Quiz Answers (Nice Cup Of Tea Recommended)

| July 10, 2018 | Reply

Yesterday you were sent some betting related questions and today I attempt to answer them.

Joining a tipping service for the first time could be a slightly intimidating experience and a step into the unknown, so below you’ll find some pointers that will hopefully make that easier, or at least suggest some aspects to consider before and as you do so.

If you have any questions, anything to add to what’s below or if you disagree with anything written here, please feel free to let us know in the comments box below or by emailing bettingrant@agorapub.co.uk.

Either way, I hope you find this article of some help and interest.

Good Luck,

Miles Tredwell
Syndicate


1) You read that one tipping service has a 50% strike-rate and another has a 15% strike-rate. Which one will be most profitable to follow?

a) the one with a 50% strike-rate
b) the one with a 15% strike-rate
c) both to the same extent
d) neither
e) don’t know

Answer: e) Don’t know. Don’t fall for the trap of thinking that a higher strike-rate is necessarily better and will be more profitable – it depends on the odds and assessing the merits of strike-rates means little or nothing without knowing the odds.

To illustrate, if the service with a 50% strike-rate is backing odds-on selections then it’ll be losing money, while the service with a 15% strike-rate will be making money if average winners are 6/1 or higher, even though fewer of them win.

2) Elsewhere you see that one service has made 100 points profit, while another has made 340 points profit. Which service is going to make you the most money? 

a) the one that has made 100 points
b) the one that has made 340 points
c) both to the same extent
d) neither
e) don’t know

Answer: e) Don’t know. If everything else is equal then obviously 340 points is a bigger return than 100 points. However, comparing two services is rarely that simple.

Are they talking about the same time period? One could be just for this year, another for the last decade.

Are these returns from a similar number of bets? One might advise 1 bet a day and the other 10 bets a day.

What’s the average stake of these bets? One service might be making 1 point bets and the other might have a standard stake of 5 points per bet.

Does one service make steady returns and the other’s profit come from one or two big paydays, that might not be repeated, with big ups and downs in between?

A service with bets at lower odds is likely to have shorter losing runs and therefore require fewer points in the bank, so it could be that the service making 100 points has trebled the bank while 340 points could be less than the size of the bank for a more volatile service that backs at huge odds.

Spending a few minutes looking through previous results or summaries before you start following any service will be time well spent because it will answer these questions and guide you into what to expect further down the line.

3) You join a service for a month’s trial and there will be 100 recommended bets. How many do you expect to win?

a) None
b) 1-25
c) 26-50
d) 51-74
e) 75-99
f) all of them
g) don’t know

Answer: g) Don’t know. This is very similar to question 1 in that it depends on the odds. Understandably, a common mistake for anyone new to betting is to think the more winners the better but this isn’t necessarily the way to profit. Apart from a) None, all of these options could make a profit, but it will depend on the odds being bet at.

It’s useful to look at what the odds are saying and adapt expectations accordingly. If you see a selection at 40/1 then the bookmaker is saying it will lose at least 40 times for every single time it wins. These are obviously not going to win very often and you shouldn’t expect them to, but then you only need them to win 3% of the time to make an overall profit.

At the shorter extreme, you are going to need a far higher number of successful selections to make a profit at low prices.

Your expectations should not be the same across the board. If you have selections at big prices you shouldn’t be surprised if few feature and conversely you shouldn’t be getting excited if landing some selections at low prices.

Don’t be deceived into thinking you are onto a good thing because you have a lot of winners if they are at short-prices when you’re actually losing money. Alternatively, don’t think things are going horribly wrong because a lot of bets at high odds are losing when actually the few winners have given you an overall profit.

4) You’ve received some selections and are ready to put your money down. How much do you bet on each selection?

a) your usual amount
b) depends how much is in your account
c) a bit more than normal because the last bet lost
d) only a little bit to test the waters
e) lots- the suns out and I’m feeling lucky
f) another amount

Answer: The biggest and most common mistake by both new and experienced bettors is to stake too much and not adapt to the service being followed.

If you’ve looked through previous results and considered the typical odds then you should have some idea of the ups and downs you are likely to experience and how many winners and losers you are likely to have. Use and act on this information. Different services have different approaches and consequently an appropriate amount for one may not be suitable for another.

Presumably if you’ve got this far then you’ve been impressed with results overall and yet you’ve noticed the previous downturns at certain periods. If the worst of those began today, would you be able to cope? If not, then almost certainly your stakes are too high.

A good rule of thumb is to find the previous biggest dip (not simply the longest losing run) and then at least double it to tell you how many points you need to have at your disposal.

Decide what you’re prepared to risk in total and divide it by this number of points you’ve calculated you need. The answer will be what you should be using for 1 point.

