Variance in betting

Paris sportif : comprendre la variance
Today we are going to talk about a very important concept in sports betting because if it is not understood you could lose all your capital. We could quickly define this concept by saying that in your journey as a bettor you will have periods of winning and periods of losses. but that over time these periods cancel each other out

Variance, a statistic concept

Variance is not unique to sports betting. Indeed this notion has existed since the creation of probabilities and statistics. By going to Wikipedia we can read a definition: the variance is a measure of the distribution of the values ​​of a sample or of a probability distribution.

The coin example

Lancée une pièce de monnaie
Put more simply, the variance calculates the deviation (the difference) between the values ​​obtained and the possible values ​​when several results are possible. If we take the example of a coin: every time we toss a coin it can be heads or tails.

If we toss the coin 3 times it could be tipped 3 times and tails 0 times and vice versa. It could also be tapped twice and tails twice, or the reverse twice tails and tails once. 

The purpose of variance is to find out whether the probabilities associated with the result obtained (twice heads and once heads for example) are greater than the theoretical probabilities. Let’s do this calculation together. On 3 launches, we can obtain the following results (note P for Pile and F for Face): PPP / PPF / PFP / PFF / FFF / FFP / FPF / FPP

That is to say 8 combinations in total and 3 possibilities of falling on 2 tails and 1 time tails: PPF, PFP, FPP.

So we have 37.5% to fall on a favorable draw. If from the 1st try, we get 2 tails and 1 tails, then we had a 100% success, ie a difference with the theoretical probabilities of 63.5%! We are in a very lucky time. However if we get this draw at least 10 attempts, we have had that 10% success is 27.5% less than the theoretical probabilities would like: we are in a period of “bad luck”.

Thanks to this calculation, we can therefore know if the results we obtained will be less favorable or more favorable if we continue to flip the coin 3 times in a row. Indeed, probabilities and the law of large numbers indicates that the more we flip the coin, the closer the probabilities of the result we have obtained will be to the theoretical result of the probabilities.

Variance in betting

Knowing that we are in a period of “luck” or “bad luck” is very interesting for us bettors. If we have results higher than the announced probabilities (case of the 1st throw which gives us the desired result), we must expect a less victorious period and therefore not increase our earnings in the event of a period with less good results.
Paris sportif : vos résultats dépendent de la variance

Conversely, if we know that we are with lower results than predicted by
probabilities, this means that we will soon have a better period and therefore more gains than we should (always relative to the probabilities). So this is where you have to keep your methods, have confidence in your refined analytical frameworks.

This is one of the reasons that motivated us to develop the functionality of the analysis frame on the Bet Assistant platform. Indeed, in bad times we often question everything. But if we have the tools that help us stay the course and rely only on statistics that don’t change in the event of a bad result, we will be able to continue to carry out our analyzes by taking less account of our emotions. 

With this automated analysis framework, information is collected automatically, your analysis logic is intact because it has already been thought through and you can continue to bet while being at ease to get through the period of poor results.

Variance is therefore a very important concept in sports betting because who has never had a period with 5/10/20 bets losing in a row? By understanding this concept, you will be able to take the necessary step back in the event of a bad patch. You know that this is a period that will not last if you maintain your composure and thoroughness in your analyzes (which works in the long term).

What do to against variance ?

Now that we know where the variance comes from, how to calculate it and adapt it to the circumstances of sports betting, we need to get the best of it. Simply put, there is nothing we can do about variance. Who can do something about the coin falling face down? In sports betting, we can achieve two things.

Bankroll management

The first technique is to manage your capital well. If you have a period of bad results then you should be able to cash it without it becoming dangerous for your initial capital. This is why betting with very precise bet management will ensure that you never go bankrupt. We will come back to managing your capital and your stakes soon in a future article because it is fundamental to your success in sports betting.


The other technique takes us back to our previous article on valuebets. By playing this type of bet (identifying odds at poorly adjusted bookmakers) you change the theoretical odds in your favor. And yes ! 🙂

If you read the article you saw the difference in results on just 100 bets. Imagine the results on 1000 bets, 10,000 bets! By playing valuebets you gain an advantage over your theoretical probability (you bet on a 50% probability of winning while in case of winning you will be paid for a 40% probability).

Let’s say you flip a coin 10 times and still bet heads because it is a value bet (heads are paid 60% instead of 50% or a 1 in 2 chance of heads being paid). You are “unlucky”, the coin is tails 6 times and heads only 4 times. By having played valuebets on the face, you may be unlucky but you are less losing than those who do not play valuebets.

Indeed, you will win 6.66 units against 5 without playing the valuebets. Your loss is therefore less important and will allow you to better manage the period of poor results.


The last thing you can do against variance is to take notice, learn to understand it, and keep calm when it is not in our favor.
Paris sportif : rester calme face à la variance

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