Online Casinos, Gambling, Poker and Sports Betting Magazine


Online Gambling: Spread Betting

GOM introduces you to Spread Betting- the most exciting way to bet.

A train is due to arrive in Grand Central Station, New York at 3pm. Sometimes it is early; sometimes it is late. It’s 2pm and an old lady on the platform turns to you and says ‘Do you fancy a bet on the punctuality of the train? You give me $10 for every minute the train is early (i.e. before 3pm) and I will give you $10 for every minute it is late.’ ‘Ok’ you reply, ‘that sounds fair.’ At 2.52pm the train rolls into the station. You have to pay the old lady $80. If it was 10 minutes late (as it usually is!) she would have had to pay you $100.

What, you might ask, has this got to do with sports betting? The answer is that this is the basic principle underlying the fastest growing and most exciting form of sports betting in the industry. Spread betting, or Index betting, as it is also known, has exploded in popularity over the past three years, sweeping its way across Europe.

The reasons for this dramatic increase in popularity are not difficult to understand. As Conor Foley, Managing Director of, one of the biggest players in the industry explains ‘It is by far the most exciting form of gambling in the industry. It offers much higher rewards for punters whose opinions are correct, it is far more flexible in terms of allowing you to take a profit on a bet or reduce a loss by betting during the event and it keeps you interested until the final play of the match. The variety of things on which you can bet is also far wider with spread betting.’

The key difference between spread betting and traditional fixed odds betting is the amount you can win or lose on each bet. With traditional betting, the amount you win or lose on a bet is fixed. The most you can lose is your stake and the most you can win is your stake multiplied by the odds of your selection. With spread betting, the amount that you win or lose is not known until the end of the event. In the example of the old lady and the train above, the amount you could win or lose depended on the time the train arrived in the station. The earlier it arrives, the more you lose and the later it arrives, the more you win.

This same principle is applied to sporting events like NFL where, for example, make a forecast on the Total Points of a match. The client bets on whether the Total Points in the match will be higher or lower than the forecast. might, for example, forecast that there will be 42 points in the match between the Jets and the Broncos. You, the client, simply bet higher or bet lower than the forecast and nominate a stake size. Let’s say you bet higher than 42 and play for $10 per point. You would win $10 for every point above 42 but you would lose $10 for every point below 42. If the match finished with 58 points, for example, you would win $160 but if it finished with only 35 points you would lose $70.

Clearly, the higher the number of points in the match the more you would have won and this partially explains the appeal of this type of gambling. The other attractiveness of spread betting is that will continue to quote you a price for their forecast for the Total Points throughout the full match. The price quote will naturally fluctuate as events unfold during the match, but this gives you the flexibility to lock in a guaranteed profit or loss at any time, instead of having to wait until the end of the game. For example, you bet higher than 42 points in the match and by the end of the first quarter there is already 20 points on the scoreboard. The quote would rise to say 52, for example, to take this into account and you could close your bet by betting lower at 52 for the same stake. You would be locking in a 10 point profit and would have no further exposure in the match.

The wide selection of betting opportunities available on a single event has been a contributory factor in the increase in popularity of the product. On a single NFL match, for example, there can typically be up to 30 different types of bet available, ranging from winning margin, total points, total kicking yardage to the shirt number of the first player to score a touchdown. The opportunities are endless. Basically, any event in which the outcome is a numerical value can become the subject of a spread bet.

What began as a game for bored financial traders in the City of London in the mid 1980’s has mushroomed into a major industry; an industry which is now regulated by the Financial Services Authority in London, and which operates to guidelines as strict as merchant banks and stockbrokers. There are now in excess of 120,000 spread bettors in the UK alone. One of the more popular spread bets in London every year centres on the length of time of the Chancellor’s Budget Speech in the House of Commons. Fortunes have also been won and lost on the numbers of sips of water he takes from his glass during the speech!

Given the nature of spread betting, it is not unusual for a client to run up large profits or large losses in a relatively short space of time. However, Conor Foley at, is quick to point out that beginners should start with extremely small stakes to familiarise themselves with the mechanics of the product. Only when a degree of comfort has been obtained should you consider higher stakes. One such tool which the beginner should make use of is the ‘Stop-Loss’. This is a limit price order at which you are not prepared to lose any more. are happy to accept these orders and monitor them for you. This clearly limits your downside and eliminates exposure to excessive losses.

For a detailed explanation of how spread betting operates please refer to the Beginners Guide on the website. Once you have satisfied yourself as to how it operates you can then open a ‘Demo Account’ on the website and experience the thrill of spread betting without the risk of losing any real money. It should be noted that the term ‘Spread Betting’ might has a different connotations in different parts of the world where the handicap is frequently called the spread. But remember, a handicap bet is still a traditional fixed odds bet.

It is only a matter of time before the spread betting revolution reaches to Asia and the USA If you like action and crave more thrills than you are getting with your fixed-odds bookie, check out spread betting. But remember - once you start, you may never place a fixed-odds bet again.
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