Sports Betting Guide
The Monty Hall problem
Being able to choose the right outcome is one of the most important features punters must-have. However, it is really hard to select one correct outcome when you have plenty of unfavourable ones around you? Let’s find out what makes it so hard and how to work your way around and become a profitable sports bettor.
So what is Monty Hall problem, and how is it related to sports betting. First things first, let’s start from the very beginning. When presented the opportunity, people tend to struggle or show their inability to pick one (correct) entry out of three given ones. This situation displays humans’ inability to properly assess the chances of success. Well, as you might already know, being able to assess the risk & find value is the key to success in sports betting. Thus, being unable to fulfil any of those requirements will result in a complete failure.
Tracing back the origins of the Monty Hall problem, we should go back to the 60-70s and the back-then popular US TV show called «Let’s Make a Deal», from which it got its very name. Imagine the situation where you are being shown three doors, behind which there are a brand-new car and two goats. Your task is to pick the door behind which you will find a car. What is more, you have to keep in mind that you are making your choice without any prior knowledge about any of the doors. Next up, after you make your choice, one of the goat doors will open, leaving you with a bit more information about the doors. The question now is, are you going to change the door or stick to your original choice?
The aforementioned situation proved that people fail to cope with probability problems in practice. Unfortunately, such counter-intuitive behaviour could also be witnessed among punters, who are constantly are going through a similar situation!
While this psychological phenomenon might seem a bit complicated at first, in reality, it is very simple and could be solved using a straightforward mathematical example. Once again, looking at the Monty Hall problem, we have three doors to choose from. Using the simple approach, we can say that each door has a probability of the car being behind it of 33.33% or, in other words, 1/3. Choosing one door, we are picking a 33% probability option, leaving the remaining two doors at 66.66%. After getting one of the non-chosen doors revealed, we are being left out with our initial door (33%) & another door, which, in fact, has a 66.66% probability of having the car behind it. Thus, going back to the question asked at the end of the previous paragraph, «are you going to change the door or stick to your original choice?», we should always change the door! Statistically speaking, it is quite obvious why we should, however, the majority of people, as well as the majority of show contestants think otherwise.
Long story short, it is important to know when the odds are for and against you and solely rely on the information you know & calculations, which are based on that information, rather than the so-called «gut feeling». Unfortunately, this tiny mistake is one of the most common ones among punters, which constantly acts against their interest. Make understanding and finding value your golden rule and stick to it at all times. For more educational content on sports betting and how to avoid various most common biases, please visit our sports betting guide section.