mind you, that’s two big IF’s). To find free betting tips, we recommend looking:
We explained how you could start to find the best value markets at your favourite bookmaker, such as Sun Bets. This involves working out the overround on a particular market. The lower the overround the better. Numerous websites and software tools have popped up which try to take this a step further – they claim to allow you to spot guaranteed profitable betting opportunities, by taking advantage of the differing prices on outcomes in the same market between different bookmakers. That is to say there will be no overround in the market, and in fact the book will be less than 100%. This is called arbitrage betting. We strongly recommend you avoid arbitrage betting. Although, the opportunities they spot will be real (if you are using a reputable service), we still recommend you avoid this form of betting. There is usually a fee involved to use these services, and even though the opportunities to make a profit might be there in theory, in practice they are difficult to profit from.
Why avoid arbitrage betting? Your account may be closed, or bets revoked.
- Bookmakers generally hate arbitrage betting. Many share data for numerous reasons, and this helps them spot arbitrage betting. Depending on their T&Cs, they could refuse to honour bet(s) and/or close your account.
Diligent sports betting bankroll management can be the difference between winning sports bettors, and those who are destined to lose all their money.
Here’s an example:
- Let’s say that you have £1,000 to gamble with in total in your sports betting account at Sun Bets, but cannot replenish this money if you lose.
- Let’s say you were betting on an event with only two possible outcomes, and Sun Bets were offering 6/5 on outcome 1, and 1/2 on outcome 2 (this is a made up example).
- Let’s say according to your value bet calculations, you thought the true odds of each outcome was 1/1 – i.e. there is a 50% chance of outcome 1, and a 50% chance of outcome 2.
- Of course you would want to bet on outcome 1, as you are getting better odds than required. You would never bet on outcome 2, as you are getting worse odds than required.
- If you bet £1,000 on outcome 1, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the bet in terms of value. After all, you will be making £1,200 profit if outcome 1 happens!
- However, what if outcome 2 happens? 50% of the time it will, and you will lose your stake of £1,000. As this was your whole bankroll, you will be completely broke!
We have already explained how to understand the Fractional Odds system used by UK bookmakers such as Sun Bets, as well as the popular Decimal Odds system. For completeness, we thought we would also explain the ins and outs of Moneyline Odds. This system is popular in the USA, and as such we will use dollars in the examples below (but of course the same principles apply whatever the currency). To understand Moneyline Odds, first look at if the odds are positive or negative. Then, look at the odds. Moneyline Odds are expressed per $100 staked (although of course, you should be able to bet any amount, subject to minimums or maximums).
- POSITIVE Moneyline Odds show how much profit you will get if your bet wins, for every $100 staked (if you win you will get back your original stake too).
- NEGATIVE Moneyline Odds show how much you will have to stake, to get $100 profit if your bet wins (if you win you will get back your original stake too).
Let’s look at two actual examples:
- +500: this means for every $100 bet, $500 profit will be paid if your bet wins (i.e. if your bet wins they will return you original stake of $100, and pay you another $500).
- –500: this means for every $500 bet, $100 profit will be paid if your bet wins (i.e. if your bet wins they will return you original stake of $500, and pay you another $100).
Having understood the ins and outs of Fractional Odds (traditionally used by UK bookmakers, such as Sun Bets), we think it will be a useful exercise for you to understand the Decimal Odds system as well. Decimal Odds show how many times your original stake (INCLUDING your original stake) you will get back if your bet wins. Obviously, this number should always be more than 1.0 as you should always get back your original stake if you win, plus some profit. Compare that to Fractional Odds which only show the potential profit you will get back if you win (of course regardless of the odds system, you will always get your original stake back if you win).
Let’s look at some Decimal Odds examples:
6.0 – for every £1 bet you will get £6 back, if your bet wins (i.e. you make £5 profit, per £1 staked). 5/1 (Fractional Odds), and 6.0 (Decimal Odds) are equivalent.
1.2 – for every £1 bet you will get £1.20 back, if your bet wins (i.e. you make £0.20 profit, per £1 staked). 1/5 (Fractional Odds), and 1.2 (Decimal Odds) are equivalent.
