Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
The FAQ gives the formula, but the gist of it is that you get more points for winning, the more highly rated your opponent is, and also lose less points for losing, the more highly rated your opponent is.
In other words....
If you lose to a lower rated player than yourself you lose a bunch of points.
If you lose to a player higher rated than yourself you lose a few points. You should have lost.
If you beat a lower rated player, congrats you beat someone you should have beaten. You don't get many points.
If you beat a higher rated player, you pick up more points. You won even though you should have lost.
The greater the gap the more severe the result, either few points or more points.