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Back To The Drawing Board.
Looking for ideas, a betting edge, or a trading strategy ?
This is the Blog of a Betfair strategy developer.

In a gold rush, not everyone is a gold miner.
There are always those who supply tools for the job and other services.

I like to think that I supply picks and shovels for a few Betfair prospectors.

Demonstration Videos

Dutch and Hedge across 2 Betfair markets
4 New videos :-

  1. How the spreadsheets work using the Bet First spreadsheet.

  2. Lay First spreadsheet demo.

  3. Bet in Correct score using an insurance bet to cover a 0-0 result.

  4. Lay Under 2.5 Goals in Correct Score using insurance against a 0-0 result.

My websites.

betformulas.co.uk
Formulas and maths of trading

betandlay.co.uk
Football trading

A list of all my spreadsheets lives here :-
betandlay.co.uk/strategies
Strategies for horse racing and football trading

betandlay.co.uk/bookie
Be A Bookie.
Laying strategies and spreadsheets for Betfair trading

Old startingstalls.co.uk web site
A very accurate analysis of U.K.  horse racing draw advantages.

New   New Laying web site
Different ways of laying using a bit of imaginative staking.
Also, videos showing live trades.

Welcome to my Blog

Howard Hutchinson

 

For previous posts, click "The Spoil Heap" tab at the top of this web page.
15th August 2014.  Analyse your results.
I've had a break from putting spreadsheets together and enjoyed things on my domestic scene for the past month or 3, but now I'm ready to put one or 2 new ideas forward on my web sites.
My main offering will be a spreadsheet file that will enable data or results to be analysed.
If you have a series of results available that maybe show a profit, this spreadsheet package will enable you to analyse those results further and see exactly what is working for you and what isn't.
For example, you may have some horse racing results with detail such as Odds,
Distance, Type of race, Age group, Course, etc.
You may even have a list of results from a tipping service that may only quote the odds of past winners and losers.
Whatever the information that you have available, it can be analysed to get the best out of it.

This spreadsheet package has a data input tab that allows input of odds, plus another 3 columns for analysis of anything that involves numbers, and 2 columns for anything that involves text.
Input your odds, result for a winner or a loser, plus up to 5 other bits of info for anything else that involves numbers or text.
Then go to an "Analysis" spreadsheet in the same file to see graphs of each of those different items of information showing the profit or loss over the time period of your input.

Now for the interesting bit.
Inputs on this Analysis spreadsheet allow you to set limits for each item of information, and see what the profit or loss would be within those limits.
For example, you might set upper and lower limits for your Odds so that you can see which odds pay best, short odds, big odds, or something in between.
An example for information involving a text input might be the type of race :- You might look at whether stakes races pay better than handicaps, or if sellers, amateurs races, apprentice races, or All Weather races etc. affect your profit & loss.
The choice is yours.
For each of your bits of individual information, the Analysis spreadsheet shows the total number of races and the number of winners and losers as you alter your number limits, or text criteria.
The Total races and number of winners are used to show your Winning Strike Rate within the limits that you set, or the text item that you select.
Profit or loss to a 1 level stake is shown, and a graph shows the progress of that profit or loss over the period of your data input.
I will be adding LLR (Longest Losing Run), and LWR (Longest Winning Run) to those displays.

Once you have done the "Fine Tuning" for each individual bit of information, to get the best out each of them, they are all combined on a single graph, with a list of the limits that you have set. - - - giving you a written list of your "Filters".
You now have your personal "Betting Method", with your filter rules listed.
Once again, you can see Total Races, winning strike rate, P & L, and the progress of your profit and loss shown on a graph, this time for all your filters combined.
Alter any filter, and your list of filters will reflect that and the P & L graph will update.

Your analysis need not be limited to horses of course.
You can input information related to anything you like, football, dogs, tennis, cricket, the weather . . . .anything.
If you are betting on something at present, why not keep track of the results and tweak your betting as you go along ?

