Top Ten Betting Mistakes

The first step to formulating a solution, is to define the problem.

The following points are areas of betting where many punters often get it wrong. My views arise from long personal experience and years of communication with successful and unsuccessful punters alike.

My aim here is to highlight these common areas of failure in the hope that I can speed up your learning curve towards successful betting.

Read the following thoughts and you may be able to side step many of the pot holes others have fallen into in the past.

1) Failure to Use Betting Banks

Most gamblers fail to understand that the best method of achieving a healthy and sustained long term profit from racing is to set aside a sum of money away from your main finances, solely for the betting of horses. Whatever method or system you are using, whoever you are following or subscribing to or however your own bets are calculated, you are better off with a “Betting Bank” that has built -in advantages that can help you. It needs to be independent from your own personal finances and needs to be protected from factors that can threaten it. This can take a lot of emotion out of the decision making process. Emotion is a factor that threatens all punters. The size of your betting bank will of course be dependent upon your own individual circumstances and free capital available.

An analogy to the world of shares perhaps may be that no financial advisor worth his salt would advise you throw all your capital into the stock market alone. The vast majority of punters fail to use any form of set aside bank. They bet randomly with what ever money they have in their pocket at the end of the week or go in too deep with stakes far in excess of their personal safety levels. A punter with a professional attitude will set aside what he can comfortably afford to invest and then determine the best use he can make of that fixed sum of capital. With a fixed sum of capital available you now move on to the next reason for failure.

2) Failure to Stake Correctly

It is vital that you consider your betting bank as capped in amount. You do not have an endless pool of resources to dip into. Betting by its nature carries inherent risks. These risks include periods of low strike rates and long losing runs. Your betting bank and staking should be adapted for the method you use. You must in advance, prepare yourself for the possibility of a worse than average sequence of losers through adoption of a sufficient number of units in your betting bank. Correct methodical staking in addition to the mathematical advantage, can also help overcome the risk of emotional reaction to a sequence of unusually positive or negative results. Take the Pricewise column in the racing post as an example.

Long term if you could get on at the advised prices, it would have returned a decent profit overall. During this time however followers would have to have endured runs of up to 40 losers in a row! Despite the overall long term profit I suspect the vast majority of Pricewise followers would have been terminated either by a failure to set aside a sufficient amount of points or through failure to cope with the emotion of the losing run. We have long since established here a strike rate of about 35% on our Best Bet selections and at an average S.P. of over 5/2 for each winning bet.

We feel able to protect clients banks as long losing runs haven’t happened and the strike rate and odds have been more than enough to ensure long steady and safe growth for your betting profits. That is in essence the key to winning money. Manage your accounts in a way that protects them as far as possible from the element of risk that the game presents you.

3) Chasing Losses

Chasing losses at first sight may appear to be an easy way to guarantee an eventual profit but the true story is it is a game for fools and statistically will not work unless you generate an overall level stakes profit. Chasing losses is a game for the ill informed who do not want to make the effort to seek value in their bets. Bookmakers have to price
up every race. Punters don’t have to play in every race, they can pick the races they want to bet in,and that is the main edge that people fail to understand.

If you have had a losing day, by attempting to chasing your losses you give up that advantage and bet in the races that you should not be betting in. You are therefore betting the way bookmakers want you to and not in the way to win. Many punters will alter their stakes in the last race either to
“chase” losses or “play up” winnings. Its no coincidence that the
bookmakers have ensured that the last race on each day is often a handicap or one of the hardest races that day. There will be more racing the next day and the day after that.

The secret is waiting for opportunities and only betting when you know you have circumstances which favour you and not the bookmakers. You must never change your approach, or deviate from sensible staking as there is no such things as “The Last Race”.

4) Lack of Value Appreciation

Appreciation of “value” in a bet is core to long term success.
To profit over a long series of bets you must be betting at odds greater than the true chance of winning your selection have. To do this however over the long term, you need to concentrate on each race individually and seek the value bet in that race. There is value to be had in every race. The key to it is understanding
where that value is. Many times a punter will screw up a losing betting slip and say “At least I had some value”.

