Itâ€™s a dream for millions of punters up and down the country: to become part of the one percent or thereabouts of betting people who can call themselves successful gamblers. Those whose profession is betting horses, football, tennis, whateverâ€¦
But what separates these proâ€™s from the rest? What special talents do they have which mere mortal bettors donâ€™t?
Well, the answer, in short, comes down to two things: mindset and method. When people start betting, or â€“ more accurately â€“ gambling, they generally have neither of these attributes.
I very well remember when I started betting on the football, over twenty years ago now. I used to pick up the fixed odds coupon, and look for seven or eight home wins. SEVEN or EIGHT! When I look back, I realize how preposterous that was (youâ€™re not putting seven teams in your weekend accâ€™ers, are you?!!).
The basic premise is that there are three outcomes for every game â€“ home win, away win, or draw â€“ and a reasonable rule of thumb is that for every additional short-priced team you put in, you double the chance of failure.
So, if you have three teams, your chance of success is roughly one in eight, or around 7/1.
If you have five teams, 30/1; seven teams equates to approximately 120/1. And this is if youâ€™re betting teams at odds of around 4/6!
The mindset of the successful gambler is all about discipline and expectation management and damage limitation. Every event you bet on gives you another opportunity to lose money. So, it follows that the less matches you put in your accumulator bet, the higher the chance that you a) get your stake money back, and b) get a return on your investment.
It is simply the flawed maths of a novice to believe that you can catch a windfall by betting twelve teams in a bet. Sorry if this comes as a shock to you (I know it wonâ€™t to many, and I hope itâ€™s a wakeup call to a few), but mindset is massive.
Discipline, expectation management, damage limitation. For professional punters, that is something of a mantra which they chant subconsciously, and which underscores the majority of their successful wagering.
Of course, they have one other thing in their gambling arsenal, which sets them apart from almost all of their peers, and that is an effective method. Or several effective methods. If you have the mindset but you donâ€™t have the method, you will just go skint in a very orderly and measured way! Death by a thousand self-inflicted cuts.
Some of the methods I personally use are systems-based, and some are simply rules of thumb that I employ when sizing up a card. Most of this is so ingrained that it is in my subconscious and, as such, itâ€™s hard to explain.
But, as an example, when I look at a race card, depending on the track, Iâ€™ll put more emphasis on things such as course form (e.g. at Southwell, Fakenham, and Cartmel). Often my start point is looking at the strength of the race favourite: do I think itâ€™s a weak or a strong jolly? Should I be with it or against it? Normally Iâ€™m looking for reasons to be against it.
Things Iâ€™d look for are whether the trainer or jockeyâ€™s horses are typically overbet; if the horse has yet to win in the class of race (especially if itâ€™s tried and failed previously); what the stable form is like currently.
Much of this is instinctive to me, refined gradually â€“ and usually through the experience of numerous losing wagers â€“ over time. But it is not just losing wagers that have informed my betting. You see, I am a voracious reader on betting and the science (thatâ€™s a rather grandiose term for what is at best pseudo-science) behind it.
This generally boils down to so much contrarian thinking. In other words, how do I get â€˜valueâ€™ (ah yes, that elusive concept) by opposing the vox populi view. It is OK to be correct just 10% of the time, so long as a) you have a deep betting bank, and b) you are rewarded at odds of 11/1 or more!
If you want to be a better bettor, then you should read on the subject. Read my blog, for sure. And I hope you find some value here. Read the likes of Potts and Mordin. Read some of the US authors, like Beyer and Davidowitz. And you might also read a part-work that was sent to me recently called, Secrets of Successful Gambling. Iâ€™m going to call it SSG for short, and for obvious digit-drain-related reasons.
SSG is one of those â€˜does what it says on the tinâ€™ sort of things. Somewhat unusually for our little online microcosm, SSG is a printed newsletter. It comes through your letterbox, with a stamp on it. And itâ€™s not a bill, and itâ€™s not junk mail. How novel! 😉
It is a monthly series, which is â€“ as I said â€“ sent to your home for you to chew on (or just read if you prefer) at your leisure. And, best of all, you get to try it out forâ€¦ no charge. Marvelous! Ok, before I send you to the â€˜grab the freebieâ€™ page, let me just run through some small print so you know exactly where you are.
I think if youâ€™re new to betting (or relatively new), youâ€™ll definitely get value from issue one. If youâ€™re longer in the punting tooth, you might enjoy the first issue and you should check out issue two as well.
There is plenty of meat in each issue, and lots of new angles to take at face value or work into your own betting patterns (the real value in almost any system or methodology is finding a way to weave it into the fabric of your existing betting knowledge, experience and practices).
And it's written in a clear and digestible format, with loads of little take-aways to apply to your betting straightaway.
The first issue will be sent to you free and, only if you decide to stay on board, you will be sent further issues at a cost of Â£29.75 per month. And donâ€™t worry about any catches because there are none.
If you sign up, youâ€™ll do it either through PayPal or direct debit. In both cases, you control the mandate and decide when to cancel. No problem. If you forget to cancel, or you simply donâ€™t like the content of an issue, send it back and Mike (top man, by the way, whose company publish this letter) will see to it that you get a full refund. No ifâ€™s or butâ€™s.
Itâ€™s a straight up service that aims to teach the twin towers of any successful gambler: mindset and method. And you can try it for free, here: www.ssg2.co.uk/p10