Everything You Need to Know About Losing Streaks
We all dread going on a losing streak. A run of bad luck or poor decisions can eat up the profits you have steadily built up in the past. However, you shouldn’t just bury your head in the sand if you start losing.
Instead, it is worth looking into the matter in more detail. How many more losses can you expect before your next win? If you know this, betting becomes that bit less stressful.
Why Is This Important?
Learning about losing streaks is important, because you will run into one at some point. The majority of betting strategies have the risk of losing runs in them. It is possible your losing sequences are longer than your winning runs.
Hitting a losing streak can be dis-heartening. It can also cause you to doubt your overall approach. You might give up if you lose five or six times in a row unexpectedly.
It can also see you run the risk of going bust. If you aren’t expecting losses, your bank could quickly disappear. Even winning now and then won’t help if the losses are too frequent.
Knowing more about this subject will help you to stay positive. You will understand that it isn’t the end of the world. You will also know that the poor run is going to end at some point. It is just a question of maths.
This is also important in terms of bankroll management. If you know how many times in a row you might lose, it helps you to calculate your starting bank and stakes. You aren’t just guessing what might happen in the future.
For instance, if you know the best and worst case life is easier. This will allow to understand how much you could lose in a poor run. You certainly don’t want to go bust before your luck changes.
You can also work out if a certain strategy is right for you. Are you happy to deal with possible losing streaks? Or would you rather stay clear of this kind of run if you can help it? Not everyone is comfortable with losing streaks. But others are happy if the rewards make it worthwhile. If you are doing value betting, you will come across a losing run at some point.
You might think that the risk of losing streaks is worth it for a greater potential reward. But only up to a certain point. This information will help you to see where to draw that line.
The Basics About Winning and Losing Runs
The starting point is to look at the chance of a bet winning. The higher this chance, the shorter that any losing streak should be. Let’s imagine that you always bet on the horse or team that is favourite. You would expect your bet to win more often than not.
The favourites tend not to lose, for example, ten or more times in a row. You instinctively know when you bet at short odds that you will win regularly. However, wouldn’t it be good to back that up with hard numbers?
On the other hand, what if you always bet on the outsider? Sure, the wins would be higher. But you would almost certainly lose more times than you win. Is this a profitable approach in the long run or not?
We can say that the more likely an event is to occur the lower the risk of a losing streak. So far, this is just common sense. It is the same as saying that higher odds mean less chance of winning regularly.
But what if we delve into a bit deeper? Can we use mathematics to see more details about losing streaks? If so, we need to also think about ways to use these details to help us.
The truth is that we can calculate a lot of the most important numbers. However, we can’t forget that outside factors are also at play here. This means that it is impossible to get 100% accurate results. You can’t be certain about the losing streaks you will encounter.
No one can tell you that a certain betting strategy has a definitive losing streak potential. Let’s look at a football betting strategy to prove this. A last minute goal, an unexpected poor performance or something else can blow any prediction out of the water.
The only way to be certain about losing runs is to use a no-risk system. In the likes of matched betting, you can’t lose. There is no chance of a losing streak if your bet always wins. Anything that involves the risk of losing has an unknown element in it.
Another vital point is the sample size. It still won’t be fool-proof but it will get increasingly accurate with a bigger sample.
In this case, a greater sample size means more bets. If we can see the figures and trends from more bets, it helps up with this calculation.
Working Out a Winning or Losing Streak Formula
This is where we need to crunch some numbers. However, let’s keep it as simple as possible. There is no need to carry out hugely complex calculations. If you do want to use complex maths, then we will look at that towards the end.
First of all, what information do we need? The following is the basic list that matters.
- The strike rate of the strategy. Most tipsters and betting strategy experts will tell you this figure. If you can’t see it on their site, it might be noted on an online review.
- The sample size. This is how many bets are going to be placed. Are you using a system that involves numerous bets every day such as the Each Way Sniper value system? Or is it a lot less regular?
We can then use the tool at The Staking Machine website. Simply by plugging in these numbers, we can see the expected losing streak numbers. It really is as simple as that.
For instance, what if you have a strike rate of 20%? A sample size of 100 bets gives you an expected losing streak of 20.6 bets. If we increase the sample size to 100,000 bets, the losing streak figure rises to over 51.
Boost the strike to 80% and a sample size of 100 gives you an expected losing run of 2.9. With an increased sample size of 100,000 the streak figure is 7.2. And so on for any combination of strike rate and number of bets you want to use.
What do these figures really mean, though? How do they affect your profits and your strategy? The first point to bear in mind is the numbers are based on making a similar bets every time.
The expected losing streak number simply tells you how long the longest streak should be. In the first example, we can expect a losing streak of up to 20.6 bets. This ties in with the strike rate, of course. If we place more bets then it becomes more likely that we suffer a longer dry spell.
In the second example, the better strike rate works in our favour. The worst expected losing run is now far shorter. Even with the maximum sample size, the worse expected run is fairly short.
