One of the interesting things that experienced bettors will tell you is that predicting the result is only half the battle. Sure, that’s the main goal, making everything else obsolete if you get it wrong, but experienced punters will always want to know that they have obtained the maximum value from their wager. That essentially means the best odds possible. Yes, there are strategies like sure bets, but getting the best odds is always desirable – regardless of how you place your wagers.
The idea of this has been around much longer than online gambling, of course. If you were to be at a race in person at an Australian racecourse, you are going to be looking at the different bookies’ stands for the best price for your selection. If you’ve been to the races before, you’ll know that the difference in the odds can be substantial.
Of course, today, there are other options, including online betting exchanges. Unfortunately, many of us simply take what we are given by the online sportsbook we are signed up for. That’s understandable, as it can be a pain to open up a new account, including the possibility of having to verify your details to satisfy regulatory requirements.
Nonetheless, if you have the will, there is always a way to get better odds on your racing selection. This can be in the form of having better odds as standard for a specific race, or that a bookmaker is running a special promotion on that race.
Odds comparison sites are usually a good place to go for step one. Incidentally, the greatest disparity for odds is usually in ante-post markets. To give you an example, if we look at a race far in the future – the 2023 Melbourne Cup – we can find big differences in odds for horses like While Marlin and Loft. The former has odds ranging from 12/1-22/1, whereas the latter has odds of 18/1-33/1, depending on the bookmaker. The point, as such, is that there’s about an 80% markup available if you go with the best-odds bookmaker compared to the worst. It’s unlikely you would see such a disparity on race day, even with the breadth of options available online.
Of course, you can find a fair amount of disparity in the odds closer to the event, although it’s usually not as stark as the example above. The question a punter has to ask is whether it’s worth the effort to switch accounts or sign up to a betting exchange.
A word on promotions: While you will want your sportsbook to have plenty of betting offers, it’s never going to be quite clear which bookie is doing what for any given race. But we have a bit of cheat code here to help: have a look at the bookies that are the main sponsors of a specific race or festival, as they will often have the best offers – inflated odds, extra places for each-way bets, money-back specials – for the races where their brand is on the card.
In addition, you should also be looking at affiliate sites. By that, we mean websites that curate different betting platforms and betting offers. Often, they will have a list of the best promotions available, including, perhaps, some that are native to that affiliate platform. This can allow you to maximise any possible return on your selection.
Finally, you should always be on the lookout for betting platforms with “best odds guaranteed”. This means that if you take a price, and the horse has a starting price higher than your initial bet, you will be paid using the latter odds. It’s a complete no-brainer, and it’s something offered by several of the world’s biggest betting brands.
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As more of us branch out into the digital betting world, it is important to be aware about corrupt bookies sites whose intentions are to allure you into their trap with massively inflated odds and by putting all the hidden catches within the small print of their terms & conditions. There are a few ways to recognise betting scams from bookies however, seen below are some factors that you should consider before clicking any betting links or downloading any fishy betting apps.
The way that the majority of these bookies draw in customers is through stupidly increased odds. If you are someone that sees this, maybe on a Facebook add, and it says ‘1000/1’ odds on really probable outcomes then this is a red flag. These sign up offers will be posted in bold writing to try and catch the eye of some customers. What the companies do not promote however is that the winnings of the bet are in ‘free bets’ and so this forces the customers hand to keep on betting with them. They could also be hidden fees in withdrawing any funds that you win, ensuring these bookies take quite a large sum of your money.
This one should be a no-brainer, yet some people still are drawn in by huge odds to foreign- looking sites that are intended to steal your money. Before signing up to any bookies site online, you should first check to see if they are licensed and listed on the official UK Gambling Commission website. If they are not then you should immediately back away from them as they are likely to partake in betting scams. You should be able to trust all regulated sites that are listed on that website, however you should still do a bit of research as you can never be too safe online.
Now, a lot of bookies sites online that you see are all commissioned and approved to where you can feel safe to open an account with. It is still important that you consult with others online though, if you are signing up for certain bookies that no one else seems to have used, you could be exposed to betting scams. You should ask on betting forums and others online to see if they are familiar with the bookies you are interested in. If they give you negative feedback on it then you should probably stay away as to avoid betting scams.
As it has already been referred to, the terms & conditions or T&C’s, can hide many different catches and variables within a bookies and most people will tend to just skip through. Although the bookies are legally obliged to reveal these details, they either ensure they are in the smallest print possible or deep within the T&C’s where they are aware that hardly anyone will see it. These betting scams are getting smarter each year so again, make sure if you do read through them before putting major money into your account as they could freeze or block your account and steal your money.
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