Over eight years Betting Resources has now published in excess of a 1,000 betting related articles. Looking at the most popular articles from that expansive archive provides an insight not only into what interests bettors most but also the way they learn, as well what they find most difficult to understand.
Bettors start with ‘How’ before ‘Why’
A quick glance at the titles of Betting Resource articles that have produced the most enduring interest over time and you notice the word ‘How’ appears in four of the top 10. This trend is something that we noticed - and acted on - from quite early on in the development of our content, so to some extent the data reflects our output, but it nevertheless provides clear insight.
In their search for information bettors are more focused on the how rather than the why. This stands to reason, as actionable advice, in any context is always likely to prove more popular than understanding the root causes. This is reflected in the increasing transition of search engines to answer engines. If my toilet is blocked I want to know how to unblock it, much more than understanding what might have caused the blockage. However, over time - if this issue keeps happening - I am more likely to start thinking about the cause rather than just the outcome. The same is true in betting.
In their search for information bettors are more focused on the how rather than the why.
So at number 10 in our popularity rundown is ‘How to calculate expected value’...which to pardon the pun we should have expected to find in the list. EV is the most fundamental concept within betting, but isn’t a term that is commonly used or understood among recreational punters.
As bettors start to dig a little below the surface, especially in forums, blogs and social media, the term EV will almost certainly crop up and our article helps bettors become aware of EV, learn how to calculate it and understand how it is fundamentally important to betting.
At number 9 is another of what we consider stepping-stone articles along the path to betting maturity - ‘How to calculate double chance stake and odds’. Double Chance reduces 1X2 to a binary choice, with either the home or away bundled with the draw, hence the name, as you double your chances.
This type of bet isn’t entry level but is something that bettors progress to as they understand the challenges of 1X2 and try to find ways to mitigate their uncertainty over an outcome. The Double Chance option might offer more security but it doesn’t necessarily provide better value. Knowing how to convert between 1X2 and Double Chance enables you to know when it is in your best interest to use it.
Systems provide an understandable appeal
If you surveyed a group of aspiring bettors and asked them for the one burning question they most wanted to be answered, it would be no surprise to find something along the lines of ‘how do I make a consistent profit’. The search for that Holy Grail can lead down some dark rabbit holes, including premium tipsters and supposed fool-proof systems, among which progressives garner a lot of attention.
A negative progressive system is one which requires progressively increasing stakes after losses. The danger lies in the need for an unlimited bankroll and the ability to bet with unlimited limits. Despite these considerable drawbacks systems like Fibonacci betting form a natural part of the betting learning process.
There are many betting systems that are very valuable and two that appear in our top ten are among the most widely used and discussed - Kelly Criterion and Poisson.
For that reason, ‘What is the Fibonacci betting system’ is our fourth most popular article ever. It looks at a system published in 2007 focused on betting on draws. If you lose, you keep betting - so long as the odds are greater than 2.618 - and you increase your stake using the Fibonacci sequence (1,1,2,3,5,8 etc.). It is a fascinating idea, but as the article explains, it isn’t the Holy Grail. There is still however, great value in reading it to understand why, as this should cause a few pennies to drop and provide the necessary scepticism any time you come across the words ‘foolproof system’ and ‘gambling’ in the same sentence.
Notwithstanding that warning, there are many betting systems that are very valuable and two that appear in our top ten are among the most widely used and discussed - Kelly Criterion and Poisson. Put simply, understanding ‘How to use the Kelly Criterion’ is a crucial step in scaling the betting learning curve. It is another classic ‘how to’ question, but a little more advanced in nature; ‘How much should I wager when I think a bet has value?’
Dominic Cortis, a long-time contributor, university lecturer and trained actuary answered that question outlining the concept behind Kelly - staking in proportion to perceived edge - along with the all-important formula. Kelly isn’t a one-stop shop; there are multiple variants on the theme, and ways that Kelly can be combined with other approaches to create what is called a ‘mixed strategy’ which leads into the realms of advanced betting.
