In the first article in this series, I explained why market percentage compounding makes multis a bad bet. In this article, I complete my attack on the multi and explain further why multis are a bad bet:
- Market percentage compounding
- Disproportionate outlays
- Price lock in
- Cash out sting
In an ideal punting world, the profit graph is a straight line up. In reality, it’s anything but. That jagged line happens due to variance – winning runs followed by losing runs, and everything in between.
In general, we want to reduce variance as much as we can. That’s not only because low variance means we win more consistently (and who doesn’t like that?) but because the more variance we experience, the less efficiently our bank grows, and the less profit we make in the long run.
The main culprit when it comes to variance is strike rate. The lower the strike rate, the worse losing runs we experience and the more variance we experience.
Variance is worse on multis because multis have longer odds and a lower strike rate compared to the same selections as single bets. Even on small multis with a couple or few legs, the variance is unnecessarily increased.
Five out of six winners equals ‘loser’ on a multi whereas five out of six single winners normally equals profit.
Multis are an ‘all-up’ bet where the return on leg one is outlaid on leg two, and so on, until we’re knocked out or the multi wins.
The ‘all up’ nature of multis means that you essentially have the least outlay on the first team, increasing outlays on each team after that, and then a huge outlay on the final leg. That doesn’t make a lot of sense because this most likely does not coincide with your opinion on each team.
Price Lock In
This is the second most important reason to split up your multis (after market percentage compounding).
Price lock in means that when you back a multi, because it must be backed at one bookie, you have to take the prices being offered by that bookie on the teams you like. You cannot shop around for the best price on each team, which is rarely (if ever) at the same bookie. That costs you significant profit.
Cash Out Sting
Ever had a big multi alive on the last leg and taken the ‘cash out’option? Fair enough!
However, the bookies sting you again when you take their ‘cash out’ option. The ‘cash out’ they offer is always less than the current value of the multi and how much they should be paying you (they usually offer around 90% of the value of the multi).
From a value perspective, you’re always better letting the multi ride (not to mention the regret of what ‘coulda been’ when you cash out and it wins!).
If you did have that ‘once in a life time’ multi going however, and wanted to ‘cash out’, you’re always better off backing the other team on a standard head-to-head market, or laying your team on Betfair.
It’s the cheaper option because you pay less market percentage and again, can shop around for the best price. You also have the benefit of laying off half the multi (or whatever percentage you want) should you want a mix between ‘cashing out’ and letting it ride.
Most bookies have limits on how much they will pay out on a single bet. So, if you’re going for that 15-leg, once-in-a-lifetime, $1 million payout, you’d better read up on whether you’ll get paid, or hope your story provides a nice marketing opportunity!
There are multiple reasons why multis are a bad bet. The best option is almost always to break up your multi into single bets. You might not hit that big collect, but you’ll win more in the long run.
In the final article in this series I will discuss exotics, including the original multi – the quaddie. I’ll also reveal some exceptions where multis and exotics are actually good bets!
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