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Time to improve your knowledge with some basics!

Its always amazed me how naive some punters can be, it´s as though they want to be ripped off. Take Special or teasers as the American´s call them, the traditional bookmakers margin/juice increases, which is good for them and bad for the punter. Despite that, this article is not meant to preach what you should or should not bet, afterall, one man´s poison is another man´s cure, everyone needs to decide for themselves. Our objective in this tutorial is to inform the punter, by making them more observant .

Lets start off with some basics, these odds are taken from one bookmakers chart, we are shopping within their offer:

You think a soccer game will be very low scoring and you would like to take the no goal option. In front of me, i have open the betting offer from several platforms, the same mistake repeats itself again and again:


-First team to score     : no first goal : 9.50 (odds)

-Total goal market       : under 0.5 goals  12.00

-Correct score             : 0-0 odds 10.00

-Winning margin          : No score draw 13.75

-Number of goals        : no goals 10.00

-Name of goalscorer   : no goal 9.00

The above bets are all the same, with the exception of ¨name of goalscorer¨, the reason for that is ¨own goal¨is not quoted. So which odds to you take ? Believe me, many people would bet what they understand and that would be 0-0 @ 10.00, how crazy is that when you can get a 37.5% increase by betting winning margin ¨no score draw¨ @ 13.75

Other goal markets offer similar opportunity, in short these are the same bets:


First half goals             : no goal 2.70

Number of goals 1st H : no goals 2.85

Correct score 1st H     : 0-0 odds 3.00

Team A to score         :  yes 1.37

Team B cleansheet    :  no  1.36

All of the above bets are the same, despite being offered at different odds. I could give 100´s of examples in each market but it´s important that you learn how to use your own brain. I mean, any 12 year old with basic matches should be able to spot the same bets.

I´ve moved onto another match since i was looking for a game where the odds where similar, take a look at these observations.


Match odds             :  Team B        2.80

Asians                     : Team B -0.5  2.70 (Same as must win)

Match odds             : Team A         2.60

Asians                     : Team A -0.5  2.44  (Crazy) 

Asians                     : Team B ¨0¨  2.01 (Asian ¨0¨= DNB)

Draw no bet            : Team B       1.90

Asians                    : Team A ¨0¨   1.84

Draw no bet           : Team A        1.76

3 Way handicap     : Team A  +1   1.43

Double Chance      : Team A X1    1.41

The next thing we would like to consider is creating your own value, since the Bookmakers often short changes punters taking double chance or betting with the h´cap. Imagine this scenario:  

You went to a supermarket and wanted to buy some oranges at €1 per kilo, but their was another option to buy 5 kg for €6, what would you do ?.  Wait a minute, did he really mean €6, so the price increased?.  Yes i did, it happens often with ¨leisure bookmakers¨ . Lets look at the example below to explain a little better the double chance:

A Leisure bookmaker offers the following odds:

TEAM A          DRAW       TEAM B             1X             12              X2                   

   2.7                  3.3            2.8                  1.45         1.35           1.50  

Should you take the double chance odds or create your own ?

To compare these odds we need to convert the odds into percent (%). We do that by taking the line and divide into 100:

TEAM A : 100/2.70 = 37.0%

DRAW   : 100/3.30 = 30.3%

TEAM B : 100/2.80 =35.8%

Option 1X = 37.0 + 30.3 = 67.3% - Convert into odds 100/67.3% = 1.49

Option X2 =30.3  +35.8 = 66.1% - Convert into odds  100/66.1%= 1.51

Opton 12 = 37.0 +35.8 = 72.8% - Convert into odds 100/72.8% = 1.37

By splitting your bet you will receive the true odds (dark):

1X = 1.49 (bookie offer 1.45)

2X =1.51 (bookie offer 1.50)

12  =1.37 (bookie offer 1.35)


To calculate handicap is slightly more complicated, since you will need to know the true odds of the game being won by exactly 1 goal, we will use these odds as a guide:

Score               Odds                    %

1-0                     8,50                   11.8

2-1                     12.0                     8.3

3-2                     50.0                     2.0

4-3                    500.0                    0.2   

Total percent                              (22.3)

Any of the above outcomes would result in a win for handicap X , to find the correct odds we use the same formula 100/22.3%  = odds 4.5

To find the odds of the home team covering the handicap, they need to win by more than one goal. We take the home odds 2.7 (37%)  and deduct 22.3%  =  14.7% (odds 6.80)

This is how you get to see the bookmaker biased.

Handicap (0:1)            1                    X                2

Bookie                       5.75              4.30          1.50

Correct odds             6.80              4.50           1.51

Bookie                      17.4              23.3           66.7 (107.4)

Correct %                 14.7              22.3           66.1 (103.1)

The Above is a simple guideline.



