There is obviously a lot of enthusiasm among you for measuring predictions. Sure, not for money. You don’t do that kind of thing. Or a small stake from everyone? To determine the winner of the next Bundesliga season? Or the best prophet for the next World Cup or European Championship? Sure, that’s all harmless and not even forbidden. Then you can still offer prizes. There is also the kicker manager game, where you somehow try to beat the competition by acting skilfully, i.e. also with the help of good assessments. There are also numerous betting games on the internet. There is even the possibility of winning prizes. It seems that everyone I talk to participates in some kind of betting game, at least for the big tournaments.
So it can’t hurt to take a look here, too. Can you also play these games well? What is the attraction? Where are the injustices? And: Isn’t there perhaps even a completely fair game?
I personally am taking part in one, by the way. And although it’s not about money, it’s great fun. The internet site where you can take part is www.tipmaster.de. Just register and play. Just register and play. It’s actually the best and “fairest” one I’ve seen so far. That’s probably one of the reasons why I take part. As a coach, you take over a team and try to lead it to glory. In order to be successful, you have to choose 20 out of a selection of 25 real matches that take place every week, which you bet on 1-X-2. And here’s the good thing about the game: you get points for the correct tips. And: the odds “reward” you appropriately for good tips. So if you play an underdog to win, you get a lot of points if he wins. You get real bookmaker odds, so to speak. Each weekend you play 4 games against other participants. You play in a league with 18 teams. So a season lasts 9 weeks, there are about 4 seasons per year. There is a correct league system, from the Kreisklasse to the Bundesliga. And if you type really well, you can even become “German Champion” one day. And why am I telling you all this in such detail? Sure, you know me well enough by now: I’ve already become German champion twice. And there are about 7000 participants on average!
And all my tips are made exclusively by my computer. I wrote a little programme that calculates the optimal tips for me. But apart from showing off, I naturally wanted to check (also for myself) whether my computer can calculate well and is well programmed. It is a neutral method of checking the quality of my estimates.
But now I’ll try to check the quality of the most common of all betting games. Of course, a little story comes to mind. A colleague at my work at the time had also taken part in such a betting game for the 1990 World Cup. My computer programme was already ready, it had already made predictions. She knew about it and asked me to make the predictions for her, or to suggest the best ones. But my computer is just as stupid as people like to say. It is simple-minded, primitive, clueless. It simply types the most probable result. Well, that alone doesn’t seem particularly spectacular. The only thing is: he practically always tipped 1:1 in relatively even games and as soon as there was a relatively clear favourite, he tipped 2:0, sometimes even 1:0. She dropped out after a few days. Of course, it wasn’t just that the games didn’t turn out that way. On top of that, she was apparently a bit embarrassed or just too bored.
Nevertheless, his ideas were certainly correct. The fact is that in the conventional method, where you get one point for the correct tendency, 2 points for the correct difference and 3 points for a bull’s eye, the correct result. That’s how most betting games are organised. And sometimes, as I hear, there are really a lot of participants. So it can certainly provide some excitement.
And yet the whole thing has nothing to do with “justice”. Sure, the same rules apply to everyone, so you could also call it fair. But: If you don’t get an appropriate reward for an outsider’s tip, then it’s not advisable to place such a tip. The game itself may be interesting in some way, but the rules impose such severe restrictions that nothing could tempt me to take part.
Or, now that I mention it, should I try it to prove the superiority of my computer? All right, I’ll think about it.
Well, instead of taking part in such a betting game, I thought about what a better, fairer system would look like. Does such a thing exist? The answer will no longer amaze you: Yes, there is. It leads on to the next chapter…