We have a number of articles that touch on Kelly, and when shared on our Twitter feed, it tends to produce some lively discussions as there is no right or wrong as the extent to which it can be applied.
Poisson is not actually a system but a way of calculating probability distribution, or in layman’s terms the chances of different possible outcomes from an experiment. That could be a coin toss - giving you the chances of different distributions of Heads-Tails knowing the base probabilities for each (0.5), or a sporting event like a soccer match.
Our article ‘Poisson Distribution: Predict the score in soccer betting’ is so popular because it walks the reader through the process of calculating odds from raw data - using Defence and Attack strength values - then using the maths behind Poisson to easily turn these into probabilities/odds of a distribution of different scorelines.
Not only does this illustrate how bookmakers might turn data into betting odds, it also highlights the fact that different sports function in completely different ways. Scoring in soccer is essentially random, so Poisson works, but that isn’t true of baseball or basketball where scores are clustered. Thinking about sport and predicting outcomes in this way opens a whole new vista for learning.
Recognising the popularity of Kelly Criterion and Fibonacci and the desire of our readers to know the most sensible staking approach, we produced an article that compared them among five prominent staking methods. ‘Staking: One method to improve your betting’ has proved to be one of our most enduring articles. Drawing on data from Alex Bellos’ excellent ‘Adventures in Numberland’ and using a 500 bet simulation and $1,000 bankroll, the article provides an inexpensive way for bettors to learn the pitfalls of five prominent staking approaches without losing a penny themselves.
Don’t overlook the basics
All Betting Resources content is tagged with one of three learning levels - Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced - and we make every effort to appeal to all three important audience groups. Our top 10 list of most popular articles evenly reflects this diversity, so as much as Poisson and Kelly Criterion appeal to bettors really wanting to get their teeth stick into meaty subjects, our content also appeals to those getting to grips with the basics and then wanting to develop their skills further.
Our article on Probability, Odds and Payouts (number 8 in our list) is an excellent primer for the fundamentals of betting, especially as it features a helpful video. There is no point trying to jump into systems betting or complex betting strategy until you have learnt the basics.
At number seven is a simple explanation of the different odds formats available at Pinnacle which tends to see elevated interest around marquee events when there is a lot more recreational interest. This article and the questions that drive people to it are helped by the recent addition of our odds conversion calculator. Our betting tools are really convenient but no substitute for knowing the relationship between odds formats.
Underlining the function Betting Resources provides for novice bettors is our article explaining the basic basketball bet types. We have similar articles across all sports, but the popularity of the NBA has helped contribute to the interest in this piece; along with an absence of content online that effectively answers this simple but important question.
Given the interest in understanding the basics about betting on popular sports - such as basketball - it shouldn’t be a surprise that the most popular article ever published on Betting Resources (from a library of more than 1,000 titles) is one that relates to our most popular betting market - soccer - simply explaining how Asian Handicap markets work.
The concept of a 1X2 is fairly easy to grasp as it relates to the outcome of the game, and needs next to no explanation. Introducing the concept of handicapping is, however, a different story. The fact that Asian Handicaps are the market of choice for professional bettors should on its own motivate an aspiring gambler to get their head around how they function.
A huge number of people have used Betting Resources to do just that and in the process have been exposed to content that should hopefully have inspired them to learn about other key concepts in betting. We have over 1,000 articles across a whole spectrum of subjects and learning levels, with our primary intent to simply empower bettors to be more knowledgeable. I invite you to take a closer look.
Here are the Top 10 Betting Resource articles in full
- 10 - How to calculate Expected Value
- 9 - How to calculate Double Chance odds
- 8 - How to calculate probability, payouts and odds
- 7 - Understanding odds formats & how to convert them
- 6 - Basketball bet types explained
- 5 - How to use the Kelly Criterion for betting
- 4 - What is the Fibonnaci betting system?
- 3 - Staking: One method to improve your betting
- 2 - Applying the Poisson Distribution to soccer betting
- 1 - Asian Handicap markets expained