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08 Jun 13 18:33
Date Joined: 28 May 12
| Topic/replies: 2,509 | Blogger: sheppy123's blog
How many times have you thought something along the lines of "They must be due for a win" Or heard other people say it.

Is it possible to get an edge using "the laws of averages" or is the idea just completely ludicrous!
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Report June 8, 2013 7:07 PM BST
no such thing
Report pxb June 8, 2013 11:16 PM BST
Google 'The Gambler's Fallacy'
Report sheppy123 June 9, 2013 9:15 AM BST
I googled "The Gambler's Fallacy'. Phew! It looks very complicated, but I'll try and read it later.

I wasn't thinking of something simple like a toss of a coin, or the roll of a dice, it was something that would be much more complex.

The Martindale system for me is the road to bankruptcy, but I was wondering if an element of that could be used with something along the lines of the laws of averages etc?
Report DFCIRONMAN June 9, 2013 9:39 AM BST
Some trainers have a 20% strike-rate approx .......year in year if one of their well bred horses has ran 4 times without winning, perhaps it wins next time out.....or not! Worth considering the horse's chances in the 5th race and its odds for that race........If it fails to win.....then perhaps the next race it will swoop in!!!!

Trouble is.....not every horse will achieve the 20% strike-rate......

Each bet to be based on its merits rather than basing bet on "law of averages"......though look at results of a punter on here who had a thread just backing the DRAW in FOOTBALL matches .....just because there had been few draws recently....and the "norm" draw stats would come back into line. It worked for them .....but was it just a lucky run!!!!
Report sheppy123 June 9, 2013 11:15 AM BST
Thanks for your great reply DFCIRONMAN!

Ever since I got into gambling using bookies about 6-7 years I've always thought that there was some kinda profitable angle regarding TLOA dare I say it!

I've tried various workings out and not come up with anything good damn it, but I have a hard time accepting it.

It's strange but it is possible for Man Utd to lose 10 games on the trot!
Report askari1 June 9, 2013 2:18 PM BST
There is such a thing as 'the law of big numbers'.

It means that the more times the same event is repeated, the more actual results stochastically converge on expected results.

Imagine a fair coin toss. The law of large numbers predicts that after 10,000 iterations (plays of the same event) actual results are more likely to have heads coming up 50% of the time than after 100 iterations.

The problem is that in sports you don't get the same idealized event replayed countless times. In fact each event is individual--player injuries, good or bad form etc., circumstances of the match, confidence or mood etc.
Report sheppy123 June 9, 2013 3:15 PM BST
Thanks askari1, that makes a lot of sense.

I feel a bit frustrated (a bit!) that no matter what angle I think of regarding this idea, it seems doomed to fail!

I'm no computer whizzkid but I'm gonna try and write a few programs to help me in my quest!
Report no moves June 9, 2013 6:47 PM BST
I once read on here that a punter backed 56 favourites in a row without winnining.
Report sweetchildofmine June 9, 2013 8:13 PM BST
that takes some doing  Surprised
Report pxb June 9, 2013 8:29 PM BST
The gambler's fallacy is pretty straightforward. In a series of independent events, the results of earlier events have no effect on the results of later events. Although as someone pointed out, a horses results are probably not independent events.
Report donny osmond June 9, 2013 8:38 PM BST
there was a thread on horse racing about the run of losing favourites, or at least a run of losing favourites , may be a different run

people see a run of unusual results and expect a counter run to balance out the first run, but the law of averages only means that future events should be random within the expected range and not skewed by past results
Report U.A. June 9, 2013 9:15 PM BST
Sheppy, you could exploit it by waiting until you have a really bad month betting wise.

Then just double your stakes for the following month. Surely you are much more likely to have a good month and by increasing your stakes you can maximise your profit.

It can't fail.
Report ZEALOT June 9, 2013 11:06 PM BST
56 losing favs on the run - do you honestly believe that ?
Report sheppy123 June 10, 2013 12:01 AM BST
Thanks for all your responses, they're much appreciated!

Phew! 56 losing favourites, I'm not sure whether I believe that!

I've spent many hours today writing silly little computer programs that has brought me lots of misery!

I've done this many times in the past BUT I never seem to learn! Maybe it's cos I can't face the truth!?!

The only profitable way I've found is by doubling your stakes (the dreaded Martindale system!) which anybody would be COMPLETELY MENTAL to do!

