The 5 Traits of A Highly Successful Football Bettor

Whether you bet football as a hobby or for a living, we all share one thing in common when we make up our mind to put our money down on a team - we want to win. There is no 100% chance of winning a football bet at any given time (although it can come quite close with enough information) but there are certain traits to follow if you want football-betting to prove a profitable venture for yourself in the long run.

In other words, you might not always be able to win the battle, but you can definitely win the war.


These are the 5 traits of a highly successful football bettor:

1. Discipline             

Without a doubt, the most important trait that a football-bettor can have.       
Without discipline, a successful bettor can lose all his winnings in one day.        
Without discipline, a losing bettor can run up huge debts that might prove life-ruining. In the long-run, you cannot win without discipline.
Discipline is essentially the will to remember how to control your betting patterns no matter how emotionally charged you are at the moment.
Challenges to discipline come in the form of:            
- "Absolute certainty" that you will win a certain match which makes you feel like risking an entire season's winnings on one match.
- Desperation from making too many losing bets and the hope that this last one will win and dig you out of all the problems you have gotten yourself into.
- Feeling invincible after making a few winning bets in succession. You just don't believe you can lose and test this repeatedly with ever-increasing bets.
- Greed.
- Stupidity (often goes hand in hand with Greed).

You might be able to get away with not paying any heed to discipline and making a profit sometimes. But this only serves to reinforce these bad habits with probably more dire consequences to come in the future.
You can instill self-discipline by following the other traits here which follow:

2. Diligence               

Always make a thorough analysis of match factors before placing your wager on a team. As it is, most people already do not have access to enough information for matches unless they have intimate connections with insiders like managers, players, club officials, etc.

Although the internet has leveled the playing field a little for football-bettors, there is still a vast difference between what a person with good connections has access to as compared with the kind of information one can find from other general sources. Hunches and intuition is well and good but in my betting career, I have not heard of anyone who has lasted long by making his bets based on hunches in the long run.

Match analysis is something that can be mastered with deep thought and enough practice. However, a common mistake is made when some bettors place successively winning bets. They tend to cut short the analysis process and base their selections on progressively less research/factors. Such an attitude limits true potential too wastefully.

If you are not one with an aptitude for match analysis, the very least you can do is to make sure you subscribe to a sports advisory service with a good record. Do some research on the internet and subscribe to a few reputable services for a couple of months to find the best one or two services.

3. Courage                

It takes a certain amount of courage to bet against what everyone else is betting on in football. When all your chums have their money on Chelsea, it is tough putting your money where your mouth is when it is Derby, even if the Asian Handicap is a 1.5 goal advantage.
And yet, you have to remember that this is exactly what the bookmakers are facing perennially. Ask yourself which is the party laughing all the way to the bank most times and you will find that it is more often than not, the bookies. The fact is, more than 95% of bettors lose in the long run. Don't be afraid to bet on the underdogs when your match analysis (or trusted tipster service) dictates so. There is a good chance you will win and the returns are always high when you do so.                               

4. Proper Planning                

Planning usually takes the fun out of betting somewhat for most people but is an important component of long-term betting success.             

Proper planning usually involves setting up a suitable betting bank and staking strategy. This aids in terms of discipline as having such a plan will make it easier not to make spur-of-the-moment decisions when it comes to amounts to stake.        

A good staking strategy protects the betting bank while allowing for progressive increases in wager amounts when the betting fund grows.           

Other useful factors to keep in mind when deciding on a suitable money management system would for example be, the targeted amount of winnings you would like to make by the end of the season, or each month. Knowing this will help you decide how aggressive you would want your plan to lean towards.              

The logical thing to do when you have got your plan down pat is to stick to it always. This way, there are fewer surprises.

5. Patience

Patience is purely a matter of the mind. If you’ve got the other traits mentioned above, it shouldn’t matter to you whether or not you bet the next game since there is always another one round the corner. If one is able to quantify patience, there would be a direct correlation between patience and profits and an inverse one with risk.

Patience aids discipline. Patience reminds you that you do not have to win all the money at once. There is always the next match, the next day and the next season. Understanding this prevents unnecessary risk and protects the betting bank.

