Can You Make Money Courtsiding?

Can You Make Money Courtsiding?

Have you seen term courtsiding before now? It is a relatively new term for a lot of people. To put it simply, this is a clever way to beat the bookies.

There has been more talk about it lately. For example, you might have first heard about it due to a recent documentary. The BBC took a look at it not too long ago. This helped to open a lot of people’s eyes.

So what is it all about? More importantly, can you make money on it?

What Is Courtsiding?

The name comes from tennis courts. This is because tennis is the sport that is best suited to it.

Basically, someone sits in the crowd at a tennis game. They then react to the points being won quicker than the bookies. They let a colleague know instantly what has happened. This other person can then place a bet.

In the BBC documentary, they met a courtsider called Joe. He explained how it works. It is a type of unfair advantage over the bookies. Because you are placing a wager on something you know the result of.

This sounds too good to be true. We need to take a closer look, to see exactly how it works.

How Exactly Does This Work?

The actual process of courtsiding is fairly simple to understand. Someone sits by the side of the court. As mentioned earlier, tennis is the ideal sport. But you can also imagine it at any other sport.

They then react to each point being won. The idea is to bet on the person that you know just won the point. Timing is crucial, as there is a tiny window in which you have valuable information. The bookies don’t yet know who won the point but you do.

How does this work? Well, the first point is that slow umpires are needed. This is because you want to be able to place a bet before the point is updated in the system. Some umpires are faster than others. So professional courtsiders look for the slow ones.

In the video above, Joe mentions how a certain umpire had to type in a PIN. This meant every point took longer to register in the system. It is this kind of loophole that you are exploiting.

We also know that some bookies are slower than others. If they delay their updates then this is great news. It gives you more time to make your move.

It used to be that people doing this would bet on a laptop or phone at the game. However, with authorities now cracking down on this, a new approach was needed.

Now, someone at the game will communicate with a remote colleague. This other person will be somewhere else in front of a laptop. They need to be ready to place the bets immediately.

The courtsider will covertly advise their friend how to place bets. As a point is won, they let the other person know immediately who to bet on.

You are placing a bet on a point that has already been won. You know who won it too. This means that you are betting on a sure thing.

Speed is the key factor. You need a cool head too. It is easy to make a mistake when under time pressure like this. A good system of communication with the use of clear codes is essential.

How Do You Make Money from It?

What are the steps to actually making a profit in this way? A lot of bookies offer in-play betting on tennis. This means that you can bet on each point being played. Just match the action you are watching to a bookie’s online site.

Most people bet on tennis at home. However, the problem is that there is a slight delay in this. When you watch on the TV, the action is slightly behind the real events.

This means that the point you are watching has already been won. The people in the stadium know who won it. In a couple of seconds, the TV image will let everyone else know.

Therefore, you will be taking advantage of this delay. Let’s picture the scene for a moment, to make it clearer. You are on the laptop at home with a betting slip on the screen. A friend is at the match and gives you updates over the phone.

As soon as a point is won they tell you to bet on it. They tell you who won it. You are basically betting on a point that has already been played. You know who won it before you place the wager.

The more bets you place the more you win. In theory, every single bet should be a winner. Don’t make any mistakes and you won’t ever lose.

The BBC documentary doesn’t mention the idea of mug bets. Should you deliberately lose some bets? This might be worth trying, to make your accounts last a bit longer.

Which Sports Does It Work On?

As we have seen, courtsiding is most commonly carried out on tennis matches. There are some good reasons why this is the case.

Mainly, it is because tennis is a fast-moving sport. You can place a lot of bets in very little time. This is because you can wager on individual points being won or lost. It is possible to win a lot in this way.

There are tennis matches played all over the world. You should never be short of matches to bet on. There is also good liquidity in the tennis betting market.

Having said that, it could work on other sports too. Let’s imagine that you want to do something similar at football games. Could it be done?

Well, it is certainly possible. However, there aren’t quite as many ways of winning. For a start, your best chance is to try and bet on goals that are scored. Naturally, there are fewer goals scored in football than points won in tennis.

There is also typically less delay in the results getting updated. In tennis, the umpire pressing a button adds a delay. In football, the goals are generally updated more quickly on bookie sites.

The same principle applies in other sports. This is why most courtsiders stick to tennis. Although, I have seen it mentioned in cricket as well.

Golf might be an option. You would probably need to have a team of people going around the course, though. An advantage is that it would be harder for the authorities to spot you. On the other hand, lack of liquidity might be a problem in golf.

Seemingly, horse racing tracks are cracking down on this too. You might find that you are quickly discovered if you try this on the horses.

Having said all that, there might be some opportunities in other sports. There seems to be little information at courtsiding in different sports. It is worth thinking about how you could do it.

What Do You Need To Start Courtsiding?

The theory behind courtsiding is simple enough. We have seen already how it works. But that doesn’t mean that it is easy to start. To get going you need the following.

  • A tennis match that you or a friend can attend in person. Ideally, one with an umpire who is slow in updating the score
  • The other member of the team should be at home with the bookmaker site open on a laptop
  • A way of communicating with each other. No one at the match should be able to see this happening
  • A bookie account with enough money in it to make the bets

With all of these elements in place you are ready to get started. You might be wondering at this point if courtsiding is legal or not.

