A bookmaker, or bookie or turf accountant as they are also known, is the person or organization that will take your bets on soccer matches.
One thing to keep in mind right from the beginning is that your bookie is not your friend. He may act nicely and friendly toward you, especially while you are losing much more than you are winning, but don’t be fooled.
Your relationship with your bookie is purely a business relationship. If you start winning too much, he will quickly ban you. That’s why it is always good to have multiple bookmakers.
In addition, having multiple bookmakers will help ensure you get the best odds for your bets. Some bookies will offer better odds on some matches than other bookies. We will get more into how bookies set odds a little later in this chapter.
For now, it’s important for you to understand that you should always look at your relationship with your bookie or bookies as professional and never personal.
Let’s look at how bookmakers set their odds and do business.
The aim of every bookie is to balance their “book” so that they make a profit no matter what the outcome of a soccer match.
To accomplish this goal, they attempt to set odds in their favor – odds which may exceed the combined probability for a match. That’s right, there odds will often add up to more than 100% - so be aware of this when placing your bets!
To set their odds, most big bookmakers have a team of experts working for them that conduct extensive team and match research and that have inside contacts with teams and leagues and even officials. They may also utilize cutting-edge software to further analyze every aspect of an upcoming match.
They then take all of the information that they have gathered and they use it to determine the percentage chances of each betting outcome for a particular match.
The bookmaker will then work to set for themselves those certain profit margins that we mentioned earlier. For example, they may decide that they want to make $20 for every $100 they receive in bets. They would then build this profit margin into their odds so that this outcome is achieved no matter who wins or loses the match.
To further help ensure their profit margin, bookies may use their knowledge of which bets are likely to be most popular among the betting public.
Again, this is why it is important to have multiple bookies – the odds one bookie offers for a bet can differ significantly from the odds another bookie offers due to among other things the profit margins they’ve set and their expectations for which bets will be popular.
When trying to decide which online bookmakers are right for you, here are some things to look for:
One more thing to consider when selecting bookmakers is that many will offer special promotions to their clients. We are going to look at bookmaker offers next.
Here’s one last thing to consider when dealing with bookmakers – many may offer special deals to keep you betting with them.
Like in many other markets, bookmaking is competitive and that may lead many bookies to offer special deals to entice you to spend your money with them. Here are some offers to look for:
Now that we have looked at the fundamentals of betting, types of bets and bookmakers, let’s wrap everything up by looking at a few additional tips that are essential to betting success.