This is what you would expect to see. When you start a strategy with a high strike rate, you know that you will win a lot. But you might not appreciate how many times you could lose in a row.
For instance, you might bet on red or an even number every time you play roulette. This will give you a very accurate result in this case. With more complicated, variable bets the numbers lose a little bit of accuracy.
Check It For Yourself
Are you not completely convinced yet by this? The good news is that there are some ways of checking it for yourself. Some are quite complicated, as you need to use complex formulae.
A simpler way is to look at the betting record of a strategy or tipster you like. Many of them have a list of all of their bets over several years. They will show their strike rate. So, you have everything you need to work out the figures we are talking about.
Just take a look at their expected maximum losing streak based on the strike rate. Then look at their historic results. The figures should match up quite closely.
Another approach is to use your own results. If you know the strike rate, you can calculate the maximum losing streak. You then just need to keep a record as you bet.
In the majority of cases, you will see the results you expect. There may be some situations in which this doesn’t work out. Remember that you worked out the maximum losing streak. So you might not reach this number.
You should only get worried if you see a longer run than expected. Why could this happen? Maybe the strike rate that you used is wrong. Perhaps you have used bets that vary in probability too much.
How to Use This Information to Calculate a Starting Bank
The information we have seen so far is very useful. You are less likely to panic after a run of five or six losses now. Knowing that the streak should end soon is a great comfort. Any losing sequences will end eventually.
If you plugged in the right figures, you will know the maximum number of losing bets to expect. This is simple maths. Yet, it is still exciting to see how it works time after time.
You can also turn this into a solid plan for your starting bank. Knowing how much to start with is a common issue for newcomers. However, the expected losing streak figures we just look at help.
For some people, the general idea is to use a starting bank of two times the expected highest losing streak. This only works with level stakes staking plans, though.
So, we could look at the first example again. This has an expected streak of 20. We can start here with a bank of 2 x 20, which is 40. That means 40 times our stake. A stake of £5 makes this a starting bank of £200.
The calculation above lets you be pretty sure you won’t go bust. However, you can make even surer by boosting the starting bank higher. Making it three or four times your expected losing sequence gives you even less risk.
Some people will tell you that five times the highest expected losing streak is needed. This would give you a starting bank of 5 x 20 followed by this result multiplied by the stake. Our example above with £5 stakes would need a starting bank of £500. This is a smart approach as there’s very little chance of you going bust.
Why does it have to be multiple times the expected worst streak? This is because you might hit the maximum streak more than once. You could get this losing run several times before you have built up any real profits.
There is no sense in taking a chance with a small bank. This could lead to you running out of cash before the wins arrive. If you don’t have enough money for a sufficient bank, look for a different strategy.
What About Winning Streaks?
Knowing about the losing streaks you will encounter is important. We have seen how understanding this concept can help you. You might now be wondering about the happier issue of winning streaks.
We can also look at the flip side of this matter. This is because expected winning streaks number is also worth knowing about. In this case, there are also several reasons for wanting to know the figures.
It can help you to understand the kind of profit you can make. This might give you the encouragement you need to get started. Or it might help you to keep your expectations under control.
There are several tools and formulae online that let us do this. However, things tend to get complicated very quickly. You might not want to put the time and effort into this.
An easier approach is to go back to the tool we used earlier. This time, we are going to reverse the strike rate. Earlier we looked at a strike rate of 20% to work out the possible losing streak.
Now, we are going to look at the non-strike rate. Which is 80% for this example. In the same way, a strike rate of 30% would be changed to 70% to calculate possible winning streaks.
In this case, putting in 80% tell us our expected maximum winning sequences. For 100 bets, this is 2.9. If we make 100,000 wagers then it increases to 7.2. The same expectations and rules covered above apply here too.
This is an example with a low strike rate. Increase it and you will see that longer winning runs will happen.
By doing this, we can now see both sides of the story. We know how long both winning and losing streaks should run for. This takes a lot of the uncertainty out of betting.
Want to Delve Deeper?
As I mentioned a couple of times, it is also possible to delve deeper. You will discover articles and online tools that let you fiddle around with formulae. If you love maths then you might find this interesting to do.
Yet, for most of us the information seen so far is enough. Knowing how long a winning or losing run could be is a big help. Looking into the matter more deeply will only add limited value. It might even just serve to confuse you.
If you want to run your own experiments, you will see it is a fascinating subject. If you start delving deeper, you might get hooked on it.
If you are new to betting, this might all seem confusing. That is why I have kept it as simple as possible here. By doing this, I have also simplified things a little. This means that you might want to dig deeper if you feel that you need the whole picture.
Losing Streaks Conclusion
There is no way to avoid losing streaks on most types of betting. This isn’t something to be feared, though. By removing some of the unknown factors, it becomes easier to understand and deal with.
For most of us, there is no need to look any more deeply than in this article. Knowing the basic numbers is enough to give a degree of peace of mind.