Match analysis for consider what's good bets & what's good odds

After having opened accounts with several bookmakers, getting to know their rules and procedures, and after analysing your risk- and bettingprofile, it's time to get down to business. It's time to pick games, it's time to consider what's good bets, what's good odds, get a market view, gather info about teams and events, etc. By following these simple steps, you should be well on your way:

Get an overview. 

Find out who's offering what. Get a view of the assortment from several bookies. Use the internet, and visit the bookmaker sites. Make use of an excellent free service like Betbrain, who compares odds presented by most bookmakers.

Study offers: 

It's important to superficially scan the assortment before you start examining the assortment more carefully. I mention this because if you are updated on the event, you'll automaticly know when a good object comes your way. Often you don't need to run a thorough analysis on a match in order to decide wether to bet on it or not. If you have to analyse every match you want to bet on, you don't know as much about the participating teams as you should in order to make a sound bet. If you can't decide upon wether to bet or not to bet on an event, perhaps it isn't a good object after all. Do not pay too much attention to the odds offered in this phase, just notice the events you feel "must" have a certain outcome.

Genuine conviction:

The most common way of betting is to pick an object based on genuine belief of a certain outcome. First pick the object based on belief, then check the prices offered. This how the average punter operate. Very often, the average punter have decided his bet long before he's even seen the price offered. Sometimes the decision is based on a mix of genuine belief, and good price offered. By "genuine belief" I mean the hunch, or the feeling you've got before you've checked the table, the form, statistics, etc.

Statistical analysis: 

Let it be said: Use of statistical analysis should not be the only criteria when choosing betting objects. It should only be used as additional info to a genuine belief. Only use statistics when you are in slight doubt about the object and as a supplement to objects you've singled out through criterias mentioned further down on this page. With statistics I mean league tables, form tables, 5- and 10-year statistics, etc.

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How to bet on a football team to win - Best Betting Strategy

The most popular way to bet on football is on the outright win-draw-win market. This betting market allows you to bet on a team to win, or the match to be a draw.

In almost every instance you will get one team as favourite to win and the other team will be the outsider with the odds on the draw being pitched somewhere in between. Although people say bookmakers are never wrong, sometimes they over compensate for a favourite and their odds are therefore too short, leaving the value bet in the draw or the other team to win.

The best example of this is when the ‘better’ team are playing away from home. You will regularly see a strong away team under-priced on the betting market and this leaves the value in the draw bet or a bet on the home team to win, at more attractive odds. Using this football betting system also works if you are looking at accumulator bets, our advice would be to avoid short priced away teams in any multiple bets. Despite them being the stronger side on paper a look at their opposition is key and there are certainly some teams where the bigger clubs do not like to play e.g. Everton, Fulham and Sunderland.

When the ‘better’ team are playing at home you will often see some very unattractive odds e.g. 1/3, 1/4 or shorter. These odds are no good to the standard punter (betting £4 to get a return of £5 is hardly a fool-proof system) and in this instance picking a couple of short price home teams for an accumulator could be the better betting system, although the more selections you choose the bigger the risk.

Finally you could look at a betting system surrounding the draw market. When two teams are closely matched you will often find a short price for the draw (around 2/1) and these are probably best avoided but if the favourite is playing away from home the odds for the draw could be anything over 5/2, giving a respectable betting proposition and the value of the match.

The key with betting on the win-draw-win market is you have a good knowledge of the teams including any injuries or suspensions, the current form of both teams (both home and away) and the history of the fixture in question.
 If you stick to these simple rules then the system of betting on the outright market could make your football betting profitable.

Know Your Opponent

Before you start with online betting, it's very smart to gather som info about the "opposition", i.e the bookmaker. It's a good advice to follow this little checklist before placing your money in the bookmakers account:


Is it a recognised bookie ? A well known name, with a proven track record ? In other words: Is your money safe ? Check for words on the street, and among other punters. Is the bookie unreliable, or very late with his payouts, etc, then have a look elsewhere. Listen to the grapevine, and pay attention to what others have to say about the bookie.

Methods of payment.

The bookie should have several methods of payouts, not only by bank check, but also by credit cards. I find it most convenient using a credit card in all my transactions with bookies. It may be wise to open a new VISA account, separated from your salary-account.


