Backing in Place markets on horses at >= 1.6, with a Profit Accumulator
When we are talking about automated betting where you are not directly controlling the circumstances under which the bet is placed (e.g. picking a player/horse/Greyhound manually by analyzing their parameters in real time), you need to come up with clear criteria for the selections you will be betting on.
You can use the services of tipsters, follow the advice from members of various online betting message boards and communities.
The truth is, if you pick a selection based on its price alone, you will always lose in the long run. It does not matter whether you will be backing or laying, betting on the favourite or against the hopeless outsider. The reason for this is the exchange commission.
Yes, that’s right: if the commission were not applied to every pound you win, you would be either in profit or close to the starting bank most of the time, given the prices in highly liquid markets.
The prices are in fact a clear indicator of your selection’s chances to win/lose in a particular event – that’s how smart the system is. So basically if you just backed the favourite horse every time, your long-term profit would be somewhere around zero. But given the commission, you will always end up with loss – that’s guaranteed!
How do I know? Look at my mathematical modelling results below.
So I took 12 days’ worth of real horse racing data. I recorded the prices of the favourite horses in Australian and UK races just before the off. I focused on Place markets because that’s where most beginners turn to thinking that somehow the favourite has better chances to win there than in Win markets.
You can download the data set on which my research for this article is based. It is a CSV file with the details of the race, the name of the horse, its price just before the off and whether it won or lost (1/0).
I then designed a procedure that emulated back bets placed at the real prices, with the real outcomes (i.e. whether the bet had to be lost or won was determined by the actual historical results of the race).
The initial size of each bet was 1% of the current available funds.
1. Backing 1% of current bank; 5% commission deducted:
2. Laying 1% of current bank; 5% commission deducted:
3. Simple Martingale: back 1% of current bank, double the size of the next bet after the loss; 5% commission deducted:
As you can see, none of these efforts paid out in the long run (although you can spot short-term spikes in bank which many beginners take as a sign of success).
What if we take the commission out of the equation and re-run the tests?
1. Backing 1% of current bank; commission-free:
2. Laying 1% of current bank; commission-free:
3. Simple Martingale: back 1% of current bank, double the size of the next bet after the loss; commission-free:
My point is: if you just bet on every horse/player/team hoping for a magic loss recovery plan, the commission will eat up your profit no matter how elaborate your staking plan is.
What can you do about this? Isn’t it all fixed and you just can beat the system? Not quite.
You can’t beat the system, but you can beat the other bettors.
Look for strategies that are not based solely on loss recovery. Loss recovery alone will not save you. Aim to get better prices by analyzing the dynamics of a particular market and acting just in time to place your bet.
For example, if you only back on favourite horses with prices >=1.6, you can get a more promising picture:
You see: you don’t accept just any price that happens to be offered in the market. You do your research and pick the price that is optimal in terms of the profit/chances ratio.
Add a bit of a profit accumulator plan, and you’ll be on to something:
Profile name: back-fav-place-profit-accumulator
The profit accumulator works like this: after each win, you add the total profit from the previous bets to your next bet, for a maximum of three wins in a row. If you lose, your bet size goes back to 1% of the bank. If you win more than 3 times in a row, your bet size goes back to 1% of the bank.
Here are the settings you can adjust through constants:
Size of the bet, % of bank
Minimum price of the bet
Maximum price of the bet
Length of the profit accumulation cycle (number of steps)
When to place the bet (minutes before the start)
As you can see, the above P/L graph is all ups and downs, and perhaps it is a good idea to stop once you have reached a desired profit.
Remember that the pre-configured settings in the file have been selected based on the 12 days of data I recorded specifically for Place markets in Australian and UK races. If you are betting in some other markets, on other selections in a different price range, you will need to adjust these settings experimentally!
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How and where I test the triggers?I use our BetVPS service to pre-set the triggers and Market Locator and leave it to run on its own until I check on the results at the end of the day.
I occasionally use Time Machine to get a proof of concept or test any tweaks that I want to make to my triggers, on historical markets similar to the ones in which I bet when testing a particular strategy.
I use Test Mode only.
You can generate your own graph and statistics like the ones in these Triggers in Action reports. Read how to do this.
If you would like a unique guest-post for your blog covering one of such strategies, please email me a request.