The thing about betting is that the buzz that goes with it can be frustratingly elusive. All too often a bet will have run its course long before the winner crosses the line or the final hooter sounds. What I want is a bet that is capable of staying alive for as long as I am interested – rather than the other way around (that is a bet that keeps me interested only for as long as it takes to lose).
Anyone who has had money on a horse as it crosses the winning line at the likes of the Cheltenham Festival will tell you it is one of recreational life’s most exhilarating experiences. The coming together of a sporting win backed up with cold, hard cash is just too good to put into words.
Sadly, most of the time, most bets don’t end up like that. Even predicting football games is a far from reliable business. And as often as not there is plenty of time to ponder where you went wrong before the game is over.
Pulling these strands together, the thing I’m craving is a bet that is live right up to the finish line – win, lose or draw. And I think I’ve found it.
Financial Spread Betting (FSB) ticks all the boxes. It’s quick-fire but open ended, it’s 100 per cent absorbing and it keeps you concentrating right up to the point where you decide to bring matters to a close. It rewards careful research and it offers a powerful test of your nerve. It is the best and most absorbing way to bet I have come across.
FSB allows you to bet on the movements of the world’s financial markets. It’s a real-time roller coaster. The way it works is you take a position on a stock, declaring whether you think it might rise or fall. If you call it right, you win. If you don’t, you lose. If that sounds a bit flat, it’s because you’ve not heard the best bit yet.
The tension and the excitement of this sort of betting comes with the fact that for every point that the stock moves in your favour you win one times your stake – a ten-point move brings home a 10/1 winner. Even more gripping is what happens the other way around: if you’re on the wrong end of the deal, that ten-point move can cost you ten times your original stake. It’s not something you want to take your eye off for long if you want to be successful!
It’s got the intensity of poker, without the element of chance thrown in. You decide which stocks, commodities or even currencies you want to trade, which means that you can set the gamble up on the terms that suit your own areas of interest. You’re not dependent on the cards or any competitor’s activity; it’s just you and the world’s financial markets.
Providers, such as trade fair, will give you a desktop dealing screen that graphs the movement of your bet on a minute-by-minute basis, and the bet only ends when you decide to close the trade. The real test is to see just how rational you can remain when the winds are blowing against you and you start running up losses. Stopping a bet for a loss is a strange feeling the first time you do it – it just feels so wrong. But the thing about FSB is that it teaches you the difference between strategy and tactics. Strategy is for the big picture, tactics are the steps towards its realization, and sometimes you have to take a hit to go forwards.
FSB is betting in the raw. It may not have the added razzamatazz of a sports bet, but for all that it is the most intense, most gripping and the best way to bet that I have come across.