I'M BETTOR | FREE Soccer and Football Predictions analyzed by unique system and team of experienced tipsters. Football tips and Match Previews for 150+ Leagues and Cups!
I'M BETTOR | Free Football Predictions
Bookmaker Reviews & Betting Offers
  Sportsbook offers
mybetExclusive 100% bonus!
Claim your €200 first deposit bonus and start betting on your favourite sports! Exclusive offer for I'M BETTOR users!
Read mybet review
Are you looking for the best odds with the highest betting limits? You just found it!
Read Pinnacle review
william-hillTriple your deposit!
William Hill provides an industry leading betting experience to sports bettors. To make the picture complete, they offer a £/€20 Free Bet.
Read William Hill review
100% Welcome Offer
Deposit €25 and play for €50 today!
Read Betfinal review
Double your deposit!
Claim your bonus and get into action: Deposit 25GBP and bet for 50GBP! Bet with Betsson on best markets.
Read Betsson review
  Casino offers
10betThe World's Happiest Casino
Get going BIG TIME with an amazing bonus 100% UP TO €100 + 50 FREE SPINS
leovegasYour Mobile Casino
€1,600 Welcome bonus + 300 FREE SPINS
casumoCasumos welcome kit
€1200 bonus and 200 free spins
rizk casinoRizk Casino
Deposit with €50 Play with €150 bonus + 50 free spins
guts casinoWelcome Bonus
Get your €300 Welcome Package Plus 100 Free Spins
more casino offers
Livescores   Soccer.ru
Rambler's Top100  

How quickly can you learn a skill?

Published: 13.01.2018 02:26

Randomness and luck play a crucial part in betting, but there is still an element of skill involved. It might be possible to win in the short-term thanks to luck, but you won’t win in the long-term without skill. So, how quickly can you learn a skill and why is it important in betting? Read on to find out.

Why skill is important in betting 

Consistently profitable bettors don’t get luckier than others; they are simply more skilled in calculating the probability of future outcomes. That is to say when good and bad luck “evens out” over time, a successful bettor’s assessment of something happening (or not happening) will be more accurate than the bookmaker’s - with an unsuccessful bettor’s less so.

You can’t learn how to get lucky or predict randomness. However, you can refine your skill in terms of calculating outcome probabilities. Whether this is through the use of a betting model, focusing on niche betting markets or using statistical analysis to find an edge, there are a multitude of different skills that bettors can learn in order to increase their chances of making a profit.

The 10,000-hour rule

When posed the question; “how long does it take to learn a skill?” some people might cite Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. In his work, Gladwell claims you can achieve world-class expertise in any given field with 10,000 hours worth of “deliberate practice”.

Although this “rule” is most commonly associated with Gladwell, his interpretation is actually a much-simplified version of research conducted by a group of psychologists (Anders Ericsson, Ralf Krampe and Clemens Tesch-Romer) that was published in The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance in 1993. 

Bettors should also be aware that the as your level of skill increases, the greater the influence of luck becomes.

Gladwell fails to recognise two crucial flaws with the 10,000-hour rule concept in his book. Firstly, as highlighted by Ericsson and co-author Robert Pool in Peak: Secrets From the New Science Expertise, 10,000 hours is merely an arbitrary figure (most likely chosen because it’s a significant round number) and it was only the average taken from the original study - some people may require significantly less practice and others significantly more.

Another point that bettors should pay particular attention to is that practice isn’t enough by itself, the approach taken is also important when learning a skill. Even if you dedicate 100,000 hours worth of practice, you may never reach an expert level. Becoming a skilled bettor isn’t about practice, it’s about learning, adapting, understanding what can affect your betting decisions and only betting when you have positive expected value.

Testing the ability to learn a skill

Max Deutsch took the notion of speed learning to the extreme in his recent Month to Master project. The self-proclaimed “obsessive learner” set himself the challenge of mastering 12 different skills (each within a month) over a one-year period. These skills ranged from memorising a deck of cards in less than two minutes to attempting to defeat world-champion Magnus Carlsen at a game of chess.

Although none of these skills are directly related to betting (Pinnacle did offer odds on Deutsch’s chess match against Carlsen), there are lessons to be learnt for bettors. Whether it’s logical thinking, determination or being patient enough to get the desired result, the Month to Master project highlights the importance of using the right approach and having the right mindset to achieve your goal.

As impressive as Deutch’s ability to hold a 30-minute conversation in Hebrew or identify 20 random musical notes in a row after just one month of learning and practising is, it was his chess match against three-time world champion Magnus Carlsen that was the most interesting.

Another point that bettors should pay particular attention to is that practice isn’t enough by itself, the approach taken is also important when learning a skill.

Instead of trying to defeat the best chess player in the world by simply practicing, the 24-year-old entrepreneur effectively turned himself into a chess computer (or at least, attempted to). He built an algorithm that would assess the goodness and badness of potential moves for any in-game situation and tried to learn the response.

