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Whether you’re into football, tennis or darts, betting markets will be available for your perusal. Nowadays, there are so many different ways to place bets on your favourite sports that it can sometimes be overwhelming, even a little confusing from time to time.

With so many similar names and permutations, it is vital to know exactly what you are betting on and how to calculate your potential winnings. Here are three expert tips on beating the bookmakers and getting the most out of your stake.

enlightenedChange an accumulator into a ‘Lucky’ bet

Okay, so let’s say you fancy Everton, West Ham United, Portsmouth and Swindon Town to win this weekend but a couple of those are outsiders. That is fine and dandy. As a straight up four-fold, this would pay out well - but you still don’t fancy risking everything on an away win for the Toffees.

The solution? Opt for a ‘Lucky’ bet. In this case, it would be a Lucky 15. As well as an accumulator, punters get singles, doubles and trebles on their selection – there are 15 different solutions in total; hence the name. For five teams, it would be a Lucky 31, as described in 888Sport’s Lucky bet guide, and for six teams, it would be a Lucky 63. In fact, this type of bet can be used on other flavours of sports too, including horse racing and darts betting.

enlightenedKeep an eye out for boosted prices

Most bookmakers will offer enhanced value on the day of a sporting event; say a major golf tournament or a famous horse race. For example, Thistlecrack – the current ante post market leader for the Cheltenham Gold Cup – is expected to go off as short as 2/1 but you may be able to find 5/2 or even 3/1 via boosted odds on the day.

Enhanced accumulators can also be found with most bookmakers. Some even go as far as offering special odds for mobile users. The majority of these will have a maximum stake per bet and often run out very quickly, so it is wise to get on enhanced offers as quickly as you can. Be vigilant and wary of any potential deals but be sure to think clearly before placing any bets.

enlightenedRemember... the favourite doesn’t always win

Annie Power fans will tell you this one for free. The Willie Mullins-trained, Ruby Walsh-ridden mare looked set to clinch a dramatic four-timer for the duo at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival; a result that would have hit the bookmakers for a huge sum of money. But the odds-on favourite suffered an agonising fall at the last hurdle and punters were left to rue what could have been.

Outsiders won’t win every time - after all, there is a reason why they are called outsiders. But you only need to look at Leicester City’s 5,000 title success to see just how unpredictable sport can be. If you find a market that you believe you can exploit, go for it but stay focused and don’t get drawn into any outrageous wagers. After all, a 250,000/1 shot on Watford winning the Premier League, Espanyol winning La Liga and Motherwell winning the Scottish Premiership may sound tasty, but it almost certainly won’t come in.

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