Our competition winner (plus fun facts!)

Thanks once again to all those who completed the 2020 Bet Chat survey

The winner of our free annual subscription has been drawn and will be contacted shortly, so keep an eye on your emails!

The survey answers were really useful to us and we’ve learned a lot. Here are some fun facts…

  • A whopping 98.2% of respondents were male (that means if you’re reading this and are female, we appreciate you all the more!)
  • Horse racing won the battle of the sports with a 91.6% approval rating, just ahead of football which scored 85.6%. Motor racing brought up the rear with just 6.6% of respondents interested.
  • A group of rabbits is called a fluffle.
  • A whopping 90.4% bet at least a few times a week (57.5% daily). All the more reason for you to ensure you’re placing the bets that are most likely to make you a profit – for that, you’re in the right place!
  • It’s illegal to jump the ticket office queue at a TFL station.
  • 115 of you responded to our question about favourite betting services and we’ll be sharing some of those with you over the next few weeks and months. Thanks to those who selected our Football Index Investor service in this section, we’re really pleased to hear you’re enjoying it.
  • The most important thing that people look for in a betting service is undoubtedly proof of profits/track record (83.2% of respondents selected this option). One thing we were already planning on doing in this regard is partnering up with a new independent betting review/proofing website. That has been put on hold due to the Covid-19 situation but keep an eye out for news on that when live sport returns.
  • Peaches used to be called Persian apples.
  • Tips came out on top when it comes to people’s preferred type of service, with four times as many selecting that compared to a training course. We plan to offer a variety of services here at Bet Chat, so while tips are obviously the most popular, rest assured if you prefer a fishing rod to a fish, we’ll try and ensure that we have you covered too.
  • A comfortable majority of 77.9% prefer more winners at shorter odds, compared to long shots and a lower strike rate.
  • Email remains comfortably the most popular medium of receiving content. You’ll have likely noticed that we’ve been keen to use new technology to increase our methods of communication (such as through the Telegram instant messaging app) but it’s important to note that these things are very much in addition to email, and we’ll always ensure that those who can only access email, can still receive all the key content in that way.
  • Ducks have corkscrew shaped penises as an evolutionary result of conflicts with females.
  • There’s definitely an interest in higher priced lifetime/package subscriptions. When sport is back to something akin to normality and we have a few more services and experts in place, some form of gold membership scheme is certainly something we’ll look at.
  • We have the number of Bet Chat emails you receive ‘about right’ according to 94% of respondents which is great to hear. We want our e-letter to be something of value that you enjoy reading rather than a nuisance, so do be sure to let us know if we ever become the latter!

On top of that, we also had some really useful feedback both in terms of the things you like and the things we can improve, so we’ll certainly be doing our best to continue those things in the former camp and work on the ones in the latter…

Obviously at the moment with the lack of sport, there’s only so much variety of content we can provide, and a number of planned developments are currently on hold but, for a platform that’s just three months old, I think we’ve built a solid foundation and the team here have definitely been heartened by your responses, so thanks once again.

With spaces on our Football Index service now filled, our next job is to start making our way through some of those feedback points for improvement, so you can expect some emails on those topics in the next couple of weeks, in addition to some more timeless betting content (I have a free card counting tutorial pencilled in next week for those wannabe card sharks among you!)

Keep your eyes peeled for those emails and, survey aside, do always feel free to contact us on any topic at all by emailing clients@thebetchat.com. After all, they do say communication is the key to all good relationships 😉

How to be more wolf

Being a sheep is rarely a good thing.

If you fail to question people in authority you open yourself up to corruption and dictatorship…

If you only listen to the most popular music you’ll eventually go insane, like a perpetually cheery Heart DJ, dead behind the eyes after one too many plays of the latest Gary Barlow single…

And if you’re a furry thing in a field, well, watch your back is all I can say – the rumours are true.

In betting it’s no different – sheep are sent to the slaughterhouse while those who try something different to the majority regularly succeed.

It makes perfect sense too…

The majority of bettors lose, so if you follow the majority you’ll lose too.

