There are a whole lot of people who claim to be profitable bettors, but only a small percentage who actually are. Thankfully, it’s really not that hard to identify someone who is stretching the truth… They say some silly things.
“I’ve got a sure thing, my friend has insider knowledge!”
Let’s start here, I’ve had a lot of workmates, schoolmates, or acquaintances over the years who coincidentally knew a football player, horse trainer, or boot cleaner.
Now they are all rich. It definitely didn’t work for any of them.
Giving away inside info is generally illegal. Poor ‘inside info’, such as: ‘I’ve seen him on the training track and he’s looking in great shape, chuck a $10 on him for Best On Ground’ – is not illegal, but is incredibly unhelpful.
Everyone wants the secret or the inside word, but it just doesn’t exist. Most useful information is readily available, to get the results you just have to do the work.
If your friend at the pub tells you they had a conversation with a horse and it’s a sure thing to win – they aren’t your tipster…
“My 10 leg multi lost by 1 leg, I’m so unlucky”
Let’s start with multis. Multis are not completely useless – they have their place in some finetuned betting systems. But, in most cases, they just aren’t the backbone of a strong betting system.
I have yet to hear from anyone who’s profitable system utilises 5+ leg multis with regularity, but I’m all ears if you know otherwise.
Sourcing value bets means putting the work in, it’s not always easy. If you have enough value bets to place in a 10 leg multi, with stable enough odds that you know the odds won’t shift in the process of placing the bet and are happy to accept the much higher risk and variance that comes with betting on those higher odds, all power to you. I think I’ll just take my 10 ‘value bets’ and place them individually, using a more conventional and consistent system.
Here’s a little breakdown of the main staking systems – Betting Stake Strategy: Level vs Proportional Staking
(You’re also not unlucky if you constantly lose by 1 or 2 legs. It is a completely statistically predictable result)
“I’ve had a bad run, I’m due for a big day”
Full disclosure, I’ve said the above before…
When your bankroll is on a down-swing due to variance, you really are just waiting for it to turn around – maybe even appealing to the betting gods (Value and Variance) with pleas of bankroll mercy.
But in the end, if you’re betting on value and your staking system is strategic and well-founded, you have nothing to worry about (despite your minds insistence that the world is imploding).
Here is the juicy little secret, if your system suggests you have a 50% strike-rate on odds of 2 (which is a completely breakeven system), yet for the past three weeks, due to variance, you have only hit 25% of your bets. You aren’t due for a ‘good week’ of a 75% strike-rate, you’re expected strike-rate is exactly what it was three weeks ago; 50%.
The betting gods do not care that you had a few bad weeks.
“Always remember to bet with your gut”
Your gut just isn’t very statistically adept. In fact, I’d dare to say it’s a pretty poor mathematician.
Bet with only the logical parts of your mind, if you have a good feeling about something, that’s unhelpful. It only serves to cloud your judgement.
I made a pledge to myself years ago to never include teams or players I’m emotionally invested in into my profitable betting system, as my gut seems to think my teams will go undefeated forever.
“A great place to find good tips is on Facebook Betting Groups…”
This is a personal gripe of mine, Facebook betting groups are a breeding ground for poor logic, scammers, and delusional ‘aspiring pro bettors’.
There is a shocking amount of people advertising ‘rigged games’ in 5th level leagues around the world, or spewing their terrible ‘insider knowledge’.
If you are looking for tips or to follow a betting service, avoid Facebook and vet them meticulously. Here’s an article I wrote about sourcing profitable tipsters – How To Find The Best Tipsters
Enjoy a couple of the unmoderated posts I found in just five minutes scouring some popular Facebook betting groups:
“I maintain a 20% + Yield…”
I hate to be a dream crusher, 20% Yield is just not able to be maintained. It may have been done in some corner of the world on some obscure market for 1 month before the bookmakers corrected or removed the markets, but it just can’t consistently happen.
“I don’t worry about the odds, I just pick winners”
Picking likely winners is useless, yeah, I said it.
I may be pushing that a little far, but, I don’t want to know who you think is going to win. The likely winner is completely irrelevant to me… if I don’t know the odds.
No one knows exactly what is going to happen, but we can build an idea by calculating the probabilities of certain events.
If I bet on a horse paying 1.40 and I have calculated a 70% chance that it wins, you have indeed picked the likely winner. But, it’s still a losing bet.
If there were no bookmaker margins and our probability was right, the correct odds would be 1.43 for a 70% chance. Yes, we have a 70% chance of winning this bet, we probably will win, but at 1.40 it’s a poor bet.
Here’s my expected value for this bet with an assumed bet size of $10:
10(1.40/1.43 – 1) = -0.2097
I’m losing a cool 21 cents every time I place this bet.
So no, I don’t care who the likely winner is, tell me the odds first.
I’ve had multiple people give me a horse tip, just a horse. The name of a horse. What the heck am I meant to do with the name of a horse. What are the odds? What is the winning probability you have calculated? What are the resultant Minimum Profitable Odds?
If a bet makes no reference to the available odds, it’s not a value bet.
‘I only bet with [Insert Soft Bookie], I’ve been taking their money for years!’
No, No, No, No you have not.
If they are still letting you place all your bets exclusively with them after years of betting, it’s because they are taking your money.
Bookmakers have systems put in place to identify winning bettors, limit their accounts, and take away any chance profitable bettors have of taking their money. I personally believe that in most cases these systems are nefarious and to be treated with disdain. But they are there.
But, if you are betting with a soft bookie exclusively, you will be limited as soon as they identify you as a true risk of taking their money with regularity.
I genuinely think some people do delude themselves into thinking they have made money. They remember the $150 they withdrew after they won a promo bet, yet conveniently forget the $200 they deposited after six beers on a Saturday night. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a recreational bet, but let’s call it what it is.
It would be a much easier game if we could bet forever with soft bookies, we may even be able to someday…
Professional betting can be a bit of a grind. Being a professional bettor means being lumped in with people who say the above, by a majority of the population.
But, it’s an investment – most people who have made that investment properly can easily identify some of the silly things phoney professional bettors might say…
What are some other ones you can think of?
As always, happy (value) betting.