How to win at blackjack (21) with gambling expert Michael "Wizard of Odds" Shackleford
Beating the bookies � how the online sports betting market is rigged Hacker News 242 points by "Send enquires about this paper to our newly acquired private island in the Bahamas.
That put an upper limit on the rate at which one could win.
The folks who figure out slot machines have a much better time of it because it takes longer for the casinos to figure out they are losing money.
I used to use the betfair platform until it they blocked themselves from being viewed in Canada for some strange reason right after they were purchased by ladbrokes I believe it was.
Anyways, after playing with them for a oddsmonkey blackjack strategy years, I was horrified to learn about their 60% tax on consistent winners that they have dubbed a "premium charge".
Found some sort of edge to exploit and reap profits?
Betfair doesn't even care to talk to you to ask you what you are doing, they will just charge you 60% of your winnings once you go over a certain limit.
They probably stopped offering their service in Canada due to unclear licensing and operating regulations for their Exchange product.
It has happened in a number of other jurisdictions too.
What you need is a good friend or relative in the UK or Ireland, and a VPN.
However there are now other exchange betting options, with at least some degree of liquidity - Betdaq, Smarkets and Matchbook for example.
Professional punters still have ways of getting on, which circumvent the online restrictions.
Once all their accounts have been limited or closed with the online bookmakers, the next step is usually a string of agents across multiple locations, working on commission, and placing bets on the punter's behalf.
It's still possible to get on for farely large amounts like this.
If horse racing is your game, Hong Kong is where the money is at.
Huge totalliser pools park-mutual where the size of an individual's bet is unlikely to move the market very much.
Now that there is co-mingling with a number of other pools around the world, one doesn't have to be in HK to bet there.
I've recently started having a proper go at the Daily Fantasy Sport option, now that Draft Kings has opened up in the UK and a few other European locations.
Moneyball in Australia is also single blackjack in vegas good, albeit much smaller prize pools.
However, this weekend they just launched a DFS horse racing product which looks pretty interesting.
Minor nitpick re: horse racing: it's "totalisator" usually abbreviated as "tote" and refers to the machine that keeps track of the pools and odds, and the term for the betting pool type is "parimutuel".
Fun fact: totalisators were originally mechanical computers that were used to price betting pools around the turn of the 20th century.
Thanks for the correction.
I put that, and other spelling errors in that post, down to fat fingers on a mobile keyboard.
That's good to know.
But do they impose the same sort of "60% winners tax" that betfair does?
Or anything close to that?
Because if so, I wouldn't even bother signing up.
I don't need to gamble that badly!
The so called "60% winners tax" doesn't kick in on Betfair, according to the linked article above, until you've reached a total lifetime profit of ?250,000.
Up until that point you'll still pay the normal 2%-5% commission in winnings.
How long do you estimate it will take you to clear ?250k profit in Betfair?
I'd say sign up and worry about it when it's likely to happen.
Betfair is for sure the most liquid.
read more and Matchbook are growing.
I've not used Betdaq.
However, if people are worried about hitting the Premium Commission levels on Betfair, and the other exchanges are mirroring prices, then surely it's worthwhile spreading stakes around.
Site Vs API are identical.
There may be some extra latency order of milliseconds on the site due to render time etc but they both use the same underlying data source.
Do you mean the Betfair lines?
I think their market is pretty accurate.
More so than many traditional bookmakers, although a lot of them use Betfair to make their own markets now, so there's very little chance of arbitrage between them.
The Betfair prices depend on market depth.
It's data available through the API, so you can have a pretty good idea of what price you will be able to strike for any given bet size.
My experience with traditional bookmakers has been severely limited vegas blackjack tournaments closed accounts very quickly.
I haven't used a traditional bookmaker for a few years now, betting solely on the exchanges and 90% of the time with Link />I do still have a Corals account, which was somewhat un-restricted through leveraging a contact within the company, but I think my max bet is only ?200.
As I haven't used it for while, I don't like the article source of it staying that way if I started pumping winning bets through it.
There have been various investigations conducted on Betfair prices, and they are usually a few ticks above traditional bookmaker odds.
However, the over round on highly liquid Betfair markets is only 1%-2%, whereas a traditional bookmaker is generally significantly higher, more like 110%-120%, depending on the event.
One way to extract the best results from traditional bookmarkers, as far as horse racing is concerned, is to bet with Best Odds Guaranteed.
