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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

"Analyse your Data" spreadsheet
2 New videos :-

  1. Introduction and description of the spreadsheet.

  2. Some detail of how the spreadsheets work together, plus an investigation into the LLR in races with over 15 runners

My websites.
Formulas and maths of trading
Football trading

A list of all my spreadsheets lives here :-
Strategies for horse racing and football trading
Be A Bookie.
Laying strategies and spreadsheets for Betfair trading

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

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.
29th March 2015.  What helps a horse to win ?
We all have our own way of looking at horse races and trying to find the winner, or even something that may get placed.
Conversely, we may be looking for a reason why something may not win so that we can place a lay.
There are lots of bits of information that we might combine together such as the position in a betting forecast, course winner, course and distance winner, previous form placings, etc. . . . .
In my opinion, none of that type of information actually helps a horse to win its race on the day.
If we look for something that may assist our runner, or disadvantage our runners, in my opinion one item of information stands head and shoulders above all the others in flat races on turf - - - - - a good draw.

Draw advantage information has been provided for many years, but historically, it has been extremely poor.
By far the best example of extremely poor advice was draw advantage advice offered for Epsom 5f races way back in the 1970's and 1980's, when all Epsom 5f races were started with the starting stalls positioned away from the stands next to the far (Low) running rail.
Stall number one was next to the running rail.
At that time, ALL our national newspapers advised a Low draw advantage.
The theory was that the horses nearest to the Low rail would enjoy an advantage as they would run next to the running rail.
That "Low draw advantage" advice continued unchanged for at least 10 years, but unfortunately for punters, it was completely wrong.

In the late 1970's and early 1980's, I collected draw advantage data and did a simple count up of the number of wins from each staring stall in all races 5F to 1 mile at all British race courses.
From my analysis of that data it soon became clear Epsom 5F had one of the strongest draw advantages in the country, but the advantage favoured High drawn horses, not those drawn in low numbered stalls.
Drainage was the dominant factor, and still is today in Epsom 5F races.
On Epsom's straight course, there is a cross-course slope which can be seen on television.
For most of the straight, the Stands side of the straight course is quite a bit higher than the far side of the straight.
That slope may cause the high side (Stands side) to drain quicker and dry out quicker than the far side, so we get faster ground closer to the stands than towards the far running rail.
Until I pointed that out in the National Press in 1982, it went completely un-noticed by our national press and other publications at that time.
Now of course, it is common knowledge.

So, if we were to bet or lay in 5F races at Epsom it would be worth taking that into consideration would it not ?
If the draw is important in Epsom 5f races, it may also be important in races at other venues.

I haven't updated my draw advantage information for quite some time, but my guess is that unless there have been drastic alterations such as those at Ascot (a new straight course when the new stand was built), Haydock (a new sprint course), and York (big drainage alterations), many of the draw advantages of old will still apply today at some courses.

The best draw advantages occur on good or better going, so we normally need to wait until about late May for draw advantages to play a significant part in races, but we appear to have had a reasonably dry spring this year.
The going at Doncaster was nearer Good than Good-soft this past weekend.

During the winter, Warwick racecourse decided to offer only jumps races in future.
As there will not be any flat racing at Warwick we have lost a very good draw advantage in Warwick 6F races that was well worth following.
That advantage was due to a bend shortly after the start in those 6f races, rather than drainage.

If you are not familiar with my Draw Advantage charts, a video explanation lives on this web page.

