If you’ve been betting seriously (or at least trying to) for any length of time, you’ll have found that there’s much more to being successful than just backing winners.
Of all the other factors that go into successful punting, staking is perhaps the most important.
Stake too much, and you’ll soon have a losing streak where you’ll blow up your bank and be out of the game. Stake too little and when you are winning, the profits will be too small.
One of the worst things you can do, and a trap many new players fall into, is to chase your losses.
One dangerous type of loss chasing involves simply having more bets. You’re losing, so you start looking for other betting opportunities to find a win.
Soon you’re betting on races or games which you’d already looked at and decided weren’t good propositions… just to find a win.
The reality? Your original, considered analysis will be more relevant, and your lower-quality bets will be just that. You’ll end up losing even more.
We’ve all been there, but backing Pike at Ascot after a losing day won’t save you every time!
Another type of chasing more directly related to staking is to keep increasing your bet size to cover your losses. Basically, you bet to win a certain amount with each bet. If you win do it again. If you lose, your next stake is bigger as you need to make it to the next stage as well as cover your previous losses.
In essence, it’s what’s called the martingale method. It’s been around forever and many have been convinced it’s the path to riches.
And as all of them have found, it’s not.
We’ll use the figures of Champion Bets’ Melbourne racing analyst Trevor Lawson as an example.
Trevor’s Melbourne Ratings service began in May 2016. Since then he’s had just over 3,000 bets, delivering 257 units profit at PoT of 14%. The results are public and updated: it’s clearly a winning service. You can see the results here.
Trevor’s $10,000 bank (100 units x $100) is now at about $35,700. He uses a proven, proportional staking method which involves betting to collect 5 units on his rated price for each bet (plus saver bets on his less fancied horses when appropriate).
So how does this profitable service fare with a loss-chasing approach?
Let’s say Trev decided to try to increase his original bank by 1 unit or $100 (1%) with each bet. If he loses, he simply stakes more each time to keep that target on track.
Just four months in, at bet 743, the bank is at a massive $83,400. Trev’s bank at the same point was just $18,487.
Then reality strikes… in the form of a losing streak lasting 47 bets. It wipes out the bank completely. It’s all over.
So the answer here is simple…the system was too aggressive. Ok, we’ll tone it down… this time we’ll try to increase the bank by just 0.1 units or $10 (0.1%) with each bet.
The problem here is you’re betting so little that you don’t build up the bank like you did before. Therefore, when the losing run comes, you don’t have that massive bankroll to draw down on. Everything is finished almost as quickly.
Check it out:
You can see all the in-depth numbers here.
The lesson? Losing runs will always happen. To ride them out, you need a proper 100-unit bank. And most importantly, you need a sensible, proven staking system.
Don’t chase your losses!