Find out the winning betting strategies used by one of our most veteran users
We are pleased to interview one of our veteran users, Tom Whitaker, author of many books on Betaminic strategies, as well as Staking Plans. In this interview he will reveal in detail his recipe for winning consistently in betting. Don’t miss this article to learn about his winning method first hand.
Betaminic: First, thank you very much for taking time to do this interview with us. Could you let some of our newer users know a little bit more about you and your betting experience and why you chose to use Betaminic?
Tom: Sure. Well, I have been gambling from an early age, from family 3-card brag games, to poker, to Texas hold’em to even chess games for a wager. And along the way I was big into football manager games and other strategy games with all the statistics that go with them. I grew up in the UK, but went to high school in Norway where I got my introduction to the sportsbooks by teaming up with a Lithuanian exchange student (who had won a maths scholarship to be there) and we tried to “beat” the bookies by dutching the results of 3 banker home favourites each weekend so that the home favourite team just had to avoid defeat for us to make a profit. (This was before we even had credit-cards so we were doing it all by hand and getting his older friend to place the bets at the bookmaker in person.) It did not work of course, as we were eventually undone by the inevitable home upsets that we see occasionally where bottom of the league teams get a late penalty and hang on for life to the final whistle.
Key Principle #1: There are no home bankers. (Lesson not learned then and it wouldn’t be learned for another 10 years.) When I was in my twenties I won a small but not insignificant poker tournament against some pretty tough players much older than me and I thought I could make a living from gambling, and so promptly made a mess of things against bigger fish with online poker. Then I found Betfair and tried lots of in-play betting and trading systems. The one I had the most success with was Lay The Draw (LTD). The two important parts of LTD trading are Match Selection and your Exit Strategy. My biggest problem was that I just couldn’t trade out when I was supposed to and this led to long term losses.
Key Principle #2: If you don’t have the strong willpower to be a trader and can’t trade out for a loss at the right moment, then don’t do it. You are just giving yourself the stress and pain of a day trader without the salary benefits and tax-payer funded bank bailouts. I tried to balance my lack of trading willpower by improving my Match Selection. To do this I collected masses and masses of football data and historical bookmaker odds and put them into excel files. I tried to expand the data to include as many leagues and variables as possible. It took a lot of time. It was an obsession at times. Following games in-play while waiting for the first goal and the LTD trade out meant I was constantly checking my PC and my phone for goal updates for most hours of the day. From the early kick-off Asian games, to the European games and then finishing the footballing day with the North and South American leagues. Often trying to save a losing day on some unknown Mexican second division match, praying for a goal to be scored. Not the best way to be doing things. And then I found Betaminic in 2017. A site that had already done what I had been trying to do in terms of a historical football odds database, plus they had made it into an easy to manipulate tool and it would email you the future picks of strategies that you wanted to follow. I created a set of strategies, followed them and made a lot of profit in a short space of time. I thought I had done it, so I wrote a book to share my system and try to get other people interested in researching and sharing strategy ideas, to get affiliate referral fees to reinvest into my betting system and to reach my targets faster.
Key Principle #3: Your time is more valuable than your money. If you can avoid it, don’t waste hours of your life manually researching selections. Automate the selection finding process. And if you can, automate the betting process, too. The aim of most bettors is to become financially free, but swapping an 8 hour working day for 8 hours in front of your computer scanning for selections or checking your phone waiting for the right trading moment is not financial freedom.
Betaminic: So what has your history using Betaminic been like for the past 4 years?
Tom: To sum up my performance in choosing strategies very bluntly:
2017-12 The Colossus 21 set – I picked the top performing strategies based on all their data, only AP (All Period results) and no LP (Live Period/Since created results) because they were all new strategies. The set performed well for 4 months but then some stopped making profit. A few of them are still in profit today. When I refreshed those strategies with the latest data, they often showed profits again for a while before some of them go flat or negative. A few of them keep making profit long term with or without refreshing , but seem to have better results after refreshing with the latest data. At that time, it suggested to me that researching with the freshest data might find a working set that lasts for 1-2 months before needing refreshing again. But some strategies worked very long term if you stuck with them through bad runs. (7 of the 21 Colossus21 strategies from 2017 are still in profit long term with no data updates: Yield 3%+ Colossus 01, 06, 14; Yield 0-3% Colossus 03, 10, 12, 19)
2018-9 The Proven 8 set – I tried splitting the data to create a Research Period (RP) and a Test Period (TP) with the data. It performed well for 2 months but then slowed and went negative after 11 months. (Only Pro7 is still in profit.)
