Betting Guides

At OnlineBetting we provide more than just offers and reviews and we aim to give you as the punter a comprehensive resource for all your betting needs. In this section you will find all you need to know about betting. From what types of bets are available and what they mean to guides on common offers and event, it's all in here.

Best Betting Sites Guide

betting sites 2Our guide to the UK's best betting sites is designed to let you, the punter, find the online bookmaker(s) that fits best with you. We have dissected all the major features from the top bookies with a UK gambling commission licence. Read about the markets they cover and in what depth, what their top betting offers are, interfaces, mobile betting, live betting, streaming availability, payout limits, odds, history, customer service, payment methods and more. For whatever reason you like to bet make sure you bet with your perfect betting sites.

Sports Betting Guide

sports betting guideSee our sports betting index and find everything you need to know to bet on your favourite sports whether you are a seasoned professional or a complete amateur. We have guides on what bets are available by sport and how to place them. We show you where to find the best live betting and streaming, what top competitions and tournaments to look out for as well as the best bookmakers for betting by sport. Find out where sports originated in our sports history guides, where to get the best odds and payouts and other articles on types, terminology and more to help you get the most from your sports betting.

Payment Methods & Banking Guide

Payment homeThe beauty of online bookmaking is it has changed the way people fund their betting wallets, you can now use eWallets such as PayPal and Skrill as well as cash voucher systems such as PaySafeCard, and did you know you are still able to deposit and withdraw from betting sites using cash in store? In our banking articles you will find all the minimum and maximum deposit and withdrawal limits including information on fees and sign up bonus availability. Also find information on how to set up and use various payment methods.

Low Stakes and Low Deposit Betting Sites

low depositIn the old days when we all used to bet in bookmakers shops the idea of minimums didn't really apply, you could place a bet with a twenty pence piece or a twenty pound note and nobody cared.  Online betting accounts however need funding and this means minimums.  Most are set at £10 but this can be often higher, and what if you don't want to put £10 in, what are your options, see all of our lowest stake bookmakers.

High Stakes and High Pay Out Bookmakers

Cash imageThe choice of online bookmakers has never been bigger, there are hundreds to choose from and even though we only cover the most reputable bookies on here there are still over 15 of them. Smaller and newer betting sites can often have much lower pay out limits, especially for smaller sports, so if you like to bet big or on long odds it's worth finding an online bookmaker with high stake and payout limits.

Maximum Payout and Stake Limits

payout capAll sports betting sites have payout limits and it is useful to be aware of these.  You don't need to be a big bettor to fall foul of a payout maximum, this could happen with small stakes on bets such as accumulators with big odds.  Payouts often vary by sport, meaning that just because it is say £1M for football doesn't mean it will be for darts, for example. Limits also vary by markets so some lines pay less than others.  In our guide we list payment maximums by sport for all the sites we list.

Shop Card Schemes To Deposit, Bet & Withdraw

coral connect cardIt is now entirely possible to link your online account to cards that can be used at some of the biggest UK bookies with a high street presence to allow you to deposit, bet and withdraw from one account.  This means you can retain online offers and benefits, often get additional offers, deposit or withdraw as little as £1 in cash instantly and with some you can now even track your bets placed in store, cash them out and even more.  These cards can add a lot of value to regular bettors.

How To Bet Guide: From Beginners to Professionals

how to bet guideIf you have never placed a bet in your life or you bet every week our guide will have something for you. Whether you want to find out the very basics of how to place a wager, want to try out some new types of bets or you are just making sure you are getting the most from your wagers then take a look at our in depth guide. By following a few simple steps you can not only expand your betting portfolio but get the best possible value at the same time in our how to bet guide.

Football Articles

football guidesFor such a simple and beautiful game there is a lot to be said quite literally about football. As the biggest spectator sport on the planet and representing around 70% of wagers in the UK there is a lot to understand when it comes to betting on football. In our football guides section we discuss everything from the history of football, the best bookies, guides on bet types such both teams to score, accumulators and more.

Horse Racing Articles

horse racingHorse Racing has a long history and as the original betting sport it has accumulated many rules and terms that can seem daunting to the uninitiated. Are you are puzzled as to what Rule 4 means, what happens in a dead heat or want to know the difference between grades and classes? Don't worry we have clear and easy to understand guides and articles to help you get the most value from your racing bets.

Bet Types

betting guide home imageDo you want to know what is a Lucky 15 or how to place an each-way bet? See our guide to Bet Types with real examples of how these bets work in practice and what your risks and rewards are when betting in different ways.

From single bets to spread bets you can pretty much do it online these days. Want to place a multiple bet, well there are more options than just your run of the mill accumulator. How about having a go at a forecast or a conditional bet? Ever wondered what a Union Jack bet is or a Roundabout.

Live Streaming Sites and How to Stream

live streamThere is no need to pop down the bookmakers shop anymore to watch a game or a horse race as many now provide live streaming services online. Collectively there are hundreds of thousands of live events broadcast each year. Some sites are certainly better than others for both coverage and the quality of the stream. In our live streaming guide find the best streaming sites, details on how to stream and what events you are likely to find. We also talk about integrated and non-integrated systems as well as streaming strategies and rules.

Live In Play Betting Sites and How To Bet Live

bet liveLive betting is now offered as standard by pretty much every online betting site.  More bets are now placed in play than pre-event which tells you how popular the feature has become in the space of a decade or so. Of course just because all sites offer the ability to bet live doesn't mean they are all equal, with some operators far better than others when it comes to in play odds and features.  Find out who our recommended live betting sites are and why along with a guide to get the most out of betting in play alongside other features such as cash out.

Cash Out and Partial Cash Out Guide

Cash imageMost online betting sites now provide Cash Out for major sports markets and some now provide partial cash out allowing you to cash in some of your wager leaving the rest to run. In our guide find the bookmakers with the best cash out features, find out how odds are generated, if the odds are fair, market availability, how to maximise profits and reduce losses and how to use cash out in conjunction with promotions.

Best Betting Apps & History Of Gambling Apps

betting on sports app at homeIn the early days many people believed apps would never be used much for things like betting and gaming, they couldn't have been more wrong.  Mobile betting now represents around 70% of all gambling and around three quarters of people who bet on mobile use apps.  Apps are more personalisable compared to websites as well as being faster and more accessible coupled with the ability to use them on multiple devices.  Of course there are drawback too, read our guide for more.

What Is Daily Fantasy Sports Betting

daily fantasy sports word cloudDaily fantasy sports, or DFS, is a US phenomenon that has started to catch on in the UK thanks in part to lots of the big UK bookies merging or being acquired by US firms.  From 2006-2018 online gambling was illegal in the US but DFS was allowed as it was classed as a game of skill, this allowed to to explode to huge levels.  Massive companies like Draft Kings rose from this and have now expanded into the UK. If you want to know more about what DFS is, how to play, how it works and more read our DFS sports page.

What Happens To Bets and Winnings In The Event Of Death?

death certificate iconIn the UK ten of millions of people have betting accounts and so it is a common occurrence that people die leaving money in these accounts.  Cash held in a gambling account is classed as part of an estate and claiming it back is relatively straight forward by sending in a death certificate.  What about bets placed that have not yet settled though?  What happens to these, are they allowed to run their course at which point you can claim winnings or are those bets voided with stakes returned?  What happens to money in accounts that is never claimed?  We look at the major questions around betting accounts in the event of death.

What Information Do Betting Companies Track?

data trackingWhen you gamble, especially online, most people accept that they are being monitored but at the same time those that are more curious or worry about privacy might wonder exactly what these companies track and why.  Of course a lot of the data that is gathered about you is to check you are gambling legally, safely and responsibly but at the same time a lot of the information is also used to profile you in order to help the brands make more profits, either by using that information to target you or, if you are a consistent winner, limit or close your account.

GDPR Rules For Betting Companies

general data protection regulationGeneral data protection regulation (GDPR) is a system of personal data protection brought in in 2018 to build on existing processes to protect personal data. Online betting companies now collect all sorts of data about people including personal identity and proof of address documents required as part of verification checks.  On top of this they also collect data on pretty much everything you do online.  If you are concerned about your privacy and you want to know what data a betting company can or cannot track as well as how to request your data be erased, then read this page.

VIP Programs For Sports Betting

VIPIf you bet more than £100+ a month you would likely qualify for a VIP program with some bookies.  VIP schemes are not as common for sportsbooks compared to casinos but there are still many good options out there, and if you do bet fairly big then why not take the benefits that come with them.  These can include higher free bets and bonuses, better prices and sometimes even high level hospitality.  There are pitfalls too to be aware of such as minimum bet limits that could lead to problem gambling.

Bet Editing Guide

edit bet thumbSome leading Online Bookmakers are now providing tools that allow you to edit bets both pre-event and live in play. In our bet editing guide you can read about betting sites that offer various bet editing features and how they work.  Live bet editing is basically a form of cash out but instead of taking the winnings you immediately place a second, edited, bet.  Used sensibly bet edit tools can not only be fun they can mitigate loses and boost winnings.

