“I just don’t feel like working today”

Reporting from Bet Chat HQ, north London…

It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s a Monday…

Sometimes you just don’t feel like doing anything productive, and today I’m here to tell you… that’s okay.

You may be slightly taken aback by that. After all, it seems to be all the rage for high flying businessman, media types and ‘influencers’ to broadcast their ‘secrets of success’ which inevitably include ‘a day in the life’ piece…

You know, the ones where the individual has run a half marathon, showered and meditated for two hours, all in time for their 7am breakfast business meeting?

Well, to that I say one word… Bullsh*t.

Because you see, even if they actually do those things more than once a year (and I imagine most don’t) it’s all, well, bullsh*t.

Unless you’re a professional runner, you don’t ever need to run a half marathon. Realistically, you don’t ever need to run more than a few hundred metres to the bus/train/toilet. And you certainly don’t need to practise for that eventuality before 7am.

Don’t get me wrong, if you enjoy running that’s great, and exercise is certainly important, but exercise before 7am is wholly unnecessary and not something to aspire towards.

Like running, lengthy meditation is also pretty good for you, but you know what’s even better for you… a proper amount of sleep.

And as for 7am business meetings (breakfast included or otherwise) well, here’s the thing… 

EVERYONE you invite to that meeting will HATE you for it. So, not only does it reduce the chances of you getting a proper amount of sleep, it also reduces the amount that your peers like and respect you.

Sometimes, it’s okay to do naff all

If this season’s Premier League football has taught us anything so far, it’s that trying to do too much leads to burnout (injury numbers have been significantly higher than in past seasons when the fixture schedule was much lighter).

As much as some people like to make out that they’re constantly productive and never tired, that’s just not possible, and the more excessive your regime, the more likely you are to break.

So you know what, next time you need a rest, as soon as is possible, have a rest, be it a 30 minute nap or a whole week off work… 

Your body and mind will thank you for it, and I can guarantee that you’ll be a hell of a lot more productive afterwards.

“Why don’t you write a bonus guide?”

Reporting from Bet Chat HQ, north London…

Recently I’ve been writing a lot about my new accumulator service, the reasoning behind it and the results so far. You may very well have signed up and already profited from it. If so, great! 

If not, you can click here to find out more and join the club.

Ever the slave driver, Bet Chat Bec thought that a good partner to the service would be a free bonus guide on what makes a great accumulator bet and, to be fair to her, I agree, so here goes…

What makes a great football accumulator bet?

The first thing to say is that my methodology is most definitely not system based. There are no hard and fast rules but there are certain dos and don’ts which, if followed, will significantly improve your chances of making a long term profit.

DO only bet if all individual selections offer value

As a standard rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t place a bet as a single, don’t include it in an acca. So don’t blindly add a team like Celtic or Barcelona just to bump up the odds.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t add the shortest priced teams, just that you need to think about it. If a full strength Celtic are playing an amateur highlands league team then odds of 1/5, while short, are still great value. Not so much if they’re in ropey form and are playing a top flight team.

DON’T be greedy

The closest thing I have to a set rule is that I’ll select a rough maximum of six teams if I’m covering league matches and 10 teams if I’m covering European or international matches (the average numbers will of course be lower).

Obviously the more teams you select, the less chance you have of winning the bet but the bigger the profit if you do win, so it’s a case of finding a balance… 

Realistically, if you place 1000/1, 20+ team accas, it probably doesn’t matter if the odds are value, because there’s every chance you’ll never actually win one.

At the same time, if the odds are value then it makes sense to include as many as are realistic.

As for my higher number of teams allowed in European/international matches, that’s purely because the gaps in quality are larger… 

Liverpool will almost never fail to beat say, the Cypriot champions, but there’s always at least a semi-realistic chance they will fail to beat a team near the bottom of the Premier League.

DO avoid teams who are typically over-bet

The best example of this is England who are almost never value odds. 

Just the other day I backed Belgium to beat them at odds of around 11/8-6/4. Belgium were at home and are the number one ranked team in the world. England had just lost to Denmark and scraped past Iceland. Crazy price.

Other teams that are regularly (but not always) over-bet and therefore poor value include Man City, Man Utd, Celtic, Rangers, Barcelona and Real Madrid. 

This does change of course depending on form. A couple of years ago Man City were value at almost any price. Much less so this season.

DON’T be afraid to add in a bigger price or two

Picking a good acca – or even one with the best chance of winning – is not about picking all the shortest priced selections. A lot of my best accas have one larger price (like Belgium at 11/8) anchoring the bet. This is because there’s more room for value in the slightly bigger prices…

It also means that you need fewer selections in total to hit good overall odds, and fewer matches means less change of a freak result costing you the bet.

Again though, this is all about finding a balance. I wouldn’t have a five team accumulator including a 5/1 shot, as that will more than likely let you down. Better placing that bet as a separate single.

