1. When having a football bet on the weekend coupon which is available in shops on Wednesdays always consult Racing & Football Outlook, which is published on Tuesdays, as their odds comparison site offers the chance to get the early value first thing on Wednesday before the inevitable price changes.
2. When having a Grand National wager always take a price as the offices spend the final few minutes before the off shortening all the fancied horses. To protect your liability, look to firms paying five places if you are having an each-way bet. The Tote found this costly when lady jockey Carrie Ford finished fifth on the well-backed Forest Gunner.
3. If you see a price you think is wrong and you have a reasonable reason to believe you are right, take it, as if you are right somebody else will if you don’t. Odds compilers are only human and do make mistakes – the hard part is firstly spotting the rick, and secondly, getting on.
4. Find an area near home with a good selection of betting shops. It is fine to have a favourite shop where you watch the afternoon’s action when shows are the same, but so many punters don’t make the effort to seek out the early value on their fancies, be it racing or sports, particularly football.
5. If you like multiple bets check which firms have the best offers. Some have huge bonus offers; some pay double odds on one winner in Lucky 15 bets; others pay treble. Over the year this could make a huge difference.
6. If playing on distance bets on horse racing try to get an accurate weather forecast. Rain will increase the winning margin mark. If you can find out before the bookies you have the value.
7. Watch the weather closely in golf betting. ‘Late early’ or ‘early late’ can often have a huge advantage – sometimes as much as ten strokes. Consult the draw and the weather and you can reap the rewards in match betting.
8. Use as many sources as you can to formulate your betting pattern – local papers often provide hidden gems which go unnoticed elsewhere. The internet can be a great help here.

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