Fractional Odds are popular in the UK & Ireland. Decimal Odds are popular in Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. However, even for UK bettors using Fractional Odds (such as on Sun Bets), we think it is useful to understand the Decimal Odds system for three reasons:
Accumulators allow you to combine multiple bets, and potentially win big when all your selections win. Accumulators may seem great news to casual gut instinct bettors. After all, they offer the chance to win a lot of money for a small amount gambled. However, for the value bettor who is looking to potentially make a long term profit from betting, accumulators pose a great problem! We have already discussed the notion of overround – bookmakers will want to build in a profit margin on the markets they offer. However, when overrounds are multiplied it can be a big problem for the bettor! Hence, we are posting this Mitigating accumulator overround disaster article.
Let’s say you place a double (2 selection accumulator), with both bets having an overround of 12%. To calculate the combined overround:
[(1.12 x 1.12) multiplied by 100] minus 100 = 25.44% overround
If you keep placing bets on outcomes of events, just because you fancy teams/players to win (Gut Instinct), without considering the odds fully then you will likely be losing money in the long run. Value betting involves independently considering if the odds offered are better than the true probability of the outcome happening, and only placing bets if that is the case. Let’s start our Value Betting vs Gut Instinct article off with an example:
Let’s say you are considering placing a bet in an event in which there are two outcomes only, e.g. the final of a competition where either team/player A wins, or team/player B wins (no draws possible). You need to calculate the true probabilities of the outcomes. This requires taking into account a lot of factors (prior results, injuries, officials, form etc. – variables will depend on what event you are betting on), and coming up with a statistical model (which may require, amongst other things weighting the factors).
Overround Explained: The odds offered by bookmakers are unlikely to correspond exactly to the actual probabilities of the outcomes in any market happening, as no bookmaker is likely to operate without trying to offset its costs (and trying to make a little something on top)! Bookmakers are likely to be taking money from lots of customers over the possible outcomes – they may try to guarantee themselves a profit regardless of the result. Bookmakers may start a market by working out the actual probabilities of the outcomes in a market occurring and then incorporating a profit margin into the odds, but as money comes in on the market they will often adjust prices to attract less or more money to particular outcomes – e.g. they may want to limit their liability on an outcome they already face a big payout on if it comes through, or they may want to attract more money to different outcome(s) to one(s) they already have taken a lot of money on to guarantee a profit or minimise potential losses. How do bookmakers use overround to try and make profits?
As an example, here are the odds Sun Bets were offering, at the time of writing, on an upcoming Rugby Union match. There are only three possible outcomes in this market:
The home team wins: 15/8
The match is drawn: 16/1
The away team wins: 2/5
Bookmakers in the United Kingdom (and Ireland) usually quote prices using fractional odds (i.e. 5/1, 1/2, etc). Fractional odds show how much the bettor can profit, relative to their stake, IF their bet wins. In this article ‘Betting: Fractional Odds Explained’ we explain everything you will need to know about fractional odds.
- Fractional odds show the payoff:stake ratio. The left hand number of the fractional odds is the amount of profit you will make IF your bet wins (PAYOFF), and the right hand number is the amount you will have to gamble (STAKE). IF your bet loses, you forfeit the stake. If your bet wins, you get your stake back AND the payoff.
- 5/1 odds mean that if you bet £1, you will make £5 profit if your bet wins (i.e. if your bet wins the bookmaker will return you original stake of £1 AND pay you £5 profit). Remember, the odds just show a ratio – you don’t have to bet exactly £1. If you bet £2, you make £10 profit if your bet wins. If you bet £60, you make £300 profit if your bet wins.
- 1/2 means if you bet £2 you will make £1 profit if your bet wins (i.e. if your bet wins the bookmaker will return you original stake of £2 AND pay you £1 profit). This is an example of an odds-on price (the possible profit is less than the stake – however, you would not lose any money if your bet wins, as you would get your stake back. If you bet £10, you make £5 profit if your bet wins. If you bet £200, you make £100 profit if your bet wins).
- Another way of looking at this is the fractional odds show the ratio of the amounts gambled by the two parties involved (the bookmaker, and the bettor). Suppose Sun Bets offers 5/1 on a horse winning a race, and a bettor decide to place a £1 bet on that horse, you could look at it as the bookmaker puts in £5 into an envelope & the bettor puts in £1 into the same envelope – so there is £6 in the envelope. If the bettor wins the bet (i.e. the horse wins), he gets to keep all the contents of the envelope. If the bettor loses the bet (i.e. the horse doesn’t win), the bookmaker gets to keep all the contents of the envelope.