2019-1 The Best of 2018 set – I tried following the top performing strategies from 2018. Again it worked for 2 months, but then slowed and went negative after 6 months.
2019-7 The Best Betaminic Ratings set – I tried to follow the top 12 strategies by Betaminic rating. This time it went negative immediately, but pulled back up to +54 points profit after 3 months, and then went very volatile between negatives and positives after that with swings of +/-50 points in a month which damaged my betting bank.
2019-10 The Mixed19 Set – I tried using a mix of the long term winners from the Colossus 21, Proven 8 and top Betaminic rated strategies. Again, it went well for 3 months, but went negative after that.
2020 I kept removing poor performers, adding in new winners and had inconsistent results. The time used placing large numbers of bets was getting difficult so I tried to find a way to semi-automate the betting and managed to do it with the Bf Bot Manager. I asked Betaminic if they could create a direct link which they did at the start of 2021.
2021-2 The BDS-54, BDS-44, BDS-36 sets – I tried running as many of the top strategies together with the new automated system. It made profit for 2 months (doubling the bank twice – over x4 on my original bank!) and then went negative. This suggested again that using the freshest data is useful.
2021-4 The BSG-18 customized set – I tried reducing pick costs by editing the strategies to fit together. But the BSG-18 set went negative over the next 4 months.
2021-9 The BDS-15 – I used a fresh data snapshot to select the current best performing strategies. I also used staking software (The Staking Machine – TSM) to analyze historical results and made a customized staking plan. I also improved my bot set and add-on bots. This had great success, going up 90% in the first week, but finishing the month on +28%.
2021-10 The TW-16 – Betaminic increased the amount of leagues in their database from 54 to 111 leagues. I recreated the existing top strategies with the same settings, and also using the expanded league selection. This meant that all the top strategies were refreshed with the latest data when filtering leagues. I also increased my bank size to 3,000 in order to cover pick costs but also as part of a plan to move to a monthly style of recording performance. The results were really positive. +60% with Betfair odds and +30% with Pinnacle odds.
2021-11 The TW-10 I reviewed my strategy choices, removed 7 strategies and added 1 new one. Then I re-ran the strategies through staking software and level stakes came up as one of the simplest ways to get good results from the strategies. Its results were -20 points after 18 days, but this was all within the historical variance levels, even though it was disappointing.
2021-11-19 The AT-7 I changed my strategy choice after getting in contact with an ex-bookmaker. The AT-7 focusses on going against the trend to bet on unpopular selections that the bookmaker models and public money push odds up into value levels.
2021-12 Added 2 strategies into my AT-7 Against the Trend set. The new AT-9 had a negative P/L in December but the add-on bots made it a flat December.
2022-3 I ran the AT-9 for nearly 4 months and during that time I experimented with new bots that focused on derivative markets. These new bots had really good results. The AT-9 made a loss on level stakes of -29%, but my extra bets, bots and staking plan helped it make a profit of +8%.
2022-4 I started using the new bot set that bet on even more derivative markets with an updated AT-10 set. I removed 2 strategies and added in 3 more. But 2 of the new ones are very similar to the 2 that were removed, they were just slightly better versions in my opinion. So I had still been following the same basic system for over 6 months.
2022-6 I am still using the AT-10 set, so that’s nearly the same set of strategies for over 6 months now.
2022-6 I started creating separate bot sets based on just one Betaminic strategy with connected add-on bots.
These have done very well so far and make me think I should focus on getting individual strategies and their related add-on bets working as efficiently as possible with customized staking plans.
2022-6 I also started laying the picks of a negative P/L Betaminic strategy on Betfair. This has had amazing results so far. If they keep going like this, I will have to write another book.
Betaminic: What are the main things you have learned from the past 4 years?
Tom: My conclusion from this experience is:
Key Principle #4: Make logs of your betting history. At the very least, keep a log of how much you are depositing into bookmakers. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it! Using Betaminic also helped me really get a much firmer understanding and control on my betting. I see exactly how the sportsbook odds work now, their bookmaker margin and how I can avoid giving them my money so easily.
Key Principle #5: There are inefficient trends in the bookmaker models that we can take advantage of, but we need good staking plans and bank management to get through a 6-month period to give it a chance.
Key Principle #6: I think placing extra bets in derivative markets pre-match or in-play can get more value out of Betaminic strategies.
Key Principle #7: I think it is better to spread risk by following larger numbers of strategies rather than a few strategies.
