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Back To The Drawing Board.
Looking for ideas, a betting edge, or a trading strategy ?
This is the Blog of a Betfair strategy developer.

In a gold rush, not everyone is a gold miner.
There are always those who supply tools for the job and other services.

I like to think that I supply picks and shovels for a few Betfair prospectors.

Topics on this web page :-
Lay to a set liability with loss recovery
Sheets, not formulas

My other websites.

betformulas.co.uk
Formulas and maths of trading

betandlay.co.uk
Football trading

A list of all my spreadsheets lives here :-
betandlay.co.uk/strategies
Strategies for horse racing and football trading

Old startingstalls.co.uk web site
A very accurate analysis of U.K.  horse racing draw advantages.

Laying web site
Different ways of laying using a bit of imaginative staking.
Also, videos showing live trades.

Welcome to my Blog

Howard Hutchinson

 

For previous posts, click "The Spoil Heap" tab at the top of this web page.
9th December 2017.  Just how BIG is your commission rate ?
I would guess that most of us who have traded football have bet and layed more than one market in the same game.
If we do that and make a profit in one market, but a loss in another we will definitely be paying commission at a BIG rate.
Today, I uploaded a free on-line calculator that can be used to see exactly what commission rate we have hit in trades that involve more than one market.
View my efforts here
on my Free Calculators web page.
Input the profit or loss for each of your separate markets, and any commission that you have paid.
The sheet then works out your commission rate for the whole trade across your markets.
Hit a trade with a winning market plus a losing market, and it doesn't make peasant reading . . . Lol.
Just a simple bet and lay in one market with a small insurance bet in another can have a drastic impact on your commission rate.

I hope to put a video or 2 up pretty soon to demonstrate the calculator inputs, and then the effect that commission can have on a few innocent looking bet and lay trading strategies.
If you have got into the habit of betting and laying your way through a football match using several different markets, that calculator may provide you with a shock or two . . . Lol.

Whilst your football commission rate may make your eyes water a little, Betfair must laughing all the way to the bank,
Howard.

28th November 2017.  How to meet bookie turnover requirements and show a profit on top.
It is quite some time since I last bet with a bookie, but the other day, I decided to take a look at a few bookie sign-ups and refunds.
Things certainly ain't what they used to be.
A few years ago, bookies were very generous with their refunds and bonus payments, but these days things are a lot tighter.
Also, some of the turnover requirements for new sign-ups are ridiculous.
I wouldn't get involved with turnover such as 10 times the deposit, or maybe 6 times the deposit plus the bonus, but a sensible turnover amount is ok.
If you don't have a strategy for dealing with bookie turnover, this is how I go about it :-

Bet and lay your qualifying bet in the normal way.
When you trade (bet and lay) the free bet, make sure you trade BIG odds.
When you place your lay to equalize your free bet trade, reduce your lay stake by 1, or maybe 2,. depending on the size of the turnover requirement.
That will reduce the profit from your successful lay by 1 or 2 if you hit a loser.

Hit a loser and you should have no turnover to meet as you will have lost your free bet with the bookie, but check the T & C's for that.
If you hit a winner, your bet winnings with your bookie will be bigger than your lay payout.
If your runner was at odds of around 11.0, and you reduced your lay by 1, you will have close to an extra 10 of winnings with your bookie compared to the reduced payout on your lay.
The effect of that is that you have an extra 10 to play with in your bookie account, or at least your Betfair account has gone down by 10 less than it normally would have.
However you choose to look at it, your overall trade is 10 better off.

You can now go ahead and bet and lay several trades at short odds to meet the bookie turnover using a close match of bet and lay odds as normal,
Each bet and lay will probably cause you a small loss, but when the turnover has been met, you should still be in profit if you have reduced the free bet lay sufficiently.
Keep records of your trades and you will see that this method works.
Always aim to hit losers with your bookies and most of the time, you won't need to meet any bookie turnover, but one day you will hit a winner.
If you don't take precautions, meeting the turnover will cost you and you may find yourself looking at a red trade overall..
If turnover is involved, lay just a small amount less when trading your free bet, and you can come out smelling of roses instead of landing yourself in the brown stuff.

Also, before you tackle any trades that involve bookie turnover, make sure you have plenty of cash available in your Betfair account to cover the lays required if you need to meet the turnover. . . . . . . You may hit winners doing the turnover at short odds, so there could be several lay payouts.
Run out of cash, and your money will be stuck in the bookie account.

I hope that is ok, and good luck with meeting your turnover requirements if you have any,
Howard.

