Will staking improve your sports betting profits? In an analysis of 500 bets, five different techniques were tested. Only one produced a concrete result. Why?
We’ll get to the ‘why’ in a moment, but the point on staking has been hammered repeatedly over and over by serious sports investors, handicappers and the professional sports bettors – in the end you have to gauge your bets carefully. And yet there is a strong case to suggest that the amount you bet is actually more important than what you bet on. So in this post we’ll look at a few popular staking methods used by sports investors, and unveil which is the best.
Most Betting Techniques Will Eventually Fail
Sports betting, like any type of investing, is based upon gain versus potential loss. In soccer betting, this is doubly true, where there are so many opportunities available to completely lose your money and investment. When loss isn’t taken into account, virtually any betting system will fall apart. Professional Blackjack player Ed Thorp learned this sad lesson as casinos kept trying to beat his “method”, which he eventually explained was simply carefully betting against possibilities.
While there are a number of different ways to bet, there are very few that will let you become successful at it. In fact, if you observe five major betting techniques in soccer, only two are shown to be successful.
Bad Strategy #1: Bet Everything
This is the betting technique of almost every non-professional bettor in existence. Aka the sports gambler. If you place these against the other betting techniques, this one is the least successful. Bet well, you win big. Bet badly, you’re finished. In football, this basically says you don’t know what you are betting on, but you’re willing to blow all your money on it. This is among the most horrible betting techniques, but so often employed by sports bettors and gamblers.
Bad Strategy #2: Martingale
This technique is the betting technique of the small minority of bettors who are only the second worst bettors in existence, but fairly close.
It involves double your bet to cover losses. It will last almost as long as the technique above, but at the least, will be much more spectacular when you fail at it. This is another technique to avoid. If soccer betting requires thought and research (and it does) this is the second worst bet you could possibly place as it pays heed to neither. And in NFL football, one of the reasons why we have Monday night football is to attract bettors to double up and make up their weekend losses.
Bad Strategy #3: Fibonacci Sequences
If your ideal betting system is to use math while not knowing what you were doing, Fibonacci sequences are perfect for you. Based upon the rate of binary reproduction, it is perfectly plausible to use the Fibonacci betting strategy while having no idea what’s on the pitch. The only thing this will save you is a few dollars during random bets where no one is right. This is not the way professional sports bettors work, and this is for people who like sounding smart for their friends while they lose all their money.
Good Strategy #1: Fixed Wager
This is a great strategy for those who aren’t sure who’s going to win, but also don’t want to die penniless. Fixed wager betting means simply sticking to the betting amount and dividing it by your potential chances. Many punters will increase their winning probabilities via buying a professional football tipsters predictions or NFL picks. This may well be one of the slowest ways to win betting on soccer or football. However, if you aren’t familiar with the team / clubs or anything on the pitch, this will ensure you probably go home with money in your pocket.
Good Strategy #2: Proportional Betting
Proportional betting can limit losses, while enhancing gains. Proportional Betting is easily the best way to handle your wagers. This can work in a variety of ways, but to simplify it means that successful bets increase slightly with each win. This limits damage to the purse and at the same time increases the value of winning faster than fixed wagers. When dealing with a club on a run, this can make the bettor a lot of money fairly quickly.
No betting system can create an advantage in a negative expectation game. However, informed punters and bettors alike can shape their decisions and picks by the way they wager. For instance to trade probabilities of wins and losses with the associated amounts. Gamblers and bettors who feel they have an edge, such as blackjack card counters or some sports handicappers, often size their wagers in proportion to their current bankrolls. Objectives range from minimizing chance of a big long-term loss to maximizing expected rate of profit growth. Although the goals differ, proportional betting is also an option for sports bettors facing the books advantage.
In practice, it’s impossible to wager exact fractions of a bankroll indefinitely, but the exact theoretical models, give you the idea.
Assume you wager evenly on a proposition with 50 percent chance of success. Winning and losing twice each at a flat $10 per round, you’d break even in four tries. With a $100 stake and betting 10 percent of the money in your current bankroll on each of four rounds, again winning and losing twice, you’d finish with $98.01. You’d be $1.99 behind the flat bettor. Both ways, results are independent of the order in which the wins and losses ensued.
For this analogy, take a casino player who places bets on the nine at craps to illustrate a situation where the house has an edge. These bets have 40 percent chance of winning and pay 7-to-5, giving the bosses 4 percent edge. Expected loss always betting $10 is $0.40 per decision, to be $40 behind after 100 tries, $80 after 200, $400 after 1,000, and so forth. A proportional strategy, starting with a $500 bankroll and betting 2 percent of what’s available per try (rounded to the nearest dollar), is expected to cost $51 after 100 rounds and $97 for 200; however, the gap narrows with extended play. Keep in mind, this is not taking into account the compound effect of the bettors bankroll and his winnings (and losses).
The proportional effect grows as bets increase relative to a bankroll. Flat bettors’ losses rise steadily; those of proportional players get closer and closer to the initial stake (presumably a loss limit) but, by definition, can’t exceed it.
Of course, nobody gambles to lose the “expected” amount, but proportional betting gets interesting, and sometimes useful, when the actual frequency of wins stays above or below the theoretical value. As it often does in the short term and win streaks.
Proportional betting accordingly limits losses while improving gains as play extends and luck flouts the law of averages. The casual betting progressions and regressions “work” when wins occur on big bets and losses on small. In proportional systems, instances of wins and losses matter. But how you might apply proportional concepts to your betting strategy is something new to think about when testing your own betting system or evaluating a handicappers prediction performance over the short and long term.