The explosion of online betting has given a certain amount of freedom to both the punters that place the bets and the bookmakers that take them. Never has that been more obvious than in the development of the new features that allow you to simply invent your own market for a bet, with bookies increasingly allowing their customers to use systems that let them request odds on wagers that they’ve come up with themselves.
There are two major variations on the feature. Firstly bet requests are features, usually linked to social media, that allow you to request odds for almost anything online. Bet builder features are on site features that let you link numerous scenarios from within the same event, tournament or league. Often the two features are linked too.
The Best Bet Builders & Bet Requests?
With a Bet Builder in essence the system lets you come up with a bet that you think will be a winner and then ask your bookmaker of choice for odds on that bet. Obviously the more legs that you add to it the longer the odds become, giving you the chance to take advantage of your own knowledge of your football team or what have you in order to see if you can beat the bookie.
You are essentially making a miniature accumulator within the same event or group of events from your own ideas and seeing if the company you like to bet with will let you do it. Effectively you are linking related events, known as related contingencies, in a way that you are not allowed to do in a standard accumulator.
Betway - #BetYourWay
Betway's #BetYourWay feature will only let you request bets through social media and doesn't have an on site bet builder. You can however browse through bets requested using BetYourWay on site for specific events, especially major football. For big matches you can find hundreds of different lines, helpfully sorted by odds price.
The reason I am recommending the Betway bet request service is due to the linked offers. This betting site are better than any other at pushing their service with added free bets or other promotions for top level football.
BetVictor - #PriceItUp
With BetVictor's #PriceItUp features you can create your own bets by linking markets in major football games, leagues or tournaments. You can create your own bets or you can browse through bets placed by other people on the #PriceItUp market for ideas. Bet's can be created either using the online form or by directly requesting through social media using the hash-tag.
To clarify the difference, a bet builder is something that you’ll find on a bookmaker’s website that offers very specific markets, usually for football, that allow you to ‘build’ your own bet and get a fairly immediately response.
Here is an example of what kind of things you might be offered:
- Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah to score more goals than Red Star Belgrade (4/6)
- At least 6 home wins in the Champions League fixtures (7/2)
- Kylian Mbappe of PSG + Mo Salah of Liverpool both to score in the first ten minutes (00:00 - 09:59) of their matches (125/1)
- Over 0.5 goals scored + over 0.5 cards issued + over 0.5 corners taken in the first ten minutes (00:00 to 09:59) in both of Wednesday's 17:55 kick offs (500/1)
As you can see, the more events added to the bet the higher the odds offered. BetVictor are known for having some of the best odds in general so when you do combine them into a bet-bulider the value is generally higher than with other bookies, which is why I recommend it as one of the best.
Coral - Built Your Bet & #YourCall
Coral’s Build Your Bet system is the same as the bet builder version of #PriceItUp. They have their own request-a-bet feature that is called #YourCall, this let's you tweet Coral and ask for any bet you want, from any sports. There is of course a short delay while traders work out your odds but as long as you do this in advance of an event you will be fine. You can also peruse a list of #YourCall bets placed by others on the site.
In the Build Your Bet feature the company lets you pick markets from Match Result, Both Teams To Score, Player & Team Goals, Player & Team Cards and Corners from over 100 football leagues and competitions. You can combine these in all sorts of way to create bets with various odds. Coral also have good odds making the bet builder decent value and are also one sites to have linked offers.
How Do Bet Builders and Bet Requests Work?
Different bookmakers work in different ways, obviously, so there’s no ‘one size fits all’ thing in terms of how they each work their request-a-bet feature. That said, they do tend to approach things in a similar manner and one of the main ways that you can find out whether a company will give you odds is by sending them a tweet on the social media platform of Twitter. Often each company will have its own hashtag that you need to put in your tweet, allowing other users to browse the odds that have been offered to other punters and place a bet of their own on one if they like the look of it.
Another way to do it is to email, text, WhatsApp or use an online form with your pre-built bet on it and see what the bookmaker you’re using says. As I’ve already mentioned, they all handle things in their own way and that means you’ll need to look up on their website how they deal with their own request-a-bet feature. Once you know what you’re doing you can simply get in touch with your bookie and ask them what odds they’ll offer on a Manchester City match in which Sergio Aguero scores first, both teams score, there are more than ten corners and City win 4-1. They’ll offer you odds and you can choose whether to place the bet or leave it if they’re not good enough.
Bookmakers like this feature for loads of reasons, so you’ll usually find that somewhere on their website they’ll list all of the bets that have been built by other customers and the odds they offered them. You don’t need to look through these lists to ensure that you’re not repeating a bet that someone else has already asked for, but you might want to have a browse to see if any ideas grab you. If you do like the look of a previously built bet then you can simply add it to your betting slip and choose how much you want to wager on it.
What Markets Are Available?