In this scenario, you'll receive a winning payout at the highest price the selection reached, rather than the price at which you struck your bet.
This works best in overnight markets, that is placing bets the night before the race.
However, this route is also one of the quickest to restriction and closure.
I'm confused, since betfair is an exchange aren't they just taking a cut of the action?
Why would they add a heavy tax onto profits which would just drive heavy bettors away?
They do it because they can, and for many gamblers, Betfair is the only place they can realistically keep betting at.
So, successful punters on Betfair just have to grin and bear it.
So its effect is not the same as if the commission was as high as 60% per bet.
As no-one wins every bet they place, the commission will become a larger percentage of your net profit.
They get you hooked thinking they are only taking 5% or whatever it was.
But all of the "smart money" gets taxed at 60% when they inevitably take all of the losers money who only paid 5%.
So in essence, they are click here exactly as you suggested.
That kind of fee would be impossible to sustain, no-one has that kind of profit margin on their betting.
On the flip side, a great many people pay far higher than 60% of their net profits to Betfair.
I was actually backed off from the first place I went to after I learned how to count cards while I was losing.
If the pit boss or dealers know how to count themselves and identify you as a counter, they want no part of it.
In most cases, they'll either "flat bet" you tell you that your initial bet is your maximumor they'll tell you that you cannot play blackjack there.
Actual barrings usually don't occur until the second or third offense.
I guess you could always count from the sidelines and bet only in advantage spots.
Not very practical I suppose but card counting in general seems pretty implausible these days One strategy I know of is to have multiple people.
One person sits at the table and always bets low, the other always bets high but only sits down if the person at the table signals to them that the odds are good They can be off doing other stuff while the low-better is doing the counting, so they're not just standing around waiting.
You're still right though, the odds aren't that great and once they get a hint you're doing something weird you'll get thrown out.
That was the strategy used in the '21' movie with Kevin Spacey which was actually based on a true story!
Probably more polite than when organized crime was involved single deck blackjack Las Vegas casinos.
There's card-counting software called Casino Verites IIRC.
Most of the casinos are publicly traded, so for them to be involved someone would have to be lying on the financial statements submitted to the SEC.
SOX would make that illegal at best and I believe reward anyone who blew the whistle on it with a substantial reward.
So if they are involved it would be more likely related to contracted services and such where you could pad the actual cost by a large amount and no one is going to look too closely.
I my experience as a card counter they'd just swap in a new dealer who would count themselves and just shuffle whenever the count got really good.
Ridiculously unfair and probably illegal but what are you going to do, complain?
Casino licenses are contingent upon offering a fair game at stated odds.
The odds are allowed to benefit the house, of course, since that's how running a casino becomes a sustainable, profitable enterprise, but the stated odds cannot be dynamically changed in the middle of the game to benefit the house.
Published blackjack odds depend on "dumb" reshuffles.
If the house is "smartly" reshuffling the deck to reduce house payouts, then the published odds do not match the real odds, which is illegal.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that not being allowed to count means that you should treat odds as if the cards were extracted from an infinite stack with a given statistical distribution of cards.
Reshuffling when you only extracted a low number of cards from a finite stack basically approximates the infinite stack, so, the odds should be exactly as expected.
Except that the stack isn't infinite.
There's a statistical difference between playing off a physical deck and playing off a random number generator, and in a physical deck, the dealing of various cards increases the relative odds that the other cards will come up later in the deck.
It's the oddsmonkey blackjack strategy foundation upon which card counting works.
Imagining that the physical deck is a virtual deck does not make it so.
An "infinite" physical deck, that was actually "infinite", would suffer from the same problem, and would need a physical solution, which would affect the odds which the casino is legally obligated to publish and adhere to.
Exactly, so, if counting cards if forbidden I'm not arguing if that is right or notthen having that statistical foundation isn't useful.
As a different comment suggested, reshuffling at a fixed point say, after one third of the cards have been dealt should solve the problem in practice, also preventing the house to use counting in a meaningful way.
That would be true if the casino always reshuffled after a certain number of cards came out.
But a dishonest casino could do the same card counting that players can do, and reshuffle when the count favours the players.
And when the dealer messes up the count you can have one hell of an exit!
You should have shuffled the cards!
Messed up the count didn't you!
I've worked for an online bookie.
I've also worked for an outfit that bets on horses mainly.
The online bookie will indeed ban or limit winning accounts or anyone they suspect of cheating or betting smartly.