Prey on the weak

Of course profiting isn’t as simple as backing outsiders who nobody else is backing – outsiders are outsiders for a reason and, as discussed recently, it’s actually easier to find value on favourites than longer priced selections…

Instead, a good tactic is looking at markets where there is likely to be a sheep bias towards one particular outcome which is driving the price lower than it should be.

A great example occurred at a recent snooker World Championship…

In this event Judd Trump started as joint favourite with Mark Selby despite Judd having never won the competition and only reaching one final (back in 2011), while Selby was the holder, had won it in two of the last three seasons and was world number one.

The reason Trump was such a short price was simple – he plays a fast, attacking game, similar to that of the perennially underpriced Ronnie O’Sullivan (by the way, Ronnie hasn’t won the World Champs since 2013!)…

In short, he’s a fan favourite.

The end result was Trump getting knocked out in round one and Selby winning the championship but that’s irrelevant really – the important thing is that on all known form Selby should have been a shorter price.

There are countless other examples too and they all lend themselves to wolves…

Why not bet on draws in the football?

After all, most people who bet do so at least partly so they can cheer on a side – it’s quite hard to cheer on a draw!

Or why not oppose overrated English players and teams in European and international competition?

Ultimately the odds are largely set by bettors rather than bookmakers with the weight of money determining the prices (the more people bet on something the shorter price it will be, irrespective of the bookie’s opinion on the likelihood of it happening)…

Therefore if you spot these areas of bias and take the opposite view you’ll more often than not end up with a value bet.

In betting, for every winner there’s a loser, and I’d rather back a wolf than a sheep any day of the week.

Guide To Best Odds Betting

We’ve put together a short video to explain exactly what best odds betting is and how to do it.

Just click the video below to get stuck in.

There are a number of different odds comparison sites out there but the biggest and best is Oddschecker.

As you can see, the odds are displayed from all of the major bookmakers and it’s immediately apparent that there are plenty of price differences.

Obviously whatever you’re betting on you want to take the biggest available odds. In just the minute or so it’s taken you to get to this web page, you’ve already found out exactly where you need to bet to do that.

It may only make you a few extra pounds on one bet but over a week, a month, a year, it can make a huge difference. Not bad for an extra minute’s work!

Oddschecker has other features…

Accumulator Bets:

  1. Click on the best odds for your first selection.
  2. Then go to the other race or match you want to bet on.
  3. Click on your second selection.
  4. The bet slip pops up on the right hand side which displays the odds for the double (which is both horses to win).
  5. If you click change next to the bookie you can see which bookie is offering the best odds for the double.
  6. There can be some really big differences in the odds and the more selections in your accumulator, the bigger the price differences will be.

Placing Bets in Oddschecker:

You can place bets directly in Oddschecker when you log in. Although this saves time, I wouldn’t recommend it.

The bookies know what bets are coming via Oddschecker and because they associate Oddschecker with smart bettors they will be more than likely to mark your account and potentially even ban you.

It’s completely unfair, but bookies are sneaky and so once you’ve found the best odds, its worth taking an extra minute to open a new internet tab and navigate to the bookie where you can bet with them directly.

Interview with an expert: Mel Gee (Part Two)

[Ed Note: This interview took place in 2017. Mel’s service, First Favourite, obviously isn’t running at the moment due to Covid-19 but I’ve kept those questions in as they still offer valuable insight.]

You can read part one of the interview here.

JA: In terms of your strategy particularly, do you have a preference for flat over jumps or maybe even all weather?

MG: I’ve got to say I absolutely love it all. Now, I’ve got this tingle again, I can’t help it, you know, my shoulders are just shivering. I absolutely love it. When I started out getting an interest, it was 1970 so that is Lester Piggott and it’s Nijinsky and I fell in love with the sport, and Lester became my first hero, after John Wayne, and he remained so. And I’m very, very lucky to have met him several times. He is my hero. That was 1970.

The next year was the mighty Mill Reef in 71 and he absolutely rubber stamped, for me, what horse racing is all about. And there’s class, Lester Piggott, Nijinsky, Mill Reef. And then the following year, 1972-73, Henry Cecil was beginning to become something special.

