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Introduction To Spread Betting

Four Ways to Bet!

Welcome To The Wonderful World of Sports Spread Betting!
If you are a devoted sports-watcher like us and know your sports inside and out, then the wonderful world of Sports Spread Betting is definitely for you!
This is a great opportunity to use your vast knowledge of sporting events and the potential of the players/teams involved -in order to gain from it financially.

What Do All The Numbers Mean?
At first glance, spread betting might appear to be a collection of random numbers that make little or no sense. Once you know that the numbers that you see are merely the bottom price (selling) and top price (buying) of the event 'spread' -then you will come to realise that this is just like the 'stock market of sports'.

You can learn exactly how the spread markets operate on our Tutorial page and for specific sports in our Tips section. There's also a fantastic Training Centre to be found at Sporting Index which has two great sections -The Academy and The Guide. Both are well worth a look.

What Are The Advantages of Spread Betting?
Ever seen your team concede a last-minute equalizer when you were seconds away from landing a big bet? Would you have settled for 95% of your winnings right before that goal went it? If the answer is YES, then Spread Betting is for you...

With Spread Betting you can get involved and get out with a profit one minute later -in fact, you can even bet on a match well before it starts and close out with a profit before the kick-off!

How Do I Get Started?
The first thing to do is to open an account at one of the major spread betting companies. Take a look at our review page of the top spread firms -we would recommend joining either the biggest, which is Sporting Index or the second largest, Spreadex -both of these have generous offers when you open an account.

Spread Betting For Profit!

Every punter is always looking for a value bet, but what exactly is value?
Well the definition of value is when the odds or spread are greater than the true chance represented by the player/team/horse. For example, getting 5/1 for a horse in a race where all four runners are roughly the same standard.

However many tips you might pick up from other people, sports websites or Racing Post articles -there is nothing to beat actually watching how the spreads change over the course of an event or match. Only by watching and learning how the spreads move can we hope to spread bet successfully.


We're going to deal with following topics:
Selling or Buying?, In-Running, Arbitrage, Finding Value, Low Volatility v High Volatility

1.Selling or Buying?
Human nature dictates that if you watch sport you want things to happen. You want lots of goals, tries, wickets, runs, etc. We don't watch a football match hoping for a 0-0 or a rugby match hoping for no tries!

The spread companies are obviously well aware of this and adjust their spreads accordingly, sometimes setting spreads slightly higher than the statistics suggest in the knowledge that people prefer to buy rather than sell.
With this in mind, our advice would be to consider selling, although it can be quite painful willing both football teams NOT to score in a match or the England cricket team to start losing wickets!

In most instances, if you are selling then you will be starting with a profit.
Time does seem to drag, but it can be very profitable!

2. In-Running (Click for a full explanation)
We've made the mistake several times, perhaps more than several!, in the past of being influenced by a brief flurry of events in a match and have jumped on the bandwagon. Tempers get flared early in a football match and we've jumped in and bought bookings only to see the game calm down immediately and we've lost heavily, or the loss of 2 or 3 very quick key wickets and we've waded in selling runs only to see a record seventh wicket partnership!

The point is, be careful. The spread firms are watching the same game as you and will adjust their spreads according to what's happening, often by more than they should, in anticipation of people trading on what they have seen.

3. Arbitrage
The spread firms hate Arbs, but if you're on the ball you can make money without the match or event even starting!

To do this you will need to have more than one spread betting account and money is made by selling/buying with one firm and then doing the reverse with another. For example, Bookings, Man Utd v Man City. Sporting Index offer an initial spread of 42 -46, whilst Spreadex quote 48 -52. By buying for £10 per point with Sporting at 46 and selling at £10 per point with Spreadex at 48 you are guaranteed to win £20 regardless of the result!

You'll have to be quick to make money this way if its an event in running that you need to make money in this way, but if you're alert and have done your research and have more than one account, you can be successful.

4. Finding Value
It is always worth having more than one account simply to get the best value. Generally all the firms are pretty consistent with prices, but let's say you're planning to buy England runs in a test match for £5 per run.

The 4 firms are offering:
a.305 - 320
b.310 - 325
c.300 - 315
d 310 - 325

Clearly there is no arbitrage profit here as the lowest price to buy is 315, but the highest price to sell is 310. However, if you only have 1 account you may be buying at 325, when you could be getting the same bet at 315. At £5 per point that's £50 before you even start!
Conversely, if you were selling, you would want to be selling at 310 rather than 300.

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