If you don’t do this then you will risk making a loss that you’re not equipped to recover from and be forced to leave a service that you could make you money from in the long-term.

Don’t be greedy or impatient – if a service is any good then it’ll still be good in six months, a year, two years and so on. Build up a bank so that you’re always in a safe and comfortable position from which you can easily cope with short-term swings.

5) At the end of the trial you have to decide whether to carry on with the service or not. How will you make this decision?

a) Only stay on if it’s made a profit in the month’s trial.
b) Only stay on if it’s made a loss in the month’s trial.
c) Ask your neighbour. If he’s out you will leave a note asking him to phone you when he’s back.
d) Decide on other factors.
e) Don’t know

Answer: d) Decide on other factors. I’ve never known a service not to have occasional losing months (if they’ve been around for a substantial period of time) and yet, on the other hand, anyone could get lucky and fluke a winning month. Therefore, if you simply base your decision on one month of results then that’s far too superficial and could be temporarily misleading.

Rather than ask yourself ‘has it made me money,’ question ‘will it make me money’ in the future. If you’ve been able to match, or closely match, the recorded results then you’ll be able to use and trust the service’s historic results which will give a much more reliable set of figures upon which to base your judgement of whether or not to continue.

If you haven’t been able to replicate the recorded returns then apply the difference to historic results and see if you would still come out with a profit. For example, you experience a golden month and make a profit but your returns are 20% lower than those recorded and advertised. Even if you’ve made a profit in that month, you may have learned that you’re unlikely to make a profit in the long-term. Alternatively, you may have made a loss but closely matched the recorded prices which enables you to trust previous results and have the belief that you could reproduce those in the future.

There are of course practical reasons such as the time tips are provided that might suit or might not, the numbers of tips may or may not be to your liking and the such like which will all be part of the decision. Personally, I also like to see explanations of the thinking behind selections too and the quality of this (or complete lack of it, in many cases) will often play a key part in whether I can believe in the service’s future or not.

6) You make a bet and it loses. Who benefits?

a) You
b) The bookmaker
c) The tipster
d) You and the bookmaker
e) The bookmaker and the tipster
f) You and the tipster
g) Everybody
h) Nobody
i) Don’t know

Answer: b) The bookmaker. If I recommend a losing selection then I’ll lose my own bet on it. If I keep recommending losing bets then I’ll lose members. If I keep losing members then I’ll lose my service. If I lose my service then I’ve lost my job. It really is in my interests to provide a successful service and make members money.

I’ve thrown this question in at this point because I see a lot of scepticism of tipsters on forums and on social media and if someone is considering following a tipster for the first time then this different perspective might be useful.

7) You make a bet and it wins. Who benefits? Same options as previous question.

Answer f) You and the tipster. We’re batting for the same side. As above, it’s in a tipster’s interests to provide a service that you want to stay with, just as much as it’s in a greengrocer’s interest to sell you nice apples or a barber’s interests to neatly tidy up your overgrown barnet.

8) Your own selections or those of a tipster you’re following is having a lean or losing spell. Should you

a) increase your stakes to try to recover loses
b) reduce stakes to protect against further loses
c) leave the service
d) carry on as normal
e) don’t know

Answer: possibly any of these other than a). We’ve already established that you need to be staking an amount to cope with downturns or lean spells and therefore you should be able to carry on as normal. Another mistake many make is to panic at the first sight of a losing run (though I suspect this is often due to having not considered that they will happen and being unprepared for them when they do) and leave and find another service until that one has a losing run and then leave that one…

Once you’ve seen previous downturns in results then you should be forewarned that they will come along and not be surprised by them. The time to worry would be if the source of the tips seems to be panicking him or herself and is making drastic changes such as staking more or making unusual bets or perhaps if the situation is unlike any other previously experienced. Otherwise, if this is merely a dip that the service has had many times before and recovered from and there’s nothing discernibly different in the delivery of the service then you should be able to ride through this period, knowing they happen and won’t last for ever.

If you reduce stakes for a while, this may prevent further losses but it may also mean you lose out when the next upturn begins.

If you chase losses by increasing your stakes then there’s the risk that any further losses will be more severe and what do you do then? If you increase stakes again you could be on a slippery slope and entering dangerous territory in which you risk all your bank, or worse, by staking increasing amounts. If the service is any good then it’ll recover. If it isn’t, you don’t want to be throwing even more good money after bad.

Another way to approach this is to ask whether you would rather be betting more when a tipster is getting things right or getting things wrong? If you chase losses, you’ll be risking more on someone’s advice when they’re getting it wrong and that makes little sense.

