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### Betting Bank and Bankroll Management

To make money gambling you need to be placing bets that have a higher probability of success than the odds at which you back them at. Over time good luck and bad luck will even itself out and it will be the sum of these probabilities that decide your fate. If you do indeed have an edge in the bets you place, you should win money. I use the word should instead of will for a simple reason. It is possible to have an edge on every bet you place but still lose money. Sounds implausible? Bear with me and I'll explain.

Let's say your Betting Bank is €1,000. Your kind bookmaker offers you 2.05 on heads in a coin toss. This offer is available for 50,000 coin flips, but you can only use your original bank, and if you lose it, you're done. How much should you bet? You edge is not huge, but is very real, and with proper Bankroll Management should result in huge profits after the 50,000 flips.

I set up a Monte Carlo spreadsheet to investigate. Excel has a random number generator which I use to simulate the toss of a coin. I enter the probability of success of 50% and the odds I'm getting of 2.05 and it will generate a 1 for heads and 0 for tails. I also enter my betting bank as €1000 and the percentage of my bank that I wish to stake on each bet.

First off I enter to return 10% of my betting bank on each bet. With my bank at €1000 and my odds 2.05 this would mean a stake of €48.78 on the first bet (I'm staking to return €100 which is 10% of my bank). My stake is thus only 4.87% of my bank which might seem reasonably small considering I have a 50% chance of success. I graph the results after each 1000 bets. In this run my bank increased to €209,995 after 37,000 flips. You would therefore presume that betting to return 10% of your bank is the way to go. Alas a big down swing happens soon after and my bank hit a low of just €46 after 48,000 bets. It recovered slightly to €290 after the 50,000 coin tosses.

I hit refresh to produce another set of random numbers and this time my betting bank peaked at €5,200 after 2,000 bets but went downhill and was just €1.18 after 50,000 bets. Both times the overall strike rate ended within 0.1% of the expected 50% which should ensure a profit as getting odds of 2.05 I only need a 48.78% strike rate with level stakes to break even. I ran it a few more times and each time I ended up with less than my starting bank after 50,000 bets. The reason for the massive fluctuations in the bank is that I was staking to high a percentage on each bet so the inevitable bad run will decimate my bank, regardless of the fact I had an overall edge on the bets. In the first run everything went smoothly for 37,000 bets which would lead most to believe their method was a safe one. When things are going so well it's hard to believe a down swing could be so bad to bust you, especially with such a big sample size. This example shows that having a profitable angle isn't enough if your bankroll management is bad.

Kelly Staking, which I talk about in my article about staking plans, would suggest staking 2.38% of my bank, which would be equivalent to staking to return 4.879% (2.38*2.05) of my bank. I ran this simulation 10 times, and the worst end result was a bank of €160,000. Clearly this is a much better way to go, but as noted in my staking plans article, it's not so simple in real life. Kelly Staking is optimal if you know the true odds of each bet. This of course is normally impossible, as in most cases you can only make an estimate, and I believe its human nature to overestimate our edge in most things. Unless you have access to valuable information the market hasn't accounted for, I would suggest you will at best be only as good as the market.

For instance if a horse is 2.0 on Betfair just before the off and you rate it a 1.8 shot. This means you think it has a 55.55% chance of winning and the market thinks it has a 50% chance. If you're pretty good the true price is probably more like 1.9 or a 52.63% chance. In my daily betting I find that the best I can hope for is that the true probability is the midpoint of my estimate and the estimate of the market. It is vital to keep this in mind when coming up with your staking plan.

Rather than just using the midpoint of your price and the markets, an analysis of your past results should show you what your real edge is on certain bet types, and providing the sample size is sufficient this would be a good figure to use. Bear in mind past success doesn't guarantee the future will be the same, so be cautious with this method too.

In the above example, using Kelly staking and working on the presumption that your probability is correct, you would be staking to return 22.2% of your bank. If your right and the bet wins 55.55% of the time your profits will go off the scale, if however you only get the 52.63% strike rate I suggested, your in big trouble and will go bust every time. This is despite the fact you clearly have an edge on the market, the problem is, you overestimated it.