Anyone betting large amounts dumbly gets taken out to nice dinners etc.
The company that bets on horses bets using exchanges, because bookmakers would tend to kick them out.
The abstract of this paper is pretty much 101 to those guys who do some advanced stuff I can't talk about to make predictions.
That's why I like group gambling games like poker.
The casino wins from transaction fees, and players are competing against each other.
I don't think your reasoning is correct.
The entire lure of gambling is that some players can make money.
The house always plays that up.
But if the house always wins, that hope they're selling disappears.
I think it's more so there is a https://indonesiaairsoft.com/blackjack/live-blackjack-free.html to come out ahead.
The same reason people buy lottery tickets I guess.
You know in the long run you are losing X%, but still go to burn hours and have some fun.
I would love to hear more about your story.
I have always thought about learning to count cards, instead of say learning a new language.
Can't you just go to another casino until they kick you out, and repeat?
Do you actually make money now that you can count?
I went to high school in Las Vegas, so when I went to college everyone "assumed" I could count cards.
After realizing it was a losing strategy to tell people that couldn't count, I looked up the basic strategy.
I wrote a computer program to simulate the game and the strategy and had the computer play hands until it was winning consistently.
Generally it wasn't so much "counting cards" as it was "counting face cards and 10's, and changing your betting strategy based on that count.
Turned out to be really useful in playing Bridge as well.
One main difference is that the vast majority of sports betting occurs outside of casinos and "legality".
The other huge difference is that the entity making the picks doesn't necessarily have to be the person placing the bets.
There is a well established term in sports betting for one who places a bet for someone else, "beard".
Ah that's the rub though isn't it.
Do I walk away now?
No gambler knows exactly the right time to quit while ahead and the casinos count on that.
There has to be more to this story.
I would like to hear the bookmakers side of this.
Perhaps the researchers were scripting or triggered some other kind of security tripwire.
William Hill, one of the companies that the researchers claim restricted them is a multi billion dollar company.
They aren't sweating small time bets like this.
Bookmakers are on the lookout for exactly the kind of betting behaviour described in the https://indonesiaairsoft.com/blackjack/horseshoe-casino-baltimore-blackjack-rules.html people only betting on the top price, and visit web page around for the best odds.
If they see that you are only grabbing mis-priced offers, you are unlikely to be a profitable customer to them.
Just look at it from their learn more here of view; why keep a customer who is costing you money, however little it is.
I'd suspect it was less to do with the edge, which isn't especially huge especially over the short run, and more to do with the authors' unusual selection of bets entirely overlapping the bookies' ad hoc analysis of bets they've mispriced.
Particularly since the bookies watch each others' odds as do scripts sold to wannabe arbitrageurs on the internet.
Having a subset of winning betters with an information advantage may even help bookies overall if they know who those people are, but they'll want to limit how much they pay out for that information.
Especially if the limits are market specific, and the section of the paper highlighting betting limits shows a screenshot of an attempt to place bets on Australian youth association football.
They make money off the vig and move odds to get equal money on each side of the bet so that they'll make money either way.
As someone who has worked in the sports betting industry, it depends a lot on the bookmaker.
UK retail bookies hate anyone with any savvy, and will ban their accounts fast.
Ditto "weird" betting that looks like it might be machine-run.
Their business is taking old folks pensions from them.
OTOH, exchanges love all kinds of gamblers and won't ban you for winning any amount.
Of course, there is a max bet on any offer, and the odds will move if you hit them hard enough.
Also, everything in the abstract of this article is either old old news strategy-wise or plain wrong in light of the actual business of sports betting.
Sharps will continue to bleed them, the lucky fish often become whales whose luck fades over time.
You are confusing luck with expectation.
Luck is the deviation from expectation.
I've seen terrible poker players win a big tournament, or crush cash games for months on end, and quit their jobs because they mistakenly believe they are skilled at poker.
Their positive deviation above their actual expectation their "luck" soon evaporates, and they moan constantly because their results begin to actually match their expectation, or even worse, they get "unlucky" and their losses are greater even worse than their expectation.
Luck is the deviation from expectation.
The books rarely balance up though, especially for markets with more than two outcomes.
Horse racing is even worse for the bookies, with multiple runners, their books will rarely balance, and the standard outcome is a loss blackjack systems review the favourite wins.
The casino wants players to bet on a certain outcome in some cases in order to reduce risk, presumably and therefore hands over the winning strategy on a silver platter.
I feel like the casinos just want those kinds of bets to be small.
