It is already advisable to deal a little with the betting market. Namely, we should look at the following points:

How has it developed?

How do the prices and assessments come about?

How do I position myself in the market?

How do the prices develop?

When should one bet?

And, most helpfully, how do you arrive at your own assessments?

a) The traditional bookmakers

When I started 20 years ago (my first tournament was actually the European Championships in 1988. I only played without a computer programme at that time, i.e. only by instinct; however, I was successful: even then I won about 2000 DM), there were only the traditional bookmakers who offered prices, rates, odds, the words are synonymous, for victory – draw – defeat. Of course, one could also place long-term bets (Who will be European champion? Who will reach the semi-finals? etc.), there were also other types of special bets, such as result bets or half-time – final score bets.

With half-time – final score bets, you bet on how the score will be at half-time in terms of tendency and how it will be at the end, also in terms of tendency. So if you think that the first half will be rather tentative and calm, but the favourite will still win, you bet, for example, half-time X, end 1, favourite. The effect of this is that the odds are much higher than the normal winning odds. However, it is of course also more difficult to hit that, i.e. to win the bet. With result bets, you simply bet on 3:1 or any other exact result. Of course, the odds are then much higher. However, all these betting offers are rather for entertainment players who want to make a possibly high profit with a small stake, i.e. a small risk. For example, for 5 euros you have a little entertainment and the loss doesn’t hurt. On the betting market itself, these bets are actually of secondary importance. The main reason is this: If you as a provider, bookmaker, want to make these odds good, you would have to invest a lot of work. And that is not worthwhile, because only little turnover can be expected. So the bets are offered without much effort according to a scheme. The customer, the bettor, can then read his odds on the result from a ready-made sheet. But since the odds are not checked in each individual case, high amounts are never accepted. And there the circle closes. For professional gamblers, the betting offer is uninteresting, since one cannot make a large turnover on it anyway.

So the 1 – X – 2 market remains. Even back then, that was the market with the highest turnover. That is what is bet on the most, it also sounds the most interesting, in my opinion. Who will win the game? And not: how high does the team win? Or: when will they score the goals? You watch a game and only want one team to win, you don’t care about the result or how it happens. This is also in line with the rules of the game (let’s stay with football). The team wants to win, and so does the other team, but often the supposedly inferior team is also satisfied with a draw.

So, there were quite a few providers. Most of them were in England and Austria. You could place your bets by telephone or, in the early days, even in writing. There were bookmakers who accepted single bets, i.e. you only bet on the victory of one team and if you won you got the stake * of the odds as payout, others had the so-called “combination compulsion” at that time. Depending on the provider, you had to combine at least 3 or 4 games. The provider probably wanted to make sure that individual bettors could only pick one game in the event of manipulation and thus actually damage the provider. But there is also the consideration that even as a provider you can make an odds mistake or misjudge a game. The combination constraint makes it difficult to exploit this.

For me, the best bets were the system bets. There was a simple reason why so few of them were played: the bettors themselves didn’t understand them and couldn’t work out their winnings if they won. Unfortunately, I have to put it so harshly. I only gradually realised this over the course of a long time. I have to add a bit of mathematics to this now, but I’ll explain it using the example of my first system bet.

At the time of the 1990 World Cup, my programme was ready for use. At that time, I only had one provider, SSP overseas betting. There you had to combine at least 4 games. My computer showed me an advantage from the first day of the preliminary round on a total of 8 games. I had DM 100 at my disposal and wanted to use it. Well, I thought, that’s easy, two combos of 4 games at 50 DM each. Then I thought that it would be unfavourable if, for example, 3 of the two bets came in. I would have made a good bet but would have lost everything. So I thought I would make several combos out of it. For example, 10 combos of 4 in all possible variations. Also possible, but I was not satisfied with this solution. Because even then it could happen that I would probably have 5 games right but wouldn’t get any money back. Why should it not be possible to cover all possible combinations of 4 games? All 4 combinations of 8 games? How many combinations are there anyway?

