In no other football-minded country does the national cup competition have so much impact on fans and clubs alike as in the UK. It is in fact the oldest football tournament in the world, and has been popular ever since the start in 1871. One explanation for the ongoing popularity of the FA Cup is the unpredictability of the results. We all enjoy it when David beats Goliath, and the FA cup has a reputation in that area. Many times small semi-professional teams have knocked out their multi-million £ opponents. A tradition that not only good makes for good spectacle, but also for spectacular betting chances. And not only the fans like to gamble, also the big clubs, as they often confront opponents from lower leagues with a second tier selection to rest their star players for ‘more serious business’.

Here you'll find all FA Cup 2018/19 round dates

Analysing the FA Cup

Though nothing can be taken for granted in FA Cup matches, the statistics can give some clues. In Analysing the FA Cup Sportingbet crunches the numbers for every match in the tournament since the turn of the century until 2018. In the article you can read, among other things, which teams are often involved in upsets and which Premier League clubs tend not to take this tournament all that seriously.

Some serious upsets

Just for fun, here are some memorable upsets in the history of the FA Cup.

  • Arsenal has lost 6-0 three times in the FA Cup: against Sunderland in 1883, against Derby in 1889, and against West Ham in 1946.
  • In 1990 the three semi-final matches saw a total of 16 goals, scored by 16 different players.
  • In 1946 and 1947 the ball burst in both the first final and the replay. This was likely due to the poor materials used to make the balls in post-wartime Britain.
  • The longest FA Cup tie lasted five games. In 1954 Bury finally managed to beat Stoke in the 4th replay.     

When it comes to online games, online slots are a big success among most of the gamblers. They’re so popular, there are even online casinos that provide only slot games. However, this piece of new technology is still a bit taboo, because many people consider gambling online (gambling generally) as something bad.

- These are particularly games too, even if they are casino-based. There is still some cool technology behind them, something many users might find very easy. The odds of the games are based on Random Number Generators and this piece of tech is used in almost all of the casino games, especially in the slots.

 - Talking about UK slots, there are certain casinos they can’t access due to the law regulations. Therefore, special online casinos were created, such as BellFruit casino, which can provide gamblers with all the slot games they like, they never heard of or they just want to test out.

-  These slots are very easy to play and they don’t require special rules. It’s easy to understand a slot game and it’s much easier to play it online. All you need to do is to click here and there and poof! You have your spin made already! And with some luck, you might also win a bonus game!

- If you don’t know anything about bonus games, they’re pretty much present in every slot game. Some of them have different features, but most of them reward the player with free spins. Now depending on the game, you might get 10, 20 or 30. Who knows, maybe even more.

Another cool feature of the games is the gamble feature. This one is present in 90% of the slot games. Here you can gamble with your winnings. Depending on the types of slot that you are playing, you will have to choose from two options and if you guess the right one, you will double your winnings.

Also, regarding the types of slots, you can choose between classic slots (such as the ones you see at real slot machines) or video slots (these are improved versions of the classic ones, with added features that will allow the player to win a lot).

There are a lot of games in the Bellfruit casino, but their slots are some of the best games. Many UK gambler play there and love those slots, especially Lucky Lady’s Charm!

Any seasoned punter knows that horserace betting isn't an exact science and, in all honestly, that is half the fun. Ultimately, the thrill is in the risk. The knowledge that fate can lift you up or slam down is intrinsic to the excitement of the whole enterprise. However, equally, nobody is going to go around saying you should leave everything to chance. Nobody ever became a successful better by being reckless and impulsive.


No, when it comes to being profitable when betting, one needs to mix instinct and fearlessness with experience and knowledge. Research really is key, and the more you do, the better your chances will be. Now, anyone could tell you that knowing current odds and being aware of recent withdrawals – such as Carlingford Lough’s recent ruling-out - should be your first port of call, for any potential bet. But, when it comes to picking the most likely winner, there is so much further down the rabbit hole you can, and should, go. So, here are some more intricate, and unusual, things to research about both horse and jockey before you put your money on the table.

Winning DNA

Whilst a horse having a winning pedigree is no guarantee to its success, it certainly isn't detrimental to that very same stallion having winning DNA in its blood. Often, punters are so focused on jockeys, trainers and breeders, they discount the importance of a rich bloodline. However, whilst these professionals are integral to sculpting the animal, their success is somewhat dependent on the clay – so to speak – they have to work with.

For example, Welsh National winner Dream Alliance was bred by a pub landlady, who previously had only raised Whippets, and was trained in a slag heap allotmenttrained in a slag heap allotment. However, Dream Alliance came from a long line of champions with his sire and grandsire, Bien Bien and Manila respectively, both being extremely successful Grade 1 steeplechaser in America.

A Match Made In Heaven

Factoring in the dual achievements of jockey and horse is a natural part of betting. Every punter worth his salt knows that the horse is only as good as the jockey that rides them and, almost, vice-versa. However, just because a successful jockey and a tried-and-tested champion horse join forces, does not always mean that victory is assured.

It is wise, when contemplating betting on a new partnership, to see how the jockey has performed with a horse of this breed, age and temperament before. It is all well and good having a world-class jockey who has had great successes riding young mares, but how is he going do with a more mature grey?

A Clean Bill Of Health

Long Run was one of the outside favourites for this year's Grand National, with odds of 25/1, having had a successful 2014 season. However, it was announced this month that Long Run would not be competing, this year, due to him not yet recovering from injuries sustained a year ago, whilst being transported back to France.