How To Request Your Own Bets

request a betYou have always had the option to contact a bookmaker and ask if they will give you a price for an event or outcome.  The problem is this could take days sometimes meaning you needed to pick your wagers well in advance.  Modern betting tools combined with mobile apps and social media platforms such as Twitter mean you can now request bets for virtually anything in an instant.  In our guide we discuss the value of these features, which are the best ones to use, and how to get the best out of them.

Bet Builders and Building Your Own Bets

buildingFor top level football some betting sites now offer bet builders.  Like request a bet features these let you combine related markets form an individual match into a larger multiple bet that better reflect your predictions of what will happen.  These features are great for giving you more control and provide a way to increase the odds for small stakes bets, they are also much quicker than traditional bet requests and allow you to compare more markets in parallel.

Biggest Bookies and the UK Gambling Industry

number crunchingThe UK has one of the biggest regulated gambling markets in the world and through a long history of Brits liking a bet it has created some of the worlds biggest multi-billion pound betting companies.  In our article we look at the UK's largest betting operators and how they became so big along with the UK gambling market as a whole.  From the distribution of gambling revenues online and offline to the evolution of betting in the UK we dissect the UK betting market.

Mergers & Acquisitions In The Betting Industry

mergers and aquisitionsThe betting game is one of the most competitive there is, online especially, many would even say the gambling industry is more about raw capitalism than anything outside of banking. Still in spite of the high competition and huge revenues on offer many of the biggest operators continue to acquire other brands or merge to create larger and larger companies.  But what does this mean for the future of the betting industry?

White Label Bookmakers and Sportsbook Platforms

platform providersIf you have ever looked at a betting website or app and thought it looks and feels surprisingly similar to another, that is probably because they run on the same platform.  One of the easiest ways for a new betting site to set up these days is to use a platform provider to actually deliver all the nuts and bolts, markets, banking, ID checking, support, odds, etc., with the brand basically just picking what features they want and providing their own logos and colours. Find out who are the biggest white label and platform providers.

BetVictor Bet Calculator

bet typesThere are a lot of bet calculators around for working out returns from various wagers but almost no online bookmakers themselves have the feature.  Perhaps they don't want you to work out better value bets?  BetVictor however have a fantastic bet calculator, it allows you to work out the payouts form pretty much any bet type you could want to place, including forecasts and reverse forecasts.  Completely free to use, you don't even need an account. This is one of the most considered and user-focused features from what is already a very professional betting site.

Betting Glossary

GlossaryConfused what a Pony is or simply want to know where the name came from? What is a banker bet compared to a normal bet, how about a Patent or a Trixie, here we describe all those weird and wonderful terms you are likely to encounter in the world of online betting. We have created a comprehensive betting glossary for your reference.

History of Bookmaking & Gambling

bet slip 2It is likely that early humans were having a bet well before we even invented money.  Gambling for most of its history has however either been largely unregulated or generally illegal. In our guide to the history of bookmaking we track the evolution of betting in Britain through the ages including how law has changed and gambling habits have changed.  We also look at the very first bookmakers, betting sites and exchanges as well as the rise and fall of institutions such as the Tote and greyhound racing.  Finally we consider the furture of the gambling online.

Who Was Joe Coral? The Coral Bookmaker Founder

older style coral shop with blue tiled exterior 150Joe Coral was not actually born with that name, he was a Polish immigrant to the UK with his parents looking for a better life and they changed their surname to Coral to fit in better into the country. Joe was not great at school but did show a skill for maths that stood him in good stead as he became an on-track bookie at the greyhounds and then when he set up his own shops after laws were changed in the early 1960's.  A man of integrity and hard work but also an interesting man who used his marketing genius to take Coral to the top where they are now a jewel in the crown of the multi-billion Entain group.

Guide To Gambling Licences & law In The UK

licencingThe UK can now boast one of the best regulated yet most open and fair betting industries in the entire world. Every UK bookmaker and gambling operator must now possess a gambling licence issued by the gambling commission and this ensures customers can bet in a fair and honest way. Read out guide to find out about the current law, what the gambling commission is and what they do, what is required to get a gambling licence and a full list of bookmakers' licenses. Also read about the history of betting law and what to do if you have a complaint.

Betting & Gambling Tax in the UK

Gambling TaxRead our gambling and betting tax article to find out under what conditions you are require to pay tax when betting in the UK. We discuss both the old and current gambling tax law giving you information on the most up to date legislation.  We also tell you what to do if your a professional gambler and how to declare winnings.  Find out what happens if you spread bet and how this is taxed, get information on giving away your winnings, betting in another country, the history of betting tax and more.

Rules For Free Bets and Free Spins

freeThere is rarely anything truly free in life and this very much the case for most free bets and free spins.  Generally these offers require you to qualify by depositing or betting, although winnings from the free funds is often given in cash.  Regulations around the use of the world 'free' by bookmakers and casinos has changed a lot over time and now operators are required to display all significant terms to you with regards to these offers and not be misleading with adverts.  The only offers that are genuinely free are those labelled 'risk free'.  Betting companies also now pay tax on free spins and bets.

Gambling Age Restrictions In The UK

Responsible Gamling 18Most of us know you have to be 18 years or older to gamble in the UK, well in actual fact it isn't quite as clear cut as that.  Depending on what form of gambling you participate in the legal age might be 16 (for lottery games, for example) or there may be no age limit at all (arcade and certain other games).  Should the age be set at 18 or is this just an arbitrary number plucked out of the air?  Read our gambling age article to discover what the current age laws are and what would be the effect on problem gambling if the age was increased using studies from other countries.

The UK Gambling Commission

gambling act 2005If you've read some of the guides on this site you will know how important it is to only bet with UK licenced brands when in the UK.  These licenses are issued and enforced by the UK Gambling Commission, but what exactly is the GC, where did it originate from and why do we need it?  What roles do they perform in regulating betting and gaming for British customers and how to do they ensure the law is followed?  In our GC article we tell you everything you need to know about the independent body and we also tell you what they don't do too.

Can You Complain Directly To The UKGC?

complaintsThe United Kingdom Gambling Commission is an independent licensing and regulatory body for operators and on the whole they won't deal with individual customer complaints.  Their main job is to enforce licensing laws and codes of practice, punish companies that don't follow the rules and monitor gambling and addiction as a whole.  In some cases, though, you can complain directly to the UKGC if you feel the brand has failed in its licensing conditions, for example, in relation to responsible gambling.

Advertising Standards and CAP Rules In Betting

ASAThe UKGC regulates anything to do with adhering to an actual gambling license, however, when it comes to advertising and advertising complaints betting companies are held to account by the ASA who promote and enforce the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP).  This means companies are obliged to responsibly advertise, not mislead customers or promote gambling as a sexy or fun pursuit, and of course, ensure advertising to minors under 18 is kept to an absolute minimum.

Betting and Gaming Council

betting and gaming councilThe betting and gaming council is the body introduced in 2019 to oversee all forms of gambling in the UK.  The BGC replaces three previous bodies, the Remote Gambling Association, that used to oversee online betting, the Association of British Bookmakers, that used to oversee high street bookmakers and the National Casino Forum.  The idea is having one body will allow a consistent approach to gambling regulation across all platforms and the hope is this should enhance responsible gambling measures.

Are Bets Contracts And Are They Legally Enforceable?

contract definitionWhen you place a bet in the Britain, and now in Northern Ireland too, you are entering into a contract with the betting company.  The terms of that contract is dictated by their terms and conditions and so not every bet you place has the same contractual terms, there are common elements that are required by law but largely it is determined by the company you bet with.  The fact you are entering into a contract, however, means it is legally enforceable and that means if something goes wrong you can complain or even go to court.  Even if the company are covered by their own terms those terms must be clear and fair.

Do Bookmakers Collude?

collusion word under magnifying glassThere is no doubt that unscrupulous bookies in the past would collude, especially at racecourses and events where they could control the odds collectively and increase their own profit margins.  But does that still happen today with modern systems that allow people to track odds at all times.  Certainly betting is a competitive industry, online especially, and that should drive up value for the customer and for those that shop around it does indeed.  The fact is, though, that now most of the market is cornered by a handful of mega companies and if these do collude it means that it could affect a huge range of punters.

What Can Happen If You Gamble With An Unlicensed Site?

licensed vs unlicensedDespite gambling being a legal activity in the UK still around 1-4% of bets placed are done so illegally, usually with unlicensed betting sites.  To provide gambling in the UK you need a license but it is almost impossible to shut down sites based offshore that want to take UK players money illegally.  The onus is mostly on the customer to ensure they are gambling legally but still people choose to gamble illegally for a host of reasons.  On this page we cover the risks of gambling with illegal sites and ask why people still so so.

New Gambling Act 2021

new gambling actThe wheels are in motion to replace the 2005 gambling act with a new act that reflects the digital age we live in.  Pressure for a new act has been mounting following criticism at how the UKGC has responded to problem gambling in the industry and those in power now feel a new act is needed to reinforce the industry.  The new act was due in late 2020 but now looks to have been pushed back to early 2021 at the earliest.  On this page we look at why a new gambling act is being called for and what the key points of the new act are likely to be.