Part 1 : 

Identifying when and how to bet!


Professional gamblers come in all forms and sizes,whilst some might be able to scrape a living with traditional online bookmakers it´s probably unrealistic at the top end of the scale, the only whales who are accommodated by European layers are losing ones, anyone telling you different is probably not telling the whole truth,in fact, whilst some European Bookmakers might knowingly lay ``moderately´´to winning clients (if they stick with betting top leagues) their is unlikely to be any long term value in the exercise and one thing´s for sure,arbitrage players will be on a short trip!

Most bookmakers in Europe spend the day tracking odds movement in Asia, the once respected job of an odds-compiler has practically disappeared,nowadays, leading bookmakers rely on quantitative analysts to create markets,these are the people performing the maths and who create algorithmic modules,has the costs of employing such people can be exorbitant smaller companies tend to buy-in  services from suppliers like Betradar or Runningball,the question is, are they any good and do they really protect the bookmaker like they should, the answer is no!

Bookmakers such has Pinnaclesport tend to release lines for the coming weekend (top league)during monday,has soon as these odds become available traditional bookmakers adjust lines in order to avoid exposure, during the week and leading upto the game, odds offered by the Asians (amongst others) are constantly monitored for movement and effectively become the market guide,that´s clearly wrong and something we have an issue with!

In fact,the early lines are unlikely to reflect the odds at kick-off,this is due to a number of reasons including the lack of solid information available (at the time) and the weakness of the market in general,in straightforward English,the lack of liquidity means lines remain untested, without this strength in depth the early odds are somewhat inefficient and it  will stay this way until the market gathers pace and the amount betting activity increases,i suppose you could say it works like a snow ball system!

Whilst we have established that Asian odds reflect the weight of money at any given time they have little to do with mainstream activity,furthermore,when you stop and consider lower leagues even matchday limits can be extremely low,often less that €100 in one click and a fall of between 5 to 8 pips can be expected, can you really believe that traditional Bookmakers follow such lines?,here´s news for you, many do!

In any case,It goes without saying that the early market offers the best opportunity has lines don´t always mean much, if you have a strong opinion like we do and you think the odds are in your favor it´s the right time to play,when high street bookmakers release their coupons you are likely to find a vast number of betting opportunities, if played cleverly you should be able to do them some damage without being noticed!

Market notes

Asian bookmakers start the week with higher margins which means increased juice,they need liquidity before they can become more competitive,the following is an example of Asian lines, early 1.96 best of two, match day 1.97 (both)

Lower limits apply to the early market and they will only increase has liquidity enters the pool,an example of this, first bet limits on the English premier league could be around 1500, by midweek this may have increased to 5,000 and on match day 25,000 (one click).

The early market can be very sterile has punters are reluctant to bet without team news at lower odds,it can also be volatile if  important information is released, this might be with regards to a missing player or someone returning to the team, the manager might have been fired or the football association impose a ban on the home or traveling fans, these are just some of the reasons that could start a run on the current odds!

Matchday odds mean lower bookmaker margins, increased liquidity makes for competitive odds.

Limits will increase on the day of the game,on a top league match it should be possible to move 250K without effecting the line by more than 1 or 2 pips. 

More markets become available once it becomes apparent which teams will take to the field.

Betting Notes

Timing is very important in business and betting, if you are finishing above the odds at kick off time you are likely to beat the system in the long term, being able to gain information early should be an advantage if you can interpret it properly,however, their are a few golden rules which include:

Do not get locked into falling odds, if the bus has gone let it go, the next one will come along shortly,bare in mind price is everything and markets often go into exaggerated modus.

This doesn´t mean lower odds offer no value,take into consideration changing circumstances and any information coming to light.

Learn the maths , you don´t need to be a genius but it will help if you can do the calculations mentally.

Cross check Asian handicap odds with traditional 1X2 lines, whilst it takes a bit of understanding it´s like anything else,practice makes perfect!

Constantly analyze  information, consider such things has weather,time and day of game, it all effects goal expectancy.


Everyone is different and that applies to professional gamblers, whilst some might work hard on establishing a first line information quelle, their are  others who prefer to have all the cards on the table, whilst this information will be known to the general public, it doesn´t necessarily mean the market is totally efficient,it´s all a matter of interpretation,being able to recognize value is very important if you want to win long term.

Be flexible and study your possibilities, if you can gain beneficial information use it, placing bets early and having a strong opinion is part of the parcel, the bigger the odds discrepancy (in my favor) the bigger the bet!

Keep track of your bets and analyze results, by doing such shores you can find out your weakness and strength!

To Follow in the next chapter --- Which bookmakers should you use!