Everything in life is a gamble.
Odds of winning the lottery – 1 : 13,983,816
Odds Of Being Killed : A Car Crash – 1 : 5,000.
Odds Of Being Killed By Poisoning – 1 : 86,000.
Odds Of Being Killed By A Dog – 1 : 700,000.
Odds Of Being Killed By Lightning – 1 : 2,000,000.
Odds Of Being Killed By Falling Out Of Bed – 1 : 2,000,000.
Odds Of Being Killed : A Plane Crash -1 : 25,000,000.
As you can see from the above statistics, you are much more likely to be killed by something than win the national lottery.
So if getting out of bed in the morning (assuming you don’t fall out !) involves enough risks, then perhaps you should choose something with better odds when placing a bet!
However, with the lotto, in the words of their old slogan “It could be you”. Winning is mainly down to luck.
These days there are bets available for an astonishing range of events, and if you want to be successful at gambling, choose something where you can use a degree of knowledge and calculation to minimise your chances of losing.
One of the simplest bets is the 50:50, where the outcome can only end in one of two results, such as the toss of a coin, i.e. heads or tails – the odds of winning here are 1:1
From there on it gets ever more complicated…
In Racing, How do you predict the winner in an 8 horse race?
There will always be strong horses and weaker horses, horses who perform well on the day, jockeys who make mistakes, etc etc.. You basically have a 1 in 8 chances of predicting the winner but studying the field and looking at past performance will increase your chances.
This is where your risk v reward tolerance also comes in to play. The bookmakers will not simply offer all the horses at 8:1, they too will have studied the field and will offer odds accordingly. The horse they feel most likely to win will have much shorter odds than the one they feel is the rank outsider. You could take the risk and take a punt on the 100:1 shot but your chances of winning will be much less than the 5:4 favorites, however, the reward if it does win will be much greater!
Basic sports betting is similar, traditionally you could place a bet on whether a team or individual will win, draw or lose.
With the increase in internet based gambling there has been a huge increase in the types of betting and things on which to bet.
Events such as political elections, TV shows such as Big Brother and even the weather are very popular.
You don’t even have to predict the winner. Spread bets give you the chance to bet on a plethora of things such as the time of first goal.
Financial spread betting can be very lucrative, with large returns to be made if you successfully predict whether, say, a market goes up or down. There is also an increased risk if you get it wrong and you can end up owing more than your original stake if you are not careful. (See our section on Financial spread betting to find out more)
Betting Exchanges are increasingly popular, where bookmaker is sidelined and people find betting partners to bet against.
Online casinos and online poker have increased in popularity over the past few years.
Some casino games such as roulette have fixed odds, i.e. 1:1 for all red numbers up to 35:1 for individual numbers.
Others such as blackjack and poker require a lot more skill and tactics.
Gambling can be a lot of fun and you can make some good money at it if you follow a few basic guidelines.
The golden rule is:
DO NOT SPEND MORE THAN YOU CAN AFFORD.
Whichever gambling discipline you decide to have a go at, make sure you are prepared and go in with your eyes open. Read up on the subject in the sections on this site and then do a few dry runs by placing some dummy bets (i.e. without using cash) to see how you get on. Then when you are satisfied that you have gained enough knowledge and are fully aware of the risks and dangers – Go out there and enjoy yourself.