When it comes to making money betting, the battle-lines are very clearly drawn. It’s a do or die battle between punter and bookmaker.
If we lose money, the bookie makes it and vice versa – we only triumph when they fail.
These battle lines can sometimes get blurred, what with the myriad of bookie PR reps sharing ‘helpful tips’ or TV adverts offering you free bets – it can seem they are looking to help you out.
Not so, they simply do this in the belief that the majority who go onto bet with the bookmaker they represent will lose money…and often they are right…but not always.
Vive La Betting Resistance!
Here at the Smart Betting Club we are part of the ‘resistance’ – fighting back to help those punters trying to win long-term as unlike many in the betting game – we don’t have our snout in the bookies pockets.
One way we fight back is by attempting to find out as much about our enemy as possible, which is why we secured a real coup this month by landing an exclusive interview with a former bookie trader.
Freshly published in our very latest SBC Magazine (SBC #81 released today), he was willing to spill the beans on all aspects of bookmaking, including everything we don’t see from our side of the fence.
With over 20 years of experience of the betting industry as an industry trader, bettor and professional tipster, our subject was well qualified to answer our questions – each of which was put forward by our inquisitive members.
The full interview can be read by downloading our latest magazine, which is available the instant you sign-up as an SBC member. However for now, here are just a few excerpts from this exclusive interview to whet your appetite…
SBC: Does the price offered by a rival bookmaker on a market make much difference? How about in a niche market – I suspect some bookies simply price up based on what their competitors offer? Is that true?
Bookie Insider: It matters with respect to offering arbs, which no company wants to be doing. For niche markets there is certainly an element of copying going on for certain sports. I made a tidy sum myself during the London Olympics on some lesser known sports where certain bookmakers were clearly woefully underprepared.
I know of an instance of a trader trading an in-play event during the Olympics where he – quite literally – knew nothing about the sport or its participants. He simply copied another firms pricing as the event took place, he was in no position to make any changes based off of his own knowledge or experience.
SBC: How is the decision made to increase or decrease odds on any bet? What do they look at – is it other bookmakers, the money down, betfair or automated systems?
Bookie Insider: The odds on offer should never be bigger than the lay price on Betfair for arbing purposes and so prices will be adjusted based on that. There are occasions where arbs are offered both pre-event and in-play. That’s simply a case of who is on the ball first and fastest.
Most price changes are manual human adjustments. If a market/selection has hit its liability trigger then the price will automatically come off the board until it is reset and back up on site to bet on at a shorter price if desired.
SBC: How big are the trading teams at a typical bookies? For example, how much does this vary across different sports/firms, the number of traders each sport has and how many sports a trader will have to cover?
With so many matches being traded now turnover varies significantly match to match, some matches don’t take any bets at all – literally.
Trading teams are growing as the demand to trade more and more events grows from the top brass to keep up with competitors. Football trading is the biggest with as many as 30 traders and upwards, Tennis & US Sports have smaller teams but growing all the time with a minimum of 10 in each. Horse Racing is a relatively small department as well as Golf and Cricket.
Football has the most traders by far and this will never change. A trader might trade as little as 1 sport exclusively or multiple sports depending on various factors from need to expertise to willingness. It is a fallacy to believe a trader is expert in the sport he is trading; this is not always the case at all.
You would be surprised how little some traders know about the sports they have been asked to cover. In some cases it’s absolutely embarrassing.
Read The Interview In Full With Instant SBC Access
The questions above are just a small sample of what the interview with the ‘bookie insider’ discusses. Other topics tackled include the likes of…
- How bookmakers track winning accounts
- How and why they try to restrict winning punters
- Why opening an account in your wife’s name is dangerous
- Do the bookies follow tipsters
- The difference between UK and Asian bookies
You can access this interview in full in SBC 81 the instant you sign-up for a Smart Betting Club membership.
Peter – SBC Editor