These are all examples of cases where having an edge is not enough to guarantee a profit. If your stakes are too high your bank will fluctuate wildly and the inevitable bad run, when it comes, will undo all your hard work and your profits. That is not to say you should be ultra conservative, gambling at all is probably not for you if you're unwilling to take some risks. Your risks should be calculated though, and it's vital to understand that a long term successful strategy will have many periods of short to medium term loses. It is important that your betting bank can withstand these bad periods.

To show you what types of losing runs you can expect I again set up a Monte Carlo simulation in excel. A probability of 50% will result in a strike rate of 40% or less over a 100 bets about 3% of the time. This means before every bet you place where your long term strike rate is 50% there is a 3% chance that over the next 100 bets you will have 40 winners or less.

A 10% strike rate which is 9/1 true odds will result in getting only 1 winner out of a 100 bets about 0.05% of the time. This might seem very rare, and it is, but over the course of 5000 bets on horses who have a true chance of 9/1, you will get a period of 100 bets with only 1 winner about 12% of the time. Again when it happens, and eventually it will, you need to ensure your bank can withstand it. You also need to ensure your Betting Discipline is such that you keep a cool head and don't do anything stupid.

When deciding how much of your bank to stake on a bet, the probability of success, and thus the size of your edge are vital components. Overestimate your edge, and it could turn an otherwise profitable system into a loss making one. I suggest using Kelly Staking as a starting point, but leave your ego out of it when estimating your edge. If the market price is 9.0 and you think it should be 7.0, maybe use 8.0 as its true price when working out your edge. Your estimate of a probability, no matter how good you are, is still just your opinion; the market price is the combined opinion of thousands!

I write for a website called Learn Bet Win which is dedicated to educating punters in their quest to become a successful punter. I've also launched a 2013 Cheltenham Festival website, so please visit for all your Cheltenham Tips. My World Hurdle preview is the latest in a series of Ante Post Previews.

### The Evolution of Gambling

Gambling is one of the human race's favorite vices, the perfect way to fly in the face of the moral majority while walking the tightrope of rags to riches at the same time. Like all good vices, it has existed since the dawn of time, or at least since homo lazy us thought of a way to participate in games without actually playing. Inevitably, betting 4 chickens on how many rocks it would take to finish off a shoplifter at the local stoning grew into a worldwide money-spinner with grand casinos and million dollar bookmaking businesses raking it in across the globe. Equally inevitable was that industry getting swallowed whole by the Internet, just barely recognizable by family and close friends.

Betting culture kicked off unluckily and, like pretty much everything else you could think of, in Ancient China. The fact that it predates legal tender suggests what we've all been thinking; that money was invented solely to stop early gamblers putting their wives up as a stake. Since the beginning, wagering on games of chance has been a moral black spot and nearly every religious text has an ambiguous passage the good and evil of baccarat in there somewhere. The US have a well-publicized love/hate relationship with the pastime, giving rise to hotbeds of 'slot tourism' like Las Vegas while next door in Utah your Average Joe can't even bet on an NFL game.

Fast forward to Q1 of the 21st century, gambling industry is growing into something bigger than any of those Ancient Chinese philosophers could have imagined. Online poker turned what was a sexist, elitist posing competition causing drunken arguments at kitchen tables across the English-speaking world into an inclusive and civilized pastime for those quiet nights in at home. You can even make an honest living from it if you're prepared to stay up all night living purely on coffee and take away pizza. Better yet, our streets are free of old ladies as they swap the bingo halls for web sites, leaving our towns bereft from the screeching cackle of the elderly.

Sports betting has been a huge institution in Great Britain since records began, with none of the same restrictions as experienced in the USA, but betting on 'soccer' doesn't have great appeal to Americans. Since the move to online has happened, global betting habits are converging and commercial gambling on sports like American football is finally getting the attention it deserves. There is nothing more satisfying than putting your short-term financial future in the hands of a man who could eat your weight in chocolate pudding, unless they introduce the aforementioned event in the 2016 Olympics.

As well as a new level of variety, online gaming is a much safer prospect than the bookmakers of the past; no longer will we have to scour dank alleys to put USD 50 on the spread, or have to use the words "PLEASE DON'T BREAK MY LEGS, I HAVE KIDS TO FEED" again. The majority of sites are fully licensed, accepting all types of legitimate online payment and most importantly you don't have to leave the warm fuzzy glow of your computer screen. Although I prefer my living room, some purists may want to take their laptop or tablet down a questionable back street or get their spouse to hang them off a tenth floor balcony demanding payment.

