The Importance of a Staking Plan

The Importance of a Staking Plan

It’s a well known fact that the vast majority of sports bettors struggle to make money. Only a very small percentage of people manage to use the sports betting markets to their advantage to turn a profit on a consistent basis. There are a whole host of reasons for this: research, analysis, bank management, understanding odds, calculating value – the list goes on. Today we are talking about the importance of having a structured staking plan. Linked closely with managing a bankroll (in fact, they pretty much go hand in hand), a staking plan is vital to stop yourself from using stakes that your bankroll can’t sustain, and equally as important when it comes to maximising your profits too.

Different Staking Methods

There are so many different staking plans available to the sports bettor. Some are very simple, some are complex. Some are low risk, some are high risk. Here are a few worth investigating in a bit more detail (we’ll go over them in the coming weeks):

·         Unit Stakes – Quite a simple one to start with, set a number of units available to bet. Each unit is a set amount of your starting balance. You will determine the number of units to bet on any given bet based on your confidence level, something that the guys here at Bet Advisor do. The main benefit of this plan is that it is simple to maintain (unit value doesn’t change), and you can increase your stake for bets you have increased confidence/edge in.

·         Kelly Critereon – For those a little more experienced in the sports betting industry, the Kelly Criterion can be a very useful way to convert your confidence in to profit. If you have gained an edge, the Kelly Criterion helps convert that edge in to a weighted stake. Simply put, the bigger your edge, the bigger your stake. Stake is established like this:

Stake = (Decimal Odds x percentage chance of success)/((Decimal Odds x 100)-100)

The stake it calculates is typically quite high, sometimes as much as 15% of your bank, but many successful bettors simply reduce this number (by 50%, 75% or even 90%), this reduces risk and exposure.

·         Martingale System – Originally devised for roulette (backing Red/Black), this staking plan isn’t recommended by us, but is a viable options and several people claim to make money on a consistent using this method. The concept here is to pick odds greater than evens, and double your stake continuously until you win. On paper it works well as when you win, you cover all previous losses as well as make a profit. However, the risk multiplies exponentially after each loser. Starting with a £10 stake means you’d be betting £640 on your 6th bet had the 5 previous lost – £10,240 on your tenth bet! Probably one to avoid, but can potentially work if you have a big betting bank

·         Ratchet Staking Plan – This plan is relatively simple, and in some ways it ensures that you are always on top of the situation. Why? Because your stake is proportional to your betting balance. As your bank increases, so does your stake (typically around 3%). However, as you inevitably lose a few bets, your stake doesn’t decrease (with the idea that reducing your stake means it takes longer to recover).

Finding an Edge

All of the above are intended to help you make a profit from your picks. However, if you can’t pick a winner, none of the above staking plans will make that much of a difference – other than delay the inevitable losses and dwindling of your treasured betting bank. The most crucial part of sports betting is getting an edge over the bookmakers – Something that our experts at Bet Advisor can help with.

Choose What is Right for You

A good idea is to back test your historical betting results using each of the above methods (plus any others we haven’t covered here in this blog post). By doing this, you can see which would have given you the most profit, and if your set of results is large enough, this might be able to suggest which will be the most beneficial for you in the future too. Consider the ease of maintenance for yourself too, as some require more manual input than others.

This topic is huge, and only once you truly understand it all and manage to find what is right for you will you be able to maximise your potential as a sports bettor.  Over the coming weeks, we will look at the different staking plans briefly mentioned in this posting more detail to give you a better understanding of the maths behind each plan – and the potential benefits and drawbacks. One key point that is relevant for all staking plans, is that you HAVE to remain disciplined at all times. There shouldn’t be a single exception that draws you away from your staking plan. If you have a limit on minimum/maximum odds, or minimum stake