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Gambling for Fun and Profit

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/27/2007 | Games

Gambling is becoming more a part of the mainstream. People who would not go into a betting shop a few years ago are now placing bets on horses, or choosing numbers on their national lottery.

One reason for this is you no longer need to go into a betting shop. You can gamble all you want and people need know nothing about it! Of course this has its disadvantages as well as advantages, but if you are careful and follow sensible precautions there is a good chance you can turn this to your advantage.

Potentially the Internet has brought gambling into every house in the developed world -- just place your bets with an online bookmaker or betting exchange. To ensure you do not become a victim it is important to follow the two golden rules of gambling.

The first rule is to have a betting bank. This is a pool of money you can afford to lose that will be used for placing bets on the horses or greyhounds, for example. It is always possible that you will lose money, but if you follow the second rule your losses should be reduced.

Rule number two is to follow a staking plan. This will work if you have 75 in your betting bank, or 775. You just adjust your stakes according to your budget. Especially if you are just starting out a good tactic is to only stake 5 percent of your bank on each bet.

Do not change your bet because you have found a "sure thing", or because your favorite football team is playing in the Cup Final. By doing that you allow your emotions to affect your judgment too much, and if and when you lose it could break your betting bank. If you win, of course, it might put you into profit.

You do not need to be an expert at horse racing, for example, to succeed at gambling. There are many legitimate tipsters online -- some charge a monthly fee, but many provide free recommendations as well.

You can also find free tips in specialist newspapers. A good tactic is to compare the tips you find online with those in the newspaper, and then make your own decision. Many online tipsters also proof their results to a third party monitoring site, so you can see how successful they have been over the previous three months, or previous six months.

Of course, past results do not guarantee future performance but they will give you an indication whether their tips are worth following or not.

The trick is to limit your losses and to treat a win or loss just as impartially. This may not be completely possible because you will feel good when you win, and bad when you lose, but by remaining as objective as possible you will have more fun and make more profit over the long term.