Our staking method is kept simple: we work to a standard fixed liability when laying bets on the Betfair betting exchange.
This is currently at the level of £1000. This means we will lay a selection to lose £1000 each time. In football we deliberately target vulnerable short prices. So if we are laying a team at evens them we take £1000 to risk losing £1000. If we lay a team at 1/3 then we take £3000 to risk losing £1000.
When you first follow this ‘fixed liability’ system you might find it psychologically difficult to execute it on the short prices. The temptation is to take £1000 to risk losing £333, rather than taking £3000 to lose £1000. After all a 1/3 shot is pretty much a good thing, so why not limit the liability and have bigger liabilities on longer prices?
Well if all odds-on shots won then there would be no bookmakers. Remember when laying bets, we are the bookie. You require the mindset of a bookmaker and not a punter. It is a different viewpoint – it is against trend. When everyone is buying you are selling – when everyone is lumping on Chelsea against MK Dons, you are the one taking their money. A lot of people can not do it. If you can’t do it then just be a punter, it’s not a crime.
I like the fixed odds system because it rewards us with more profit the shorter odds the selection is. It also means that we could fall below a level stakes strike-rate and still be in profit. For instance:
Imagine if we did not risk a fixed liability of £1000 but instead layed a fixed stake of £1000, then this would happen:
- Lay 1: We lay Chelsea at 1/3 & they fail to win – we win £1000 (instead of £3000)
- Lay 2: We lay Arsenal at 1/2 & they win – we lose -£500 (instead of -£1000)
- Lay 3: We lay Man Utd at evens & they win – we lose -£1000 (instead of -£1000)
Profit & Loss with Fixed Stake = -£500
Profit & Loss with Fixed Liability = +£1000
Our strike-rate was only one in three and with a fixed liability system we made money. With a fixed lay stake we lost money. I am aware I cooked those figures and we could have lost more with my suggested fixed liability system. But it is the upside when short prices are beaten (and so ‘winners’ for us) that is most attractive about this method. I believe you are up against it with fixed stakes when laying because you need to keep that strike-rate high to ensure profits.
Once you have set your fixed liability level at a comfortable point (as we have at £1000 liability per lay) then never reduce it because you feel less confident for a particular event. If you feel the need to reduce it then take that as a sign not to have a lay and to avoid that market altogether. However we would not put you off increasing it in a disciplined manner if you have a very firm conviction – but the best bookies just lay the short prices and try to keep opinion to a minimum.
If you get into laying on Betfair then be aware there will be lots of occasions you lose and that is why I like the fixed liability method. Losing is the nature of the game, it is the overall longer-term profit that matters most.
- If you want to let us know what you think about staking plans then please tweet us, and that is also where you will find our betting tips, including screenshot evidence of the bets we lay.