Make money from betting: Patience and planning will steer you right

Last updated & tested: 2019-08-13


Finding strategies that are guaranteed to make money from betting has been a holy grail for gamblers since the dawn of the gaming industry. The truth is that no strategy is perfect, and all punters should remember that the house always has an inbuilt edge.

Nevertheless, there are things that keen punters can do to maximise their chances of their bets being successful, and bringing them in some profit. As with many things in life, the key is to show patience, read a decent betting guide, and to back up every strategy with sound sporting knowledge. Then you will have a good chance of making money from sports betting.

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Make money from betting: Things you have to know

Discovering how to make money gambling on sports is something to which many thousands of people continue to apply their minds every day. The fact that a foolproof, 100% guaranteed strategy is yet to be formulated shows how tricky the concept is in reality. Gambling is never going to solve your financial problems or turn you into a millionaire overnight, it should always be remembered.

But ways to make money from betting do exist. They are just not magic, and require you, as a punter, to put in a little bit of work and be smart with your sports betting. The best way to make sure that you place winning bets is for you to have an expert knowledge of the sport on which you are betting. So the first, and possibly most important, part of learning how to make money betting online is to pick a sport like horse racing at Aintree, and make it a speciality of yours.

How to make money from betting sites: Getting started

La Liga football

So, if you want to make money from sports betting, where do you start? Well, the first thing to do is to pick a bookmaker and create a betting account. It actually helps you to have accounts with more than one bookmaker, as well as at a betting exchange, such as Betfair. We will go into the full reasons for having an account at a betting exchange later. But choosing bookmakers is an important first step on the road to learning how to make money from betting.

When you are looking for the best online bookmakers it is a good idea to check out what kind of welcome bonus is available. A good sports betting bonus can set you on the way to making some profitable bets. Bonuses that offer free bets are the best to go for, rather than others which offer a matched deposit bonus. Free bet bonuses tend to have fewer wagering requirements attached to them, and can more easily be turned into real cash.

You should also pick a sport in which you specialise. If you want to know how to make money betting on football, then the first thing you need to do is become an expert on football. This is where focusing on a specific league or country can make a real difference. Rather than trying to know everything about the sport, focus on exciting football derby betting, for example. Many of the more obscure leagues often provide good value to punters, value which can be missed by those who focus only on the biggest leagues and competitions.

How it works: Make money from betting in practice

Being able to compare odds properly is an important part of knowing how to make money from betting sites. To properly compare odds, you need to be aware of the different formats in which odds are presented. Punters based in Europe are likely to come across two formats for odds: decimal and fractional. American odds are often presented in another format, but we will stick with what works best for punters on this side of the Atlantic here.

Fractional odds are favoured by British and Irish bookmakers. These are presented like fractions, so 2/1, 10/3, 6/4 are the types of things you will see on UK and Irish betting sites. Continental European bookies prefer to present their odds in a decimal format. So, in this case, you might see odds like 1.5, 3.4 or 2.2 adjacent to betting markets. Some British bookies have taken to using decimal odds too, particularly for sports betting, rather than betting on horse racing or greyhound racing.

To make money from betting, you need to be able to compare the odds on offer at different bookies, in order to assess which bookmaker is offering you the best value. Websites exist which allow you to convert odds from the decimal to the fractional, and vice versa, which makes the process of comparison simpler.

Make money from betting exchanges

Celtic vs Aberdeen

Once you understand odds properly, and have found a way to compare them accurately, then it is time to think about using matched betting. This is where you need an account with a betting exchange, such as Betfair. Learning how to make money from betting exchanges is a vitally important part of formulating effective betting strategies, and just like round robin bets, they are popular amongst experienced punters.

The great thing about using a betting exchange is that it allows you to place what are known as ‘lay bets’. These are bets where you bet against something happening. This means that you can bet on an event taking place at a standard bookie, and then simultaneously bet against it happening at the betting exchange. This creates a situation where you win at least one of your bets, however the event turns out.

In order to ensure that you make money from betting exchanges, you need to be able to choose the right bets. In order to understand how to make money from betting exchanges, it helps to look at a specific example. Let’s say that you, as a punter, have a free bet worth £10 to use as a result of signing up with a bookmaker. To use your free bet, you decide to bet on a football match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