Generally speaking, 2/1 would be the maximum price for a team in an acca and you don’t want more than two or three above 11/10.

Do take advantage of bonuses/best prices

Bookies generally like accumulator players because most people are terrible at them, so there are loads of bonuses on offer.

BetBull, for example, give out 10-50% odds boosts on almost every bet. The likes of Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and Bet Victor offer insurance if a selection lets you down.

Even if you can’t use a bookie offering a bonus, there is absolutely no excuse for not taking the best odds you possibly can…

The betting exchange, Smarkets, allows bets on accas and doesn’t ban or restrict people. By using them you could easily get 28/1 on a bet which is only 22/1 elsewhere.

DON’T avoid bets based on daft superstitions

The most common of these is people not betting on early kick-offs because they don’t want their bet to be over before the majority of games kick-off…

In a ‘fun’ sense I suppose that’s understandable, but we’re in it to make money (which is the most fun thing of all!), and avoiding value bets purely because of the kick-off time is just plain daft.

Last but not least…

My final piece of advice today is perhaps the most important, and it’s as follows:

It’s not about the teams you pick. It’s about the teams you leave out.

Typically when I’m choosing an acca, I’ll start by picking all the teams that I strongly suspect will win their matches. That takes 5 minutes tops and I do it largely without thinking…

That’s also where most people stop and place the bet, and that’s why most people lose.

The crucial part of the puzzle is in delving deeper into each team you’ve long-listed and finding reasons to remove them from the bet based, of course, on their odds – you would allow more leeway for an 11/10 shot than a 4/7 shot.

If you focus more on reasons not to back a team than reasons to back them, you’re far more likely to get rid of those who are over-bet and poor value.

One thing that I enjoy almost as much as winning an acca, is leaving out an odds on shot that goes on to draw or lose – that’s where the skill really lies. 

This has been a long email, so here’s something easy…

I do hope this little guide was of some use to you and helps in your own betting (the tips can equally be applied to lots of other sports and also betting on singles in a lot of cases).

Then again, maybe you just can’t be arsed and would rather somebody does the hard work for you.

If that’s the case, you can receive all of my accumulators (and only pay for the winners) by clicking here now.

Obviously current members need not apply!

Bet Chat Diaries: You’re not allowed to profit

I’ve just gone through a bad break up. A relationship that lasted many years but has sadly come to a bitter end.

It all started off so well. We were both happy. I was generous and happy to spend my money on her. She didn’t object. Occasionally she rewarded me with free treats and goodies. She was there for me 24/7, whenever I needed her.

But for a big part of the relationship, she wore the trousers. She had all the power. At some point, my eyes began to wander. The grass was sometimes greener on the other side and I got more attention from the others. I didn’t want to keep spending any more money on her. In fact, it got to a point where she owed me money!

She didn’t like that one bit and she started seeing me less and less. Until one day, she refused to take my calls and it was made clear to me she no longer wanted to see me.

Her name was bet365.

During Safer Gambling Week, I wanted to share my experience with the behemoth that is bet365 and their utterly bizarre handling of my account…

Now, I am not one of those people who hates the bookies with a passion. They are a business and, if all their customers were fleecing them dry, they wouldn’t be around for long. It is more the manner that they do this.

You see, my account had been restricted some time ago, but I had found ways to generate some small profits each month…

I bet on corners markets late in big games and had a little robot that would churn over small bets across the day. Things were good for a while and I thought I might have a long run at this.

Alas, their responsible gambling team suspended my account and I had to schedule a phone call. The phone call itself was a bizarre experience where I was asked about all manner of my gambling habits.

They said they were concerned about my gambling and I asked why? I hadn’t put a timer on my bot, so the bets were running for 23 hours a day. She asked when I slept and so I said I had a program that bet for me. She asked why my activity was so excessive and I told her it was because I was restricted to such small stakes it was the only way to make a profit out of the account.

What troubled me the most about this exchange is that the bot was running for 3 weeks for 24 hours a day before they actually looked into this. If someone who genuinely had a gambling problem and was losing hand over fist was doing this, I am quite skeptical that this action would have been taken.

I was asked to schedule another call with their responsible gambling team which never arrived despite leaving two different numbers and calling multiple times.

I gave up and revisited it this week. Finally, I got a second call, where a rather blunt Italian gentleman rattled off bet365’s self-exclusion policies and asked me whether I wanted to self-exclude.

Did I want to self-exclude? Well…no, so without actually explaining the alternative choices, a decision was made for my account to be permanently closed.

In an exchange back and forth, I asked why I should have to self-exclude and, once again, I was told my gambling was an issue to them. Why? Because in my previous phone call I had mentioned that I use gambling as a form of income and ‘this is not allowed.’

Yes, you heard that right, and he reiterated:

“it is not allowed to profit. Our services are for leisure only”.