They don't want to over-correct in the other direction.
By limiting these players that specifically make these kinds of bets, they reduce the risk of a big amount of money being bet in a short amount of time on the "winning" strategy.
It would be interesting to see where they are making their edge.
I wouldn't be surprised if it's on a lot of these minor leagues with more uncertainty, as opposed to stuff like the EPL I've been trying my luck at tennis betting and the only strategy that seems to work consistently is finding injured players and betting against them.
Good example of an injured player is a player that limps Go here Murray at Wimbledon this year.
The computers don't watch matches so injured players can be overvalued by the models.
Also, any British tennis player tends to be overvalued because the books are based in the UK.
For instance there is an overweight British player named Marcus Willis that last week was a 1.
There are some other patterns that can be exploited but the highest return strategy has to be betting against injured favorites.
However, I think that would probably require more tennis watching than I want to do.
Maybe I could hire somebody on Mechanical Turk to watch oddsmonkey blackjack strategy for me and report on players who appear to be injured or take medical time outs.
Maybe you could find a sport where injuries are logged or can be inferred from other data?
For instance if a racehorse performs far slower than its typical pace, its odds of losing the subsequent race might be higher.
The whole point is that computers can't use injuries as a data point.
This strategy won't work in any sport that can have the injury factor calculated by a computer.
Isn't this like literally one of the oldest tricks in the book?
I remember reading Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, which talks in part about early 1900's bucket shops, and the same stuff was there even then.
Similar stuff is also mentioned in market microstructure textbooks with market makers on one side and informed traders on the other side.
Is rigged even the right word here?
It might be, but did the bookmakers have a responsibility to keep accepting their bets?
Is it different from claiming that casinos are rigged?
Will Hill, Interwetten, Betway are exactly the type of bookies that will close your account as soon as they catch on Yes, the odds can be exploited and there is a whole bunch of services offering picks, but eventually the sportsbooks catch on and close your account.
The sportsbooks that welcome professional players are few and far between and their odds are on point.
Correct -- the market maker or casino is under no obligation to take your action.
And, why should they be?
The penalty for refusing action is that you take your business elsewhere.
I always thought bookies just click here moving the lines until they were making money at the snap of the ball.
Their initial line isn't as important as adjusting the line so that there is equal money on both sides of the line and therefore the bookie is guaranteed money due to the small fee they build into the bets.
Their profits don't depend on accurately predicting the game's score, just moving the line strategically as more bets come in.
Easier said than done.
Or, more simply, when you set your initial line, what do you do when a known sharp immediately wants action on one side?
You open things up to select sharps earlier than the general public, with limits.
They get the benefit of potentially better lines and you get the information benefit of what the pros think the fair price for any bet is, allowing you to adjust the line before allowing bets from the general public.
That's how a lot of the offshore sportsbooks handle it, but it may not actually be legal to do so in Vegas.
I don't actually know.
One other factor is sometimes you actually are willing to take principal risk -- like when there are hoards of people willing to place bad bets on the local team -- you're willing to run an unbalanced book.
You buy the other side with another bookie.
The risk is if the other bookies don't accept the full amount you want to hedge.
You limit the pot according to what you can afford to loose betting against the sharp.
If your odds are alright, the small edge that the odds give the house will play out over the long run.
That means astronomic sums of money are needed if you want to allow unlimited bets.
Few people would be regularly betting that much.
Picking misplaced odds or whatever is exploited is based on luck in the end.
Yes, of course you can beat the "popular" bookmakers.
Nowadays, it happens extremely fast in a day or a few hours, depending on your moves.
It's a well known tactic, and in practice, you cannot do anything about it other than keep opening new accounts in new names.
Try beating a betting exchange.
If your betting patterns indicate someone who is wise to the market, you will be limited or shown the door.
Be prepared to have arbitrage positions pulled out from under you.
The game is rigged insofar as the book decides if it wants to entertain your position.
If you want to make money you have to bet against, and be able to beat the books that know what they are doing - The high limit, low margin books like Pinnacle, SBO, IBC et al will happily take you on.
For some reason the "ok but how much did you ACTUALLY MAKE?
I disagree with this assumption and I think they have painted themselves into a corner because of it.
To illustrate, imagine charting win rates against bins of price-implied-chances.
It resembles a noisy 1:1 linear relationship.
Do the same for your selections and your line will be noisier, but crucially you're not taking bets where the price is worse than your estimate.
