This is a little post all about losing runs on horse racing single bets and how I deal with them. Although the advice here can be applied when betting on absolutely anything.
First of all for clarity, I measure a losing run by the number of losing bets between one winner and the next, in this context I’m not including each way bets that have placed. This year I’ve had a handful of what I would call considerable losing runs of around twenty bets or so without a winner in a row. Losing runs are an unavoidable part of betting, what matters is how you cope and deal with them.
I do this in a number of ways, the first method is to simply be calm and patient. I know eventually another winner is around the corner and I have my betting bank and potentially any profit already made to absorb the blow, so to speak.
Another way I deal with these kind of runs is to simply take a break from betting. It doesn’t have to be weeks or months off, just a few days here and there. Having these breaks obviously does not guarantee I will find a winner as soon as I resume betting, but they do leave me feeling mentally refreshed.
I realise the two methods mentioned above do contradict each other, one is based around continuing to bet, while the other is based around putting the breaks on. But I feel both can be beneficial in different ways.
I think the simplest way to prepare for these inevitable losing runs is to start with a betting bank that can withstand at least 100 straight losers at level stakes. Unless you start with one hundred losers in a row (which I would say is highly unlikely), it means the bank is always there and will never fully deplete. There is of course no guarantee you will finish in the black and you may still end up at a loss at the end of the year, but the point here is that you will have only ever bet with what was in your bank to start with.
I also believe level staking is essential with regards to losing runs and betting in general. Changing your stake for the sake of a losing run is unwise, whether it be increasing the stake in an effort to chase losses or decreasing the stake so you don’t lose as much.
Increasing stakes in an effort to chase losses is one of the most irresponsible and damaging things any bettor can do. If you think that is the best way out of a losing run, then a one way ticket to the poor house is probably on the cards. You may get lucky, but most likely you won’t and you will just be left with even bigger losses than be before.
Likewise decreasing stakes in an attempt to minimise losses while on a losing run is just as bad for different reasons. A losing run will never last forever so when it finally does come to end, you will want that eventual winner to be as beneficial as possible.
If you lower your stake during a losing run it will be detrimental by the time you do find a winner again. Let’s say you reduce your stake by half during a losing run, well when you finally do win again you will only be winning half as much as you would had you kept the same stake all along. You could argue that by halving stake size during the barren spell you will only have lost half as much as you normally would have.
That is fair, but this is why the betting bank is important. That sets out from the start all the money you have to bet with, divided equally into at least 100 x 1 point bets (you can start with a bigger bank than that if you want). Once you’ve done this there should never be a need to lower the stake. But if your stake does feel like a burden in the first place it’s probably too high and you should adjust it. But once you’ve decided on a stake, stick to it.
Ultimately, losing runs are part and parcel of betting, if you can accept that you won’t go far wrong. The biggest battle is the mental one.
Summarising how to deal with losing runs:
- Start with at least a 100 point bank
- Use level stakes
- Expect them, they are unavoidable .
- Have patience, they do not last forever
- Take a break if you feel like it
- Never alter your stake, absolutely NEVER increase it to chase losses