The history of gambling has been long and colorful, fraught with glory and misery in equal measure, but not since the first brick on the Las Vegas strip was laid has there been such a significant development as online betting. With more bookmakers to choose from, amazing innovations like betting in play and competitive deals like free stake money on sign-up there has never been a better era for the humble gambler than now. Good luck to all of you and remember, the house always wins but unlike the house, you might just get laid too!

Alex H. is a sports blogger who loves writing about betting and gambling tips over various blogs. Read his latest article about bet on an NFL game which is published on a famous sports blog.

### Tips for Earning Money Through Free Poker Tournaments

Free poker has become very popular over the years. While some people play it for fun, others are using it to make money. Today, there are thousands of people who are spending several hours on the internet as they play this game. However, to get maximum entertainment while benefiting financially from participating in this game it is imperative that you know how to play it.

How to earn from free poker?
Although some people call it free poker money, it is not entirely free. This is because there is the risk involved and you also have to invest your time before getting tangible financial gains. Nevertheless, you can succeed if you follow the following tips:

• Choose the best website: There are many websites that offer this game freely. However, not all sites are reliable and the best. As such, you need to do your research and find out which website is the best. This will enable you to benefit financially when you play at the site you choose while having fun at the same time.

• Sharpen your gaming skills: You need to know how to play smart to win free tournaments. You cannot be awarded financially unless you win in the tournaments that you choose to participate in. For you to win, you must know strategies and tactics that are used by professional gamers. Therefore, start sharpening your gaming skills at your local tavern or bar. By participating at such tournaments you will be able to win when you go to participate in the international tournaments.

• Join a team of players: Winning in this game requires persistent practicing. You have to spend time with other players learning from them. This will equip you with essential skills that will enable you to conquer international players when playing free poker money tournaments. Therefore, get together as a group and start playing in local tournaments. This way, you will gain essential skills to enable you win when you start playing for money.

• Know the right time to play: Different websites that let gamers enjoy playing this game freely have specific times when they award winners great prizes. Take time to do your research so that you can know such times in order to participate in tournaments that will give you more prizes.

Basically, succeeding in free poker tournaments requires one to spend some time practicing before enrolling for them. This is because one must have skills that will enable them to compete favorably with other players who also want to gain financially through free poker money tournaments.

### Social Slots Mark a New Online Gambling Trend

Smartphones, tablet computers and social networks have forever changed the face of the gaming market. Originally, social gaming was thought to be a passing fad, but it seems that it is here to stay. The market has become so popular and profitable that even online casino developers have decided to try their hand at creating social games that will appeal to a new audience of gamers.

Zynga was one of the first developers to make the connection between social gaming and casino gambling. One of its first releases was Zynga Poker, an online poker application that operated like any other poker room - with the addition of social gaming features. Players were able to share their progress with friends and level up to trigger unique features. The success of Zynga Poker started the social gambling trend.

Soon, Zynga decided to launch other social casino applications, and it wasn't long before Zynga Slots was available on the Facebook App market. This application offers player free-play slots games, with plenty of 'unlockable' features and shareable content. It led to the development of Zynga Elite Slots, which brings a new meaning to the term 'social gaming' by allowing players to work together to complete levels and win slots jackpots.

For quite some time, Zynga had a monopoly on the social casino market, but it wasn't long before other developers started to get involved. Double Down Interactive launched the wildly popular Double Down Casino application, which was quickly snatched up by online gambling developer IGT (International Game Technology). IGT was one of the first real-money gambling developers to try its hand in the social gaming world, and it has turned out to be a successful venture thus far. Double Down's games are still free slots but the application provides a great deal of ad revenue for IGT.

888 Holdings is one of the latest real-money gambling operators to make its way into the social gambling world. The company's new social casino application is called MAGIC888, and it offers players the chance to play online slots and other casino games using the convenient Facebook Games platform. It operates on the same basis as social casino applications like Zynga Elite Slots and Double Down Casino, allowing players to share their progress with friends and level up to unlock bonus content. The only difference is that players can wager actual cash and win genuine jackpot prizes.

The social slots and social casino markets have developed very quickly over time. From free-play poker apps to real-money Facebook casinos, social gambling has seen a great deal of change - and we can expect to see even more innovative developments from social casinos in the future.