It's a must to know the rules in every game you play, and it's the same story here. Read the rules, and send an email and ask the bookie if you are unsure about something. Avoid bookies who do not accept singles. If the bookie only accepts trebles or doubles, find another. A few years ago, SSP only accepted 4 match parleys. Effectively, this is like telling the punter: " you can have a bet with us, but we will win in 99 of 100 bets". Luckily, competition in the bookmaking market has grown tougher, and as a result, most bookies these days offer singles on every game and in every sport.


Private bookmakers pay taxes to the country they operate in. In some countries, the bookie pay the punter's tax aswell as it's own taxes. When betting with online bookmakers, you should not accept taxes on your winnings. In England, the law states that punters must pay a tax of 9% on their winnings. Do not accept to pay taxes on your winnings, unless you are situated in Britain and with local bookmakers. (abide the law !!!). Online bookmakers do not charge taxes on a punters winnings.


What kind of odds is your bookie offering ? How is the odds compared to what others offer on the same event ? Does the bookie change the odds a lot, and is the bookie presenting his prices for events early in the week ? Even though the bookies do alter their odds (often done on popular events, such as big soccergames, formula1, Championships, etc), you should get the odds which was offered at the time you placed your bet. If the bookie alter the odds on your event after you've placed your bet, and your odds changes as a result of this, go find another bookie. The bookie's behaviour is then nothing but unacceptable and he's not worthy an honest customer like yourself. Normally this is not a problem, but have been known to occur from time to time.

Maximum winnings.

Check if your bookie has got a very low maximum winnings.  For the average punter, this is not important, but for the tough guys, who bet 10 grand rather than a tenner now and then, this can be of some importance.
Minimum deposits
Hopefully you will only have to deposit your hard-earned cash once, but it can be worth having a look at the bookies' rules regarding minimum deposits. Some bookies demand a fortune in deposits. Stay away from these vultures !

Events offered.

The worst thing a bookie can do, is not offering lousy prices. Infact, the worst thing is not offering you the opportunity to bet on an event. Some bookies only offer odds on the top leagues, and never bother about english 2. or 3. division, or Italian Serie B. Some don't even bother with Norwegian 1.division during the summer break in European leagues. It's a major "pre" if your bookie offer as many events as possible, not only soccer, but all kinds of sports. The clever bookie knows, ofcourse, that when many events are offered, the chances are that punters will bet on more events than they originally had in mind, thus increasing the bookies chance of profit. Private bookies do generally offer most events, while the national bookmakers in Norway, Sweden and Denmark only pick a handful of all matches available, and often exclude big favourites in their event lists. Centrebet and Interwetten are bookies who cover a large number of events every week. Do not accept bookies who only cover a few sports, and bookies who do not offer you the chance to bet on lower divisions, or who often exclude big favourites from their event list.

Risk free bets

"There is no such thing as a free lunch" is a common known "rule" in life, but there sure are some meals that are cheaper than others !

Check these links frequently to find risk free bets:

Bookmakers do not always present correct odds. Sometimes the odds presented on a given event can vary very much with different bookmakers. Some bookmakers fancy the home team, others fancy the away team, and some even the draw. This is something punters can take advantage of. By adding the inverse of the odds offered on H, D and A, we are able to calculate the spread tax of the actual event.


AS Roma Leeds United 1.90 (Alpenland) 3.60 (Darwin) 5.75 (Darwin)

The best odds offered on 1/X/2 are Alpenland's 1.90, Darwin's 3.60 and Darwin's 5.75. When Alpenland offer 1.90 for the home win, it means that a bet of 1$ gives a 1.90$ return.

As a result, a bet of 0.53$ gives a 1$ return ( 1 / 1.90 = 0.53).
 For the draw, a bet of 0.28$ gives a 1$ return (1 / 3.60 = 0.28)
 For the away win, a bet of 0.17 $ gives a 1$ return (1 / 5.75 = 0.17)

If we add all these bets (0.53 + 0.28 + 0.17) we get 0.98.
 Thus, you need to bet 0.98$ in order to get a 1$ for sure.

If we take the inverse of 0.98 (1 / 0.98 =1.02) you'll see that for every 1 $ you bet, you will get 1.02 $ back !!

