Rule 1: Shop around for the best value. Open accounts with as many online bookmakers as possible, they nearly all offer free bets to entice you to open accounts with them. You should have no loyalty to any bookmaker and the sole reason you should be placing a bet with one is because you are getting the best price.
Rule 2: Work out a staking plan. Once you have identified a value bet the next question is "how much should I bet?". The answer to this question is determined firstly, by how confident you are about your soccer tips and secondly, by how much value you think you are getting. For example, if you toss a coin in the air you have a 50% chance it will be head and a 50% chance it will be tail. The correct price for each outcome should therefore be evens. But what if somebody offered you 3/1 that the coin would land on head, you are obviously being offered huge value and if you repeated this bet ten times you would likely to be in profit at the end. Whatever staking plan you have worked out, this would obviously be a maximum bet scenario, you could still lose but you have secured huge value and if you consistently bet when the odds are in your favour, theoretically you will make money in the long run.
Rule 3: Never, ever, chase. If you didn't identify a value bet in the game at the start of the day then don't bet on it. We all have bad days and there will be plenty of good value opportunities to get your money back in the next set of fixtures. You must be selective with your bets. If you do feel the need to bet on every game you watch then keep your stakes small unless you have identified value.
Rule 4: Stick to singles or doubles. It is hard enough predicting the outcome of one match let alone a number of games. Bookmakers love to promote accumulator bets because they know the more selections you choose the less likely you are to win.
Rule 5: Pay close attention to team news. An injury to a key striker or a suspended captain can sometimes greatly swing the odds in your favour. As a general rule the higher the level of football the less affect team news will have as the top clubs have large squads full of quality players. The lower league teams however, operate with much smaller squads and can have their chances of winning badly affected by key players being injured or suspended. Be warned however, team news can be misleading. Some clubs actively give out false information in order to gain an advantage over their opponents so it is dangerous to base your bet on team news alone.
Rule 6: Choose which markets you bet on carefully. Profits margin of bookermakers on Asian Handicap betting is a lot lower than other markets, so straight away you have more chance of finding value. The best markets to bet on are generally the match odds and some of the goals markets. Halftime/fulltime, correct score, first goal scorer and other similar markets have a higher profit margin built in by bookmakers and therefore generally offer poor value.
Rule 7: Keep records of all your bets. It is important to do this so that you know exactly how much money you are making or losing. It will help you decide on your staking plan and make it clear that you should stop if you aren't making money in the long run.
Rule 8: Stick to what you know and don't bet on leagues you haven't been following. You can only get an edge on bookmakers if you have better knowledge than they do on a certain league. If you don't usually bet on Italian football but Milan are playing Inter on Channel five, then don't bet on it. Accept that the bookmaker is likely to know much more about the two teams than you do and that, as a result, you are unlikely to beat him with bets on this league.
Rule 9: In any given season you will have good spells and bad spells and you should not get carried away with either. Stick to your staking plan and don't start betting bigger and bigger because you are having a good run. Don't go spending all your winnings either, keep a betting fund and only withdraw from it once you have gone over a certain level. You may need it to fall back on during a bad spell. Likewise, don't get too upset by a bad run of results. Analyse your bets to see where you may have gone wrong but don't be panicked into any rash changes. Bad spells can be very disheartening, but if you know your stuff and have made money in the past, then you probably aren't doing too much wrong and the next good spell is just around the corner. The end of the season is the best time to take stock and analyse your performance over the season as a whole.
These rules should help you to tip the odds in your favour. It is possible to make money from betting on football but you will need to invest time and effort. It should be enjoyable too, a moneymaking hobby if you like. If you find the bad spells too upsetting or stressful then maybe it's not for you.