Wednesday, 18 July 2012

20 ways to play system 7-22

I said in the last post that the post was an important one but being honest, this is another very important post.  It’s not too important in the sense that I’m only looking at one system here but the point of this post (aside from answering the question posed regarding system 7-22) is going to be wider reaching. It’s going to show that you really need to open your eyes to what is possible with these systems if you really want to maximise your return on capital and by this, I mean the days of just picking a system, staking 1pt on every Home and Away bet and expecting this to maximise your profit is gone. 

Being honest, these days were never there in the first place. Last season, I used AH betting on the Aways and staked higher on Homes and if you read some of the subscriber feedback across at the website, you’ll see that some staked more on Home bets and some played variable stakes on the Aways or covered the draws on some Aways, so I guess we’ve all slowly been working towards something that was more sophisticated than staking 1pt on every Home and Away bet.

The issue with the level staking plan of 1pt to win outright on every Home and Away bet is two fold in my eyes. 

Firstly, Homes and Aways don’t carry the same element of risk.  It’s impossible to believe they could carry the same level of risk when the average odds are so different. Quite a few people I know following the systems don’t even look at my systems as individual systems. They look at system 6 as 6H and 6A. Hence, they have double the number of systems to deal with! Not only that, it means they can then decide to follow the Home bets on system 21 and the Away bets on system 7 and they end up with a brand new system that is a mix of 7-22 but isn’t really 7-22! 

The other issue with doing this is the fact you are ignoring all the work I’ve done to get the AH returns.  I know AH bets aren’t everyone’s cup of tea (I still get the odd comment asking what the hell they are!) but for those that understand AH betting and how it can be used (I’d never struck an AH bet before until last season if I’m honest, so I came to it new), then it can be quite powerful.  I think AH is a great way to manage your exposure and as we’ve seen already through various postings on the blog, it can be used to increase your ROC by reducing the maximum drawdowns your system or portfolio suffers.

Right, the question that I’m supposed to be answering in this post was asked by Ingus and Rowan and it’s been mentioned by a few others in emails over the Summer.

Ways to play 7/22 using AH betting – Is 2pts win on Homes, 1pt on AH0 Aways an optimal strategy?

As regular blog readers will know, I’ve already shown ways to play this system and I shared 9 ways that we can use system 7-22. I didn’t draw any meaningful conclusions though as I wanted to wait until the end of the season. As luck would have it, there were no more 7-22 bets after my last post, so the figures for the 9 ways haven’t changed by much! However, I’ve now looked at 20 ways to use system 7-22 and more importantly, I’ve split the conclusions down into two different bases. We have the conclusion based on all historical results but more importantly, we can also see the results based on live results only.

I personally always feel much more comfortable drawing conclusions from live results.  Admittedly, there are a lot less bets but as we know, system 7-22’s live results mirror the backtested results to a large degree, so I wouldn’t expect the conclusions to change much as we move from backtested to live results and vice versa. 

To get us started, here are the results for 20 ways to play system 7-22, ranked in order by ROC but for all 737 bets to date.

I think now we’ve ordered the results in this way, we can draw some pretty concrete conclusions quickly.
·         It is going to be MORE profitable in the long-run to play outright on Home bets
·         It is going to be LESS profitable in the long-run to play outright on Away bets
·         On Away bets, AH0 is better than AH0.25 and both are better than AH0.50
·         It is definitely NOT an optimal strategy to play 1pt win outright bets on all Home and Away bets
·         It is better staking more on Home bets outright than on Away bets generally
·         The OPTIMAL solution is 2pts on Home bets, 1pt AH0 on Away bets based on these 20 methods

I think the fact that you should play outright on Home bets and possibly stake more on Home bets isn’t a surprise. I had come to that conclusion myself early on and although I’d not acted on it as much as some subscribers did last season, it was something I was aware of.  Covering the draw on Homes can’t really be a good idea as you’re basically betting at long odds on which is never going to make you much money!
The first thing that strikes me from looking at this table is how poorly the performance is from simply having 1pt win on all Home and Away bets outright. Out of 20 ways to play the system I’ve shown, it is only the 16th best. Hence, did all of you using this strategy know it was only the 16th best way to play the system historically?  No, me neither! The system with the 2nd best ROI is actually the 16th best based on ROC calculations.  (If there was ever a system that proves my point I made in the SBC forum about how wrong it is to base investment decisions solely on ROI, this is it!)