There is absolutely NO relationship between value and prices. A 33/1 chance may be diabolical value yet a very short priced favorite may be supreme value. It does not follow that the bigger the price you take the better “value” you have. The value is sometimes clear but more often well hidden and it takes a trained eye to see that. Everyone has this “Foresight” on occasions, it is a game about opinions after all and nobody is always right or wrong. Value can be the most expensive word in racing if you can’t bet winner. The old cliche is that value is about betting a horse whose true chance is better than its price reflects.

That’s only a small part of it. You also have to make sure that you bet in the right way and in the right races as that is the only way you can keep strike rates high and protect a betting bank. You should continually strive to increase value in your bets. Once you have a selection you feel is value do not just take the first acceptable price that comes along. Seek to improve it by shopping around the various bookmakers or try and top the best bookmakers price by looking to the betting exchanges. Marginal improvements on odds on each bet you make can have a dramatic effect on long term profits.

5) Greed For Instant Wealth

Many punters seek the thrill of a life changing bet that will produce huge gains of instant wealth for a small outlay. Bookmakers play on your natural desire and go out of their way to encourage you to bet exotic multiple selection bets that can in one hit, turn a small stake into a large sum. Professionals however rarely bet in multiples. Most professionals bet singles and steer away from the multiple bets. Bookmakers relentlessly promote a host of multiple bets with exotic names such as Yankee, Lucky 15, and Goliath.

The reason they are heavily touted is the profit margin in the bookmaker’s favour increases the more selections you add to your multiple bet. Say you select any random 5/1 selection. If you bet this as a single the bookmaker may have a theoretical edge in his favor of 15%. Taking two such selections however and betting them in a win double, the bookmakers profit margin rises to about 30% ! Yes your win double can produce a much bigger win from the same stake however over the long term the bookmaker is eating away at your capital at a much faster rate.

It is a waste of time debating which type of multiple bet is ‘best’. Unless your prediction skills are supernatural or you are incredibly lucky, then betting in singles is more often the best option. You may say that many “Pros,” do bet in multiples in bets like The Scoop 6 or the Jackpot, but that’s only because they know there is plenty of “Dead” money in any given Pool and they are betting against people who don’t understand the dynamics of those types of bet. There are times you should bet in multiples but in truth they are few and far between.

You can’t approach this as a “Get Rich Quick ” scheme. It is a long slow process of serious and sustained profit and not a game for Get Rich Quick schemers. If you go Into any Betting shop, have a look at all the posters on the wall offering “special offers”, “enhanced terms ” and “bonus offers”. You will see they are all multiple bets. Bookmakers want you betting in multiples and it is easy to see why. They carve most profit from them. You never see a Bookmakers promotion offering extra’s on a win or each way single. Ask
yourself why.

6) Lack of Discipline

Lack of Discipline is the big hurdle for punters trying to turn a losing
hobby into a winning one. Bookmakers know that. That’s why in every
betting office you can bet on numbers, lotteries, ball games, racing from all over the globe with horses nobody has heard of before and even now computer animated, or as they call it, virtual racing. Bookmakers just believe that its a case of punters sitting all day betting on what ever is put in front of them and sadly they are right in many cases. They are simply thrill seeking and don’t care what they bet on, as long as they can bet.

There is no methodology at all and many betting office regulars are simply a bunch of headless chickens prepared to pay long term for the warming buzz of the occasional win. Even more experienced regular gamblers who are savvy enough to turn down bets that they know are stupid always let themselves down by continually bleeding their profits with a fun tenner here and a fun tenner there. It takes great discipline to NOT bet at times. It takes discipline to walk away from a horse when the price isn’t right. It takes discipline to say no to that small fun bet.

