The Exchanges First of all check out the betting exchanges. The most popular one at present is but you may wish to check out the others as well. You'll find adverts for the competition in the Racing Post. If you are not familiar with the exchanges you must read the blurb on the respective sites and observe how things work before you get stuck in. I know that some people don't like to pass banking details over the net but in my experience the site is very secure. I have done over £50,000 worth of trade using Betfair without a single problem. A Quick Word About The Bookies To take full advantage of the many opportunities available you should also consider opening accounts with all the major bookmakers. When deciding which accounts to open check out the price guides on a 'Pricewise' page of the Racing Post. Personally I would recommend Hills, Ladbrokes, Corals, Skybet, Stanley, Blue Square and the Tote. Opening accounts by telephone isrelatively easy these days. There will be times when you want to 'get on' selections at the advertised, early morning price. It is reasonably easy to 'get on' these early prices with Hills, Coral, Ladbrokes, Tote, Stanley and Blue Square but you will need to beon the phone bang on opening time and be prepared to have your stakes limited. For example if you are trying to get £100 on a 20/1 shot with Stanleythey may offer you £25 at 20/1 and the rest at Starting Price. Don't be tempted by the 'rest at SP'. Ladbrokes and Hills seem to be the most accommodating while Coral will usually offer you £50's worth. I guess a lot depends on your account history as well as the amount of business they are expecting but the above details apply to me and several others I have spoken to. You can also get some cash on with the bookies when the shops open but again, you will need to get in early and the limited stakes will apply. If you are prepared to do a bit of running around occasionally you could, say, get £50 on via telephone and £50 on in a shop. It may also be possible for you toopen a credit account and a debit account thereby increasing the number of options open to you. Back To The Exchanges So where do the exchanges fit in? Well, the aim of the exercise is to put you in a 'win-win' situation, a position where you can't lose, right? (Just in case you are not familiar with the exchanges they allow you to lay horses as well as backing them. In effect this allows you to be a bookmaker). If there is anything you are unsure about here please contact me by email and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Just to complicate matters slightly the exchanges will deduct a small percentage from your profits on each market or event. It's usually around the wins you pocket £1400 less £1320 through Betfair (£110 x 12). If the horse loses you lose the £100 you had on with Ladbrokes and win £110 though Betfair. (Remember the commission? They will deduct around £5.50 leaving you with a £4.50 profit on the race. Wow again! If your selection wins YOU WIN and if your horse loses YOU WIN! In actual fact there is a third way to do business here. It's not one which I usually put into practice but I'll mention it anyway. Using the above example let's lay the horse for £150. If the horse wins you pocket £1400 from the bookie but lose £1560 on the exchange. If the horse loses you lose the £100 with the bookie but win £150 through Betfair. (Less commission leaves you with £142.50). So, overall you win £42.50.. Look at this in detail, you stand to lose £160 for the chance to win £42.50. (So, in your capacity as a bookie you layed a horse at 3.76/1. Not bad going for a horse which is starting at around 12/1 ! Would your bookie be happy with that situation? I'll let you be the judge of that! Incidentally, if you had layed the horse for £200 your effective lay is £1000 to£190 which works out at over 5/1. So you see, it is important to 'do your homework' thoroughly. It's crucial that you experiment on paper before you start investing hard cash. Watch how the markets develop on the exchanges and get a real ‘feel’ for it before you put the money down. 5% mark. I'll use that figure in my examples to make things as simple as possible. Compare The Prices So, before you place your bet look at the odds on offer with the bookies and compare them with the odds on offer with the exchanges. If you find a horse which is available to 'lay' at shorter odds on the exchange than it is to ‘back’ with the bookies then you have a golden opportunity to get involved. e.g. let's say that Tamarin Bleu is available to back at 14/1 with Ladbrokes and available to lay with Betfair at 12/1. You get £100 on at 14's with Ladbrokes and then lay the horse for £100 on Betfair at 12's. If the horse wins you will collect £1400 (plus your stake) from Ladbrokes and pay out £1200 through Betfair leaving you with £200 profit. If the horse loses you willlose your £100 with Ladbrokes and collect £100 from Betfair. (remember thatslight complication I mentioned earlier? Betfair will deduct around a £5 commission from you). There are two ways you can deal with the commission angle. On the one hand look at the situation you've got yourself into. Your potential winnings are £200 for a possible £5 loss! Wow, effectively 40/1 for a horse which is around the 12/1 mark. A pretty smart bet I think you'll agree. This is a situation you can get yourself into time and time again by applying the principles in this guide. You will find that you are able get into this sort of position on most Saturdays. The second way to deal with the commission? Ok, you've got your £100 on with Ladbrokes at 