June 12, 2024

Inside the Mind of a Professional Gambler: Bill Krackomberger’s Secrets to Consistently Winning in Sports Betting

Jacob, CEO (Image)
Jacob Fortinsky

This week on Linecraft, I had the pleasure of sitting down with legendary sports bettor Bill Krackomberger. Growing up on the East Coast, Bill was immersed in the world of gambling from a young age. With betting a significant part of the culture in cities like Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Chicago, and both his parents involved in gambling, Bill cut his teeth on football parlay cards. His first taste of advantage gambling came from his cousin who had attended a card counting school and shared his secrets for beating the house in blackjack. Bill honed his skills in the late 80s and early 90s, playing poker professionally before it became mainstream, and really hit his stride when he partnered with Frank, a skilled blackjack advantage player. Together, they spent the next decade beating the books, with Bill taking their sports betting operation to new heights.

Bill shared a wealth of experience from his decades in the sports betting trenches. From the foundational importance of bankroll management and emotional control to the never-ending quest to find and exploit edges in an increasingly efficient market, Bill's insights highlights the skills, discipline, and relentless drive for improvement that show what it takes to do this professionally. This week, we'll unpack some of his key lessons in detail, going beyond the soundbites to explore the daily realities of professional gambling. Whether you're a seasoned sharp or a casual fan looking to learn more, Bill takes you into the mindset and methods needed to tackle the challenge of beating the books consistently.

Check out the full episode with Bill here:

Enjoy some of my favorite lessons from Bill below:

1. Bankroll management and emotional control are essential

For Bill, one of the most critical lessons he's learned in his decades as a sports bettor is the importance of managing your money and your emotions.

"If you can just know tomorrow's another day and not have to chase the money, that's how these monstrosities out my window here in Las Vegas were all built. They were all built because everyone says, let me just get even."

This gets to the heart of what separates successful bettors from the vast majority who end up losing in the long run. The ability to walk away when you're losing, to not chase bad bets in an attempt to get back to even, is a key discipline. Far too many bettors fall into the trap of trying to win back their losses with bigger and riskier bets, digging themselves into an ever-deeper hole. By sticking to a strict bankroll management plan and keeping your emotions in check, you give yourself the best chance to survive the inevitable downswings and come out ahead in the long run.

2. Preseason football offers profitable opportunities

While the major sports like the NBA and NFL have become incredibly efficient with razor-thin margins for bettors, Bill has found an edge in a perhaps unexpected place: preseason football.

"Preseason football, which I think we started out like 18-5. It was ridiculous. It's all about information, too."

The preseason is typically seen as a time for teams to experiment with different lineups and plays, making the games unpredictable. But that unpredictability, combined with less attention from oddsmakers and the betting public, can create great opportunities for bettors who have good information and insights. Whether it's knowledge about which starters will play and for how long, or a sense of which coaches are more focused on winning versus evaluating talent, specialized insight can go a long way in the preseason. For bettors willing to put in the work, there's value to be found in these often overlooked games.

3. Betting exchanges offer more value than traditional sportsbooks

For sharp bettors like Bill who are used to having their action limited or refused by traditional bookmakers, the rise of betting exchanges has been a game changer.

"If you're gonna bet something, why not lay 102 juice instead of 110 juice? In the end, that's gonna make you more money than any of those sucker parlay bets or same game thing."

Now in English: When you bet with a traditional sportsbook, they build their profit margin into the odds they offer. So on a typical point spread bet, you might have to risk $110 to win $100 - the extra $10 is the "juice" or "vig" that the book keeps as their cut.

But on a betting exchange, you're betting against other bettors, not the house. The exchange simply facilitates the bets and takes a small commission. So instead of laying $110 to win $100, you might only have to lay $102 to win $100. That might not seem like a big difference, but over the long run, that extra 2-3% adds up to a lot of money.

Of course, you need to be a winning bettor for this to matter - saving on the juice won't help if you're picking more losers than winners. But for sharp bettors operating on small margins, the reduced juice of betting exchanges can make a real difference to the bottom line.

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What is Novig? How does Novig work?

Novig is the first prediction market for sports. We were tired of betting against sportsbooks that take 10% cuts of winnings and limit/ban winning users, so we built a peer-to-peer exchange where you compete directly against other users in the Novig community rather than against the house.

When you place orders on Novig, you are weighing in with your own knowledge, research, and opinions on sports events, so the odds on our platform reflect what the Novig market believes is the fair value of a given event. We are distinct from traditional sportsbooks in that we allow users to offer their own odds (ie, name your own price) if you don’t like the market odds, which you can do by placing a “Make Order” on the Order Slip.  

We have two different modes: Novig Coins and Novig Cash. Novig Coins are unredeemable and are used to play for fun, and Novig Cash is a virtual currency that can be used to enter sweepstakes for the chance to win cash prizes. No purchase is necessary for Novig Cash.

