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Identifying A Good Bet

Identifying A Good BetIdentifying a good bet is the heart of a successful gambling experience. When you are able to find a good bet, you want to make the most of it. These are two very different concepts, but without mastery over both of them, you will never be profitable over the long run. Let’s briefly look at these two ideas and see what you need to do in order to put together a good strategy.

For starters, you need to figure out what wagers are a good bet. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be looking for a bet that is likely to win (although this doesn’t hurt), but rather you need to look for something that pays out higher than its true odds of winning. This isn’t always possible at the casino on the table games, but you can often find opportunities of this sort in other forms of gambling, especially when you look at the horse and sports books.

In a sports game, the odds of one team winning are seldom ever 50 percent. One team is almost always favored over the other, and even when the odds are pretty even, the payout never is. This is why you will see both teams listed at -110 when they’re evenly matched—you have to bet $110 in order to win $100.

But when you can find a disparity between the true odds of a team winning and the odds being paid out, then you can find a profitable spot to place your money. In theory, if two teams are evenly matched, the payout should be 1:1. But the casinos’ sports books need to make money—which is why you payout more than you win when they deem two teams at the same level.

This doesn’t mean that mistakes are not made. This is where sports betting becomes profitable. For example, if you determine that two teams are evenly matched, and a book is paying out +105, you will definitely want to put your money there. For something with a 1:1 expectation, you will be seeing a small but steady 5 percent profit over a large enough sample size, assuming your prediction methods are accurate.

That’s part one. Now, you need to figure out how to get the best of it. If you are playing blackjack at the casino, and thanks to counting cards you figure out that you have a 2 percent edge, how do you make sure that you’re not putting yourself in a bad spot by betting too much or too little?

This is tough. There are mathematical formulas out there that can pinpoint an exact number for you (such as the Kelly Criterion), but the basic point is that the better your odds of winning are, the more you should risk. In a perfect world, if you had a 100 percent chance of winning, you would want to risk everything you could in order to get the best profits possible. But this obviously would never happen in real life—stop dreaming!

In real life, you will seldom ever find an edge over 5 percent. By varying your bet according to your edge, you can make more money in a safer manner. Think about the card counter again. When the count swings higher in their favor, they’re going to put more and more chips on the table. When the count turns against them, they will bet the table minimum in order to avoid losses. This concept is even more pronounced with sports betting or horse racing. At the blackjack table, you are betting continuously, but you can pick and choose which teams or horses to bet on. For the sports or horse bettor, this gives them a big advantage over the typical casino bettor that is betting on every hand or spin of the wheel, positive return expectation or not.

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  1. How to Bet on Horses | Casino B Blog linked to this post on July 12, 2013

    […] wager or if you want to bet on multiple horses which is called an exotic wager.  Both have different ways of betting.  Let’s me explain a bit further. Let’s begin with the single or straight […]

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