This can leave a window of profitibility when you subtract the two, even when you are less 'accurate' as measured by win rate or KLD or other measures.
The goal is profitibility, not accuracy.
The problem with including the odds you are betting against as a feature for your ensemble is that it dampens that window.
If you're oddsmonkey blackjack strategy about your selections, you'll bet less and win less.
I've been doing this for a couple of years and in many ways it's a dream side-project.
Location independent, no customers, automatable, and in some jurisdictions tax-free.
It can be a little lonely at times though.
Sorry for the throwaway, I'll put a contact in my profile.
Sorry for the throwaway, I'll put a contact in my profile.
How's that contact information coming along?
This should come as no surprise to people with experience in the industry.
Their strategy only works at poorly managed books as long as they can bet quickly.
I doubt they made any bets at a sharp friendly book like pinnacle.
If anyone would like to collaborate with some model building get in touch.
People say their contact details are in their profile, but I never see more contact details in any profile I view.
Am I missing something?
If you view your own profile you can see your email, but some people don't realise it doesn't show up in your public profile.
A couple of suggestions to improve on this method.
The authors' regression left an intercept or 'adjustment term' of 3.
For a perfect bookmaker, this intercept term would be equal to the overround.
The number calculated unfortunately averages that overround between different bookmakers and at different times overrounds often decrease over time.
It might be more effective to adjust for the actual overround of each market sampled, i.
They appear to use a flat betting strategy, and the threshold to bet or not was selected based on profitibility.
I was simplifying in another comment when I said profitibility should be the goal.
In reality it's utility you should be optimizing for.
Nobody wants a ultimately profitable system that reads like an EKG, they want a high sharpe ratio.
The paper's results are actually very good here, but the trend could be lifted and stabilized further by betting proportionally to expectation, or by explicitly optimizing for such.
Raises an interesting point regarding a staking strategy.
Effectively you limit yourself by saying "I can only place N bets per bookmaker, what should my strategy be?
I am thinking more along the lines of a CRRA utility function - something a little less aggressive than kelly.
They claim the market is inefficient.
I worked for a company that to some extend fixed that.
Can't remember all the details I worked on a different partfree online live strip blackjack something like this: Most big betting companies were customers.
They all continuously sent their updated odds to us, and we would broadcast to the other companies.
They would react to the change based on certain rules and send new updated odds back to us.
This would then converge.
The inefficacy comes from promotions, company X always wanting to have odds.
Edit: Not sure how it works now, but: and Haha, this exactly describes arbitrage.
My old company was "sent.
Yeah, but with the difference that they pay a flat fee for the arbitrage through a third party, not leaving money on the table for others.
Just like the rake or the edge the house advantage of making the rules has always been the reality of betting.
not blackjack bookies can who are successful at it accept this reality.
I used to work for a popular UK online bookmaker.
The most interesting thing was left out: how did they find this data?
Both historical and realtime is pretty hard to find.
Ten years of odds from a dozen read article looks like a massive task.
Next: how do you mask this behavior to not be obvious.
Once you have a betting stratetgy the real difficulty is turning it into one that isn't obvious.
I don't see why we cannot have completely distributed betting platform using para-mutual betting strategy that collects and distributes bets and winnings on the basis of publicly reported sports results with no take-out.
I prefer para-mutual rather than a house deciding the odds.
It is a more free-market approach.
It has been used in horse racing, but the takeout has been too large which makes it hard to be profitable.
Yes -- customers don't like it because it's too hard to win.
Said another way, customers will choose to place bets with market makers, instead of some paramutual operation.
In paramutuel betting the prices are not fixed, so you cannot leverage differences between the odds on offer and your estimate of the prospect's chances.
The final odds you receive are equal to the total stakes placed on that prospect divided by sum of all stakes less the operator's take.
You can't formulate an optimal staking plan with unknown odds, and you're forced to compete on win rates rather than price ineffeciencies.
I don't think your reasoning is correct.
A bookmaker setting the odds presumably would hire the most accurate handicapper analytics team to set the odds appropriately, then take their cut.
In paramutual betting, you need only be better than the average bet.
You know the odds pretty well by posttime.
My reasoning is that the 'invisible hand' of many less informed bettors leads to market efficiency in aggregate, particularly in highly liquid markets.
Greater liquidity in parimutuel markets makes for odds that are less of a moving target, but it leaves fewer mispriced prospects to capitalise on.
