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Change in betting policy

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  • #1521
    • Total Posts 1891

    This may not be of interest to anyone else, but I’m writing it in case. People wise up at different rates. My learning rate re betting has been woeful. What it has taken me 40 years to learn up to now, such as it is, I believe, people with any kind of aptitude, pros and semi pros, would have learnt in a year or two, probably while at school.    

    I don’t want to tempt Providence again (particularly as you never stop learning, and it’s usually 1 step forward and 2 steps back), but I find I am doing better financially now that I have realised and really begun to take on board the following:

    There are usually one or two short-priced second favourites (say 2/1 to 9/2) that should be favourites;<br>if, as seems to be the case, I have finally achieved  a good strike rate with these bets, it is equally important that <br>a) I concentrate on them, and<br>b) remind myself that I have refined these selections to such an extent that I need to weight them accordingly; to have confidence and take the bull by the horns, relegating my longer-priced fancies to much smaller stakes. (I’m not talking about ante post Group I races, where you can find standout bets at better prices). <br>

    dave jay
    • Total Posts 3386

    Very true Grimes!

    There are always good bets to be found in the second favourite slot!

    Especially e/w in HCP races!

    • Total Posts 554

    Hi Grimes,

    I think you do yourself an injustice. The vast majority of punters spend quite literally their whole lives, without really ANY penny dropping. Because we all frequent TRF and really love racing, it is easy to forget that we & others like us are the tip of the iceberg. Walk into any major bookmakers on any given day (but particularly a Saturday) and you will see that most punters are bread & butter for the bookies. Indeed I suspect that most of us on here lose money too, but perhaps more steadily than your average punter (if there is such an animal). I have been betting for  30 years and can only point to 3 years (Jan – Dec) where I made a profit and 2 of those were thanks to good (lucky?) spells with multiple type bets. So only one year out of thirty then, that I have made a profit by sensible evaluation, hard work and many hours devoted to racing per day, hardly a great return.

    So don’t be so hard on yourself Grimes, the fact that you have made progress at all puts you in the top 1% in my humble opinion.

    One thing I would fully endorse is that after much soul searching I too have gone the variable staking route. I have switched between Var. & Level for much of those 30 years, but have finally decided that I will vary my stake according to confidence in the selection – mine not the market’s – though often these may coincide and are often (but not always) reflected in the odds.

    Continued success to you Grimes.  

    • Total Posts 1736

    Grimes, snowman

    I have to agree with just about everything in your posts.<br>People who try to give the impression that there’s easy money in this game are really deluding themselves or trying to suck people in to their various costly services.

    I’ve been looking at systems for around forty years and I’m 98 per cent certain that there is no magic formula that will work year in and year out. Even with today’s technology and the vast amount of information and data available, it is still a hard slog beating the bookmaker’s relentless percentage working against you.

    Most forumites are well aware of this, but follow the sport because they derive enormous pleasure from it as a diversion from more mundane things. Also, their betting is usually contained within their own comfort zone and as a result remains pleasurable even when losses are sustained. I believe that a great many people in betting offices are doing much the same, just amusing themselves without risking too much. It is possible to enjoy your betting despite losing – it’s that life enhancing knack of taking a negative (losing) and turning it into a positive(entertainment, involvement).

    As to variable staking, IMO it’s a good thing when used independent of previous results. I don’t like the idea of increasing stakes in the hope of getting in front from a losing sequence because it will inevitably lead to having to move above your comfort zone.

    If you are betting seriously, you must establish a bank which once exhausted is the end of your pretentions to serious punting. Betting at level stakes or a set percentage of your bank is much less likely to ruin you than doubling up after a loser. Losing runs can strike even the shrewdist of backers and they can be very long indeed. One racing journalist I have great respect for has had a losing run of 33 during this year. If he’d been betting for a living it would have been game over.<br>I have often had losing runs of 20, and there has frequently been such losing runs of favs/2nd favs/jockey’s mounts and anything else you care to name. So the betting bank needs to be at least 30 times your maximum bet. My maximum is 50pts(average bet 20 pts win or ew) requiring a bank of 1500 pts.

    There is a criterion that can be used for maximising profitability known as the ‘Kelly Criterion’, but again a losing run can put the bank at risk, so most professionals who use it only bet a fixed percentage of this figure.  

    Oh, and second favourites are statistically about as unprofitable in the long run as favouites, but are often worth sticking together in multiple bets(if you like those bets) because you get some decent prices. It’s probably psychological: you don’t mind so much getting beat with a 5/1 or a 11/2, but getting beat with a 5/4 leaves a more bitter taste.  

    (Edited by Artemis at 12:56 pm on Sep. 27, 2004)

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