At present, I only have a betting Analysis spreadsheet package, but I will be converting that so that we can also analyse lays.
So, if you are interested in analysing your stuff, or anything other data that you come across, such as the results of some tips on a web page somewhere, you might like to analyse those bits of information and improve things a little.
Once your data is in the spreadsheet, you can manipulate it as much as you like, very quickly, easily, and very accurately.
The results of your analysis will be instant, with a graphical display of profit and loss that updates immediately.

I'll be adding a new web page to one or more of my web sites to accommodate this Analysis spreadsheet package.
A video or 2 will describe the spreadsheets and demonstrate what you might get out of the data you input.
That will take a while.
As always, good luck with your trades,  Howard.

21 April 2014.  Arsenal beat Hull 0 - 3.
Apologies for putting a tip up rather than discussing staking in the previous post below.
Very pleasing results all round with Everton also beating Man U.
I think we can expect a different Hull side to be competing for the F.A. Cup in May.
Howard.
19th April 2014.  Lay of the day tomorrow . . . . Hull.
I'm not a very good tipster, but . . . . .
If Arsenal qualify for the Champions league, Hull get to play in Europe next season whether they win or lose the FA Cup in May.
If Arsenal don't qualify for Europe, Hull will only get to play in Europe if they beat Arsenal in the FA Cup Final.

With that in mind :- 
Those 2 teams meet tomorrow, Sunday, in the Premiership.

Arsenal are currently 4th in the Premiership, 1 point in front of Everton, so a win for Arsenal against Hull would keep them one point in front of Everton at the very least.
A draw could see Everton overtake Arsenal if Everton beat Man Utd.
Man Utd have nothing to play for now.
With both Everton and Spurs ahead of them for the Premiership 5th place Europa spot, Man U are not in close contention for Europe or anything else.
The 2 games kick off at :- 14:05 Hull - Arsenal, and 16:10 for Everton - Man U.
 
From a business point of view, it is not in Hull's interest to win tomorrow's game against Arsenal.
If Hull take the lead, a Draw result after that would not look as bad as a Hull loss after being in a winning situation.
Questions might be asked by Everton.
 
So, in my opinion, the thing to do is lay Hull.
It makes no sense for Hull to win this game, and not much sense for Hull to Draw either, so logically, Hull must be a lay.
 
Arsenal will be looking to put one over on Hull in readiness for the FA Cup Final.
Also, Arsenal one point clear of Everton in 4th spot, need to keep winning to make sure that they qualify for The Champion's League..
Arsenal have an easier run for their last few games than Everton.
Even so, every point counts, so Arsenal will be up for a Win.
Hull should be up for a Lose.
 
That's my assessment for what it's worth.
Arsenal play Hull before Everton meet Man U, so Hull must play this game and make sure that they do not win.
That will almost certainly get Hull into Europe regardless of what happens in the FA Cup Final.

Hull are currently on 36 points - - 6 & 7 points clear of the bottom 3 Premiership teams.
Hull have games in hand on those 3 teams, but still have to play Fulham, Villa, Man U, and Everton.

I'll be laying Hull.
Current odds are Bet 4.7, Lay 4.8,

Good luck if you have a go at that, but please bear in mind that anything can happen in a football match. . . . Lol,

Howard.

7th April 2014.   How to trade bookie accumulator refunds to profit.
I updated
my Bookie Refunds web page. today to include this new spreadsheet.
I put a video together last week to describe the staking for several different kinds of bookie accumulator refund.
This spreadsheet package now has 5 videos that describe a couple of spreadsheets and some accumulator refund trades that I did a while ago.
Good luck with your accumulators if you have a go at them,
Howard.
28th March 2014.  Lay an accumulator spreadsheet.
Bookies seem to be offering more refunds and bonus payments that involve betting a double, treble, or a 4 or 5 timer.
For the past few months, since September 2013,  I have been trading these successfully to guaranteed winnings with zero or very little risk to my cash.
I put some videos together several months ago to describe the spreadsheet that I am using and to show live trades and the results.
I am now almost ready to put this spreadsheet package up on my Bookie Refunds web page.
I need to put another video or 2 together and then I can go ahead with that.

