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     Bet Responsibly

 


Spread Betting - An Introduction

Spread betting is different from normal betting as it is not about winning and losing but by how much the player/team wins or loses by. On this site on a weekly basis we will advise trades on golf tournaments when we believe the price is wrong. Please note though, with Spread betting the more you are right the more you win, but equally the same applies the other way. Therefore, as important as the tips themselves is the ability to understand "money management". All trades will be advised to a certain stake and this is done to absorb the volatility this concept has.

In golf, the firms normally price up certain types of markets on a weekly basis, they are listed in detail below. Occasionally special bets will be available on any number of situations, for example how the field will perform on a certain famous hole like the 12th at Augusta.

All bets will have two options, you can either "sell" / "go low" or you can "buy" / "go high". In most spread betting markets you sell if you feel the player/team will do worse than the firms believe and buy when you want to support them to do well. The firms realise though that most punters want to support, i.e. would you rather cheer on goals in football or runs in cricket, or want a 0-0 or a low runs score. As the prices are set with the intention of accepting an equal amount on both sides of the spread, the price will undoubtedly be set a little higher than what the true price should be. If you traded on cricket runs at say 250-260 runs per inning, the most you could lose by buying is 260 if, albeit nearly impossible, the team is out for zero. If you sell though at 250, the team could score any number of runs. Spread firms essentially make their money by taking the spread as their profit, (the 10 points in the example being their profit no matter what happens). Therefore i am sure with this quick explanation you will realise that most punters buy markets for both the support of action and the fact they know how much they can lose. It is the firms' best interests though to make sure that the majority of buyers do so at a poor price.


Spread Betting on Golf: The Markets

Finishing positions. We have spoken above about selling to oppose and buying to support. However, and this is where it gets complicated to the novice, in Finishing Position markets only, you do the opposite. The reason is that the Finishing Position is where the player finishes in the field so 1st is 1 and so on upwards. Please note that in these bets the firms usually put a ceiling of 70 on the highest position the player can finish so it does not become too volatile. A player will normally be quoted from around the late 20ís to the early 50ís (except Tiger, of course) and if you think the player will contend you sell, if you think he will have a poor week, you buy. If a player misses the cut he automatically makes up (Finishes) at 70. This also applies to any disqualified or withdrawn players.

Index Bets. These are "tournament within a tournament" bets. In that, only 7 or 10 players are quoted and the winner is the player who shoots the lowest score of those quoted. 50 points is generally given to the winner, going down to 30, 20 and 10. The bottom 6 (in a 10 man field) score 0. Once again, you can buy or sell, depending on how you think that player will perform. In 7 man fields only the top 3 score, receiving 50, 25 and 10.

72 Hole Match Bets. The simplest to explain. The firms will give a price on how many strokes one player is expected to finish above another. There is a ceiling of 25 strokes here with the only other important rule being that if one (or both) players miss the cut, scores are doubled to give a four round total.

18 Hole Match Bets. Similar to above in that it is 1 player against another, but as the scores will not be that far apart generally, the scoring is changed to 10pts for the winner, and 3pts per stroke won by.

Hotshots. The firms will allocate a spread to a choice of 4 players. They will score 25pts for being in the top 10, and get a further 25pts if they win the tournament. There are scoring deviations to this over different firms but this will be pointed out as and when we advise a trade.

Leaderboard Index. This is a market like the index bets above, but includes the whole field. At the start only well known players will be quoted but as lesser known players come up the leaderboard they will be quoted between rounds. Usually this market is updated between rounds but in the really big events, like The Open, it can be traded as they play. Usually firms pay down to 8th place.

That is the markets, but who are the firms. Unlike normal betting where there are hundreds of bookmakers vying for your business. in Spread Betting, there are only 4, three of which are in the UK:
Sporting Index / Bet HiLo, IG Sport and Spreadex, also in Ireland there is SportsSpread . If you are going to spread bet then it is almost necessary you have accounts with all firms.

Update: 18th May, 2004: Today, SportsSpread closed my account as i was "winning too much". It is a compliment I suppose but this site always backs the advices given on here and we can therefore no longer advise plays at this bookmaker. It is of course not advisable to promote a firm that will close down winning accounts so for these reasons we will no longer advise any plays from them. (Andy)

What we aim to do at Tour-Tips is to highlight bets on a weekly basis that we feel is value. Spread betting is about having a knowledge of what you are betting on but also requires a good understanding of the mechanics of spread betting itself. Throughout the season we will research the prices on a weekly basis not only advising trades before the event but picking up on what we believe are over (and under) reactions to where a player is at any given point between rounds. Therefore please look back regularly for any updated bets, the home page will show if the spreads (or the fixed/exchange bets for that matter) have been updated.

Hopefully the above is a good guide to those unsure of how Spread Betting works and works as a refresher to those with a little knowledge. If anyone is unsure of any bet advised or just wish to ask a general question on the spreads feel free to email me on
andygraham@aol.com.