Advice

Why does the House Win?

(Last Updated On: September 7, 2010)

Guest post written by Paul Micelli

Quite simply the house (which in sports betting is the bookmaker) usually wins because gamblers part with too much of their money too quickly. Please note that there is a difference in sports betting and casino games. The casino house wins because they put the odds in their favour by only paying out a percentage of what is bet. The casino is not beatable except by cheating.

By displaying a lack of discipline before the law of averages has had a chance to start working, most sports betting enthusiasts will soon run out of money. Let us look at a hypothetical situation involving two gamblers with equal bankrolls of £1,000.

Gambler A likes to take risks in the hope of reaping larger short-term benefits while Gambler B prefers to bet more cautiously. Gambler A chooses to bet 20% (or £200) of his bankroll during the first week of action while Gambler B prefers to wager just 5% (or £50) of his. Each decided to make 6 bets each week on the same selections.

After the first week, both Gambler A and Gambler B had enjoyed a 4-2 (4 wins and 2 losses) streak. Gambler A now had a £1,360 bankroll while the conservative Gambler B had £1,090. The second week produced the same results and Gambler A now had a huge bankroll of £1,720 while Gambler B still only £1,180. Gambler A was elated and Gambler B, while not enjoying large profits like his friend, was still in profit nonetheless.

Unfortunately, the third and fourth weeks didn’t go so well and both Gambler A and Gambler B went for 2-4 and 1-3 losses. This is a fairly typical result in the world of sports betting and losing streaks are as easy to pick up as winning streaks. By the end of the fourth week, Gambler A had lost £940 of his bankroll while Gambler B had lost £235 of his. Gambler A honestly thought it couldn’t get much worse and stuck with his usual £200 bet. Gambler B stayed on the side of caution and continued to bet just £50 a time

Week 5 and 6 didn’t go much better and the two gamblers went for 2-2 and 1-3. This left Gambler A with just £280 which was not going to be enough to cover his bets in the seventh week. Gambler B however, still had £820 left (almost 80% of his original bankroll) and enjoyed an excellent three-week streak where he went 10-2 to significantly increase his original bankroll. Gambler A was forced to quit after week 6.

The morale of the tale is an incredibly simple one – Never bet outside of the confines of your bankroll!

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.

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