So not only do you have to beat a fairly efficient market, but you have to beat it on average by a margin equal to the parimutuel operator's take.
In less liquid markets the unknown odds are more of a problem.
That's not to say it profits can't be made, just that it's harder imho.
With fixed pricing, even though the numbers don't 'add up to one' there either, you can lock in a positive expectation long before price consensus is reached.
I https://indonesiaairsoft.com/blackjack/blackjack-analogy.html see what you are saying.
If instead, a substantial portion of the players in the stock market placed their bets on randomly chosen stocks, the aggregate would be much less efficient and that could be exploited.
I've sat and watched people betting on horses for a long time.
The majority choose based on the name or color of the horse sentimentalistthe going favorite risk aversethe longest odd big paydayists.
Many others play on weaker signals owner, jockey.
A few bet on the advice of experts in the daily form, and these probably do make the market more efficient.
In aggregate, from my own experience at Golden Gate Fields where the take-out is 14%, my average ROI was around -6 to -10%.
This suggests that I was beating the market, but the takeout was killing me.
So Oddsmonkey blackjack strategy imagined that in a decentralized paramutual pool with minuscule or zero takeout, and given oddsmonkey blackjack strategy common population of betters, I'd make a steady profit.
I should add that another advantage of paramutual over bookmaker odds is the pool maintainers do not care if you are a winner or a loser, and won't freeze your accounts on you.
It's closer to 22.
But yes, your data could be worth more than your bookmaking margins.
If it's worth buying, it's worth using yourself.
I like the idea of a private prediction market, something between kaggle and that investment fund that uses homomorphic encryption, the name escapes me.
It doesn't even have to be good, as long as it's anonymous, decentralized, and eliminates counter-party risk.
Something like that could be adopted at a glacial pace and still be unstoppable in the long term.
I thought about as soon as I heard of the technologies.
There is the one part, validating results of sports events to initiate payouts, the setting up of new events, that would seem to make it more difficult without some sort of scraping, or intervening party.
They could have reduced a lot of the work calculating the mean across 32 bookmakers and applying a constant for the margin by just taking the price from a highly liquid exchange like betfair, which is pretty close to a 100% efficient de-marginated line.
Although it still wouldn't have prevented their accounts from being limited.
Shouldn't the goal of a bookie simply be to balance his book and have no position on the actual odds of the match?
Of course it makes sense to deny action to known sharps, this should come as no surprise.
I don't totally understand why the bookmakers would limit their accounts.
The bookmaker wants to balance his book for each game to make sure he makes a profit no matter what the outcome is.
To balance their books they might give better odds for an outcome than what a statistical model might suggest.
But what difference does it make if the bettor who helps them balance their books is a consistent winner or not?
Do they prefer to give these "good" odds to people who are losing money long term?
This part is not really true.
Bookies will very often have an unbalanced book and will be happy to keep taking action on the side that increases their exposure, if the price is poker side bet blackjack />Although the strategy works here because the bookie moves the line to make it more attractive to bet on it.
If he does not care about balancing the book, why move the line?
He could just keep increasing his exposure Because people who bet sharply on lines reduce the long term profitability of the bookies.
While they reduce the variance, they take directly from the profits.
Defeats the point of being a bookie when better bettors imbalance the book in one direction and win.
If they imbalance the book yes.
But in this case the authors got the statistical edge because the bookie is trying to balance the book.
As soon as the book gets imbalanced again they would have to change the lines again.
Because Bob bets when it is profitable - when the line is wrong.
Taken as aggregate, Joes bet on both oddsmonkey blackjack strategy, the unprofitable ones and profitable ones.
So why take their bets?
Likewise, bookmakers will happily take bets from guessers all day long.
Don't try to overthink it: imagine the bookies having a dashboard that shows everybody's win rate or alternatively, how much the bookie is losing and then they ban or limit the top performers.
Instant and legal profit for them.
Shouldn't they try to maximize their profits overall and minimize their risk at the same time rather than try to maximize profit for each of their clients individually?
Probably the bookmakers are actually OK with the betting activity that is described in the paper, but they have limits on successful accounts as a safety mechanism to prevent themselves from losing too much money in the event that somebody comes up with an unforeseen method of winning lots of money.
But then they are depriving themselves of liquidity provided by these professional gamblers.
They might have to increase the odds even more so that an average joe will bet on an unpopular team where as the professional bettor would have taken it at a lower price recognizing the statistical edge.
