For some punters the idea of following a staking plan is an entirely new concept.
Many of us are used to loading up when we're confident on a horse's chances,
or if the betting account is looking healthy. But what about when it comes to
following someone else's staking plan. What does all the language mean and how
is a punter expected to translate it into simple instructions that lead them
to decide on how many bets to place, on which horse and with what stake amount?
As every punter has a different budget, form analysts like Deane Lester, are
required to communicate their staking plans in a way that can be applied to
each punter's circumstance. Whether the punter following places $500 bets or $5 stakes, the staking
plan has to be applicable to all. For that reason form analysts communicate
their staking plans as units. We take a look at Deane Lester's Melbourne Cup
staking plan as an example of how staking plans are interpreted and put to use.
Staking the Plan
Form analysts typically communicate the size of a the bet to be placed on a
recommended selection as a Unit. One unit means different amounts
to different punters and there are a few ways to determine how much the staking
plan is telling you to wager on a particular horse.
As a rough guide punters should look at the range of units that the form expert
proposes in each race. In the example we're showing in the image, Deane Lester
is proposing a 25 unit investment (20 units + 5 units). If you typically bet
$50 in a race on average, each unit equates to $2 so you're betting $40 on Model
Dragon and $10 on Sort After.
While that approach is simple and easy to follow, it is slightly flawed. It
assumes that the form expert sees the same amount of risk in each race on the
card. As an example, Deane Lester provides selections and comments for every
race on the program however his staking plan omits races where he deems the
risk to be too great to place a wager. As an example, on Melbourne Cup Day he
offered no suggested stakes from the first race on the card.
Any approach which assumes an average bet amount for each race isn't consistent
with this thinking.
A better way requires just a little bit more arithmetic to ensure that each
betting stake reflects the risk associated with each race as assessed by the
Calculate the unit value
The most thorough way to calculate the value of a unit is to total all units
on the staking plan for the day. On Melbourne Cup Day the units on Deane Lester's
staking plan totalled 160. Now we determine the average units placed on each
selection. Deane often includes multiple selections in a race and so his Cup
Day plan included 17 bets across eight of the ten races on the program. The
average units for each bet therefore is 160 divided by 17 = 9.4.
To make the maths easier we recommend rounding up the average unit bet value,
so we'll make it 10.
Determine your stake
The next step is easier. If you average $50 bets then you multiply each unit
in the staking plan by $5 i.e. $50 average bet / 10 average units per selection.
Following Lester's staking plan in race 2 on Cup day the punter would bet:
- 20 units on Model Dragon = $100 win bet
- 5 units on Sort After = $25 win bet
In the Melbourne Cup Lester's suggested bet was 10 units each on Oceanographer
and Cup winner Almandin. The same punter following the plan
would place these bets:
- 10 units on Almandin = $50 win bet
- 10 units on Oceanographer = $50 win bet
Other staking plan guides
While most form experts provide 'units' as a guide to the bet amount in their
staking plans, some offer more general guides. The alternative approach typically uses a three level scale
of High, Medium or Low to indicate confidence or the recommended stake size. Similarly
these levels have to be converted to an amount relevant to your average bet
size. Using the $50 average punter example, $100 may be used for 'High' stakes,
$50 for 'Medium' and $25 for 'Low'.
Deane Lester's staking plan is included in his Standard and Premium race day packages available
on his here.