The Psychology of Gambling – Myth 2

Myth 2 – Bookmakers use inside information to calculate their betting odds and you can’t beat them.

This is a very common miss-conception and today I would like to try and prove to you why it is not true.

To do this I am going to begin at the end (so to speak). You can clearly beat a bookmaker. In fact you can do more than just beat them. It is possible to absolutely destroy them to such a degree that they prevent you from betting!

There are many tales of individual professionals who can no longer place bets at bookmakers, this is not that uncommon these days. For these professionals the advent of Betfair allowed them to place bets all day long with no fear of being banned.

As well as the individuals there are also the teams. There are a lot fewer of these in the UK than other countries simply because there is more money to be made abroad. Teams are businesses setup to make financial investments in sports. This they do in abundance, running into hundreds of millions profit each year.

Perhaps one of the most successful horse racing bettors of all time was Alan Woods who sadly passed away in 2008. He was worth an estimated $600,000,000 all of which was made through betting. His betting team had an estimated annual turnover of $1.24 billion. A video on YouTube made by his son shows him betting $1,000,000 on a pool shot.

All of this shows that is definitely possible to make money through betting. This leads us onto the second part of the myth, bookmakers using inside information.

This definitely used to be the case but information is now so easily available that it is no longer possible for a bookie to use it effectively. The delay between a bookmaker hearing about something and the general public knowing is now measured in seconds. There is just enough time for them to adjust their odds so they don’t lose money from the changes that have occurred before punters change their betting.

With this freedom of information it is all about how you interpret the information that determines whether you can beat the bookmaker or not. Of course the bookmakers have statisticians, race readers and many staff in order to help them do this better than you can, but there is no inside information that makes them winners.

An edge can be gained against bookmakers because they are mainly interested in interpreting the data in a similar way to which most punters will. To make a profit they need to know what is going to be bet on. The value can be found by looking at the data totally differently to most punters. In fact an excellent way to start building a strategy is by asking yourself:

‘How do most punters bet on these races?’

All you need to do then is to start with the horses that aren’t selected and find a way to determine when these will be winners.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.
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