Key Principle #8: Make a plan and stick to it. Don’t give up after a bad run if it is still within your expected plan’s historical limits.
Betaminic: What strategies are you following now?
Tom: Right now I am running 4 separate systems with separate banks. Each bank starting with £1,000.
My top recommendation is an against the trend overs system . I have a system based on one Betaminic strategy “ALL LEAGUES Over 2.5 against trend / TODAS las LIGAS Más 2.5 contra tendencia (Updated 2021-10-20)”. +41.6% after 21 Betaminic picks since 2022-6-3 (6 weeks) I place 6 bets on each pick. You can follow this with manual or automated betting. You can do all or just some of the add-on bets if you want.
Bet 1: Bet on the over 2.5 goals market selection to win 5% of the current bank. (This is based on customized staking plan)
Bet 2: Bet on the over 0.5 goals FT market selection with 2% of the current bank. (Whitaker Staking Settings)
Bet 3: Bet on the over 1.5 goals FT market selection with 2% of the current bank. (Whitaker Staking Settings)
Bet 4: Bet on the over 0.5 goals HT market selection with 2% of the current bank. (Whitaker Staking Settings)
Bet 5: Lay the draw to 5% liability of the current bank and trade out in-play if there is a goal and the draw price goes up by 25% or more, or trade out for a loss if the draw odds drop to 1.5.
Bet 6: IF it is 0-0 at HT, bet again on the over 0.5 goals market selection with 1% of the current bank. (Whitaker Staking Settings)
I use the Bf Bot Manager to automate the betting process and you can see the current results below. (But it is possible to follow this strategy manually, too.) I try to publish my results on a Reddit community site, so you can follow the system’s progress there, too.
I used the data downloaded from the Betamin Builder to research a custom staking plan for this strategy. The Staking Machine Monte Carlo Simulation results (with profit taking when the bank doubled) looked like this:
It beat level stakes and avoided bankruptcy, but it did have average bank lows of 223 with a 1,000 bank and its lowest bank of 1,000 simulations was 28, so you if you run the system with this staking plan, then you are risking the whole bank and should not be surprised if it does drop as low as 200 at some points. With the historical data the bank doubled 14 times in 10 years. So, I think betting to win 5% target profit with each bet is the most efficient way to use your betting bank with this strategy.
My second system is a private overs system based on an updated version of the Colossus 06.
+29.6% after 23 Betaminic picks since 2022-6-5 (6 weeks)
The 7 bots linked to one Betaminic strategy are also doing well.
If you want to follow this betting strategy, it can be re-created in your private strategies area.
The settings are the same as the original Colossus 06, but the leagues are selected by removing only those leagues with negative yields AND also have over 100 bets in that league to justify removal. That means leagues with negative yields are still included if they have fewer than 100 bets in their data set. It gives an average of 61 picks per month, which costs about €42 depending on what pick pack you buy from Betaminic.
Main Bet: Bet to win 2% of the current bank. I have not had time to research a proper custom staking plan for this strategy so it is using the default Whitaker staking settings.
Add-on Bets: Over 0.5HT, 0.5FT, 1.5FT market bets use default Whitaker staking settings.
|Whitaker3 Staking Settings|
|Odds Bracket||Settings||Staking Style|
|1.01-1.49||Bet 2% of bank||Percentage Staking|
|1.50-1.99||Bet 1.5% of bank||Percentage Staking|
|2.00-2.49||Bet to win 2% of bank||Target Profit Staking|
|2.50-4.49||Bet to win 2.5% of Bank||Target Profit Staking|
|4.50+||Bet to win 3% of bank||Target Profit Staking|
Add-on Bets: LTD bet is set to risk 5% of the bank as its initial liability.
My third system is a lay the home favorite system. (Or back the Double Chance X2)
Since it seemed that the public market often over backs the obvious choice, I thought that profit could be made by opposing those bets if I could find a trend that makes a solid and consistent loss over time AND has some football logic behind it.
So far +32% after 46 Betaminic picks since 2022-6-10 (5 weeks)
The simple lay strategy I tried as a “what if” experiment has continued to do well. It still only has 46 picks under its belt but is going in the right direction.
The settings are very simple for this one, just looking at home wins, with the home odds restricted to 1.00-2.00 and the home team average goals set to 0.00-1.00. The idea is to find teams that have poor goal scoring records and hope they slip up at home. It uses all the leagues, so there are no leagues to cut out.
It gives an average of 65 picks per month, which costs about €45 depending on what pick pack you buy from Betaminic.
