of the quickest ways to disaster is to be ignorant about losing
sequences. They can occur without warning at any time, and they can
quickly devastate a betting bank if it is of insufficient size to
of all, how do you know what the length of these losing sequences is
likely to be? Well actually, that is fairly easy to predict, provided
you have an accurate idea of your strike rate.
are directly related to strike rate, and you can mathematically
determine the likelihood of specific sequences appearing, provided you
know what percentage of the bets in a series are going to win. You can
then use this criteria to set up your betting bank.
view is that the size of your opening bank should equal the longest
losing sequence you could encounter during an extended series of bets,
multiplied by your maximum stake.
illustrate, I have produced the table below, which you can use to
determine your staking strategy. Let's say, for example, you estimate
that your strike rate over a series of 600 bets will be around 40%.
note at this stage that there are no 'good' or 'bad' strike rates -
they are all purely relative to the price range you decide to target -
please refer to my article How
Many Winners? in conjunction with this procedure (it will open in
a new window).
can be seen from the table below, with a 40% strike rate you can
expect to have a losing sequence of 10 somewhere in the series (there
is a 75% chance of that happening). However, there is a 50% chance of
your hitting a losing sequence of 12 and a 25% chance of a run of 14
losers. That sequence of 14 is less than likely to occur, but it will
still happen, on average, once in every four series.
the other side of the coin, you have a 75% chance of hitting at least
one winning run of 6 during the series. A sequence of 7 is a 50:50
possibility and a successful run of 8 has a 25% chance of occurring.
Those figures can be seen in the 60% row (take your strike rate away
from 100 and look in the row for the difference in order to anticipate
with a less than 1% chance, you are likely to confront a losing
sequence of 20 no more often than once in every hundred series.
However, that is the figure you should use in constructing your
betting bank. If you are to operate professionally that is what you
the formula I mentioned earlier, you would multiply the longest losing
sequence you could encounter during the series (in the above example
that would be 20) by your maximum stake. If that is, say, 5 points,
then your starting bank should be 100 points.
don't make the common mistake of thinking these sequences won't happen
to you. They are mathematically determined by your strike rate and
will happen as often as they are entitled to, whether you like it or
not. Nobody can avoid them, but the difference between a professional
and an amateur is that the professional is fully prepared for them.
When they do occur it certainly doesn't mean that you are 'out of
form' or doing anything wrong.
is also recommended that you set aside a reserve bank which can be
used to temporarily top up the main bank in extreme circumstances. For
example, a downturn which is over and above any which had originally
been catered for (perhaps the original strike rate calculation was
based on insufficient data and needs amending).
you have accurately anticipated your strike rate, you will be able to
use the table below to optimise your bank structure.
the average price of your winners is sufficient for your strike rate,
as explained in How
and your bank is set up in such a way as to absorb sequences, then you
will never have a problem. You will be well on your way to securing a
successful future in a professional manner.
also see the Banking
And Staking page.
Betting Advice and Strategy
note: The table is based on a series of between 600 and 650 bets. A
shorter series would be less likely to contain sequences as long as
these and a longer series would be more likely.