Staking Plans – The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly

Staking plans can be used to take a profitable betting system and make it even more profitable. Note however, we are talking about a profitable system. By this I mean a system that makes profits at level stakes. If we had a system that made losses at level stakes and tried to improve our returns by using a staking plan then we would only compound those losses.

There are many staking plans on the market. Believe me I have tried them all. But there is only really one that I would recommend. More on that later, first let’s look at some of the more common staking plans available.

The Martingale (Ugly)

Staking PlansThis has to be one of the worst staking plans ever devised, (for a full explanation of this staking plan use the wiki pages here).

The theory is that we take an even money game, for example betting on red or black at roulette, and then to keep doubling our stake after each loss until we hit a winner. Sounds simple, but we would need an infinite betting bank to make it work. Let’s see what happens if we started with a £10 stake and hit 5 losers on the trot.

Bet Stake Running Result
1 10 10 Lost
2 20 30 Lost
3 40 70 Lost
4 80 150 Lost
5 160 310 Lost

As you can see after the 5th bet we are £310 in the hole and need to stake £320. All this just to win £10. Financial suicide.

Loss Recovery (Bad)

As the name implies the idea with this plan is to recover any losses by adding them to your win target. This sounds like it could be feasible but this kind of betting will come back to haunt you when you hit that losing streak, and losing streaks are common in betting. Let’s see how this staking plan works in practise.

Target Odds Stake Running Result
10.00 2.50 -6.67 -6.67 Lost
16.67 3.00 -8.33 -15.00 Lost
25.00 2.50 -16.67 -31.67 Lost
41.67 4.00 -13.89 -45.56 Lost
55.56 2.00 -55.56 -101.11 Lost

As you can see after just five losses with a target of winning just £10 and average odds you are in the hole for over £100 and your betting target is now £111. Eventually either you will run out of money or the stakes will grow so high your nerve will go. Every punter has an individual comfort zone, a staking zone that they are comfortable in, and this varies from punter to punter. You need to decide what your staking zone is and stay within it.

Percentage of Bank (Good)

This is when you have a betting bank and stake a fixed percentage of that bank on each selection. The problem with this type of staking plan is that you have your smallest stake on winners and your largest stakes on the losers. Let’s see an example to see this in action. Let’s assume you start off with a betting bank of £500 and you stake 5% of that bank on each selection.

Bank % Stake Odds Result Win/Loss C/F
500.00 5% 25.00 2.50 Lost -25.00 475.00
475.00 5% 23.75 2.50 Lost -23.75 451.25
451.25 5% 22.56 2.50 Lost -22.56 428.69
428.69 5% 21.43 2.50 Won 32.15 460.84
460.84 5% 23.04

As you can see with this plan you had your largest stake (£25) on a loser and your smallest stake (£21.43) on the winner. Again not an ideal state of affairs.

The best way to utilise this plan is to only calculate a new stake (of 5% in this example) when your betting bank is larger than when you first started, otherwise you keep the stake the same. For example;

Bank % Stake Odds Result Win/Loss C/F
500.00 5% 25.00 2.50 Lost -25.00 475.00
475.00 25.00 2.50 Lost -25.00 450.00
450.00 25.00 2.50 Lost -25.00 425.00
425.00 25.00 2.50 Won 37.50 462.50
462.50 25.00 3.25 Won 56.25 518.75
518.75 5% 25.94

In this variation we have kept the stake the same until the bank exceeds the opening position and only then is a new stake calculated.

Recommended Staking Plan (Good)

Now we come to the only staking plan I have ever recommended, the low-risk, high-reward staking plan. It is extremely powerful and uses very, very low stakes. The mathematics behind it is sheer genius. Hundreds of thousands of copies of it have been sold over the years and once you see it you will understand why.

Obviously I can’t tell you what the staking plan is as it is subject to copyright. That said, as an example of its power, let’s says you started with just £10 and backed class horses just to be placed and could get, on average, odds of just 1.50 then with a run of 20 such horses your winnings would be over £8,000. That is a phenomenal return for just £10 (by the way I have not personally reached the full 20 but I continue to try). The really neat thing about this staking plan though is that by the time you reach the 5th or 6th placed horse (depending on the odds) you will have had your £10 starting stake back and be well on your way to the elusive run of 20.

Remember, preservation of your betting bank is paramount. To achieve this, and to make your betting bank grow, think very carefully before adopting any system which advises you to use either the Martingale or Loss Recovery staking plans. Whenever possible use level stakes or a low-risk, high-reward staking plan.

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