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Bettor Expectations (Part Three)

Yesterday I talked about the role odds play alongside strike-rates. There are different approaches and ways to attempt to make a profit and what appeals to one person may not suit another. 

Understanding what sort of bettor you are is an important step towards finding services suited to you. Do you want to win a little often? Do you want the thrill of a big win even if that can mean lots of long losing runs in between?

(Spoiler: Sorry, but you can’t have a constant supply of big wins – that’s not how it works, I’m afraid.)

Below is an article I wrote last year, slightly crudely splitting betting services into three types but it is worth pondering on which type suits you best. It also begins to touch on the topic of bank management which I’ll come back to tomorrow. 

We’re not all in the same boat

Here’s a nice picture of a barge on a canal.

Isn’t it lovely?

A barge can potter along serenely. You can have a cup of tea. People might wave at you as you crawl past.

The worst that can happen is starting a conversation with someone who turns out to be walking along the footpath at the side of you who is moving in the same direction at the same speed. Without the chance to turn off, you could be stuck with them for some while.

On a barge you can make slow but steady progress. Also, as appears to be the case in the picture above, if you don’t get on with the person you are with then you can stand at opposite ends and have minimal interaction.

Now, here’s a picture of a big ship on a big wave.

Your barge wouldn’t like this wave. You see, your canal barge isn’t cut out for bobbing around on the sea, while this ferry would struggle on a canal and cause lengthy queues at the ice-cream kiosk.

Finally, here’s a speedboat.

Your speedboat can go very quickly but there is also the chance that you could crash and be very badly injured, possibly needing to have a limb amputated. This nippy vessel is also unsuitable for canal use as it would upset the ducks, while if you were to try to drink tea in a speedboat on the open water then you’d end up wearing it.

Okay, this is a betting newsletter and you could be forgiven for wondering why I am sharing with you what so far appears to be a sub-standard piece of GCSE coursework. (If so, you might also be wondering which school subject this falls under.)

Well, the point I want to make is that, just as the three water vehicles above have their positives and negatives, requirements and suitabilities, not all betting services are the same and how they are approached needs to be adapted to their needs.

When joining a service or reading a review, you’ll often come across a statement along the lines of ‘just open the email, make the bets and you’re done,’ but, at the beginning at least, this misses out a crucial stage…

There needs to be a bit of thought prior to making any bets with any service, otherwise you could be doing the betting equivalent of attempting to cross the channel on a barge or getting a ferry stuck in a lock.

If you place the same stakes on every service you follow then you are making a very basic but very common mistake and one that could be preventing you from either maximising your returns or leaving you open to busting your bank, perhaps even both.

Let’s say you decide to follow 3 different services and dedicate the same amount to each. It would then be a mistake to bet the same amount on each bet for each service.

A suitable number of points in a bank is essential for being able to ride out any downturns on the one hand, yet being able to significantly benefit from upturns on the other. If the bank of points is too small there will be times when it is put in danger and if it’s too large then stakes will be divided into unnecessarily small pieces and profits will be lessened.

But, the required number of bank points is going to vary according to the type of service and the odds involved…

For example, if we take two equally successful services in terms of Return on Investment but one is a golf service, backing at very high odds in tournaments where there are 150+ different potential winners, common sense should tell us that this is going to have longer losing runs and therefore requires a high number of points in a bank with that bank divided into many small pieces, whereas another service that tips at odds-on in tennis matches, where there are only 2 possible outcomes, is going to be best used with a small number of points in the bank.

Two useful rules of thumb can be used to decide how many points are needed for each service:

  1. Look through results and find the biggest dip the service has had and then double it. This should see that you are able to cope with the worst and still be able to keep following and then benefit from more positive periods.This is especially true of newer services, in which case you may want to treble or quadruple the biggest dip so far because it is more likely that they are yet to experience their worst period than a service that has been around for years.
  2. It’s often the case that a service that makes x amount of points in a purple patch is also likely to be able to lose a similar amount in a similar period of time when results don’t go their way.

To summarise, is the service you are (about to be) following most like:

  • a barge. Slow and steady. The odds are low, losing runs are short, profits in terms of points won’t blow you out of the water but the downturns are also relatively small. If so, your bank can be divided into relatively fewer points and therefore, to maximise the returns, your stakes can be higher than with most other approaches. 
  • a ferry. Covers a greater distance than the barge but can hit more difficult passages on its journey. It needs to be resilient but if all precautions are followed it should be a safe crossing. A moderate bank of points can be used to maximise returns but also protect against more difficult periods.
  • a speedboat. Exciting but dangerous. High odds, big wins, long losing runs. This needs that bank of yours to be divided into many small pieces otherwise you may well crash and burn. 

By adapting how services are used according to their nature, you can increase your chances of having a successful and rewarding time following them.

Miles currently runs an excellent racing service and you can give it a try by clicking the link below…


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