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How Can I Beat The Bookmaker?

If you’ve ever been lured by a gamble, you’ll know how bookmakers and casinos stack on you. The clearest example is roulette which has 36 black and red numbers, plus the green numbers (0 and (in the U.S.) 00. This is 38 possible options for you to choose from. When betting on black or red the odds of deciding correctly are 18/38, and an appropriate payout for a stake of $1 is $2.111. The house, however, pays only $2 and keeps the difference. That way the house is guaranteed the possibility of earning a profit.

A similar bias occurs in bookmakers’ odds on soccer, horse races, as well as any other sporting event. Bookmakers always make sure odds are in their favor. However, determining these odds are more challenging than the odds for roulette, as the calculations are trickier.

This raises an intriguing possibility. Is it possible to find an alternative method to calculate the odds, and thus defeat the odds of the bookies?

Today we get an answer because of the efforts of Lisandro Kaunitz , a professor at the University of Tokyo and a group of colleagues, who have discovered a way to consistently make money through the betting market online for soccer.

But their work is accompanied by an important limitation. Kaunitz and co. claim that as soon as the bookmakers were aware of this accomplishment, they stopped the researchers from making further bets.

Gamblers have played around with schemes to beat the odds, but the success rate is extremely rare. Because bookmakers put in a lot of effort to determine exact odds. They typically employ statisticians in teams to analyze historical data for a sport such as soccer, and then create sophisticated models to calculate the right odds for each game.

Kaunitz and co. say that to the best of their know, nobody has ever been able to defeat this system by constructing superior statistical models.

Yet, despite this method of operation There is a flaw in the way bookmakers work. It’s related to the method by which they make bets more secure against the risk of huge payouts.

For example, when two teams play a match of soccer, bookmakers determine the odds of each team recording a win, loss, or draw. In some cases, large numbers are betting on an result for reasons unrelated to the odds–that team might be more popular than anticipated, for example. If that happens the bookmaker will be set for a substantial payout should that outcome occurs.

Thus, bookmakers can protect their bets by offering odds that are more favorable for the reverse outcome. By doing this, they attract bets that cover at least a portion of possible losses.

Kaunitz and co. believe that this technique also opens up an opportunity for anyone to spot it. The trick that the researchers have perfected is to devise an approach that consistently identifies odds favoring the punter rather than the bookmaker.

The method they employ is simple. They begin by assuming bookies themselves are proficient at predicting odds, and that their prices reflect the real probabilities of a win, draw, or loss, plus their own margin.

In this instance the best way to measure the probability of winning is simply an average of odds offered by all bookies–a sort of wisdom that is shared by the crowd. The average odds are calculated that Kaunitz and co claim to be a very exact reflection of real probability.

Then it is a simple process to examine all the odds offered and find out the outliers. Kaunitz and co . then work to figure out how profitable the odds are. If they’re decent enough and the bet is profitable, then it will pay off, at least in the long-term.

This is exactly what Kaunitz and co have done. They designed a Web crawler that aggregated odds offered by online betting firms on soccer matches around the world. They computed the odds average and identified any outliers and then determined whether they would win or not.

Before investing any money, the researchers tested the concept on 10 years worth of data on the closing odds and results of 479,440 soccer games played between 2005 to the year 2015. This simulation paid out 44 percent of the time and gave a profit of 3.5 percent over the course of 10 years. “For an imaginary stake of $50 per bet, that’s an amount of $98,865 spread across 56,435 bets,” they say.

It is important to know if this result could have been simply luck. Could they just have been lucky? So , the team examined their results in comparison to the results of 2,000 simulations where they placed bets randomly on the same games. In that scenario, the bets paid out 39 percent of the time, resulting in a return of -3.2 percent and that’s equivalent to a losing $93,000.

That allowed the team to determine the probability that their first performance was not a coincidence. “The probability of obtaining the amount of $98,865 in 56,435 bets when using an unidirectional bet strategy is less than one in a billion,” they say.

That was a good thing, because it gave Kaunitz and co . a good reason to believe their system would work in real life, but there was a problem. Regular punters can’t always place bets on odds of the game which could differ dramatically from the odds listed in the lead-up to a game.

So Kaunitz and co . decided to simulate this, too. “We decided to conduct an actual simulation in which we placed bets that offered odds of 1 to 5 hours prior the start of every sport,” they say.

The way 유로88 odds vary in the lead-up to games is not publicly available So the team developed the bot to collect these odds from betting websites all over the world from September 2015 to the end of February 2016. They then tested their strategy on this data set.

The results were better. Their bets returned 47.6 percent the times and yielded a 9.9 percent profit. “If every bet made was $50, the strategy would have produced $34,932 profits across 6,994 bets” they claim.

Incredibly, a random betting strategy on the same data produced a profit of 0.2 percent and an $825 profit. That could be the result of the fierce competition between betting firms online that provide better odds to draw punters under an unusual loss-leader policy.

The team then tried the approach using a strategy known as “paper trading” where they place bets that are fictitious using real-time data , instead of historical. This is vital because it lets them check whether the odds they quote are actually available with the bookmaker online.

In the end, they realized that, about 30 percent of times that odds were changed before they attempted to check online. In those instances they decided to rescind the bet.

But the strategy was profitable. Three months after trading on paper and betting, they retuned their bets to with a profit of 5.5 percent, making $1,128.50 on 407 bets of $50.

“At this point we decided to make bets using genuine money” Kaunitz and co. Kaunitz as well.

They repeated their strategy over the course of five months, using the same method, with the exception that an operator from a human would place a bet of $50 after having a look at the odds. During that period the bets returned 47.2 percent of the time, and they made a profit of $957.50 over 265 bets. This is an incredible return from 8.5 percent.

If you’re looking for a clue, the number of bets they placed was much lower than during the period of paper trading. “The reason for this is that we do not have a dedicated operator that bet on every opportunity available all day long and consequently we missed a lot of bets that were offered,” they say.

The smaller amount of bets was not a factor. “Our paper trading and actual betting activity confirmed the success of the strategy” declare Kaunitz as well as co.

This is a smart approach, and an interesting result. Kaunitz and his team discovered an Achilles’s heel in the world of betting and used it to earn their own money.

But their story comes with an unpleasant sting. “Although we complied with the rules of the sports betting industry, a few months after we began to place bets on bookmakers that actually had money began to drastically limit their accounts” The team claims.

The bookies would often limit the stakes they were willing to bet or suggested a “manual inspection” of the bet prior to accepting it. In those circumstances, the team couldn’t make their bets.

If bookmakers were picking the bets to be questioned at random this shouldn’t have affected how profitable the strategy was. But Kaunitz and co say it’s unlikely, and the actions of bookmakers could have had a devastating impact on them. “Under the circumstances, we might not maintain your betting method,” they say.

Kaunitz and company are clearly unhappy: “The sports betting industry is free to advertise and offer odds to clients, however, those clients will lose, and, if they are successful, they can be restricted by law from gambling.”

The team points out that this kind of behavior could be illegal. “Advertising products or services with the intention not to sell them as described, or advertising products or services with no intention to satisfy a reasonably expected demand however with the intent to convince the client to purchase another product (a practice that is often referred as ‘bait or ‘bait and switch’ marketing) is considered to be fraudulent advertising and is subject to penalties across the U.K., Australia, and in the United States of America,” According to the team.

They also call on the government to properly regulate the gambling industry and to prevent such practices in the future.

How well this approach will work is unclear. However, the results are interesting nevertheless.