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### System #1 Flat Betting

The most popular kind of bet is without a doubt, flat betting. Every Saturday night or every Monday night, an astronomic number of people place a bet on their favorite team. Soccer, Hockey, Football, on any sports. They just go for a 10\$ bet or higher if they can afford to do it. They watch the game with some friends and they have a lot of fun. Sometime they win and sometime they lose. Over a year, they win half of their bets. Of course, they can make some little money over this period but not a lot of money. Like almost everybody they think that it is impossible to make a living at sports gambling especially using flat betting. Well, many people believe professional sports gamblers win almost all of their bets or at least 80% of their bets to make good money. It's understandable that people think that, but it's absolutely not true. The fact is, the difference between the percentage of bets won by professional sports gamblers and the percentage of bets won by chronic losers is relatively very small. We'll ignore money line bets here for the sake of clarity, and use only those bets wherein the player risks 107 to win 100. We’ll use point spreads and over/under bets. Against this type of bet, anyone at all can expect to win 50 percent. After all, the only thing required is to flip a coin and pick a side. The bookmakers' profit comes from the difference between what a bettor must risk and what a bettor expects to win. Every time a player wins, the bookmaker withholds slightly more than 6.5 percent of the winnings (\$7 for every \$100 risked). Consequently, a bettor winning only half his bets will ultimately go broke. Professional sports gamblers, by comparison, rarely sustain a long term winning percentage higher than 57 or 58 percent, and it's often as low as 54 or 56 percent. People find that hard to believe, and they understandably get even more skeptical when told that, for a genuine professional sports gambler, a long term winning expectation of 60% or more is actually too high and a winning rate of 65% mathematically almost impossible to reach. I know that it sounds crazy at first, but as crazy as it may seem there is a simple explanation: If a bettor has five bets on a given day, risking \$107 to win \$100 on each bet, and wins three of them, that's a great winning ratio of 60% and a net profit for the day of 86 dollars. (The bettor wins \$300 and loses \$214) If another bettor has fourteen bets on that same day, risking \$107 to win \$100 on each one, and wins eight of them, that's a much poorer winning percentage of only 57%, but almost twice as much profit for the day of \$158 (The bettor wins \$800 and loses \$642). The second bettor was not necessarily less skilled at picking winners than the first bettor. The second bettor may simply have chosen to apply all his advantages, including those which had less than a 60% chance of winning in the first place. If the ultimate goal is to make money, it is obvious which of those two bettors was more successful. The real goal is, of course, to make money. The measure of success of a sports handicapper is not his percentage of winning bets, but the amount of profit he made over any given period of time. Although there are, indeed, propositions that offer more than a 60% expectation of winning, such propositions are relatively few and far between, and are only a very small part of the overall picture. With the break-even point at about 51.8%, genuine professional sports gamblers know there is no tenable excuse to pass up propositions offering expectations of higher than, say, 55 percent. A small advantage applied over and over is awesomely effective. Mathematicians will confirm that a profit is more assured from a group of 200 bets with a 55% expectation-per-bet than from a group of 50 bets with a 60% expectation-per-bet. In other words, the more bets placed, the more predictable the outcome. This is a fact of life of which pro sports gamblers must be familiar. It's a basic principle of math: the more bets you are able to place, the more likely it is that your winning percentage will be close to your expectations. A pro sports gambler must be more concerned with profit than with establishing a great winning percentage, and those two conditions are not always compatible. A real pro applies all his advantages as often as possible, not only the best of his advantages when they occasionally arise. The accompanying illustration (below) shows the results of different winning percentages over different numbers of bets. Standard vigorish charges of 4.55 percent are figured into the numbers. (The bookies' net commission is 4.55 percent of all risked funds. Notice in the illustration that winning 55% of 250 bets is more profitable than winning 65% of only 50 bets, - and remember that a profit is more assured - that is, more dependable - because of the higher number of trials. Now, let’s take a look at some numbers.
The regular Joe will place a bet one bet a week on his favorite team. The odds are at 1.93. This is of course against the spreads or for the total over/under.
Over a year, if he wins 55% of his bets, that would be 29 bets. If he bets \$100 a game, he would end up the year with a clear profit of \$397.
29 X 1.93 X \$100 = \$5597 - \$5200 = \$397
On the other hand, the pro sports gambler will bet as much as 20 games everyday. He will bet \$100 a game.
Let’s take a look at the numbers if he has a winning rate of only 53%.
20 games X 365 days = 7300 bets
53% of 7300 bets = 3869 wins
3869 wins at odds 1.93 at \$100 = \$746,717
\$746717 – total wagered = \$746,717 - \$730,000 = \$16,717
NET PROFIT = \$16,717
After a couple of years, pro sports gamblers will bet over \$5000 to \$10,000 on each game. After a couple of years, a \$1000 bettor will pocket over \$167,000 a year in net profit. Pro sports gamblers tend to have a lot of bets compared to non-professionals. Note that winning 55% of 500 bets is actually more profitable than winning 65% of only 50 bets. More importantly, a bettor is more assured of achieving his expected win percentage over a larger total number of bets, and with more bets and smaller bet sizes, the 'ride' is much smoother, less risky, and more predictable. Generally speaking, non-professional sports gamblers go wrong by risking too much of their bankroll on individual bets. They don't spread their risk over enough bets. Professionals use smaller bet sizes in proportion to their bankroll over larger numbers of bets. As a matter of fact, one good way to spot a non-pro is that he invariably has less than a half-dozen bets per week, and he risks more than 20 percent of his bankroll on each bet. Ideally, you must place 8-10 bets a day, and not risk more than 2.5% of the “first block bankroll” per bet, in order not to exceed 25% of the net running total and to obtain optimal results.