by Dave French

February 9, 2012

Kieran WardYou have to haggle!

A successful punter should always be looking for ways to improve his margins.

In the same way that a successful business man will always be looking for ways to cut his overhead and improve his bottom line.

As in the famous (and ludicrous) scene in Life of Brian, in which stall holder Eric idle is selling Graham Chapman as Brian, a fake beard and manages to haggle himself down from 20 to 16 shekels, you have to haggle!

The advent of betting exchanges changed the face of betting forever and in many ways, none more so than in the facility it gives us to ask for a price rather than just accept what we are being offered.

I never cease to be amazed when I see a supposed shrewdie simply taking a price at the money on Betfair.

If they were buying a second hand car, would they immediately stump up the asking price? No, they would make a prolonged and concerted effort to secure a discount.

So why will they simply accept the price when placing a bet

Always, always, always ask for a price.

Let’s look at a worked example to see just how much of a difference asking for a price can make.

You have a method that has a 30% strike rate and the selections go off at an average price of 4.0.

We’ll ignore commission for the sake of simplicity (and because we all pay varying percentages)

Over 100 bets you would see the following returns:

70 points lost on the losing bets
120 points returned, including stakes, on the winning bets

Equates to a net profit of 20 points at 20% ROI

Now, over the same series of bets, by successfully asking for a price of 4.2, you would see the following net results:

70 points lost on the losing bets
126 points returned, including stakes, on the winning bets

Equates to a net profit of 26 points at an ROI of 26%

The same number of bets, the same number of winners but returning 30% more profit?

Now, if you were to have 200 of those bets a year you’re looking at an extra 120 points clear profit.

At £50 a point that’s £6,000!

Simply for asking for a price two ticks above the money?

Some bettors are concerned about not getting matched. This is unlikely.

If you ask for your price in the morning, the chances of getting matched at 2 ticks from the money are exceptionally high.

If you’re not matched by 10 minutes before the race – you just take a view as to whether you wish to take the price being offered or let it run.

All of these issues smooth themselves out over a large number of bets, so don’t let concerns about missing a winner make you take the offered price when there is a chance to secure greater value.

Remember, those couple of ticks extra, for almost no extra effort, could easily be the difference between a profit and a loss over the course of a year!

Kieran Ward

Today's Selection

No Bet Today

Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TGH Trading Ltd or it's employees.

About the author 

Dave French

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