Whilst the bet builder feature is a really fun one to have a play around with, not all markets are covered by all bookmakers. As I’ve already said, each company handles things in their own way, so if you’re unsure then you’re best off getting in touch with them and asking or seeing if you can find a list of available markets on their website.
Bet-builders will at the very least cover top level football competitions and matches, and are beginning to be rolled out to other sports now too. As a general rule of them, the following, in no particular order, are markets that you can reasonably expect a bookmaker to offer on their request-a-bet feature:
- Team Booking Points
- Match Booking Points
- Header To be Scored
- Penalty Markets
- Team Corners
- Match Corners
- Team To Score X Goals
- Half-Time / Full-Time
- Match Result
- Both Teams To Score
- Correct Score
- Goal From Outside Area
- Player To Be Shown A Card
That list is far from exhaustive but it gives you a rough idea of the sort of things you could put int your bet when you build it up.
Some sites will only take requests on certain markets, again this would usually be football. Most big bookies however have odds traders that cover every sport and so the advantage of bet requests, such as Coral’s #YourCall is you can request basically any bet you like, not just football.
It can take longer to get a request for a more obscure sport or market so it is worth asking for bets well in advance of when you want them. You can also usually see a list of other bets on the site that punters have requested, it is worth having a browse through these first before requesting to see if someone else has already requested it, saving you the time.
Advantages Of Building A Bet
One advantage that’s worth remembering when it comes to request-a-bet features is that they normally allow you to bet on related contingencies when normal accumulators don’t. If you’re not sure then a related contingency is a market that has an effect on another market.
As an example, you might think that Sergio Aguero is going to score the first goal and that City will win 5-1, but one of those markets effects the other, resulting in most bookies refusing to allow you to put them into the same acca. When you build your own bet, however, you can combine most related contingencies into one big and impressive bet, which is good to know.
Another good thing is the fact that you can bet on whatever you want without needing to be restricted by markets offered by any given bookmaker. Obviously they will have to accept your bet request, which they’re under no obligation to do, but it’s significantly better than scrolling through a website looking for a bet you’ve got in your head only to discover that it’s not offered as standard.
There’s also the fact that the more obscure the bet you can think of, the higher the odds on said bet will be. If you’re the sort of person that likes to do their research, from following social media accounts through to reading interviews with managers or trainers, then that is ideal.
Disadvantages Of Building Your Own Bet
There’s one major disadvantage to using a company’s request-a-bet feature, which is that a bookmaker’s margin on these bets is often very high because there’s less competition and harder to balance those markets.
Let’s say you’re looking to place a straight bet on Sergio Aguero as First Goalscorer, the majority of bookies will all be offering you odds on that so no one company can’t be more stingey than another when it comes to their odds and give themselves a massive margin because you’ll just go and place your bet elsewhere. When your bet is unique, however, a bookie has no need to worry about competition as they know you’ve asked them specifically for their odds, meaning they’ll build in higher margins.
Having said that, of course, you are building a bet that is bespoke to you and when things are bespoke they always cost more. Whether you’re looking to buy a suit tailored to your needs or a sofa that fits into the exact specifications of your lounge, the second something is unique it costs more money.
The same is just as true of a bet as it is of suits and settees, so it’s only fair that bookmakers give themselves a higher margin just as a tailor or furniture maker would. Still, it’s worth remembering when you come up with your bet and wonder why the odds don’t seem to be what you were expecting.
Are Bet Requests Good Value?
Having spoken about the margin that bookies will build into the odds that they offer you on the bet that you’ve requested, the natural next question is about whether or not there’s value in it. The honest answer to that is ‘no’, if I’m honest.
After all, the chance of a whole host of random events happening in the same sporting occasion is pretty slim, so realistically the odds offered should be close to astronomical. Having said that, you wouldn’t be able to place the bet at all if not for the request-a-bet feature, so it’s churlish of you to then be annoyed that you’re not given massive odds.
Bookmakers aren’t operated as a charity, so they have a responsibility to make money as any other business does. Ordinarily the odds offered are for events that are binary in nature, such as will X player score a goal or will team Y win the match. When you start adding in numerous other contingencies into the equation then things become more complex and the odds of them happening go up. A bookie has to make sure that they cover their own losses in a market that has far more variables than a standard one, so the result is that you lose a bit of value as the customer.
Things To Think About When Building A Bet
There are two main things to bear in mind if you’re going to use a company’s request-a-bet or build-a-bet features, with the first one being that sensible markets will stand you in good stead. That is to say, the temptation will be there to look at ridiculous markets in the hope of getting really long odds, but you’ll be much better served by winning a slightly crazy bet with odds of 10/1 then an absolutely crazy one with odds of 5,000/1 most of the time.
The other thing that you might not be aware of is that some companies put limits on how much they’re willing to payout for bets that have been requested. Don’t assume it will be unlimited.