Major Gambling Licensing Jurisdictions

maltaWe obviously talk a lot about the UKCG on this site but you may have noticed when betting online that companies often list several different licenses on their pages.  On this page we look at the major gambling licensing bodies around the world, such as Malta, Gibraltar, Alderney and Curaçao.  We examine the differences between these bodies and why different sites choose to license and/or locate themselves in these places and what is (or indeed isn't) expected of companies with these licenses.

Gambling Ages Around The World

age verificationThe reason we have gambling age restrictions is to prevent people from betting and gaming before they are old enough to make rational and informed decisions about the risks involved.  Considering this is a simple premise it is therefore quite amazing how the gambling age varies across the world as different countries decide different levels at which someone is classed as an adult.  In most of the world the gambling age is 18 but there are plenty of countries that set the level at 19, 20 or 21 or where it is simply illegal whatever your age.  This is important information for tourists, just because you can gamble legally in the UK doesn't mean you can elsewhere and it could land you in hot water with authorities if you are ignorant to the local restrictions. 

Problem Gambling and Fraud Prevention Measures

gambling protectionsProblem gambling and fraud prevention are hot topics right now when it comes to online gambling and many think the industry does not do enough to prevent it. Looking at other industries such as the financial sector there are tools available through software and monitoring that could go a long way towards protecting people further, so why are these not implemented widely by gambling companies? A large part of the problem is firms are largely allowed to self-regulate and so do we need independent systems in place?

Insider Betting, Is It Legal?

insider bettingInherently we bet because we believe something will happen and we want to take a risk to earn reward from that.  Sometimes this is based on a hunch and other times it is based on meticulous research and information you can get your hands on.  Where then is the line between information that comes from research vs information that is restricted and could allow you to abuse a market?  We look at insider betting, whether it is legal and what classifications there are along with famous examples where information has been used to bet by people who probably shouldn't have done.

Public vs Private Betting Companies

public private stampsFrom a punter perspective not many people care if the company they are betting with are publicly owned or privately owned.  It can make a difference though, for example, public companies can raise funds more easily from shareholders that they can use to acquire other brands or companies or move into other markets. At the same time their outlook tends to be short term, mainly concerned about the next quarter profits.  Private companies are more shrouded and can do what they want, this means they can struggle to raise funds but at the same time they are more stable and long term in their approach.  Find out the differences and pros can cons for each.

Betting Systems Explained

betting systemsBetting systems have been around, well, as long as betting has been around. There are a lot of different systems from famous names such a Martingale, Labouchere, D'Alembert, right down to the dodgy system thought up by your mate down the pub. Whatever the system there is always a catch and rarely is there a way to ensure a win.  Even if there is the operators will catch you and stop you before long anyway. In our article we discuss all forms of sport betting and casino betting systems including how they work, if they work and where they originate. We tell you if the systems are legal, if you can be banned for using them and more.

Betting Odds Explained

betting oddsModern online betting is bow a global affair and this means you will now see odds and prices listed in several formats including traditional fractions more European decimals and even American moneyline formats. Some more continental bookies may only provide prices in decimal format and this is also common in exchange and index spread betting. There is really nothing to worry about. In our article you will explain betting odds including how to bet with different odds formats with conversion and comparison tables and real examples.

How Do Bookmakers Set Odds and Make Money

setting oddsBookmakers do not gamble when it comes to setting prices. Odds are set based on probabilities, in response to betting patterns and to balance the book. By understanding how bookmakers set odds you can spot the best value prices to add maximum value to your wagers. In this article we discuss aslo disucss how to calculate odds, how bookies balance books to ensure they always make money and how to spot high and low margin bets.

Beat The Odds & Make Your Own Luck

beat the oddsThere is no guaranteed way to win when gambling but there are ways to ensure that when you do win you get the best possible value from your wager. Odds are set by traders and in general they undersell the likelihood of an outcome, hence how the bookie makes a profit. Traders are however human after all and although rare they do make mistakes and omissions. In this guide we discuss ways to spot overpriced odds lines on a regular basis as well as other strategies to beat the odds.

What Are Weak Odds and How To Spot Them?

winnerWeak odds is a term given to markets that are overpriced, i.e. the odds are better than the actual chances of the outcome occurring.  This happens most commonly because of imbalanced books for specific bets and will often come about because public opinion prefers one outcome over another and if you go against this opinion you can find added value over time.  Still, the bookies are well aware of weak odds and they don't mind pricing markets above the expected value if it guarantees them a profit, but if you consistently only back weak lines expect to find your account limited. 

Expected Value and Variance in Sports Betting

expected valueMost people place bets based on instinct, often backing the team or market they want to win rather than the market that is most likely to return them a profit.  Those who think more deeply about sports betting and bet to make profit not just to win individual bets, will often talk about expected value. The idea is simple, you make a decision of what you think the true probability of an outcome is and if the odds are better than that prediction then the bet has a positive EV.  Backing markets with positive EV in the long run can make you a profit, but, and it is a big but, it is affected by variance and that means you need to have an appropriate bank roll and be prepared for loses in the shorter term to gain in the longer term.

The Difference Between Implied Odds and True Odds

two wooden figures balanced on scale man looking with magnifying glassMany people look to bookmaker odds as an indicator as to how likely something is to happen and while the odds will show a broad trend they also include a profit margin for the bookmaker, therefore, true probabilities are rarely reflected.  This is known as the implied probability, i.e. the probability implied by the odds offered. The true probability of something happening can never be known entirely but using knowledge, research and statistical analysis we can get very close.  People who bet 'professionally' will analyse markets in detail to try to work out the true probability and if this is ever lower than they implied probability offered by a bookie they will bet on it.  

What Is Back-To-Lay Betting?

exchange 7Back-to-lay betting is a strategy used by many 'professionals' to use odds discrepancies to guarantee a profit no matter the outcome.  The strategy relies on finding overpriced markets that you back, you then lay that same selection or outcome on an exchange when the odds shorten.  It takes time, research and experience to find the appropriate markets to back and lay but the principle is always the same.  Prices may change pre-event or you can use the strategy in play.  Using a simple calculation you can lock in a profit no matter the outcome.  This isn't fool proof, odds can lengthen as well as shorten and often you need to cut your loses.

Can Odds Affect Performance?

betting oddsOf course we know performance has a big impact on odds but what about the other way around?  Can the odds themselves have an impact on the outcome of an event?  While professionals sports competitors are unlikely to pay attention to bookies directly most will know if they are favourite or an underdog, they will also often be aware, through the media, of whether their odds are getting better or worse.  This therefore could have a real impact on the outcome of an event, especially for individual sports.  It really dependents on the person or team and whether they feel pressure from being a favourite or spurred on being an underdog.

Zigzag Theory In Betting

zigzag spelt with letters in a zigzagZigzag theory originates from analysing US sports, particularly in the NHL and NBA where teams play each other several times in a row through a series, although it is applicable to most sports to some degree.  It focuses around the idea that teams and contestants are more likely to respond with a positive result following a series of negative results.  What is interesting is the zigzag effect is rarely factored into odds meaning if you can spot when it may happen you can be at an advantage when betting.  Many shock results in sport follow a zigzag pattern and by understanding it you can potentially make your predictions more accurate in some scenarios.

Can You Change Currency On A Betting Site?

currency conversionIt is possible to change currency with some betting companies after you have opened an account but it isn't always straight forward or easy.  When you register you need to set a currency and most sites will then make you stick with that currency, to use a different currency you have to withdraw, close the account, then open a new account in the new currency.  A few companies will transfer the balance across but will charge you a conversion fee.  Some sites will let you have secondary currency available but ultimately this is a closed wallet, i.e. you can't deposit in pounds then withdraw in Euros, fore example.  The rules exist to prevent currency being moved in an unregulated way.

Guide To Responsible Gambling

Responsible GamblingGambling is fun but can also be addictive. In the UK we have some of the most stringent gambling regulation in the world and bookmakers are required by law to promote responsible gambling. Read about all of the tools and features available to help you gamble in a safe and controlled way, from self-exclusion to deposit limits. Find out what advice services are available and where to find them. Betting is fun keep it that way.

Why Do People Bet and Gamble?

betting shopWe all take risks every day of our lives assessing rewards relative to what we stand to lose. Gambling is part of human nature and has has been part of human culture since pre-history.  The issue now is we don't just bet for food or resources we can gamble on pretty much anything, anywhere and anytime.  Modern society allows us to place wagers whenever we want and while that might be a great thing for free society it also comes with huge risks, especially for those pre-disposed to addiction.

The Gambler's Journey: What Makes Us Bet?

gambling mental processes 400pxThe UKGC conducted research into what they call the 'path to play', the idea being to define what factors influence people to gamble.  The biggest influence in making us gamble more is unsurprisingly winning.  The act of winning makes us more confident we could win more, which naturally makes people then bet again as a result.  Lots of other factors influence us too, such as other people winning money, adverts and marketing and even social interactions with our peers.

Emotional vs Rational Betting

rational emotional plotted on graphWhen placing a bet many people go with their gut or instinct and there is nothing wrong with this as such but if you always allow your emotions to dictate your betting you are ultimately more likely to lose in the long run.  Being rational and evaluating evidence before making decisions and not letting prior decision or results influence us sounds easy but in practice it is very hard to avoid.  Most so called 'professional' gamblers will rarely allow emotions to impact their decisions around gambling.

