Sunday, Jul. 20, 2014

How Much Should I Stake?

As has been discussed in previous articles, your betting bank should be managed, and your stakes should be administered in spread betting just as you would in your fixed or exchange betting.

I’ve compiled a list of most of the markets they we are likely to use, and the suggested stakes I think you should adhere to.

Let me clarify one or two things about this table, and how you should adjust it depending on your situation.

Firstly, it is based on a maximum unit stake of £10, for some low risk/low stop loss markets. The higher the risk/stop, the lower the suggested stake.

The maximum liability we are aiming at here is around £50, but this is assuming a betting bank of £1000, therefore risking no more than 5% of your bank in any one trade. If your betting bank is only £500, then you should half these stakes, or double if you have £2000 in your bank etc.

If you can only afford £100 to put into your bank, then it is still possible to spread bet, as the minimum stakes for many of these bets is as low as 10p.

Your betting bank should be money that you can afford to lose. With proper staking and bank management, it is unlikely that you will lose this money, but more pertinently, if you don’t have a disciplined strategy like this, it is quite likely that you will eventually need to top up your bank.

I have used the stop loss level as a guide for positioning the unit stakes for each market, but it is important to understand that stop losses may not apply in all cases.

Sporting Index stop losses are what I’ve used here, but it is possible to have an account with Sporting with no stop loss. If you are a new account holder, unless you have specifically asked for, and been accepted for a no stop account, you will automatically have been given a stop loss/stop win account.

Extrabet accounts are all stop loss/no stop win, meaning that your wins are limitless, but the stop loss is set. The stop loss levels are identical in most cases to those listed here.

Spreadex operate no stop losses on their accounts.

Regardless of whether your account has stops or not, you should still follow the staking plan outlined here. The stops have been used as a guideline for the realistic worst case scenario, and in my experience, stops are applied in only a very few instances. I’ve spread bet for 10 years or more, and from memory, I think I have been stopped out on about 5 occasions.

The difference between the actual “worst case scenario” and the realistic outcome of a bet is important to be aware of as well. For example, the stop loss on a Corners market in football is 10, and a typical corners spread might be 11-11.5 corners. The likelihood of there being no more than 1, or more than 21 corners in a game is low, and you could argue that the realistic extremes in this market might be something like 4-18.

Similarly in horse racing, using a more volatile example, it is possible that each race in a card could be won by a 100/1 shot (in the unlikely event that each race has a horse priced so big), but how often has that happened. Don’t know for sure, but I would guess NEVER.

My good friend Mark Layton knows more about such things than I, and he tells me that the biggest race card SP’s figure in his 30 year database was when 100/1, 50/1, 20/1 and 16/1 all won at one meeting.

Individual races can be won by big outsiders, it probably happens two or three times a month, but for the stop loss to kick in on the Favourites market, you would generally need there to be either a big winner at 50/1, or maybe two or three at between 16’s and 25’s, or indeed a combination  of both. It happens, but fairly unusual.

The point here is that, yes if you are placing your trades with a non stop account, you can suffer extreme results, but this should happen so rarely that it is probably sensible to disregard this in our deliberation.

In summary, the stop loss figures we are using here, are in most cases, lower than the absolute “worst that can happen” outcome, but are higher than the “realistic likely outcome”, therefore are as good a guideline as we could probably find.

I think this is a relatively cautious guide, but particularly if you are new to spread betting, or have had no real rhyme or reason to your staking, it is a logical and practical solution to what can be a tricky aspect of this type of gambling.

Spread betting is fun, and should be enjoyed, and I hope this helps you to appreciate how this can easily be done in a disciplined way, without over exposing your precious bank.

As always, feedback welcome, and please let me know if you want any other markets added.

Sport Market Stop Loss

(where applicable)

Suggested Single Unit Stake Volatility/Variance of market
Football Total Goals (individual) 5 £10 Low
Football Total Goals (group 10 or less) 10 £5 Low
Football Total Goals (group 11 or more) 25 £2.50 Medium
Football Total Goal Minutes 200 £0.20 High
Football Match Supremacy 5 £10 Low
Football Bookings 75 £0.50 High
Football Corners 10 £5 Medium
Football Win Index N/A £2 Low
Football Shirt Numbers 10 £0.50 High
Football Season Points 20 £5 Low
Football Time (1st goal etc) N/A £0.50 Medium
Horse Racing Distances (flat) 20 £2.00 Medium
Horse Racing Distances (NH) 50 £1 High
Horse Racing Double Card 50 £1 Medium
Horse Racing Double Draw 75 £0.50 High
Horse Racing Favourites 50 £1 Medium
Horse Racing RP Favourites 50 £1 Medium
Horse Racing Starting Prices 100 £0.50 Medium
Horse Racing Race Indices N/A £1.50 Medium
NFL Supremacy 40 £1.25 Medium
NFL Supremacy Plus 50 £1 Medium
NFL Team Performance 50 £1 Medium
NFL Win Index 50 £1 Medium
NFL Total Points 40 £1.25 Medium
NFL Field Goal Yardage 100 £0.50 High
NFL Touchdown Yardage 100 £0.50 High
Tennis Game Supremacy 12 £4.00 Medium
Tennis Total Games 15 £3.00 Medium
Tennis Points Played 100 £0.50 Medium
Cricket Batsman Runs 100 £0.50 High
Cricket Team Runs(One Day) 100 £0.50 High
Cricket Team Runs (Test) 200 £0.25 High
Cricket Fall of Next Wicket 200 £0.25 High
Cricket Match Wides 20 £2.50 Low
Golf Finishing Positions Max M/U 70 £2 Medium
Golf Winning Score 10 £5 Low
Golf Winning Margin 10 £5 Low
Golf Player Performance 200 £0.25 High
Golf 18 Hole Matches 50 £1 Medium
Snooker Frame Supremacy 10 £5 Medium
Snooker Match 50-ups 200 £0.25 High
Snooker Match Ton-ups 100 £0.50 High
Snooker Match Volcano 500 £0.10 High
Snooker Point Supremacy 50 £0.50 High