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Sports Bettor Education - The Law of Probability

The Law of Probability - It sounds like some complex topic you'd learned in a statistics class but never use in real life. As it turns out, it's a pretty simple concept and incredibly important to understand as a sports bettor. Let's dive in!

The Law of Probability states that the more trials you have in an experiment, the closer you get to an accurate probability.

In sports betting terms, the longer you have been betting, the closer your W/L record is to the true average. In other words, short streaks of time are a poor indication of what your actual record is, long periods of time are the best representation.

Let's break it down.

Imagine a sports bettor has a brown paper bag with 1000 marbles in it. There are 550 white marbles (55% of the bag), and 450 black marbles (45% of the bag). The white marbles represent wins, and the black marbles represent losses. The bag of marbles represents a professional sports bettor's W/L ratio which is anywhere from 53%-55%.

He starts by taking one marble from the bag at a time, representing wagers placed on individual games. He first pulls a black (loss), then a white (win), another white (win), a black (loss), and so on. Eventually, when the season is over, he's left with what the bag started with, 55% white marbles (wins), and 45% black marbles (losses), a great season!

This scenario seems all fine and good, so what could possibly mess it up like it does for so many sports bettors?

  1. "Hot Streaks". As one can imagine, when pulling marbles out of a bag, there's always a chance for getting a white, white, white, white, white combo. This is what the average sports bettor refers to as a hot streak. They are on fire! They can't lose! This is when they start betting with more money, maybe even put in irrational bets that they normally wouldn't think of doing. This hot streak ends at some point with a black marble (loss), often sending them back to where they started.

  2. "Cold Streaks". Just as one can go on a hot streak, bettors can also go on a cold streak pulling a black, black, black, black, black combo. Often sports bettors will try to chase, meaning they'll start betting more hoping that they'll get a white soon. Or, they'll slow down, betting fewer and fewer games.

  3. Finally, starting with a poor strategy in the first place. Oviously, if you are using a strategy where you lose more than you win, you are generally going to be in the red. Determine what strategy works for you or use FixdPick's AI to assist in making better picks. View our past records here:

Let's tie this back to the Law of Probability. Once again, the law states that short streaks of time are a poor indication of what your actual record is, long periods of time are the best representation. A hot streak or a cold streak, whether its a few days or few weeks, is a poor indication of your overall record. Bet consistently using the same amount of units every bet and avoid changing your strategy when you find yourself in one of these streaks.

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