Tuesday, 9 March 2010


dabble – to take a casual or superficial interest.

I should have stuck to my word and avoided Betfair yesterday. Instead, I dabbled. And for about an an hour this afternoon, I dabbled. The result – after the first week of March my monthly P&L sits at ( £101 ).

The actual bets are not that significant, a couple of European football games going against me, and one of those ‘three in a row’ racing lay disasters. But the mindset behind them is. I just wanted to make a few pounds easily, without putting in the effort to analyse and research. Which leaves you wide open to the unexpected result or, more accurately, the superficially unexpected result. I laid Polish side Odra ( bottom of the table ) away at Legia Warsaw ( third place, unbeaten at home ), at odds of 16.5! Not odds I would regularly be involved with, but I was just looking for easy money. So no consideration of a two month winter break, no consideration of Odra’s relegation situation, no consideration of the likely odds in the event of the away team scoring first. A crap bet basically.

Again, at first glance, my main racing lay loss ticked all the boxes in terms of my decision to lay. But my stake was too high ( following a previous loss ) and, more irritatingly, there was another horse in the race which fitted my lay requirements, and was at lower odds. But I was looking for a quick fix, so didn’t bother to delve deep enough.

I have no problem with losing money if I have analysed properly. This is sports betting – the unexpected happens. But throwing away hard earned money, and learning nothing in the process, is pointless.

Most Betfair traders and gamblers want to make a profit. For many, it’s a hobby that may make a few pounds each week. For others, there is a wish to obtain a regular additional income. Many bloggers have indicated an aim to trade on a full-time basis if they can remain successful. And of course, there are a few who rely fully on their Betfair income to live. Whatever your motive for betting, it seems a straightforward objective to maximise your profit to a point limited only by betting bank and time. A tip to help you do this - spend a minute before you connect to Betfair. Decide what you intend to achieve, and what rules you wish to apply to your betting. If you come away from a session having made no profit, but have learnt something, it’s been worth it. I’ve learnt nothing new in the last two days, and lost money.

I have a bit of a problem with ‘challenges’. I see many appear amongst the betting logs, but I think they’re generally misguided. What’s the point? Most deviate away from the objective noted above – to maximise profit. Why tie one hand behind your back? Whilst I accept that using a limited bank of say £100 can be useful during a learning stage, it’s only realistic if the same rules are applied regardless of bank size. Many challenges make huge initial returns on small banks, but they’re unsustainable. If you’re betting in an artificial environment, you are missing out on opportunities to learn. This game’s tough, so unless you’ve got hundreds of thousands in the bank and play on Betfair purely for fun, forget challenges and concentrate on improving your performance.


  1. Top class post. We all tend to lose sight of where we're going especially after you have a few good days. I got battered today because I basically couldn't wait for some proper football matches to start. I dived in without giving my target matches due consideration and I got humped. It's a real pisser when you wipe out a few days worth of hard earned dough through not doing your homework.


  2. Hi Rob

    Just a note to say what a fantastic post.

    Your tip about taking a minute before logging onto befair is an inspiration and I wonder how much money people would save if they followed that peice of advise.

    I am going to put that quote on top of my monitor to remind me every time I log on.

    Thanks again


  3. Hi There,

    First of all, good luck with your betting quest, I am a big fan of certain betting strategies and will follow your progress via the Betting4fun’s Blog with interest.

    I was wondering if you would be interested in a link exchange with my blog?

    If its not something you are interested in, no worries.

    All the best!


  4. Hi Rob

    Long time reader, and really enjoy your blog.

    You're on my blog list, and was wondering if you could add mine? I follow horse racing market moves, am up on the year although it's been a tough last few months in general. Hopeful of a good spell coming up though.