Racing Ground

09/11/2016 Betting Strategies

Following an expert staking plan

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.

 

Deane Lester staking plan

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 racing analyst.

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.

Mike Steward

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Author Biography

Mike Steward

Mike Steward

Mike has an entrenched love for a flutter having grown up in country Victoria. Blessed with a numerical mind, he has a passion for identifying trends and patterns within betting markets, always on the lookout for opportunities to fill punters’ wallets.

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