It takes discipline to keep your money in your pocket and deny yourself the emotional buzz of watching your runner. Punters come in all shapes and sizes. Even the shrewder punters who could win at the game, fall into the trap of lack of discipline of study. After a winning period they forget that what made them winners in the first place, was the effort they put in. They fall victim to
over confidence, laziness and indiscipline. Being a long term successful punter is like swimming against the tide. It takes an effort to stay still, even greater effort to move ahead and as soon as you relax or slack off you start to go backwards.

7) Emotion

Betting is a lonely game. Its also a highly skilled game. Emotion
undermines success in many ways. There is comfort in knowing that as a sheep when you are wrong it is not your fault as you were simply doing what everyone else was doing. With betting, the laws of market supply and demand, dictate that long term, the sheep will get fleeced. Emotion neutralises discipline and long proven successful practices. The result of any isolated race has little or no relation to races just before that or just after that. Races should be viewed in isolation from each other. We are all emotional in betting but the players at the top of the tree have this down to a fine art and can control those emotions.

Other punters have long since been conditioned by bookmakers to EXPECT to lose rather than win. They have an in built psychological factor that makes them feel like
losers and they have been conditioned to losing by years of doing so. Over 95% of punters are flawed emotionally. Examples of emotive gambling include punters following a horse,trainer or a jockey blind. The “Hype” horses are cannon fodder for emotional punters. They may also follow tipsters blind as they “hate” the thought of missing out on a winner. They pay no attention to the changing conditions of a race that may follow non runners or the ground changing. They misunderstand confidence and can’t cope with a lack of confidence.

Emotion also prevents people from advanced betting subjects such laying, hedging and arbitrages. Emotion forces some punters to bet horses with certain names that remind them of loved ones. Names such as “Long Tall Sally ” and “Susan’s Pride ” attract many to them just for a name that’s relevant to them. Most punters have a grudge against their own money and winning and being successful is alien to them. Emotional punters lose their heads in barren times and fail to capitalise on winning runs. They mess about with systems and staking plans that make no sense.

The more emotion you can rule out of your betting, the more successful you will become. You have to view everyone in the game as your enemy and as people trying to take your hard earned money away from you in the same way as you would a pickpocket. Once you can master your emotions you have made the first big step to betting profitably.

8) The Grass is Greener

The grass is rarely Greener on the Other Side. The truth is that the grass that isn’t working for you has not been grown, cultivated or looked after properly. Many punters change approaches and methods so quickly that they don’t give any method a true test. If they find a system that works they don’t continue after a few bad results. It is the same as gamblers who write down every bet they have. Once they have a few losers they often lose the heart to do this and stop doing so and move on to another area. They are like children with new toys at Christmas. They never stay with any method long enough to prosper.

They always feel the” Grass is Greener”, when in truth the “Grass” they are using has been abused and left to deteriorate. They want the next Big “new idea ” or “method ” and that doesn’t work either as the fault lies not in the Grass, but the Gardener.

They have no long term consistency in their betting and are constantly tinkering with what wasn’t broke or moving on in search of the holy grail before a full evaluation of what they are currently examining has been completed.

A competition to win best garden will be won by the person who can spend most time in the garden and master its challenges, the gardener who is prepared to care about his garden and invest in the tools that will help his garden grow and keep the weeds at bay. It’s the same with betting. You will do far better long term if you can make a concentrated effort of learning and research in one key area rather than flitting from this to that.

9) Laziness

Most punters are LAZY! They have religiously followed a doctrine of poor planning and lack of research. They refuse to study and spend hours looking at how they can win at betting. They refuse to invest in the game and invest in their own learning. You cant refuse to spend money, just look at the racing for 30 minutes and expect to win long term. You simply can’t get away with that in the hardest trade of all, Winning Money at Betting. If it was that easy, then millions would do it.You must either invest in your betting, or pay someone to do just that. Natural human tendency is to try and get away with the least amount of effort. Lazy punters are cannon fodder for the bookmakers.

