What is a Sharp Play in Betting?

“Sharp play” is a phrase used when referring to people who place large amounts of money on a single wager and suffer losses when the wager loses. The phrase comes from the playbooks of blackjack and poker professional Joe Sebok and his team, which specialize in roulette and sports betting. The team has offices in the UK, France, and Spain and has created several betting calculators to help people analyze their betting strategies and determine when to employ them.

Joe’s Story

Joe Sebok is a highly respected professional in the gambling industry and the creator of the popular Sebok Winning and Sebok Dictator playbooks. When he began his career, he worked for a company that placed bets for sports teams and horses. He quickly learned how to avoid the sharpies (i.e. thebettors who placed large amounts of money on single bets and suffered losses) and learned how to make money consistently from sports betting. Thus, the phrase “sharp play” was born. According to Sebok, learning to avoid the sharpies is a primary focus of any good bookmaker’s training program.

Joe’s Teams’ Story

The teams behind SeboK report that they have spent the last 13 years avoiding sharp play and suffering losses only from chosen wagers. In 2018, they decided to share their knowledge and developed several tools to help sports bettors avoid suffering major losses. The first of these tools is called the Bet Calculator, which helps users determine how much money to risk per bet based on their budget, the odds of winning, and the amount of money they are willing to lose. It also allows users to determine how much they should wager on a game depending on whether they are using exact or implied odds.

The Tools

Besides the Bet Calculator, the three-person teams behind SeboK also created two companion tools, the Dictator and the Winning playbooks. The first one, the Dictator playbook, helps users identify situations when sharp play is likely to occur. The Dictator playbook is a simple questionnaire that the user completes regarding their personal gambling history. Based on the results of this questionnaire, the tool generates a rating from 1 to 100, indicating how likely it is that the user will engage in sharp play. The scores above 70 indicate that the user is at a high risk of being a sharp player. In these cases, the recommended strategy is to place bigger bets or frequent bets or both. The Dictator tool also generates a report showing the key statistical information about the user, including the amount of money the user has wagered and lost over the past year, as well as the odds of winning and losing.

How Does It Work?

Let’s say you want to place a bet on the over/under (i.e. the total number of points scored in a given NBA game) and you have a budget of $100. First, you would need to determine how much you are willing to risk on each of the two possible outcomes, using the Bet Calculator. The risk/reward ratio for the over/under is 1:2, so if you put down $100 on the over, you can expect to win $200 or lose $100. You would also need to determine how confident you are in your prediction. For the sake of this example, let’s say you feel 50/50 about whether the over/under will be scored more or less than the total amount of points. The question now is, how much should you bet?

Most people tend to err on the side of caution and bet the minimum amount, which in this case is $100. However, if you have a good feeling about the total number of points, you may want to risk more and place a $200 wager to make sure you win back your $100 should the over/under be scored exactly as you predicted. Some people prefer to stick with the safer option and only wager as much as they can afford to lose should their prediction be wrong. However, if you want to be on the safe side and play it safe, you may choose to use the Dictator tool instead to find out what sort of player you are likely to be. Should you choose this option, you will need to set the Dictator tool to generate a rating of 70 or below for yourself. In this case, the risk/reward ratio is favorable and you should place a smaller bet than you would for a score in the 50s or 60s. As a result, you will be able to enjoy your $100 in peace without worrying about whether you have wasted your money should your prediction be wrong.

The Risk

While there is no denying that betting can be a fun and exciting pastime, it is imperative to remember that there is also a risk associated with any sort of gambling. As Joe Sebok points out, there is always the possibility of losing money and there is certainly no guarantee that you will win. Even the most careful and educated bettors sometimes lose, due to a variety of unforeseen circumstances. Since the risk of losing money is always there, it is essential to minimize this risk as much as possible by being smart about which wagers you make and by only risking what you can afford to lose.

The Importance Of Planning

The three teams who designed the SeboK tools warn prospective users that, although there is no precise science to successful gambling, there are several proven strategies that are very effective in raising the odds of winning. These tools can help even a newbie become an expert (or at least a skilled amateur) in evaluating his or her own chances of winning as well as deciding which kinds of bets to make and in which amounts.