I turned over the betting slip and actually found the betting offer there. It was possible to bet on all 4 combinations of 8 games. There were all the possibilities, even with a different number of games or a different number of selections, so of course you can also play “all 5 out of 8” or “all 6 out of 8”. Or “all 4 out of 7” or “all 4 out of 9”, or even “all 5 out of 13”.

Now, unfortunately, we finally have to resort to mathematics. How do you calculate how many combinations of 4 there are in 8 selected games? Well, the mathematical expression possibilities are like this: You call it 8 over 4. Or you say “find all four-element subsets of an eight-element set” or, don’t be frightened, it’s even the binomial coefficients. Even mathematicians, in order to preserve their special position or to build it up in the first place, like to make even more incomprehensible generalisations. He then says in general: “Find all k-element subsets of an n-element set. This is then also called “permutations” in the generic term.

Likewise, the numbers all appear in Pascal’s triangle.

Now I am well aware that the use of these terms are all and all only suitable for closing the book. But I would advise against it for the time being, since at least the structure and understanding of Pascal’s triangle is simple and yet fascinating.

1 | ||||||||||||||||||||

1 | 1 | |||||||||||||||||||

1 | 2 | 1 | ||||||||||||||||||

1 | 3 | 3 | 1 | |||||||||||||||||

1 | 4 | 6 | 4 | 1 | ||||||||||||||||

1 | 5 | 10 | 10 | 5 | 1 | |||||||||||||||

1 | 6 | 15 | 20 | 15 | 6 | 1 | ||||||||||||||

1 | 7 | 21 | 35 | 35 | 21 | 7 | 1 | |||||||||||||

1 | 8 | 28 | 56 | 70 | 56 | 28 | 8 | 1 | ||||||||||||

1 | 9 | 36 | 84 | 126 | 126 | 84 | 36 | 9 | 1 | |||||||||||

1 | 10 | 45 | 120 | 210 | 252 | 210 | 120 | 45 | 10 | 1 |

(here the structure of the Pascal’s triangle in the diagram)

The number in the middle below two other numbers in the line below is the sum of the two numbers. So if you are looking for the number of possibilities “all 4 out of 8” here, you have to go to line 9 (unfortunately the 9th and not the 8th since the 1st is actually the 0th) and then select the 5th element from the left (same reasoning).

This number 70 is simply the result of summation, as you can easily check: 1+1=2; 2+1=3; 3+3=6; 6+4=10; 10+10=20; 20+15=35; 35+35=70. The smaller summands are again the sum of the previous smaller ones, so: 4=3+1; 15=10+4+1; etc.).

So theoretically we could now create a Pascal’s triangle, a really big one, and pin it to the wall. Then we could read any number “k out of n” from it, as big as it is, our triangle.

Of course, there is also a calculation rule for this. It reads, formulated, like this: To calculate the number of 4-element subsets of an 8-element set, you have to form a quotient. The numerator of this quotient consists of a number beginning with 8 (n) and contains a product of 4 (k) numbers, each of which is one less than the predecessor: thus, written out: 8*7*6*5. The denominator, on the other hand, simply contains the factorial of 4 (k), i.e. 4*3*2*1. Thus, written out, we get the fraction: 8*7*6*5/4*3*2*1. By the way, this fraction is always and reliably reduced. The 4*2 from the denominator are reduced by the 8 in the numerator and the remaining 3 in the denominator makes a 2 out of the 6 in the numerator, so that the following number remains: 7*2*5 = 70.

But this is anything but witchcraft.

Good, so we can determine the number of combinations. In my case, the result was that I had all 4 out of 8 á 1 DM = 70 DM stake. All combinations were covered, I got 3 right. There was no need for any further calculations. But in the event that you then got 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 right, a small problem then arises: How do you calculate the winnings? Well, the mathematician likes to say that he can calculate it “on foot”. That is, to write down all the combinations that result in a payout and then multiply them out, finally forming the sum of all these individual results. Calculating the number of correct combinations is actually not difficult, as it follows the same calculation rule as above. With 6 correct out of 8 games and a bet of 4 out of 8, we naturally have 6 over 4 or 6*5*4*3/4*3*2 = 3*5 = 15 combinations correct. But finding all of them and multiplying them correctly, including adding them up, has the potential for error. I made it easy for myself and wrote a small programme that reliably calculates the winnings.