Horses may be imposing and strong animals but that doesn't mean they are infallible. Whilst professional athletes can often comeback from injury and return to form, when it comes to horses this is a much more tricky proposition. Trainers cannot regulate their horses behaviour to the point that they can maximise the animal's chances of recovery. Simply put, horses don't know that they shouldn't move or act in a certain way to avoid inflaming an injury, so they are much more likely to relapse.

Moreover, owners and promoters are unlikely to want to acknowledge the extent of a horses injury, for various reasons, so it is wise to be careful when considering betting on a horse that has had injuries either recently or repeatedly.

On The Right Side Of History

Although there may sometimes be no rhyme or reason as to why more often than not a certain type of horse or jockey wins more frequently at a certain event, this shouldn't mean that a punter can't roll with it. If, historically, there has been some statistically or logistically proven element at play which means a horse is more or less likely to win, consider it in your decision-making.

For example, since the Grand Nationals' inception in 1839 only 12 mares have won the event, and the last of them was in the 1950s. So, if you're planning to bet on a long-shot outsider – hoping for a big payoff for the risk – maybe it is best to, at least, pick one whose bread has been victorious at the event in the last half a decade.

Today, there’s no easier way to play casino games than by using one of the many online casino sites. There’s no need to spend time and money travelling to a land-based casino, or to commit a big amount of spending money to the games when you get there. With online casinos such as 32red or bet365 and Caesars Casino, you can login and play for five or ten minutes and then go back to whatever else you were doing. In fact you don’t even have to play for real money – many of the sites will allow you to play in demo or practice mode. For instance you can try 32red's new slots just for fun, and then switch to real money bets whenever you want to.


So, what if you’re keen to play with real money, but feel sceptical that you’ll be getting a fair chance of winning those games. How can you be sure that the games are not ‘rigged’ in the gaming operators’ favour?

What you have to remember is that the online gaming market is huge and any gaming operator that wants to retain a large piece of the market share can only do so by running a legitimate and transparent business. In order for the casinos to make their money, they have to operate in a way that is structured and offers the players a fair chance of winning the games they have on offer. Otherwise, if people suspected that the games were ‘rigged’ in any way no-one would be willing to put down any money and play the games and the bottom would fall out of the casino gaming industry.

The use of Random Number Generator (RNG) technology by the casinos and other cash gaming sites is what guarantees that the game results are random and unpredictable. Using RNG, there is no way for results to be predicted and the games are impossible to manipulate. This reassures customers that they have the same possibility of winning online games at online sites as they do in a land-based casino. So how does RNG work?

RNG is a computer programme that uses mathematical equations (or algorithms) to produce the outcome of every card deal and each dice roll, without any unrealistic outcomes or duplications – such as two of the same card being dealt at the same time. Casinos have their RNG systems supplied by independent third parties and the RNG results are subject to the games rules. The RNG results are impossible to manipulate. So whether you want to play a game of roulette, slots, blackjack or bingo, you’ll know that the payout percentages displayed for each game give you a genuine picture of the chances you have of winning. They may be slim, but those are your odds. As well as the RNG, there’s also the fact that legitimate online casinos are also subject to independent regulation and operate under government licensing. At 32red, for example, the independent auditor eCOGRA reviews the game payout percentages on a monthly basis.

The RNG systems also serve to protect the casinos’ interest. If RNG was in any way predictable, it’s possible that casino players could work out set patterns and use them to their advantage. However, as the systems are 100% unpredictable, both the players and casinos can be confident that the online gaming environment is completely unbiased.

Online casino games are very much a 21st century phenomenon. And phenomenon is the right word. In the space of just a decade-and-a-half the online gambling industry has exploded into a $40 billion industry. Bear in mind that up until around 2003 online gambling simply did not exist and you begin to get a grasp on just how quickly and how dramatically the world has changed.


But the fundamentals of the industry are far older. Online casino games like poker, Baccarat and roulette have their roots way back in time. It is thought that the first playing cards were produced in ancient China more than a thousand years ago. The circuitous route by which games of cards and other games that combined elements of both skill and chance made their way to Europe and even further west is a story that is as convoluted as any story ever told.

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Even the humble slots game, the online equivalent of the traditional slot machine has its own place in this ongoing story. Slot machines were invented in the 19th century as a way to mechanise poker. The now traditional emblems of fruit and bars were simply the advertising logos of the day. Original machines often paid out in fruit flavoured gum - hence the fruit - and the logo of one of those companies was, for no reason that makes any sense, a gold bar. The rest, as they say, is history.

But it was only as late as the 15th century - or as early if you prefer - that the suits that are universally recognised today were first employed. Previously, cards had been divided in terms of swords, cups, coins and - somewhat strikingly - polo sticks. The origins of these designs are - like so much else, now shrouded in mystery.

But just as there have been historical evolutions in the forms and formats of casino gamesforms and formats of casino games, the online revolution is seeing new forms of traditional games being introduced. None of these is more eye-catching than the development of rush or speed forms of poker. The format is branded differently according to various different suppliers’ marketing emphasis, but the bottom line is a whole new card game.

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Given that the technology is still in its infancy, there will doubtless be further evolutions in the way the world plays online in the years ahead. The year of 2015 is still just the latest stage in what has been a long and unpredictable story, in which every single hand or spin of the wheel has been at least one small part. It is a weird thought, but every time we play, we are all making history.