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Betting With One Bank or Several Mini Banks

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To bet from one bank or to use several mini banks is the question. Before I get into our thoughts on this, let me define ‘one bank’ as opposed to several ‘mini banks’. One bank is to calculate your bet size based on the total sum of money. The money may be spread over a number of casinos or bookmakers, but, the one bank is used to calculate your bet sizes. ‘Mini banks’ refers to splitting the total sum of money for each different sport / betting approach. For example, if you had $5,000 as your bankroll, you may decide to split the sum evenly over five approaches.

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Your staking for each approach would be in relation to the mini bank.  For the example above, you may have $1,000 allocated to bet AFL.  Each week you would calculate your bet size based on this $1,000 sum. As the question was asked specifically in relation to betting the subscription packages, for simplicity I will refer to the models offered on the website.  If you are not betting the models, you may substitute the examples with any of your approaches as the concept still holds true. Also before I get into this, you will soon discover that there is no clear answer and I make no apologies if you get to the end of this article confused.  I will do my best to explain as clearly as possible.  I am about to explain the process that Jess and I use for our staking.  We take into account a good number of factors before deciding exactly on the make-up of our staking.  Hopefully this article will provide you with some ideas that you may like to incorporate into your betting.  Staking is not a case of ‘one size fits all’. Staking needs to be structured based on such things as; The confidence you have in your approaches (how long have you been betting them, do you have enough data behind you to be confident, what is your edge and so on). Your personal risk profile.  Are you an aggressive, conservative or somewhere in between punter? The number of betting approaches you are using How long your money will be ‘exposed’ if pending bets needs to be considered The volume of bets placed What your punting goals are One more thing I would like to get straight is the importance of keeping separate records for each and every betting approach you use. 

You need to know at a glance how a certain betting approach is performing and the records are naturally imperative in analyzing your performance fully.  Even though you may be using the one bank, you still need to keep separate records.  Now, let’s get straight into the way that Jess and I attack our staking.  We use a central bank.  We bet all the models we offer on the website and a number of other approaches from that central bank.  Straight away you may be thinking that using that approach is too risky.  I will cover that shortly but first, the thinking behind betting with the one bank. When we look at a potential bet, we look at that bet as a good bet rather than a good bet on say AFL.  A good bet is a good bet period.  Naturally the amount staked on each bet may well be different, but as far as I am concerned, I will bet all the positive expectation bets I can find.  All of the sports we bet, we consider them as part of one central group of profitable good bets. In other words, there is no difference between 20 bets on NRL that will return 10% and 20 bets on AFL that return 10%.  For that matter, the ‘thing’ that you are betting could be cock fighting or betting on the next election!  The ‘thing’ is not important.  What is important is that you are making a good bet and that you are receiving a return on that bet. Few will disagree that betting with the total sum of money will return a greater profit.  How can it not if you are betting with an edge and betting greater amounts?  However, does betting with the one bank introduce a greater degree of risk?  I will cover that shortly but first, I have produced a graph which will show how successful using the one central bank was in 2005. Using a $10,000 bank betting all the models available on, your bank would have grown to just under $120,000.  (Note that different Kelly Fractionals were applied to the various sports).  Incredible figures indeed . . . this will give you some idea of the power of using one bank. But, there is more to it than straight betting with one bank.  You see one of the biggest hurdles is that of liquidity or to put it another way, cash flow.  For example, if you are betting all of the models, there is a chance you will have more than your total bank outlaid at times.  How is it possible to bet more than you have you ask?  Let me explain how we can get around this . . .

The answer is you use as your bank size, a percentage of your total bank.  That is to say, if you had a $10,000 bank, you might like to use $4,000 in the calculation of bets.  If you calculate your bet sizes based on this figure, you will be safe in the knowledge that you have the liquidity to cover the high volume periods of betting. Aside from liquidity reasons, another reason to take this approach is so you have insulation if you should encounter a sharp and savage losing period.  If you have a good sum of money (in relation to your bankroll), exposed in pending bets, you can’t adjust your bank size down if you start to lose as your bets are on and locked in.  The best example is betting the first round of a tennis Grand Slam.  Betting the model you will be making an enormous volume of bets.  All of these bets have to be placed at once and you can think of it as placing half a year’s AFL bets on the one day. Essentially if you lose your early bets, for the later bets in the same round, you would be betting too big for your bankroll.  Of course the opposite is true if your initial bets start off winning, you would be betting too small in relation to your bankroll.

In all this theory, let’s not forget that there is the theoretically correct answer and the practical answer.  Generally speaking, in theory, you should be adjusting your bankroll after every bet.  Of course it is not practical so we need to find a compromise.  (A discussion of fixed versus a constant banks and variations of, is beyond the scope of this article.) As we don’t have a chance to adjust the bankroll after each bet in the tennis example, we do need a buffer in the bankroll to guard against a savage losing day/night. Another reason to use a percentage of the bank in the calculation of bets is that your money will (if it isn’t it should), be spread over a number of bookmakers (how many depends on the betting events and your bankroll).  It is not practically possible to have 100% in play at any one time (I can hear a few gasps after that statement).  You need to be betting with the bookmaker offering the best price out of the bookmaker accounts that you hold. I dislike the term ‘reserve bank’, but in this case, that is essentially what you have.  You should only lose the portion of your total bankroll that you allocate.  In the example above, even if you did lose $4,000, you would still have $6,000 left so you can live to fight another day.  We know that we can’t bet a greater percentage of the bank due to reasons discussed above, but we know that betting with the $4,000 bank will outperform betting with mini banks providing you are betting with an edge. If you do decide to use the one central bank, then you need to decide on the staking of each approach.  In the case of the sports models we offer on the website for example, there is a good chance that you should be using different Kelly Fractionals for each sport/betting approach. 