Whether you are a bettor or a layer, it may be worth considering the draw as part of your selection process in turf races on the flat, particularly if the going is good or dryer.
As always, good luck with your trades,

28th March 2015.  Cheltenham winning trainers this year, 2015.
Here is a list of winning trainers at this year's Cheltenham March meeting, with the number of wins - - - There were 27 races :-
WP Mullins     8
P Nichols       3
D Pipe           2
N Henderson  2  That is 15 of the 27 winners so far from just 4 trainers.
All those below had a single win :-
N Mulholland
G Elliot
Mis R curtiss
D Weld
A J Martin
A King
W Greatrex
K Bailey
Ms M Mullins
M Bradstock
E Bolger
M Scudamore

Even amongst the single winner, there are one or 2 trainers who had a winner the previous year.
I hope you had a profitable Cheltenham this year,

28th February 2015.  Cheltenham trainers in 2014
With Cheltenham just over the horizon, I have been looking to see how many low profile trainers managed a win at last year's meeting.
It seems to me that the big guys dominate things every year, so rather than trying to hit a winner, I am hoping it will be easier to hit a loser or 2.
It seems to me that high profile trainers dominate jumps meetings when there is good prize money on offer.
We can see that on a Saturday on television.
My theory is that a horse that has not been running regularly at courses such as Ascot, Cheltenham, Kempton, Newbury, Sandown, and maybe Haydock, will be up against very stiff opposition if chucked into a big race on a Saturday at those courses.
I avoid anything that has won over the course & distance at those big courses.

Another thing that I look for is the number of runners that less well known trainers send out each day.
Big stables will regularly run 3, 4, 5, or more horses on some days, but smaller yards will have only 1 or 2, often at less fashionable courses.
Betfair's results section is good for spotting that as we can click on the trainer in there and it pulls up their past runners in date order.
That's how I tackle finding something to lay on a Saturday, usually just one for my LOTD in the big Saturday handicap.

Here is a list of winning trainers at last year's Cheltenham March meeting, with the number of wins - - - There were 27 races :-
WP Mullins 4
D Pipe        3
JJ O'Neill    3
P Hobbs     2
J Culloty     2 That is 14 of the 27 winners so far from just 5 trainers.
All those below had a single win :-
Mrs J Harrington
N Henderson
P Nicholls
A King
J Snowden
Miss R Curtiss
GL Moore
T Easaterby
G Elliot
N Meade
L Lennon
AJ Martin

Personally, as I am not very familiar with Irish trainers, I cut out the Irish in general from my calculations.
I don't see many small UK trainers left in that list after that.
If you care to look back at the 2013 results, there was a very similar trend.
Each Lay Of The Day for me will probably be at double figure odds.
I see no point in laying something that is expected to win or go close.
If an inexperienced jockey is in the driving seat, so much the better.
Bon chance with your Cheltenham lays if you have a go at them,

17th December 2014.  Lay a Double . . . . 4 possible outcomes.
It didn't take me long to realize that laying big odds in a Yankee involved some huge lay liabilities if I hit 2 winners and the next lay could involve a treble or 2, and maybe the 4 timer which could make the potential lay liabilities look frightening..
I decided that a better idea would be to lay 4 runners in 6 doubles, rather than include the 3 trebles and 4 timer to complete a Yankee.
Now if I hit 2 or more winners within my 4 runners, my payout will only be on a double or doubles.

That looked a lot less dangerous, but I then came to the conclusion that if I hit a winner with the first of my 4 lays, I had 3 more lays to go before completing my lays to complete the 6 doubles.
If my runners were Horses A, B, C, and D, the 6 doubles would be AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, & CD.
Hit a winner with a lay of Horse A, and my next 3 lays of Horses B, C, & D could all complete a double if one of those won.
That looks like one chance in 3 to me of coming unstuck, or even 3 chances in 3, possibly with some big odds.

To cut things down further, it may be best just to lay one double at a time.
Now if I hit a winner, the risk is that my next runner also wins.
Hit 2 consecutive winners and I have a loss.
If it loses, I have profit, so start a 2nd double.
Hit a loser at any point and I have profit, and start a fresh double with the next runner.

I put a spreadsheet together for that using level stakes so that I can keep track of what happens including commission deductions when I lay my doubles.
Some very helpful e-mail correspondence put me onto what I am looking at now.
Thank you very much "D.C" for your feedback and suggestions. . . . . That was just great.
My theory now is to select a 2 runner market that has plenty of money matched, and lay the outsider of the 2 selections at just above odds of 2.0, (Just above evens).
In theory, there should be just less than a 50 - 50 chance of laying a winner, so the chance of hitting a double should be something better than odds of 2.0, plus a little further than that.