I was getting nowhere with this and eventually gave up, but his comment astonished me. I would have accepted my account being closed if they gave an honest reason, but this was frankly ridiculous.

Exactly how is an activity leisurely and fun when you are shut down the moment you can make a modest profit from it? I wasn’t staking huge money and my overall profit was only a few grand at most. A small chunk of change for a company that big.

The genuine intentions of something like Safer Gambling Week are important and we must support people who genuinely have issues with their gambling. However, it must be said that the vast majority of people reading this will be in full control of their gambling habits and comfortable with what they are spending on it…

In many cases, some of you will have found ways to profit and are smart with your bets. You may have many restrictions on accounts yourself.

The bookmakers seem to be hiding behind this new responsible gambling legislation to find new excuses to ban players, and it is hard to stomach their promotion of healthy gambling controls when there are stories of customers losing thousands and being lured in by more free bets, when players who have won a few hundred quid are banned for life.

There are other ways to run bookmakers, as the Pinnacle model shows. You don’t have to restrict all the winners and there is enough to go around to at least give bettors a fighting chance.

In the meantime, if you’ve found an edge, maximise it as long as you can because you never know when you’re going to be shut down.

“But Trump is a ****”

Reporting from Bet Chat HQ, north London…

Before I start this email, I want to make one thing very clear…

This is NOT about right wing politics versus left wing politics. 

I have my own political leanings, as I’m sure you do, and I have no intention of foisting them upon anyone who doesn’t want to be foisted on.

This email is about the importance of listening to and engaging with opposing views to your own and that, in a nutshell, is why Trump is a ****.

It’s not about his policies (I don’t agree with a lot of them but that’s irrelevant). It’s about the fact that he instantly writes off any opposing views, or indeed facts, as ‘fake news’ and does so in an incredibly childish way.

Calling an election rigged, with absolutely zero evidence of rigging, is something that would rightly be derided as the actions of a crazed dictator if it took place in a middle eastern/African/east European country.

That’s what makes him dangerous on a number of different levels.

Why having your own views challenged is a good thing

Forgive me if I’m teaching granny to suck eggs here, but a couple of definitions before I go on:

Echo chamber: This is when you surround yourself – either in real life or in the digital world – with people who have exactly the same views as you.

Cognitive dissonance: This is when you are steadfast on a view irrespective of any evidence that contradicts that view.

The link between the two is simple… being in the first can very often result in cases of the second.

E.G. You’re a Republican supporter with only Republican friends, who listens to Republican skewed news and is in a bunch of Republican Facebook groups. Everybody you speak to says that the election was rigged. You can now be presented with heaps and heaps of incredibly sturdy evidence that it wasn’t rigged but it’s too late, your mind is made up. Nothing will change it now.

Now compare that with somebody who listens to both sides of an argument and judges it on its respective merits…

One group of people are saying it was rigged. Another are not. Let’s look at the evidence (NOT baseless speculation) and decide.

That’s exactly what the justice system is for and, by and large, it does a good job. But the reason it does a good job is because it was created by a society that, in the main, placed a bigger importance on justice than on speculation and witch hunts.

When that ceases to be the case and, for example, the courts start to be loaded with people with heavy biases, everything changes.

Do you see how problematic that is?

If you were wrongly charged of a serious crime, what sort of judge and jury would you want to face?

The bit where we apply it to betting

If you want to make a living from betting (or even just a nice little side income) you simply cannot afford to stand still and be closed minded in your thinking… 

Sport changes, betting changes, profitable strategies change.

Five or so years ago matched betting was all the rage and rightly so. I and many others made tens of thousands of pounds from it. For 2-3 years I could have easily survived on my income from that strategy alone.

Nowadays you can still eek out some cash from it and I would still recommend doing it if you can, but the rewards on offer are both significantly smaller and need more work to achieve. You’d certainly struggle to make a full time income from it.

Conversely, I never would have dreamed of placing a football accumulator for anything other than a bit of fun pre-Covid but now, as you’ll have read all about (if not, click here now) It’s making me a greater return on my money than any other strategy I currently use.

If you don’t keep an open mind then you don’t spot these opportunities – or indeed close down strategies that no longer work – until it’s too late.

Somebody suffering with a bad case of cognitive dissonance who thinks accas are a mug bet may, for example, turn their nose up at the evidence of my track record and dismiss it purely as luck…

Well, more fool them.

One final pointer

Before I go, I’ll leave you with one final piece of advice:

When you think you’ve come up with a bet, don’t look for reasons why it will win. Look for reasons why it WON’T.

In doing so you’ll end up with a much more balanced view of the team/horse/whatever’s chances. It won’t just be a case of ‘I’ll back this regardless of the odds’ but a case of ‘I’ll back this IF the odds are greater than X’.

Actively seeking out opposing views is the best way to see a more complete picture…

You may or may not change your initial view, but the crucial thing is that you make that decision based on evidence, and not a nonsensical internal bias.