14/1. Now lay the horse for £110 at 12/1. Now if the horse market and eliminates your chance of getting into a no-lose position. In caseslike these you have three options open to you. a) 'Bite the bullet' and take what comes. b) Lay the horse to bigger stakes than you backed it for in the hope that it loses and you make a small profit. (Sometimes these 'drifters' do go on to win but generally they are drifting for a good reason. For obvious reasons thebigger the drift the less likely the horse is to win. But please be careful). c) If you can’t lay a selection before ’the off’ you may be able to lay it in running. Personally I usually go for the third option but you should ‘play’ in the way you feel most comfortable. Also, a quick word of caution regarding withdrawn horses. Each market on the exchanges will provide details of withdrawn horses and the % deduction applicable. Check these details before you lay your selections. Backing and Laying On The Same Exchange There are times when there are good opportunities to back and lay on the same market using an exchange. Take note of the headings above the back and lay sections. A completely fair market would see the %'s above the columns showing 100%. Bookies profit margins vary, but it stands to reason that if you are backing when there is a 125% market you will lose in the long run. A casino may only make a few % on the each market but do they win? You bet your life they win! So look for opportunities where the 'back' column shows as near to 100% as Excited? I hope so. Just in case you are still sceptical I backed Rince Ri in last years Grand National for £100 with Ladbrokes at 40/1 and layed it on the exchanges for £200 at average odds of 16/1. Work it out for yourself. Inside Information? Now that's all very well, I hear you saying, but how did you know the horse would shorten in price? Well, personally I subscribe to a well known 'advice service' which provides me with the occasional bit of inside information. I estimate that around 5% of my betting activity is based on this information so it's no great hardship if you decide not to go down that route. Pricewise You will notice that the Pricewise selections in the Racing Post often start at shorter odds than you can back them for in the morning. But a word of caution here, if you intend to trade on this basis make sure you back the selections first before you lay them! Learn from my mistakes, In the early stages I tried to lay selections first, only to find that I couldn't back them at the advertised prices. It can be an expensive lesson to learn. You have been warned! There are times, obviously, when a horse which you have backed drifts in the could score and you could easily end up with egg on your face! Spotting The Right Market I like to concentrate on markets where there are only 2 or 3 potential outcomes such as match odds or over/under 2.5 goals. Look at the percentages of the market. Often you will find a 'gap' in the available odds. For example it may be possible to back Arsenal at 2 (evens) or lay them at 2.25 (5/4). In a situation like this I will decide whether to back or lay first. I usually determine this by checking the % book. Whichever is closest to 100 isthe one I will generally opt for though I will also check out how much money there is in the relative boxes. (odds will tend to move in the direction of the least available money). So, in this example let's say I decide to lay Arsenal. I will 'post' a bet to lay Arsenal at odds of 2 (n.b NOT 2.25!). Now, if that bet is taken by another punter I will then try to back the same selection at odds of 2.25 (n.b. NOT 2!)If that bet is also taken by another punter that leaves me sitting pretty. I'll make .25 (a quarter) of my stake if Arsenal win and there is no risk of losing a penny. (remember that the exchange will only take a commission on profit and because you layed and backed on the same market with the same exchange there will be no profit made if Arsenal lose). I could give you hundreds of examples like this but frankly you will learn best by observing the markets and re-reading this guide. Bit by bit you will learn to recognise betting opportunities with increasing ease. Betting In Running Just a quick word about betting in running which allows you to place bets during the event. These markets do offer some good opportunities to increaseyour profits though you have to think and act quickly to take full advantage. Again, at the risk of repeating myself you need to observe the markets and practice to small stakes until you are confident in what you are doing. It is possible to bet in running on horse racing but not on the shorter races. You can also get involved in football, golf, darts, etc. It is fascinating to watch the markets fluctuate according to events on the ‘field of play’ and I’m sure you will soon start to spot some good opportunities. possible. If a market shows less than this figure then, in theory at least, it is possible to back every selection and still win. However, these opportunities are very rare. A similar principle applies to laying selections. This time if the 'book percentage' figure rises above 100% you could theoretically lay all of the 'runners' and win but again these opportunities are rare. Be wary of getting involved in markets where the % book does not accuratelyreflect the market. For example check out a televised football match. A 'to score' market could show a 'lay %' of well over 100%. This may, at first glance, appear very attractive but remember that, in theory all of the players

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