Below is my story and how I went from an absolute sports betting beginner to making a full-time income from the betting exchanges.
Placing my first ever bet
It all started back in 2002 with me placing my first bet at the local offline bookmakers. For some reason I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I was always fascinated with the idea of sports betting and how somebody would pay me money, only for the simple fact that I would predict the correct outcome of a sporting event (mostly football back then). I went with two friends that had been regular bettors for a while. When I say regular bettor I mean they had been betting for some time and knew their way around a local bookmakers shop (they weren’t expert by any stretch of the imagination). I remember that I walked in and soon realized that I really didn’t know anything about betting. I had no idea about odds or anything related to betting. I just knew I watched football on a semi-regular basis and thought I’d put my knowledge to good use and make some easy money. Well, in about the first 5 minutes I got a fast crash course on sports betting from my friends. In the end I just placed the same slip one of my friends had placed. Needless to say I lost.
Discovering online betting
After that first encounter with the bookmakers I started to place bets more and more often with varying degrees of success. Over the course of following year I continued betting with the local bookmakers and having to face the now ridiculous restrictions that local bookmakers had. Some of them included the 3 sporting events minimum on your betting slip, with one requiring odds of evens or higher, limited maximum winnings, time restrictive betting. All these factors led me to discover online betting. At the online bookmakers I could bet on only one sporting event at a time, and that alone changed my entire perspective on sports betting. Not to mention other incredible features like higher odds, more betting options and live betting. I was now online and from here to the betting exchanges there was only a small step.
Discovering Betfair and the betting exchanges
The first thing that attracted me at Betfair was their free bet offer. When I first heard of Betfair I didn’t really know it was a betting exchange, in fact I didn’t even know what a betting exchange was. At the time I was searching constantly the internet for betting information, statistics and picks. On one site I did run into a guy that was posting daily on the forums how he would win on betfair each month and how you can make a profit on a sporting event no matter what the final outcome was. I did find that to be very interesting and really useful information was provided along with print screens details, but for some reason I found everything to be complicated and didn’t give it any much further though. I was only about 2 years later that I understood and realized the earning potential that the betting exchanges offered. The first thing that I didn’t understand about the betting exchanges at first was the “lay” side and how you could pick a “loser” rather than a winner. I think this is one of the major struggles that former fixed odds sports punters have when coming in contact with the betting exchanges. After understanding how the concept of backing and laying works, there is only a small step to becoming a sports trader. My first genuine trade on betfair was on the football under/over 2.5 goals markets. That was a real eye opener and got me really excited about making money on the betting exchanges.