Pro Gambler Favourite Bets


There is one thing all pro gamblers have in common: they want to win money from bookmakers. However, from there many have conflicting ideas of what makes a good bet. See what these three yesteryear to modern-day professional gamblers had to say on this fascinating subject. What bet made them tick? Learn the secrets from the likes of Jack Ramsden, Alex Bird & Harry Findlay.    


MULTIPLE BETS
Jack Ramsden quit his job as a stockbroker in 1980 and made a name for himself as professional punter. His successful punting like so many other professionals was based around speed figures and race times.

Ramsden's advice on each way bets is to ditch them. He states: I analysed my betting a couple of years ago and found that if I had doubled my win stakes instead of having each way bets, I would have been much better off. I think all punters would benefit by cutting out all each-way bets and sticking to singles.

He was unusual in that he used his own bookmaker, Colin Webster. There relationship was indeed unique, Colin paid Ramsden £5,000 a year for his advice and also had the job of getting his bets on with other bookmakers. Another unusual trait of Jack Ramsden wass his liking for the multiple bet. His reasoning was that they are an extension of his policy to go for large prices and he reckoned that on 4 occasions he won over £200,000 on multiple bets.

PHOTOGRAPGH
Alex Bird was the original professional gambler who made a fortune after the war at Britain's racecourses. He learned his trade working for his father who was a bookmaker but soon decided that it would be more profitable to be on the other side. He had many different ways of beating the bookmaker, but probably his most famous was his success on betting on the result of photo finishes. Unlike today photo finishes would take about 5 minutes to develop so there was always an active betting market on the outcome. Bird very early on noticed that when horses crossed the line together an optical illusion meant that the horse on the far side invariably looked like he had won. He also discovered a simple technique which meant the illusion didn't occur. He stood at an elevated vantage point as near to the winning post as possible, he would keep very still, close his left eye and create an imaginary line across the track at the finishing line. He used this simple system for the next 20 years to make himself a fortune. With a reported 500 consecutive successful bets.

Another favoured method he used to make money was to use his influence in the ring to create a false favourite. He often placed huge bets often as much as £50K at a time however he couldn't get these sort of bets laid in the betting ring so he would employ an army of helpers around the country placing bets in off-course bookmakers. If Bird fancied a horse but felt the odds were to short he would place a bet of up to £10K on another horse in the race. He would then ensure that it was "leaked" that he had placed the bet. Prices would then dramatically alter as the "mug" money poured onto his horse. This meant that the price of the horse that he wanted to back heavily and clandestinely off the course would drift out in the market. His army of helpers would then back the horse off course all over the country.

These are Alex Birds Golden Betting Rules:

1. Never bet when there is a change in the going. There is nothing to upset form quite as much as a change in the going.

2. Be aware of the overrounds being offered by bookmakers and don't bet when they are unfair. At some smaller meetings bookmakers will sometimes create a book 40% or 50% in their favour.

3. Be an Each-Way thief. Do this by finding races with 8-10 runners which are not handicaps, and where there are only a few form horses in the race. Then oppose the favourite and combine the second and third favourites in each-way combination bets.

4. Look for up and coming apprentices. A good apprentice with a 7lb claim can be worth his weight in gold!

5. Never bet on the first show, you will find that the majority of runners increase in price. Taking second show prices will increase your winnings by 10% over a season.

6. Never bet in handicaps.

7. Never bet in 3year old maidens, particularly those only for fillies.



Harry Findlay, a flamboyant and highly successful gambler, gives the impression that he can hardly believe his luck in owning a horse as good as Denman, arguably one of the most talented novice chaser in its time. He said: "Denman had got that sort of thing about him, people either want to take him on or they like him, and that's the sort of person I am. There was no middle, grey area with Denman, there's no grey area with me. That's my type of character."

On gambling

"If you look up gambling in the dictionary, it doesn't say 'this means a sure way to make a steady profit over a period of time', it says 'gambling: a form of interest that can either ruin you or make you a fortune', and that's the way it is."

On Horse Race Betting he said: "There's no difference between getting 1-2 about a 1-4 chance and getting 4-1 about a 2-1 chance. People who say 'I won't bet odds-on', they're just idiots. When you want to bet an odds-on shot, you can get on - when you want to bet a big-priced one, you can't."

On why you shouldn't hedge

"When you pick a 20-1 shot to win the Grand National, don't have £200 at 20's and then go and lay £600 at 5-2 and, when it wins, get £2,500. If you believe that 20-1 shot, have £200 at 20's and then go and have another £300 at 14's and then £400 at 10's and then, when it goes off 5-2 or 11-4, don't hedge if you still fancy it."




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