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13/03/2003 No.24
he Good Gambler
The Editor or one of our professional correspondants make regular contributions to coverage of the gambling world.
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Don't put all your eggs in one basket

It may seem silly but many punters suffer for the simple reason that all their eggs are indeed in one basket.

I have noticed through betting with the new breed of betting exchanges (person to person betting) that people bet at very strange odds sometimes. Strange in that clearly better odds were available else where. So why did they do it?

The reason is simple and has a lot to do with the desperately poor deal the British public gets when it come to banking controls and flexibility. The fact that, taking money out of an internet account takes 3 days to reach to the bank account, is a strong persuasion to leave it where it is. This being the case many punters with the erge to bet will be forced to take odds which are no where near the best around.

The best advice here is to be aware of just how much money you will bet at any one site and immediately withdraw the remainder as soon as is possible. It is a little time consuming but its hard enough already finding a value bet. You will have lengthy bank statements but you will always be keeping the maximum available in the base account.

This also applies to other sorts of internet gambling such as casinos and poker. Here there are often fluctuating offers and even downright terrible rakes, but people are inclined to stay put and not do any research checking them out.

This brings us to the new concept which Rank say that they are going to go ahead with after recently purchasing Blue Square internet bookmaker for £65 million pounds. It plans to offer casino gaming, bingo and sports betting under one roof once the government passes its long-awaited deregulation of the gambling industry.

Plans to build Blue Square betting shops next to existing sites were being considered while newer sites were being built to a 40,000 sq ft in preparation for conversion to a gambler's one-stop shop. The company, which lost out in the auction of bookmaker Coral last summer, also hopes to build the troubled Hard Rock Café into this model. Mr Smith said larger casinos would cost £4m to convert into one-stop shops following legislation expected in 2005.

This of course will be tempting for the casual punter but basically it is a model that will force the punter to take what they are given. It is essentially a real world version of the all-in one gambling sites (casino, bookmaker, poker) that Ladbrokes, William Hill and Victor Chandler have. These sites also hope that your money is stuck so that you just keep betting with them.

Another very easy piece of advice to follow is ignore all the new casino games that have come into the UK. Sic Bo and the Big Wheel in particular are disgraceful coffins for your hard earned cash. They constitue legalised theft in my book and must be avoided. To know about Jackpot Poker look at the last issue of this column.

Another wonderful change which has come to pass in the wisdom of the Gaming Board of Great Britain is hitting soft 17 in the casino game of Blackjack. Avoid if you can. Although this makes you worse of by only another 0.2% this takes the basic house edge against you to over 1% with perfect basic strategy. Normal people play at about minus 3%.

And finally if you are going to pick a sport to try and beat the bookmakers or bet exchanges at, then make it football. Why? Because you can bet a lot of money, you will see the smallest margin between backing and laying and prices are warped by home supporters. HAPPY HUNTING.