Online betting’s a lot of fun, but making a profit is challenging rather than easy. However, follow the tips below, and your chances of finishing in profit will get a whole lot better.
No Deposit Promotions
Getting something for nothing sounds too good to be true, particularly when it comes to online betting, which has an inherent business model of a house edge. However, because the sports and casino betting world is so competitive, an array of promotions have grown up over time as sites battle to attract and retain players. And this is very much to the advantage of players after a sure-fire way to win (or, at least, not lose).
The best form of promotion when it comes to turning a profit is of the no deposit variety. These come in various types, with free spins (often on a specified slot) being the most common by far. Free spins might be found as a solo welcome promo, bundled together with a match deposit deal as part of an introductory bonus, or as a recurring bonus to reward existing players weekly. (Note that match deposit deals can require a certain banking method, such as cryptocurrency or an e-wallet). Another type of no deposit bonus is free cash, which is more versatile and can be used for almost any game in a casino. The best part of no deposit promos is that you can win real cash with them (subject to withdrawal caps and after meeting the wagering requirement), but if you ‘lose’, then you don’t lose any cash because, by their very nature, no deposit is needed. And there’s nothing to stop you signing up, using the said bonus, and then withdrawing your winnings.
When playing for real money it’s wise to consider only sites that are top-rated and tested by real casino players. These best-recommended casinos not only offer great promotions, including no deposit bonuses, they’re also trustworthy and have a wide range of top games from various software developers. One risk to avoid when hunting for profits is to sign up with a site that isn’t to be trusted.
Focus on RTP/the House Edge
The best way to use slots or table games to finish in the black is to take a mathematical approach and opt for the slots with the best RTP (return to player) or the table game with the lowest house edge (typically, this will be blackjack). However, you want to turn a profit, so coupling this approach with a match deposit bonus (usually doubling your bankroll but sometimes tripling or even quadrupling it) can be a smart tactic.
Be aware that the highly competitive house edge with blackjack is dependent on the player making the right decisions. Sometimes this is obvious (standing on 20 doesn’t take a genius), but if you’re on 14 and the dealer has a face card of 5, what should you do? Learning the strategy can take a few days, but once you know it and can make the right calls, then only the merest stroke of luck is needed to turn a profit. Better yet, if you’ve taken advantage of a match deposit deal, then you only need to have average luck, and you’ll finish in the black (because only half, a third, or a quarter of your bankroll has ‘cost’ you anything, the rest has been funded by the casino). Be aware that any such promotion will have both a wagering requirement (total sum wagered) and withdrawal cap.
When it comes to slots, decision-making is far less important, and it’s more down to chance, but some games can have very high RTPs. These will vary from one casino to another (some sites have very helpful RTP lists). Thunderkick’s popular 1429 Uncharted Seas has an RTP of 98.5%, while Blood Suckers by NetEnt has a 98% RTP.
Keep Bang up to Date
Sports betting also has some ways of making profits. These are less commonplace than the casino methods but have the upside of coming with near-guaranteed success, which is always nice. Social media can be something of a dumpster, but there is one way in which Twitter and the like can be excellent, and that’s breaking sports news. It’s well worth making a list of trusted journalists and news outlets regarding your preferred sport(s), or even those you’re not into but understand enough to bet on. This list will enable you to rapidly see if there’s a relevant piece of breaking news for sports betting. A leading contender for a race victory or a key footballer getting injured is prime examples. It can even apply to politics (which counts as a sport for betting purposes) when potential leadership candidates rule themselves in or out.
A traditional sportsbook or bookie will take probably between five and 15 minutes to react to news and either suspend a market or change the odds. This is enough time to back other horses when a leading contender is removed from the running or make comparable bets in other sports. Now, this represents good value, but it’s not a guarantee. The way to make the profit guaranteed is to then make a bet on the exact opposite side of the market at a betting exchange (assuming the odds line up appropriately, which they should). For example, Djokovic is 2.5 to win a tournament, and Nadal is 6. Djokovic can’t play for some reason, so you back Nadal at six before the odds change. When they do, Nadal falls to have a playable (betting against) value of 3 on a betting exchange, which you can put money on to ensure you finish ahead regardless of who wins the tournament.
You can also do a similar thing if you have free sports bets. Just remember to make the other side of the bet at a different site to the one offering the promo, or it will get voided.
Things to Avoid
It’s also critically important to consider things to avoid. Even the best strategy will occasionally fail, and sometimes even a foolish one will pay off (Lady Luck can be a fickle mistress). But foolish strategies will more often lead to losses, sometimes catastrophically large.
The biggest one to shun is the so-called Martingale Strategy. This is superficially appealing, but once you dig down into the numbers, it’s a ruinous approach. The system works like this: you place a bet in a roughly 50/50 situation (black or red in roulette, say). If it wins, fine. If you lose, then you double the stake. If you lose again, you double the stake again (so, quadruple your original stake). Sooner or later, you’re bound to win, right? Wrong. By that stage, bet three, you’re already risking four times on the individual bet and seven times your original stake in total, and that’s to finish up by a single stake (net) if the bet goes your way. Get to bet five, and you’re risking 31 times your original stake, in total, with a possible upside, again, of just one stake. If it comes off, you’re up a tiny amount. If it fails, you’re down way more.
But it’s worse even than that because sooner or later you will either run out of money to keep doubling, or smack into the upper limit, the ceiling on stakes. And then, even if you have the cash to double, you can’t because of the table limit. Martingale makes it likely you will have a small profit. But the flip side is that sooner or later, you will lose, and when you make that loss will be absolutely enormous. Some casinos prohibit this strategy explicitly, but whether that’s the case or not, you should avoid it like the plague.
In addition, players should not bet when intoxicated, whether with alcohol or something more exotic. Being excessively tired is also a good reason to save the betting for another day. In short, if your intellectual faculties are compromised, then leave the wagering for when you’re running on full power. Similarly, when angry or depressed, don’t bet. Try and relax, go cycling or running, or put on a comedy to help cheer yourself up.
Last but not least, don’t exceed your self-imposed bankroll limits. A good way to avoid this is by setting up restrictions in account management so you can’t wager or transfer more cash than you can afford. The single golden rule of betting is to never bet what you can’t afford to lose because even the smartest bet can fail.
Hopefully, these tips on maximizing your chances of finishing ahead betting online were of interest. But, as always, keep an eye on your bankroll and don’t get carried away.