If you don't want socks or underwear for Christmas then you need to get your requests in for for stuff that you would really like.
With that in mind we have some of the lesser known betting books that will help pass away a few quiet afternoons during the holiday period.
Born to Punt is a collection of amusing events that have befell sports writer Steve Palmer.
If you want to feel a bit better about your own misfortunes at the hands of the bookies.
One reviewer summed this book up thus “Absolutely hilarious from the start! For anyone that is regularly involved in financial combat with the bookmakers, or simply intrigued into what makes thousands of people regularly frit away their finances on a variety of sports, Steve's account is frightfully recognisable. Chasing the dream! The lazy boy lifestyle led with his accomplice through various fast-food establishments adds the required light humour! ”
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Our second choice is the more serious, although not too heavy for the non mathematician, Taking Chances.
John Haigh is the author of a number of books on probability and manages to make the mathematics of betting and winning just about understandable by the man on the street.
And although this is not the latest book on the subject it is one of the more readable and is recommended for that reason
Sporting Chancer is a wonderful read that will keep you occupied and amused during the dull sober moments of the traditional christmas.
The book follows Ed Hawkins as he tries to punt himself around the world. Not in a flat bottomed boat with a big stick but by betting to fund his travels.
As well as losing in one of the biggest casinos in the world, he bets on cock fighting, plays bingo and challenges Phil ‘The Power' Taylor to a game of darts.
Any round up of betting books would not be complete without a couple of the all time classics and here I include the books that I read as I started my own betting career.
But this is the one that I remember most fondly. Nick explains his methods and the index cards of data that he would carry to the days racing to help him identify the bets he would make.
It wraps up with an account of his own profits and losses betting around the racecourses of England.
As far as I'm aware Value Betting by Mark Coton was the first book to explain the concept of value betting. And although it was pre mainstream internet and Betfair the message is still valid today.
I'm going to finish off with Alan Potts' Against the Crowd. Alan Potts was a pro gambler turned pundit for a while and this one has had a place on my bookshelf since the mid 90's.
As the title suggest Alan, like Mark before him, was a value seeker. And like Nick he includes a diary of his bets over the preceding season
Hexham 2.50 Ockey De Neulliac Each Way