Variable Staking | Focus Ratings
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Variable Staking

About 6 months before I started Focus Ratings I also started a small blog which detailed my learning curve with all things Horse Racing.

Once Focus Ratings was under way though, I found that I didn't have time to do both and so I stopped updating the blog.

I am now shutting down the blog and have decided to move some of the content over here - purely for your amusement only.

Let's consider, for example, a situation where you have three horses that you fancy and £30.00 with which to back those three horses.

Now, many people might just split the effective bank equally between the number of selections (in this case, three) and leave it at that.

But...

Is this the most logical thing to do?

Although it tends to be what most of us do, there are alternatives which may (and perhaps, should) make more sense.

1). Confidence led weighting...

You might want to split your stake money according to the confidence you have in the horses?

Let's imagine that the three horses are....

Black Beauty - a talented horse, frequently the favourite. Racing today with a forecast SP of 3/1

Clive the Charger - young horse with plenty of promise. Starting as 2nd favourite with a forecast SP of 5/1

Dennis the Donkey - was a great horse in his day. Trouble was, that was quite a long time ago. A bit of an outsider with a forecast SP of 25/1

Now, in order to determine how much you should stake on each horse you need to determine the confidence you have in each selection.

This might seem difficult if you have chosen the horses having studied their form and through careful consideration of their recent performances.

It is an awful lot easier if those horses have been selected using a system; with a system you can back check and derive a statistically based confidence level.

A example here might be...

Black Beauty has been chosen by a small niche system that has historically returned you a 50% success rate.

Clive the Charger was chosen by another niche system with a 40% strike rate and...

Dennis the Donkey was the pick of a third system that normally gives you big priced outsiders which tend to win 25% of the time.

Now, you could vary your stakes so that you use all of your £30 but adjust the stakes for each horse according to the likelihood of that horse winning based upon your confidence figures.

Hence, on Black Beauty you would bet 50/(50+40+25) x £30 = 50/115 x £30 = £13.04

On Clive the Charger you would bet 40/(50+40+25) x £30 = 40/115 x £30 = £10.43 and

On Derek the Donkey you would bet 25/(50+40+25) x £30 = 25/115 x £30 = £6.53

Confidence led weighting...

The beauty of Confidence led weighting (or Confidence led variable staking) is....

Your stakes are adjusted so that more money goes on those horses that are, in your opinion, more likely to win.


The other side of the coin (and, in gambling you must never forget that there is always another side to the coin), is that you need to have some fairly reliable way of calculating the confidence level of your selections.

2). Price led weighting...

Another way of logically varying your stakes might be to vary them in proportion to the forecast starting prices.

If we use the same three horses as above with the following forecast Starting Prices...

Black Beauty - a talented horse, frequently the favourite. Racing today with a forecast SP of 3/1

Clive the Charger - young horse with plenty of promise. Starting as 2nd favourite with a forecast SP of 5/1

Dennis the Donkey - was a great horse in his day. Trouble was, that was quite a long time ago. A bit of an outsider with a forecast SP of 25/1

Here we would bet more on the lower priced horses and less on the higher priced ones.

Thus, we calculate the percentage of the stake to apply to each horse by first working out their inverse betting forecasts....

Total SP = 3/1 + 5/1 + 25/1

In decimals = 4.0 + 6.0 + 26

= 36

Black Beauty's share = 36/4 = 9
Clive the Charger's share = 36/6 = 6
Dennis the Donkey's share = 36/26 = 1.38

Total = 9 + 6 + 1.38 = 16.38

In money terms...

Black Beauty's stake = 9/16.38 x £30 = £16.48

Clive the Charger's stake = 6/16.38 x £30 = £10.99

Dennis the Donkey's stake = 1.38/16.38 x £30 = £2.53

And hopefully, the three stakes add up to £30?

Yes, £16.38 + £10.99 + £2.53 = £30 exactly!

Price led weighting...

The beauty of Price led weighting (or Price led variable staking) is....

Your stakes are adjusted so that more money goes on those horses that are, according to the forecast, lower in price so that, in theory, you win the same from each horse, should each horse win.


It does need to be remembered that this type of staking does rely on the accuracy of the forecast prices (as actual starting prices can't be known until after the races are over.)

Conclusion.

Whichever of the staking methodologies described above that seems to make the most sense to you...

You should be aware that, to arbitrarily divide your stake by the number of selections has absolutely no logic behind it whatsoever, unless, that is...

Those selections all have the same forecast price and the same estimated chance of winning!

keith-eckstein  the horse racing scholar

 

 

Links and further study...

1). The New Complete Manual of Racing and Betting Systems - Most enthusiasts will admit - although sometimes reluctantly! - that they lose more than they win at their racing. That's because there is often more madness than method in how they choose to place their money. While there's no such thing as the perfect winning strategy, David Duncan has the formula for breaking that losing streak and it's one that novices can follow as easily as the experts. The racetrack is one place where mixing business with pleasure should be the goal. This is the ultimate manual for everyone who shares that belief.

Get the book here... The New Complete Manual of Racing and Betting Systems

2). The Tail End System - The Tail End System is a new way of finding long-priced winners - 'outsiders' - in Jumps racing. The system is based on simple straight forward logic coupled with factual information related to a horse's form and level of ability as published by the "Racing Post". Author Ross Newton has over 25 years experience as a punter on Jumps racing, and his system has been successful since 2001. It is not complicated betting strategy - once the rules are learnt it only needs ten minutes study of each race in the "Racing Post", so will appeal to small stakes punters as well as high-rollers.

Get the book here... The Tail End System

3). The Definitive Guide to Betting on Horses - Fully updated edition of the ground-breaking look at horserace betting, first published in 2004. The Definitive Guide to Betting on Horses is crammed with the expert views of many of the Racing Post journalists. Among the gems included are: the winning approach to betting on the Classis and the big festivals by Pricewise (Tom Segal); the types of races and horses that are best for betting by the Racing Post handicappers, consistently the most successful tipping team; how to spot a potential winner by senior Racing Post race-reader Graham Dench; a complete guide betting exchanges and how to make them pay by top Racing Post betting editor Paul Kealy; the importance of speed figures by expert Nick Mordin; plus a full breakdown of the effect of the draw, how to find value, a guide to spread betting, bets to avoid, betting systems and how they work, and much more.

Get the book here... The Definitive Guide to Betting on Horses

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