Just as with the bookie offers that we are used to seeing, these accumulator offers come in several different forms :-

  • Bet an accumulator and get a free bet.
  • Bet an accumulator and get a free accumulator bet.
  • Bet an winning accumulator and the bookie will add a percentage to our winnings.
    I wouldn't attempt to profit from a low percentage bonus such as 10% or 20% when trading acumulators.
  • Bet an accumulator and get a refund if our accumulator is a loser.
    This last one may be described by your bookie as a "No Lose" offer.

Refunds may be a cash refund of our bet stake, or more often these days, our stake may be refunded as a free bet.
Whatever the offer, these bookie accumulator offers are well worth looking at.
Mostly, they can be traded to profit with zero or very little risk.
Surprisingly, one of the best sources of these refunds over the last 6 or 7 months has been Betfair's Fixed Odds web site that is bolted onto the exchange.
Even Betdaq got into the swing of things during Cheltenham week with a 100% winnings added offer on each of the 4 days if we bet a 10 double using their Multiples section.
If you missed that at the time, it was an offer to double our winnings up to 1000 if we hit a winning 10 double in the Cheltenham races.

An offer like that with a 1000 bonus within the text may conjure up visions of amazing possibilities, but the end result of trading these accumulator refunds is exactly the same as if we were trading similar offers for a single selection :-
The profit from trading the qualifying bet, plus a 2nd trade of the free bet produces a profit that is a percentage of our original bet stake.
For example, if we bet 10 with a bookie to qualify for a 10 free bet, we expect to make a small loss when betting and laying the 10 qualifying bet.
We then bet and lay the free bet, knowing that we can make guaranteed profit of 70% of our free 10, or more if we trade a horse, maybe less for football.
That 7 recovers the small loss from trading the qualifying bet and gives us profit on top.
We may make more than 5 or 6 from the 2 trades combined, with zero risk to our cash.
These accumulator refund and bonus offers work on exactly the same principle :-

  • Bet and lay the qualifier.
  • Bet and lay the free bet.
  • The overall profit will be a percentage of our original bet stake.
    The profit will generally be slightly smaller than we might expect from a normal free bet offer, but can be very similar if we are able to lay suitable odds.

There are 2 strategies.
Mostly, we can select runners or football teams for our double, treble, or 4 or 5 timer, with time between each event.
We then lay those in turn as they take place.
If we hit a winner with our first lay, we need to lay the 2nd runner or team to recover those lost liabilities.
Hit the winner with our 2nd lay and we need to recover the lost liabilities from both races 1 and 2, and so on.
Hit a loser at any point and that is end of trade.
We have a successful lay that recovered lost liabilities, but a losing bet with our bookie.
Get the staking right whilst we are doing that and we can trade to profit every time over the 2 trades, qualifying bet plus free bet combined, providing that our lay odds don't increase whilst we are waiting for races or games to complete.

We can lay so that our liabilities are less than our bet winnings if we hit all winners.
Whilst we are doing that, we can lay to recover all lay losses so far, plus a profit on top.
Remember that that we will be trading a free bet, so the bet loss will be zero.
Hit a loser, and we have profit.
Hit all winners and we have profit.
Stake our lays to suit the terms of the refund and we can profit from each type of offer described above.

That is the basics of method One  - - - - choose runners for our accumulator with time between each event so that we can lay them one at a time.
Method 2 introduces an element of risk, but I have traded method 2 without a free bet whilst testing my spreadsheet.
I had my ups and downs whilst doing that, and came out slightly in front after a few trades.
I made mistakes that caused me red trades, so a learning curve was involved in a couple of those trades.

