- Judging a set of bets: is profit-on-turnover enough?
- Is it an edge, or just variance?
Whether you’re looking at your own betting history or trying to judge somebody else’s, it’s always good to be studying a winning run!
The important thing of course, is what you do with it going forward…
Are you on a good thing? Is this something truly profitable in the long term, or has it just been luck, good timing and a good run of variance?
Rod, the man behind our incredibly successful Hi-Lo package, is a punting expert, having achieved a heap of success with his own betting and also by following other pros. He tells us how a combination of measures is the best way to look at things.
Every time I see a profitable betting record, the first thing I ask myself is: “are they profitable or were they just lucky?”
The first thing to recognise is this: there are no hard and fast rules that tell you “yes, it’s profitable” or “no, it was just luck”. But there are several factors to consider that will help you decide.
Profit on Turnover
The first factor to consider fairly obvious: Profit on Turnover (PoT). Of course, the higher the PoT, the more confident you can be that the tipster is profitable
But PoT on its own isn’t enough. As an extreme example, you could have an extremely small number of bets and back one good winner, and have a fantastic profit-on-turnover figure. But it wouldn’t mean much!
Which brings us to the second factor: sample size. The more bets in the record, the more likely the results in the record reflect that any results were due to skill and not luck.
Of course, there is a single figure that combines PoT and sample size in the one measure, and lets you measure and lets you measure one set of bets vs another. And that figure is, quite simply, raw profit.
Profit = Turnover x PoT
For example, let’s say there were two sets of bets. Set A has an 8% PoT record over 500 bets, whole Set B has a 15% PoT record over 200 bets.
You can see how using only PoT or sample size as a measure would lead you to different outcomes regarding which is the more successful.
So we work out the profit provided for each:
Profit (Set A) = 500 bets x 8.0% PoT = 40 units profit
Profit (Set B) = 200 bets x 15.0% PoT = 30 units profit
In this example, despite the lower PoT, you would have more confidence in the profitability of Set A, because they have produced more profit. While Tipster B has a superior PoT (and may well also be a long-term profitable approach), the 200-bet sample is more likely to have been lucky, and a couple of lucky winners turned losers may have a bigger influence on the PoT than desired.
Tote 118%, Best Tote 110%, Top Fluc 115%, BOB 105%, Betfair SP 102% (-comm). Ave Market % 2015-2018, every Australian horse race 🏇💰
— Rod (@highlowrod) February 21, 2019
Raw profit is not a perfect summary of the long-term probability of a set of bets, but it’s an underrated figure that provides a nice way to combine PoT and sample size to compare tipsters with one another.
Importantly, remember to look at all three measures and judge them together – any one figure on its own can be confusing.