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MY BOOKMAKER REVIEWS…
Betting on major sporting events has never been easier, at one time you would have to get your bets on down at your local bookies – what a hassle, now with the internet you can bet on sporting events worldwide with click of a button. Not only can you bet on virtual any type sport you care to name – Football, Horse Racing and Rugby, you can also get a huge variety of different types of bet. Fixed odds, spread bets, in-game bets, Asian handicaps, combos to name just a few.
Below I have featured a few of my favourite bookmakers, and you can rest assured these chaps won’t disappear into the jungle with your winnings. They are regulated in the UK or EU under strict legislation. To read a full bookmaker review just click the ‘Read Review’ button ~ Happy Hunting!
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Up until about 20 years ago, if you wanted to place a bet you had to physically get your to a bookmaker to place it. Then the internet happened and the entire gambling world was turned on its head.
Suddenly you could open your computer and simply pick the bet you wanted to place and with the click of a mouse it was done. Since then things have only advanced further. Technology has come so far that there are now hundreds of sports and betting markets available.
You can wager on a game taking place on the other side of the world. You can bet on who will score the next point in a tennis match – while the game is live! The possibilities are endless. But that doesn’t mean we still don’t have questions about how it all happens.
So we’re to answer some of the most frequently asked queries about online bookmakers.
HOW DO BOOKMAKERS SET ODDS?
In days gone by there was literally a person sitting with a book or ledger setting odds. Those times are long gone and now online bookmakers use a very complicated set of mathematical equations to work out the odds that you see online. But they still need a little bit of human input.
For example, in horse racing, calculating odds requires a team that works behind the scenes. These people are called Odds Compilers. And their job is to set the right price for each runner.
They take all available information into account. Using form experts, private handicappers, past performances, etc…, they compile everything they have and compare the results of the horses in the race. Then they work in the bookmaker profit margin.
That information is fed into a computer program and the odds are calculated. No matter the outcome of an event, the bookmaker makes a profit. It is all about databases, statistics and mathematical models.
Essentially a computer determines the odds.
HOW MANY BOOKMAKERS IN THE UK?
There are over 80 online bookmakers licensed to operate in the UK. They are licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission and must adhere to very strict gambling rules that are set in law.
You may only be able to think of a few off the top of your head. And these are generally the big players like Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, William Hill, Coral, BetFred etc… But you also have to consider all of the smaller bookmakers that attend racecourses or only have one shop in a smaller town.
They may not be able to compete on a grand scale but they are still subject to the exact same rules and regulations.
OFFERS AND PROMOTIONS
With 80 different bookmakers operating online in the UK there is a lot of competition for your business. That’s why they always have offers and promotions. The more attractive they can make the offer, the bigger the chance that you will bet with them.
Once you’ve placed a few bets with an online bookmaker, maybe even downloaded their app, then you start to become quite loyal. A few small bets here and there from hundreds of thousands of customers soon adds up.
So it becomes a numbers game. People spending thousands on a single bet is not as common as you think. Bookmakers make their money from millions of little bets placed throughout the year.
If they have to take a hit on a juicy offer or promotion every now and then, that’s the price they are willing to pay to keep you coming back.
WHY DO BOOKMAKERS OFFER CASH OUT?
If you’re not familiar with the term ‘cash out’ it is when you place a bet but before the result of that bet can be determined the bookmaker offers you the chance to take a settlement.
Here’s a very basic example. You place £10 on Liverpool to win a match at odds of 5/1. If you win you get back £50 plus your £10 stake. 70 minutes into the game and Liverpool are leading 1-0.
The bookmaker offers you £25 to cash out. That is the total amount you will get from the bet and includes your stake which will not be returned separately.
Here’s the dilemma, if you take the money your bet ends. And if Liverpool goes on to win the match you will have lost out on the rest of the winnings.
However, if they concede and the game ends in a draw you lose it all and get nothing. That said, there is often the option to only cash out part of the bet.
So why do bookmakers offer the cash out service? Because it makes them money or reduces their losses. In the scenario above, they will have already calculated the chances of Liverpool winning the game if they are leading at 70 minutes.
They know that if Liverpool wins they will have to give you back £60 – your £50 winnings and your £10 stake. If you take the £25, they save themselves £35.
Cash Out is a numbers game for both the customer and the bookmaker.
HOW TO BEAT THE BOOKIES
This is actually once of the most searched for terms when it comes to bookmakers. How exactly do you beat the bookies? The answer is simple. Put the right bet on. There really is no other way.
In order to win you have to be right with your prediction and the bookmaker has to be wrong. Bearing in mind the vast amount of information that the bookies have on all sports, winning a lot is harder than you think.
