Can you beat the Bookies?

The question every gambler worth his salt has been asking for a long time – can the bookies be beaten, and if so, how? You’ve got to wonder if it’s even possible to pry a few shy pence from the hands of the bookmakers. In the USA, apart from in Las Vegas’ Nevada, bookmaking is actually illegal, and in countries like Japan or Canada, it’s only permitted by government ordained organisations.

In fact, the UK is part of a minority in legalising bookmaking. When you consider that, you’ve got to wonder if the whole thing isn’t just a big con.

Gamblers all have their own methods of getting a profit out of the bookies, and here we’re just going to outline a couple.

The first thing you need to learn to fight back against the bookies and their sumptuously kept books is to learn how to convert odds into percentages. It’s a bit too long and complicated to get into here, but Betting Expert has a great guide to converting the different kinds of odds into easy to crunch percentages that even the biggest maths novice can get their head round.

With this knowledge in hand, you can have your own fair swing at trying to overcome the bookies and their cleverly constructed odds. The second thing you need to get to grips with is the concept of an over-round vs. an under-round book.

An over-round book is one where the percentage odds of the competing teams adds to over 100%. In an over-round book, the bookie always wins. In an over-round book, you can bet against two competing teams, and it is impossible to profit, no matter who wins. All bookies will make their books over-round by default.

So, if you want to assure yourself a tidy little profit of anything from 1% to 6% percent, what can you do? Well, bookmakers will make slightly different odds, based on different opinions and sources. And those small differences can make a big difference to your wallet.

By taking the best odds from competing bookies, you can create an under-round book – one where the percentages add to under 100% – on whatever game you’re betting on. This assures you a profit from your bet.

This profit is bound to be small, though. And there’s a lot of graft involved. If you’re willing to scour bookies websites, or hit the streets and constantly keep your eyes peeled on the ever-changing odds, this under-round betting method might be worthwhile. But for most people with a busy, full lifestyle, that’s way more time and work than it’s worth for such tiny profits.

Of course, if you’re a specialist in a more obscure sport, like swimming or snooker or boxing, you might be able to just beat the less-informed bookie at their own game. For the average sports fan though, sports sweepstakes, such as those offered by Panda Sweeps, might be just the thing for you.