20th November 2017.   Hedge across 3 markets with commission deductions.
I have had a spreadsheet for quite some time that shows the effect of commission deductions across 3 separate markets.
A few weeks ago, a spreadsheet customer enquired about a sheet showing commission deductions in his football trades, so today, I have uploaded that sheet to my football web site.

Input matched bets and lays that we have in Betfair or Betdaq and the sheet shows our position in each separate market after commission deductions, plus our position across all markets combined for a view of our whole trade after commission.
Have you ever traded out with a small profit in one of your football markets, only to see it wiped out or greatly reduced by commission due to losses in other footy markets in the same trade?
I would guess that lots of us have had that experience.
Well this sheet shows what is happening throughout your whole trade.

If you trade football across 2 or more markets, you certainly won't be paying as little as 5% commission.
As you know, winnings in one market are not combined with losses in another market by Betfair before commission deductions, so i
f we trade using more than one market we are likely to pay the full whack of commission on winnings in one market, with losses in a 2nd or 3rd market not taken off before commission is deducted.
There is only one winner here of course - - - - - the Betting exchange.
It certainly ain't you and me !!!

I will have more on this commission topic, and what we can do about it, later . . . Lol,
Howard.

24th October 2017.   Exact number of goals odds . . . Free calculator updated to show both bet and lay odds.
My original Exact Goals free calculator
on my Free Calculators web page only had input for one side of the odds.
That didn't look very good, so I have expanded the calculator to show both bet and lay odds.
I've also updated the video.
Howard.
18th October 2017.  Exact number of goals odds . . . on-line calculator.
Exact Goals = The exact number of goals to be scored in a football match.

A few weeks ago, I started to look at odds for the Exact Number of Goals on offer for football matches.
We can work out Exact Goal odds from the combined odds of Correct Scores, but the normal C/S market gets as far as the score of 3-3 and then bunches odds together for scores above 3-3.
The effect of that is that we can only work out accurate combined odds for No goal, 1 goal, 2 goals or 3 goals.
Anything bigger than that, and we need to delve into the 2nd Correct Score market that covers bigger scores.

Another problem is that unless we look at big games, there can be big gaps between bet and lay odds in Correct Score.
To get around those 2 problems, we can use the Under / Over goals markets which usually have smaller gaps between bet and lay odds.
For example :-
If you bet Under 1.5 goals and bet Over 2.5 goals, and you have bet everything except 2 goals.
Using those 2 bits of information, we can work out the odds for 2 goals.
We can of course do the same for other exact numbers of goals.

If you look at enough Exact Goal odds, it will quickly hit you between the eyes that the favourite odds for most games are either for a 2 goals or 3 goals result.
Example :-
11 World Cup Qualifying games on September 5th, all had 2 goals as the favourite outcome for their Exact Goals.
I was of the opinion that surely, all 11 games couldn't end with a 2 goal score . . . . . . and not one of those 11 games did.
Here are the teams with results in brackets :-
Iraq-UAE (1-0), Congo-Ghana (1-5), Iran-Syria (2-2), Qatar-China (1-2), Uzbeck-S. Korea (0--0), S. Africa-Cape Verde (1-2), Congo-Tunisia (2-2), Ivory Coast-Gabon (1-2), Saudi-Jordan (1-0), Burkina-Senegal (2-2), Egypt-Uganda (1-0).
Unfortunately, results don't always favour laying . . . Lol.

It takes a very strong favourite team to cause Exact Goal favourite odds to hit 4.0 goals or bigger.
I have yet to see a game with the favourite being 1 goal or zero goals.
Another maybe more obvious observation is that not a lot of games finish with a 2 or 3 goals result.
That observation looked very promising in early season results, but as teams have played one another, management appear to have worked out how to counter new players and promoted teams, so recent results have favoured 1, 2 and 3 goal results in my opinion.

The best that I have managed to get out of Exact Goal odds so far is that it may help with game selection.
Look at any market and we get an idea of what that market expects will happen.
A prime example is Match Odds . . . . . . I expect that we all look at Match Odds first if we are about to trade a football match.
If you could then get an indication of how many goals the markets expect, that might be very helpful, especially if you are an Over / Under goals trader, BTTS trader, Lay The Draw LTD trader, or even if you Ad-Lib your way through a game in Correct Score..
My new "Exact Goals" calculator
on my Free Calculators web page provides that information.
A video describes what to do.
Good luck with your footy trades,
Howard.

13th October 2017.   ELS  Expected Losing Sequence on-line calculator.
I uploaded a small sheet for estimating the longest losing sequence that we can expect from a series of bets.
If you keep records of your trades, or like to work things out before trying a new strategy, that calculator may give you an idea of what to expect from your winning strike rate.
Give it a test drive here
on my Free Calculators web page.