1st bet - £2
2nd bet - £4
3rd bet - £8
4th bet - £16
5th bet - £32
6th bet - £64

I would be really sweating now!!!

7th bet £128
8th bet £256
9th bet £512
10th bet £1024 - I need a doctor!!!

I ran a program over 6 months of horse racing results and counted how many times it took for the fav to win. More than 10 was commonplace!

I wouldn't mind adding a few quid to my stake each time BUT doubling it is just way too much!

I've also come to the conclusion that no straight forward horse racing systems exist.

I'm off to kill myself now!!! (only joking!)
Report Darlo Bantam June 10, 2013 12:10 AM BST
Don't know about 56 losing favourites, but there was a day when I was trading greyhounds, using the favourite, and of the 15 races I traded the favourite didn't actually win any. I'd have obviously been better just laying each favourite but it's easy to say that in hindsight - bit like law of averages; it's easy in hindsight.
Report sideshowbob June 10, 2013 2:35 AM BST
the gamblers fallacy surely only applies to "random events"

something like a football game isnt random, more often than not average teams dont go on long streaks because previous results DO influence future results. ie losses make a team try to tighten their defence, wins make them complacent etc etc. turning that into a winning strategy would be difficult though.
Report sideshowbob June 10, 2013 2:44 AM BST
i used to bet on teams to draw until they do, with good results. i picked teams who i couldnt see going long without a draw, then bet something like 10, 14, 20, 30, 45 then gave it up as a loss if they didnt draw by then. i was well up overall, but it became a hassle doing it. that was back in pre-internet days though, filling out coupons etc. would be easier to do these days. i might have a go next season, if i can be arsed. there always seem far easier ways to make a dollar though.
Report pxb June 10, 2013 7:36 AM BST
Sheppy, I'm a pretty sucesfull BF trader, although not horses or soccer.

I'll give you a hint. There are 2 kinds of people on BF. Those who bet based on what they anticipate the result to be, and those who bet against what other people anticipate the result to be.
Report kenilworth June 10, 2013 7:56 AM BST
pxb, it's quite obvious which group you belong to!
Report kenilworth June 10, 2013 7:58 AM BST
pxb, which group do those who only back/lay when they feel
the odds are wrong?
Report pxb June 10, 2013 8:44 AM BST
Kenilworth, I'm obviously in the latter group.

A lot people here spend a lot of time analysing form and stats, I don't do any of that. I look for other factors that shift the odds, which I can take advantage of. And thats all I'll say without giving secrets away.
Report kenilworth June 10, 2013 9:08 AM BST
pxb, very interesting. I have a subjective rating system and only bet when the
odds are well in my favour, and although I make my betting pay, I don't get as
much as I should, considering the margin I allow for error. Last season my
margin was a notional 20% but the reality was around 7% so with commission at
near 5% there wasn't much left for me! I need another filter and next season I
may just concentrate only on the top 2 English divisions, as last season it
would have more lucrative to do that last season. GL
Report sheppy123 June 10, 2013 11:27 AM BST
Your responses were very interesting.

pxb - That sounds very appealing how you look for other factors that shift the odds as opposed to analysing stats. It's like having a good understanding of the minds of Betfair traders. There's been times when I've backed something that I was almost certain would go down. It's like a eureka moment!
Report pxb June 10, 2013 12:05 PM BST
Sheppy, you find other factors by trading a lot of markets for small stakes until you see a pattern. THen you ask yourself why does this market regularly move in this way? If you can explain the pattern, then you can predict the market.

And that is probably more  than anyone else will ever tell you here.
Report sheppy123 June 10, 2013 12:28 PM BST
Thanks pxb. I find that the more I use Betfair the easier I can predict what's going to happen.

I still lose more than I win but hopefully one day that will change.

It's not hard to lay something after I've backed it.

What is hard is getting that thing to win!!!
Report kenilworth June 10, 2013 12:36 PM BST
     10 Jun 13 12:28   

Thanks pxb. I find that the more I use Betfair the easier I can predict what's going to happen.

I still lose more than I win but hopefully one day that will change.

It's not hard to lay something after I've backed it.

What is hard is getting that thing to win!!!

Seems to be a contradiction!!
Report 1.01 Layer June 10, 2013 12:54 PM BST
In the investment world, you often hear that past performance is no indication of future results. This implies that to be successful, you need to base your decisions on something else. Same goes for betting for me, rather like pxb points out.