The betting system I have used for many years with conventional bookmakers is system betting. You pick the interesting games and make a system bet with these games. I have sometimes combined up to 3 out of 14 as a system bet. However, the bookmakers often do not take a higher number of games (software problems?).

Well, what scares off normal bettors is the problem of not being able to calculate the winnings themselves and immediately, of having to rely on the bookmaker and his calculation skills. And that puts many people off.

As I said, those were the old days of the classic bookmakers, who, however, still have a (minor) significance. This is true for small players. Of course, I would always recommend system betting to everyone there. You can check the quality of your bets in the very long term. The dependence on the randomness of a single hit, where you get 10 games right one time and then nothing at all for months on end, then falls away. Of course, in principle, you always get a few games right and get some kind of payout. It is also much more pleasant for the excitement of betting. If you play a full combination where you only win if all the games are right, the tension is immediately gone if one game is wrong. Of course, the problem arises especially when you bet across leagues (and thus vary kick-off times). But even if you only bet the Bundesliga on Saturday afternoon, the problem of disinterest, i.e. “lack of excitement” would occur when a match has a hopeless score. This would therefore apply above all if, for example, you watch the Premiere conference, which has of course become a standard for very many football fans in recent years.

However, a lot of movement has come into the market in recent years. This is primarily the Asian betting market, but the betting exchanges also have their share. In the following I would like to explain these two markets.

a) The Asian betting market

What any of the traditional bookmakers notice week after week is clearly an inclination of ordinary punters towards the favourite events. The normal gambler’s thinking goes like this: who will win the match? And if there is a clear favourite, the “normal” gambler usually decides to play that team. The pure thought is certainly understandable, but unfortunately no less naïve. After all, the odds reflect as accurately as possible the level of the favourite position. So a high probability of occurrence is expressed by a low odds. Nevertheless, it is a reflex to say, especially in the case of clear favourites, “they will definitely win”, “they will win anyway” or the like.

So what does the bookmaker find? He is in favour of every clear underdog. The number of underdog wins thus roughly determines how well a matchday has gone from the bookmaker’s point of view. This state of affairs may be everyday life, but it is anything but desirable. Because: The provider is at risk. If all or almost all favourites win on a given day, it can cost a lot of money. Contrary to the conventional opinion that the bookmaker “wins anyway”, he is constantly at risk. There is only one price that has to be right, and that is the favourite price. The courses on the underdogs may be high and sound tempting, you hear that again and again, but they are not played.

So how can one motivate the gambler to bet an outsider as well? Is it even possible to actually distribute the bets evenly, so that you as a provider are not at risk?

Finding the idea for this and implementing it has actually succeeded in the Asian market. This market has now taken over almost all big bettors. You only play there, that’s clear. You can bet very high amounts and get your money guaranteed, there is no doubt about that. Because: these providers have actually managed to step out of the risk. You can balance the stakes and usually have a guaranteed profit even before kick-off. This, of course, also guarantees the payout.

So what is the revolutionary idea? In principle, it works in such a way that the difference between favourite and underdog is eliminated by a handicap. Since the nature of this handicap is indeed special, I call it the Asian handicap. The handicap is a target. It is exactly like the handicap known from golf. Even without ever having had a golf club in my hand, I would have an even match against Tiger Woods with the corresponding handicap. If this handicap is 255 strokes per round, then the match would be balanced, so to speak, and there would be no favourite.

It’s the same with football. But you will realise relatively quickly that the differences in a football match are often much smaller than a whole goal. So with the Asian handicap, you are actually talking about half goals or even quarter goals. So an even game from home is naturally handicapped 0. There is no favourite. You can play one side or the other, and if it’s a draw you get your money back. That’s how it really works. This may sound boring at first ( “…did I win or lose?”. “No, a draw, like the game”. ). In the long run, of course, it is not. The quarter-goal increments are necessary to do justice to the balance of the whole game. It’s just that you have to do the appropriate accounting formality afterwards.