I came across the E.L.S. formula quite some time ago whilst surfing the Internet, but there wasn't an on-line calculator on there, just this Excel formula :-          =LN(n)/-LN((1-(SR/100)))

Yes, that was pretty meaningless to me as well, but there was an explanation that it uses Logarithms, ( the LN bit ), and that n = Number of races and SR = Strike rate.
All I needed to do was work out the Strike rate bit and the formula worked a treat in Excel.
All nice and simple . . . Lol.

I've added a bit of Profit & Loss underneath the ELS calculation to make my on-line version a bit more entertaining.

Starting Bank Example.
Your research shows that your selection method hit 60 winners in 100 bets.
You decide to bet each of your runners with 10 level stakes, using a Starting Bank that would cover twice your Expected Losing Sequence.
100 bets that hit 60 winners gives an E.L.S of  5.026.
If you decide on a Starting Bank of twice your E.L.S., multiply 5.026 x 2 = 10.05 x your basic stake of 10 = a Bank of 100.52.
Now if you hit 5 consecutive losers, you lose half your bank,  -50, so hopefully live to fight another day.
A Starting Bank of three times your E.L.S. would be 3 x 5.026 x stakes of 10 = a Bank of 150.78.
As always, good luck with your trades,
Howard.

6th October 2017.   Lay The Draw exit strategy but with insurance against a very late goal.
If we have layed the Draw, the odds have not lengthened after the first goal and
we are using my on-line calculator  to exit the trade, we could have a big lay liability against a Draw outcome.

I have updated my video to show how to get rid of that very large Draw liability in the last few minutes of a game if the score is still 1-0 or 0-1.
Take a look at video 2 underneath the LTD calculator
on my Free Calculators web page  at about 11:45 minutes into that 2nd video.

Instead of laying the Winning Team to break even, lay a bit less just after the first goal.
Laying a bit less than the break even amount will; leave a bit of spare cash that can be used to lay the Winning Team or even the Current Score if you like, very late in the game at very short odds.
Drag the "Time Line" slider at the bottom of the 2nd video to about 11:45 minutes to see that.

Note that if your 2nd goal is scored well into the 2nd half and you have only one "Matched" lay on the Winning Team, you may still have problems as the odds of your 2 teams will probably be too big for an ok exit.
Whatever we do if trading just within Betfair, there is always a risk of a red trade somewhere,  no-matter what strategy we apply.
A goal at the "wrong time", or by the "wrong team", is a risk with these LTD trades.

Good luck with your LTD trades,  Howard.

29th September 2017.   One Point Lay staking plan.
I have uploaded Youtube videos for One Point staking plans - - - - a lay staking plan, and a bet staking plan.
Both staking plans are now available on my Staking Plans web page.

Just to liven things up a bit, you can test drive the laying spreadsheet on-line for a short time on this web page :-
One Point Lay staking plan on-line - - - - give it a test drive.

I will remove that "Free Trial" web page in a few days time.
Bang a few odds into that free sheet by using the up & down arrows of your keyboard to navigate vertically.
By using your Up & Down arrow keys, you will avoid having to step through each input cell in turn.
Try a few different win / lose sequences and different lay odds.
That should give you some idea of how the staking works and what the sheet can do in the profit & loss column.

I have had these sheets for quite some time and had some success with them..
Liabilities can get a bit intimidating if results go against us.
If you use this laying sheet, keep your eye on the "What if potential Bank" column, and don't be afraid to stop and start afresh from scratch if things start to look expensive.
To make this work, you will need a source of decent lays.
In my experience, those are just as hard to find as a source of decent bets.

I will probably remove that "Test" web page in about a week's time, perhaps next Friday, October 6th or so.
As always, good luck, and enjoy
your free test drive of this sheet,
Howard.

6th September 2017.  One Point staking plan . . . . Free on-line calculator.
I have several sheets that I need to add to my web sites.
To get the ball rolling, I have decided to do a "Sheet of the week" feature on my Free Calculators web page.
I may put a sheet or 2 up for short periods so that customers can test drive a sheet or 2 before deciding whether to make a purchase or not.
First up will be a One Point staking plan for Laying.
I also have a betting version of this spreadsheet of course.

This a well known loss recovery staking method.
If we hit a winner with a lay, our stake increases by one point with each successive lay until the loss is recovered.
A series of successful lays will recover losses, and then the staking reverts back to our Basic Stake to start a new laying sequence.
The long term result of this method is that we make roughly one point of profit for every lay we place.
Place 20 lays at 2 each, and a good sequence of results should show 20 x 2 = 40 of profit or thereabouts.

