We have Peter from The Secret Betting Club join us to share some professional betting advice with the STL readers. Enjoy!
Whether it’s being told to ‘Have a bang on that’ or to ‘Stick one on it”- everything is geared towards having as many bets as possible…Yet I want to turn that on its head today and discuss when you shouldn’t place a bet.
Any gambler worth their salt will tell you that knowing when not to bet is often just as important as knowing when to bet. Anything that can save you from backing losers or as today’s article discusses – avoiding placing bets at bad value prices should always be worth your time.
With this in mind, today I want to share with you an excerpt from our most recent Practical Punter Report, written by semi-pro gambler Rowan Day, which we publish every month for SBC members to read.
So without further ado, let me hand over to Rowan…
“Nowadays people know the prices of everything and the value of nothing”
Who’d have thought that Oscar Wilde was into sports betting?
Despite the fact that deep down I knew that placing a bet at 1.7 that had been advised at 2.0 was a fool’s game, I couldn’t bear to face the prospect of letting a potential winner go unbacked. So in I’d wade, regardless of the price, sticking down my cash with no proper thought. It really did take me longer than it should have done to realise that my approach was all wrong, and that I needed to pay more heed to obtaining value in my bets.
It wasn’t until I started to read and hear things from people who were obviously more experienced and successful at betting than I was, that I accepted that securing value really is the be all and end all. I finally came to realise (and it really was a case of being better late than never!) that without this skill, the long term outcome for my betting was not so rosy, no matter how skilled the tipsters within it were at finding winners.
Of course what is an almost impossible task, at least if not using a statistical/mathematical modelling approach to betting, is identifying just how much value exists, if any, in a particular pick. You need to remember this as you read on.
It’s impossible for any tipster to say there is X amount of value in one of his picks. He can make a very good judgement as to whether a bet has value or not, and indeed go further and use his skill to identify when a bet has more value than another (which is reflected in his weight of staking), but whether a pick is at odds 5% better than they should be, or 10% or 20%, how precise can you be? A skilled estimate is the best any tipster can do.
So what we must assume therefore, is that our tipster has identified a solid level of value in each and every selection they advise, and that after the point of bet release, it is down to ourselves to secure as big a chunk of that value as possible.
The Hardest Thing To Do Is Sometimes The Most Simple.
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I would imagine that the following scenario is familiar to most, if not all of you…
You’re in the midst of a losing spell. Last minute goals are turning winning bets into losing ones, your horses are always a nose behind in the photo finishes. You’re feeling more and more frustrated and it’s getting harder to take as you see the balances in your bookmaker accounts falling lower and lower.
It is in this context that you get your email from your tipster who is obviously very confident about a selection, but due to circumstances you’re not able to get the bet on as soon as it was released. Indeed, by the time you get to your laptop or PC, the price on the selection has crashed from 1.9 to 1.72..
Now, deep down, you know the value must have gone from that bet, right? But reading the email again, the guy is so confident. It carries a bigger stake than most of his picks. It must win. And suddenly you’re telling yourself that amongst all these losers, you just need a win. Something to plug the leak, stop the rot. Does it really matter that the price is only 80% of the price the tipster thought represented value? After all, a winner is a winner. And how are you going to feel if after backing all these losers, you walk away from a winning bet?
Been there? I know I have. Many times. And it was only relatively recently that I grew the cojones to do the simplest thing in the world…walk away and not bet. If the price has gone too low, then as the yoof of today say, leave it, yeah?
Determining An Acceptable Price
OK, so we’re determined to be disciplined enough to walk away from placing bets that we know no longer hold any value. But where do we draw the line between what is an acceptable price to take on a pick, and what is not?
This is a very inexact science and I’m sure there will be statisticians and experts on probabilities that disagree with what I’m about to say. What I would say to them is that successful betting involves not just playing the numbers correctly, but includes successfully managing the psychological impact of what we’re doing.
It is just as important to get the non-mathematical aspect of running a betting portfolio correct if we are to be successful long term. If we keep passing over bets because we’re not getting what we deem to be a value price, then it won’t be long before we become disillusioned. For the sake of our own sanity, we do need to ensure that we are placing the majority of the bets that come through from our tipsters. We mustn’t be too pernickety, and deny ourselves the opportunities to make some money!
It is on this basis that we have to make some assumptions, the biggest of which is that the tipster has identified a significant amount of value in each of his picks. So as a general rule, I am looking to take no less than 90% of the officially advised odds on any of my sports bets. That’s my cut off point, my bare minimum, although I do still want my average odds taken to be much higher, more like 97/98% of the advised odds, and in fact I actually change my acceptable minimum price depending on the nature of the individual bet.
So 90% is my minimum cut-off point for any bet that has moved odds…what do you think yours might be?
You Must Learn To Deal With The Psychology.
If you decide that you are going to implement similar strategies to those I’ve talked about here, then please do ready yourself mentally. There WILL be times when you miss out on backing winning bets, but remember, there will also be times you don’t place a bet that turns out to be a loser. It’s a certainty though that your mental aptitude will be tested at some point, and there will be times when you’re left shaking your head and tearing your hair out (at the same time, if your hand/eye co-ordination is good enough!).
Yet whatever you do – remember, you don’t have to bet every time – regardless of what Ray Winstone or Robbie Savage tell you!
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