The sharpest casino gamers, those that invariably do well at the blackjack table or roulette wheel, are those that have an inherent understanding of numbers.
Specifically, we’re talking about odds, probability theory and stake sizing…. three key attributes in the ‘locker’ of the successful casino player.
And, to that end, we would expect blackjack sharks and roulette whales to prosper in the world of online betting in the UK as well. The key to success when it comes to betting on sports is an appreciation of inherent value – that is, where the implied probability of a team or player winning is reflected by the odds supplied by the bookmakers.
So, we can answer the original question quite easily – yes, it is easy for casino gamers to make the leap into sports betting. However, there are some key differences between the two disciplines that you should be aware of.
Defining your edge
The similarities between roulette and sports betting – and other casino games, for that matter – are vast. And that’s because there’s no fluidity in the gameplay of roulette…. we all know the rules of engagement prior to the start of each spin of the wheel.
Many casino enthusiasts prefer blackjack or poker because of the variance and unpredictability, which dictates that every hand played is different. But at the same time, many of the sharpest players are only too keen to maximize their edge by learning perfect strategy – that is, knowing what the percentage play is no matter what cards have been dealt.
Learning perfect blackjack or poker strategy is an edge, of sorts, because you can squeeze down the house’s edge.
In sports betting, the house edge is the built-in margin – often called overround or vig – that the bookmakers use to minimize their risk. It means that, for the most part, value odds are much harder to find.
And that’s why developing your own edge is key. Learning strategies is not enough in sports betting – you have to find a niche that will supply you with consistent winners, and via which you can spot when the bookies have got their odds ‘wrong’ based upon the information you have.
Your edge can be researching an overlooked sport or competition in great detail, it could be building your own forecasting model from advanced data, it could be frequenting a particular racecourse often to understand the unique conditions on any given day.
If you want to be a successful sports bettor, you have to have an edge – a cookie-cutter approach, like those deployed by casino gamers, will not suffice.
You may be the kind of casino player that thinks deeply about your staking plan…. or you may be the kind that decides their bet size based on gut instinct and feel.
When it comes to sports betting, the amount you wager has to be correlated to the edge you feel you have on that particular bet. So, if you have a particularly strong feeling about a selection – and it’s backed up by whatever modelling/analysis you have deployed – then you should stake a higher amount than you would for a more marginal pick.
Often, casino gamers opt for a flat staking approach – there’s nothing wrong with that. But in sports betting, you have to become attuned to the idea of modifying your stake size based upon your perceived edge over the market.