Despite having an extra few weeks beyond his normal one-month deadline, Deutsch found that building and developing a successful chess algorithm (let alone memorising its responses) was not achievable within the given timeframe - he still played Carlsen (and lost). He may have failed in his attempt to beat Magnus Carlsen, but Max Deutsch’s methodology and unique story does show bettors that the process can be just as important as the results. 

The paradox of skill

While the statement that you won’t make money from betting in the long-term without skill is true, bettors should also be aware that the as your level of skill increases, the greater the influence of luck becomes. This is known as the paradox of skill.

Michael Mauboussin introduces this notion in his book The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing by using baseball batting averages as an example. Mauboussin’s answer to Stephen Jay Gould’s question of why no MLB player had maintained a batting average of over 0.400 since 1941 is because a batting average is not an assessment of absolute skill, but relative skill (while batter’s have improved in MLB, so too have pitchers).

Although Mauboussin’s study introduces his concept by using sporting performance as an example, his assertion that “perhaps nowhere is the paradox of skill more evident than in the world of investing” shows how it can be analysed from a betting perspective.

Becoming a skilled bettor isn’t about practice, it’s about learning, adapting and understanding what can affect your betting decisions.

Much like Wall Street, the odds market is full of people trying to achieve the same aim and more often than not, via the same means (using information, building models etc.). This then means, as Mauboussin suggests, the more skilful a marketplace is as a whole, the harder it is to find value and the greater the influence of luck becomes.

As more information becomes available (along with the impact of the Wisdom of the Crowd), the available odds (depending on the bookmaker) provide the most accurate reflection of the outcome probability of an event. This is why many believe consistently beating the closing line (the last odds given before the start of an event) is a sign of a skilled bettor.

Why successful bettors need more than luck and skill

There are also things beyond luck and skill that will determine whether or not you are a successful bettor in the long run - these range from the technical aspects (such as using a staking method) to a willingness to learn and work hard.

Information is a crucial part of betting. If you get hold of the right kind of information before anyone else and react quickly enough, it could be the key to success. If, however, you react too slowly or bet with incorrect information, it could cost you dearly.

The psychology of betting is also something that shouldn’t be overlooked by bettors. Whether it is understanding the impact cognitive biases can have on the decision-making process or working on the necessary attributes to help overcome the pitfalls of betting, the journey to beating the bookmaker is an on-going learning process.

Related Articles

  • La Liga preview

    Valencia host Real Madrid in this weekend’s La Liga game of the week. Valencia enter this game ahead of their visitors in the table but are far from favourites. Where is the value in the Valencia...
  • The basics of reverse line movement

    Monitoring line movement can provide a snapshot evaluation of the market and understanding why bookmakers make these adjustments can be beneficial to bettors. However, a common mistake is to base...
  • Winter Olympics medal table outright preview

    The 2018 medal table is sure to be hotly contested. Whilst marquee events like ice hockey may take the headlines, it is the alpine and sliding sports that offer the bulk of the medals. Who is best...
  • NFL preview

    The Divisional round has ended and just four teams remain for the NFL’s Conference Championships round. Who will make it through to Superbowl LII? Read on for some expert insight into the NFC...
  • Analysing the Champions League winner odds

    We are now past the halfway point in domestic campaigns across Europe. The Champions League group stage is over and the competition has entered the knockout phase. Which teams offer value in the...
  • UFC 220

    The UFC returns to Boston this weekend as heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic takes on Francis Ngannou in UFC 220’s main event. This article breaks down the stats for an in-depth analysis of the...
  • La Liga preview

    Atletico Madrid host Girona in this weekend’s La Liga game of the week. Girona have been a threat to La Liga’s the biggest sides and took a point from Atletico in their last meeting. Where is the...
  • Serie A Preview

    Inter Milan and Roma entered the Serie A winter break in poor form with dropped points harming their title challenges. Both will need wins to get their season back on track. Where is the value in the...
  • Premier League preview

    Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City welcome Newcastle United to the Etihad this Saturday, looking to get back to winning ways after their first loss of the season. Where is the value in the Manchester...
  • Premier League preview

    This Sunday, Liverpool welcome Manchester City to Anfield, looking to become the first team to defeat Pep Guardiola’s Citizens this season. Can Jurgen Klopp’s reds continue their impressive run...
  • NFL preview

    The Wild Card round has ended and just eight teams remain for the NFL’s divisional round. Only four teams can progress to the Divisional Championship. Who will make it through and keep their...
  • The importance of speed of attack in soccer

    One of the many uses for expected goals is analysing how important specific tactics are in a soccer match. This article explains why bettors need to understand the importance of the speed of attack...
  • La Liga Preview

    Real Sociedad host reigning champions Barcelona in the La Liga game of the week. The Basque side have a strong La Liga record at home to Barca. Read on to find out if there is value on offer in the...
  • Winter Olympics curling preview

    Although curling is not always considered a major sport, every four years it is one of the most watched events at the Winter Olympic Games. Learning how to bet on a fast growing sport like curling...
  • How quickly can you learn a skill?

