Betting On Horse Racing : Sensible Money Management (part 3)
This is the third instalment in a series of articles on profitable betting through sensible money management. So far, I have discussed the importance of getting value when you bet, to maximise the returns you achieve when your selections win. In the most recent article you should have learned to keep your stakes in proportion to the size of your betting bank.
Today I want to examine a common mistake that often gets punters into serious trouble – chasing your losses.
I don’t think there can be many of us who have not at some time, decided to get back what we just lost by betting a little bigger on the next race. It is sometimes known as progressive staking.
Let’s take a simple scenario: you bet £10 on Red Rum, and he loses. What do you do? Perhaps you continue with your selection methods and come up with another pick in the next race – Best Mate. The price is 6/4F
But, rather than putting another £10 bet on Best Mate, you decide to ‘chase’ your loss from the last race. You add another £7 to your stake so that when Best Mate wins you will pick up an extra £10.50 to recover the bet you lost on Red Rum. Good plan? Could be, after all Best Mate is a sure fire winner, right? May be. May be not!
What happens if Best Mate loses? You are now £27 ‘in the hole’. But you still have a plan. Your next selection is a dead cert winner at Even money. You place your usual £10 stake plus an extra £27 to cover your losses so far. No need to worry. When this one comes in, you will have re-couped your losses and have a £10 profit to show as well.
Let’s take a step back here. You are staking £37 to win a £10 profit. Think about it – you are effectively getting odds of only around 1 to 4 odds-on about a horse that is Even money in the market. That is terrible value!
You may escape this time and your horse may well win. But what if, heaven forbid, your red-hot even money favourite fails to win? After just three bets, you are down to the tune of £64 when your normal stake is just a tenner!
Long losing runs do occur, more frequently than you might think, and even with short-priced selections.
If you spent a day in a casino at the roulette tables, and analysed how many times you witnessed a run of 7 or 8 consecutive ‘red’ numbers, I would not be at all surprised if you saw this happen four or five times – in a single day. Here we have pretty much a 50/50 bet, even money, that the roulette ball will land in either a red or a black slot. Yet I was amazed to learn that the longest run of the same colour (reported) was THIRTY-NINE consecutive reds!!
Imagine if you were betting on black, and saying to yourself each time “no worries, it’s got to be black next time…. Surely?”
But let’s go back to the more common occurrence of a losing run of 7 even money bets. We will be betting on the red.
We place a £1 bet on the first spin. It’s black. We chase our loss by ‘doubling up’ and next bet £2. If we were to carry on in this manner, after 6 spins we would be betting £64 to win our original £1
I sincerely hope my point is getting across. By chasing your losses you can very quickly see your stakes climbing to preposterous levels, to win your original, relatively small stake. The risk is way out of proportion compared to the potential reward.
One last example to really ram the point home. The Racing Post runs a tipster competition. All the leading racing journalists are involved, representing the nation’s newspapers and horse racing publications. These are experts at tipping horses. Take a look at the results table any day, and see for yourself the longest losing run. Remember, these are the experts.
I looked today, and Racing Post PostData has suffered this season a losing run of twenty-seven. Twenty-seven consecutive losers from an expert tipster! And believe me, he is not on his own, just the worst offender this season so far.
There is an old saying – “Don’t throw good money after bad”. If your selections don’t make a profit from simple level stakes betting, don’t try and make them profitable by throwing more money at them. You may survive with a profit for a while, but this approach is a disaster waiting to happen. Sooner or later you WILL blow your entire bank chasing a disproportionately small profit.
If your selections don’t make a profit from simple level stakes betting, change your system.