They make little or no effort in their selection process nor make an effort to extract maximum returns from their bets. Those who put the most work in are the more likely to succeed. My philosophy is simple. I believe that if a bookmaker, journalist or odds compiler spends 3 hours on a race then I’ll spend 6 hours on that race to gain the edge. The famous golfer Gary Player once said “The Harder I Work the Luckier I Get”. That is true about both golf and betting.Most people can’t spend 12 hours a day studying betting as they have families, jobs, commitments and lead their own lives. That is what you pay us for. We do that study for you and re-invest money in our betting so that we can find every edge possible to Help You Win.

10) Stupidity!

Amazingly most punters fail to learn from their mistakes. They continue for years making the same basic errors time and time again. Pure stupidity. Strive to improve your betting performance by continually learning from the mistakes and weakness is your game. Your bookmaker may have been laughing at you for years. You have it in your power however to improve your betting and hopefully wipe that smile from his face for good.

Forex Trading – Gambling, Betting or Speculating?

Very often when talking to people about running a forex business, I am challenged by people saying that forex trading is nothing else but gambling. There used to be a time when I would bite at the hook and launch into a defence of forex trading. Now days, experience has shown me that sometimes it was the very words that I used were being understood differently by people. Once I accepted this, it was easier to be able to define an appropriate response.

So lets look at the three words, gambling, betting and speculating.

Gambling

This single word is probably the largest cause of confusion in this debate. As an analogy, consider the word running – and let us limit this to the use of the word as a physical exercise.

The person who goes for a jog for 30 minutes in the evening after coming home from work is running. The athlete who sprints the 100m in 10 seconds is running, the person who takes runs for 5 hours to complete a marathon is running.

At its highest level gambling can be seen as the engagement of any activity which involves a risk and is associated with the prospect of potential gain. If this definition is used then yes forex trading is gambling. But then so is investing in stocks and shares, even leaving money in a bank can be seen as gambling- it rarely happens but banks do fail.

For the purposes of this article, gambling will be defined as the staking or risking of money, on the outcome of something involving random occurring events. For example, the toss of a die, the roulette wheel, the purchase of a lottery ticket. In this decision, there are no prior events that have any bearing on the outcome.

Forex trading is nothing like this.

Betting

The definition here will be to stake or risk at any event expecting an outcome where the outcome is not totally random but is influenced by other variables. The latter part of that sentence is important as it adds an additional element to the definition for gambling.

As an example, someone may decide to bet on a team winning based on the fact that two of their key players have returned from injury. Or perhaps the world number 1 in tennis is playing the world number 134.

There are a number of traders find themselves in this position. A forex trader expect currencies, for example, to become stronger based on improved economic data. A stock trader expects a stock to increase in value based on a companies performance.

I would even go so far as to say that many people who invest their money into stocks and shares, in pension funds etc are actually betting that they made the right choice. In sporting events say, the success or failure of a result is known within a few hours, when investing in stocks and shares the time line is considerably longer.

I believe that the majority of forex traders who adopt this approach can have their trading approach defined as betting.

Speculation

I would like to propose a definition that speculation is an action that involves a certain amount of risk, in order to make a financial profit, that is supported by considering a variety of factors which the trader believes support the decision taken.

In other words, when you speculate, you base your decisions on evaluating a variety of different information sources, you rely on your knowledge and analysis of past events. It is this active engagement in the decision-making process that is based on actual facts whether they be events, announcements or the technical analysis of chart patterns that defines speculation from betting or gambling.

All successful professional currency traders and those who run a home forex business trade in this manner. These skills can all be acquired and then need to be put into practise.

Kaz Kowalski has been highly successful as a project management consultant working on a number of high profile projects in blue chip companies across a variety of industries including Banking, Information Technology and Telecommunications. He has utilised his analytical ability to review and determine the profitability and effectiveness of different home business opportunities in building viable and profitable business models. As a result of his analysis, he has concluded that a Home Forex Business has significant advantages over the majority of other home business opportunities.

Ten Tips For Betting on The Stock Market

Buying and selling shares through a stockbroker is not the only way to play the stock market. Spread betting allows you to gamble on the movement of indexes, such as the FTSE100, or on the price of individual shares.

