Value, Prices and Strike rates – what IS profitable?

Value, and making profit. Specifically, at what prices and strike rates do you ACTUALLY make profits, as opposed to ‘feeling’ profitable.

As a tipster, I like to find ‘value’ in my selections, and in my opinion what constitutes value is worthy of another how topic in itself, so i won’t touch too much more on it here without saying that essentially – i like to play at certain prices and i accept a number of these undoubtedly are going to lose.

We’ve all seen, and maybe some of you follow, these tipsters on twitter who chuck up Evens shots horses followed by big ‘BOOMs’. What I want to express is my opinion on how this work, and try to show some of the maths behind my thinking.

Prices and some assumed strike rates

Example number one:

  • 10 bets at prices of Evens (2.0 in decimal terms) – 8 winners for a huge 80% strike rate
  • 10 bets at 10/1 (11/0) – 2 winners for a much smaller 20% strike rate
Stake Odds Returns Stake Odds Returns
1 2 2 1 11 11
1 2 2 1 11 11
1 2 2 1 11 0
1 2 2 1 11 0
1 2 2 1 11 0
1 2 2 1 11 0
1 2 2 1 11 0
1 2 2 1 11 0
1 2 0 1 11 0
1 2 0 1 11 0
10 16 10 22
Strike rate: 80% Strike rate: 20%
Profit: 6pts Profit: 12pts

Whoa! Hang on a minute. The 80% strike rate is incredible isn’t it?!

Even allowing for a great strike rate of 80% winners (highly improbable), the method of hitting only 2/10 winners at the price of 10/1 is TWICE as profitable! I think the hard maths is the easiest way to show how “amount” of winners isn’t the defining option to how successful or profitable a way of selecting horses is. Don’t get me wrong, some horses are priced at low prices and deserve to be, and you can sometimes have a bet on these, I’m not mocking these prices but just trying to clarify some examples!

Example Number Two:

This time I’m going to even it up a little. Lets let example A have prices of 2/1 (3.0) and example B have a lower price of say 7/1(8.0).

  • 10 bets at 2/1 – 7 winners for a 70% strike rate
  • 10 bets at 7/1 – 3 winners for a 30% strike rate
Stake Odds Returns Stake Odds Returns
1 3 3 1 8 8
1 3 3 1 8 8
1 3 3 1 8 8
1 3 3 1 8 0
1 3 3 1 8 0
1 3 3 1 8 0
1 3 3 1 8 0
1 3 0 1 8 0
1 3 0 1 8 0
1 3 0 1 8 0
10 21 10 24
Strike rate: 70% Strike rate: 30%
Profit: 11pts Profit: 14pts

So we’ve allowed for the lower price to be 2/1, but gone with the improbably high strike rate of 70%. This method has in fact over doubled our initial stakes of 10pts outlaid – but lets remember a 70% strike rate is very hard.

On the other side of the coin, we have raised the strike rate by 1 winner to 30%, but cut the price down to 7/1. Again, at this lower strike rate but a bigger price we come out with 14pts profit, more then the 70% strike rate!


I hope this has been able to sum up some of what I have been trying to say, the maths stack up just as lightly if you are able to play consistently at the larger prices, and your strike rates don’t have to be as large to make better profits!

I am not knocking those who play the smaller prices and there may be some bets that are worth the price, but was just hoping to provide and insight into the methods I use and the way I think! Again, its no good playing those prices if you can’t hit the strike rates lets not forget that. Playing the prices and getting your strike rates is a measure of finding the value in the market and the selection, and getting your ‘edge’. If you can find something to recommend to you that a bet or a selection is overpriced – and by this I mean you are taking a higher price then you would attribute it to be in your mind – then you are on the correct track even if you don’t win all the time. At the better prices you can find, as shown you don’t need to be winning anywhere near ALL the time to be making good profits.

As I have worked my way through this I feel my next post will almost definitely have to touch more in depth as to what i feel “VALUE” is, so keep your eyes peeled.

Hope this was a valuable read for any of you that have found yourself reading – any comments regarding it are more then appreciated!

Thanks for your time and I hope this has given you some ideas on your punting!

Good luck.

HRN

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