So 20 years before the public cottoned onto him, Henry, later Sir Henry, he became my third hero within the sport and, so because those three are all flat, flat would be my number one…

But I love the festivals, Cheltenham, Aintree, Epsom, Goodwood, York, wherever. I love the festivals and I love seeing class horses running, and it doesn’t happen too often but when it does happen and you see a proper class horse coming into the last furlong, all the jockeys are rowing away except one which is on that one horse that is just a different class. And for me that’s the buzz of horse racing, seeing, I don’t know, seeing a Usain Bolt, a Seb Coe, a Cram, an Ovett, they are just half a notch above everything else. That’s why I love it.

JA: So I guess then you’d say you have a preference for open races over handicaps?

MG: Yes, most certainly. Yes. Handicaps are there… well the basis is that they all finish across the line together. I think it’s an open secret that, perhaps less so in these years but skulduggery can happen. 

There are some great handicappers and they make for some great races, you know, 20, 30 runners in an Ayr Gold Cup, something like that. They’re fantastic races. They are races I would have always betted but today I wouldn’t. I watch them because I love them but I wouldn’t put your pound on. I’d keep it in my pocket and tell you I’m not betting because I know I’m going to lose. But yes, they’re not betting… they’re a bookmakers betting medium. If people can make a profit from them, well done, good luck. I can’t.

JA: In more general terms, what do you make of the world of horse racing at the moment? Do you feel like it’s going in the right direction?

MG: No, I don’t actually. I think there’s far too much racing. I think all the big races, where they’re held, is right but then I think they should structure it to three meetings a day, North, South and the Midlands. 

Fewer races I think would make bigger fields and with respect to owners, trainers and the horses there’d be less dross. Class six handicaps, class seven banded races, when they come on, they are there for one reason and that’s the bookmaker to take your money and they will gladly. And then they will put a sign at the bottom, gamble aware. It’s shameful and something ought to be done about that.

So I think racing has got it wrong at the minute. I think the calendar could be better, keep all the top events but let’s have fewer races, bigger fields. That’s how I see it.

JA: So I’m guessing part of what you’re saying there is bookmakers seem to have too much power and certainly in terms of restrictions that’s something that affects me. Is it something you’ve had issues with?

MG: Yes, it’s issues from all of the major bookmakers with the exception in my case, and I think they should be named, of William Hill and Ladbrokes, but every other bookmaker has either restricted me or closed me, or restricted me that much it might just as well be closed. And the numbers are dozens not one or two.

I can remember when I first started out in racing and I noticed it, I could see that they were spending the money from racing going into hotels, into casinos. And I’m thinking wait a minute, the money is going out the wrong way; you know, the money should be coming back into racing, not going out into other avenues. And it went into other avenues because they could make more money. 

I think that would have been the early 70s which is when I got involved, I saw it then and 50 years later there is now something happening that more of the bookmakers’ money, particularly the offshore interests, is going to stay within racing. It should have been happening back in the 70s but nobody could stand up to the bookmaker or nobody wanted to.

JA: I think in one or two countries now they’re starting to incorporate a rule where bookmakers have to take a certain level of bet. I’m guessing you think that would be a good idea in this country too?

MG: It would be but I think they’re already taking a bet. It happened about ten years ago when they would offer a price on a horse and then they would take it to £20 or £25, which is great for the casual punter or the fun punter but for a professional bettor like myself, £25 or £50 is no good unless there were four or five bookmakers doing it and would take my bet, then that would be different but I think that’s highly unlikely, which is a shame.

JA: We’ll end with a couple more general points… have you got any betting highlights or lowlights in particular from your long period of doing this?

MG: Yes, I have, and I thought about this answer because I think most people like to say oh the day that I won this or the day that I lost that, so I’m going to take you way back to 1974, my first visit to Epsom, the derby won by Snow Knight, 50/1. I’m still waiting for that to come up in a quiz question because I know the answer!

