How to Calculate Edge in Betting

The edge—the difference between the winning and losing sides. On a single hand, it can be as small as the 0.01% margin of victory in a tennis match. On the opposite end of the spectrum, it can be as big as the 9.8% difference between the price of Bitcoin and Ether. Or, for those keeping count, the 1.4% edge that came from Donald Trump’s surprise election victory. The edge is important. It is what separates the winners from the losers. And it has the potential to change the way you look at sports betting forever.

The Theory Behind The Edge

To understand the theory behind the edge, let’s examine the concept of gambling and the importance of probability. When you place a wager on a sure thing, you are essentially gambling on the outcome of an event with absolute certainty. The odds of winning are in your favor, and so you feel confident that you will come out on top. The trouble is, this type of wager is inherently uncertain and can lead to big losses. If you ever read Betting 101: The Basics, you will learn that this is one of the primary things that you should avoid.

Sports betting is different. With absolute certainty, you would have to put your money on a horse or a team that you know is going to win. However, in most cases, this is not the case. In most sports, there are no clear-cut favorites. It is all a matter of probability and the different ways that the outcomes of the games can alter the ultimate balance of power.

For example, take the case of a hockey game. You are guaranteed to see some sort of activity on the ice, but it is entirely possible that the game could end in a tie. In that case, your hockey betting would be 0% since you would have lost every single dollar that you staked. In other words, in a tie, your dollars would be gone and you would have no way of recovering them. In a situation like this, it is crucial to accurately calculate the edge so that you can make the right decision. And this is where the theory behind the edge comes in.

The Mathematics Behind The Edge

When calculating the edge in betting, you will typically use a formula that involves two parts. The first part is the formula for the probability of an event occurring. In the case of a hockey game, this would be the probability of the game ending in a tie. The second part is the formula for determining the winning side. In the case of a tie in the hockey game, the edge could be determined by the score of the game. In other words, the winning team (and side) would be the team that scores the most goals.

Mathematics is crucial to any serious gambler. You will always need to have your calculator handy to make sure that you have done your sums correctly. You will also need to know how to use it properly so as not to lead to disastrous consequences. For this reason, we will examine the use of both parts of the formula, as well as how to use a calculator. We will also discuss how to interpret the results of your calculations so that you can understand everything clearly.

Using The Formulas

The first step in calculating the edge is to figure out the formulas for the two parts of the problem. In the case of the hockey game, this would be the probability of a tie and the formula for determining the winning side. To calculate the first part, you need to look at both the current score and the percentage of goals that the home team has over the total number of goals scored (including both sides). Let’s assume that the current score is 4-2, and the home team has 60% of the total goals. This means that they have a 30% chance of winning the game. Therefore, the probability of a tie is:

$${}^{4\ \mathrm{tied}\ \mathrm{goals}}\ \mathrm{x}\ {}^{2}\ \mathrm{goals}\ \mathrm{over}\ \mathrm{60}\ \mathrm{goals}\ \mathrm{scored} = 0.3$$

The second part of the formula is determining the winning side of a tie. In the case of the previous hockey game, if the score is 4-2 and the home team has 60% of the total goals, then the winning side would be determined by looking at which team has the most goals after the game is officially tied. In the case of a tie, it is also crucial to accurately calculate both the points scored and goals scored by each team because, for the purposes of the calculations, a tie is treated as a game that ends in a draw. Points and goals scored in a tie are considered equal, which means that both sides have a 50% chance of winning the contest. In these situations, the team with the most goals wins. Therefore, the winning side in the previous hockey game would be:

$${\mathrm{Home}\ \mathrm{team}}\ \mathrm{scored}\ \mathrm{\ points} > {\mathrm{Visiting}\ \mathrm{team}}\ \mathrm{scored}\ \mathrm{\ points}$$

You can probably see where this is going. Now that you know how the formulas work, let’s put them into practice and see how they perform in a toy example. Consider the following setup:

Three-card monte is a common game in casinos and lotteries that is played using three dealing machines (also called cars) and a single player. In this game, the player is trying to detect when the cards have been fixed (or shuffled) by the house dealer. The objective is for the player to call out “three of a kind” before the house does. If the player calls “three of a kind” before the dealer calls “three of a kind” then the player wins. If anyone calls “three of a kind” after the dealer then the game ends in a draw, and neither side wins. 

Using the formulas from the previous example, we can now calculate the edge in this game. Let’s use the current score of 3-2 to begin with. Since the home team is in the black, this means that the odds are in their favor. However, the visiting team has 60% of the total goals, which gives them a 30% chance of winning. To figure out the probability of a tie, we will use the percentage of goals that the home team has over the total number of goals scored (including both sides) as our base for this calculation. In this case, 60% of 5 = 3. So, the probability of a tie is: