I was rather taken aback when Clive asked me if I fancied writing a series of articles for What Really Wins Money. After some consideration, I decided it sounded quite a challenge so took him up on the opportunity. After all, for the last ten years I have been cocooned in the safety of writing my own Race letter and when you are in charge it’s great. You can write what you want knowing that no-one is going to come back at you and say this article is rubbish. The safety net has been taken away and I’d better come up with some pretty good stuff. For my first article I want to look at betting strategies, or more importantly, the betting strategies that you as a punter employ.

There are two things that never cease to amaze me. Firstly, despite nearly every book written on the subject referring to it and every tipster recommending it I am amazed at how few people use a betting bank. And before you think, oh no, not that old chestnut again, let me tell you that if you don’t have a betting bank then you will NEVER win money.

Absolute, guaranteed, concrete fact! If you don’t have the money to begin with then you shouldn’t be betting – simple as that. And if you have only limited resources then start with a small bank and increase.

There was an excellent article featured here a few months ago about compounding. In a future article I’ll show you how you can start with £100 betting bank and double it every month. There is a risk involved but I have built in safety factors that minimize these. And the beauty of it is that you are only ever risking that initial stake, which can be taken out after three months anyway and if things go wrong you just start again with the same bank. The second thing that surprises me is that there are many people who use just one betting strategy. I believe that you should have a portfolio of at least three methods. Just like buying and selling shares, you need to spread your risk.

Although I am basically a racing man I am also a very keen football supporter. I might as well get this out of the way now and tell you that I’m a Manchester City fan. Don’t bother with the jokes, I’ve heard them all before!

It should be apparent then that I do like a bet on football and there are opportunities out there which offer easy money and yet are ignored by the punter. One of these opportunities forms part of my personal betting strategy. It is so simple and yet really profitable. It has been said that the simple things and the obvious things are often the most profitable and I tell now that this is correct. Firstly let me ask you this:

If you were to go to an amateur football match, how many goals would you expect to see?

Certainly a few. How many goalless draws would you expect to see? Two? One? None? Probably the latter, I suspect. Why? Because the football you are watching is at a low level. Players are not as good as in the Premiership, nor are tactics. Yet in front of your nose there is football being played every week in this country that is of a low grade, where you rarely see a goalless draw and where therefore the opportunity is there to lay the nil nil score in every match. It’s not quite in this country actually, it’s Scotland, where the football (no offence to any Scottish people here) is desperately poor. There are rarely any games without a goal. Writing this article in mid February I open my paper to the last weekend, February 9th and tenth. Twenty one games were played and just two were goalless. Let down by the inabilities of Albion, Forfar, Stranraer or Elgin to score a goal. And that is an exception as often there are none.

Unfortunately this market is under-used on the exchanges and there is often little liquidity outside the Premier division. But that’s fine. How many times do you see a scoreless game in this division anyway?

I am not suggesting you actually lay every scoreless draw. What you need to look at first are the prices, which tend to average about 10.00. It’s high, but then that just reflects how rarely it happens. Don’t take really big odds that place you in jeopardy of losing a lot of money. I suggest you watch for a few weeks and you’ll soon get to see the potential.

Clive’s note

Thanks Karl for the introduction, and like you, I’m waiting with baited breathe for how to double a betting bank every month, sounds intriguing! Like Karl, I tend to spread my interests around horse racing and football and at this time of the year it is the football that really takes precedence with the inclement weather and generally poor race types. I would concur regarding laying the 0-0. There are other alternatives too, including backing 1 goal or more in the Total goals market, which is a great way to help with the compounding Karl mentioned. Odds are generally low so looking to win a small amount of your target profit ensures stake money risked is marginal and the likelihood of success is enhanced especially in these lower league Scottish games.

Karl also runs a bet placement service and if anyone is interested I suggest they contact me or visit his website at www.racing-online.co.uk. In this unregulated industry it is highly important that due diligence takes place especially when money is involved. I have not, to my satisfaction, been able to successfully verify some of the bet placement services out there, but Karl’s history leaves me confident.