Staking Successfully To Cope With Losing Runs
Money management is the key to profitable betting and staking successfully to cope with losing runs must be a priority for you, whatever system or method you use to find your bets.
It goes without saying that having a betting bank that you use just for your betting, a bank that you can afford to lose if need be, is a must. Even though I imagine that the majority of (losing) punters have never had this most basic of starting points.
Betting a percentage of your bank on each bet, will ensure that you don't ever lose your bank andf is for me the best staking plan to use. That being said, if you want to be ultra determined to succeed, it is a sensible idea to have a second or even a third betting bank available.
This may sound extreme but imagine someone who has no betting bank at all. They continue to bet and probably lose far more than two or three betting amounts worth over time and have no idea how they are faring. At least with a bank you know where you are at all times and can actually see how much you are winning or losing.
You could of course have just one bank and divide this into two or three and start staking smaller amounts while you increase your profits and therefore your stakes.
So the number one priority is to get yourself a betting bank set aside and decide on what stakes you are going to use on each bet, before you get started.
Losing runs are inevitable.
Unfortunately, every betting system will have losing runs and a lot of people find it very hard to get their head around this or successfully deal with losing runs.
Some systems can be incredibly successful over a long period of time, yest have long losing runs of say 30 or more. How are you going to feel if you have just had 25 losing bets in a row and your betting bank is disappearing?
Well if you have prepared yourself correctly, then whilst not overly delighted with the situation, you should be in a position where you can cope with what is happening and continue your staking in a mature and calm manner.
How the average odds can make a difference.
If you are backing mostly odds on or short priced favourites then you will have less losing runs than if you are backing at double figure odds. You may well make much more money backing the larger priced horses but the losing runs will be far longer.
Understanding this before you start betting is key to getting your head around what is likely to happen. It will be a bumpy ride most likely if you are backing bigger priced horses and you will see your bank drop quite often, then jump back up again when a decent winner comes in.
If you are backing shorter priced horses, then your upward curve will be a lot smoother but the increases in profit will be smaller over time.
How many losers are you likely to have?
If you look at the table below you will see the maximum losing runs that are likely depending on the strike rate of your betting system over 1,000 bets.
System strike rate %
Max expected losing run per 1,000 bets
As you can see, even if your system has a 35% strike rate, you can expect to have a run of 16 losers in a row. If you have a system that has a 10% strike rate or less, I would consider trying something else unless you are confident that it will make you a good profit because you will have to endure an extremely large number of losing bets.
Working out the stakes to use for your particular system.
Now you have an idea about how many losers you could get in a row, you can start to work out what sort of stakes you are going to use, depending on your betting bank and to make the most of your betting system.
Lets say that you have a £500 bank and a system that has a 40% strike rate, then divide your bank by the expected losing run to find the percentage to stake on each bet. A system with a 40% strike rate has an expected losing run of 14.
So, £500 / 14 = £35.71.
As £35.71 is about 7% of the £500 bank, you know that you need to place 7% of your bank on each bet. If the bank decreases so will the stakes and as the bank increases so will the stakes, however you continue to stake 7% of the current bank total on each bet.
The numbers on the above table are a guide but are worked out by a mathematical formula so you really want to place some extra security measures into this strategy.
So you should multply the expected losing run by 2 or even better by 3 to make sure that the bank doesn't get too small if things really take a downturn so the stakes are unrealistic. It shouldn't be possible but you could have two of the longest losing runs occur back to back, so doubling the number of losers expected makes sense.
Remember, the number one priority is to not lose money.
Multiplying by 3 will give you confidence that all things being equal, your bank and stakes will be safe and give you a real chance of making money. So let's multiply the 14 losers by 3 to get 42.
So, £500 / 42 = £11.90.
£11.90 is about 2.4% of the £500 bank, so you can now start betting 2.4% of the bank on each bet, using your system that has an approximate strike rate of 40%.
If the bank drops to £450, then you would place £10.80 on the next bet.
If the bank increases to £550 you would place £13.20 on the next bet.
So you now know how to work out the percentage of the bank you need to place on each bet to give you the greatest chance of succeeding long term.
Finding systems that will be profitable
Now you have some sort of idea about how many losers you may get in a row, you can start to look at your own betting systems and compare your longest losing runs with the table above.
If you have system with a 40% strike rate that has had a losing run of 20 or 25, then you can see from the table above that this could be unlikely to be a profitable system in the long term because the expected losing run is 14.
This losing run of 20 or 25 may have been a one off but you really want to use systems that have a lower number of losers than the expected and I would be a little concerned myself about taking on this system seriously.
However, what if you have a system that has a 40% strike rate but has only ever had a losing run of 9 so far?
This would be a system that you would like to seriously think about using as the strike rate is excellent and the longest losing run so far has been less than the expected losing run,.
Rather like the actual system that I have on the image below that has been running for 4 years in total. Click the image to enlarge it if you need to.
As you can see, to date there has only been a losing run of 9 and whilst the profit of 165.49 points to BSP is also very nice, it is more about the system being able to hold up in the long term that really matters.
Even if this sytem had only made a profit of 40 or 50 points, the fact that the strike rate is good and the longest losing run is less than the expected, means that you should feel confident betting real money on this system.