I’m shocked at how much better it is to use AH on Away bets rather than backing outright. Clearly, you give up a lot of ROI by doing this but if you adjust your betting bank accordingly for the reduced risk, you’re much better off.

Interestingly, having come to the conclusion that backing outright wasn’t optimal on Aways, I find it interesting that AH0 is better than AH0.25 and AH0.50. Hence, the conclusion appears to be that you need some draw coverage but if you go too far and take too much draw coverage, you end up eroding some of your edge.  Something to consider for all of us I think.

The question posed by Rowan and Ingus then was actually a great question in the sense they had both second guessed the correct answer! Of course, this is based on all bets, let’s take a look at live bets only.

Here’s the same results but based solely on live bets (201 of them to date):

Here’s some quick conclusions:

·         It is going to be MORE profitable in the long-run to play outright on Home bets
·         It is going to be LESS profitable in the long-run to play outright on Away bets
·         On Away bets, AH0.25 is better than AH0 and both are better than AH0.50
·         It is definitely NOT an optimal strategy to play 1pt win outright bets on all Home and Away bets
·         It is better staking more on Home bets outright than on Away bets generally
·         The OPTIMAL solution is 2pts on Home bets, 1pt AH0.25 on Away bets based on these 20 methods

I feel like it’s a game of spot the difference here but the ONLY difference I can see is that AH0.25 on Aways is better than AH0.  Why is this? Well, quite simply, since the system went live, there has been more draws for the Aways than I’d normally expect and this has meant that increasing the draw coverage by a little more definitely helps.  However, looking at it, there isn’t much between AH0 and AH0.25 at all.

So, I think that answers the question that was posed regarding system 7-22.  For those following systems other than system 7-22 (will be majority of people I expect), think about some of the learnings we can take from this system and what impact it could have on your portfolio betting.

I should add that I don’t expect anyone to come up with an optimal betting portfolio that generates 200%+ ROC figures year on year. That’s not going to happen. What we all have to do is come up with a betting portfolio that we believe in and one that we are comfortable following.  I personally played higher stakes on Homes and used AH on some Aways last season as it was what I was comfortable doing. It wasn’t based on hours and hours of analysis and all I did was come up with an idea for a staking plan, backtested it, liked what I saw and decided to go with that.

That’s the sort of help I’m going to be giving to anyone who wants it this Summer. What I won’t be doing is looking at 10,000 different combinations of system portfolios and staking plans and telling them which one is best! People can come to me with an idea, I’ll look at it, share some results and they can decide if they like it or if they want to tweak it. 

If people come to me with no idea about which systems to follow, I’ll point them in the direction of something that I think may suit their needs based on what I know about them but as I’ll be making crystal clear to anyone who asks me for advice, I won’t be held responsible for the performance of their portfolio.  Everyone with the service is responsible for their own portfolio performance and if they choose to take some of my advice on board and it turns out badly when others are doing well, then so be it. They shouldn’t have listened to me!

TFA caveat – All betting banks shown in these examples are based on two times the maximum drawdown.  If anyone really believes we have witnessed the maximum drawdown on some of these betting methods, I can guarantee that they are mistaken.  No way would I recommend anyone try to follow one of these methods next season based on a betting bank of 14pts or 15pts.  When you think that’s only 7 Home bets losing, it’s not a lot at all. Average Home bets could be 6/4 and there is a high chance of losing 7 bets in a row at these odds, so these betting banks stated are only for information purposes. They are consistent across each system, so the ROC order is valid, it’s the size of the ROC that may be overstated!


  1. Hi Graham,

    The conclusion for using draw coverage on Aways is obvious, but could the distribution of points between Home & Away be further optimised.

    For example could 1.5 on Homes and 1 on Aways be better, or 3 on Homes and 0.5 on Aways.

    What do you think?
    or am I over-complicating things?



  2. Hi Graeme

    As a new subscriber, I have to say that I'm stunned by the range and depth of your analysis. And you're doing it virtually every day at the moment, you must be exhausted! Very glad I joined.