The greatest thing about stats is that they tell you what most punters think will happen. This is perhaps most clearly seen when a favourite gets off to an early lead and the odds go crazily short, as "they" or the market can see that the prophesied outcome was correct and punters are falling over each other to get on.  The short price is usually exagerrated on illiquid markets.  You will probably lose but there can be brilliant value in opposing the market as on very short prices, you don't need to win very often to be up.
Report sweetchildofmine June 10, 2013 1:11 PM BST
one in 99 in your case Wink
Report donny osmond June 10, 2013 1:44 PM BST
you often hear that past performance is no indication of future results

often reluctantly stated by investment companies but always worth bearing in mind
even for things that you are very good at
Report sheppy123 June 10, 2013 1:51 PM BST
1.01 Layer, That was a great read! Thanks! It made a lot of sense!

So basically you're opposing the stats to get better value! I like it!

I've also noticed that with short favourites. There's still another 2 miles to go and their price has gone down significantly. And the opposite often happens with big priced horses.
Report sheppy123 June 10, 2013 1:57 PM BST
My best lay was 1.02 on Nadal when he got beat by Rosol at Wimbledon. Unfortunately I've layed him many times since then and lost every time!

This must've wiped a lot of people out!
Report sheppy123 June 10, 2013 2:14 PM BST
1.01 Layer - you've given me an idea...

Laying odds on favourites blindly definitely isn't the way to go cos I've tried, BUT what about laying them when they've got off to a good start in a race when their price has dropped.

I wonder whether this would be profitable?

The problem is, unlike horse racing results I've no previous data to go off.
Report Darlo Bantam June 10, 2013 4:47 PM BST
Regarding short odds favourites steaming in, you can see similar in tennis when a player goes break points up or breaks, and in cricket (particularly T20) when teams race into a comfortable position. I swear if you back certain or maybe even all tennis players at break point down, you'd make money by opposing a market overreaction.
Report kenilworth June 10, 2013 4:52 PM BST
I swear if you back certain or maybe even all tennis players at break point down, you'd make money by opposing a market overreaction

The holy grail Darlo? lol.
Report 1.01 Layer June 10, 2013 4:59 PM BST
Wouldn't like to say, Shep. I don't touch horses and different events play out differently, so it's very hard to make a hard and fast rule. For me, it's more a case of recognising that the price movement has outstripped what I perceive to be the genuine change in probability and staking accordingly - the bigger the mismatch, the bigger the bet. It's all about value for me, not outcome, so I try and green up with a reasonable value bet the other way, when the market has realised it's not quite the one horse race/train it thought it was.

Tbh, there are so many sharp minds on the nags, I'd be surprised if there's much mileage in such a simple system. I'm quite selective about the markets and circumstances when it's appropriate and I gave up tryng to extract value from the most efficient markets a long time ago.
Report sheppy123 June 10, 2013 7:24 PM BST
1.01 Layer - Another great reply! Thanks!

I'll tell you what I think has got a lot of potential...

When the odds act very erratically. A prime example was on the warm up lap of the Canadian Grand Prix. Some of the drivers odds were all over the place. I backed several and layed them successfully before the race, it seemed SO easy. BUT, none of them won so I got NOTHING!!! I was willing Vettel to break down but no such luck!!!
Report pxb June 11, 2013 3:16 AM BST
'What is hard is getting that thing to win!!!'

You don't need to. If you have sucessfully predicted a market move then you can green up for all outcomes. Generally, I have no idea and no interest in who wins.

But I was never a punter. Though I was big poker and backgammon gambler in my younger days. Poker especially, is about extracting maximum value from a good hand and minimizing loses from a bad hand.
Report pxb June 11, 2013 3:33 AM BST
And if 1.01 layer gives you the impression, success only comes from laying short odds, I regularly make money from laying long odds. Mostly, because people don't like to risk a large amount to win a small amount. But as I said I don't trade horses or soccer. So, I can't say whether laying long odds is a winning strategy there.
Report 1.01 Layer June 11, 2013 9:06 AM BST
Very true pxb. I tend to operate with a relatively small bank, so long odds laying usually ties up too much of my bank for me.