This is method 2 :-
Occasionally, the bookie offer will force us to trade football games that all kick off at or around the same time, such as Champions League or Premiership games.
An offer might be " Bet 5 x 10 on Premiership games this weekend, get a free 5 fold accumulator for next weekend's Championship games."
Betfair were particularly fond of that type of offer for a while.
Other similar offers from Betfair involved Champions League games.
If the free 5 timer involves games that do not have 5 games that kick off with time between those games, we need to bet 5 teams that all kick off at the same time and then look to lay them at lower odds "In Play" as goals are scored.
If our teams don't score and get into a winning position, we cannot trade out so we may have to take the hit of the cost of the qualifying bets.
To trade the 4 or 5 games of our free accumulator "In Play" all at the same time, we need to use the balanced staking of Dutching.
I have a "Dutching" spreadsheet for that, but this is not really Dutching as a loss in one game is not deducted before commission is taken off profit in another of our games.
If we were Dutching a single market such as Correct Score in a single game, losses would be deducted from profit before we pay commission.
As we will be laying a team 4 or 5 different games, we will pay commission on each of those games.
The sheet is simple enough, and uses the balanced staking of Dutching to get the correct staking so that our profit or loss is very similar for each of our lays.

The good news if we are forced to use this Dutching method is that if we are lucky, this kind of trade can pay extremely well.
If all of our teams have all been in a winning position, - - - a goal or 2 in front, but then the other team score to get the score to a Draw or have our team losing by a goal,  we can have a good profit from what becomes a successful lay of our now, losing team.
If 2 of our teams get into a losing position after we have layed them, that is even better news - - - Congratulations, it's our birthday . . Lol.

Ideally, we would be laying our teams when they are in a winning position with their lay odds somewhere below odds of 1.2.
Lay 34.48 at odds of 1.16 and we have liabilities of minus -5.52.
If that team then gets into a Draw or losing position, we have a successful lay of plus 34.48, less 5% commission = plus 32.76.
Be lucky enough to put 2 of those together and profits really start to take off.
Trades like that are unlikely to come along very often, but anything can happen in a football match.
I've come extremely close to hitting one of those whilst doing just a few trades.
I missed it by a few seconds.
A goal was scored whilst I was placing my lay - - - - It was as close as that.

Once I put another video or 2 together, this "Trade a Bookie Accumulator Refund or Bonus" package will be available on my web site.
If you would like the spreadsheets now, just e-mail me and we can arrange your 10 PayPal payment and I'll send the spreadsheet file by e-mail with links to a couple of videos to get you started.

I have come to look forward to these accumulator refunds.
They are a little bit different from other refunds, maybe a bit more of a challenge, mainly due to the possibility of our lay odds getting bigger, but easy enough to do once you get used to them.
They also add to the profit total at the end of the month.
As always, good luck with your trades, especially your accumulators if you have a go at them, Howard.

9th March 2014.  Zero %, 3% and 5% commission rates.
Ladbrokes recently opened a betting exchange to compete with Betfair, Betdaq, etc.
Laddies have an offer at present of zero commission for a month if we open an exchange account during March, plus a boatload of free bets if we continue to bet and lay with them.
As you know, liquidity can be a problem if we are not using Betfair, but with Betfair's commission rate at 5% and the other exchanges some way below that, it can pay better to take worse odds, but at a more favourable commission rate.

I've put a simple spreadsheet together to demonstrate that.
Use this link to download the free spreadsheet.
If the file opens as "Read only" or cells B1, D2 and G2 appear to be locked, just re-name the file and it should then work ok for you.

The spreadsheet allows us to input any stake size and 2 commission rates.
It then shows the profit from a bet or a lay using that stake size for the bet or the lay over a range of odds from 1.94 up to 50.0.
Profits after commission deductions are shown for the 2 commission rates that we input, plus zero commission.