Is Gambling a Luxury or a Liberty?

money freedom balanceGambling is basically taking a risk for money and taking risks is ingrained in animal nature.  Each day people take risks on all sorts of things, from whether to go or stop on a yellow traffic light to deciding whether to stay up and watch a program but risk being tired the next day.  Gambling has been going on as long as humans have existed but the question in the modern world is gambling a given right or is it a luxury we are afforded?  Here we look at those arguments and assess how culture, religion and other aspects affect the debate.

Betting Sites Refuse To Pay, Limits & User Bans

voidIt is not common but it does happen.  Players and punters can fall foul of betting rules or terms and conditions for a multitude of reasons, which could result in you losing winnings and on occasion even your stake.  Most sites will ban you or limit you if you are caught abusing offers or betting systematically to ensure you win, but what if you've lost out and you think it genuinely wasn't your fault or you didn't have the right info?  Read our guide on why betting companies refuse to pay out.

Why Do Bookmakers Limit Winning Punters?

limitedIf you've ever won consistently with a betting site it is highly likely you may at some point have had your account limited or suspended.  This means you have heavily restricted stake limits and often cannot claim any promotions or use certain features. The practice of limiting users is rife, but what can you actually be limited for and should it even be allowed?  In some countries bookies are forced to take bets up to a minimum threshold and many argue bookmakers are exploiting an already profitable market to make more and more money.

Should Minimum Bet Acceptance Be Mandatory?

limitted bet exampleIf you are a successful punter you will have no doubt found out already that most sportsbooks will quickly limit you if it is evident you know what you are doing and win regularly.  Bookies after all are private companies and they can choose who they accept as customers and how much they will allow us to bet.  Given that most betting sites are selecting for customers that lose, therefore increasing their profits, the question has been asked as to whether they should be mandated to accept a minimum stake from all punters, no matter how successful.  Mandatory bet acceptance for horse racing started in Australia and some UK bookies now do it, although we are still a long way away from them accepting minimum bets on all markets.  Should the rules be changed to force all bookies to accept bets up to a minimum level from everyone?

What Is A Palpable Error In Betting?

betting app crash man angryA Palpable error is basically a bookmaker making a mistake in either pricing a market or in paying you out.  If that mistake is clear and obvious then a bookie can refuse to pay you out, void a bet (if it hasn't started yet) or pay you out at the correct odds.  They all have terms to cover these eventualities but there is still a possibility of recourse for the punter as there is no clear definition of what is an obvious error.  You can complain if you are subject to a palpable error to the company and then to mediation services such as IBAS.  

Result Changes After A Bet Has Been Settled

winner loser street signThe clear majority of bets settle normally with the final result staying as the final result.  Occasionally, for numerous reasons, official results can later be changed, due to disqualification, inaccurate data, enquires, etc., so in those instances what happens to bets placed on those markets or events?  Well, generally all bookies will settle bets on the official result immediately after an event.  In horse racing, for example, most bookies pay out on the horse that was first past the post even if that horse is later disqualified but this also means if you backed the horse that finished second and it was later promoted to being a winner that you won't be paid as a winner on that bet.

Making a Complaint Against a Bookmaker

Bookie ComplaintsWe are all human and occasionally both we and bookmakers make mistakes. If you feel you feel a gambling operator has made a mistake or that you have made a mistake due to poorly defined terms and conditions then there are procedures in place to resolve these. Licensed bookies are required to take customer complaints seriously with internal procedures and if this fails there are independent services such as IBAS, the ASA and the Gambling Commission that may be able to help. Alternatively For details on complaining to IBAS and what the service is see our IBAS page.

Betting Site ID and Verification

Terms and conditionsWhy do you have to provide identification to an online betting site? Well it comes down to the terms of their gambling licence, licenced bookmakers in the UK are required by law to check that you are over the legal gambling age and that you currently reside in the country. This is designed primarily to protect minors and vulnerable groups while also preventing fraud in the industry.  This helps make the UK one of the safest places to bet in the world. Many betting sites perform ID and verification checks without you even knowing if you register your bank details with them when you join. Read our guide to find out more.

Source Of Funds Checks For Gambling

money under magnifying glassOne of the principal aims of licensing gambling is to keep crime out of the industry and this is primarily what source of funds (SOF) checks are used for. Betting companies are obliged to check that large or uncharacteristic deposits are not fraudulent and therefore you may be asked on occasion to prove where your deposit money has come from.  This can be frustrating for legitimate deposits but at the same time the rules are there largely to protect you and the industry as a whole. Read about SOF checks, why they are needed and what is involved as well as what money sources are and are not allowed to be used for gambling.

Does Gambling Affect Your Credit Score?

credit scoreIn the UK it is now illegal to use credit to gamble with, either from credit cards or other borrowed sources. Gambling companies perform source of funds checks to ensure people are not using borrowed funds and that people are not gambling with money they cannot afford to lose.  Therefore gambling doesn't really affect credit scores anymore, although it still can if you use a debit card overdraft, for example. Gambling, however, can still affect your credit rating with a lender if they feel you gamble too much and gambling transactions in general are seen as a negative signal.  It all comes down to affordability.

Keeping Track Of Gambling Profit and Loss

data trackingMost people keep some sort of tracking on what they spend in life on outgoings but surprisingly few people accurately track what they are winning and losing when gambling.  This is partly because gambling for many is a leisure activity and most of us know we lose in the long run, keeping track can seem like a chore.  For those bettors that win more than they lose, though, keeping track of deposits, withdrawals, winnings and loses are essential in the same way it is critical to an business that hopes to success to know what they are spending and making.  In this guide we look at some easy ways to track your gambling spending.

What To Do If A Bookmaker or Casino Closes

closed signUnder the law deposits held with gambling companies must be in a separate account to the main business.  The money however is not protected in the same way that your money in a bank would be and to complicate matters its is up to the operators what level of protection they opt for with your funds.  Therefore if a brand does go bust there is a chance you could lose what you have in your account.  This however rarely happens and even when it does there are signs you can spot along the way that could mean you could get out before it goes under.  Read our article to find out what happens to bookmakers and casinos when they go bust, in the real-world and online.

What Happens To Dormant Accounts and Funds?

pocket watch with money half buried in sandIt is not uncommon for people to open betting accounts and then forget they have them.  Alternatively, people decide to take a break from gambling or cannot login to a site for a long period of time for a multitude of reasons, such as working abroad.  When the time comes that you remember you had a betting account or you are able to log into it again then often, if this is over a year since you last visited, you will find your account has been classified as dormant.  These accounts can be reactivated but may be subject to periodic fees charged for maintenance.  Find out more about dormant accounts and your rights.

Can You Take Bets Or Host Gaming Without A License?

friends player poker in a pubGambling is of course regulated largely to protect people from harm and companies from being used for criminal means.  The reality though is gambling is part of life and people 'bet' on all sorts of thing with their friends, for charity or during social events down the pub.  Given the stringent laws around gambling you might expect you would need a license to host these types of events or take bets but in reality there are lots of forms of gambling that are allowed legally, if, for example, it is non-commercial or is below certain stake and payout thresholds.

Is It Legal To Place Private Bets With Other People?

friends placing a private betAbove you can read about the laws around non-commercial betting but what are the rules when you place a big private bet with someone else, like Victor Chandler and Fred Done did in 2004 when they placed a massive £1 million private bet on football.  Do you have to declare winnings from private bets, do you need to pay tax on them, are they classed as a gift, income or something else?  What happens if something goes wrong too, should you draw up a contract if you are placing a big bet with someone else?  Generally there is nothing wrong with a private bet as long as no one makes a cut out of it, but proving the source of those winnings can be difficult.

Are Pub Quizzes & Games Gambling?

pub quiz graphicWe've all been down the pub when there is a quiz on and decided to have a go for fun. From a gambling perspective, however, where does this fit in?  You might think it's harmless fun and therefore slips under the radar but in actuality there are firm rules around quizzes and games in pubs that publicans need to be mindful of before offering quizzes with prizes.  We cover the main rules and thresholds around pub quizzes and games and look at differences between the rules depending on whether it is a private members club, run for charity, etc.

Are Fair Ground Games Gambling? Are They Rigged?

fair ground game shooting gameFair ground games are not actually classed as gambling as they do not pay cash prizes, rather you are paying a fee to enter a game, which is very different.  While they may not be classed as gambling there are people, and children, who spend a lot of money on the likes of hook-a-duck or balloon-burst and so how are they actually regulated?  There have also been a lot of stories down the years of these games being rigged, we look at how games have been fixed in the past and common strategies to beat some of the ploys used in these games.

Can You Raffle Your House?

house wrapped present raffleWe are all familiar with raffles at fairs and fêtes or charity events, often with very low value prizes they are a bit of fun.  In recent years, however, people have begun raffling things of far greater value, most notably their houses.  There is an obvious attraction to the seller in that they can avoid estate agent fees and perhaps end up with more than market value while the winner obviously gets a house whose value far exceeds the ticket prices.  The problem is many house raffles do not go smoothly if not enough tickets are sold.  Here we look at the rules around raffling a house.