In other words, a totally risk-free bet !!!

Note: The calulation is made without including any taxes or other expenses (like the fees for transferring money). In order to make use of this kind of betting, you need accounts with several bookmakers, and a quite a considerable funds available because even though it's a sure bet, you will lose your stake at two of the bookies, and win at the third. Thus you may go broke in some of your accounts, and if you need to deposit money frequently, the transfer fees will outweigh the small advantage you gain on this type of betting. Not all bookmakers accept singles either.

Betting Tips

With sportsbetting as with everything else in life, it's important to set yourself a goal. If you don't have a goal with your betting, it may get out of hand. You may start betting every day, you may start betting harder to make up for earlier losses, you suddenly place impulsive bets, and the whole thing can become rather unpleasant. Therefore, take a few moments thinking over the following:

Risk profile
Who am I to tell you how you're going to bet, and where to place your bets ? You're right, I can only suggest, not command. There are no correct answers to how you should bet to make money. It all depends (among other things) on your risk profile. Therefore, an answer can only be given when you know your willingness to take risks. A punter who wants to win big money fast, often has a risky way of betting (betting on outsiders, often with high stakes). The opposite is the punter who's content with making a 10% profit on his bets. He has a rather low risk profile, and places his bets on a big favourite at low prices and very often with low stakes aswell.

Long term/short term
This is one of the most important things to decide. Do you bet on a short term basis, or long term ? If you bet long term, you're probably willing to bet on outsiders, with a relativly low matemathical chance of winning. In that way, you don't have to win each time, but when you do win, you win a lot because the odds on outsiders are high.
The question is: Have you got the patience to wait for the outsider. Will you loose patience, and start changing your strategy ?
The short-term punter will most likely bet on big favourites at small prices, and often with high stakes. He will feel he's winning often , but when he wins, the payback is so small, that one loss, and it's all down to scratch again. This is due to the bookie's fear of favourites. The relative value on favourites is often very slim, due to the fact that the bookie fear the favourites big chance of winning (thus a large payout for the bookie, as most punters bet on big favourites). In other words, you get less value out of each bet when you bet on big favourites, because they don't win as often as the prices offered reflect.

"Modus operandi"
Some people fancy a bet just to have some excitement watching a televised footballmatch or sport event. And that's OK. They don't care too much whether they win or loose. It's just for the sake of entertainment. And these people don't bet everyday, they've got a relaxed relation to sports betting. The opposite is punters who intend to win money on their betting, big money. Often these punters need to play often, and they bet on low-priced games, which the bookie is very aware of, and therefore has slashed the odds notably. Therefore, these punters don't get the long-term value which high-odds often provide.
But what happens when the "entertainment-punter" suddenly starts winning ?
Yes, correct, he suddenly starts increasing his stakes, because he feels he has been lucky or clever, he's betting more often than before, and then suddenly his money has gone. This is a result of human behaviour. It seems as if we, for some strange reason, want to loose the money we've won. When we win, we don't stop, and say: "Allright, I'm satisfied". No, we stretch the limits further, and suddenly we start loosing. And when we've crossed the limits, we really don't notice it, because now we're trying to get back what we've "lost". And then everything start going downhill. If you started with 100 $, then winning 500 $, you've got a nice profit.
Instead of taking the profit, you stretch the limits further, and suddenly you're down to 300 $. Still you've got a 200 % payoff, but you'll feel that 300 on the way down is much less than 300 on the way up, and therefore you'll continue betting without taking the 200 $ profit. Chances are that your profit has disappeared before you even realise what's happening...
This is somewhat self destructive, but it can be dealt with if you've got a minimum of self dicipline.

When you win, don't feel unbeatable, and start increasing your stakes straight away. Continue where you started, and remember that even though it's easy to win, it's even easier to loose what you've just gained. Ofcourse you should take your chances when you're in a winning streak, but keep in mind it's very easy to let it all get out of hand. When you're loosing, don't get tempted into irrational actions (dramaticly increasing the stakes, changing your strategy, bet on more games, etc). If your strategy has worked before, it will work again, it's all about dicipline and patience. Sometimes you will hit a bad run, and this is the time to show dicipline. Maybe take a few weeks break from betting, do something else and come back later.

