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What Is a Realistic Win Percentage?

“75% win percentage guaranteed!”  “Win 90% of the time with our foolproof locks!”  “You can’t miss this amazing deal!” 


If you are shopping around for a handicapping service, you are going to see statements like this a lot.  Unfortunately, you cannot trust these kinds of statements.  If you are new to sports betting, however, there is no way you could possibly know that.  After all, a 75-85% win percentage is actually possible with some other betting vehicles (especially those that cross over with investment, like binary options or Forex). 


Sports betting is different.  It is a complex field, and there are so many human factors that come into play, and there is no possible way to predict every unexpected catch or that last-second goal.  Flukes happen, and they happen more often than you would think.  Even “surefire winners” can end up losers. 


It is estimated by many handicappers and punters that around half of all games are decided by a fluke.  Think about that for a moment.  Let’s say you lost half of the games in a season, because a fluke decided the final scores.  Now let’s say you wanted to win 70% of your overall wagers.  That would mean for the remaining half of the season, you’d have to win 90% of your remaining bets.  That’s nigh impossible.  And even if you did that in a season, that would be a fluke. 


So what should you be looking for when you review handicapper histories?  Look for about 60% at the upper end.  A percentage closer to 55-57% is more realistic.  And yes, that means that you have to put down a lot of money to make a substantial profit as a sports punter over time.  That is one reason so few people manage to do this professionally.


All of this is also helpful for you to know not only when it comes to selecting a sports handicapping service for picks, but also if you are working on creating your own betting strategies and systems.  You will need to test those systems by following along with the current season and betting on paper before you can confidently trust the system live with real money. 


That means you need to know what win percentage to shoot for with your own testing as well.  If you manage to achieve 55% or more, be very happy about it!  You are doing a great job, and you may very well be ready to start betting with real money.  Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t achieving 65-70%.  You probably never will, and even if you ever do, it will be because luck was on your side.  You are unlikely to repeat it over time.


Knowing this not only steers you away from handicapping scams, but also helps you know when you can trust your own system.  It also protects you from mistakenly believing you are failing when you actually are on the road to success.


Horse Racing Betting

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New to sports betting?

If you are new to online sports betting you might want to read through the basic steps for sports betting and start your experience with confidence.

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Bookmaker of the Month

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Gambling on the Internet

A few things to consider when gambling online:

  • Take advantage of first deposit bonuses
  • Have a budget and stick to it
  • Don't lose more than you can afford
  • When drunk, don't bet!
  • Don't chase losses
  • Bet on markets you know well
  • Don't abuse bonuses