If we Bet 1 on 2 runners both at odds of 2.0, the potential payout is 3 stakes.
The calculation for that is :-   (1 x 2.0 x 2.0) minus our 1 original stake = 3
If we are Laying, the lay payout on the first runner if it wins is 1.
That loss plus our original lay stake is carried onto the 2nd runner in our double, so if that also wins, we lose another 2, but our lay stake is returned.
The total loss from laying a double at odds of 2.0 & 2.0 = minus 3.

Lay a double, and there are 4 possible outcomes :-
Win / Win,  Win / Lose,   Lose / Win,   Lose / Lose..
It looks to me as if our chance of winning with our 1 is therefore 3 against 1, before commission deductions on any successful lay.

Looking at that, it appears to me that even if we lay close to even money odds of 2.0, the odds are in our favour, somewhere between 2/1 and 3/1 including commission deductions..
I hope that Murphy's Law doesn't have too much influence on my logic . . . . . . . . Lol.
We will see what happens in the next week or so, as I look to lay some doubles, one at a time, with odds close to 2.0.

If that works out anything close to ok, we may be able to use bigger odds with bigger lay liabilities, but with lay payout less often.
Lay our double at odds bigger than 2.0 and the lay payout increases, so are our 3/1 odds reduced or increased ???
Lay a 1 double at odds of 3.0 & 3.0 and the potential payout is
minus 8.
We need to hit more losers to cover a payout, and we certainly have more commission to pay on bigger successful lays if we have hit a winner, and then hit a loser with the 2nd lay of our double, for a Win / Lose outcome.

This is starting to give me a headache,

10th December 2014.   Lay a Yankee.
If you read through my earlier posts, you may come to the conclusion that the basis of my trades revolves around the risk free trading of bookie refunds that are available to existing bookie customers.
I've done very well out of those for a number of years.
Over the last 2 or 3 years, my bookie accounts with the big bookies have gradually dwindled as I have either had my refunds and bonuses stopped, stake sizes limited, or accounts closed.
On top of that, bookies these days are nowhere near as generous with their refund offers as the used to be.
The result is that my monthly profits have gradually declined, so over the past several months I have been looking for an alternative way of getting into profit every month.

Over the past few weeks, I have been looking at trading odds movements in horse races as per the Bet Trader software videos, but predicting which way the odds will move is anybody's guess, so I have been racking my brains for an alterative.
Me and my trading buddy have tried several tipster services over the past few months, but I find that they don't suit my style as I feel tied to my computer every day, waiting for the tips to turn up via e-mail, and anyway, where's the fun in betting on someone else's selections ?

Whilst I have been doing that, I have kept returning to looking at laying multiples, in particular, Yankee bets in Betfair or Betdaq.
I have a spreadsheet for that of course, follow this link.

The strategy for laying a Yankee in an exchange using a spreadsheet is to lay each runner one at a time so that we know the result of one event before we lay the next.
As our Yankee progresses, the spreadsheet works out the stake required for our next lay, depending on what winners or losers we have hit with the previous lays in our Yankee.
That is all straightforward enough, but the big question is, "What can we do to try to avoid laying 2 or more winners within our Yankee's 4 runners and have a BIG payout ?"

A selection process would be nice, but in my experience, picking losers is no easier that picking winners.
I even layed a horse at odds of 100.0 a while back.
Not everyone can claim to have managed that !!!

With that in mind, I have been looking for a mathematical solution rather than a "Normal" selection process.
Perhaps we may be less likely to lay a double if we target runners in a price range that may not hit 2 winners or more in any 4 selections.
That is what I am working with at present.

This is the "Theory" of the logic that I am currently paper trading :-
It is well documented that if enough money is in a market, the odds will reflect the chances of the runners involved.
So, with plenty of liquidity, we can expect and even money chance, ( Betfair odds 2.0 ), to win 50% of the time, or once in every 2 races.
If that is true, we can expect a 3/1 chance
( odds of 4.0 ) to win once in every 4 races, 25% of the time.

