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Against the Crowd: The Methods of a Modern Backer [Paperback]

Alan Potts
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Aesculus Press Limited; Reprinted edition edition (14 July 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1871093929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1871093926
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.4 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Written by a professional punter, this guide reveals the techniques and methods which he claims give him the edge over bookmakers.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mould breaking material 1 Feb 2002
From time to time a shift occurs in your way of thinking about a particular subject. Potts book certainly had that effect on me. If you think successful betting is about finding winners and beating the bookies then you need to change by doing two things. Read this book and then admit you were wrong.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The mugs are wrong. Potts is right. 13 May 2001
By A Customer
As the title suggests the theme of this book is about betting 'Against the Crowd'.
Throughout the book you will find references to 'the mugs'. These are your opponents. Not the bookies. Bookies are commision agents. It is other punters that determine the prices of horses not the bookies.
Potts explains some good techniques of how to do the opposite of what the mugs are doing. You can learn a lot of why not to bet something rather than follow the sheep.
Like Nick Mordins Betting for a living, he displays his betting diary of his major bets during 1994.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Inside Track or Part of It 14 Aug 2004
This is a "really useful" book for the horserace gambler, backer or even (mug) punter. Unlike most books on backing, Potts is a writer who believes in making the book humourously readable (cf. the equally valuable and well written but statistics-bound books by Nick Mordin).
The author tells of his early years as a mug punter, spending (as many of us have done) wasted afternoons in the fug of the small betting shops so much part of British life: the fug is probably less now than in the 1970's, thanks to aircon, but the mug punters are almost certainly just the same! Going on from those times, Potts then tells us how, with a relatively few thousand pounds (I think maybe £10,000, but that would be, at a guess, around 1980) he started out to bet professionally.
Pott's first season was almost a complete disaster, but was redeemed near the end with some triumphs. In all, the story might be said to be a profane version of Parsifal's, i.e. that of the "fool slowly wise". Unlike the average punter (let alone gambling "addict"), Potts learned from experience how to make this game pay.
Among valuable insights often kept obscure: the pro backer is not betting against the bookies but, in reality, against the mug punters and all those backing otherwise than himself; the value of betting on-course with the aim of getting, say, 9/2 instead of 4/1, unimportant if one is backing at a £5 level (i.e. worth £2.50), but worth a lot more (£500) if one is gambling £1,000. That remains true despite "betting exchanges", not seen when this book was first published. A further important point made is that, with the exception of rare coups, the backer is limited: too high a regular bet and the odds shrivel and it becomes difficult to "get on".
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5.0 out of 5 stars good read 5 Nov 2013
By Philip
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good book showing ways to get an edge over the bookmaker, but as the title says you must trust your logic and bet against the crowd
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5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal Work 4 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Potts put it out there that good punters made money from bad punters and not from bookies (who are just commission agents).

I have read a lot of the UK specific racing literature and discovered something new in this work.

If you are a serious punter then you need to read Alan Potts.
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