Are there any reliable gambling strategies? I must admit that I absolutely love the idea of making money from gambling. It must be the instant hit of endorphins that comes when you get cash in your hand from winning a bet.
I’m not really that into sports, so it can’t come kind any love of the game, or sentimental attachment to a load of horses or dogs.
In this article, we’ll look at:
- Sports Betting Strategies
- Casino Betting Strategies
- The house view on serious gambling strategies
1. Sports Betting
If we take horse betting as the method of choice, then it may be possible through a combination of:
- Studying the horses’ past form.
- Knowing some inside information about the trainers.
- Blind luck.
… that you will consistently be able to make a profit. I refrained from writing consistently “win” as that is extremely unlikely, even with all of the above in your favour.
It’s contentious, how free and fair horse racing really is to the average punter. There are so many ways in which the outcome of a race can be interfered with to suit the owners and those on the inside.
It no surprise then, that those very people consider retail gamblers to be mugs.
Be the Bookmaker
It makes much more sense to be the one taking the bets and thus ensuring yourself a profit… 99% of the time.
I say 99%, as even bookies can screw up and lose from time to time. Although, they rarely go bust… unlike some customers.
As an example, they mess it up sometimes when they offer odds on things that they don’t fully understand. This can open up the field to people who have worked out genuine betting systems.
When I was kid I remember reading in the newspaper about two guys who had made a load of money betting on golf. They had realised that all the major bookmakers in the UK were giving too high odds for a hole-in-one.
For most people, obviously including the majority of bookmakers, a hole-in-one sounds extremely rare and unlikely. Consequently, the bookies were willing to pay out a high price if any golfer got one.
The two guys knew that actually, there are holes-in-one all the time at big tournaments and so set about placing a load of bets.
They won big, but of course that was a one off. After that, the bookies realised their error.
Betting exchanges are a recent (brilliant, really) innovation in gambling services, that enable two completely unconnected individuals to place a bet with each other.
If you are taking bets like a bookmaker, then the object is to accept them in such a way that whatever the outcome of the event is, you will make some money.
There is a lot of skill involved in this and until the Internet came along was almost impossible for just anyone to try. However, since betting exchanges have appeared online, technically anyone can make money from sports gambling.
The exchanges allow you to bet on almost anything, not only horses, but more or less anything that moves. You can bet or lay bets on pretty much any sporting event and you are not limited to just the outcome of the game ie. win, lose or draw.
There are many other ways to gamble. In a football match for example, you could bet on:
- The number of corners.
- The first person to score.
- If the reserve goal keeper will be eating a pie at half-time.
Yes, the last one is kind of ridiculous, but sadly true. The list could go on and on though.
If there is a market for it ie. two people want to wager on it, the betting exchanges provide that facility.
Another way to profit from gambling is to take part in arbitrage betting. This involves exploiting the difference in odds offered at different bookmakers, and by betting on all outcomes. You thus ensure that you are left with a profit.
For this you need to research a lot of bookmakers to find suitable opportunities. In the old days, this was more or less physically very difficult.
However, again the internet has made this much easier as it’s possible to research a lot of different prices and place bets online. Even so this can be tiresome and difficult.
As with any good money making opportunity, goods and services have sprung up to cater for this need. There are subscription services and software that will monitor a variety of sources and provide you with information on any arbitrage opportunities that pop up.
2. Casino Betting
What are the chances of setting up a successful casino strategy to consistently take profits from the tables?
“Not high” is the answer.
Las Vegas was not built in a day. It took years of people throwing their hard earned wages into the desert for that to happen.
Again, I absolutely love the idea of making money from a roulette betting system or a slots strategy, I really do. But, we need to face reality.
Reality here, comes in the form of cold hard statistics.
In the same way that the bookmaker (usually) has a guaranteed profit to be made from a given race or game, the casino does too, in the form of the “house edge” that is built into all their games.
Black or Red?
Roulette for instance is probably the game most people associate with casino gambling. Watching that little white ball whizz round the wheel and then fall and bounce its way inwards… as it eventually lands in… zero.
The zero is the house edge and it means that over time the casino will always come out on top.
Over time, all the other bets will net out to zero.
Think about it. Effectively, the punters are really just passing money between themselves.
Imagine we are playing at the same table. We are the only two players. I bet $10 on black, you bet $10 on red. Red comes in. The house takes my money, and gives you your winnings. But, I could have just given my money straight to you.
The house is only there to provide a fun environment for us to give up our money.
Except if the ball lands in the zero, we both lose. And the house wins. Statistically, that will happen once every 37 spins. Quite often considering the millions of times that the roulette wheels of a casino spin every year.
That is why it is futile to attempt any kind of strategy to make money with roulette. Unless, you are going to live in a parallel universe then empty your head of all such thoughts.
I mean the US wheels also have a double zero!
Most casino gambling systems you see anywhere will undoubtedly involve a progression or Martingale. For all intents and purposes this is doubling down each time you lose to cover your losses.
You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to work out that doubling down can quickly spin out of control. Just hit 2 times 2 times 2 on your phone calculator a few times, look at the number.
Now, imagine it was in dollars… and imagine that you had just lost it.
If you have ever had a funny feeling in your stomach when you peer over the edge of a high building… I would think it would be something similar to that.
If you look into it some more, PLENTY of people will tell you that they have a winning system. Anyone who says they have a perfect roulette system is selling snake oil.
Blackjack has different house edges built in depending on the casino. A big one is the fact that if the players bust, then they lose their stakes. Even if the house subsequently busts down the line.
However, it is possible to reduce the house edge, and even tip the edge in your favour with good card counting skills. This makes it one of the best games to play at casinos.
You probably know about this, maybe from the movie Rain Man if nowhere else.
If you can reliably keep a mental note of all the cards that leave the deck, then you will know what cards remain in the deck. If you know what cards remain in the deck you will know when the deck is in the players’ favour… and thus the best times to bet big.
All the while you are counting cards, you need to be playing blackjack basic strategy to ensure you just about break even.
People have been doing this for years and try as they might, the casinos cannot completely stop it. There have been many books written about it.
Be warned. Online casino gaming is for people who do not like keeping their money. You may as well pay a percentage of your salary directly into the online gaming company’s bank account.
The House View – For Fun or for Profit?
For Fun – “Welcome In!”
Most people do not consider gambling strategies as a serious way to make money. That’s why casinos and bookmakers like them.
For most people it’s just something for a bit of fun and to make an otherwise pretty boring activity (for me this could refer to any number of sports or games) more personally relevant.
You’re much more likely to care which horse wins the 3:30 at Goodwood, if you stand to make a financial gain from it.
Companies that provide you with the facility to place jolly wagers like this, well they love the casual kind of punter.
These companies are more than willing to take your money in exchange for a slip of paper… that will more than likely end up in the bin.
For Profit – “Not Tonight, Sir”
If you are thinking about it more seriously, then you are less welcome at the table. Casinos and bookmakers do NOT want you to win long-term ie. make consistent profits out of gambling.
This is because they also want to make money from gambling.
Which means the players must (on average) lose.
An Example to Think About
I once saw a documentary about gambling in the UK.
One of the betting shops had a compulsive gambling regular who was always in the place. In total, in an average year, he placed bets of over one million pounds sterling. However, at the end of each year, he was either in profit or loss to the tune of a few thousand.
At the end of the day, for all his experience, he couldn’t get ahead.
How do you view gambling strategies? Do you think it’s possible to beat the house? Have you tried any gambling systems? Please leave your comments below.