9) Your own selections or those of a tipster you’re following is having a hot or winning spell. Should you

a) increase your stakes to maximise returns
b) reduce your stakes to protect your winnings
c) leave the service
d) carry on as normal
e) don’t know

Answer: Carrying on as normal is sensible. With almost all services there will be periods when returns are above average at times and below average at times. A dramatic increase in stakes risks undoing the recent good work if a weaker period quickly follows. However, a controlled, sensible and monitored increase is an option which may be beneficial but do think it through beforehand.

10) You read an article telling you that backing favourites is the quick way to the poor house. Should you

a) back every favourite
b) never back a favourite
c) back some favourites
d) don’t know

Answer: c) back some favourites. There are many articles out there telling you that backing favourites will lose you x, y and z. What they normally don’t tell you is that backing by any market position will lose you money. Last year if you’d put £1 on every clear favourite running in the UK you would have lost an average of 6.46 pence per bet. Backing all clear 2nd favourites would lose an average of 13.96 pence. Clear third favourites costs 15.59 pence. And so on in increasing losses. The biggest outsider in each race would lose you 48.27 pence per bet, making an overall loss of over £4,000 to £1 stakes.

Yes, backing all favourites blindly will lose money, but it’s the slow way rather than the quick way to the poor house. If backing favourites can’t make you money, then these figures suggest that nothing can. In reality, some favourites are worth backing, many not. Some 2nd favourites are worth backing and even some outsiders.

The point of this question is to be encourage open-mindedness about what approach is being used. Some services will back favourites, some will back outsiders, many will back a mixture. The key is whether the approach works for that service or not.

11) Should you

a) keep very detailed records of every bet
b) keep minimal records of every bet
c) keep a record of some bets
d) not keep any records
e) just check the balances in your accounts to see if you’re up or down
f) don’t know

Answer: b) keep minimal records of every bet. Some may disagree with my answer here (and if so, please let me know) but I believe following a service should be enjoyable and not give you an unwelcome part-time admin job that’s a stretch on your time.

Keeping records is important so that you know what is happening to your money. Almost certainly, your individual results are not going to be exactly the same as those recorded by the service due to any price changes, so knowing how well you are doing is crucial to knowing your own position and whether or not you are making money and to what extent.

However, this can be quite a task, especially if following a few different services and/or if there’s a high volume of bets. I would suggest that unless you are going to use the information you are recording, don’t keep a record of it. For example, do you need to type out the name of every course and horse? If you’re later going to consider which courses to back at then it has a purpose, but if not then it’s superfluous and time consuming.

If you only want to know if you’re making a profit of loss then simply keeping a record of each day’s stakes and returns suffices.

12) When is the best time to join a tipping service?

a) anytime
b) at certain times of the year
c) on a Tuesday
d) October 12th
e) never
f) don’t know

Answer: b) at certain times of the year. In many sports, there are often certain times of the year when it is easier and other periods that are tougher from a betting perspective.

Many horse racing tipsters are better at either flat, jumps or All-Weather racing and it follows that they’re not as strong on one or both of the others. Therefore, it makes sense not to just look at the last few months of results, but to take note of previous results at different times of year…

For example, if it’s November and if you look at a tipster’s results in August to October, which will probably be mainly or totally on flat racing, then that’s probably not going to be of great relevance for November when they’ll then switch to either betting on the start of the All-Weather season or move onto jumps racing. Results for previous Novembers, in this case, will be probably be more informative.

It’s common for services to advertise at the beginning of seasons, but this is often the toughest time. At the start of horse racing seasons you have many horses having their first run for months and others changing conditions. In football and other sports, the start of the season can be tougher to predict due to managerial and playing changes.

Bearing this is mind – that you might not be joining at the easiest time – can be useful both initially when building your expectations, but also further down the line when deciding whether to stick with a service or not. For example, if a service has done ‘okay’ in the tough months then this could be encouraging if approaching a point when they normally excel, whereas if they have just performed moderately in their supposed strongest period and it’s approaching a time when results normally drop off, then it may be time to worry.

13) An article gives a thorough analysis of a forthcoming match. It concludes that Team A has a 60% chance of winning, the draw is 25% likely and Team B has a 15% chance of success. Who or what should be backed?

a) Team A
b) The draw
c) Team B
d) Don’t know

Answer: d) Don’t know. One of the themes running through these answers is not to just look for the most likely outcome, but to make or follow bets according to their chance compared against their odds.

If you’re thinking that you’d back the favourite if it was evens but not at 1/2, or that 3/1 for the draw would be a fair price but only worth backing if it was higher, or that 7/1 or above for the outsider would be a good price then you’re thinking like someone who can make money from betting.

Even if the analysis or tip recommendation has been made by a third party, by thinking like this you can understand why a selection has been made and have realistic expectations about the outcome. You are accepting and understanding that the outsider or the draw is not the most likely eventuality but it could be the correct bet if the odds are generous.

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