The aim of the bookie is to have a guaranteed profit on each and every game.
Whereas the professional gambler tries to make a guaranteed profit over multiple games.
Seems to me that they can benefit each other rather than be against each other.
What you are saying makes total sense and seems reasonable but the reality is the books don't need the sharp action and don't really care about having a perfectly even balance.
They will make more money just letting squares fire away at 1.
Someone above said it perfectly, having the balanced action via sharp players will reduce variance but will eat into profits, and the books have the capital required to ride out any variance entire seasons where squares win at a higher than expected rate for example.
They will have a private group of handicappers that get to take shots at the new lines before they are publicly listed for smaller bet sizes, then they open the lines publicly for very small bet sizes.
By the time the full bet limits are allowed and the square punter is picking a game 30 minutes before it begins, the books have no more fears.
I wouldn't get into it with high expectations of profit.
For anyone interested in running data analysis I have probably the biggest and most comprehensive dataset in the world, bigger that what this team had available.
Personally I've come to find poker is the only reliable way to "beat the house".
But that's because you're not beating the house, but other players - the house gets their rake.
Not get rich, but make a few hundred in an afternoon.
They really should have automated the bet placement from the outset, which would have made it worth the effort.
Definitely a worthwhile venture, considering you could probably then sell off the software after using it for some more profits.
Sites like are kind of on this track already.
Wanted to post this a few days ago, but life got away on me.
I worked for a monopoly bookmaker and spent a fair amount of time looking at how they work.
So, Some things to give you guys a bit more context.
There are two types of bets.
Fixed Odds and Tote.
The odds are calculated automatically based on the distribution of bets on the options available.
Typically the house will keep 50%+ of the total pool as profit and distribute the remainder among the winning punters.
This is a very high profit betting system that the book keepers are trying to keep alive.
It's dying off at a pretty rapid rate though.
Most betting now is FOB.
How do the odds work?
For us, we had university students who'd manage the books.
They can set "bet limits" and manually approve or deny any bet that was greater than the bet limit.
Most of the time they would have open websites from other bookies and copy the odds from theirs as they change.
It's quite popular for bookies to just copy each other manually.
Either using their own knowledge or copying from other gambling sites.
Again, the process is completely manual at the back end.
There is a move for organisations around the world to consolidate on their sources of odds e.
How do they make money?
On Tote, they take 50%+ of the total pool before creating dividends.
For Fixed Odds, they balance the books.
They change the odds to always ensure it's in the houses favour.
We always aimed for 10-15% profit on events with fixed odds bets.
The bookie doesn't have to take your bet.
For large bets they will often push back an offer to click to see more at a lower rate than advertised to ensure their books stay balanced.
They have A LOT of different betting options where only a few will actually win.
People tend to bet with their hearts and the number of options are setup to basically ensuring the bookie is profitable.
If you win too much, they shut down your account.
They have no obligation to deal with you.
Their goal is to make money and they see your gambling as a way you "enhance your enjoyment of the event", not an attempt to make money.
So there isn't a large tolerance for people who do make money.
How do I the punter make money?
Surprisingly, you can consistently make money gambling.
Even the top click here of punters barely break even.
Find a sport you know a lot about that supports in-play betting.
It's going to be you vs a person.
So if you have indepth knowledge of the sport you'll be able to see changes in flow and make winning bets before the bookie notices.
FWIW, I bet on League of Legends.
That's all I can think of at the moment.
Happy to answer any questions you have.
How long do you think the authors would have waited to publish this paper if their accounts were not restricted and they would continue to profit?
My guess would be a long time.
Don't let that stop you�if you link play, you can't win.
Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love" A bookmaker's tissue prices the initial market prices they offer upare not intended to be a measure of probability.
They are meant to be a measure of expected Weight of Money WoM.
A bookmaker's job is not to accurately reflect odds of occurrence, but to ensure a balanced book of liabilities.
There are many books covering this going back hundreds of years and is the principle discovery of those who gathered at Tattersalls coffee shop on the Strand and invented modern bookmaking via horse racingand for whom there is named an enclosure on all 55 British racecourses to this day.
The tissue has to be "over-round", i.
As such, the WoM causes a market to move.
This is not news.
If you have a reasonable idea of true odds and you are being offered different odds, Kelly who worked with Shannon - the creator of Information Theoryestablished the optimal stake to mistaken. blackjack csm house edge apologise at each stage.
