Does intuition work in betting?


Today we will try to understand the intuition in sports betting. Many players place high hopes on their “feel” (as it is also called intuition). Sometimes they even put it entirely intuitively, neglecting even a minimal analysis of the event. How justified is this?

What is intuition in sports betting

In the context of betting, intuition is the ability to foresee, guess the correct outcome of a sporting event. Usually, it works as a kind of insight, at the first glance at the line, when the player has not yet had time to conduct even a minimal analysis of the match. Probably, something similar happened with any player.

Of course, it is quite easy to predict the result of the match “Juventus” - “Shinnik”, even people who are very far from football can do it. We are talking about approximately equally probable outcomes, with odds in the region of two, well, or at least from 1.60.

And here two types of intuition are distinguished:

  1. False intuition;
  2. Professional instinct.

False intuition

This is what various fortune-tellers, psychics, shamans and other people with “superpowers” ​​“possess”. That is, in fact, it does not exist at all. This is the usual random guessing of random results. Sometimes it inevitably hits the target, sometimes the probability of the chosen outcome is just decently higher. But often guessing does not work and everything develops according to the opposite scenario. Then you have to make excuses and find ridiculous explanations why this time it did not work out.

If people with some kind of paranormal abilities exist, then their number is so small that it would not be enough for one season of the staged show "The Battle of Psychics". Although this show alone has more than two dozen seasons, not to mention similar projects both in Russia and in other countries. And the Houdini and Randy awards still exist, and for decades they have not found their lucky owner.


Testing your foresight is pretty easy. You just need to conduct a simple experiment with guessing random outcomes at a fairly long distance - from 1000 repetitions. This can be tossing a coin, pulling out colored pebbles, manipulating the random distribution in Excel, and so on. Provided that the outcomes are equally probable, you will get about 500 guessed and about the same number of misguided results.


If the chances of guessing are not 1 to 1, but less, for example, 1 to 2, then at a distance of 1000 repetitions you will get about 33% of your guessed results. If it is 2 to 1, then there will be about 66% of the guessed options, and so on. It's very simple, ordinary mathematics.

Professional instinct

But all this is relevant only for random outcomes. Which drop out randomly or the mechanics of their drop are so complex that it is impossible to understand or calculate. In the context of betting, these are bets on a completely unfamiliar sport or such outcomes as “which team will start the match from the center of the field”, which is decided by the same toss of a coin.

But as you immerse yourself in a sport, a professional flair develops. The deeper the dive, the stronger and more accurate it is. By the way, this applies not only to betting, but in general to any field of activity. And this kind of intuition can be trusted. Actually, this is not intuition at all, but hints from the brain, subconsciousness, based on experience.

For example, you are analyzing the match “Real” - “Barcelona” and suddenly you get an insight that “Real” should win today. If you have been following La Liga for fifteen years and often place bets on football, then this tip can be trusted. It was your brain that remembered that about five years ago there was a similar situation, “Barça” was the favorite, the line moved in the same strange way, the “creamy” had their main scorer injured, but they won. And the brain sends you a signal about it.

Of course, you cannot bet only on the basis of this brain hint, you need to carefully double-check everything, deduce the most accurate probability of the outcome, and place a bet only if value is present in it. But this is a great addition to traditional analytical tools. And it can be used, for example, by uploading a slightly larger percentage of the bank to bets confirmed by instinct.


It is also quite simple to check the effectiveness of bets on a professional sentiment. Keep separate records for them or mark them in your table with a special note. After a while, certain conclusions can be drawn. Most likely, the percentage of passing such bets will be higher than the probability distribution, and will only grow with the depth of immersion in the sport.



In general, we came to the conclusion that no intuition exists at all. Not in betting, not in any other spheres of life. False intuition is a random guess. Just guessing outcomes that fit within the probability distribution for random or unfamiliar outcomes. It can neither be developed nor qualitatively improved its performance at decent distances. The result of bets based on false intuition signals is predictable: minus due to the bookmaker's margin.

A professional instinct is also not intuition, but the work of the subconscious, the limbic system of the brain. It develops automatically, with increasing experience and depth of immersion in a specific topic. These brain clues can and should be trusted, they can be profitable over a distance, and will work better as long as you stay in the subject. And this is true not only for sports betting.