  3. Interesting post Graeme, I agree, you could analyse the various systems and permutations of staking till the cows come home. With seasonality and natural variance the optimum staking plan would be the proverbial Holy Grail. What might be of interest is to apply one staking plan such as your example above 2 points per home and 1 point per AH0, to all of the systems and measure the variance of ROC to see if there is any significant results therein. If there was then that might raise some questions and perhaps further analysis would be fruitful.


  4. Hi Darren.

    I don’t think you’re overcomplicating it all. He won’t thank me for mentioning this but one of the guys last season was using a staking plan down to 2 decimal points for different Home/Away bets on various systems.

    Hence, 2.18pts on Homes and 0.92pts on Aways for example!

    This game is about what you want it to be. What I can’t do though is spend 3 weeks working with you trying to optimise your staking plan. Wouldn’t be fair on the others or on myself as I probably spend about 4-5 hours deciding on my own staking plan!

    I’ve not emailed the guy back yet but someone I know well asked me last night for the same analysis I’ve done for system 7-22 for all the other combined systems! He must think I’ve not got a life. :)

    I guess what I’m saying is that unless you are comfortable taking the Excel sheet and working with it yourself, you’ll not playing a staking plan to 2 decimal points next season mate! However, that’s not to be mean you can’t have a very good staking plan and being honest, we’re kidding ourselves if we think we can really set staking plans to 2 decimal points! It’s all based on historical data and as we know, there are no guarantees that it turns out like that next season.

    If aways do great next season with few draws, watch the away betting outright method shoot up the table!


  5. Hello Graeme

    Thanks for the great work you do here and hopefully another profitable season awaits us.

    I was wondering if you, or any of you readers, had encountered the 2 Year Old Handicapper? If his results are real i'd be amazed.


  6. Hi Paul.

    Cheers for the comment. I try my best tbh but even then, people need to remember that I work full time and therefore, I do most of this at nights. Sometimes I struggle to keep on top of things which means a few early starts, late nights etc. but all I can do is try my best.

    Spending my Friday night now trying to catch up with emails and doing admin which is probably the part of this that people don’t consider.

    It’s a funny one as the SBC judge my service at a fee of £x per month as I only give bets for 9 months a season but being honest, I’d be amazed if there are as many services as busy as mines during the close season. I put in as much work during the Summer as I do when the systems are generating bets and at times, reviewing the systems and doing bespoke analysis takes even more time. I’d like to think that some of the subscription fee goes towards what I do in the Summer and not just what I do during the 9 months when I’m doing the ratings and bets.

    I don’t charge for the Summer work though at the moment. ;)


  7. Hi Brian.

    I think if you did the analysis on every system, you’ll find one staking plan dominates more than any other (assuming I used the same 20 staking plans I used on system 7-22). It’s not exactly the Holy Grail but knowing what this staking plan is gives you a decent start I think.

    Let’s just say that I wouldn’t have wasted my time proving this for system 7-22 unless I knew it was applicable to most of the systems in the portfolio. ;)

    I feel like I’m teasing slightly at times as others are asking me for the same 20 way analysis for other systems but I’ve said I’m not doing it. I see my role in this as keeping the ratings updated, generating the system bets, monitoring the results and of course, giving an overview of how I think you can use the systems. I can’t really analyse everything under the Sun and people will need to apply some basic logic to get something that they think might work.

    At the end of the day, it’s all hypothetical and if Home bets do rubbish next season, we’ll all be kicking ourselves for not staking more on the Aways but it’s part and parcel of the game. We need to follow a strategy we believe in and one we are comfortable with. I can’t ensure anyone’s strategy will make a profit but if I can ensure that they are comfortable following it, that’s all I can do I think.



  8. Hi Tony.

    Just had a look and the service looks very interesting mate. I think the results are probably genuine as they are proofed by the SBC at racing proofing but I see the guy has had no live bets yet. So, not sure if I believe the 27 bets myself.

    However, with only 27 bets to date, I’d want to see more bets before thinking I’d found the Holy Grail!



  9. it has been proofed since may on ukbt forum.
    all results genuine i have been wit him all flat