Why don't you tell me exactly how to bet my money?

Last Updated: 09.01.2020

Thursday, 8th January 2020

Why don’t you tell me exactly how to bet my money?

New readers of ATC often come along with their own ideas and expectations about how the service should work....

That’s fair enough. Everybody is entitled to an opinion. And readers are often spot-on with their thoughts....

However, sometimes readers come along with a set of assumptions that I don’t share and a set of expectations that I have no intention of fulfilling....

A lot of this revolves around how I present my betting advice. Some readers expect a little more than I want to deliver or a little more than I can deliver....

Here’s some clarification on what I do, why I do what I do and why I don’t do some other things – just so we’re all on the same song sheet moving forward and everybody understands why things are as they are and will stay that way....

  • Why don’t you tell me exactly how much to bet?

The simple answer to this is that I don’t do it because it is a pointless exercise....

Every punter plays selections at his own level – a level determined by the depth of his pockets and by the grain of his temperament....

I know I have guys on the ATC service  who play at £4 each-way. I also have guys who play at £20 each-way....

And there are other guys still (the real hi-rollers on this service for the common man) who play at bigger stakes still – be it singles or each-way....

If I’m a £500 per bet kind of guy (which I am not, by the way) is it appropriate for me to advise you to bet at that level? No, of course not....

And would it be appropriate for my publisher to boast that we’ve made profits of ‘£5000’ this month – simply because the figure relates to the volume of my own ‘apparent’ stakes on a single winner at 10s? Again, no, of course not....

So, instead of referring to random cash figures, I prefer to put selections up on a points basis – where 1 point represents 1 unit of the stake at which you prefer to play (be that £5, £10, £50 or £5000)....

  • Why don’t you rate bets by points?

Playing the points way leads to another issue....

Some readers want to know why I don’t reference the relative confidence behind my selections by adopting a scale....

In other words, if I think Horse A is a particularly strong bet, why don’t I make that a 5-pointer as opposed to a 1-pointer? That kind of thing....

But, I’m not a big fan of that kind of thing....

I put the same amount of work into every bet I come up with. And it is accurate to say that I never feel any more strongly about any one selection above another....

To say that this bet over here is a 3-pointer whilst this other one is a half-pointer would have me wondering why I’m putting up a half-pointer in the first place....

Why not just stick to the bets I feel most confident about and leave alone the ones I am not so sure of?

And there’s something else I don’t like about points scales. The tipsters that tend to use the device tend to abuse it....

When you put horses up, it is inevitable that you’re going to have dry spells during which you lose money. Some tipsters can’t cope with that and they find it hard to commit to taking the road back to redemption just one step at a time....

So, instead, they try and cover all the lost ground in one fell swoop – by suddenly developing an incredible confidence about a single selection and putting it up as a 10-pointer. Death or glory in other words....

Does that approach really have the punter’s best interests at heart? I don’t think so....

My take is this: if you can’t make it pay to level stakes, you aren’t going to make it pay anyway. So, I stick to 1-point level stakes. And that won’t be changing....

  • Why don’t you adopt a staking plan?

It is a similar thing with staking plans. I’m just not interested....

I imagine some readers will already be composing strongly-worded emails designed to sell me the various merits of the Kelly Criterion or the Martingale System or the Fibonacci Staking Plan and all the rest of it. Go for it. I will give you a fair reading....

And, fair enough, I concede that there might well be something in these things. Effective bank management, for example, is probably something I shouldn’t just dismiss....

And, if working with a staking plan works for you, then stick with it – that would be my advice....

But the game for me is about studying the horses, watching the races and working in the markets to isolate the right kind of bets at what I reckon are wrong prices. That’s what I do. That’s my game....

I’m not so interested in firing up the old spreadsheet and getting into the trigonometry of a staking plan. It doesn’t float my boat....

If that makes me an old-fashioned and out-of-touch fuddy-duddy, then so be it. But I stick to level stakes and that’s how it will be going forward....

How you bet the selections is your business and you won’t get any complaints about how you go about it from me. If staking plans work for you, crack on with it....

  • Why don’t you tell me when I should bet each-way?

Which brings us to the final issue for today – why don’t I tell you when to bet each-way?

On occasion, I will. But I will only do so when I’m committed to going in each way on a selection myself – and that only happens under specific circumstances....

I will bet each-way when I can get 1/4 the odds at 16s or bigger....

If the each-way terms are 1/5 the odds then I will only bet each-way at 20s or beyond....

That’s just how I play. You can argue – and if you really want to then you must – about the rightness or wrongness of my approach. But that’s how I do it – and when I do it I will be sure to let you know....

If I put a horse up at 12s, I will not be backing it each-way. Again, that’s just how I play....

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t back the horse each way if you are happy to bet each-way at 12s....

That’s your choice. It’s not for me to tell you how to bet your money or how best to play my selections....

And I could understand it if you wanted to bet all my selections each-way – whatever the price. Betting each-way can keep the old meter ticking over when the actual race-winners are proving hard to find – which is not an unusual occurrence when you play the contrarian way as I do....

So, go your own way with it when it comes to each-way betting. You don’t have to follow my every lead or rely on me to endorse every more you make. You’re in this game too and if each-way feels like the right way for you, then go that way. It will probably turn out to suit....

  • A final word….

The bottom line is that I try to present my selections and betting advice in as open-ended a manner as possible – so that no reader is excluded and so that all readers can take the selections and fit them to any betting style they might favour....

I tell you what would be interesting though....

It would be interesting to hear exactly how you choose to use the selections....

Exactly how do you bet them (assuming you do because I know that some readers don’t)? I’m very interested in the detail....

Want to share? Do it here. I’ll publish the pick of the crop....

That’s all from me for today....

I’ll be back tomorrow with the usual Friday fare – my contrarian view on this weekend’s big races at Warwick and Kempton (fields permitting)....

Until next time. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd