When it comes to betting we should all have two key priorities: win as much as possible and don’t go broke. As bettors, we’re often pretty good at working out the first one, but less good at managing our money to ensure the second doesn’t happen.
One of the secrets of successful betting is being able to correctly analyse risk versus reward so that you are getting the most value out of every bet you make.
Once you start assessing bets in this way you will be on the route to both a more stable bankroll and more profitable betting.
Let’s say you deposit £100 into a betting account. What would be your chosen stake for a bet on Chelsea to beat West Ham in a Premier League game at odds of 3.0 (2/1)? If your answer is £50 then you could only afford to lose two bets before your account was down to zero.
This is a pretty risky strategy. While we’d all love to win every bet, this is not how things tend to work and you have to be able to ride out a couple of losses to cash in when the results go your way. This is why staking plans are so important.
Staking plans mean varying your betting (or laying) stake depending on the nature of each individual bet with the aim of balancing risk and reward. In other words, you’re giving yourself as many chances to stay in the game as possible while still making a healthy profit.
There are a host of staking plans out there, some with exotic names like D’Alembert and Fibonacci. But ultimately it’s about finding a plan that suits your bankroll, betting style and risk management.
Flat stakes – pros and cons
What type of bettor are you? Are you a casual weekend bettor, a serious stats-based analyst or somewhere in-between? It’s important to understand which as this should inform your approach to staking. If you only bet on the weekend football then there is no need to overcomplicate matters, but you still need a structured approach.
The simplest system you will encounter is betting the same amount every time – flat stakes betting. So if you deposit £100 you might split that into ten £10 bets. One main problem with flat stakes betting is that you can find yourself winning very small amounts. A £10 on a 1.25 selection will make you £2.50 profit, for example.
So one of the simplest adjustments is flat win stakes betting – or betting to win the same amount each time. This might mean betting £5 on a 5.0 (4/1) shot and £20 on a 2.0 (evens) bet. This is a good system, but it’s still potentially costing you money in the long run.
Some bets at the same odds will be better than others, and you may want to adjust your stakes accordingly.
Risk Vs reward
One of the best systems a casual bettor can adopt is to split your deposit into 3 bet sizes and use those depending on how confident you are about the bet you will be making. For example if you deposit £100 then decide on stakes of £5, £10 and £20. Let’s give some examples of how that might work.
Say you’ve picked out three bets from the weekend football. The first is on your team to win at home. You’ve been watching them all season and feel they’ve been coming into form and got really unlucky and the odds don’t reflect their true chances. The odds are around 3.0 (2/1).
The second bet is a tip from a good tipster who has recommended Arsenal to win away at Chelsea also at 3.0 and the third is a bet on the late Saturday game, where you don’t have a strong view but think Stoke should sneak a win against Southampton at 3.0.
Here you could potentially bet £20 on the first, £10 on the second and £5 on the third. You definitely shouldn’t bet the same on all three as when you lack good information then you should always exercise caution. We all need to take calculated risks to make money from betting, but you can’t win anything if you don’t have any money in your account.
One of the secrets of successful betting is being able to correctly analyse risk versus reward so that you are getting the most value out of every bet you make. Once you start assessing bets in this way you will be on the route to both a more stable bankroll and more profitable betting.
Key reasons to adopt a staking plan:
- It stops you from going broke
- You give yourself more chances to win
- It stops you from going broke
- See 1 and 3