Not all betting strategies were created equal, some are easy, some are hard. Some are profitable and some aren’t.
In this article we’re explaining how these 12 betting strategies work and by the end of it, you’ll be much more ready to start profiting from your bets.
Betting strategies we’re gonna discuss
- arbitrage betting
- matched betting
- bankroll management
- following pro tipsters
- focused betting
- drifting odds
- value bets
- which strategy works best
Arbitrage betting (one of my favorite betting strategies)
arbitrage betting is a strategy that involves finding opportunities to place bets on all possible outcomes and make a profit regardless of the outcome.
It’s my favorite strategy and the one i believe that has the most consistent gains.
To use this strategy one needs special tools for finding markets with arbitrage because finding them manually is extremely hard.
If you wish to learn more about this strategy i wrote an in depth guide to arbitrage betting, derived from my 7 years of experience using this method.
Dutching is often used interchangeably with arbitrage betting but that is a mistake.
In arbitrage betting one always makes a profit regardless of the outcome while in dutching you still have a possible loss.
Dutching is a process of placing bets on multiple outcomes of a market but not on all of them. For example, on a horse race with 10 horses one might want to bet on their 3 favorite picks. By applying a dutching technique to these 3 picks you ensure that your profit is the same if any of the picks wins, and the loss is also the same if none of them wins.
Please see this detailed guide on dutching for more info.
Middles are one of the funniest betting strategies.
A middle is when you place two contrary bets on the same market, assuring that at least one of them wins, and with the possibility of winning both.
For example on a basketball match, you might go to bookie A and bet on over 100 points and on bookie B you bet on under 110 points. One of the bets always wins and you have a chance of winning both for a higher profit.
In order to be effective, this technique requires you to use special tools to find good opportunities (usually the same tools used for arbing).
Despite not being a regular user of this technique i do it from time to time and it’s overall good for making a profit and is also a fun and exciting one.
Matched betting is arbitrage betting. I just separated them because some people use both names interchangeably and some refer to matched betting as a technique to abuse the bonuses offered from the bookies, such as first deposit bonus. In this case you can do arbs with negative 1 or 2% yield because you stand to gain a lot more from the bonus itself.
These are among the easiest sports bets to win and if you’re not aware of the technique you should learn it!
This is an interesting one. Some people specialize in betting on underdogs. It requires patience, practice and a strong stomach because you will loose many times but when you win, you win big.
Underdogs are a specific kind of value bets because of the favorite-longshot bias.
Humans tend to incline a lot towards the favorite due to the high level of certainty on the outcome and therefore they squash the favorite odds, increasing the underdog odds. This very often turns the underdog into a value bet.
Underdogs don’t win many times but if you have the stomach for it, in the long run you are likely to be very profitable.
Personally i like betting on draws (yes i consider them to generally be an underdog!) but there are many types of underdogs. Most people don’t find draws (on soccer) exciting and that makes them valuable very often.
Martingale betting strategy
The martingale strategy is very popular and i call it a cancer. No matter how much i say it’s terrible, people keep using it. It’s a method that consists in doubling your stake everytime you lose.
I wrote an in-depth article about martingale and i want you to know how bad it is. Stay away from it. Don’t even let that name enter your mind…
Bankroll management in not a betting strategy ‘per se’ but i want to mention it because it’s a complement to the vast majority of betting strategies.
For example, you may be good at spotting value underdogs but if you suck at bankroll management you will probably loose in the long run.
Betting a fixed stake or a fixed percentage of your bankroll is usually the best strategy but if you want to dive deeper into bankroll management i have put together an interesting article on the subject.
Following pro tipsters
This is what the vast majority of punters do. It’s a good idea but most punters loose money. The reason is two fold.
First, like i said before, it doesn’t matter if you are good at spotting winners if you can’t place your bets with the correct odds. Most people follow pro tipsters blindly and don’t care about the odds. You pro tipster might tell you he is betting on team X but he placed his bet on with a 2.00 odd while you just go to your usual bookmaker and bet with an 1.80 odd. This behavior makes a huge difference in the long run!
Second, even with good tips, many punters fail at bankroll management and this can also make the difference between being a winner or a looser in the long run.
Focused betting is when you specialize in a type of market, in a league, a club or a player!
And when i mean specialize i really mean going deep! This is the secret of football betting for many successful punters!
I know personally a punter who is a master at this technique and he is a beast! His knowledge of the Portuguese and Spanish leagues is enough to write books on it. This makes him lots and lots of money but i must tell you, this is super difficult! The guy is extremely good because he’s been watching games of these leagues for years and years now.
This is a very rewarding technique both to the pocket and to the ego. If you truly are passionate about a specific team or league, start looking at it with a statistical perspective and in time you will be a master.
Like i said, IF you are passionate! Because if you’re doing it just for the money i promise you you’ll give up very fast.
The trader methodology is the same for sports betting, stocks trading or cryptocurrencies trading.
A trader analyses the market on a technical analysis perspective and jumps in and out at the right times, for a profit. If this idea excites you there are many resources online for learning and the sky is the limit because there’s no lack of liquidity in many markets.
To use this technique you will need to use an exchange and probably special software. You can trade directly on betfair but if you want to increase your chances of success you’ll need a better interface.
Scalping is a technique frequently used in horse racing.
The idea is that when you spot odds drifting in a certain direction you jump in and out very fast, sometimes less than a second and you make a profit on that. Similarly to trading, you will need special software for doing this. This one i never tried before but i’ve seen reports of people being very successful using it.
This is similar to scalping but you do it manually and the time-span between buying and selling can be hours or even days.
The idea is simple, you spot a trend on an odd, you buy it and sell it later.
Some arbitrage tools provide drifting odds and it takes some time for you to get used to the process.
This occurs naturally in my mind these days but in the beginning it took me a lot of trial and error to learn it.
A value bet is when the odd being offered to you is superior to the expected implied probability. Some tools find these odds for you but they are usually paid tools.
There is no guarantee of success but statistically it is profitable.
Value betting should be a concept rooted deeply in a punter’s mind, regardless of the techniques he uses!
Which betting strategies work best?
If i had to pick just one, i’d say the one i’ve been mostly using for the last 7 years: arbitrage betting! It’s the one that is easier to implement and the one that makes profit consistently.
Fortunately there’s no law or rule that forces me to use just one so i use about half of the ones i mentioned in this article!
Every professional will have a different opinion and that’s ok. We all like different things.
My suggestion is for you to learn them all at a basic level and then dive deeper on the ones that excite you the most.
If you want to start learning in a more enjoyable way i suggest watching these 10 movies on gambling.
Let me know in the comments if you need additional help on any of the techniques.
I’m always happy to help!