Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Slight changes

Ok most of you are betting/trading on a more serious scale than me and my approach relies on probabilty and statistics which throws up a few problems. Firstly because I only bet on a meeting till I get a win I have the problem of not betting on the rest of a meeting when a horse comes in for me on the 1st race. That seems like an awful waste of opportunity with 8 or more races not bet on. I cant change the win bet strategy I have simply because as I have found out in the past sometimes there is only 1 fav winner in a race meeting and it might just have been the first race.
So I have come up with a way based on place betting to enable me to continue betting on a race meeting after my horse has won. Its pretty much a variation on what I am doing with the win betting where I increase the stake each time after I dont get a result until I do get a result, also with a stop point. Now because place dividends are so low I have had to increase my stakes dramatically to make sure the process returns a profit.

So my sequence of stakes are $1, $5, $15, $45, $135, $400.  Now the manner that these increases sends out alarm signals, what if the $400 bet doesnt come through, thats quite a loss to deal with. Well I went through the NZ racing board website results for the last 2 years and never once came up with a race meeting where the favourite didnt come in for a place by the 6th race, in fact only 3 times in 2 years did it get to the point of going as far as the 5th race. So essentially I am gambling heavily on the fact that having to place a $400 place bet is extremely unlikely. Its possible and Im prepared for that but its extremely unlikely. I also casually went through the Australian racing board results and didnt see any 6th race events and also very few 5th race events. We will see what happens here. Every system has its flaws I think. But thats betting/gambling isnt it? Although most of you are trading with betfair which looks like a different kettle of fish.

The other slight change here is that via my win bet process my first 2 bets for a meeting will be each way bets. This will help me to snatch a few more pennies from the first or second race wins I get which come up more frequently than other races, after the first 2 races I will then go back to betting wins and places seperately. Sounds complicated? probably is but I have my little spreadsheets set up to keep the idiot in me mostly controlled.

The other main thing is trying to make sure that I can eliminate individual errors. Thats where about 90% of my losses have come from and there have only been a few times where the probability side has actually kicked me in the butt.

One last thing is the psychology element. Chasing winners is a little stressful at times but the place result side comes in very frequently. The returns are tiny but it does help to keep me upbeat.

Anyway only a few races bet on tonight, I only went down the place system side of it and from 6 races made $3.20. While I havent been betting money over the last few weeks I have been mucking around with  an imaginary bank and the place thing while giving tiny returns per race did end up providing just on $100 for the last 2 weeks.  It means I can happily bet on multiple meetings confident that i am going to be heading in the positve direction.


  1. What happens when the favourite's place price is $1.10 or $2.50? It's not as if it's a coin toss with the same odds every time. If you are betting a Martingale type system, with 3x increases, it's an assumption the fav is $1.50 or so each time.

    What about when you have equal favourites?

    What about when a late plunge changes favourite? It could even be as simple as a 20c move right at the jump, causing you to be on 'the wrong one'.

    What about when a horse is taken out at the gates and rearranges the market?

    The last two points can disturb any old data. Backfitting systems can be rather dangerous. Just look at sham magazines like Practical Punting Monthly - new systems every month, they look great on the data from previous months (which they never actually placed bets on, just backfitted the data), as soon as they are released, they surprisingly start losing...

    Aggressive chasing systems like this usually end up causing tears. You only need one bad day to wipe out weeks, possibly months of profit. It MIGHT work, but I would strongly suggest paper trading it from here to test it, not back-fitting it. It's a huge jump from betting $1 units to $1200 (assuming that's the next step on a bad run)...

  2. Hi Scott,
    good questions and ones which due to previous comments you have made and looking at various forums I have thought about. Chasing systems I agree are daft and dangerous. I have tried to make mine so they have a stop protection point and fit varying dividends etc.

    One big advantage these days is that via the NZ racing board website I have access to years worth of results etc and I have gone through the tedious and time consuming task of putting 2 years worth of data in to a spreadsheet. This works for me as paper trading. Im not back fitting here, I dont cheat the data. If it doesnt work it shows up.

    Im taking the risk that based on historical real results I wont come across a meeting where the fav didnt come 1st 2nd or 3rd by the 6th race. I only found 3 instances where it got to the 5th race. Could happen of course but Im happy to take that risk.

    The staking system is designed to keep me even or going positive from the $1.30 dividend. There are times when the dividend is lower or a money back situation where I will make a loss. This has been worked out from the historical data.

    Equal favs or price drops changing the fav are something I can handle. In those situations the horses are still in with a decent chance of coming in 1st, 2nd or 3rd. With the place system side of things the integrity of how I do this isnt hurt so much by ending up with the second fav from time to time.

    The NZ TAB website updates dividends every 15 seconds and Im also watching races and the build up as they are in place. Plunges and changes do sometimes appear after races have started which is one of the main problems for me in the win system.
    This stops at the $400 bet and Im taking the risk I wont get to that point but if I do I accpet the loss.

    To be honest I would not recommend either of my systems to anyone, they are riddled with flaws which Im slowly learning how to handle. If I had to write down all the little steps and rules I am applying it would get too confusing for someone trying it the first time to make coherent. What is happening is I am starting to learn more about racing, spotting winners etc and my system has an evolving level of intuition/background knowledge happening.

  3. BTW i do actually paper trade in a manner of speaking. I dont bet on every meeting available every day but I do grab the results and data of the meetings I miss and chuck them in to a spreadsheet. I spreadsheets for each month although Im just doubling up on whats out there but it keeps me connected if that makes any sense.

    As I said I wouldnt recommend what Im doing to anyone else but I am comfortable to take the risks involved. A couple of bad results just before I had to take a break have spooked me a little so I havent restarted with the same base bank or bigger.

    Its a fairly convoluted system I have and I will try and find a way to illustrate it clearly.

  4. picking before when there are ifs and maybes vs picking after when it's crystal clear are different things though.... you'll come to learn that...