    Randomness and luck play a crucial part in betting, but there is still an element of skill involved. It might be possible to win in the short-term thanks to luck, but you won’t win in the long-term...
  • 2018 WTA Australian Open betting preview

    Dan Weston has taken an in-depth look at the women’s Australian Open winner odds. With plenty of options to consider, what should bettors look out for ahead of the first Grand Slam event of the...
  • 2018 ATP Australian Open betting preview

    Dan Weston has analysed the conditions and contenders ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year. Is there any value in the men’s Australian Open winner odds? Read on to find out what the stats...
  • Mats Wilander's Australian Open preview

    Ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year, Pinnacle’s new Brand Ambassador Mats Wilander has put his thoughts on what might happen in the men’s and women’s singles tournament into an article....
  • Introducing Mats Wilander

    Pinnacle’s new brand ambassador Mats Wilander is a multiple singles Grand Slam winner and one of only two players to have won at least two Grand Slams on all three surfaces. A successful...
  • How to bet on tennis

    Tennis is a fast-paced, entertaining sport. In order to learn how to bet on tennis, bettors must understand the rules of the sport as well how different styles of play and court surfaces can impact...
  • MLB Betting

    MLB’s long offseason is underway so it is time to look ahead to this year’s MLB futures market. Which teams could shape MLB betting for the upcoming year? Read on for an analysis of those who...
  • The problem with data mining in sports betting

    Using data as part of a betting strategy is common practice. However, as impressive as some results may appear, the process of producing such results is the important part. What are the problems with...
  • The top five most popular betting articles of 2017

    Pinnacle’s Betting Resources published its 1,000th betting-related article in 2017. With various types of articles covering a wide range of sports, bettors have plenty to choose from in terms of...
  • La Liga Preview

    La Liga debutants Girona travel to third-placed Valencia for the highlight fixture in La Liga this weekend. Read on to find out if there is value on offer in the Valencia vs. Girona odds.
  • NFL preview

    The NFL regular season has now finished and just 12 teams are left with a chance of winning the Super Bowl. Eight teams will compete in the Wild Card round this weekend with only four progressing to...
  • Serie A Preview

    Fourth-placed Roma host last season's surprise package Atalanta in the highlight Serie A game of the week. Read on to find out if there is value on offer in the AS Roma vs. Atalanta odds.
  • Why the FA Cup matters for Premier League betting

    Soccer pundits claim that a successful FA Cup run can hinder a team’s performance in the league. This claim is often accepted as a fact, but does it actually impact Premier League betting? After...
  • Serie A Preview

    Inter Milan host fifth-place Lazio in the highlight Serie A game of the week. Both sides will be looking to continue their early form after performing above expectations so far this season. Read on...
  • NFL preview

    With just two weeks to go in the NFL regular season, The New Orleans Saints welcome the Atlanta Falcons in this weekend’s highlight game. With NFC South Championship and playoff spots are on the...
  • La Liga Preview

    The Bernabeu hosts Saturday’s El Clasico in the highlight La Liga game of the week. A Barcelona win would put them 14 points ahead of Real after only 17 games. Read on to find out if there is value...
Comment Box is loading comments...
  Email Newsletter

  Follow us and Share
  Football Daily

I'M BETTOR brings you free football predictions (soccer predictions) and free football tips, match previews, betting articles, football tables, football fixtures & results for over 150 Football Leagues & Cups. Compare odds from 80+ bookmakers, find the best odds with odds comparison tool and check our betting strategy articles before you place a bet.
IAM BETTOR | Football predictions
About Us   |   Contact Us   |   Terms of Use   |   Partners
"I'M BETTOR is a unique online service that offers high quality and profitable FREE football predictions for all major football leagues using its unique self-learning neural network algorithm that provides precise football predictions and football betting tips based on statistical analysis such as points, goals, attack and defense rating, league standings, team progress/recession etc. Afterwards we take into account: team news, injuries, suspensions, importance of the match, weather and adjust outcome tip.

Our team consists of over 40 professional football analysts with 10+ years of experience and we try our best to ensure that you are provided with the most precise football predictions. Based on our system and experience we can predict the result of a football match with up to 80% success rate.

Warning! This site contains informational content on online betting services. Please be advised that you need to be 18+ years of age to browse this website. Internet gambling is NOT legal in certain areas. Consult your local authorities prior to registering with any online betting service.

Gambling involves high psychological and financial risks. I'M BETTOR cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage as consequence of decisions based on information, betting advices or links provided on this site. The visitor is warned to act exclusively at his own discretion and risk.
I'M BETTOR cannot guarantee the correctness of information obtained from third parties.

18+ Gamcare Do not use this football predictions or betting tips if you feel you might have a gambling problem. GamCare is the leading provider of information, advice, support and free counseling for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling. Make your next click to a group that will help you deal with your situation."
Copyright © 2008 - SPORTMEDIA24