You can always increase your stakes to increase the profits if you want to but if you can find four or five systems that have a lower losing streak than the expected and make a profit, then you have yourself a small portfolio of systems that you can set yourself up with and concentrate on.
Confirm your system with odds of your winners.
Let us stick with my system that has a 40% strike rate and now look at the odds of the winners. 40% is an excellent strike rate for any betting system, but what if all of the winners came in at 10/11?
10/11 as a decimal is 0.9 which on the exchanges would be shown as 1.9.
So over 1,000 bets you would have 40%, (400), winning bets at 0.9 and therefore 600 losing bets. So to just £1 stakes the results would be:
400 x 0.9 = +£360
600 losers = -£600
Meaning a loss of £240 in every 1,000 bets. Suddenly the positive 40% strike rate means very little.
Odds to winning percentages
On the table below you can see a list of odds on the left and on the right the winning strike rate for each set of odds.
These are actual winning percentages as I ran each SP through the Inform Racing system builder from 2011 to today and rounded them up or rounded them down, for each odds line shown.
You can see the summary of results for 7/4 odds below showing a win percentage of 33.37.
So you can see that all horses that started at 1/2 won 63% of the time and horses that started at 20/1 won about 3% of the time. I am always amazed at how accurate the bookmakers get the odds over such a long period as you can see that horses at 5/1 won twice as much as those at 10/1, horses at 2/1 won almost twice as much as those at 4/1.
It does just show how important it is to back a horse at better odds than the SP whenever possible.
The only real anomoly I found was that horses at 5/2 won the same amount as those at 9/4, maybe this is an area that could be exploited but it is not the absolute odds I want to note here but how you can use the odds to help you find the right betting system.
So let's look again at my system that has a 40% strike rate and the average odds of all of the winners which you can see on the right of the summary shows that the average winning BSP has been 3.34.
Any systems that you create and save using the Inform Racing system builder will give you the summary that you see below but if you are using your own system you may want to know what the average odds of your winning bets are.
I am mixing SP odds and BSP prices here a little but if you take the average winning odds above of 3.34 and take off 5% commission that you may pay on the exchanges, it becomes odds of 2.22/1 which is pretty close to 9/4 (2.25/1).
Looking at the odds table above you can see that 9/4 shots have won about 17% of the time since 2011, whilst my system has won over 40% of the time with average odds of around 9/4. This means I am getting a far better better strike rate on odds, overall.
Whilst this is clear on the Inform Racing summaries you will see, it may not be so obvious with any systems that you are running, however it is just another indication that this system I am using could be a positive one in the long term and one that can confidently be used betting real money.
A losing system example.
Look at the system summary below, which is one of my lay systems that I have set to show for backing as an example of how a potential losing system will look.
You can see that it has a strike rate of just 1.25% and an average winning BSP of about 14/1. On the odds table above you can see that 14/1 shots have won about 6% of their races since 2011, so whilst it is clear to see with the big loss of 399 pts, you will be able to see that this system would definitely not be worth pursuing as a backing system.
Incidentally, this system of mine above is definitely worth pursuing as a laying system as it was designed to be for, as it has only had 6 losing bets in 479 bets since 2018 and a great strike rate of 98.75%.
Putting it all together for you.
There are a number of things that you need to look at when creating or using a betting system. A betting system that you really need to believe will give you the chance to make money in the long term.
First of all you need to check that after a decent number of bets, your system has a smaller longest losing run than the expected longest losing run depending on your strike rate. If you do then you have a chance of making money from your betting and your staking should hold up.
You can then confirm this by checking that the win percentage of your system is greater than that of the average winning odds your system provides.
Finding positive systems.
We are currently giving away 63 betting systems, totally free to all subscribers, until midnight on December 31st 2021.
My 40% strike rate backing system and my 98.75% strike rate laying system are included in this bundle.
In this massive bundle of systems, all of which have made a profit in each of the last four years, are 28 brand new backing systems.
From this 28, 25 of them have a lower longest losing run than the expected number for the strike rate of the system. This means you could start using any one of the 25 and be a good position, knowing that you have something that is already beating the mathematical stats.
On the table below are a selection of these, showing the strike rate of the system and it's longest losing run to date, against the expected losing run for that strike rate.
All systems have been run from the beginning of 2018 to the end of 2021, so these are the longest losing runs over a full years of betting and all less than the expected.
Strike rate - longest losing run
Expected losing run
65% - 5
43% - 9
40% - 9
33% - 8
30% - 12
17% - 25
16% - 20
15% - 33
Whilst the three systems at the bottom may seem to have low strike rates and high, longest losing runs of 25, 20 and 33, they are still both performing very much better than expected. Plus these are the longest losing runs that have occured from four years of betting on these systems.
And don't forget, if you were following these 'lower strike rate' systems, then you would have already set yourself up correctly by working out the percentage of the bank needed for each bet.
Therefore you are not just 'hoping' things work out because you know that you have done everything correctly, added in your own extra safety measures and can be confident to continue betting through the losing runs which will occure, with confidence.
Plus these two systems have average winning BSP's of 13.64, 10.16 and 13.14, so when a winner does come in it will often have been at a very nice price and something to get excited about!
** Edit: The system with a 17% strike rate had one bet and one winner yesterday with Beat Box winning at 16/1.
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Remember this offer will change at Midnight on December 31st 2021 so there is not long left now!
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