So, in the Asian handicap, instead of the usual “won” or “lost” settlements, there are a total of 5 settlement steps. These are called as follows: Full loss – half loss – par – half win – full win. And the handicap in this game decides how it is to be settled. So if the handicap is 0, 0.5 or 1, there is never half a loss or half a win. With a handicap of 0.25, i.e. the famous quarter goal, you can either half win or half lose, depending on which side you had. So if you play (bet) a favourite to pick up a quarter goal, then there is the special case of “half a loss”. Because if the game ends in a draw, you haven’t lost everything, the handicap of that quarter goal made sure of that. You lose half the stake. However, if you had played the underdog in the same game and the game ended in a draw, you would also only have half the winnings. The team didn’t lose, but they didn’t win either. And their disadvantage in that game was only that quarter goal. They have saved this “lead”; in other words: half a win. If the team wins, there is of course still a full profit.

So practically only single bets are placed on the Asian market. And one bets on the Asian handicap. The handicap ensures that the underdog and the favourite achieve roughly the same payout ratio or win rate. The handicap evens out the difference in playing strength, every game is an even match. Favourites and underdogs are accordingly played or bet equally. The goal handicap is set high enough to even out the difference in playing strength. The nuance is then still provided by minimal shifts in the odds.

The ideal case would be that the provider achieves through the handicap, i.e. the goal allowance, that every game is exactly balanced and accordingly the prices, minus the profit for the organiser, which the latter must of course retain for himself, pay odds on both sides of 1.95. And the ideal case would, of course, include both sides actually being bet on equally. Then the profit could be calculated exactly before kick-off and the provider would be “off the hook”.

Of course, here too reality does not behave according to a desirable ideal. There are “teamnews” to which some (would-be) professionals simply react and place their bets. An important player is missing, I am playing against this team (did I say “I”?). There are “popular” and less popular teams, there are statistics, recommendations, odds comparisons on the internet and lots more. Apart from that, even then, quarter goals do not “get a grip” on football. Why should this make it possible to keep the games exactly even? In basketball, perhaps, where there are hundreds of baskets, in handball, ok, but in football, where 1:0, 1:1 or 2:1 are the standard results?

In a nutshell, the games are balanced by the handicap if possible. But it is impossible. So the odds, which are then still within 2.0, control the rest. So if it is not possible to make a pairing balanced by the handicap, because the difference is objectively (or also according to current estimation) e.g. an eighth goal, then there can be odds of, for example, 1.80 and on the other side 2.13. Or then 1.75 and 2.20. But if it then shifts even further, possibly also through betting on one side, then the handicap is changed as a result.

In this way, the organiser achieves what a bookmaker actually wants to express with his job title: making the book means, in the classical sense, creating the odds in such a way that the bets are, in principle, distributed according to the probabilities of occurrence. So if you look at the totalisator principle again, the bookmaker tries to “anticipate” the distribution of the bets. The odds that come out of the totalisator principle are what the bookmaker is trying to guess. Only it simply does not succeed. An average bettor, I know this from my own experience and observation, bets the favourite. But not stubbornly and every favourite. There is definitely differentiation. But the differentiation looks like this: “I’ll play the favourite. I don’t play the favourite, the odds are too small for me.” But that doesn’t mean that he then plays the underdog, that’s what happens! He skips the game, quite simply. The odds are too small, I won’t play. That’s why I emphasise once again that the principle of the Asian handicap was simply ingenious. And the organisers there really earn a lot of money, too.

Friends of mine have visited some of these organisers and also visited them themselves. The realisation was this: Some of these gentlemen don’t even know what shape the ball is. But they don’t need to know either. The business principle is simply ingenious. And you really don’t have to know anything about football.

