You’ve all heard anecdotal tales of wins from excited punters who gleefully inform of their 100/1 accumulator coming in, without mentioning the two hundred losing ones that came first. Some might hit two winning accas in quick succession and be convinced of their natural luck, genuinely believing their gut feelings to be more significant than the bookies’ hard mathematical edge. An otherwise successful person with the common sense to stake small and with a salary easily high enough to hide steady losses from their own conscious scrutiny will continue believing their own bollocks for as long as their bills are paid and their partner remains unsuspicious about missing earnings. Problems do arise though, for those both deluded enough to think they have some divine wisdom despite a lack of hard mathematical data, and without the safety net of high earnings to withstand their inevitable losing runs.

So how do you make a living from betting? Many of you will already be familiar with matched betting (Check out Profit Squad if you are new to this) and exploiting casino bonuses. This absolutely works. I have personally made over 20k in two years spending ten to twenty hours a week doing this from home. But what of trying to beat the bookie at their own game – without any free bets, spins or bonus cash?

The only sure way to achieve this is with a betting system. Imagine, instead of a hunch about your favourite team winning (they won’t), you had a specific plan in which a set of rules determined who you bet on. But what if the rules were no good? How can you learn without losing a lot of money if it turned out that your rules produced more losers than winners?

This is where it gets clever. Let’s say for example, that you had an idea about only betting on the ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ market, and only when both teams had scored two goals or more in their previous three games. You were sure that this was a great idea, but you only earned £200 a week and it could be costly finding out.

Now you have two options. Research your bets every week before the weekend’s fixtures to find suitable bets. The temptation is to put your money down. Don’t. Instead, record the match you intend to bet on, and the best available odds you can find on the web. These will normally be on an exchange like Betfair, but after factoring in commission you may find a regular bookie occasionally offers a better deal. Record other important info such as the number of goals scored by each team in recent games, home and away, or how many goals the two teams have scored against each other in recent seasons. Gather data like this without staking any real money for as many matches as possible. Set your stake to a constant unit. Start with £10 to keep the maths easy. Don’t expect to be placing any real money bets anytime soon. Gathering enough data for your results to have statistical significance is essential if you want to be sure of your system before you start throwing money at it. Once you have a thousand or more bets recorded (yes, that many), you can look back at what you would have won had you stuck rigidly to your system.

If you look back over a thousand bets (this is a random number – the size of a statistically significant data set varies according to the average odds) and find a significant profit, then there is a very good chance you are onto a winner. It is safe to assume that the laws of maths won’t suspend in order to ensure the continuation of your bad luck, no matter how unlucky you perceive yourself to be. So, in this case, start betting, but with small stakes to double check you are onto a winner, only raising them as become more confident with your system. Remember that even with a winning system you could suffer a long losing run, so stake accordingly. If you only have £500, don’t start with £100 stakes, as you could wipe out your bank. Again, a suitable stake size depends on the odds and the length of the expected worst case scenario likely losing streak, but as a general guide, 3% of your betting bank – money which is NOT earmarked for rent, your children’s uniforms or a romantic holiday – is a good starting point.

If your system proves to be a dud, you might resent the whole time consuming process, and give up the dream of an easy earning stream at the first hurdle. Don’t. By now you have a lot of data. Just because that data showed your system not to work, there are any number of alternative ways you could analyse it. How about if you now look instead at what would have happened if you had backed ‘Over 1.5 Goals’ instead? Or look at how likely a home win is based on the head to results between the two teams over recent seasons.

Bookie bonuses are a great way to build your bank, as any member of Profit Squad knows all too well, but to really take the roof off your profits, betting systems are the way forward, for the simple reason that if you discover one that can be proven to generate an approximate percentage profit on your investments, then the only limit on your profits is what you can afford to stake.

Want to build your betting bank using bookie and casino bonus cash instead of your own? Sign up for a free trial of Profit Squad – The Team That Always Wins.