This time around, it is all about identifying wagering strategies that will work. Not by winning big with one perfect bet. That’s pretty much like hoping you will win the next Powerball Lotto jackpot. Sure, it does happen, most times there is a winner. But still, hopefully it is crystal clear to you by this point, that is not such a good game plan.
With that in mind, following is a closer look at two strategies that actually do work over time. The only thing to note is that these strategies accomplish their goals by minimizing the losses. Which only makes sense if you think about it even a little bit. After all, if you are out of the game after your first or second bet, well then you are out of the game, period. At least if you can play your wallet the right way to stay in the game long enough, you may well find that you can get in on that holy grail of a winning streak. With that in mind, take a look at the two strategies detailed below.
First is the strategy of what is referred to as fixed betting. Sure it sounds boring. Sure, it is old school. But sometimes things are old school because they actually have a bit of truth. In this case, fixed betting works for the simple reason that it is so simple. Since you only ever allow yourself to wager fixed amounts, your gains, although they may look incremental at first glance, they do start to add up over time.
The next strategy you want to make sure you understand is that of proportional betting. Proportional betting is exactly what it sounds like. Each and every time it is your turn to place a wager on the table, you only ever lay down a proportion of your bankroll (which you have decided on long before the beginning of the game). There are various formulas and techniques for deciphering what this proportion should be. That will be looked at a another time. Suffice it to say that proportional betting works to slowly but surely move you ahead.
Did you spot the commonality in the two systems described above? If you said that both keep you in the game and let you slowly move ahead, congratulations. Move straight to the head of the class. You got it. The real point, the bottom line if you will is that whatever betting strategy you decide to use, make sure that it keeps you in the game. Never lose sight of the fact that sports betting or other wagering success is a long term game.
As in where’s the money. Naturally you understand right up front that the sportsbook provides a service in order to earn a profit. No profit, no sportsbook. Got it? So with that in mind, it may well be instructive for you to have a handle on the profit a sportsbook can expect. If nothing else, having a good basic understanding of the business of the sportsbook can make you a more informed sports bettor.
To bring this discussion home so that it is simple and easy to understand, let’s work with a real world example. So for the purposes of this illustration, why don’t we use a fairly standard vigorish of -110. As you already know, that -110 means that you are in essence pulling out $110 from your wallet and handing it over to the sportsbook.
When or if you wager correctly and end up winning, you can walk away with $210. In other words, you win $100 plus you get the original $110 investment returned to you. Fairly simple right? And from a pure numbers point of view you have made a nice tidy profit. On the other hand, if you happen to lose the wager, you are out the $110, case closed, move on.
But what does it look like on the other side of the table, from the perspective of the sportsbook that is? So taking the exact same figures from above, the sportsbook would receive $10 of the $220 combined betting action. Now if you take the $10 and then divide it by the total for that one bet you will end up with 4.5%. That number, the 4.5% is the profit margin for the sportsbook.
Looking into this a bit further, if you take the time to crunch the numbers, you will discover that the person placing the wager will need to win a bit more than 52% of the time to actually break even. The other side of that statement is that the sportsbook only needs to be right about 48% of the time to come out ahead.
If you carry this example a bit further, you can see that in the long run, the profit margin for the sportsbook remains at around 4.5%. Interestingly, this long term profit margin tends to remain constant no matter what the public actually does in terms of sports bets placed.
Bottom line is this: the sportsbook is a business and like any business must generate a profit to stay in business. Perhaps more interesting is the fact that sportsbooks can be successful with what looks to be small profit margins.