The Psychology of Gambling - Horses

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Postby oldmansea » Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:09 pm

I agree with the above to a large extent. I take the market on at a set point. A snap shot and if I have got it right will make money. I rarely amend a plan, but the consequences are as follows, the biggest problems are two fold in my view, stable form and going changes. Stables tend to hit form in patches. In my view that is down to feed and hormonal changes. How often does a trainer get a quick for double, or horses all improve at once? If one goes in earlier, showing greatly improved form then others running later may win or go close. The other great factor is the vagaries of the British weather. Forecasts, which I pay great attention to because of my interest in the Temps system, of rain, are notoriously unreliable as is wind strength and direction. If those change then the parameters upon which the bets were placed also changes too as would the selections if based upon the new data. Generally speaking it's a balancing act between at what prices you like the market and the risks of the circumstances changing and invalidating the presumptions upon which the bets were placed.

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Postby nors » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:05 am

It takes real discipline not to be influenced by past winners/losers as confidence rises and falls. Most know it shouldn't influence us and that each horse we back dosen't know how we are doing.

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Postby deswalker » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:19 pm

For anyone that followed this before; I've just reviewed my betting bank and, after a good Christmas period, the bank level is at the point where I should increase stakes following my staking plan. This means my new stakes are at the psychological boundary that made me lose my bottle last year after a couple of losing bets and take a load of money out!

Watch this space for another bottle job in a couple of weeks!

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Postby balewonder999 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:17 pm

I don't, by saying winner finding is easy, wish to encourage anyone to bet beyond their means or stake more than they can afford. If you can't make betting pay putting 1p on a horse nothing changes when you put 100 pounds on it. All it does is increase the pressure and hence change the chemical balance in your head.

Good luck to anyone who bets.

here here old man sea

betting is different to gambling. personally i do both cos i like to. to be a successful bettor, than you must be in PROFIT, no matter what the size of stake. Heard about too many pro gamblers over the years having 500 each way etc. To me PROFESSIONAL lies in the attitude, procedure and profitability, not the size of bet.

I never lose more than i can afford and i never win enough to get jiggy about.

For me it's like a good crossword...satisfaction is in finding the solution.

All should be done for personal objective.

Truth is...there is more than one way to skin this cat. You can win odds on, or 25-1 shots. Its not the picking of winners, it's the approach and having an EDGE and knowledge and recognising what SHOULD run well, the rest is out of your hands, accept it. Horses can win by 5 lengths or be beaten by a nose. This is the difference between success and failure but only for that race. If you apply the right techniques, then you will get the right results overall. If you hit 10% at 10-1 you win. Just what timeframe you assess that 10% over. personally i look at my records monthly and never fret if i losing or cheer if i winning in the short term.

I just like the thrill of the race ultimately and i'm sure i'm not alone.

Learning to LOSE is the hard part.

Just like any business, you can run it however you wish to a large degree as long as it's profitable. trouble is like many businesses, many go BUST.

Call it a hobby and then ultimately you can do what you like :)

*** proof is in the pudding and i'm having seconds ***

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Postby gecko6 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 3:49 am

oldmansea wrote:
All this analysis about gambling and psychology. It's never been easier to make money and if you can't make money backing horses you really should accept it for what it is. A hobby. I can't stop making money. I play with systems, different approaches. Bet singles, bet multiples just to vary the monotony. And I keep making profit after profit month on month, year on year. Its simple. Value first, middle and last. I don't trust myself to find value like a pig snuffling out truffles.

My mind is clouded with every sort of possibility that like Hamlet I am paralysed by inaction. The solution for me is to enshrine my approaches into rules and let them run. Simple as that. I haven't got a mind like a computer. It doesn't keep coming up with the same answers if I feed the same data in. It varies with my mood, what I have eaten, late nights etc etc.

Studies of exam marking have shown that even such an empirical assessment of the truth, given guidelines and testing and regular meetings to align marking methods, still mean students score better after the marker has had a cup of coffee.

Two examples. I backed Bronze Angel to win the big race though it was one of five I arrived at. I could not make my mind up but applied my rules. It decided it for me. Today, Best Example at 3/1 turned over the 1/3 fav. I backed it. It had 2 runs in its life and had been beaten 21 lengths last time. One of my rules regards idiosyncratic courses and the reliability of form shown there. Though I could not make my mind up about the horse my rules did...and Brighton is a place where horses can run unaccountably badly. Except that it IS accountable and the camber is the culprit.

Rather than rely on the variations of chemical imbalance and hormones, if you know what you are doing and I do, get around the inherent instability of mental states and enshrine the rules into a code by which you bet. But you have to know what you are doing.

I repeat. Anyone can make money backing horses its the easiest thing imaginable. If you try and still can't do it take up something else, or read read read the forums and think deeply and learn the greatest rule of all....interrogate every predjudice until you understand the wellsprings of convictions about how horse A or B will run.

Given the margins that exchanges work to you would have to be extremely bad not to be able to make money consistently. You are only asking yourself to be a tiny bit better than the herd.

Computers don't suffer fluctuations with the same data. People do. If you are really concerned that your psychological approach is not right make sure it cannot obfuscate what was clear. And when I say interrogate I mean interrogate. You will always try to lie to yourself. We all do. Only by knowing we lie can we set traps to get to the truth.

The biggest psychological barrier to winner finding in my experience is that it becomes confused with self esteem. The buzz of adrenalin over a 10/1 winner announced to a crowd of half drunk friends is so much better than a 6/4 shot. 'Anyone could tip that' That adrenaline shot can be fatal if it hooks you into believing that bigger is better and popularity is a winner finding contest. In the same way that a previous poster is probably kicking himself for the drum banging over the Camb fav that got beat. There is no reason to do so. The logic was flawed on that what.