I use the Bf Bot Manager to place the bets automatically. The 2 add-on bets just offer the same lay bet at -2 and -4 ticks worse odds each time. Basically trying to get even more value out of the pick by offering the bet at even worse odds to the punter.
For people betting manually with sportsbooks, they can back the Double Chance X2 draw + away win bet to do a similar thing.
Main Bet and add-on bets: I have not had time to research a proper custom staking plan for this strategy so I am risking 2% of the bank each time as the liability. (2% percentage betting for manual bettors)
My fourth system is a mixed group of 10 strategies together that I call the AT-10. These are the 10 Betaminic public strategies that I have looked at carefully and feel that they are based on a real trend and have the most chance of long term success. They are all Against the Trend style strategies which fits well with the former bookmaker’s advice in a previous article. The plan is to follow them over the long term of 6 months and more. Either as a mixed set of 10 strategies with the same bank and staking plan or as individual strategies with their own separate betting banks, custom staking plans and add-on bets. Again, you can follow the progress of my systems on the Reddit community.
- Colossus 06 Away Scoring Overs 34 of 111 leagues (2021-9-23)
- HOMES YENİ SHARE by User GrandEkinoks (Updated 2021-01-05) 30 of 111 leagues
- Draws are in late – All Leagues
- TW Under 2.5 Goals Against the Trend 101 of 111 leagues
- Over 2.5 against the trend / Más 2.5 contra tendencia (Updated 2021-10-21)
- ALL LEAGUES Over 2.5 against trend / TODAS las LIGAS Más 2.5 contra tendencia (Updated 2021-10-20)
- Home Dog 88 of 111 leagues
- Not home on. (Updated 2021-11-15)
- Backing the Draw / Apostando al Empate (107 of 111 leagues) (Updated 2021-12-09)
- Under Home Underdog and Away Winner Streak (Updated 2021-11-17) All 111 Leagues
A word of caution though, readers can choose to follow the strategies and methods I am using. But you should only choose to follow the strategies and use the in-play betting methods that you understand and feel comfortable with.
Betaminic: And if people want to follow your results, they can check out your Reddit community, and if they want your bot sets, then they can email you for those?
Betaminic: When do you change or stop following a betting strategy?
Tom: When to change strategies is a really important question and my answer to that has changed over the years.
The short answer is, choose strategies where you believe the core logic behind them and then follow them for a very long term, for at least 6 months (or at least over 100 bets for each individual strategy), to have a chance of getting the profits we saw in the historical data. We have to stick with them for at least 6 months/100 bets to get through the natural positive and negative variance periods of normal strategies. When you reach 100 bets of a strategy that you chose, then review it and decide if you want to follow it for another 100 bets. I then decide to keep or stop using a strategy if it looks like it is continuing its long-term trend or if its results have significantly changed, which suggests a change in the market model. The strategy exceeding its Maximum Drawdown is one statistic I might use to consider stopping a strategy, another is if its positive/negative variance swings have changed to being even to a more consistent negative direction. A betting strategy that does not work is one that is just a constant -4% yield, which is the bookmaker margin working perfectly at Pinnacle. If you make a strategy that just bets on all home wins, you will see this -4% yield. That is how correctly working betting markets should work for bookmakers, so markets that have flat or slightly positive trends are ones that are not working and we can get value bets from.
The above image is how bookmaker markets should work. They get perfect long term profit (-3.45% for bettors) with some positive and negative variance (good and bad runs).
This image is how we can find a trend that beats the bookmaker, but it is long term and it also has flat and bad runs that we must not give up on, and we also need a staking plan and betting bank management to keep going through the bad runs to make the most of the good runs. I think that is either Whitaker staking or Percentage staking, depending on your system. But another way to look at this strategy is that it identifies a value market, the over x.5 goals markets for this fixture. It does not just give us one value bet. It points us to a market where all the goal related markets will be value and the bookmaker and the general public usually get it wrong. So we can spread risk and get more value out of related goal markets.
A big mistake I made in the past was giving up on strategies after a big losing run or after 2 losing months and then missing their profitable runs and months.