A substantial amount of research has been done on Kelly Criterion and its application because it underpins many a hedge fund strategy: it works for fixed odds games, fiscal markets and bookmaker markets just as well.
There are trading opportunities here, and there is a wide community of people who look to exploit inevitable market moves using exactly this technique: establish average industry odds, look to where betting exchanges are and bet accordingly, moving out of the market when a profit comes to you.
The bookmakers don't care - you've helping get turnover up, and they know increasing turnover through the market is the best way to get balanced liabilities.
On a horse race, they might offer prices that give up an over-round of 110%-130% most days, but on Premier League Football which has a much, much higher turnover, and WoM is far more predictable due to team loyalties coming into playover-rounds can be as low as 102%.
These markets are therefore more likely to provide value to the authors' methods, however I note they are making the majority of their bets between 5 and 1 hours before a game, and therefore to some extent are able to factor in team selection and some of their results might be the result of a market inefficiency: team line-ups aren't announced until 60 minutes before kick-off.
Now, here's two major downsides: 1.
Bookmakers will eventually end up closing their accounts, because winners are never welcome long-term.
There is a reason why successful gamblers don't publish.
Even Thorpe who invented card counting and blackjack basic strategy realised publishing which was his academic need ultimately caused him to need to do something else: he underground blackjack nyc up privately and quietly running a hedge fund.
These guys are probably finished within 2 weeks of this paper going around, and what's more because now a whole ton of people will go to implement this method, bookmakers will adapt and simply move from tissue to industry average as quickly as possible, whilst limiting even more players to reduce liability exposure as has been the style in recent years.
EDIT: I only skim-read the paper when I wrote the above.
Now I've read it a little more closely I am even more convinced there is nothing to note here, and also, their accounts have already been limited or closed.
You say: "The bookmakers don't care - you've helping get turnover up, and they know increasing turnover through the market is the best way to get balanced liabilities.
Bookmakers will eventually end up closing their accounts, because winners are never welcome long-term.
It seems like a bookie is very similar to a market maker on the stock exchange.
Why would a market maker care if an investor makes money as long as he can flatten his positions every hour or so and make profit with the spread.
Isn't it accurate to say that bettors are competing against each other and the bookie is just taking a fee for making the market?
Over the short-term people adding WoM and bringing the book into line with other bookmakers is welcome, because it means the market is becoming more efficient.
At the micro level then, turnover is welcome.
But as the old adage goes "turnover is vanity, profit is sanity" At the macro level somebody has to say "how do we maximise profits or at least minimise losses?
The ideal client for a bookmaker is an idiot with a strong view.
If the betting is rigged, then how were the authors able to beat it consistently?
What did I miss?
What it essentially says is that all of the data that a professional could reasonably analyze is already baked into the odds that bookies initially set, and if those odds stayed the same until bets were no longer being taken on the event, sports betting would be consistently unprofitable because of the 10% "juice" that most bookmakers charge.
However, the odds do not stay the same.
Once they are posted and bets begin to come in, the market takes hold and begins swaying the odds one way or another, because bookies change the odds in order to try to balance their books such that they have little to no actual risk.
It is in the swinging of the odds by the market, which has many unsophisticated participants - people betting on a team simply because they live in that city etc.
No, rigged is exactly the right word.
The fact that they limit the accounts of successful bettors doesn't mean that it is "rigged".
It simply means that they reserve the right to do business with whom they choose.
They are artificially manipulating the market.
That's about as textbook rigging as putting three masts on a ship.
If you consistently lose money whenever you transact with someone then you're going to stop doing business with or try to limit how much you lose.
They're not rigging the actual game in any way.
But if they're not throttling you it's a pretty good indication that you're not coming out ahead.
If there was an obscure way to play craps that made the house advantage negative they would either change the rules or ban the practice.
You could call it rigging but by that token every game is rigged, that's the whole point, you're playing in the hope of beating the odds.
The rules and odds are completely transparent, 'rigging' would be like using weighted dice.
Limiting those who stand a chance of pulling off the type of big wins they advertise heavily on television is rigging the market.
It's manipulation, pure and simple.
What they're selling is a bullshit dream that if you ever come close to they will bar you.
This type of activity is the definition of predatory.
It's straight up rigging.
If you place a bet and it wins, they will pay you.
It would only be rigged if a bookmaker decided whether or not to take your bet after the event.
And they were winning.
But their streak was cut short.
Nobody is in the business of giving money away.
So the bookmaker put controls on how and how much you can bet.
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