How to become a successful online gambler

Don’t blame us if it goes wrong though


You’ve finally cracked. After constant weekends of being shouted at by the disembodied head of Ray Winstone in the half-time break, you’ve decided to give this betting thing a go.

After all, your fantasy football team always does really well, so why not try and earn some money from your near-infinite sporting knowledge? The only problem is knowing where to start.

Websites you’ll need

Bookmakers – The ones where you can place bets and (hopefully) win money. Notable examples include Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and bet365.

Betting exchanges – You can’t place lay bets at traditional bookmakers but can at exchanges. The most famous in the UK is Betfair.

Affiliate sites – These websites collect and offer exclusive free bets and bonuses which you’ll need to use if you’re serious about making some money. The best is

Types of bet


If you’re going to start risking all your student loan, it’s worth knowing the types of bet you’ll be offered.

Win/back bet – Put very simply, you bet on something happening and then you win if it happens.

Lay bet – You place money on something not happening and win if it doesn’t happen (e.g. England NOT to win against Italy).

Place – You win if your selection finishes first or within a predetermined position from the winner (e.g. first-third place).

Each way – Two bets in one, a combination of a win bet and a place bet. Consider it a way of backing up your bet so you still win even if your selection comes second rather than first.

Multiple/accumulator – You place a bet on multiple things happening, and all of them need to be successful for you to win.

Enhanced – Better odds than the general market rate, usually offered by bookies as a promotion.

Free – Free bets are normally given out by bookmakers to reward new customers. Usually they’re awarded after you’ve already placed an initial bet.

Matched – A system that uses a combination of back and lay bets to make money from free bets without any risk.

Top tips


This could be you

Charlton Bird, Man Met student, made £18,000 in one year: “I need to know stuff about every single player: injuries, statistics, manager changes, everything. My friends think it’s crazy. Some days obviously I’m not going to win a bet, somedays I’ve lost three or four thousand. And the next week I’ll win it back. You’re not going to win every bet it’s impossible.”

Craig O’Callaghan, Bristol graduate, experienced match better: “Match betting is essentially risk free, you just have to stay on top of things and have a good brain for sums. The lack of risk does make it a pretty joyless way to try and make some money though, don’t bother if you’re after the adrenaline rush that comes from a big win.”