For example, I would look at the top-rated strategies in the Betamin Builder and follow the top 10. But those top 10 strategies are at the top of the rankings because they have just had a big positive run. It is like joining a rollercoaster near the top, or buying shares when they are at a high price. My strategies would then make profit for a few weeks, but then go negative as they returned to their natural trend line with a period of negative variance. After 2 months of bad results, I would stop using those strategies and pick the new top 10 strategies in the Betamin builder and the same pattern repeated. Then the strategies I gave up on changed from their negative run to a positive run and I missed their good run as those strategies returned to the top of the Betaminic rankings! A good example of this is the Colossus 06 and the Not home on. strategies. Colossus 06 had a flat run in the middle of 2021, it lasted nearly 6 months, but a few months ago it had a big positive run again. It is now on a mixed run again now, but it will return to positive results again. Not Home on. got to the 100 rating on Betaminic for a while last year, I followed it, and it turned negative, but I did not give up and now it is in a winning run again. This balances with Colossus 06’s losing run now.
For strategies with low maximum drawdowns, for me, there is no hard and fast rule for stopping. It is up to each user to judge things by their own risk levels. 100% and 150% are common rules of thumb for stopping. If you stop at 100% or 150% of the previous historical low can also depend on how much you believe that the MaxDD reflects the genuine statistical risk of a bad run in the strategy you are following, too. We also need to think if we are stopping because we are using the MaxDD as a way of protecting the bank or as a way of signifying that the strategy trend is not working anymore and the markets have changed.
My opinion on this is that we should use the MaxDD as a point where we should review a strategy, rather than as a definite rule of when to stop using it.
For strategies with very low maximum historical drawdowns, I also consider other factors such as the bet type and the win rate. By using the win rate we can also calculate the “Expected Losing Sequence” of a strategy. The ELS is different from the MaxDD in that it tells us the length of one continuous unbroken losing streak. But the MaxDD is a peak to bottom losing streak that includes wins in that bad run. So I often think of the ELS multiplied by 2 or 3 as an expected drawdown that I need a betting bank and staking plan big enough to handle, depending on my risk level for that strategy.
On the Staking Machine’s website they have an Expected Losing Sequence calculator.
In two strategy examples below:
Let’s say an over 2.5 goals strategy has a MaxDD of -9.74 and a win rate of 58%. If we put that into the ELS calculator, we get an expected losing sequence of 8.8 after about 2,000 bets.
So the worst losing streak in this strategy’s history (MaxDD) was +10% of its ELS.
For me, the maxDD looks like the result of just one statistically expected bad run, so I would consider the ELS x2 as a good stop/review point for this strategy. So I would say 17.5 would be my stop loss for this strategy.
Another example, let’s say a home win strategy has a MaxDD of -10.31 and a win rate of 78%. If we put that into the ELS calculator, we get an expected losing sequence of 5 after about 2,000 bets. .
The worst losing streak in this strategy’s history (MaxDD) was 206% of its ELS.
For me, the maxDD looks like the result of 2 bad runs close together, so I would consider this MaxDD a good indicator for a stop/review point. I would say -10.31 would be my stop loss for this strategy.
So my advice would be to look at the ELS, compare it to the MaxDD, and then choose a stop loss of 200% of that ELS if the MaxDD is unrealistically low, or use the existing MaxDD if it seems to be a good figure to represent expected bad runs.
One more thing, I use the MaxDD as a review point rather than a hard and fast stopping point. To review, I look at the since shared graph and see if the strategy is obviously not working or if it is just a volatile strategy.
In the two examples below, the Home win DNB is obviously on a reasonably steady downward trend, so I would stop using it. The bookmaker is just taking their margin from all my bets.
But the second Home win strategy is quite volatile and the big dip in February 2022 would not indicate the strategy has stopped working, it just indicates an unusually extreme negative variance. By stopping then, I would miss the natural return to the trend line.
So in summary, I would recommend looking at the ELSx2 and the MaxDD to calculate a stop & review point. Then review the since shared graph to see if the strategy has stopped working or not.
This is also just my opinion and not a hard and fast rule. I hope people can add it to their ideas to help them make their strategy choices.
Betaminic: What would you say to new users just starting out with Betaminic?
Tom: Pick a strategy that you understand the logic behind, make a plan for it to get through its natural ups and downs, and stick to that plan for at least 6 months or 100 bets. Don’t give up too early. Once you get comfortable with how things work, add another strategy. Keep it separate and give that strategy 6 months or 100 bets to make a profit. By building up a portfolio of separate strategies they should balance each other out and reduce risk. Once you get even more used to how the Betamin Builder works, then try to research your own strategies in your private area. Betaminic is an amazing tool, but you need to stick to the long-term methodology of it. It’s not a tipster telling you who will win, it is a database for back testing betting strategies to see which ones worked based on long term trends, and that is a pretty cool tool where we finally have a decent chance of beating the market.
Betaminic: Thanks for your time answering our questions.
Tom: No problem!