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
your Data" spreadsheet
Introduction and description of the spreadsheet.
Some detail of how the
spreadsheets work together, plus an investigation into the LLR in
races with over 15 runners
Formulas and maths of trading
A list of all my spreadsheets
lives here :-
Strategies for horse racing and football trading
Be A Bookie.
Laying strategies and spreadsheets for
Old startingstalls.co.uk web site
A very accurate analysis of U.K. horse racing draw
Laying web site
Different ways of laying using a bit of imaginative staking.
Also, videos showing live trades.
Welcome to my Blog
For previous posts,
click "The Spoil Heap" tab at the top of this web page.
November 2014. Odds to avoid. . . . . 3, 4, 6, 10, .
. . or to look for ?
If you decide to bet and lay some odds, maybe in horse racing
markets hoping to hedge to a profit, if the odds move in an
unfavourable direction, it may be worth considering what happens
if we bet at odds of 3.0, 4.0, 6.0 or 10.0,. or possible
just below those odds.
Those are the points at which Betfair increments change in size.
The implications of that are that if the odds move against us so
that we need to lay at higher odds to exit our trade, a one-tick
loss may be more than twice the size of a one-tick profit if the
odds had dropped and we were able to lay at odds lower than our
If we bet at odds of 3.0, the
next odds increment down is 2.98, a difference of 0.02.
If we bet at
odds of 3.0, the next odds increment up is 3.05, a difference of
So, if we bet £100 and lay at 2.98 to equalize our trade for an
equal profit, we would show a profit of plus £0.67.
If things go against us and we lay at 3.05, we show a loss of
a difference of almost £1.
Take 5% commission off the £0.67 profit, and we are left with a
£0.64 one-tick profit against a one-tick loss of
Bet at odds of 4.0 and the next
increments are down 3.95, and up 4.1, a difference of 0.05 or
Bet £100 at odds of 4.0 and equalize one tick up or down for :-
Minus £2.44 or plus £1.27, or
£1.21 after commission.
Bet at odds of
6.0 and the next increments are down 5.9, and up 6.2, a
difference of 0.1 or 0.20.
Bet £100 at odds of 6.0 and equalize one tick up or down for :-
Minus £3.23 or plus £1.69, or
£1.61 after commission.
Bet at odds of
10.0 and the next increments are down 9.8, and up 10.5, a
difference of 0.2 or 0.50.
Bet £100 at odds of 10.0 and equalize one tick up or down for :-
Minus £4.76 or plus £2.04, or
£1.94 after commission.
Trade around these odds, and
making a profit becomes harder than if we were trading odds that
didn't have an odds increment change between our bet and lay
The way to get around these potential difficulties is to avoid
trading odds that are close to 3.0, 4.0, 6.0 or 10.0 if you are
placing a Bet First trade . . . . looking for a decrease in the
If you are considering betting and laying some odds with the
intention of betting high and laying low to "Green Up", you
might consider placing your initial bet some way away from odds
of 3, 4, 6, or 10.
However, if you anticipate that
your odds will be getting bigger so you are laying first in
anticipation of the odds increasing, it may be to your advantage
to lay at these odds, or even one tick bigger.
If we do that, things work in our favour :-
Lay £100 at
odds of 3.0 and equalize one tick up or down for :- plus £1.64,
or £1.59 after commission, or
£100 at odds of 4.0 and equalize one tick up or down for :- plus
£2.44, or £2.32 after commission, or
£100 at odds of 6.0 and equalize one tick up or down for :- plus
£3.23, or £3.07 after commission, or
£100 at odds of 10.0 and equalize one tick up or down for :-
plus £4.76, or £4.52 after commission, or
As always, good luck with the
trades, and don't forget 3, 4, 6, & 10, if you are betting and
laying odds . . . Howard.
November 2014. Horse racing odds movements.
In the next week or so, I may be linking from here to some
software that may help with predicting odds movements in horse
There may also be links to demonstration videos.
I'll be having a go with the
The initial cost of that will be just
99 pence for the first month.
After that, the cost of using the software will be substantially
more, so watch for the link from here sometime after Monday
Good luck with the trades, Howard.
|8th September 2014.
Analyse web page
up and running.
After some video software problems, I've eventually put a new
"Analyse Data" tab on
my Strategies web site.
Another problem that I had is that the Analyse spreadsheet file
will not load into Open Office software. . . . It will
only work in Excel.
A smaller version of the file worked ok in Open Office, but once
I expanded it to accommodate more columns of data, Open Office
refused to co-operate.
I've put a warning about that and the size of the Excel file on
my web page.
So, if you are interested in improving your selection process
for your bets in any sport, you might take a look at the videos
for this new file.
week, I started collecting some Premiership football data,
including Betfair odds.
I'm looking to add another video to the 2 that are on the
Analyse Data tab of
my Strategies web site to demonstrate
how the sheet could be used to analyse football data.
I will need maybe 3 or 4 weeks of results to get started with
that, but even then that will only be 30 or 40 games. . . .
A very small sample.
30 or 40 games will have to do for a footy demonstration,
otherwise we'll be heading towards December before I put a
football video together.
As always, good luck with your trades, Howard.
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,
Type of race, Age group, Course,
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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,
2014. How to trade bookie accumulator refunds to
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
Good luck with your accumulators if you have a go at them,
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
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.
with the bookie offers that we are used to seeing, these
accumulator offers come in several different forms :-
- Bet an accumulator and get a
- 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"
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
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
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
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
Betfair were particularly fond of that type of offer for a
Other similar offers from Betfair involved Champions League
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
The spreadsheet allows us to input any stake size and 2
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
Commission rates can be reversed in the sheets so that they can
be used for betting and laying Betfair to Betdaq or the other
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
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.
Copyright © H. Hutchinson 2009 All rights reserved
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