Remember: avoid making bets for unfair prices and under unfair conditions

1. The professionals

Off-line bookmakers, whether state owned or privately held, operate   their own outlets, franchise programs and telephone services, all of which require the employment of staffand/or agents. The costs incurred by the availability and provision of such services must be covered and recovered in order for the bookmaker to break even and make profits in order to stay in business. These services are in demand and are used, consequently, mostly by people who are not internet addicts, who are usually on the move, and place their bets either via their mobile phone or dropping in at their neighbourhood or another bookmaker to have a chat and socialize in general.

As every bettor has the right to expect their bookmaker to be able to pay out any winnings, the only way for a bookmaker to stay in business for a long time is to make sure they never go busted which means that they need to collect more stakes than the amount they pay to the winners.
As you see, bookmakers are driven by the pursuit of 

2. The amateurs

Interestingly, most of the bettors play for a kind of recognition such as winning on a parlay of 5 bets or so. No doubt we have all felt the feeling of pride on guessing properly the outcome of several combined matches. Our friends are nice people because they listen to us and never question about the overall profitability of our betting venture. Winning 20 pounds on a parlay of 7 bets is worth losing 100 pounds on the other bets. To put it bluntly, most of the amateurs play for fun and lose money.

3. What some professional bookmakers say to their clients, actually customers, (without whom they could not stay in business)

 The professionals say to the amateurs that betting should be pursued for fun. Some bookmakers will limit the amount a player can win and, in the extreme case, they may even ask a winner to stop betting against that bookmaker.

 This is absolutely unfair when you come to think of the balance, if any, of powers held by giant corporations equipped with all the tools to use the latest information about the forms of the contesting teams and the arsenal of statistical programs, as compared to the lonely punter who may put at risk his or her last spare funds,. (Sorry, this site is not dealing with problem gamblers. If you think you have a problem in this field, enter gamcare in the google seach engine).

4. What can the small guy do to win?

 Whatever has been said or written in the foregoing, it should not have shaken your belief that individuals, when equipped with the proper tools and given the right information, stand equal or even better chances than the sportsbooks do.

  • The small guy will bet when he wants to and won't bet when he does not feel like betting. He will bet on an event of his choice. Licensed bookmakers must make an offer on all major events covered by their licence. It is impossible for a bookmaker, however smart, to assess the real probabilities of each event and form their odds on offer accordingly. Most of the odds offered by bookmakers is based on what other bookmakers offer. Should the small guy be better informed about a special event than the bookmakers, he can turn such information to his advantage.

  • What a small guy is not allowed to do in casinos, he can do with ease in betting. He may double the stakes at proper odds even at one bookmaker but he can also combine stake management among several bookmakers.

  • Bookmakers cannot offer different odds to different customers while bettors can compare the odds offered by various bookmakers and then select the best value for their money. They can substantially reduce their risk or even find loopholes that is they can take guaranteed profits.

 5. Major (odds betting and spreadbetting) bookmaker sites

 Many bookmakers operate through offices, over the telephone, even the mobile phone, e-mails, sms. We do not cover these aspects of betting at all. We focus on betting on the Internet, through the websites operated by premium bookmakers. Such but not all bookmakers have been considered for inclusion in this list as accept international bettors. The information provided below is indicative only and you should use your own judgement whether to include any of these bookmakers in your betting portfolio. Bookmakers are listed in an alphabetical order and the associated descriptions are quoted from their informative materials. One of the ways to form an unbiased view on their  performance is to look up the current BBOI and the bonuses and promotions sections.