What Is The Best Value UK Lottery?

lottery balls partyEven with the rise of online betting the lottery is still the most bet on single game in the UK.  British people seem to have a special affinity with playing the lottery and can, in fact, play more lottery games than in any other country.  With so many different games available from the standard Lotto to variations such as Thunderball and Hotpicks, international lotteries such as EuroMillions as well as independent lotteries such as the health and postcode games how do you know which offer the best value?  In our guide we've looked at the various games, prizes and your chances of winning to help you decide.

Luckiest and Unluckiest Lottery Numbers

lottery ticket close upWe've looked at the major national lottery draws over time to see what numbers are the luckiest and unluckiest over that time in terms of how frequently they were drawn.  The answer is, unsurprisingly, that over a long period of time there is not that much difference between the numbers, given the draw is supposed to be random.  Still, there are some interesting variations, such as the number 13 consistently falling into the less frequent category across a range of different lottery types.

Most Commonly Picked Lottery Numbers

lottery balls partyIt is important to know how popular the numbers you pick are because if you actually win the jackpot it means you will be sharing it with everyone else who picked those numbers.  Popular numbers are often picked based on how often they have been drawn before or using specific sequences.  The sequence 1-6 is obvious, and is played by roughly 10,000 people each draw, but other sequences that crop up are less well know.  Here we look at the most commonly picked numbers to help you pick numbers that are more unique, meaning if you win you will have to share it less.

How To Claim If You Win The Lottery

national lottery station in a shopIt is a dream for many people to win the lottery, that is why we play the game in the first place, not to win £10's but to win millions.  What do you do if you do win though, how do you go about claiming and what are the procedures depending on how much you win?  What if you win but your ticket is damaged or you can't find your ticket, can you still claim?  Also what happens if you don't claim in time, how much time do you have to notify the National Lottery that you are a winner? All important questions if you have actually won a big lottery prize.

Chances Of Winning The Lottery In Your Lifetime

golden ticketWe occasionally hear stories of people who have only ever bought one lottery ticket winning the jackpot.  In truth though most people that win the lottery play it for years before they win big and for many more they never win at all.  Here we look at what the actual chances are of winning the lottery jackpot in a lifetime, depending on what age you start playing and how many tickets you buy each week (assuming an average lifespan of 80 years).  Even if you are 18 and buy two tickets each week until the age of 80 you are still looking at odds of over 2000/1.

What Do Lottery Winners Spend Their Money On?

jackpot sign and moneyEveryone who has ever bought a lottery ticket has dreamed of what they would spend the money on if they won the jackpot.  With so many possibilities in the world you would imagine that people would spend their winnings on all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff.  In actuality most winners spend their money on very similar things, mostly cars and houses, as you might expect.  Here we look at some of the biggest lottery jackpot winners from the UK and abroad and ask what do they spend their winnings on and why.

Lottery Fraud

lottery fraudWinning the lottery can be a seminal life moment considering the staggering prizes available but that also makes it a tempting target for fraudsters.  Lotteries represent the biggest gambling product in the world in terms of the total number of people who play and over the years there have been more than a few people who have tried to defraud them. On this page we look at some of the biggest fraud stories from the National Lottery and lotteries around the world over the last few decades along with how they were caught and detected.

How Big Is The Illegal Lottery Problem?

illegal lottery 150We all know the likes of the National Lottery, Health Lottery, etc., are legal lotteries but many of us have also encountered many other lotteries online and offline offering cash prizes or merchandise to the winners.  Many of these lotteries are above board and you don't necessarily need a gambling license to run a lottery if it is run for charity, no profit is made and prizes and tickets are below set thresholds.  Still, there are also many more nefarious people who run illegal lotteries, particularly online and especially through social media platforms.  Here we look at how big the problem is, what makes a legal lottery and how to spot the dodgy ones.

When Lottery Syndicates Go Wrong

lottery winner throwing money silhouetteLots of people play the lottery in a syndicate because it is a social way to play the game and at the same time makes you more likely to win given you have more tickets in any given draw, yes you may not win as much as if you play on your own but it is nice to share winning moments with your friends if you do win.  Many syndicates have won the jackpot over the years and the majority of winners have gone away happy.  This isn't always the case, however, and there are instances where syndicates have gone wrong; which is exactly what we are exploring here.

National Lottery Jackpot Limits

limitsThe National Lottery has a system that limits the number of rollovers and / or the jackpot maximum amount depending on the game.  The National lottery can currently roll over up to four times after which it 'must be won' and if no one wins the jackpot at the fourth time of asking there is now a 'rolldown' that disributes the top prize to lower tiers of winning tickets.  These changes were partly brought in due to responsible gambling and people tend to purchase more tickets for rollovers due to the higher jackpot amounts.

How Do Lottery Machines Work & How Are They Fair

lottery machine with balls insideWe take it for granted that lottery machines are random and fair but we cannot forget that playing the lottery is a form of gambling and that makes it liable to fraud.  In the old days draws required human hands and this made lottery fraud rife, in the modern day, however, we have nice sparkling automated machines that are tested and ensured to be fair.  Does that mean that lottery draws are 100% secure? Well, nothing is 100% secure and there are examples of people that have tried to fix draws in spite of the difficulty.  Here we look at how lottery machines are made, who makes them and how good the security is.

Is The Lottery Treated Differently To Other Gambling?

is lottery gamblingFor many people the lottery isn't seen as gambling in the same way as casino games and sports betting but in reality it is governed under the same laws and ultimately has the same responsibilities to uphold.  Still, the lottery has a special place in peoples minds and especially the government, who often seem to be 'soft' on the lottery thanks largely to the fact it funds good causes, that means the government doesn't have to.  The lottery is definitely treated differently to other forms of gambling but the question is is that right?

What Was The First Lottery?

drawing lots from bowlLotteries today are the biggest form of gambling in the world in terms of the number of people who participate in them.  You can even find lotteries in many places where other forms of gambling are illegal, demonstrating these games have a special place in national cultures. Where did it all start though, what were the first lotteries recorded, first lotteries for cash prizes and first national lotteries? Given around 75% of over 18's in the UK have played the lottery and it is a game that has spread across the world it is interesting to ask where it came from.

Should You Play The Same Lottery Numbers Every Week?

lottery ticket close upThe odds of winning the lottery do not change, each draw is random and independent from each other.  Therefore, playing the same numbers every week makes no actual difference to the chances of you winning any given draw at any given time.  There are a few upsides of playing the same numbers each time, such as not forgetting to enter and making it easy to check the results, but there are far more downsides.  Often playing the same numbers can lock you in to playing the lottery long term as naturally people may fear that if they stop playing then their numbers could come up.

How Are Lucky Dip Lottery Numbers Generated?

lucky dip selected on lottey ticketsPlacing a lucky dip on the lottery can seem like the easy option but in actual fact it has many advantages over choosing your own numbers that you then feel you have to play every week.  Over 50% of lottery draws have been won with lucky dip tickets and generally the prize share tends to be higher for those winners as less people are likely to share the numbers.  Lucky dips are generated using a pseudo random number generator, they are not truly random but close enough.  On this page you can read about how lucky dips worth and the benefits and disadvantages of playing them.

What Should You Do If You Lose A Lottery Ticket

golden ticketWe've all been there and lost something and cannot remember for the life of us where we put it.  In some rare instances that may be something incredibly valuable like a winning lottery ticket.  We've all read stories of unclaimed big prizes or prizes claimed late near the deadline but what should you do if you believe you've won the jackpot or a decent prize but you've lost your ticket?  Luckily there are processes and procedures in place to deal with this, if you can provide information about where you bought a ticket, time and date and how you paid you can often still get paid out even if you've lost the actual ticket.

Do Scratch Cards & Lottery Tickets Expire?

expiredMost people who win a prize on the lottery or on a scratch card will claim it almost immediately but there are also many reasons why people may not, including; losing a ticket, being away from home or simply forgetting about it.  With the lottery things are pretty clear cut, you have 180 days from the draw date to claim and if you don't it will go to good causes.  With scratch cards it's more complicated as there is no set end date, specific games are withdrawn when all the top prizes are paid or all the tickets are sold in that run.  After this time the operator announces a period in which prizes can be claimed, although most players wouldn't know about that.

Is a Lottery Jackpot Still Shared if Others Do Not Claim?

two people sharing a trophyIt doesn't happen too often that people share the lottery jackpot, especially since they increased the number of balls in the standard lottery to 59, but it does occur occasionally.  It is not ideal sharing a jackpot but it's better than not winning at all, but what happens if the other person or people sharing the jackpot do not come forward?  What happens to the rest of the prize?  Unfortunately the winner that did come forward won't get the other share(s) of the prize if the other people don't make a claim within 180 days, rather it goes to good causes with all the other unclaimed prizes.

How To Play The Irish Lotto

irish national lottery logo on hq dublin 150The Irish Lotto is actually older than its English cousin and in recent years has become a popular game to play outside of Ireland thanks to its generally better odds compared to the other lotteries, such as the UK's.  You can often play the Irish Lotto through UK betting sites but this isn't the same as playing for real, they just offer fixed odds bets.  Some sites do let you play for real either by buying tickets for you or matching prizes using an insurance model.  Find out how to play the Irish Lottery, odds and prizes and how it compared to the UK lottery.