The principle even has an enormous advantage: almost all leagues are offered. Women’s football as well as lower-ranking leagues, even youth games, South American football, all leagues, Eastern European and it’s getting more and more. Because the risk is very low. That leads on to course movements:

b) Moving prices, price movements

The principle works like this: Any football match (I’ll stick to football, other sports have been included in the meantime) is included in the betting offer. There is some opening price, which does not even have to be particularly good or accurate. Then every user who is online can bet on it. The amount of the bet, however, is smaller or higher, depending on the importance of the game. So for insignificant games, there are simply very low limits. In this case, the price is corrected immediately after even a single bet is received. And this is done in the direction that the price on the side not played increases, slightly. If further bets are received on the same side, the price is corrected further. If bets then come in on the other side, the price is corrected back, the price becomes more stable. So the provider himself is not interested in the probability of occurrence at all. He “balances his book”. Ideally, he does not care which side wins at kick-off, just like in horse betting or Toto. The limits can also be gradually increased so that even very high bets can be placed. Ingeniously simple – simply ingenious. And that really applies here…

c) The betting exchanges

Another, modern form of betting takes place via the so-called betting exchanges. Here, the provider only acts as an intermediary for the bets. This means that any private person who has an account there can place a bet. The organiser provides the software with which the bets can be exchanged. In other words, the formulation of the bet is predetermined in a certain way. The event on which bets can be placed is made available in this way. The organiser has an interest in being as diverse as possible in the formulation of the offers. In principle, any type of bet that promises revenue is made available. The customers themselves must then agree on the bets by supply and demand. The organiser cleverly retains a percentage. However, only the winner of the bet has to pay this percentage. Then an excellent system is installed, which grants discounts to the frequent or big players. So if you make a lot of turnover there, you pay a lower percentage in taxes.

In concrete terms, betting there looks like this: Let’s stay with football. Of course, every important game is offered there, and the trend is increasing here as well. The number of leagues offered is growing. Now, just as naturally, the conventional 1 – X – 2 is made available, so you can bet on it. So if you register now, at betfair for example, betfair is the largest betting exchange, open an account and now want to bet on a Bundesliga match, let’s say Borussia Dortmund – VfB Stuttgart. Let’s say you want to play early in the week, already on Monday. And you want to play Borussia Dortmund to win. Then click on the corresponding market. Football – Bundesliga – Match Dortmund – Stuttgart, 1 – X – 2. Then you will find the option to click on “back” or on “lay”. “Back” means you want to support the side, i.e. bet. “Lay” means you want to offer the page, pay a rate. Now it is still early in the week. The market hasn’t formed yet, but odds are starting to come in. Let’s say you had, before, during or after studying the book, already determined your probability of occurrence for Sieg Dortmund. This is 45%. The fair odds are the inverse of 2.22. That is your assumption.

You find a rate of 2.28 at which you could click “back”. On the other hand, you find a 2.32 that you could click “lay” on. These are courses that other participants in this game have already entered before you. Now, you don’t want to play this 2.28. Because when you subtract the tax, you are left with something less than the fair rate (bill!). So you enter your desired rate, with an associated amount. For example, you want to get 2.35. Then you enter this rate and, for example, 100 euros as the stake. At the same moment, your bet appears as an offer on the “lay” page. If a later participant also clicks in, he will see your offer. However, he can get the “lay” even cheaper because someone before you was already willing to play for just 2.32. But if this bet is sold, i.e. the person is willing to pay this 2.32 on a Dortmund win and “buys the bet”,

(screenshot?)

then your offer may be in first place. The next person who wants to pay a rate on Dortmund will only find your rate offer. And either he accepts it, or he asks again for a cheaper rate, just like you did before.

