In Search of The Holy Grail
Triggers in Action: Backing the Away team in a football Match Odds market based on the Draw's volume
Oxana Savostina from Welldone Creative Software talks about how you can test your betting strategy using their powerful suite of products.
If you are a skeptical person like me, you probably know that there is no such thing as the Holy Grail in the world of betting. Having been in the business of betting software since 2004, I have tried hundreds of different betting strategies and learned one simple thing: you can’t compete against probability theory.
In a betting strategy, the long-term result matters more than the short-term profits. What seems to you profitable after one particularly lucky day may turn out a disaster after a week of pursuing, it because, speaking in the language of probability theory, the mathematical expectation of that strategy is negative. Betfair is a perfect betting platform in the sense that its market prices will often reflect the mathematical chances for various outcomes: the more money is matched in a single market, the more precise those prices are. If you throw in the exchange commission on top of that, you’d better stop hoping to win from that Martingale plan!
P/L graph for a typical Martingale plan showing how your bank will be wiped out after backing on the Draw and doubling your stake after each loss
However, this does not mean you should stop trying to find a profitable strategy. Ultimately, you do not want to beat the system, you want to beat the other players. Sometimes other players will make false assumptions or won’t be quick enough to offer reasonable prices for certain outcomes. They might underestimate the favourite’s chances for winning, for example during an unexpected turn in a game, and offer a price that is way higher than it must be, opening a backing opportunity for you. You often need those prices to be merely one percent in your favour to turn what seems a counter-intuitive betting plan into a reliable source of income. Until your fellow players understand their mistake that is... Then you must search for another such anomaly, rinse and repeat!
Instant Profit/Loss prediction for a strategy
Suppose you have identified a potential price pattern that you believe is a good candidate for a betting strategy. How do you measure its long-term success without spending a fortune and a year of your time?
Enter BFStats, a new service for proving or disproving betting ideas based on the data from hundreds of thousands of historical markets, courtesy of the Betfair Historical Data license. Over the years, Betfair has accumulated huge amounts of price and volume data, and it would be criminal not to use it for comprehensive analysis. With today’s technology, it is possible to model the performance of any staking plan against that Big Data and calculate how much you would have won or lost if you placed bets according to your criteria in all those markets. BFStats offers various interactive widgets to filter out markets and selections by country, distance, league, price range, number of runners, etc. Five years’ worth of quality football market data? No problem!
If you want to have a peek into the results of the strategy I am describing below, you can do so until December 15, 2022, for half the usual price by following this link: Backing the Away team based on the Draw's volume
Triggers in Action
As part of our initiative, I regularly test various betting strategies by placing bets in every eligible market on the selections that fit the criteria.
I run the test for at least 7 consecutive days, often for a longer period to get a clear picture of whether the strategy is worth pursuing. At the end of the test, I share the daily account statements with cumulative P/L figures, topped with the profit/loss graph, and some personal observations as to the pros and cons of the idea behind the strategy. The latest strategy I’ve tested has the following description:
Pick football Match Odds markets with at least £2,000 in matched volume at the start of the event. At the 5th minute of a football match, place a back bet on the Away* team if its price is between 1.1 and 3.05 and matched volume percentage** is at least 15%, whereas the Draw's volume percentage is below 10%.
*The Away team will always come as the second selection in the Match Odds market.
**The matched volume percentage is the share of the total amount of matched bets placed in the market.
For the purposes of validating purely the assumptions in this strategy, we are using flat stakes, therefore, there will be no loss recovery.
I key in all these conditions into a trigger file, load that file into MarketFeeder Pro installed on one of our BetVPS, and then the program manages my bets completely automatically, with me just occasionally checking in on how things are going.
I have tested the strategy described above for 15 days, from October 14 to October 29, 2022.
Below is the profit/loss graph and some basic stats:
For a full report with daily account statements, please see this page: Backing the Away team in a football Match Odds market based on the Draw's volume
What are triggers?
A trigger is a set of instructions in plain language combined with simple arithmetic operations that executes a certain action if some predefined conditions are satisfied. Triggers are building blocks of automated betting, something you can mix and match to program just about any complex betting strategy. I say “program,” but in reality, you use buttons, drag-n-drop, drop-down lists, and plain text boxes to create a trigger.
Here is an example:
How I test strategies
Our company has a pool of virtual private servers (VPSs) on which multiple instances of our software can run 24/7. Each VPS is usually dedicated to testing one strategy at a time. An instance of MarketFeeder Pro + Market Locator is running on that remote machine, searching for markets and placing bets automatically. I normally check the account statement and logs at the end of each day. I occasionally use Time Machine to build a proof of concept or test any tweaks that I want to make to the triggers. Time Machine is a tool for simulating a betting environment using the data from historical markets provided by Betfair through the Betfair Historical Data license which we own.
When testing Triggers in Action, I use Test Mode only. This makes it impossible to test most scalping strategies or staking plans where only part of the bet could be matched, as test bets cannot influence the real market prices. Test Mode is an excellent tool for measuring the potential performance of your bets without risking a penny, although it has its limitations.
Interesting in trying this?
WellDone Creative Software is running a limited promotion with a 50% discount for a bundle of these three products:
- MarketFeeder Pro
- Time Machine
- 1 BFStats report of your choice
Get this bundle to test the strategy described in this article or various other strategies available in our repository!
We encourage you to do some research or take a trial before purchasing the bundle. There are lots of learning materials on our websites and on our YouTube channel.