1. Selection System Performance Criteria
Before you decide to adopt a particular Betting Strategy (that is, a method combining both a Selection System and a Staking Plan) - no matter if it is your own or somebody else's - it almost goes without saying that you must have proof that this proposed Strategy would in fact work. If you can't establish that, then you shouldn't employ it until you've had the chance to monitor it for a realistic period. Realistic in this sense will vary according to what you are betting on (for example, Home Wins for Value Bets or Home Wins for Favourites (Short Odds) Bets). We will deal more with this issue later.
The key to the success of any Betting Strategy rests entirely on the effectiveness of the Selection System; the Staking Plan is secondary only. For this reason, the test of your proposed Betting Strategy must be carried out using a Fixed (Level) Staking Plan. On this basis there are certain key Comfort Factors that your proposed Betting Strategy will need to satisfy before it can be classed as reliable. In short, it must have demonstrated good performance for at least one full season in respect of the following (which are listed in our recommended order of importance):
- the Return on Risks (that is, the final increase over the value of the Base Bank compared to the total amount that had to be withdrawn from the Base Bank, expressed as a percentage);
- the Robustness Test (that is, the prediction success rate computed by reference to the number of bets actually placed compared with the number of bets you would have preferred to have seen the system tested against (that latter number being your own discretionary "comfort level")), expressed as a percentage) - it requires a special formula that we supply elsewhere under the section entitled Robustness Test Formula;
- the Drop Ratio (that is, the total amount that had to be withdrawn from the Base Bank compared to the value of the Base Bank, expressed as a percentage);
- the Exposure Rating (that is, the number of bets that were placed before the Base Bank did not venture below its starting level again for the remainder of the season, compared to the total number of bets placed, expressed as a percentage);
- the Base Yield (that is, the final increase over the value of the Base Bank compared to the value of the Base Bank, expressed as a percentage.
- the Betting Yield (that is, the final increase over the value of the Base Bank compared to the total value of bets placed, expressed as a percentage);
[Note: For the purposes of the above, the value of the Base Bank must be computed as either (i) your entire lump-sum starting amount or (ii) the sum of all the weekly inputs you were prepared to stake, regardless of whether or not you did actually stake the whole amount.]
You will very often see the last two Comfort Factors (the Base Yield and the Betting Yield) touted as the be-all and end-all of performance testing, even when comparing the effectiveness of different Betting Strategies employing entirely different Staking Plans. However, we contend that direct comparison under those latter conditions would be totally misleading. For example, if a Fixed Staking Plan is adopted, then the majority of the amount within the Base Bank will never be used in a winning situation (because the winnings will cover the stakes for all following bets).
Consider the situation where a Betting Strategy using a Plateau Staking Plan reports that its Base Yield is 20%, whereas another Betting Strategy using Fixed Stakes increases its Base Bank by only 10%. You don't know whether the first Betting Strategy would have fared so well on a Fixed Staking plan or whether the second one would have done far better than the first if Plateau Staking had been employed. For this reason Base Yield and Betting Yield should never be considered in isolation from the first four Comfort Factors; that is why they will always remain at the bottom of our prioritised list of checks.
Our advice when checking out the success rates of different Selection Systems is to analyse the data at the deepest level possible. This means that if the data is available, look at how each System fared on "singles" Home Win "Favourites" Bets, "singles" Away Win "Value" Bets, "doubles" Home Win "Asian Handicap" Bets, etc. You will find, as we have done, that each Selection System has its individual strengths and weaknesses, which means that to devise the best Betting Strategy you may have to utilise more than one Selection System if you plan to bet across all Bet Types (Homes, Draws, Aways and Correct Scores). Taking our own in-house Selection System as an example, each of our 5 principal Prediction Methods and their 2 Derivative Methods excels in different ways, but not one of them provides the best answers across all Bet Types.