This article considers losing runs, their importance, how their length may be calculated and how this affects our staking strategy.
Losing runs can quickly decimate a betting bank to the point where it is difficult, if not impossible, to recover the losses without an outrageous run of good luck. Losing runs can occur at any time and without any warning whatsoever. In my opinion, it is foolhardy to remain ignorant of the existence of losing runs. Anyone who does so is courting with danger.
So, let’s look at how we go about calculating how long our longest losing run is likely to be.
The longest losing run is given by the formula:
Log(Bets)/- Log(1 - SR)
Log is the logarithm.
Bets is the number of bets that we intend to place.
SR is the Strike Rate of the system in decimal format.
Firstly, in order to use the above formula, we need to know the strike rate of the system that we are going to use to generate the selections. We then convert it to decimal format.
Secondly, we need to decide upon the number of bets that we are going to place.
In order to illustrate the use of the formula, let’s assume that we plan to place 1,000 bets using a selection system with a strike rate of 70% and wish to calculate the longest losing run that we are likely to encounter.
Firstly, we need to convert the strike rate of the system from a percentage to a decimal format.
The strike rate of the system = 70%. To convert the strike rate to decimal format, we must divide by 100. This gives us a strike rate of 0.7 in decimal format.
Substituting this information into the formula, gives us:
Log (1000)/- Log (1 - 0.7)
= Log (1000)/ - Log (0.3)
= 3/ - (-0.5229)
= 6 (rounded to the the nearest integer)
So, if we place 1,000 bets and use a selection system with a strike rate of 70%, we can expect to encounter a maximum of 6 consecutive losing bets.
For those who have no wish to engage themselves in the mathematics of losing runs, I have taken the liberty of creating a table which contains the maximum number of consecutive losing bets for systems with strike rates between 5% and 95% in steps of 5%. In order to use this table, you should scan down the strike rate column until the entry is encountered that is closest to the strike rate of your selection system and then read the corresponding figure in the Max. Losing Run column to arrive at the maximum length of the losing run that you should expect your selection system to encounter.
Strike Rate (%) Max. Losing Run
So, we can now calculate the maximum number of consecutive losing bets that we are likely to encounter providing that we know the strike rate of the selection system.
Having calculated the maximum number of consecutive losing bets, what use is this?
We use it to calculate what percentage of our betting bank it would be reasonable to expose on a single bet.
For example, if we use a selection system with a strike rate of 75%, we are likely to encounter, at some point, a run of 5 consecutive losing bets. If we allocate 100%/5 = 20% of betting bank to every bet and we encounter 5 consecutive losing bets, our betting bank will be completely exhausted and we will not have sufficient funds to recover the losses. I therefore have a ‘rule of thumb’ which I use to determine what percentage of my bank to allocate to each bet.
Firstly, using the strike rate of the selection system, I determine what the longest losing run is that I am likely to encounter. I then divide the longest losing run into 20%. This is the percentage of my betting bank that I allocate to each bet. If I am using a backing system, then the percentage is applied to the stake. If I am using a laying system, then the percentage is applied to the liability of the bet. By using this method, when I encounter the maximum number of losing bets, 80% of my betting bank remains in tact. This is more than ample with which to recover the lost funds.
If we again use the above example of a selection system with a strike rate of 75%, then we are likely to encounter a maximum losing run of 5 bets. If we divide 20% by 5, the result is 4%. I therefore allocate 4% of my betting bank to each bet. Now, when my selection system encounters 5 losing bets in a row, I will only lose 5 x 4% = 20% of my betting bank and I will still be left with 80% of my betting bank. This is more than ample to recover the lost funds.
So, we now know how to calculate the maximum losing run that we will encounter if we know the strike rate of a selection system. If we know the maximum losing run for a selection system, we are able to calculate what percentage of our betting bank we can reasonably allocate to each bet.
From the above, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that what we need to be successful is a system with as high a strike rate as possible. Well, here’s three such systems:
Laythepsychicway is a trading/laying system for horses. It has the highest strike rate of any high-volume commercially-available system. The strike rate is now approaching 96% - that’s according to Racing Index - the company that proofs the selections. Last year, it had two phenomenal winning runs. One was 119 and this was quickly followed by another of 116. It is virtually a permanent member of Racing Index’s top six laying systems. It is currently at No. 3. Details of this system can be found at www.laythepsychicway.com
Psychosshortlays is the short-priced equivalent of the phenomenally-successful Laythepsychicway. The strike rate, over the past month, is now approaching 82% - that’s according to Racing Index - the company that proofs the selections. The average SP of the selections is just over 5/2. Last year, it had a phenomenal winning run of 42. It is currently charging up the Racing Index table of lay systems. Details of this system can be found at www.psychosshortlays.com
Psycholaysdogs is the greyhound equivalent of the phenomenally-successful Laythepsychicway. It has a strike rate approaching 90%. Last year it had a number of winning runs including one of 74 quickly followed by another of 70. Details of this system can be found at www.psycholaysdogs.com