So the market forms here in exactly the same way as on the Asian betting market. Only there are slightly different, but actually more obvious criteria for it: there is a concrete person who is willing to play a team for a certain rate, otherwise there would be no offer. And on the other side, there is a person who is willing to pay this rate. That’s how the bet is arranged. So if you ultimately want to play Dortmund in any case, you can also enter 2.25 as the rate, for example even with 1000 euros. 2.25 in the “back” column. What happens now? You immediately receive all bets from all players who were willing to pay even a higher rate. So you get the 2.28 that was there in full, as long as the amount is less than 1000 euros. If there was an offer of 2.27 before that, you will also get it, as long as the total of both amounts does not exceed 1000 euros. Then there might also be someone who was willing to pay 2.26. You will also get this if it is still under 1000 euros. You will still get that too, if the total is still less than 1000 euros. But let’s assume you now have a total of only 500 euros on these three bets and there is no 2.25. Then your (remaining) offer of 500 euros moves up to position 1 and the next person who watches this game or even wants to bet now sees your remaining 500 euros in the “lay” column at a rate of 2.25. So he only has to pay 2.25.

Let us now continue to assume that you would have classified the 45% as a minimum chance. So you then say in principle “45% or more” and this assessment is correct and good, then the price will possibly move downwards in the course of the week. The price for which “Dortmund is trading”. Then, as on the stock exchange, you have acquired a good value. Something else even happens: The price thus moves downwards according to your assessment and “closes”, i.e. is then at the start of the game, at 2.05. Then you have a so-called “sure bet”. You could now immediately play the opposite side, i.e. pay the daily rate on Dortmund, with the corresponding amount, and would immediately have secured a profit. This will then usually be relatively small, so in this case an estimated 45 euros or something in the order of magnitude. This procedure is also called “settling” a bet. The bet is settled, in new German. That means you play both sides, in the more favourable case you then have a guaranteed profit.

But it is also possible to settle a bet at a loss if you no longer like it. You simply sell the bet at the current price. You have made a mistake, the price has not developed as you would have liked, the team news is unfavourable, you sell. This behaviour is also called “taking a loss”. You accept your mistake and take a loss for it.

Let me summarise again: In a betting exchange, bets are brokered. The participants are private individuals. Anyone can participate. They can ask for tailor-made rates. You can ask for any rate you want to get. However, you have to expect that your bet will not be placed. Because other players are willing to play the same bet you would like at a less favourable rate. But you can also bet at the current rate, regardless of whether there was or will be a better rate at some point before or after. The betting principle is just as simple and convincing as the Asian offer: The organiser does not take any risks. He is guaranteed to win, virtually on every bet placed. On the other hand, the participant has the advantage of being able to choose the courses that would appeal to him or play at the current rate. And this rate is usually higher than the rate of a conventional bookmaker. So the advantages work both ways, the bettor himself and the organiser have advantages. As a result, this betting system is also a huge competitor to the traditional bookmaker.

My tip also to every (potential) gambler: the payout is much better secured with Asian providers as well as with betting exchanges. Because: due to the reduced to eliminated risk, they are guaranteed to have money. And people who have money and lose are happy to pay, because business is good. With a conventional betting provider, the payout is more likely to be at risk, especially with larger to very large winnings.

d) Live betting

Live betting is indeed a business of its own. Bets are placed during a match in progress. The betting offers are, of course, market-driven, i.e. based on supply and demand. But the whole principle behind it is still very unique. Thus, constantly changing prices are offered on the events also offered before the match: Win – Draw – Lose, Asian Handicap or also any special bets like “who will score the next goal” or “how many goals will be scored in total”.

The fact is that you do not automatically gain an advantage by seeing that one team has clear advantages. Because everyone else can see that, too. So if a team is overwhelmingly superior, for example the favourite, but this team does not score a goal, then it is quite possible that the price does not rise at all or only minimally until half-time. And if you think about it for a moment, the time that has elapsed should be to the advantage of the underdog. So the price must rise. But it doesn’t. People watch, people see the superiority, people play the superior team. What is advisable now is difficult to prove or even to deduce. Live betting simply follows its own laws. My tip would simply be this: Winning will be very difficult if you play the obvious.

Personally, I have recorded the minutes of the goals scored in my database since live betting has been offered increasingly and also with large possible turnovers. So if I want to place a live bet now, I can consult my database. I then enter as search criteria: The current minute of the match, the score and the goal expectations of the teams, which my computer has calculated before the match. I can also enter a “range”, i.e. a maximum permissible deviation from these goal expectations. Then the computer searches out all the comparable games that stood like this according to the number of minutes, and gives me at least an indication of which side I would have to take.