The truth is that it is a grey area in most countries. There are typically no laws in place to make this a crime. However, it is worth bearing in mind that this isn’t always the case.

For example, in Australia there is some debate over the legality of it. Some sources suggest that you could face prison time for this. Others claim that it isn’t illegal.

A British man was arrested at the 2014 Australian Open. He allegedly had a device that allowed him to transmit the scores to a colleague. However, the case against him was eventually dropped.

In the UK and the US, people have been ejected from stadiums for doing this. It has happened in tennis and in cricket too. Yet, I can’t see any signs of attempts to prosecute anyone outside of Australia.

One thing for sure is that the authorities don’t like it. Neither do the bookies. So if you are spotting courtsiding you will probably be removed from the stadium. This is why it needs to be done covertly.

Because of this, people go get great lengths to hide what they are doing. You might want to communicate with a hidden Bluetooth. It’s all a bit cloak and dagger, but this is necessary to avoid getting stopped.

The actual placing of the bets is standard enough. A normal account with funds is in it is enough. The only difficult thing about this is the speed needed. You need to be ready to hit the button right away.

Courtsiding on Betfair

Can you try using this technique on Betfair? The main issue here is that Betfair isn’t a bookmaker. So they don’t follow the match’s data feed like bookies do.

Instead, their odds are updated in real-time. They are always in line with what is actually happening. So, the issue of a slow umpire doesn’t help you at all. They also operate longer delays on bets being placed. This makes it even more difficult for you.

The good thing is that you won’t get banned on Betfair, though. You can win all the time without getting your account blocked.

Overall, I can’t see how you could do this effectively on Betfair. It seems to be really just suited to using the bookies instead.

Courtsiding with Bookmakers  

The best way to win in this way is with bookies. They need to be slow to update their odds after each point. The other way this could work is if the match’s umpire is slow in updating.

There is one major drawback, though. That’s right, your account will probably get banned. Let’s face it, you are going to be showing them that you are working with an unfair advantage. It will be obvious that you are up to something.

It is unlikely that your bookie accounts will last more than 24 hours. What does this mean? The most important thing is that you will need lots of accounts. You will be switching between them regularly.

You might notice that the price drops on a certain bet just before you place it. This could be due to courtsiders. Yet, the evidence suggests that not enough people do this to hugely affect the market.

If it a global event, this might be the reason. Remember that transmission on TV can vary from one country to another. For instance, what if the event is taking place in the US? American viewers will probably see the result slightly ahead of Brits.

As you can see, it is vital to choose the right bookie and event. A fair degree of planning needs to go into courtsiding.

Did the Video Make It Seem Easy?

The video mentioned at the start of the article explains how courtsiding is done. It is a great starting point for understanding it all. But does it seem easy to do?

The truth is that it does seem very easy. You can see how someone who knows little about it soon makes money.

However, it isn’t going to be easy for most people. The first big issue is the cost and time involved. You need to physically go to games. As we see in the video, this means travelling all over the world.

This isn’t going to be cheap. It is pointed out in the video that Europe isn’t the best place for this. A lot of your profits will be eaten up in this way. So, you need to travel further afield.

In the video, we hear that the team won £1 million in a year. However, their expenses make the final profit a lot lower.

The other difficult area is with the bookie accounts. It is going to be incredibly awkward to do this. There are lots of different bookmakers around now. But you will work your way through accounts really quickly.

Are you prepared to put in the time and effort? If you are organised and flexible, this could be something well worth trying. For other people, it might just seem like too much effort.

The Effect of the BBC documentary

For many viewers, the BBC documentary will have been their first glimpse at courtsiding. This is something that has never been widely spoken about before. What kind of effect will this have on it in the future?

It probably isn’t good news for other people who do it. It is easy to imagine the bookies now being more interested. They will probably start paying more attention to the subject.

Some of the secrets of the trade are now out in the open. This means that anyone can try it. We might see more people looking to make money like this in the future.

It is probably now going to be more difficult to make money on tennis. Is there anything else that you can do instead?

Trying another sport might be an option. What sport might be suitable? We already looked as some pros and cons earlier on. Perhaps lower league football could be worth trying.

There isn’t yet much attention on courtsiding in football. You might find that you can do it without much problem. It is worth putting some thought into how this might work.

Of course, more people could now try this activity in other sports too. The documentary makes it sound easy, after all. Time will tell and it will be interesting to see if this is the case.


We have seen that this betting method called courtsiding works. You can make money, because you are betting on something that you know has happened. There is no risk of losing if you do it right.

Is it right for you? There is no doubt that some people will be excited by the idea. However, it isn’t right for everyone. You might think that it sounds too time-consuming. Perhaps you are worried about potentially getting caught and ejected from an event.

If you like what you have seen then take some time to think about it. This is the sort of tactic that needs a lot of thought put into it. You can’t just start it right away from home.

There are easier ways to make money from the bookies. You might not win as much with matched betting or other methods. But a lot of people are happy with this safe, steady approach.

We aren’t all motivated by the same things. Not everyone has a lifestyle that could be adopted to this either. However, if you want some extra excitement in your life you might want to give it a try.

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Comments (1)

Its not possible to “courtside” on football. Read several stories on how people tried to do that and their bets were voided.

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