When Do You Decide To Stop Betting

I recently started a discussion on a forum about when the optimum time is to stop betting if things aren’t going right for you. It has been interesting to see the opinions of others and find out what they do.  This is a topic that is seldom talked about but is every bit as important as knowing when to place a bet and how to find the selections.

The first thing is to assess the way you bet. This is very important. Do you play a large number of strategies or systems? Do you handicap each day or just use one system or method? It is always good to have in your mind your strategy before beginning the analysis so that you look in the right way when re-assessing.

Assuming that your bank is suitably large enough to cope for the downswings of the selection method that you are using then I would suggest that when it drops to a point of 50% of its highest point then you take a look at the method to see if something needs changing. This article will assume that you are not using some kind of ratchet or other staking method but simply placing a single unit on each bet until your bank doubles. If it reaches this half-way point what do we need to look at?

Some possible suggestions are:

  • Make sure that you are not deviating from your selection and wagering strategy.
  • Make sure that you are not over tired and making mistakes because of this.
  • Confirm that wherever you get your information or data from has not changed their format. You don’t want to spend time re-evaluating your methods if it is not the problem.
  • Check your records to see when you last had a downward swing of this size or similar to this size. Was it around the same time of year, in the same races etc…. Did it recover?
  • Go back to your documentation when you first began to use the method and see what kind of variance is expected on the sample of races in your downward streak.
  • Test to see whether you loss is within the expected normal limits of variance.

If you find that you are not deviating from your strategy or making mistakes with the selection, the data is still being provided in the same way as it always has been, you have never experienced a downward swing like this before and that you are outside of the expected variance then it is going to be time to look at your method again.

Go through the same process that you went through when you created it until you find what has changed in either the market or the selection process. A lot of methods have a finite life, this may be a couple of years or decades but as a general rule when information becomes readily available that is a large part of your selection strategy then you will begin to see a decline in the profitability of the method. I would suggest that you should not continue to bet on the selections until you have found a reason for the downward swing or are happy that it is variance that will pick up again in time. Using this strategy will prevent you from ever losing your complete bank.

If you are interested in reading an article about how to calculate the expected variance of your selections then please make a comment and let me know.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help punters improve their betting profits and think outside the box with their betting strategies. To date he has written over 450 articles on the site and recently started UK Racing News which has become a leading news site for horse racing in the UK and IRE. Check out my personal blog or my Google+


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