Originally posted by Mctayto
Quality of your opposition.
If you were to play your first 20 games v a 750 player & win all of them then that means your stronger than a 750 player but possible not better than a 1000 player.
The system for provisional ratings therefore takes into account the rating of your opponents.
what tayto chips means to say is that until you have played 20 rated games your rating is provisional and may go down a little if you play someone with a low rating.
same goes if you play people with a high rating. you could play 20 games against 2000 players and come out with a better rating than someone who has played and beaten a bunch of 1000 rated people.
after 20 games you'll go up after winning and down after losing.
give it around 40 games and you'll have you're true rating.