The difficulty here, however, clearly lies in the analysis of this specific match. The teams can behave “differently” than I had predicted. So, from a purely visual point of view, the superiority is greater than I predicted.

e) Spread betting

There is another form of betting. This is what is known as “spread betting”. It works like this: The bookmaker determines a “line” and you bet against this “line”. You still have the choice of going “short” or “long”, as with shares. You can, as is readily apparent and obligatory for the provider, bet both sides. So let’s take the game Dortmund – Stuttgart again. Dortmund were favourites, our pay odds were a 2.0, our fair odds something like a 2.20. The probability of victory slightly greater than 45%. Then our betting offer in the spread would look like this: “Dortmund -0.35”. That means Dortmund is at a 0.35 goal disadvantage. Their superiority in this match is (estimated) 0.35 goals. So if we were the provider of the spread, we would offer that you can play Dortmund with -0.45 goals and Stuttgart with +0.25 goals. The provider’s profit margin is then the difference in payout between the – goals for Dortmund and the + goals for Stuttgart. So if Dortmund wins by one goal, we would have to pay out 0.55 goals for every winner Dortmund has. This is calculated in such a way that Dortmund’s goal advantage in the match is reduced by the spread, i.e. here 1 – 0.45 = 0.55. Now if someone played Dortmund with 1000 euros in the spread with -0.45 goals, then he would win 0.55*1000 = 550 euros.

The person who had Stuttgart in this game would have to pay 0.75 goals, since he had Stuttgart only +0.25. So if someone also had 1000 euros on Stuttgart, then he would lose 750 euros. We, as the provider, would have made a profit of 200 euros on a turnover of 2000 euros, a whopping 10%.

Certainly, there are one or two snags for the provider here: First of all, you have to set the line in such a way that both sides are equally attractive. So it’s like with the Asian providers. You have to hit the line as precisely as possible. Here, too, you can make adjustments. If one side is playing more, you can move the spread, i.e. the line. With the intention of attracting bets to the other side again. And here comes a problem: the market is not that big. So it becomes more difficult to balance the book here.

Another problem is that the possible loss amounts on the part of the bettor are in principle open. After all, the match could end 10:0 for Dortmund. Then the person who played Stuttgart would lose 9.75 * stake per goal. The problem is therefore how high bets are accepted. If the customer’s account balance is 1000 euros and he wants to bet 400 euros per goal, for example. Should you accept that? You would have to get the money after a 3:0 victory, because the account coverage is used up.

In principle, these problems have been solved in England. The customers who are allowed to play there are reliable payers who also make a commitment to pay out the money. There is a state regulation for this. The only disadvantage is that you can’t let it grow as big as you want. You only have a select clientele.

In spread betting, by the way, you can also include long-term bets and other sports in any form. As an example, I will mention here: At the European Football Championship, for example, you could “buy” a team in the tournament, i.e. support it. There is also a line for this. For Croatia, for example, the line was 29 points. The settlement is then made in this way: Elimination in the preliminary round results in 0 points. Whoever “bought” Croatia lost 29 points. Elimination in the quarter-finals: 25 points. If this happens, the bettor has still lost 4 points. Elimination in the semi-finals: 50 points. So if that happens, the client has gained 21 points. Defeat in the final: 75 points. The bettor wins 46 points. European Championship winner: 100 points. Whoever had then “bought” Croatia would win 71 points.

Analogously, you can of course also “sell” any team, but then the line for Croatia would be 27 points. If Croatia is eliminated in the preliminary round, you “only” win 27 points, if they are eliminated in the quarter-finals, you only win 2 points and then you have to pay.

I personally appreciate spread betting very much. It is an absolutely correct method of betting. You have to take into account that if you are watching a match and your team is actually on the winning track, that every further goal will earn you the full money. So, unlike other types of betting, further goals are not irrelevant. If you are very confident about a match and your team actually wins 4-0, you will be fully rewarded for your superior assessment.