Who Are Allwyn? The New UK Lottery Provider

lottery balls partyCamelot had become synonymous with the UK lottery having run it since it started in 1994 and despite receiving some criticism over the time it was still a shock to see they lost the latest renewal of the UK lottery license due to start in 2024 to Allwyn.  But who exactly are Allwyn?  Well, they are part of the Sazka group, a company that run some of the biggest lotteries across Europe and they impressed the UKGC when awarding the license thanks largely to their more progressive approach to good causes, a key constituent of running the lottery.  Still, they are not whiter than white and there are connections with Russia that have caused concerns. 

Is It Still Possible to Defraud Betting Companies?

fraud investigationsWhen the internet first came about online gambling was a wild west rife with fraudulent and criminal money. This is a significant reason why gambling laws and licensing were brought in in the early 2000's to make the industry safer. As time has passed fraudsters have got cleverer at their practice and in response constant new rules are always coming in around verification, payment methods and other aspect to protect the industry.  The question is is this actually working, is the industry now safer?  If people are still committing gambling fraud how are they doing it?

Famous and Infamous Betting Shop Crimes

ladbrokes betting shopBetting shops are generally located in inner cities and close to residential areas, to be near the people that want to use their services.  They are also open later in the evening and they obviously have cash on the premises (more so in the past than now), this has naturally made them a hotbead for crime over the years.  While betting shop robberies, fraud and crimes are not as common as they once were they do still happen and can be a shocking ordeal for those that get caught in the cross-fire.  Here we look at some of the more famous betting shop related crimes in recent years.

How To Bet Online When Abroad

abroad 2Rules determining whether a UK licenced bookie will let you bet when you are in another country vary depending on licensing, regulation, legality and ultimately whether the bookie chooses to operate in that region.  In this article you can find the best UK betting sites for coverage abroad, details of licencing and other rules that apply, tax laws, using VPN's and an FAQ to betting when abroad.

Gambling Laws Around The World

lawWe get a bad reputation in the UK as a nation of gamblers but in actual fact we have some of tightest regulation in the world.  The UK allows provision of almost all gambling services but under strict licencing rules designed to protect minors and vulnerable people.  Around the world however gambling laws are a patchwork that range from totally illegal to totally unregulated.  Find out how laws in major countries around the world compare to the UK.

Gambling Crime and Punishments

crime and punishmentWe all know that in spite licensing of legal bodies like the UK Gambling Commission gambling crime still happens.  Whether that be money laundering, stealing identities or money, allowing underage people to gamble or match-fixing, we all know that it isn't allowed.  The question is, though, what actually happens to people or companies caught committing gambling crimes?  What types of fines or prison sentences to these crimes carry and are they enough of a deterrent?

Biggest Gambling Countries

australian flagWe all know Brits are a nation of gamblers with one of the biggest industries and highest per head gambling rates in the world.  What about other countries though?  Where else in the world is gambling massive?  We look at the top 5 nations for gambling across the globe looking at overall gambling yield and amount per capita, some of the results may surprise you.

Gambling Holidays and Tourism

flying around world graphicGambling is a leisure activity, or at least it should be, and therefore it is no surprise that people travel to gamble.  After all this is why we have places like Las Vegas in the USA and Macau in China, mega multi-billion resorts dedicated to betting and gaming.  It still may surprise you though to see that amount of people that actually travel to gamble and how far they are willing to travel.  It is not just a holiday for some people too, for those that live in places where gambling is illegal it offers one of the only options to do it.

Brexit and Betting

brexit and gamblingGambling is actually already regulated and taxed on a country by country level and so Britain leaving the EU should make very little difference in daily life for UK and EU punters.  What is likely to change is how betting companies sell their services around the EU and where they are based, this along with possible post-Brexit tariffs could increase costs that will be past on to punters.  Read our Brexit page where we discuss the potential implications Brexit may have on betting in the UK and the EU.

How Gibraltar Became The Biggest Online Gambling Hub

gibraltar sign with rock in backgroundThe 'Rock' as it is called, thanks to the fact that 90% of the land on the peninsula is a mountain, has long been important to Britain thanks to its strategic location at the gateway to the Mediterranean. Used as a military base for centuries (and still is today) in the late 20th Century the overseas territory began to struggle as its military importance waned.  Struggling to survive on tourism alone Gibraltar was able to reinvent itself as the go to place to set up and run a gambling business in Europe.  Victor Chandler was the pioneer in the late 1990's and today the place is unrecognisable and its fortunes have never been so good.

Are Betting Syndicates Legal?

syndicate wordMany people bet in syndicates, either on the lottery or sports such as football and horse racing.  The idea is to combine stakes and winnings to give the group an overall better chance of ending up in profit.  Some syndicates share the winnings out others put it towards a special day out, like a visit to the races.  Harmless fun, maybe, but in many cases sportsbooks do not actually allow them as technically you are betting on behalf of other people, which goes against the terms and conditions you signed up to.  Therefore, are syndicates allowed and how can you place a syndicate bet legally?

Can You Place A Bet For Someone Else?

third partyIt may seem quite innocent to login into someones account or go to a shop and place a bet for them if that person cannot for some reason, likewise you may place a bet for someone else through your own account for them (common for the Grand National, for example). While this obviously does happen it isn't actually allowed, when you join a site you agree that you will only bet for yourself with your own money and so technically you are contravening terms and may even be doing something that is fraudulent.  Read more about the rules around betting on behalf of others on this page.

Can You Claim Someone Else's Bet Slip?

betting shopThe short answer to this is no, when you place a bet with a bookmaker you are entering into a contract between you and them and you will violate the T&C's if you allow someone else to claim a bet (or place a bet) on your behalf.  Certainly there are many friendly reasons why you would want to claim someone's bet slip but the rules are in place to stop criminals claiming other peoples winnings.  There are numerous instances of people claiming bet slips they find thinking this is acceptable under a 'finders keepers' rule but it is actually illegal and you can be prosecuted for fraud by false representation.

Can You Buy Or Sell Bets?

buy sell written on metal diceMost commodities in the world can be bought or sold including financial products such as share, mortgages and other financial risk.  On that basis you might think it would be perfectly fine to buy or sell a bet but in actuality it is not allowed.  When you place a bet with a licensed bookmaker you are entering into a personal contract, they need to know who you are and where your money came from and where the winnings are going, to prevent money laundering and other things.  Therefore, it is not possible to buy and sell a bet privately but there are other options such as cash out or laying on an exchange.

Related Contingencies

rule 4What are related contingencies and how should you go about betting on related events?  It is often difficult to understand what bets are related and what bets are not, this affects the type of bets your can place and the odds you are given.  For example, you cannot bet on a goalscorer and correct score in the same game as a double bet as these are related, instead you must use a special bet type called the scorecast, see more related contingencies.

When The Bookies Get it Wrong and Lose

winnerWe all know that the house always wins over time, we just hope that we might be one of the statistical anomalies that wins in spite of this.  Therefore when the bookies do get it wrong there is a sense of satisfaction, even if you are not one of the winners.  There have been some high profile incidents over the last 50 years or so where big unexpected outcomes have cost bookmakers a lot of cash.  Read about some of the highest profile incidents of bookies getting it wrong.

Can You Be Forced To Pay Back An Incorrect Payout?

woman looking at computer baffledIt sounds like a dream come true, you place a bet only to receive far more than you thought you would or you find a bet at odds far higher than they should be and you win.  You might even just login to an account one day and find a load of money in there by mistake.  The question is is this your money to keep and if you withdraw it do you have to pay it back?  We cover this question on this page and give examples where the betting company has won the battle and examples where the customer has won the day.

Gambling Superstitions

13 on roulette wheelSuperstitions give people a means to feel that they can control the outcome of something that is based on random chance or luck.  Gambling being based on chance and luck therefore attracts more superstitions than most things in life.  Here we look at the common superstitions around betting and gambling, from lucky and unlucky numbers, betting on red or black, lucky charms, bogey teams in sports and behavioural changes that people will do believing it will enhance their chances of winning.  Whether you believe in superstitions or not it is an interesting read none-the-less.

Longest Running Bets

future betsMost people bet on the day of an event and those that have more confidence will be ante-post, often up to a year before an event in the hope they will get better odds.  The longer in advance a bet is the more risk there is but at the same time there is more potential to make a big profit if your predictions do come true.  On this page we look at some of those bets people have placed that took a long time to settle along with bets that are live right now that make take many more years to come to fruition.

Bizarre Novelty Bets

end of the world asteroid hitting earthThe phrase 'you can pretty much bet on anything' has never been more true since the rise of online betting.  People have always placed bets on obscure scenarios with bookies but now online these bets are being placed by thousands of people.  The strange thing is many of them are unlikely to ever pay out, such as do aliens exist or when will the world end, but people still place them! Find out about the strangest things to bet on past and present.

Famous Betting Tricks and Cons

scammer steet gameMany of us have been to big cities and seen on street gambling games happening, usually on a bridge or up a back-street away from the police an prying eyes.  It is fairly obvious to most of us that these games are hardly legal but yet many people still get sucked into playing them and can end up being conned out of their money.  Here we look at the famous betting tricks and cons, how they work and how they are used.  Many of these tricks have persisted for centuries, showing that the old ones really are the best.

