In the third of our bitesize series, we take a look at the typical journey of an aspiring bettor, think about where you are on your journey, and where you want to get.
To begin this post, I'll include what is known as the "Pareto Curve". Initially popularised in Nate Silver's book, Signal and the Noise, the Pareto Curve is the 80/20 rule of effort reward applied to the context of betting.
A quick explainer of the above, x-axis indicate Effort, y-axis indicates betting success (termed "accuracy") with 80% accuracy the indicative breakeven point.
Let's discuss some of the points on the x-axis in relation to your betting:
This accounts for 85-90% of bettors out there, and how most of us start our betting journey. Often termed "Mug" punters, these are the bettors bookmakers love to acquire as customers. They bet on what they think will happen based on rudimentary knowledge of the Sport, have no concept of where a bookmaker builds in margin to price, and will bet spuriously as a leisure activity. Although they want to win money, subconsciously their betting is an escape & a thrill.
If you bet for fun, on what you think is going happen alone, you are currently a 0% Effort bettor. You will not make money longterm, but the fact you are reading this post suggests you have the awareness to work towards profitable.
It may surprise you, but I would fundamentally agree that it only takes a small amount of effort (if we assume the scale ends at 100% effort being full time, pro punter) to become breakeven. Making some very simple, and easy to implement, changes to your betting and you can stop losing.
1) Always take best price (if you're coming from a 0% effort, losing punter, you will have no account restrictions), this will get you closer to breakeven in today's competitive bookmaker market place.
2) Make use of +EV promotions on existing and new accounts (enhanced each way terms, odds boosts, money back specials).
3) Get educated with regards to bookmaker margins and what you can reference as the true price (simple mathematics & an account with a Betting Exchange and you will soon realise where the bookmaker has the biggest edge and avoid those spots).
4) Stop betting accumulators if you are not a sharp bettor. Accumulators compound margin...they compound in the bookmakers favour if you don't have an edge (nb: they compound in your favour if you do).
I'd guesstimate that maybe 5% of betting participants get to this point consciously, by seeking out how to improve their betting and applying it in and disciplined manner. If you're already doing the above, you are likely getting towards the next segment of bettors.
Now, these bettors are starting to take their betting very seriously. They are potentially carving out a niche in a specific Sport and/or league. They know the bookmaker theory and how to exploit it. They know a sharp bookmaker price vs a soft price, and they know when to bet to maximise their EV based on the stakes they bet to and they are disciplined in their execution. Bad each way races, exploitable promos, opening odds at bet365, all the bread & butter of the 40-80% bettors, picking out edges when and where. Not yet pros, but likely making consistent profits out of their betting, a nice second income. Maybe some have aspirations to become professional if they can scale their current strategies.
If you don't know these exploitable aspects of a bookmaker's product set, you are probable not yet in the 40%+ stage of your betting journey.
The pros, everything the 40-80% have but with the ability to scale and make a consistent income. What's the primary difference between the two? At this level of the betting hierarchy the problem is not getting value, it is getting enough money down on the value to make it pay. Your primary metric is your expected returns, not your expected value. Get X down at Y ROI to project an Income of Z. Bet Execution, getting as much down as possible at +EV is a skill in itself and one only the few end up needing to develop.
I hope after reading this post you have a better idea of where you are on your betting journey. If you'd like to get in touch and have any questions please email us, email@example.com