Shep, as for getting the thing to win, I wouldn't worry too much about it in the short term. As long as you're covering your liabilities, you can't actually lose and the wins will come in the long run. I used to try and get a level green book, whatever the price but decided in the end that I was giving too much value away, so I let a lot more bets ride now if I can't green up at a reasonable price.  Each to their own though. Each of us will tailor our strategies to suit our personal style and risk aversion.

It sounds like you are asking some great questions and are prepared to look at things a bit differently, so keep posting your ideas. As many will say on here: There's more than one way to skin a cat!
Report sheppy123 June 11, 2013 9:50 AM BST
WOW! What a great team I've got! Cheers guys for your help, it's much appreciated!

I can understand why people would lay @ small prices, maybe under 50 if you were REALLY sure, BUT laying @ 1000 would just give me sleepless nights!

It's like it's gonna take more than 1000 times so find out if it's profitable.

Oh yeah - greening! Sometimes something on BF pops up asking me if I wanna green out, but it doesn't do it all the time, is there a reason for this?

Also, because my stakes are low, the money I would get is often pennies. I've wondered how much it would come to though at the end of the year if added up? Cos I keep backing and laying without greening and get nothing most of the time!
Report 1.01 Layer June 11, 2013 11:13 AM BST
You shouldn't use the bf cashout feature. You get much better value putting up your own prices. As for pennies, if you're making 20p (guaranteed) on a £2 bet, that's a 10% return, which is great. There's no shame in bending over to pick up a penny Grin

Use the "what if" function under the market "more options" to experiment with prices for greening up, so you can get used to it. Don't actually enter the bets until you are ready though!
Report sheppy123 June 11, 2013 11:24 AM BST
Thanks 1.01 Layer, that's good to know! I've never changed any settings on Betfair, except the way I view my matched bets etc.

Yes 20p a day would be £73 in a year so it all mounts up!

Just out of interest, have you ever won any 1.01 lays?
Report 1.01 Layer June 11, 2013 11:49 AM BST
Haha, yes plenty, thanks. Lost a fair few though Laugh
Report sheppy123 June 11, 2013 12:50 PM BST
Haha so you've lost about 50p then!

But like you said, it's not about whether they actually win or not. It's how much you make on the trade.

I lay short odds a lot and am usually left feeling like an idiot for thinking that I had a chance! But I was celebrating when Nadal lost to Rosol @ 1.02!
Report Trevh June 14, 2013 1:43 AM BST
Kenilworth :  Last season my
margin was a notional 20% but the reality was around 7% so with commission at
near 5% there wasn't much left for me!

I suspect your notional 20% is actually 10% (as in the other thread when you thought 2.2 is 20% value on an evens shot when in fact it is 10%) so 7% wouldn't be that far out. But the 5% commission thing doesn't make sense, i.e.

Bet £100 @ 2.14 on a true evens chance (7% value) : LOSE

Bet £100 @ 2.14 on a true evens chance {7% value) : WIN

Staked : £200

Gross profit : £14

Commission @ 5% : £5.70

Net profit : £8.30

Net profit on turnover : 4.15%

So even after paying 5% comm you would have made a good living, it's not a case of simply knocking 5% off of your gross figures.

Last year I made a very good sum but it was less than 2% of my turnover, so anyone making 7% but having "not much left for me" I find very hard to understand?
Report kenilworth June 14, 2013 9:32 AM BST
Trevh, 2.20 about a 2.0 chance is a 20% margin on
a single bet, i.e. potential profit is 1.20,
potential loss is 1.00, 1.20 is 20% bigger than 1.00
that is why I refer to it as 20% margin. As I don't just
try to bet 2.00 chances at 2.20, I also bet, say 1.50
chances at 1.60 or better, 2.50 chances at 2.80 or
better etc, etc, etc. Prices taken are what I have
control over, results I don't, there lies the reason
for me not getting much after commission. I hope that
clarifies what I am talking about, the use of words.Happy
Report TheInvestor2 June 14, 2013 12:06 PM BST
Trevh 14 Jun 13 01:43


Last year I made a very good sum but it was less than 2% of my turnover, so anyone making 7% but having "not much left for me" I find very hard to understand?

Less that 0.5% on turnover for me, and I still pay PC!
Report kenilworth June 14, 2013 12:40 PM BST
Investor, perhaps I'm a smaller punter than you, or
I don't have enough qualifiers.
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