We can now see which of our 3 exchanges pays best.
It may pay better if we take less favourable odds, but at a lower commission rate.
The screenshot below shows the lower end of the odds in the sheet.
I have entered a bet or lay stake of 10 at cell B1.
If we look at the profit at odds of 2.0, we can see that a 10 bet or lay will return a profit of 9.50 in columns F & G after 5% commission deductions.
At 3% commission in columns D & E, we can afford to bet 2 ticks lower at 1.98 and still show a bigger profit at cell D9 of 9.51.
With zero commission, we can bet 5 ticks lower for an identical 9.50 profit at odds of 1.95 at cell B6. 

If you are placing a single bet or lay, or betting with a bookie and laying in an exchange, it may be worth considering an alternative to Betfair.
These other exchanges are offering very attractive commission rates.
Close odds of Bet 2.0 and Lay 2.02, may not pay better than slightly worse looking odds elsewhere.
Taking advantage of the most competitive commission rates can add an unexpected little bit extra to profits.
As always, good luck with your trades, Howard.

1st January 2014.  Trading Betdaq odds.
I seem to be using Betdaq more and more these days.
Gaps in the Betdaq odds is still a problem, but with a bit of thought, we can squeeze the best out of the Betdaq odds.
Tonight, I had a free Betfair bet on NBA Basketball.
I was looking for some big odds to trade, so looked at the biggest available in tonight's games.
The free bet "Bet odds" that I was looking to trade were 7.0 (lay odds were 7.4), but the Betdaq odds looked really bad with bet odds at 6.0, and lay at 8.6.
At first glance, that looks like a complete disaster, but I decided to bet at the 7.0 on offer in Betfair and then offered to lay at 7.8 in Betdaq,  which was some way below the Betdaq lay odds of 8.6, but some way above the current bet odds in Betfair of 7.4.

My bet of 7.0 was matched immediately and my lay in Betdaq at 7.8 was matched very quickly, probably after about 10 or 15 seconds.
Bet at 7.0 and lay at 7.8 may still look pretty bad, but as you can see from the screenshot of my spreadsheet below, I still came out with a profit of 7.12 whatever the result from my 10 free bet trade.
70% profit from a free bet trade is certainly ok with me.
In the screenshot below, we can see that if I hit a winner with my free 10 bet, I have winnings of 57 after 5% commission at column G, and lay liabilities of minus 49.88 at cell E15 for a profit of 7.12.
If I hit a loser, I have a successful lay of 7.34 at cell B15, which gives a profit of 7.12 after deducting 3% commission.
My bet loss is zero as my bet was free.
After making this trade, I deducted the cost of my qualifying bets, which left me with an overall profit on the total trades combined.
This Exchange to Exchange spreadsheet is available on my Bookie Refunds web page.
The file contains spreadsheets for trading Exchange to Exchange qualifying bets and also free bets.
Commission on both sides of the trade is built into the calculations.
Commission rates can be reversed in the sheets so that they can be used for betting and laying Betfair to Betdaq or the other way around.

The point I am making here is that even though the Betdaq odds may look unacceptable, if we look at what is on offer in Betfair and offer something a tick or 2 better in Betdaq, we can quite often get matched in Betdaq without any problems.
Bot traders will be looking for the slightest of edges between Betfair and Betdaq odds and will soon latch on to the nice attractive odds that we offer.
Other traders will also be looking for the better odds that we offer in Betdaq, rather than just relying on what is available in Betfair.
Providing that the odds that we offer give us a good trade, we can go ahead and offer what look like very attractive odds compared to what is available in Betfair.
I find that sports such as basketball may have gaps in the Betfair market and quite often may not have odds available in Betdaq that are close to what we see in Betfair.
We can often get around that problem by offering odds a tick or 2 better in one exchange than in the other.
With commission at 3%, Betdaq is always worth looking at.
As always, good luck with your trades, Howard.

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