Friday, 29 April 2011

Variable Staking

I saw that the Football Analyst is planning a post on 'Variable Staking' and it's been my intention for a few days to cover this topic, so hopefully we can get a debate on the subject going, unless we're all agreement, which is unlikely.

It is my opinion, and no one has ever provided me with any evidence to the contrary, that adjusting stakes can make a profitable system even more profitable, but it cannot turn a losing system into a profitable one.

There are some very complicated staking adjustment systems out there, but they just don't work, although the mathematician in me would love for this statement to be wrong.

I am probably not alone in having spent many hours of my younger years trying to work out a staking system that guaranteed me a profit at the Roulette wheel. It says something about the optimist in all of us, but that optimism is that of youth and inexperience, and clearly misplaced.

Find a system that is profitable, and you can certainly improve it by varying stakes, no more so than by utilising the Kelly Criterion, either full or fractional, and described excellently in this post here from 2008. This will mean that you have a higher stake on bets where your edge is highest, reduced stakes where your edge is lower, and no stake at all where you don't have an edge.

Any time spent trying to come up with a fancy staking system to turn a losing system into a profitable system would be better spent in trying to find a profitable system.

Quite simply if level stakes returns a loss, then you do not have an edge. Adjusting stakes will not give you an edge. You are merely gambling on when in the bet sequence your winners will fall.

This is not advantage gambling. Anyone have a different opinion?

1 comment:

HCE said...

Hi Cassini,

It is an interesting subject matter. It is the kind of topic that can drive people crazy thinking about I agree that manipulating stakes will not turn a losing system into a winner. Whether it can work with a system that has some success I guess it depends on your data. The Football Analyst has so much research that I wouldn't say he hasn't seen a tweak that may benefit. However, it doesn't seem logical that a losing system can be turned into a winner with some kind of alchemy. I guess the greatest test for most is level stake because it kind of speaks for itself. I think Graeme knows his football and recent twists will probably level out in the near future. Good luck to him as he works very hard to succeed and sure things will go his way soon.