Setting Your Staking Levels for Horse Betting

Setting Your Staking Levels

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Horse Betting – Setting Your Correct Staking Level

By now you will have set up your initial Horse Betting Bank and are now following the selections we are providing on a daily basis or starting to work out your own selections.

Are you making LSP on your selections or horse betting system ?

The important point when developing your own horse betting selection system is that it must make a Level Stakes Profit , that is to say over a period of time if you bet a set level stake of £10 on each of your selections you would show a clear profit. The reason most people lose money in betting is that their selection process is not making a Level Stakes Profit and they are adjusting their staking levels to make it profitable, you can see why, in this scenario, it is only a matter of time until they lose their banks and go bust.

The next important step is for you to set your horse betting stakes at the correct level. In a strategy where we are both” backing” horses to win or each way and also “laying” horses to lose it requires two very different approaches to staking.

Setting your staking level to “back” horses

Betting On Horse RacingWhen backing horses to win a race or each way, to place, you need to decide a staking level which will give you both a good return but also protect your bank in the event of a long losing run.

In horse betting the balance between the two is clearly important and a basic mistake that many “punters” make is to get greedy and set their stakes too high, leaving themselves open to losing runs devastating their betting banks. Other conservative “punters” set their staking levels too low, so they fail to take advantage of wins and their betting bank grows far too slowly.

I recommend that you look at your horse betting bank and set your betting level as a percentage (%) of your bank.

As we discussed in the “setting up your betting bank” video, if you have a £1000 bank then I would split this into a 200 point betting bank, this equates to £5 per point or 0.5% of your bank.  So a 4pt to win bet , you are staking £20 – a maximum stake of 2% of your bank. If you had a smaller £200 bank then you may operate a 100 point betting bank, so £2 per point or 1% of your bank, so a 4 pts bet would be £8 or 4% of you bank max.

Horse Betting – Increasing your staking level as your bank increases

One of the secrets to successful horse betting is that as you are building your bank up, you can increase your stakes in proportion to the new bank level, however I would recommend to keep things under control, you increase your stakes in increments of 10% increase in your bank.

As an example, you have a bank of £1000 and are staking, maintain your stakes at £5 per point until your bank hits £1100, then increase your stakes to £5.50 per point , which is 0.5% of the new bank of £1100.

What if my betting bank decreases ?

If you find yourself on a losing run, which will happen regularly in your career, then you have two options. You can either reduce your staking levels to the level of your new bank or maintain them at a set figure to help your bank grow again.

The way I have always approached this in horse betting is by maintaining a set staking amount, unless my bank reduces by 10%, I would then reduce my horse betting stake in proportion to the new bank level, until I pass the 10% mark again and then increase my stakes back up.

As an example. Your bank has risen to £1100 so you are now staking at £5.50 per point, but you have a losing run of 4 or 5 bets, so now your bank is back around the £1000 level, now you reduce back to the £5 per point staking level until you build your horse betting bank back up over the £1100 and can return to £5.50. Don’t panic and reduce your level back down to £5.00 per point as soon as you drop below the £1100 point.

Just keep in mind that it is very natural for your bank levels to rise and fall throughout your horse betting career, it is the smart bettor who adjusts their staking levels to match this.

Setting Your Staking Levels  on “Lay” Bets

The very nature of laying horses gives you a dilemma as a bettor, you should have a far higher strike rate i.e winning more bets, however the liability of losing a bet  is far greater, so the impact on your bank needs to be controlled.

You have two options when laying a horse.

Level Stakes (variable liability) or Limited Liability % Stakes (variable stake).

I have used both options of staking over the years and find that Level Stakes can build your bank faster, as you are making the same profit on every Lay you make, but the increased liability you incur can also cause some serious damage to your bank, especially on higher odds lays or a run of losses.

Personally , I prefer to use a Limited Liability % staking for my Lay Selections, simply because it exposes less of my bank.

I limit my stake to a 5 point liability or 2.5% of my 200 point bank. If you are running a 100 point bank you would place a fixed liability of 5% of your bank, so that is the maximum exposure. By doing it this way you will avoid any major hits on your bank when a selection wins and you lose.

I will use a recent example to illustrate how this works and also the difference between Level Stakes and Fixed Liability.

As my current betting bank is maintained at £10000, my staking level  is £50 per point, my approach is that I will accept a 5 point loss on a Lay selection and no more, so my fixed liability is set at £250. Again you can set yourself a lower Liability % than 5 points but I find this maximises return while minimising any losses.

I then work back according to the odds of the selection to find my stake level.  The selection I had identified had drifted out from 7.8 to 9.2 on Betfair – fitting all my selection criteria I layed it at 9.2 for £30 – to give a liability of £246, under my fixed liability target of £250.

The horse then went on to be one of the 10% of my selections which drift and still win. However, even though it won on this occasion, after drifting, I only lost 5 points (2.5%) of my bank.

Then later in the day we had a second Lay selection which offered better value at 3.7 after drifting out from 3.25. Again I layed the horse at 3.7, due to the lower odds than the earlier horse, this time for £92 stake -giving better value and therefore a greater reward of £92 profit.  This time the horse went on to finish 4th giving us a successful profit of £92. A gain of just under 2 pts.

So over the 2 lay bets, even though the first was a losing bet  we have only made a 3 point loss, by sticking to Limited Liability Staking.

As you will have seen my Lay selections have a strike rate of 90% over time, so by adopting this approach you will always make profits over time.

Now let’s look at the same scenario but using Level Stakes.

On the first Lay Selection, even using a 1 point profit Level Stake, I would have staked £50 at 9.2 with a liability of £410 on the first horse. When it came in and won I would have lost a massive 8 pts.

I would then have made the same bet on the 2nd horse £50 at 3.7, so yes I would of risked a liability of only £135 but only gained £50 when that went on to come 4th. So I would have made 1 point back.

So in total we would have 7 point loss on the two bets using Level Stakes or a 3 point loss using Limited Liability – now that is a huge difference to your bank.


So in summary when backing horses you should be using no more than 1% of your bank per point, preferably 0.5% per point -when your bank gets to this level.

When laying horses, keep in mind that Limited Liability % Staking is always the safest option to protect your bank from the damage that a large odds lay could do to it.

As with everything we do as a Betting Professional, you must stay disciplined with your staking levels – never get greedy. Your mantra should always be to build your horse betting bank slowly but surely and increase your staking levels accordingly.

Now you have set your bank and staking levels you need to look at the psychological side of being a successful horse betting professional. Watch this video on the mindset of the horse betting pro.

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