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Fixed Odds Coupons

Throughout the League season, most bookmakers issue Fixed Odds coupons, for both midweek and weekend matches. These coupons are simple to fill out, give a wide range of bets and odds, and offer more realistic chances for success than football pools. Very large wins are possible on some coupons - with no pool sharing!

The potential payout of big accumulative bets should always be checked against the coupon limit, as this will reveal if the unit stake will take the bet through the ceiling. In which case, the stake should be scaled down or a bookmaker with a higher limit found. The coupon limits of smaller firms may, of course, be much less than those of the large companies. To avoid disappointment, the bettor should not wait for his lucky day to arrive before checking the rules!

Bookmakers usually price up individual matches so that the 'percentage' is around 110 (an edge of 9%). However, the bettor can get a better deal by comparing the prices available from different firms. By betting selectively where the best odds are to be had, the bettor can greatly improve the terms on which he bets, effectively lowering the 'percentage' to about an average 106 (an edge of 5.7%).

Coupons, including those for matches to be played on the following weekend, are usually available in the shops at the beginning of each week. Sunday and midweek results are not therefore assimilated into the following weekend's prices. Bookmakers can, and sometimes do, make changes to coupon prices after printing but, on the whole, are reluctant to do so because of the misunderstandings and bad will that can result. This enables bettors to profit from any form pointers arising from midweek results.

The following aspects of football betting sometimes give difficulty:
(1) Football bets are settled on 90 minutes' play, not the result after extra time - except in the case of special events (such as the Cup Final) when two sets of odds, for '90 minutes' and 'to win outright', may be offered. Where this option is given, bets are settled on 90 minutes unless 'to win outright' is stated on the slip. The referee is the arbiter of 90 minutes' play.

(2) 'First goal scorer' bets sometimes cause controversy, where the goal is claimed by (or given away to!) another player. 'Own goals' do not usually count in first-scorer betting. If a selected first-goal scorer does not play or comes on to the field as a substitute after the first-goal has been scored, the bettor's stake is returned.

(3) In the case of an abandoned match, bookmakers' rules may vary. Some rule, for example, that the score at the time of abandonment should stand as the result of the match. Others that only matches abandoned after half-time stand, earlier abandonments being void. Check the rules!

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