What happened, I had been to the races and I was, in those days, very naive, wet behind the ears, unworldly, but I loved my horse racing and that’s why I’d gone to Epsom.

Leaving the course on the way back to the coach, I met a huddle of people and I thought oh, I’ll have a look at what’s going on. And the huddle was a card game called Find the Lady which I thought oh, what’s that about? So I was sort of three deep then I was two deep and then I was next to the board. What I didn’t know was that most of the people in the huddle all worked together with the man with the cards. I didn’t know that. And the fellow that I stood next to, he reached forward, lifted up one of the three cards and nudged me and said, that one. So I did, I put a fiver on it and lost it.

And he said oh, sorry, he must have switched it. And I said, yes, I wasn’t looking. And he said wait, I’ll do it again, and he did, and so did I, and now I’d lost £10. And I thought, mmm, I need to get out of here and I struggled to get out, away from these people, but they’d done what they set out to do; they got £10 from me.

Now, I don’t know whether you believe in the Almighty but I do. That was a Wednesday. So next day, Thursday, I’ve gone to my Coral bookmaker and I’ve had my normal 10p win, Yankee, four horses. The first three have won and I’m going on a six furlong sprint at Epsom, a horse called Moor Lane and it’s 13/2.  I’ve already got three winners in my Yankee and it won.  So having been, what I thought, fleeced by £10 on Wednesday, I drew £24 on the Thursday and felt very lucky and said thank you Lord.

I don’t do card games now, I don’t do machines, I don’t do poker, I don’t do casino for one reason, I’m going to lose. So I don’t do any… I’ll go and watch them and stand by a table and watch but I won’t, the only time I’ll put a chip on is if you give it to me and it’s your money. So I got a valuable lesson those two days which is trust no-one. So that was an up and a down in those years.

JA: You mentioned there cards etc. Is there anything else in a sporting sense which you will bet on? Do you have any strategies on football, for example, anything like that?

MG: Yes. Once upon a time, and I’m talking year 2000 to 2008, I got a big interest in golf, mainly through Jeremy Chapman in the Racing Post. And then latterly there was a golf form book called Elliot’s Form Book, and between 2000 and 2008 I never lost at golf. I won every single year and got it to a perfection that I was picking up every third week on average and it was fantastic. 

In 2009 Elliot’s golf book ended. So I don’t place golf bets now, only because it was not my choice. It would be someone else’s. But that was golf then.

What I have is a very small tight portfolio. First Favourite is number one and then I have two or three opportunities where you can win money, all on horse racing. The risk is minimal and in some instances nil, but the returns can be quite great.

Where First Favourite is portable, the other three are not. They would be a classroom situation, you would have to learn them, but then the one thing that most people couldn’t do is give time. I would spend an afternoon with one or two or three of these other approaches, which is a word I was introduced to some years ago, whereby if I’m not with First Favourite I can make an income there. But the risk is so small that if it doesn’t come off, the loss is minimal.

JA: To finish, where do you see yourself going in the next five, ten years with First Favourite and also generally?

MG: Well, my immediately plan is to continue to make First Favourite a respected winning service. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve got a fantastic clientele today but I would like to grow that because I’d like to continue to share my knowledge and win people some money, get them a return on investment.

I am a great believer in fate. What will be will be. Who knows what will happen? For example, I didn’t know today was going to happen. It came out of the blue. And I think that’s what might happen in the future; someone will read this interview, someone will read my website, someone will talk to someone, mention my name and something could develop from there on in.

What I would love, maybe there would be a collaboration down the road, I don’t know. I think beyond just the betting part, what I would like to do is to create syndicates, small, six, eight, ten syndicates for people who would like to be more involved in owning a horse but find the costs are prohibitive, and I would like to make that affordable to as many people as I could do. But that would take a lot of work, a lot of time and today it’s not going to happen but tomorrow it could be. So that’s something else I would like to look at.

Race days are also something that I thoroughly enjoy because it gives me the opportunity to talk about my passion for horse racing to 50, 60, 70 people, some of whom are like-minded. Some have little interest but may find what I’m saying of interest. So that’s what I’m looking forward to in the future.