The reason I rarely post tips despite the fact that I keep winning is that I know that it knocks confidence, publicising losers and all people want is a big winner. They remember the losers but not the winners. Making them a reasonable profit over time is so much less exciting than the random big hit. I back up to 12 horses a day, would I really write up or explain the 100 plus rules that determine a bet? No. If you know yourself truly.

Your motivations and what makes you who you are you will know enough to make a construct which can contain and iron out the aberrations that could make you a loser. One of mine is to not give tips. I suspect many of the posters would be better off talking less and learning more. The rule for posting is post to find out and post what is worth reading not what is worth writing.

I don't, by saying winner finding is easy, wish to encourage anyone to bet beyond their means or stake more than they can afford. If you can't make betting pay putting 1p on a horse nothing changes when you put 100 pounds on it. All it does is increase the pressure and hence change the chemical balance in your head.

Good luck to anyone who bets.
one of the best posts I have ever read on OLBG

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Postby Robmull » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:01 am

There have been some excellent posts on this thread, which has supplied plenty food for the thought.

I have decided to add my current thoughts, as I have been going through a rough patch since the middle of July, with the only respite being a couple of Mark Johnson handicap winners at Goodwood last week, which enabled me to just about break even for the meeting. If I exclude my bets at Goodwood, I have backed 22 losers in a row at other meeting using my normal selection criteria, which over the last 2 years has on average produced a win strike rate of around 20%.

Not only have I failed to select a winner, but most of my selections have run well below market expectations, so it is not even a case of suffering from bad luck, I just appear to be out of form.

I started to think that perhaps I should be thinking of changing my selection criteria in light of recent losses, despite the fact that the method has shown a consistent overall level stake profit during the 25 months that I have been using it.

However, having reviewed my betting records which I have kept methodically since I started using my current selection method I have ascertained that losing runs of this severity are not that uncommon, with the worst case being a massive 39 bets without a winner.

Therefore, whilst I start to wonder where the next winner is going come from, I have a healthy betting bank to fall back on and my historic records suggest that this is likely to be just a temporary blip, after which the winners will start to flow and eventually recent losses will be recouped.

Therefore, I will not panic, but continue to plug away using my tried and trusted method, continuing to place level stakes win bets on my selections, as I have done for the last couple of years.

In my opinion, the key points from this experience are:

1. Keep records of all bets placed - not only do they provide a nice warm feeling when things are going well, but they are also extremely useful as a means of placing context around losing runs.

2. Don't gamble with money that you cannot afford to lose and ensure that your betting bank is sufficient to enable you to keep going during the inevitable losing runs.

3. Don't panic into changing a winning formula when short term results go against you.

4. Try not to let short term losses prey on your mind - I shall now go out into the garden and enjoy working on a couple of flower boarders that need some attention, as there are many more important things in life than which horse wins the 2.45 at Catterick.

I wish members the best of luck with their selections for today and every day.

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Postby HorseWinner » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:56 am

Great post dude thanks for the information

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Postby TYOFOLL » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:12 pm

Yes, a good post Rob. Was wondering if you have ever bet as a percentage of your bank e.g. 2% each time. During your bad run, at least you would have been staking slightly less each time.

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Postby Robmull » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:46 pm

Yes, a good post Rob. Was wondering if you have ever bet as a percentage of your bank e.g. 2% each time. During your bad run, at least you would have been staking slightly less each time.
TYOFOLL, thanks for your thought.

I have used various staking plans since I started backing horses some 40 years ago, including a set percentage of my betting bank.

However, most have flaws in that they are great when the winners are flowing and profits are relatively easy to come by, but whilst reducing stakes during a losing run keeps the losses down, it becomes very difficult to claw back those losses once the method starts winning again.

In the case of my worst recent losing run of 39 selections, betting 2% of my vastly dimished betting bank would result in me placing a very small stake on the 40th selection and if that won, I would need plenty of quick fire winners to get back to my original betting bank balance.

Over the years, I have found that in most circumstances using level stakes tends to produce the best returns in the long term, but I would not try to dissuade other punters from experimenting with other 'conservative' staking plans, if they feel that they better suit their own betting strategies.

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Postby TYOFOLL » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:31 pm

Yes, I see your point Rob. If you've got a 100pt bank, then 39 losers still leaves a bit to play with, asssuming a point a time.

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Postby turflinetrading » Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:10 pm

As Trading is my main function on Sporting events, it makes little difference if the Trade I have Traded on is a winner, it's the options I use around the Trade that I look for in 'Profits'.

Pre-Race, Scalping, and the In-Running Markets are my main supports, and if the selection happens to win the event, say Horse Racing, Football or Tennis, then it's Profit 98% of the time.

How-ever you Trade, 'Risk Management' must be part of your Trading strategy, when the Event and the Options are selected on the Trade you are going to execute, for this I have my own tried and tested Models.

Number one rule on Trading...Don't lose money.

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Postby westport007 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:59 pm

Yes I do agree that in order to become reasonable punter losing is part of the process that we have to accept is going to happen at times for some a lot more than others and is beyond our control,its how much we lose is something we can control.Experience is key along with good knowledge of the sport.Gut Instinct also plays a

major part as I myself have missed out on good bets because I headed the form instead of going with my gut.It\'s not easy to get a profit from horse racing but in order to make a good win at any stage study is necessary and when the ideal bet comes along having the courage to put down that bit more

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