Bookmaker Our
Test
Result
Max. WertBonus Type Details Get the Bonus
199 / 10030£30 FreebetT&Cs apply, 18+Betway bonus
298 / 10025Claim your £25 bonus with bonus code OPENODDST&Cs apply, 18+Novibet bonus
397 / 10050Fantastic £50 welcome bonusT&Cs apply, 18+Bethard bonus
496 / 10030Bet £10 Get £30T&Cs apply, 18+888 bonus
595 / 10030Matched bet of up to £30T&Cs apply, 18+Coral bonus
18+. UK+IRE only. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first bet £10 a odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £30 credited as 3 x £10 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 7 days. Free bet stake not returned. 18+ T&Cs Apply."
694 / 100£100Bet £50 and Get £50T&Cs apply, 18+Betfair bonus
793 / 10030£30 insuranceT&Cs apply, 18+Genting-Bet bonus
£30 First Bet Insurance: New customers only. Qualifying period ends 23:59 GMT on 31/12/19. A qualifying bet is a losing first settled real money single bet of at least £/€10 or more (at odds of evens (2.0) or greater (or a multiple where each selection is at odds of 2/5 (1.4) or more. Only losing win single part of an E/W bet will qualify. Free bet equal to your qualifying stake(Max £/€30) will be credited within 24 hours of qualifying bet settling and must be used within 14 days. Free bet stake not included in returns. Terms and conditions apply, 18+.
892 / 100100£100 in bet creditsT&Cs apply, 18+Bet365 bonus
New Customers only. Up to £100 in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
991 / 10030£30T&Cs apply, 18+MoPlay bonus
1090 / 10030Bet £10 get £5 free!T&Cs apply, 18+William-Hill bonus
1189 / 100£100 £100 Matched DepositT&Cs apply, 18+Mr-Green bonus
1288 / 100£1010T&Cs apply, 18+Mobilebet bonus
1388 / 100£100 Up to 100% winnings boostT&Cs apply, 18+32Red bonus
1487 / 100£10£10 Free BetT&Cs apply, 18+ComeOn bonus
1586 / 10030Get your €30 bonus!T&Cs apply, 18+BetVictor bonus
1685 / 100£200100% matched bonusT&Cs apply, 18+TonyBet bonus
1784 / 100£30£30 Money BackT&Cs apply, 18+Unibet bonus
1883 / 100£10£10T&Cs apply, 18+Grosvenor bonus
1982 / 1005050£ FreebetT&Cs apply, 18+Ladbrokes bonus
2081 / 100£5050% bonus up to £50T&Cs apply, 18+Mansion-Bet bonus

How to make money from betting exchanges: An example

Aberdeen are at 3/1 (4.0 in decimal odds) to win the match. You decide that this looks good, so you back them with a conventional bookie. You then check the betting exchange to see that you can lay the same bet at those same odds.

If Aberdeen win, then you win £40, which is your stake of £10 plus the winnings of £30. Your lay bet loses (with the betting exchange) meaning you lose £30. Therefore, you would be left with the following £40-£10 (stake) – £30 (‘lay’ bet) = £0. If Celtic win or the match is a draw, then you lose your stake of £10. Your lay bet wins on the betting exchange, so you win £10. Therefore, you would be left with the following £10 (lay bet) – £10 (stake) = £0. So, by placing your normal bet and the lay bet you neither win nor lose money.

The key part of this strategy, therefore, is using a free bet from a bookie’s bonus. That way, you go from a situation where you cannot lose money, to one where you are guaranteed to win. You use the free bet of £10 at 3/1 (4.0), on Aberdeen to win. You win £40 without risking your own money on the stake. Your lay bet loses at the betting exchange, so you lose £30. You are left with the following £40 – £30 (lay bet), equalling a £10 profit. If Aberdeen lose or draw the match, then you use the free bet of £10 at 3/1 (4.0). You lose the £10 free bet. Your lay bet wins at the betting exchange, so you win £10. You are left with £10 from the lay bet, equalling a £10 profit.

Possible options for bookmakers to choose

An important part of getting started with formulating winning betting strategies is to choose the right bookmakers, along with a betting exchange. You need to find a bookie with covers your chosen sport or sports, and one who offers an easy way to place bets like Goliath wagering or four fold bets. Here are three options for you to consider.

Betfair: The best known betting exchange

If you sign up with the betting exchange at Betfair, then you are given a £20 free exchange bet as a welcome bonus. This is potentially very useful. You can also sign up for a sports betting account at Betfair, to give you greater flexibility. You can pick up a free £20 bet for signing up with the sports betting section, and you can repeat this bonus up to five times. This makes Betfair a very tempting choice when it comes to selecting both a betting exchange and a sportsbook.

William Hill: The solid all-round sports betting option

William Hill is one of the best all-round bookmakers out there, with live streaming of sport, podcasting, betting advice and many other services on offer alongside its sports betting markets. New punters who sign up and place a first bet worth £10 can claim £30 of free bets as a welcome bonus. You need to deposit funds to claim this offer. There is no betting bonus without payment. William Hill, being one of the best known and most solidly established bookies in Britain, also has a very rigorous security system and privacy policy in place to keep its punters secure when they are betting online.

Betway: A good value bookmaker

Another bookmaker worth considering is Betway, who offer new customers £30 of free bets for signing up with them. To claim this bonus, you need to deposit at least £10. The company will match your deposit up to a maximum of £30. Betway covers a good range of sports, and its odds offer good value. The range of markets is excellent, and includes plenty of chances to place live bets. Live streaming of some sports is also available at Betway, while the website is easy to use, and well-designed.

open Betway accountt

Gimmicks are no substitute for knowledge

As can be seen, it is possible to use betting apps to make money, if you are prepared to use a betting exchange, and take the time to evaluate possible bets, and compare odds. But always remember that all strategies like draw no bets and up and down bets have their flaws. The best way to know how to always win with football bets is to become as expert as possible about football. The same is true of any other sport. Knowledge and sporting insight are always more trustworthy than gimmicks or strategies.

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