If you don’t use the Kelly Criterion, you need to work out how much you need to wager on each approach.  Working that out is beyond the scope of this article. Once again we are not talking about a one size fits all scenario here.  You will need to make those decisions based on a number of considerations. What About Under Performing Sports/Approaches? An argument against using one bank is that an underperforming (losing), approach will restrict the growth in bankroll of other approaches. As rather than the banks of winning approaches compounding, they may stagnate as they would be restricted by the one or two possible losing approaches. The thing is; you should be starting the year with your portfolio of solid betting approaches.  These are the ones that you have tested and are happy to put your hard earned on. If there is an approach you are not sure of, don’t bet it or if you do, bet it with small stakes.  When we test an approach, we will bet it with real money even if they are more token bets more than anything.  To get to that point, we would have had to complete extensive back testing after deriving the betting idea.  But putting the ‘spuds’ on the line in real time is the only real way to test a betting approach.  Statisticians refer to this as a ‘hold out sample’. Wouldn’t it be great to know that an approach will not perform in advance?  The thing is that we don’t know.  It is easy in hindsight to say that you shouldn’t be betting a certain approach but not so easy to make those judgments before the fact. 

It is dangerous to make the assumption that an approach is in for a poor year after some ordinary results. It is not easy to work out if an approach is going through a fluctuation or if it really has gone off the boil.  Nine times out of ten, if you are using an approach that has extensive ‘runs on the board’, then it would be merely a bankroll fluctuation. As punters are looking to get themselves organized for the 2017 betting year, now is a good time to give a warning that all punters would have heard but maybe not incorporated. Speaking to punters, many use a hypothetical bank.  That is to say that they ‘imagine’ that they have a certain amount and promise themselves that IF they should require additions funds, they will tip in some more dollars to make up the short fall.  If that is what you do, you may find it comforting to know that I used to do this as well.  Starting out, I used to bet above my means dreaming that I wouldn't be required to call upon the total bank at some point. It is because I have done that and after hearing horror stories from other punters I can tell you in no uncertain terms that it is not the way to go.  Patience and foresight is a very important virtue in this betting business. I would also urge you to err on the side of caution with your betting and the old classic, only bet with money that you can afford to lose.  Don’t kid yourself . . . Jess and I are always considering the worst case scenarios.  If you bet long enough, you WILL hit that horror run that if you are not prepared for it, you will ‘tap out’ and be out of the game.  If you bet long enough, you will encounter that 0.1% freak losing run and that is regardless of how confident you are with your betting approaches.  Even though we have enjoyed massive success with the models we now offer on, we are not ignorant to the fact that this year might not be a winning year.  That is the harsh reality of gambling.

There are many examples of punters that have made literally millions only to give it all back.  There is no better example in Australian than that of the late Don Scott. Just because you are betting a profitable approach or making a good bet, it doesn’t follow that you will make money.  If you don’t already fully understand and accept that statement, your punting life will change for the better when you do. I do hope that I have achieved my goal of giving you ample food for thought in your staking considerations in 2017.  One size doesn’t fit all but you can use the points contained in this article to create your unique staking approach. 

There are other considerations but with this article now stretching to well over 2,000 words, I thought that I have to stop somewhere as staking is such a wide and varied topic that I could easily write a book on the subject! It is not the intention of this article to provide you with an exhaustive analysis of issues associated with staking.  Such discussion is far beyond the scope of this article. Recently, Jess and I spent four days would you believe mapping out our betting for 2017!  Although on the face-of-it, a punter may believe the task to be straight forward, it is far from it.  Staking is something that will differ from punter to punter and we welcome you to use whichever approach you find works for you.  One thing is for certain, getting the staking right is critically important and any time spent thinking and planning this area of your betting is time well spent. For a small number of punters, we are offering to map out their betting for 2017.  The goal would be to plan an approach specific to each individual punter. We have agreed to do this after receiving requests throughout the year.  We have two punters that we have taken on and will take on only three others as it is time intensive to get it right, and requires our ongoing support.  It isn’t cheap but if this is something you are interested in and serious about, contact us and we can talk further. In summing up, we believe a central bank that at the most, is 50% of your total bankroll is the way to go.  That is if you are betting on a serious level and wagering on approaches that have been proven.  On the other hand, if you are testing approaches, then you are best using separate banks as you are not betting to make money as such but betting as you are testing. In any case, let us never forget the number one rule of gambling; You can’t make money if you are not in the game.  Once in the game you need to make sure you stay there.

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