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This is the Blog of a Betfair strategy developer.
For previous posts,
click "The Spoil Heap" tab at the top of this web page. 
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 if
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 . . . online
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 33 and then bunches odds together for scores above
33.
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 :
IraqUAE (10), CongoGhana (15), IranSyria (22), QatarChina
(12), UzbeckS. Korea (00), S. AfricaCape Verde (12),
CongoTunisia (22), Ivory CoastGabon (12), SaudiJordan
(10), BurkinaSenegal (22), EgyptUganda (10).
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 AdLib 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
online 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 online 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 online 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
online 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 10 or 01.
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, nomatter 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 online for a short time on this web page :
One Point Lay staking plan online     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
online 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 online 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
online 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 online 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 online 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 online 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 online 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 online spreadsheets.
As I add more online 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 online sheets,
Howard. 
29th July 2017 Online 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 online 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 online
calculators is that things look a bit boring with plenty of free
calculators available for working out the staking for bookie
signups 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
online 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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