Spread Betting

Spread betting is still one of the fastest growing areas of gambling. It all started in the early 1980's when the two founder members of City Index (now taken over by Sporting Index) began betting on the winning racecard numbers at the Arc de Triumph race meeting when they couldn't get a bet on because the queues were too long at the French tote betting windows!

The basis of spread betting is the more you are right then the more you win (conversely the more you are wrong then the more you lose!). Lets take an example.

For a typical football match Sporting Index may put up a spread on the total corners of 11 - 12. This means that the Sporting Index think that 11 or 12 corners will be awarded during the match. If you think that more than 12 corners will be awarded then you can buy at 12 for say �20 a corner. Now if 16 corners are awarded you would win �80 (16 minus 12, multiplied by �20). However if only 10 corners were awarded you would lose �40 (12 minus 10, multiplied by �20).

If you thought that less than 11 corners would be awarded then you could sell at 11 for �20 a corner. Now if there were 16 corners you would lose �100 but if there were 10 corners you would win �20. Needless to say if you thought there were going to be 11 or 12 corners then you shouldn't bet!

It is important to grasp the concept that you always buy at the top of the spread and sell at the bottom of the spread.

Lets look at another example. If Manchester United were playing West Ham at home then the spread firms might make the goal supremacy spread 1.2 - 1.4. Now you can't score a fraction of a goal but this doesn't matter. Say you buy at 1.4 for �100 per goal and Man United win 4-0 then you would win �260 (4 minus 1.4 multiplied by �100). If Man United only win 3-1 then you would win �60 (3 minus 1, minus 1.4, multiplied by �100). Conversely if Hull managed to scrape a 0-0 draw then you would lose �140 (1.4 minus 0 multiplied by �100).

The spread betting firms offer a variety of markets covering goals, corners, bookings, time of goals and various performance indexes.

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