Fixed odds gambling is really no different from any other of form of gambling in that you think a certain thing will happen and the bookmaker will offer you odds against it happening; from that point of view it is no different from gambling on the outcome of a football match or probably a tennis match is a better comparison as there cannot a draw. The only real difference between a tennis match and financial betting is that whereas any sports match has a finite ending, financial markets have no ending therefore the bet has to be defined by a certain time period. This time period is never lengthy and will probably be at most one day but can also be as short as 2 minutes.
Most fixed odds financial bets are taken on things which are subject to rapid fluctuation such as a number of market indices such as the London FTSE but there are many other similar indexes such as those for Sweden, Austria, France, Germany or various US markets. Other rapidly changing indices include exchange rates which change on a second by second basis and bookmakers involved in financial betting such as Ladbrokes offer a number of different exchange rates that you can bet on. Another popular one is the price of oil and in Europe this is usually the price of Brent Crude or the price of Gold or Silver.
There are interesting variations which seem to make financial gambling complicated but once you understand what is being offered it is quite simple. There is sometimes a choice between what is called static, moving or range betting; range betting is the easiest to understand as it is very similar to football betting on the final score. Instead of simply gambling that the chosen index will rise or fall in your chosen time frame you can bet on the actual result within a given range; this is clearly more difficult to predict so the odds are much better and the further you bet from the current level the higher the odds become. The chosen market will have a current value which will be moving all the time and therefore the range values and the odds will also be changing rapidly; this is what puts many people off as it is not easy to see exactly what your bet is until after it has been placed. An alternative is to gamble on moving or static. Clearly with the market moving rapidly all the time, the chances of a certain level being reached are also changing rapidly and this is reflected in the odds so for any fixed index level the odds offered for that level being reached are changing either up or down depending on the actual index level movement; gambling on a fixed level with the odds moving is known as “moving”. The alternative is for the odds to be fixed and for the levels to move which means that once the odds are fixed (in other words you determine that you want to gamble at odds of 11/4) the index level at which the bookmaker will accept those odds will continually change again depending upon the current level. This form of gambling is known as “static” betting. In either form of gambling, as the end of the time frame approaches so the odds will be reduced as the chance of movement are smaller so for better odds get your bet on early in the time period, but for more certainty wait until towards the end. You will not however be able to place bets in the final 15 seconds of the time period.
Fixed odds betting can be great fun and you really do not have to know anything about the markets; someone with knowledge may be able to predict the movement of a market over a year or even a month and some may be able to tie it down to what might happen in a day especially when taking into consideration what is happening on the other world markets that operate in different time zones but when it comes down to time frames or 5 minutes or 2 minutes, detailed knowledge of the market will not help much, it becomes gambling.