In this piece from Pari bet, learn why skill is important in betting and what the 10,000 hour rule is.
Chance and luck play a key role in betting. But the importance of skill should not be overlooked. It may be possible for a punter to achieve a win in the short term due to luck. However, it is impossible to win in the long term without skill. So, how quickly can skill be mastered and why is it so important in betting?
Why skill is important in betting
Steady wins for bettors are not a testament to unprecedented luck, but to a refined skill in calculating the probability of future outcomes. When fate periodically “makes adjustments,” a successful punter will estimate events that occur (or don’t occur) more accurately than a bettor or an unsuccessful punter would.
One cannot learn to catch luck by the tail or predict chance. However, you can improve your skill at calculating the probability of outcomes. There are many different skills that players can master to increase their chances of making a profit. These include using a betting model, targeting a niche betting market or using statistical analysis to identify favorable values.
The 10,000 hour rule
To the question, “How long will it take to master a skill?” some may answer with a quote from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Geniuses and Outsiders. Thus, Gladwell states that you are capable of becoming an outstanding professional in any field, and it will take you 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice.”
Although this “rule” basically refers to Gladwell’s name, his theory is actually a greatly simplified version of the results of a study conducted by a group of psychological scientists. In 1993, the results were published in the articleThe Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance.
Betting players should keep in mind that the better the skill, the stronger the influence of luck.
Gladwell neglects to mention two major flaws in the 10,000 hour rule. First, the authors of the book argue that 10,000 hours is nothing more than an arbitrary value, an average calculated through primary research – some players need to practice a lot more and some need to practice a lot more.
Players should also note that practicing alone is not enough. In order to master a skill, you need to take the right approach. Even after 100,000 hours of practice, you may not become an expert. The way to become an expert player is through practice, learning, adapting knowledge, understanding the factors that can influence betting decisions, and placing bets only with a positive mathematical expectation.
Attempting to master mastery
In his latest Month to Master project, Max Deutsch gave an example of truly rapid learning. “A “thirsty learner” sets himself the challenge of mastering 12 different skills in a year. The skills vary dramatically, from memorizing a deck of cards in two minutes to trying to beat world chess champion Magnus Carlsen.
While none of these skills are directly related to betting, they will still be useful for players. The Month to Master project emphasizes the importance of applying the right approach and sensible priorities on the way to achieving a goal: whether it’s the desire to develop logical thinking or the tolerance that contributes to the desired outcome.
Deutch’s thrilling chess tournament against three-time world chess champion Magnus Carlsen was no less impressive than Max’s ability to hold a conversation in Hebrew for 30 minutes or identify 20 consecutive musical notes played in random order. And all this after only a month of practical training.
Practice alone is not enough. To master the skill, you have to choose the right approach.
Instead of trying to beat the world chess champion by relying on practice alone, the 24-year-old entrepreneur turned into a chess computer, and he did it for good reason. He developed an algorithm that aimed to evaluate the positive and negative consequences of potential moves for any situation within the game, and attempted to memorize the chess computer’s actions.
Developing and writing an effective chess algorithm within the deadline proved to be an impossible task for Deutsch, but he still played Carlsen without winning. His methodology and unique experience still demonstrate to players that the process of achieving a goal is as important as the result.
The paradox of skill
Undoubtedly, making money by placing bets without skill is impossible in the long run. Therefore, bettors should keep in mind that the better the skill, the stronger the influence of luck. This phenomenon has been called the “paradox of skill”.
Michael Mobussin describes this term in his book The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing. He cites the average rebounding percentage in basketball as an example. In response to Mobussin’s question as to why no MLB player since 1941 has boasted an average slugging percentage above .400, Stephen Jay Gould stated that average slugging percentage is indicative of relative skill, but not absolute skill. After all, the play of MLB members has improved, as has the play of pitchers.
The author states that “the paradox of skill is probably most evident in the area of capital investment,” thus demonstrating a way to analyze his work in the context of betting. The path to becoming a skilled player is through practice, learning, adapting knowledge, and understanding the factors that can influence betting decisions.
The betting market, as well as Wall Street, is full of people with similar goals, and often similar ways of achieving them. According to Mobussin, this means that the more experienced market participants are, the more difficult it is to identify favorable values and the greater the influence of luck.
Information becomes more readily available, so the available odds allow the most accurate determination of the probability of an event’s outcome. This is why many believe that successful application of closing line odds is a quality inherent in experienced players.
Why is the success of punters placing bets due to more than just luck and skill?
There are a number of factors other than luck and skill that will determine success (or lack thereof) in betting in the long term. These range from technical aspects, to willingness to learn and work hard.
Information plays a key role in betting. If the first to get the right information and react quickly enough, success can be guaranteed. Whereas a slow reaction and wrong information can be costly.
Players should not neglect the psychology of betting. To beat the bookmaker, the learning process must be continuous. Whether it is studying the impact of behavioral distortions on decision making or working on the qualities that will help overcome the difficulties that accompany betting.