Let me Count the Ways...
I've been meaning to write this post for a while. After all, the site is called Make Your Betting Pay so there really should be a post outlining the main ways in which it can be done!
When it's boiled down to its essence, there are just 4 ways in which you can make money from betting.
Most people have done a bit of this. It's done by using bookmaker bonuses and the betting exchanges to create no lose bets. the mechanics are fairly straight forward and have been explained to death elsewhere.
Suffice to say, it is possible to make a reasonable, ongoing monthly income from these bets alone particularly if you invest in the hand holding and step by step guides offered by the likes of Bonus Bagging or OddsMonkey, subscription services set up to guide people to profit from Matched bets.
It's something I've done at times and there is no doubt you can make a decent amount of money if you are prepared to put in the effort, can be organised and methodical and are happy with slow and steady growth. It's perfect for beginners to betting as you have all those lovely initial sign upbookmaker bonuses available to you (there are plenty of ongoing bonuses to be exploited but those initial bonuses are the real low hanging fruit) and because it's broadly risk free and idiot proof!
It's the kind of thing that can grow with you as well, with more and more advanced techniques opening up trickier strategies - some eve4n involving becoming an affiliate for the bookies, opening beard accounts and exploiting the edge provided by the bookies sharing the 'customer' revenue with you.
I've never advanced beyond the basic level at it because It's too admin heavy for my liking with not enough 'gamble' involved for a man of my tastes but lots of people love it and make good money at it.
This method involves exploiting the natural differences of opinion between oddsmakers to create a no lose opportunity. For a simplified example of this, take any two runner event such as a tennis match, snooker match, darts match or even UFC/Boxing match where a draw is removed as an outcome and voids the bet)
Bookmaker A prices Prices Player 1 at 11/10. Bookmaker two prices player 2 at 11/10
In this (super simplified!) situation, you can back both possible outcomes and lock in a profit.
If you had £100 win on both outcomes, your bet would look like this:
£100 win on Player 1 returns £210 if he wins
£100 win on Player 2 also returns £210 if he wins
Total outlay £200. Guaranteed return £210
A nice £10 (5%) profit on your efforts.
That is of course a simplified example and these things can get quite complicated bith to find and to then ensure a profit can be made covering all outcomes.
Luckily there are lots of services out there that will identify the opportunities - often 100's every day - and provide calculators for working out exactly how much to stake on each outcome.
Again, it's not something I have ever done with any great regularity for the same reasons I haven't even been a serious matched bettor but, again, there are lots of people out there making very nice incomes from arbitrage betting.
Exchange trading is a catch all term for trading on sports using Betfair or one of the other betting exchanges to create no lose situations.
There is risk involved in exchange trading because you are having to make an assessment of which way a market price will move and act accordingly. This is very easy to get wrong and the market move in the wrong direction for your trade to work! However, with experience anybody can gain the skills neccesary to make a very decent income from exchange trading.
Here's an example of a trade:
You see a horse priced at 2.0 in a race. Your assessment of the market can take two forms - technical analysis of which way you think the price is moving or fundamental analysis involving you coming to a conclusion as to the true probability of that horse winning.
Whichever analysis you use leads you to believe that, at least in the short term, the price for that horse to win is going to increase.
To execute a trade you would then lay the horse at 2.0. for £10 - giving you a liability of £10 if the horse wins. 2 minutes later the price for the horse is 2.5 and you decide to exit your trade. At least this point, using a calculator or specialist piece of trading software such as Bet Angel, you place a back bet for £8 at 2.5.
So you now have a scenario where if the horse wins you get:
(£8 back at 2.5) - (£10 lay at 2.0)
£12 - £10 = £2 profit
If the horse loses you get:
(10 lay at 2.0) - (£8 back at 2.5)
£10 - £8 = £2 profit.
You have the lovely situation where, whatever happens, you make a profit of £2!
(For ease I have not factored commisision into these calculations - you would need to use a calculator to ensure this as taken account of in your stakes)
It can be VERY lucrative and is lowish risk once you have enough experience in judging which wya the market is moving. That comes with time and practice.
The real beauty of it is that if, as in the example, you are trading horse racing markets in the lead up to a race, you can trade in and out of the market multiple times very quickly building up substantial profits with very low risk.