If you could start again....
If you could start the whole match betting, bonus bagging again what would you do differently?
If you mean as in with a time machine: It would be dont lay any of my bets at betfair which would make me thousands better off.
If you mean as in start from scratch today, i would get a spreadsheet to use and work out exactly how much to back and lay to the nearest penny at any given odds
In seriousness though i would say i am not exactly risk averse from wagering at unknown bookies but looking back i do wish i had made more of some offers rather than being cautious, Portlandbet and BetCris are two which once upon a time were reload Goldmines, but i only (i say only!) did them three or four times and kept it relatively small as i didnt want to lose the lot. Portland actually maybe that was wise since they did go in the end, but i could have made more in the early days.
So if starting again i would say to myself "Be Braver".
Have a plan and stick to it
The short and tall of it - underlay all profitable arbs so you make no profit if your selection loses but a much larger profit if it wins.
The longer version:
When I started out I'd probably only ever placed a couple of bets in my life before - I came into match betting in the belief that gambling was a losing game and if I didn't lay anything I'd be in the poor house within a few months... however a few thousand bets later with a bunch of stats to crunch I now know that actually backing without laying can in fact be extremely profitable contrary to everything I'd always thought and all the preconceived ideas people (generally) hold about gambling as being a losing game.
Now I'm quite risk averse though, so I'm not about to start backing without laying (although it would make an interesting experiment to have a bankroll dedicated to unit betting sometime). However if I had my time over I'd go out of my way to NOT balance my profit so I won the same no matter what the outcome when I find a profitable arb.
When I started like I say I was very cautious and it's very nice to see/know that no matter what happens you make the same profit. Over time though it gets very depressing each time your selection wins and instead of feeling overjoyed about that you feel really miserable because you know you're one step closer to getting closed down and losing a vital resource (your bookie account). Well that's how I felt anyway. And it only gets worse when you look at how much you'd have won if you'd not laid the selection - and if you're doing things right after optimizing your value bets you should find yourself losing money hand over fist from Betfair at a ridiculous rate which is also very depressing!
Each time you win at the bookies you move one step closer to getting limited, so it makes sense when you find a profitable arb at a bookie to underlay so that you make no profit if your selection loses but make a much larger profit if it wins. You won't make money as steadily - you're introducing a higher level of variance into the equation - but if you're placing enough profitable arbs, statistically it will certainly balance itself out very quickly - even if you're taking long shots over 20 (in fact arguably it's more important to underlay if you're taking on a long shot because that will push you a lot further along the line to getting limited if it wins).
I would stress though that this strategy only makes sense when you have a profitable arb.
Great thread though! Will post more when have more time!
not signing up through cashback sites and then depositing ONLY the MINIMUM amount to get cashback and not getting BIG freebie bets instead.
I would like to have a time machine and show Andy that post a few months ago!
Originally Posted by Andy
As far as not-laying goes, it depends on whether you are lazy and go for matches such as 2.0/2.06 or only ever bet on arbs and go for 2.0/1.95 matches.
If you only bet on the former then you're not going for 'value' bets, where the bookies odds are probably higher than the probability of the bet winning (ie when the bookie's dropped a bollock). Going for matches like this saves you time looking for good matches so may not be a bad thing if you don't want to spend all day poring over odds. Backing these bets without laying will cost you money over time.
If you only bet on the latter then, over time, you would be better off not laying. When you find these arbs the bookie is generally offering to pay out more than the likleyhood of a bet winning (eg on a coin toss, if you found a bookie offering odds of 2.05 on heads coming up then slap money on it).
Generally I'm risk adverse and would never risk my own money without a chance of at least breaking even, but looking at my Profit and Loss at Betfair over the last 3 months I can see that I'd be better of underlaying more.
Perhaps underlaying more is my advice
It's not "lazy" it is "time efficient" ;-) It also stops any chance of Palped bets and will keep your account open for longer.
Originally Posted by lazza_w
I also would be very very unlikely to hedge bets so as to lose overall from the whole caboodle, but i would happily set it for a big profit or break even results, especially if it is at a site with a wagering requirement.
Have a plan and stick to it
I have just gone back over my figures for a couple of weeks before Christmas to see how this would have worked out for me in practice - took a while but interesting results.
underlay all profitable arbs so you make no profit if your selection loses but a much larger profit if it wins.
I made just over 350 bets in that period and normally lay (or dutch) exactly to get an even result. Average return was just over £2.20 over that period with quite a large distribution of returns (never turn down a few pence at IW if its available).
Of the 350 bets I was amazed to find I won over 70%! And if i had completely gone for a zero return at the 'bookie end' on all the bets I would have managed to make over 20% more.
Now the question is - have I got it in my to follow through on this?
Has anyone actually tried this in practice managed to stick to it - even when you hit that inevitable loosing streak (which I am sure this approach is going to highlight big time when it happens)
I would not ever suggest backing and not laying at all, its probably a good idea to ensure you never lose. BUT there is nothing wrong with making a small/no profit versus a larger profit if your bet comes in. I am constantly amazed that anyone thinks its a good idea to back and lay to get an equal return no matter what, thats just crazy, it really is. MSE has a lot to answer for!
At the very least underlay them a bit at least to ensure if you win at the bookmaker you are rewarded for now having to spend time/potential trouble getting the £s back. To give a return of say £24.57 or £24.57 on either outcome assumes that £24.57 is just as good to you in betfair as it is in the bookmaker and that is simply not true.
Have a plan and stick to it
Don't worry Andy, I fall into the 'lazy' category too. I just feel a bit inadequate when I know Munk gets profitable arbs on nearly everything he does.
Originally Posted by Andy
However the principle remains true - if you only over back things when the bookie is offering over the odds then, over time, you will make a profit. Checking their odds against an exchange is a good way of spotting those.
If you just back any odds that you find, without comparing them to Betfair etc, then you are no different to any normal punter. Over time you will lose more at the bookie than you gain so laying the bets off is going to be in your interest.
Overall I'd agree that underlaying to make it a no-loss or small profit if the bet loses is probably going to make your use of time more efficient - my bets tend to be matches that return 95-100% of the money, so they aren't arbs. Overlaying is generally only a good idea if the offer dictates it (free bet if the qualifier wins)
Ya it was quite sickening when I realized how much I'd lost from Betfair, how much more I'd won at the bookies... and taken into account with how many bookie accounts I'd been limited at... just made me a bit sick really. That was back in October, I decided then to start underlaying more.
Originally Posted by jat63
It's actually really simple the way I started to underlay - I'd just use backstake + 5% as my lay stake for every profitable arb, so I'd be guaranteed to at least break even (well a profit of a few pence anyway) if it lost or a much larger profit if it won.
Also dead simple to calculate, no need to faff around with a spreadsheet to calculate the lay stake, just lay the same amount as you backed plus (back stake divided by 10, divided by 2) to cover commission.
I did mean at some point to start underlaying even more brutally, maybe just using the back stake amount or 90% of it as my lay stake... haven't got around to doing that yet and am still a little bit too risk averse to do it...
Another idea I had - I think you touched on it - was to ringfence some money to just back freely without laying anything... I think this is the essence of unit betting... I've not really looked into that option as yet, but imagine it would be quite profitable if you're only taking value bets.
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