Having a flutter

How to do better at the bookies.

Gambling is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and provided you keep to your limits, everyone can enjoy themselves having a flutter on whatever takes your fancy – it doesn’t have to be the traditional staple of horseracing, you can place a bet on anything from Premier League football to who’s going to win the latest TV celebrity reality show.

But no matter how enjoyable betting might be, nothing beats counting your winnings, and although it might seem that the bookies always come out on top, there are still ways of tilting the odds in your favour, particularly in that old favourite of backing the horses.

If you keep abreast of all the major race meetings, you can see how your selections are doing, know just how much you’re due to pick up when your bet comes in, and if you’ve lost it’s possible to see how close you were to wining and what strategy might suit you better next time.

If you wanted to do all this at first hand you used to have to either be at the racecourse or else spend much of your time in the local bookmaker’s shop. Of course, the internet has revolutionised the betting industry as it has everything else, and as a result you can keep a close eye on the fluctuations of the market in real time, or watch the results as they come in wherever you might be – at home, at work or you can even follow the action by checking the results at the river.

There are plenty of websites dedicated to keeping punters abreast of the goings on of the horseracing industry. Some are run by the betting companies themselves, others are independent. Have a look around and see which ones take your fancy.

But whatever you do, and however you do it, remember the golden rule of gambling. Only bet what you can afford to lose, and when the fun stops, stop.