11th May 2022 | Horse Racing

The Right Staking Plan

Betting Bank

Picking winners is important but having a good staking plan is just as crucial. We explain how to manage your bankroll.

Over the last few months we have had several questions regarding staking strategy. How much should I bet? How big does my bankroll need to be, and so forth. We’ve put these questions to our racing professional who has come up with some dos and don’ts, as well as his own personal preferences.

How big should my stake be?
It depends on your strike rate and bank. With horse racing my strike rate is on average 16% - theoretically I have a winner every six bets. In reality sequences are never that precise or predictable. My biggest ever losing streak is 27 consecutive bets, and there is nothing to stop me breaking this unwanted record.

To guard against bankruptcy I bet 1% of my bank. That means I can go on a losing streak of 50 and still have half my bank left. Some people would consider 1% conservative and this is where personal preference comes into play. Every bettor will have a different mental approach to the game. Personally, I like having the security of a big betting bank relative to my stake. During bad runs it is reassuring to know you have funds to fall back on. It ensures I don’t panic or alter my thought process when selecting horses.

Summary: If following our racing tips, you should be betting between 1 – 2% of your bank

How big does my bank need to be?
I started with a betting bank of £100 so you don’t have to be rich before you start. Betting 1% of the bank meant I was staking £1 per bet.

Summary: A starting bank can be any size, just be prepared for the worst-case scenario if you lose it all.

When do I increase my stakes?
Sticking with the ‘percentage of bank’ principle I only increase stakes when my bank reaches a certain level. I set myself small targets to achieve. For example, when I started with a bank of £100, I didn’t increase my stakes until I reached £200. When I reached that threshold, staking went up to £2 per bet. When the bank reached £300 I upped my stake to £3 and so on.

Technically, I never bet exactly 1% of my bank. With winners and losers coming in constantly, bank size varies from day to day. Rather than betting £1.10 one day and £1.09 the next, it is much easier to stick to round numbers.

Summary: Set yourself ‘bank thresholds’, increasing your stake when you reach these.

Should I bet less on outsiders?
No. It is a common mistake that people bet less on outsiders because of a perceived lower chance of winning. Long shots often make the difference between a good or excellent year. When you eventually hit one you don’t want to have scaled back your bet.

Most professionals will vary their stake based on how confident they are on their selection, or how ‘wrong’ the price is. The bigger the difference between ‘your’ price and that offered by the bookmaker, the greater the edge you have.

This is an approach I don’t follow. I’m not particularly good at quantifying how much of an edge I have over the bookmakers. I use a binary selection process; I either think the horse is good value and bet, or the horse is poor value and I don’t. I admit this is probably a weakness in my staking but you should find what works for you.

Summary: Keep your staking consistent.

Should I keep records?
Absolutely.  When betting with several bookmakers it is crucial to keep a record of your bets. That is how you know if your bank is growing and when to increase your stakes. A simple excel spreadsheet only takes a minute to update each day.

Here is an example:

Bet Tracker

Summary: Set up an excel spreadsheet to record all your bets.

Rules Summary:
1. Bet between 1-2% of your bank on each selection
2. A bank of £100 is sufficient
3. Keep your staking consistent.
4. Up your stakes when the bank passes one of your ‘thresholds’
5. Record all your bets.

It is important to devise a staking plan that suits your personality; devise rules to control your strengths and weaknesses. If you want to ask further questions about staking or any aspects of betting, contact us on twitter @bettingbias.

Odds correct at time of publishing: 11:27 11th May, 2022 but subject to change