I tried this method some time ago with some success laying the SkyBet "Price Boost" runners.
I had my ups and down with those, but lay liabilities got a bit naughty when I hit the inevitable bad run of results.
Test drive my on-line sheet here.
Input a few odds and results to see how the staking works.
I've set the Basic Stake to 1 to make it easy to see what happens, but you can set the Basic Stake to any size at any point in the sheet,
Howard.

18th August 2017.  A Graph showing Ticks not Odds.
Now for something very simple, but a little more adventurous.
We must have all looked at Betfair graphs, and also used trading software at some point showing Grid & Ladder with graphs.
There must be a another way of looking at that aspect of trading that shows how odds interact.

Consider a few lines on a graph, each tracking the odds of a different horse in a horse race.
We can expect to see separate lines, one above the other with those at the bottom showing short odds, and lines for runners at bigger odds above those.
If all the odds were to set off from the same point, we could get a far better picture of which is going up and which are going down, but lots of runners would just show as a jumble of lines, which would be of little use.
One answer is to look at just a few runners, rather than the whole lot.

How can we show different odds setting off from the same point on a graph ?
Simple, plot something else, other than the odds.
How about plotting the number of Ticks up & down at regular intervals as the odds change, after all, we all aim for a tick or 2 of profit whatever size odds we choose to trade, so track the Ticks, not the Odds.

So,  follow this link and take a look at a Ticks Graph on a web page.
Unfortunately, I don't have the technical expertise to attach live odds to my spreadsheets, let alone my web pages, so the on-line spreadsheet on that web page needs manual input of the odds of your runners.
I still have one foot in the computer stone age I'm afraid.

I show quite a dramatic example on there using genuine odds from a horse race.
Don't expect all races to produce such a good pattern, but spend a bit of time mucking about with that, and you may see a bit of potential in that on-line spreadsheet.
Input a few races and see what you think,
Howard.

16th August 2017.   Lay The Draw exit strategy for Match Odds
I have uploaded an on-line calculator for Dutching Match Odds.
To make that a bit more interesting, I have added notes and a video for an LTD exit strategy for games in which the outsider of the 2 teams scores first and the Draw odds don't lengthen.
I expect that most of us have been in that situation.
This strategy offers a way out.
My on-line calculator can be used to show the staking.
I used that exit method successfully for quite a few trades before I noticed the potential for a red trade if things don't go according to plan.
A couple of videos describe the calculator and the exit strategy.
Good luck if that persuades you to have another go at a few old LTD trades,
Howard.
8th August 2017.  Free calculators web page up and running.
I have made a start with 3 on-line calculators on a new Free Calculators web page.
I have others in my pipeline, but those 3 will do for starters.
There is
no border around the first one because I couldn't get the border right. . . . New technology and all that.
My intention is to put a strategy or 2 up that may involve one or more of my on-line spreadsheets.

As I add more on-line sheets, some will suit more than one purpose. . . . a Dutching sheet for instance.
You will be able to use one or 2 of the ones that will be coming later, for ideas of your own I would expect.
These will be sheets that I have built for my own use, so if you get to grips with them, they might be ok for you as well.
There may be one or 2 more easy sheets covering simple topics, but after that, things will get more complicated ..... Lol.
As always, good luck . . . . especially if you have a go with these on-line sheets,
Howard.

29th July 2017  On-line FREE calculators.
Apologies for not posting anything on here for quite some time.
I have still been busy with spreadsheets, but haven't been inspired to put anything up on here.

Just recently, I've been looking at putting some free on-line calculators on my web sites.
I hope to make a start on that in the next week or 2, starting with some simple stuff before expanding things, maybe with a few different strategies for football & horses plus a calculator to show the staking, as those 2 sports are what interest me most.

My experience of free on-line calculators is that things look a bit boring with plenty of free calculators available for working out the staking for bookie sign-ups and free bets, or returns from betting multiples with a bookie, etc.,  . . . . you know how it goes.
I am looking to liven things up a bit with free calculators that cover other topics.
I may chuck in my version of a bookie refund calculator at some point, but I see little point in repeating what is already available elsewhere.
My aim is to put something up that you probably haven't seen before, and that may be used on a regular basis.

Don't expect to see a simple hedging or Dutching sheet.
I intend to put up calculators that show a bit of imaginative staking, so I hope you will come back here or visit my web sites to see how things progress.

To get this up and running, I have to get used to a bit of new technology, so expect my on-line calculators to start off with a few basic calculators before we move on to more complicated stuff.
Some calculators will be ok with a few lines of text for an explanation, but others will need a video.
As always, good luck with your trades,  Howard.

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