The bookmaker quotes you a price for a certain date in the future and you bet on whether the actual share price or index will be higher or lower. You can also gamble on exchange rates and commodities.

Financial spread betting started in the 1970s when investors wanted to speculate on the price of gold without having to find large amounts of money to buy the metal.

As with any form of investment, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with spread betting. Volatile market conditions can bring substantial gains or losses, so bookmakers advise their clients to speculate only with money they can afford to lose.

Is spread betting right for you? And what are the important points to consider?

1. What is a spread bet and how does it work?

You contact the bookmaker and ask for a quote on a particular index or share. For example, you may ask for the FTSE 100 in June. You will then be quoted a spread of, say, 6,870 to 6,880. If you think the market will be lower, you sell points. If you think it will be higher you buy points. You then bet anything upwards of Pounds 2 a point. If the market closed at 7,100 and you had bought at Pounds 5 a point, you would win Pounds 1,100. If it closed at 6,800 you would lose Pounds 350.

2. What advantage do bets have over shares?

You do not pay tax on any winnings and there is no stockbroker’s fee or stamp duty.

You can also spread bet on shares that have yet to float, such as internet firms.

For example, IG Index initially offered 350p-360p for Lastminute.com, but revised the spread sharply upwards when investors bought enthusiastically. At one point the spread was quoted at 620p- 630p before settling back to 570p-580p last week.

The other big advantage is that you can make much more money from rises or falls in share prices.

For example, if a share costs Pounds 10 and you bet Pounds 10 for every penny increase, you would make Pounds 50 for a 5p increase in the share price.

3. What can I bet on apart from shares?

You can speculate on anything from sport to politics. There are a whole range of innovative bets, such as the number of corners in a football match or the number of days that William Hague will remain leader of the Conservative party.

4. How much can I bet at any time?

The minimum bet is typically Pounds 2 a point, but the maximum can run into thousands of pounds a point.

Bookmakers either grant you a line of credit or ask you to deposit money.

5. Is there a limit on how much I can lose?

Bookmakers offer stop-loss facilities for those who want to limit their liabilities. You specify a level at which you want your bet to be closed.

For example, if a spread for a share was 150p-160p, you may choose a stop-loss price of 120p. At Pounds 10 a point, you would lose no more than Pounds 300.

But the bet is automatically finished if the stop-loss price is reached – even if the share or index subsequently recovers. Each bet is also monitored in case potential losses exceed the credit limit or the amount held on deposit. The bookmaker will alert you to any dramatic movement in prices. You can then close your position.

6. What can I do if I see that my bet is losing?

Although you may have bet on a price some way into the future, you can take your profits or cut your losses at any time. You contact the bookmaker, get the current quote and calculate your winnings or losses accordingly.

In the Footsie example, if you saw the market rising, after backing it to fall, you might decide to close your bet early. The bookmaker has in the meantime updated its quote to a spread of 6,910- 6,920.

You close the bet by buying 6,920 at Pounds 5 a point, which means there is a points difference of 6,920-6,870. Your loss, therefore, is Pounds 250. If the market rose dramatically before the end of your bet and you wanted to take your profits before any subsequent fall, you could close the bet at the current price and walk away with your winnings.

7. Will the bookmaker offer me any advice?

No. You have to back your own judgment.

8. Is spread betting suitable for everyone?

The bets can be useful for cautious investors as well as speculators. Someone with money invested in the stock market could bet that the market will fall, effectively insuring their portfolio at its current level.

9. How do bookmakers make their money?

The bookmakers build their profit into the dealing spread. They protect themselves against the risk of losing bets by hedging – buying options to cover potential losses. They claim it makes no financial difference whether people win or lose, so they prefer people to win and keep betting.

10. How do I get started in spread betting?

You contact a spread-betting bookmaker and open an account. Bets are made over the telephone and, increasingly, over the internet. You will receive written notification of every bet you make.