Biggest Fortunes Made From Gambling

money attracted into a bagThere are a lot of people that have made a lot of money from betting and gaming but let's face it on the whole people do not make fortunes out of gambling.  The old adage is right, the bookie always wins, and therefore on this page we are looking at those that have made the biggest fortunes from running gambling companies.  Even someone who wins the Euro Millions or Powerball lottery could not get near the fortunes these people have.  We look at how much they are worth and how they got their wealth.

Top 10 Richest Gamblers

bill benter 400pxThe house almost always wins and over a long period of time the clear majority of people lose when gambling.  Of course, there are some people who buck that trend, the outliers who manage to beat the system and earn vast amounts of money.  These people are both lucky and calculating in how they have made their gambling fortunes but one thing that unites the top 10 is their ability to use their knowledge and skills to win.  Gamblers do not have to file their winnings and report them so our list is a best guess and estimate on the available information.

Biggest Losing Bets

losing betPretty much everyone that has ever placed a bet has lost at some point but generally we are talking £10's to £1000's for most people.  Here we are looking at people that have lost stupid amounts of money into the millions on single bets or in single sessions.  Many of these people are sports stars and so are well off to start with but the size of some of their losses are still staggering.  We also look at those that have lost everything and the effects it had on them.

How Often Does The Favourite Win In Greyhound Racing

grehound face on dark backgroundGreyhound racing is certainly not as big as it once was but despite that it is still holding it's own in a world where we can now bet on almost any sport.  There are still thousands of greyhound races run each year and with a simple and consistent format if we look at the raw data it isn't too hard to get a feeling for how often the favourite wins in greyhound racing.  The answer is around 32-33% of the time but there are nuances in that data with some tracks showing better or worse win rates for the favourites and some courses demonstrating an obvious trap bais.  We looked at three years worth of racing to get an idea.

The Life Of A Racing Greyhound

greyhound older and retired sleeping on a rugGreyhound racing is not as popular as it used to be but there are still thousands of races each year and tens of thousands of animals involved in racing, in the UK alone. The sport has come in for a lot of bad press over the years on issues such as welfare and what happens to these dogs when they retire.  We've therefore commissioned a vet to detail the life of a modern greyhound in racing and to shed light on the breed, rules and law and veterinary care.

The Decline of Greyhound Racing in the UK

Greyhound Racing Guide 2Once the inner city pursuit of the working classless in the aftermath of world war two Greyhound racing was attended by nearly 35 million people. So what happened to this great spectacle?  Licensing of off track gambling coupled with the slow death of inner cities and the rise of other sports and TV coverage have all contributed to the demise of dog racing. Read about the demise of greyhound racing.

Flapping - Independent Dog Racing In The UK

Greyhound Racing GuideThe majority of greyhound racing is licensed and regulated by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain. Unlicensed independent courses have however always existed and these are known as 'flapping' tracks.  While the standards of unlicensed racing are often more questionable than its licensed counterpart it is not actually illegal. Punters and spectators can go and watch and bet on independent greyhound racing any time you wish.

Animals Used In Racing and Other Forms Of Betting

buffalo racingEven people who don't bet will know about horse racing and greyhound racing but when you look beyond that there are in fact a multitude of stranger animal racing events across the world, involving everything from elephants to pigeons and snails to crickets.  Here we look at the other forms of animal racing around the world you can watch and sometimes even bet on, along with other sports that involve animals in fighting, hunting or other events.

What Are The Fastest & Slowest Animals We Race?

snail race 150Frankly if humans can think of a way to race something they will find a way to do it.  Naturally huge industries have grown around racing horses and dogs but around the world lots of different animals are involved in racing.  Some are very fast, such as Ostriches that are raced in South Africa and the US, which can reach similar speeds to dogs at up to 70kph.  At the other end of the spectrum we have snail racing, with a snail moving at just 0.05kph.

Places In The UK With The Most Betting Shops

william hill shop in londonLove them or hate them betting shops are now part of almost every British high street but despite the mantra that they are a blight on society there actually only around half the number of shops now than there used to be.  Saying that most of the shops that are left are predominantly placed in poorer areas with stark differences between the most affluent and poorest locations.  In our article we look at the places that have the most bookies overall as well as per capita.

The Life & Earnings Of An eSports Professional

esports event in moscowTo older generations eSports is just a load of nerds playing games and calling it a sport but for millennials eSports is massive with a global following, online and offline.  Professional eSports players can earn millions of dollars from winning a single tournament for the top games such as Dota 2 and and Counter Strike and can command even more in sponsorship.  With leagues of fans in toe top eSports players are celebrities, but what is it like to be an elite player and what demands are there to reach the top?

Amateur & Non-Professional Sports Betting

mult sportsIt is easy to bet on a top Premier League game, every bookie will give you odds, but what about the amateur sports events such as the Olympics or non-professional leagues in football? It is a falsehood that you cannot bet on amateur and semi-professional events, the key is finding a bookmaker that provides markets.  Read our article on how to bet on amateur sports to find out how to place these bets along with the major things to look out for.  We also discuss why bookies are weary of these bet types due to the potential for corruption.

Bet and Match Fixing

match and bet fixingMatch fixing is part of sport and whether we like it or not it happens. Although modern betting sites have many more tools to spot match fixing at the same time there are now many more betting markets available to fix.  These days it is rarely the match result directly that is tampered with but more subtle markets.  Our article looks at famous examples of match and bet fixing along with what happens to your bet if suspicious activity is detected.

What Is Spot Fixing?

cartoon man bribing football player 150Spot fixing is often seen different to match fixing in that here individuals will fix certain aspects of a match that may not influence the final result but could result in someone winning a bet.  For example, someone could pay a player to make sure they get booked in a match and then bet on that player to be booked.  As with match fixing it is totally illegal but there are still many instances of it happening, even at high levels.  Of course these are only the incidents we know about there may be many that are not detected.

Gambling Fraud and Theft

scam alertWhenever there is money involved there is always someone who wants to steal it.  Gambling is entirely about money and therefore it is no surprise that there is a long list of example of players trying to steam from bookmakers and casinos.  There is also no shortage of cases of betting operators themselves trying to fiddle customers for their own gain.  Read out betting fraud article to discover some high profile incidents.

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs)

fixed odds betting terminal with game of roulette being playedWhether you bet in shops or not you will no doubt of seen or hear of fixed odds betting terminals. The devices, that can allow players to stake up to £100 in a singe bet every 20 seconds, have drawn a huge amount of controversy over their effects of gambling addiction and money laundering. Read our FOBT page where we tell you everything you need to know about the machines and the campaigns to control them.  We also look at the point of view of the bookmakers and the economic impact these terminals have locally and nationally.

Gambling Machines In Public Places

slot machines in bowling alleyWe live in a strange world where on one hand the government says it wants to do everything possible to reduce the exposure to gambling for minors and the vulnerable, yet there are thousands of examples across the country where gambling machines are available in public places.  From airports to motorway services, pubs to bowling alleys, it is common to see slot and arcade games you play for money.  Granted these machines tend to be a lower category, or if not they tend to be in adult only areas, but still this gives a lot of exposure to these machines that can be a gateway into gambling or can cause relapses in those recovering.  We look at the rules around gambling machines in public places and ask whether it sends the right message.

Arcade Games and Gambling

arcade money push machineGames you play for money in amusement arcades and other venues are often seen as harmless with many marketed towards children with low stakes and small prizes. They are, however, still classed as gambling and are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.  It is actually quite complicated as the type of license and restrictions vary based on the category of machine and how they are displayed.  Here we go through the various rules around different types of arcade games and how these are applied in the UK.

What Is Bacta And What Does It Do?

bactaBacta stands for the British Amusement Catering Trade Association and they are the trade body that acts on behalf of manufacturers and operators in the arcade and amusement industry.  They cover everything from family entertainment centres, typically seen in sea side towns, to adult gaming centres, bingo clubs, pubs, motorway service station gaming areas and anything like that.  They estimate that 72% of adults in the UK have played with amusement equipment at some stage and they cover over 500 companies with over 310,000 machines in the country, representing around £1.6 billion in turnover.

Betting and Gambling Using a VPN

vpn word blockMany of us now use virtual private networks to access the internet for a variety of reasons.  VPN's allow users added security and give anonymity that make them a useful tool for accessing the web.  From a gambling point of view however the use of VPN's is largely not allowed by betting companies as VPN's are often used to conceal the location people are in, allowing them to gamble pretending to be in the country where they are registered when they are not. 

How Have Betting Shops Changed Since The 1960s

licensed betting shop 1960sWhen betting shops were legalised and opened in 1961 it was the most revolutionary change to gambling until the internet age.  In a single stroke unlicensed street vendors were largely wiped out and people embraced the new phenomenon with over 10,000 shops opening in the first year.  These were drab, dreary, blacked out and smokey places to go, dominated by working class men, but they were very popular.  As times changed the bookies moved with it creating more inviting places to visit and bet.  Shops thrived until the online age and are now struggling, but do they have a future?

