Over the centuries, punters have come up with a huge range of ways to beat the bookies, some fair and some wildly inventive. One method is the ghost game, a race or sporting match which doesn’t exist and yet appears to exist for bookies to take odds on it. In the modern era, these are most common in minor league European soccer, with untelevised games being used for the sting. Players either agree not to play at all, and simply post the result at the scheduled end of the game, with bookies paying out on the result, or they start the game early, and bet on the actual result while the bookies believe the game is still in play.

One of the best known ghost games in English horse racing occurred in 1898, and to this day, the punter behind the Trodmore Hunt Scam is unknown