How Bookies Influence Punters
It’s hard not to be tempted by a low risk, high reward kinds of wagers. It’s the reason why national lotteries are so popular across the world. Pick six numbers, pay a pound, a euro, a dollar, a peso and you could win millions in an instant and your world will have changed forever. Interestingly though, according to research about identifying the happiness index around a year after winning a very large sum of money a person comes back to their happiness baseline, the same goes for people who have undergone some trauma, about a year later and you’re back to yourself if you will.
What’s this got to do with betting? Well, most of us have seen the old carrot and stick trink done to make a donkey move either in real life or in cartoons and while you probably chuckled a bit the first time you saw it, it also works with people, especially when it comes to things like financial gain. What we’re talking about here are long-shot accumulators and ‘ready-made’, ‘boosted’ or ‘curated’ bets. You dangle a high return for low risk and people will part with their cash. While you can win these bets, it’s pretty rare though, you’re falling victim to the bookie’s influence over you and you’re always getting terrible value for you bets. We want to explain why these types of bets are a waste of money.
What are the Pools?
First we need to explain where these types of bets came from. Around a hundred years ago or so the first ‘pools’ bets were becoming popular around England. When you walked into a football ground, they weren’t stadiums back then, you were given a sheet of paper, or ‘chit’ and you could fill it in with some selections for the win/draw/win (home/draw/away) market and you’d give the guy a pound and you’d hope that you’d win. These evolved into the coupons you can see on popular UK and European betting sites today, Over 2.5 goals coupons, Both Teams to Score coupons, Draw coupons etc.
Now, here’s the thing with pools, they don’t offer you what the odds should really be worth. Instead you win a large cut of the entire amount of money wagered, or pooled. This had started earlier in French horse racing, the ‘pari-mutuel’ way of betting was done by pooling together the entire pot of wagers made on a race and the winnings were divided among the winning punters. You can quickly see the problem here; if a race had a large pool of, say, a million pounds then you could win a decent amount, but if it was only a hundred pounds then your winnings would be tiny and not a reflection of the true odds of that horse winning.
What is Tote Betting?
The word ‘tote’ comes from this type of betting and it’s what the football pool evolved from. Look, the pools are fun and you can win big if you get lucky, but it’s luck and you’re not getting value for you money. The largest pools winner in England was a prison officer called Michael Elliott who won £3,001,511 in 2010. He picked eight 2-2 draws and paid £2.
Here’s the thing, if he’d made that bet with an online bookmaker he would actually have won something like £400,000,000+. Yes, you read that properly. For this article we did a random pick of eight 2-2s from the Premier League and Championship:
Our mate Michael got fleeced didn’t he? We’ve established then that pools hold no value and you need to be incredibly lucky to win them. The same can be said for large, long-shot accumulator and ready-made accas and even the new trend of curated bets. Curated bets are sometimes called ‘same-game multi bets’ or ‘choose you own odds’.
Football Betting Overrounds
We’re written a little about these before in our article about calculating overrounds . An overround is the ‘charge’ a bookie add to a wager to ensure they make a profit no matter what the result is. Let’s say you make an 8-fold Acca like the one above and your bookie usually has a 5% overround calculated into their odds. For every bet in your 8 fold you’re losing money to them, even though you think you’re making one bet, you’re making eight bets on eight different matches and they’re getting cut on all those matches not just on the one bet. Sure, 400 million quid is tempting, of course it is, but they don’t show the true odds of that event happening. Therefore, there’s no value.
The same goes for ‘boosted’ odds which are total nonsense and the new trend of allowing punters to pick a few events in the same match. You think you’re getting good odds but actually you’ll just giving more and more commission to your bookie. Thanks to fantastic marketing campaigns and the odds few bet or bonus added when you make yet another deposit they’ve tricked you into thinking you’re getting a good deal. You’re not.
This all comes down to learning about how easy you are as a customer to being manipulated by your bookie but once you do become aware of it then you can become more critical, more skeptical and more objective about what bookies have on offer. Alway shop around and look for the best odds and the lower bookie commissions to ensure you’re getting the best value for you wagers.