What’s the difference between Novig Coins and Novig Cash?

Novig Coins are used to play for fun. They provide the opportunity to express one’s predictions on sports events, win more Novig Coins, and compete against the Novig community. Novig Coins can be purchased in the Novig App, and they can be claimed daily or when one’s balance is below 100 Novig Coins. They are unredeemable and non-transferable. 

Novig Cash is a virtual currency that is used to participate in Novig's sweepstakes. Novig Cash is free to claim and Novig Cash won from gameplay can be used to enter additional sweepstakes or redeemed for cash prizes, subject to eligibility verification, minimum and maximum redemption limits, and all requirements in the Sweepstakes Rules and Terms of Use.

It can be collected for free as a bonus with purchases of Novig Coins or via one of our alternative methods of entry. No purchase is necessary to obtain Novig Cash. Please see our Sweepstakes Rules for complete details. 

What happens if I win Novig Cash?

If you win Novig Cash by participating in sweepstakes games, you may redeem the Novig Cash for real cash prizes, subject to minimum and maximum redemption limits, but you must verify your eligibility and comply with all requirements, in accordance with our Terms of Use. The current minimum redemption of Novig Cash is $20, and the current maximum redemption of Novig Cash is $5,000 for a single redemption and $10,000 per day, except in New York and Florida where the maximum daily redemption is $5,000.

What are sweepstakes?

Sweepstakes are promotional games with prizes for the winners. They are used to promote the sale of products — in our case, Novig Coins — and have been legitimately used by businesses in the United States for decades. 

Unlike traditional sports betting where you wager real money on sports outcomes, sweepstakes involve no real money gambling. A sweepstakes is a game of chance where participants can win prizes without any requirement to make a purchase. Participants use Novig Cash to play sweepstakes games for the chance to win prizes.

Why use Novig instead of traditional sportsbooks?

We are the platform where winners play. Our research indicates that players are over 10x more likely to win on Novig compared to our competitors. On other platforms, if you are consistently winning, you are likely going to get limited or frozen out entirely. At Novig, winners are welcome. 

We also offer faster in-game trading, more transparency, and a number of innovative features like Make Orders, liquidity screens where you can view multiple levels of the Order Book, position tracking, and a generous rewards program.

What markets does Novig offer?

We offer moneyline, spread, totals, and player prop markets in NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NCAAF, NCAAB, NCAAW, and WNBA. In the coming months, we will expand our offerings to include other sports (tennis, UFC, golf, soccer) parlays, SGPs, and other exotic markets.

Is Novig legal?

What does it mean to “set your own odds”?

On Novig, you don’t have to just take the odds that the market is offering. You can set your own. 

For example, let’s say you want to put 1000 Novig Coins on the Cowboys to win against the 49ers and you see that the best odds are currently -330 for 49ers and +240 for the Cowboys. Instead of just taking the Cowboys at +240, you can change your Order type to Make on the Order Slip, and enter in whatever odds you’d like, say +300. 

Those odds are then offered to the rest of the Novig community so the 49ers odds would update to -300 and when another player on the app takes the other side, you will be notified that your order is filled and your payout would be 4000 Novig Coins, instead of 3400. If your order remains unmatched, it will be canceled automatically when the game starts, or you can cancel it from the Portfolio screen at any time and the Coins will be returned to your wallet.

Where is Novig available?

Novig is available to users 21+ across the United States, except in the following states: AL, CO, ID, LA, MI, MT, NV, and TN. Eligibility may vary month-to-month, and you are responsible for determining whether you are located in an eligible jurisdiction. For more information on eligibility and availability, see our Terms of Use and Sweepstakes Rules.

How does Novig actually make money?

It's a great question and one that gets to the heart of how we're different from traditional sportsbooks. Our revenue model is actually quite simple. We make money in two ways.

First, we act as a market maker on our own platform. That means in addition to letting users trade directly against each other, we're also providing liquidity and acting as a participant in the market. This helps keep markets active even when user liquidity is low and solves the “cold start problem” from day one. 

In other words, if you want to participate in a niche market where there isn’t any counterparty, we will serve as the counterparty. In the most liquid markets — like NFL moneyline markets — we expect the vast majority of trades to be directly peer-to-peer where we don’t take a cut, but in less liquid markets, we expect most trades will be against Novig, where we will have 1-4% spreads. 

Second, for our highest volume users - think professionals and hedge funds - we have a fee structure. But for the vast majority of users, we're not taking a cut at all. When two users play against each other, we're not touching the winnings. That means if you put up 100 Novig Cash and your buddy puts up 150 Novig Cash, the winner gets 250 Novig Cash, whereas on virtually any other platform the house would take 8-10% of the winnings, so you’d only get 230. 

This is a complete paradigm shift in the industry. We're the only platform in the world that doesn't take a cut from most of our users' winnings. It's a game changer, and it's at the core of our mission to build the fairest, most transparent platform possible.

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