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An Introduction to Sports Betting…

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: A man places a bet on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival on March 16 2010, in Cheltenham, England. Approximately 200,000 racing enthusiasts are expected at the four-day festival which ends on Friday (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Editor’s Note: Happy Friday! This article is a guest post by Dan Harrison, a veteran of sports betting who teaches people how to make no risk profits using a technique called matched betting. Matched betting is a form of no risk betting where you bet for and against a team in a football match, guaranteeing a profit if that team wins or loses. Dan’s matched betting advice is completely free, and it stands up to mathematical scrutiny too. You can also follow Dan on Twitter here. Any questions? Please ask in the comments area below. Dan will do what he can to answer them!

What is sports betting?

I’m assuming you’ve heard of sports betting to some extent? When you place a bet, you’re committing some money to an outcome of an event. If that event wins, you get your money back, plus a little more based on the odds of that event. You can bet on a whole range of events, but most commonly, you can bet on a sports event. You bet on a specific outcome, e.g. Team A to win in a match against Team A v.s. Team B.

You place your bet with a bookmaker, who essentially promises to pay you if the outcome you bet on actually happens (e.g. Team A wins using the example above). Bookmakers will set the odds at a value that roughly represents the probability of that event occurring. However, the volume of money that’s been bet on an outcome can also influence the odds that a bookmaker sets for an event. Essentially, whatever the outcome of an event, the bookmaker wants to be able to make a profit on that event.

When you win a bet, the bookmaker loses, as they have to pay you. Therefore to make a profit, bookmakers will need to ensure they lose as little as possible. It’s important to understand that bookmakers intentionally set odds so that they make a profit, which means you’re usually at a disadvantage when you want to make any money from a bet.

Why gamble?

Given that the odds are not stacked in your favor, why would you want to gamble? Well, from my experience, there are 3 types of people who do betting of any kind.

  1. People who place bets for fun ? for the buzz of a possible win. These people are only occasional gamblers. Since they are betting for fun, you can understand that the thrill of a win is a compelling reason to place a bet.
  2. People who have an addiction to gambling (usually addicted to the buzz of winning). Often those who have started out as people placing bets for fun.
  3. People who use various ‘systems’ and ‘techniques’ to consistently make money from betting.

I’ve probably been in each of those groups at some point in my adult life, although thankfully group 2 was a very brief period in time!

Gambling Systems? A Myth?

Gambling systems are basically a process you follow in order to make a profit from a bookmaker. Most systems are complete rubbish, and are simply designed to part you from your money (as most gambling systems you need to pay for). Here are some reasons why systems don’t work:

  • The system is incorrect
  • The system is based on assumptions that are incorrect or only correct some of the time
  • The system is based on poor maths
  • The system doesn’t account for a large number of people using the system
  • The system uses dodgy techniques that bookmakers prohibit

The old saying applies to gambling systems, ?if it sounds to be true, it usually is?. That’s not to say that all systems don’t work, but 99% of systems are complete rubbish!

A Gambler’s Dream

A gambler is motivated by winning money. A win can create an adrenaline rush, as well as extreme excitement. Being addicted to such strong emotions is completely understandable, but gambling addiction can cause so many problems, including mental troubles and huge debts. Thankfully we have plenty of charities and organizations to help gamblers defeat their addiction.

However, if you do a spot of gambling, be sure you know your limits. Set a budget of what you can afford to lose, and never go beyond that amount. That’s a sure way to have fun without risk. If you think you have a problem, please do get help before it gets out of control!

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