Want to learn to bet? Betting 101 is the place to start. Understanding Profit & Loss is super simple but super important.

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#### Profit & Loss

If you want to win on your coin toss, you just have to look at it over the long term.

If you secure an overlay – say, \$2.10 – then that’s a value bet. Given the real probability of winning is 50%, over the long-term 50% will be your strike rate.

At \$2.10, if you bet \$10 on the coin toss, you’ll either win \$21 (profit \$11), or lose your \$10.

Over a long period of time – long enough to remove short-term variance – you’ll finish in front. For example, if you bet on 1,000 coin tosses in a row, the 50% strike rate means you’d expect to lose the \$10 on 500 tosses (a total loss of \$5,000), and profit \$11 on 500 tosses (a total profit of \$5,500). Your expected net position is a profit of \$500 – because you took value bets in each contest.

And the opposite occurs if you take unders. Let’s say instead of getting \$2.10, the best price you could get on the coin toss is \$1.92. You’d expect the 1,000 bets will result in 500 losses of your \$10 stake (total loss of \$5,000), and 500 profits of \$9.20 (profit of \$9.20 (total profit of \$4,600). Your expected net position is a loss of \$400.

It doesn’t matter what you assess the true odds as: \$1.20 (83%), \$3 (33%), \$8 (12.5%), \$31 (~3.2%), \$101 (1%) or anything else. If your prices are accurate, your strike rate will be accurate over the long term and you’ll make money.

That’s how value works.

To be a winning punter, you have to first work out the true odds of your selections winning, and then only bet when you secure an overlay on your odds.

Mathematically, it’s the only way to be profitable.

That’s why tipping winners, or ‘strike-rate’; isn’t as relevant as many losing punters think. You can tip as many winners as you like: if they’re not bet at an overlay, you still won’t make a profit in the long term. You might have a winning day, or week, or even month… but over time, you’ll be yet another losing punter that the bookies love.

It’s a major adjustment for many punters to make: bypassing winners that don’t offer value.

It all depends what you want to do…

Back more winners, or actually make money?

Next The Tough Punter>

Index: Profitable Betting 101