Have you got the time to gather info about the participants in the events, or do you just put in a bet every know and then just for the sake of excitement ? Analyse what kind of time you're willing to use on this hobby, and act thereafter.

How much money have I got at my disposal ? How much can I afford to loose ? Never bet with borrowed money. Do not bet whith money who's intended used for housekeeping or other more important things than sports betting. Always keep in mind that you can loose all your money. Set yourself a target, and take the profit when you've reached the target, then start all over again. Example: If you start with 100 $, set a target of 500$. If you reach 500$, order a payout of 400$, and continue with your initial 100$. In this way, you'll see the fruits of your work, real cash, not only virtual money on the bookie's server.

Naturally interrested
Are you really interrested in sports, or do you bet just for the sake of the possible profit? If you enjoy sports, it's much easier to keep updated on what's going on, thus maybe having an extra edge on the bookie. If you feel that the whole thing is getting boring and no fun anymore, then it's time to call it a day. Do not bet just for the sake of a bet. When the motivation is gone, there's a big chance that you will lose patience and interest, and finally your money.

A real way to make money sports betting

A real way to make money sports betting

There are people in the UK teaching this very strategy for thousand of pounds. It works and I was doing it a year ago. This strategy requires knowledge of arbing and betfair trading.

 How this strategy works is you back at the sportsbook and then lay at betfair creating a wash (ie no profit or loss). The secret is you become an affiliate of the sportsbook, and then make 25% of the loss taken on the back bet.

 So essentially you are making a risk free arb type bet. If the back bet loses you earn 25% of that losing back bet. If the back bet wins you lose the corresponding lay bet at betfair creating no profit or loss.

 1. Open a betfair account and a moneybookers account.

 2. Become an affiliate / partner of a sportsbook. Affiliates earn 20-30% of all losing bets that sign up under them. You may need to create a website to put banners and articles onto. When approving an affiliate account the affiliate manager checks the applicant and will want to see a real betting type website.

 3. Sign up for the sportsbook under your own affiliate account.

 4. You do a dutch type bet, backing at the sportsbook and laying at betfair. It is easiest to do this with UK horse racing just before the race as the lines are moving everywhere. With soccer or other sports you can still do it but the odds are never exactly the same each side.

 5. Make sure the odds are around 3/1 to 5/1 and as close as possible. Example 3.00 at the sportsbook and 3.05 at betfair.

 5. Over time you will lose most back bets at the sportsbook, while gaining a bigger account at betfair. Use moneybookers as a conduit to move the betfair money to your sportsbook account. Betfair to moneybookers, moneybookers to sportsbook. It can be done in minutes.

 Example - 

 Back $500 on horse 12 at odds of $4.20. 
 Lay $156.25 ($500 liability) on horse 12 at odds of $4.20.

 If horse 12 wins or loses, there is no profit or loss. But as a sportsbook affiliate you earn 25% if it loses, which is $125 profit.

 Your ability to do these bets is only constrained by the size of the betting pools in betfair. It is difficult to lay more than $500 on any horse just before a race. With soccer and other games the betting pool is huge but the betfair odds are always longer than the sportbook price, creating a small loss every bet. This small loss is easily made up from the affiliate commission.

 Negative carry over - This is important but difficult to explain. Many sportsbooks have what is called negative carry over. For example if you place a $200 back bet at 4.00 and it wins, your affiliate account will show a -$600 loss. This loss must be made up BEFORE they pay any 25% commissions. Some sportsbook carry over negative account balances to the next month. Do not bother with these sportsbooks. Only become an affiliate of those who do not have negative carry over. No negative carry over means that even if a back bet did win, this amount get cleared on the 1st of the month and you are free to earn your 25% commission again.

 So to wrap up, you want to place one bet a month at 10-12 sportsbooks. If the back bet wins there is no profit. If the back bet loses you earn 25%. Betting on horses at 3/1 to 5/1 they generally lose at a rate of 8 out of 10 times or better. You can earn about $2000k a month quite easily.

 Some people may say well how is it possible to sign up to a sportsbook under your own affiliate account? Well they tend to not care what small stake losing betters do. There did not seem to be any account cross checking back in 2008 when I did it.