What Happened To These Famous Old Names?

stan james shop faded outThe Gambling Industry is a naturally cash rich industry, hence the phrase 'you've never seen a poor bookmaker', but it is also highly competitive and constantly evolving and as with any industry sometimes long established or well known names disappear.  We look at some of the old famous bookmaker and betting names people became familiar with but are no longer around today, either because they didn't keep up or were bought out.  The likes of Stan James, Blue Square, Littlewoods, Vernons and Bet Butler, where did they all go and why? 

Trading vs Betting, What Is The Difference?

trading vs bettingIf you watch the news you will see stories all the time of traders recklessly risking money on markets and you might think how is this different to gambling?  A country like the USA largely outlaws sports betting yet you can short sell or hedge on a financial market with far more risk? Look at the damage the financial crash in 2008 did to the world economy, it is easy to argue the affects of trading can be far worse on a large scale than gambling.

Trading on the face of it may seem a lot like gambling but there are many crucial differences, from how it is regulated, how you are taxed on gains and most importantly how much you might stand to win or lose.  It helps to understand trading and spread betting before you get into it.

Sports Betting Algorithms Explained

algorithmFor many years now betting companies have been using computer algorithms to crunch data to generate odds.  In fact, most odds are now created this way, especially for fast moving markets such as in-play betting.  What has happened more recently, however, is punters themselves are using their own algorithms to try to find their own edge over the bookies.

Here we look at these algorithms and how they work.  We look at the different strategies that people use algorithms for, whether that is to find value or to simply arbitrate to guarantee a profit.

Sports Betting Hedge Funds

hedge fundsWe've all heard about hedging you bets, this is when you bet on opposing outcomes to either guarantee a profit or mitigate a loss.  That isn't what we are talking about here, rather we are looking at hedge funds that people can invest in that place bets on sports.

Sports betting hedge funds, sometimes referred to as 'sports betting entities', effectively invest your money in betting markets and try to exploit differences in odds and value calculations to turn a profit.  This is a more passive form of income from sports betting but as with all financial markets your investment can go down as well as up!

What Are The Biggest Bets Ever Made?

big betsIf someone stakes £1000 on a horse you would look at them as being a big bettor, however, what were are talking about here is an entirely different league altogether.  We are talking about people who bet literally millions.  The list of the biggest bets ever made on our page may not be definitive but it certainly gives you an idea of the kind of staggering wagers some people are willing to place.  Yes, many of these people can afford it but it still takes a lot of balls to huge amounts on a single outcome.  We've tried to cover a range of the largest bets covering sports and casino.

Can You Bet On Literally Anything?

all oddsThe old saying goes that if you can think of something then you can probably bet on it.  That isn't quite the case these days, for example, you won't find a reputable bookie that will take bets on morally questionable markets, such as death, but as long as your bet won't offend anyone you can probably place it.  The rise of bet request features from bookies means you can now ask for odds on anything, but don't expect those odds to be good value.  We look at some of the stranger things that people bet on in our article.

Betting On Your Kids

chris kirkland playing for englandYou hear all of the time about lucky parents who bet on their child to do something big when they very young at high odds for the wager to come in years later giving a huge windfall.  But just how common is betting on kids and of the many thousands of bets do many actually win? It's not particularly had to bet on children to do things like play for England or win the X-factor, but there are some things to bear in mind before you do bet. We also look at famous examples of big wins.

What Is Courtsiding And Is It Legal?

courtsidingIn basic terms courtsiding is the practice of attending a live event and trying to place a bet on something that happens before it is officially registered.  The practice became know first in tennis, which is where the name comes from, where people would bet on points before the umpire officially registered them, allowing them to back sure-win bets.  The practice is not technically illegal but it is very much frowned upon by bookies and the sports themselves.  Courtsiding is not restricted to tennis and can be done on any pretty much any sport.

What Drugs Do Sports Cheats Use When Doping

doping urine test with medalsDoping in sports is certainly not new but it is perhaps more widely known about these days, especially given the extent of some discoveries of state sponsored doping in Russia and the heavily publicised Lance Armstrong scandal.  On this page we look at the drugs that sports cheats commonly take and what affects these substances have on the people that take them, both good and bad.  We also look at detection methods and how these are developing to keep pace with new doping techniques.  From steroids to bloody doping it has all been tried but rarely does it end up going well in the long run.

The Effects Of Alcohol On Gambling

man playing poker drinkingIt is no secret that drinking alcohol lowers peoples inhibitions, making them more likely to take risks and there is no denying that real world casinos in particular take advantage of this with complementary drinks.  Here we look at the relationship between gambling and alcohol and ask if drinking makes you more likely to gamble and vice versa, if gambling makes you more likely to drink.  We also look at the potential effects of drinking when gambling online as well as scientific research around the topic.

Longest Winning Streaks

winnerTechnically sting two wins together and you are on a streak, this isn't what we are talking about here.  On this page we are looking at teams and individuals that have put together staggering winning streaks and set incredible records for the number of consecutive wins. 

Of course if you are lucky enough as a punter to spot when this might happen you could make a fortune but more often than not these records come about through serious hard work combined with a winning mentality.  

Longest Losing Streaks

winner loser street signOf course, like the article above this one, we all love to laud the winners and those that set huge records for winning.  The problem is to have winners we also need to have losers and there are some unfortunate teams and individuals out there that have lost more than their fair share of times.  

On this page we look at some of the longest and worst losing streaks of all time and look at why and how this can happen.

Big Bets That Lost On Technicalities

voidAnyone who is a regular bettor will have had an instance at some time or other where their bet has been voided or payout refused due to a disqualification, technical error or suspicions of match-fixing.  Often this is annoying but ultimately we only lose out on a few quid, but what about those people that had a lot more money riding on the result of an event or game?  Here we look at some of the biggest bets and payout that have lost based on a technicality, what those people then did and what the end result was.

Quantum Future Of Betting and Trading

quantum computingComputer power has doubled roughly every ten years since they were invented but that progress has now slowed as computer chips have been made smaller and smaller and are reaching the physical limits of what is possible.  The next big change will be quantum computing, but this isn't just a step up it is a massive leap with the potential power being many times what current computers can do.  This will revolutionise betting and trading to the point where artificial intelligence may render humans useless.  Find out more.

Famous Gambling Quotes & Their Origins

quit while youre aheadWe've all heard phrases like "quit while you're ahead", "put your cards on the table", "put your money where your mouth is", "your luck will change", but where did these and other famous gambling related quotes come from?  How have they been adapted into the lexicon of modern day speech?

Of course, many of the quotes that come from gambling are used far more widely than just in relation to betting.  Think of the phrase "poker face", which has obvious origins but is actually used far more for other reasons than playing poker.  Find out more.

Sports Lost To History

competitive artThere are more sports and displines now than ever before but of course not every sport stands the test of time.  Here we take a look at some of the more interesting sports lost to history.  Things like Kottabos, which was the sport of flinging wine sediment at a target during drunken dinner parties in Ancient Greece. 

More modern examples include competitive art, ski ballet and and auto polo (which was dangerous indeed).  

What Is The Oldest International Sports Tournament?

carlisle bellsThere are plenty of old sports tournaments, we can look back to the Romans and even before to find them.  Here we are looking at the oldest internationally contested sporting events.  Naturally it is things like horse racing, golf, sailing, archery and other sports of old that dominate but it could surprise you how old some of these events are and the fact they are still going today.  The Carlisle Bell race, for example, has been held since 1599.

Is Gambling Hereditary?

dna hereditaryThere is a lot of evidence to suggest that people are more likely to smoke or drink if they come from a household or environment where others do.  Gambling is also an addictive pursuit and therefore it makes sense that people who are exposed to gambling in earlier life through their family and friends may be more likely to gamble, gamble more, or be more likely to become addicted.  

In truth there are a lot of studies and some agree and some do not but overall there seems to be a fairly clear link between those who have people close to them who gamble ending up having more gambling issues themselves.

Betting For The Blind And Visually Impaired

visually impaired man with stick and dark glassesPlacing a bet is something that is hard to do if you cannot see well or at all.  It is not just the act of placing the bet that can be difficult but researching wagers and studying markets and odds can be almost impossible without help.  How do those who are visually impaired bet?  Well, it is fairly straight forward in a shop as you can ask the staff to fill in slips for you or ask for help in the shop from other punters, although this requires a degree of trust.  Online things can be a lot more difficult and while technology exists that can help ultimately many will rely on others to place those bets, however, betting on behalf on someone else contravenes the terms of the betting sites, so how exactly do blind people get around this?

What Good Does Gambling Do, If Any?

green tumbs up red thumbs downWe all know that gambling can be addictive and it can lead to many problems for individuals and societies.  This is exactly why gambling is regulated in the UK and why different countries have different approaches to it.  There must be some good that comes from gambling though, surely?  Things like the benefit to local and national economies, jobs, tourism, real estate and levies for sports such as horse racing?  Gambling also is also a leisure pursuit and a source of entertainment for most people that engage in it and it also provides insights into the real world, for example, with odds often being more accurate than polls for things like elections.  Here we explore the potential good that can come from legalised gambling.