One advantage you can have is data or very specific information about a sport. Those that tend to know a lot more about the lower leagues in football or more obscure sports, tend to do better. And considering bookmakers take bets on pretty much everything, a little knowledge goes a long way.
Also remember that betting is a numbers game. Playing with your heart and backing a team becuase they’re your favourite is not always going work, no matter how much you love them.
Do a bit of research and look at the stats. There will always be a shock result but more often then not, sport results tend to follow trends. So do the homework and look for bets that are not so mainstream and you may have better results.
WHY DO BOOKIES PAY TO FIVE PLACES?
This is found mostly in horse racing. Big races attract a lot of punters and the bookies are fighting for your custom. So in order to draw you in and have you bet with them instead of a competitor, they will turn up the offers and offer more places.
For a lot of bookmakers, five places in races like the Grand National has become the default promotion. Some even go further and offer six places. That means, if you horse doesn’t win but instead finishes in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th place, and you have backed it each way, the bookmaker will ay out on 1/5 of the quoted odds.
Other sports often get the extra places treatment as well. Big Golf events are hugely popular and some bookies will pay up to 10 places. This seems incredibly generous but when you consider that often there are 150 golfers taking part it becomes a bit of a guessing game as to who will ahve the round of their life.
You also have to remember that the scoring plays a vital role in the whether or not your golfer makes the top 10. Having the fifth best score doesn’t matter if 20 golfers ahead of you tie for the 4th best score!
Ultimately, bookmakers pay out to five places to attract your business, knowing that in huge fields, even picking one runner or player to finish that high up is still a very difficult thing to do.
WHICH ONLINE BETTING SITE GIVES THE BEST ODDS?
A frequently asked question but one that does not have a definitive answer. Odds are a reflection of a possible outcome. So for example, if Manchester United were to play a non-league team, there is a much greater chance that Manchester United would win. Of course that doesn’t always happen, but on paper, United would be the better team. So the odds on them winning would be incredible short.
In a more equally matched game, the odds would be closer together. But those odds can change depending on how much money goes on the game from punters. It takes a lot of cash to move the odds so you see it more often in horse racing. The bookmaker is attempting to offset their risk by reducing the odds as more cash is piled on.
When it comes to online betting, there are millions more people betting than at a football ground or at a racecourse. Because of that, odds can vary depending on which bookmaker you use. Paddy Power may be offering odds of 9/1 on horse, William Hill may be offering 11/1 (or vice versa). If you have an account with both bookmakers, you would bet with Will Hill because you’re potential return is higher.
However, there are online bookmakers that frequently offer ‘Odds Boosts’. So while other bookmakers are offering small odds, you can ‘boost’ yours or take advantage of an offer that gives you more bang for your buck.
Online bookmakers also use ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ which is where they guarantee you that the odds on offer will not be beaten by a competitor. And then there is the SP guarantee. That refers to the ‘Starting Price’. So if you back a horse at 10/1 but he actually goes off at 14/1, and you win, your bookmaker will pay out at the higher odds.
When it comes to determining which online betting sites give the best odds, you have to do some homework. A quick glance through the various sites will tell you where the value lies.
WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR SPORT TO BET ON?
Football is the most popular sport in the world and for that reason it is also the most popular sport to bet on. Though on occasion, one-off events like the Grand National and the Gold Cup can also generate millions in revenue for bookmakers.
One of the reasons Football attracts so many punters is because there are so many markets to bet on. Not only can you pick who will win or lose but you can bet on the exact score of the game, who gets booked, or how many free-kicks there will be.
There are also odds on individual games as well as outright markets for you to get your teeth into. It’s the difference between betting on Liverpool vs Manchester City or betting on which team you think will win the Premier League.
Even then betting on football isn’t restricted to the UK. Yes, there is the Premier League, featuring the elite 20 clubs of English football that battle it out over the course of nine months to either win the title or remain in the division.
But there is also the Champions League, for the best of the European teams. It is one of the most prestigioustournaments in the world and every team wants to win it.
Second to the Champions League is the Europa League. This features the teams that were not quite good enough to qualify for the bigger tournament. It is just as entertaining, if lacking slightly in prestige.
Of course not everybody follows the Premier League and so football odds on the The Championship are also available. And if you fancy your chances picking a winner outside of the UK, the odds are available on Serie A (Italy), Bundesliga (Germany), La Liga (Spain) and Ligue 1 (France).
With In-Play betting, accumulators, Over/Under markets as well as all of the individual game markets, there is so much on offer for football betting that by default it is the most bet on sport in the world.
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