After taking on some of the primary flaws of the "mainstream" value betting theory in our first article, we will continue exposing the so-called 'professionals' who spread their thoughts, which have little or no basis in reality, throughout the Internet, playing with the minds of newbies and semi-experienced bettors alike.

I'm sure that you've talked to many punters that claim that the hit rate isn't important, as long as the odds taken are value. Our position on this is that taking big odds too frequently is a dangerous habit, regardless of whether or not the taken bets were actual value. In theory, a tipster with average taken odds of 2.5 and a hit rate of 43% is just as successful as a tipster with average taken odds of 1.95 and a hit rate of 55%, as both of them will enjoy a 107.5% Return of Investment with their betting. But only in theory.

In practice, there are two problems with this reasoning.

First one applies only to punters who change their bet size according to the size of their betting bank. Avoiding heavy losses is crucial for such punters, as once they lose a portion of their bank, it is very difficult to get the bank back to it's previous size. For example, let's take a punter who had a bank of 10 000 EUR, playing flat staked bets with 2% of his bank. And let's imagine that this player had an abysmal run of form, let's say, 0-10, which took his bank down to 8000 EUR. With his new stake being 160 EUR, the player would have to win 12.5 times his new stake in order to win back the lost money - of course, with bigger losing runs, which happen from time to time(like going 12-31, etc), the effort of getting the money back would be much, much bigger. Now, what does all of this have to do with hit rate? A lot!

A 0-10 run is not a very common thing, but if you place enough bets(most professional punters have at least 1000 bets per year), such a run of form will eventually come and, guess what, such runs will happen way more often to punters who hit 43% of their bets than to does who hit 55%. Chances of a 43% punter going 0-10 equal to three tens of a per cent(0.3%), while the chances of a 55% punter having such a run is 0.03% - ten times lower! Or, to look at it from another angle, a 0-6 run for a 43% punter is just as probable as a 0-10 run for a 55% punter. This difference increases with the number of bets and the advantage of a 55% punter is even bigger when it comes to probabilities of apocalyptic losing runs - the chance of a 43% punter going 12-31 is several hundred times higher than the chance of a 55% punter having such a run!

The advocates of the "low hit rate, fixed value odds" approach could argue that such punters will win bigger during winning rounds, but, while this is definitely the truth, such school of thought has two flaws: the first is that such punters go on winning runs on far less occasions than 55% punters(a 43% is 1.4% to go 5-0, compared to 5.1% of a 55% punter), while the second, and the most important one, is that the main concern of every serious bettor should be that his betting bank should by no means at any time finding itself in the jeopardy of collapsing. This effectively means that preventing losing runs from happening frequently is way more important than to enjoy as many winning runs as possible - a winning run will improve your bank significantly, but one single horrendous losing run can take you one several years back in betting and severely reduce the betting capital you've gained over a long period of time.

The second major problem with the 'hit rate is not important, value is' theory is the human factor. Every half-serious punter out there has a method he believes will help him beat the bookies. Some use complex(or not so complex) algorithms for determining probabilities, some bet on 'feeling' but don't bet on odds they believe are too low, some even developed computer programs that calculate probabilities of outcomes for them. But, none of this methods can work without the subjective human factor - every mathematical model and algorithm out there needs you to give your power ratings of teams, and these are based on your own judgement on how good a certain team is - and this is a very much subjective operation, which you can perform successfully only with a clear mind. No matter how experienced you are and how much you've won betting over the years, your confidence will rise and grow at times. Despite knowing that you generate profit over the long run, you feel much better after going 10-0 than after going 0-10, and one of the biggest advantages the bookies have over the players is this psychological advantage. A modest 0-6 or 0-7 run is enough to make most punters switch into self-destruct mode, the vast majority will start chickening out of bets they'd normally take and start taking huge favorites they would've never taken in normal circumstances, while some will simply self destruct by placing a bet of enormous size in an attempt to win back the money they lost. Although you certainly could be able to prevent yourself from pushing the self destruct button during hard times, the fact is that a key goal for all of us should be reducing the psychological pressure present in this very stressful business, and in order to do that, we must keep out losing runs to a minimum.

While there is no doubt that, at occasions, betting on a -1/2 handicap with odds of around 2.5 represents more value than taking dnb for odds around 1.8, the fact is these are only occasional situations, and one should, most of the time, stick to bets that offer a modest return(odds of 1.8-2.1) but prevent losing runs happening more frequently, therefore preventing both large dips in the punters' betting bank size and preventing him from being under unnecessary pressure.