Our Yankee is a bet of 4 runners.
The minimum payout is on a double - - - 2 runners, so, if we lay 4 runners with odds of 3/1 (4.0), in the long term we can expect to hit one winner every time with our 4 runner Yankees.
If we can do that, every one of our Lay Yankees will be successful as we will only hit a single runner each time, not 2 or more.
Unfortunately, our winners and losers will come in bunches of course, so if we lay all our runners at odds of 4.0, we may lay several Yankees and hit zero winners, but at other times we may hit 2 or more winners within the 4 runners of a Yankee and have payout.

To get around that, we may lay bigger odds.
That should reduce the chance of hitting 2 or more winners within a Yankee of 4 selections.
That is the logic that I am working with.
To reduce my chances of hitting 2 winners in 4 selections, we may double the odds that we lay, and lay odds of maybe 8.0.
To add a bit more certainty, (a bad choice of word that,  . . . Lol. ), we could increase our lay odds to 10.0, and our chances of hitting one winner, in theory become 0ne in every 10 selections.
Hitting 2 winners should occur once in every 20 selections. . . . In theory. . . . I hope.
With a bit of luck, those may be more than 4 runners apart, which would give me a lot of successfully layed Yankees.

So my current rules are very simple :-
Select races at random and lay one horse in each of 4 races.
The selection to lay in each race is the first horse in the betting with odds in double figures, 10.0 or bigger.

Lay at a minimum odds of 10.0 and I would guess that our chances of hitting 2 winners in 4 runners would be quite slim.
It will happen if we lay enough Yankees, but laying 2 winners in 4 runners for a payout should be vastly reduced if we lay bigger odds.
The problem with that of course is that a payout on hitting 2 winners at odds of 10.0 will be a lot bigger than a payout on 2 winners at odds of say, 4.0, but it should occur far less often.
We could of course get off to a very bad start and hit a payout or 2 early in our trades.

To minimise the chances of a payout even further, I am keeping records of the number of runners in my races, and anything else that springs to mind, such as avoiding big trainer - jockey combinations, and laying only horses from the smaller yards.
A smaller yard could be a gambling yard of course  - - - - - so laying big prices still carries plenty of doubt and apprehension. . . .Lol.
All of these things will already be built into the odds, if the "Liquidity theory" is correct.

I may end up laying only in races with plenty of runners, and stakes races rather than handicaps, etc., etc, . . . you know how it goes.
So, that's what I am up to at present, but only on paper.
I realize that winners can come from anywhere, and that a horse doesn't know what price it is when it sets off, so anything can happen.

I'll keep you posted on progress of my "On Paper Yankees".
As always, good luck with your trades, Howard.

4th 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 bet odds.

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 0.05.
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
minus 1.64, 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 -1.64.

Bet at odds of 4.0 and the next increments are down 3.95, and up 4.1, a difference of 0.05 or 0.10.
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 odds.
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 odds.
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 :-
100 at odds of 3.0 and equalize one tick up or down for :- plus 1.64, or 1.59 after commission, or minus 0.67.
Lay 100 at odds of 4.0 and equalize one tick up or down for :- plus 2.44, or 2.32 after commission, or minus 1.27.
Lay 100 at odds of 6.0 and equalize one tick up or down for :- plus 3.23, or 3.07 after commission, or minus 1.69.
Lay 100 at odds of 10.0 and equalize one tick up or down for :- plus 4.76, or 4.52 after commission, or minus 2.04.

As always, good luck with the trades, and don't forget 3, 4, 6, & 10, if you are betting and laying odds . . .  Howard.

1st 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 races.
There may also be links to demonstration videos.

I'll be having a go with the software myself.
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 November 10th.
Good luck with the trades, Howard.

8th September 2014.   New  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.

Last 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.

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.
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,


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,
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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