Bet Builders - Customise Your Own Combination Bets

bet builderBet builders are basically automated versions of the request a bet facility that has been around for a while now.  Until now requesting your own odds for a unique combination of scenarios meant having to contact the bookmaker by email, live chat or social media detailing the exact markets you want to combine.  While the odds request facility is hugely useful the down side is you need time in advance to request and wait for a reply, this also becomes impractical if you want to compare the prices of several different betting options.

For football matches, where over 90% of bet requests are made, you can now skip the human middle man and build your own bets automatically, saving time and giving you more opportunity to contrast various markets. There are a few sites that offer this feature but below I focus on what I think is the best bet builder available, Bet365's.  The principles of all bet builders are roughly the same however.  Further down you can find details on how to build bets, how the odds are created and whether the prices are good value.

Bet365 Bet Builder

Bet Builder lets you create your own personalised bet with bet365. You can select from the most popular markets and, once you have added them to your bet, you can calculate your odds. For example, you can choose First Goalscorer, Both Teams to Score and number of corners on any Soccer match to create one single bet with the price for the combined selections.

Make up to 12 selections to create your unique bet. Bet Builder is available on all Soccer, Australian Rules, Tennis, and Basketball matches, excluding Big 3 or 3x3 matches. Bet Builder bets are considered to be those that have been placed through the Bet Builder feature and could not have been placed as a standard bet type, due to being interrelated. Terms and Conditions apply.

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Ladbrokes 5-A-Side

5-A-Side is effectively a bet builder but is far more interesting than most other bet builders out there. The idea is to pick a match, there are many daily from the top leagues, and then select a formation, stats and players to build your own bet. You can select different formations depending on whether you favour attacking stats or defensive stats. Then add the players you think will perform the best for each stat, once done you can build that bet in your bet slip and back it with the stake you choose at the odds they give you.

In theory you could create the bet without using 5-a-side but this would be more laborious and less interesting than doing it by picking a formation. This feature effectively mixes fantasy football with creating your own bet on a match

You can play 1-1-2-1 (balanced), 1-1-0-3 (all out attack), 1-3-0-1 (park the bus), 0-1-2-2 (rush goalie), 1-0-2-2 (shoot on sight), 0-1-1-3 (gung-ho). Different formations suit different games, depending on whether you expect a lot of goals and shots or a tighter more defensive low scoring game. The positions and stats are: keeper (to concede X goals), cruncher (to make X tackles), hacker (to be carded), baller (to make X passes), playmaker (to have X assists), sniper (to make X shots), sharp-shooter (to have X shots on target), chancer (to have X shots outside the box) and finisher (to score X goals).

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How To Build A Bet

buildingBuilding a bet is easy when using a dedicated feature.  It is worth noting that some versions, such as Coral's, are restricted to mobile, although in most cases this is the platform on which you would most likely want to place these types of wagers.

Right now this feature is restricted to football, with Bet365 this is open to all football, but with other bookies it is worth checking the applicable leagues and events.  Once you've found a qualifying market however you can begin to build your bet.

Bet building involves mixing several markets together to create a unique combination of two or more scenarios which must all happen in order for your bet to win.  This could be the match result, number of cards, number of corners and player to score, for example.

Once you've selected your options you will be given an instant odds price.  You can then change elements of the bet if you like, adding, removing selections or changing the values as you wish to see how this effects the price.

When you are happy with your prediction simply set a stake and place your bet as you would any other wager.

Why Can't You Build Your Own Bets?

related contingencyBet builders allow you to combine various markets from the same event, known as related contingencies.  Related bets are any markets that can influence the outcome of another market. 

For example, the match result and goalscorer are strongly related, i.e. if you select a player to score and they do it is of course more likely that team may win, for this reason you cannot combine those selections together into a standard accumulator bet.

Off the shelf packaged bets already exist, such as win and both teams to score or scorecasts and wincasts, but if you want to combine together markets in unique combinations then the best way to do this is using a bet builder or odds request feature.

How are Odds Calculated and are they Fair?

betting oddsBookmakers make profits by building in margins into their odds.  What ultimately matters to a bookie is balancing all the possible eventualities in a market, attracting an equal proportion of bets on all outcomes, to ensure they always make a profit.  This is easy for markets with only a few possible outcomes and for those that attract a lot of wagers, such as the match result on a big game.  More obscure markets, and those with lots of outcomes, carry more risk to the betting site however and so have bigger in build margins to offset risk.

Each individual market used in a bet builder for a high level football match (e.g. both teams to score) are highly competitive and so the odds prices will be good.  The issue comes in combining these events, as when you do the margins the bookie takes become magnified and so these bets (along with all multiple bets) are often not the best value, compared to say betting on the match result alone.  Bet builders calculate odds using software by taking the price of each individual scenario and combining them factoring in any related factors.

Whether you think the prices are fair however is all down to you and how accurate you think your predictions will be.  If you have a strong feeling a series of scenarios will occur then using a bet builder is still the best way for you to link these events for the best payout.  As always it is about risk vs reward, bet builder wagers are higher risk for both you and the bookie (as there are more variables and unknowns) but if you do win the rewards can be bigger.

Pros and Cons of Building Your Own Bets

pros and consThe biggest pro for building your own bets is control.  Often when betting on events you try to find markets to best suit your prediction of what you think might happen but occasionally it is difficult to find a line that perfectly matches your exact guess.  You therefore end up placing a lot of bets because they are best fit rather than a true reflection of what you think will happen.

A bet builder is simply an engine for you to combine a series of related bets together to mirror what you think will happen in a game.  For example, you think a team will win but you also think it will be a feisty game so you may want to add in the number of cards shown to your bet.  Maybe one team will put 11 men behind the ball and you therefore think the attacking team will win but get a lot of corners, etc.

By combining predictions you can inflate the odds and this is one of the biggest attractions of bet builders, it allows you to potentially turn a small stake into a large payout.  Personally I use bet builders to place a few small stakes bets alongside my normal wagers.  I treat them more as a bit of fun, hoping my predictions may come true but not setting my hopes on it.  This is the approach I use with accumulator bets too for the same reason.

However you use bet builders though you have to factor in the generally poorer odds return compared to other bets, and this is a con of bet builders and multiples in general.  Companies know that these bets are more risky for them as they can't match up all outcomes to ensure a profit, they therefore build in a higher risk into the margins.  The real risk is however down you and whether you think the odds offered are fair for the scenario you predict.

Remember though if you are using a bet builder you can still shop around.  Many of these features are simialr between bookies and so you can compare the odds for a given scenario between them taking the best price available. In general if one market is voided in your bet builder you will generally find the whole bet becomes void and you get your stake back.