Staking Plans for Golf Betting

Whatever you are betting on, from the British Open to the Ryder Cup, or a game of football to a hand of blackjack, if you’re serious about your punting you should probably be using a staking plan of some form to manage your bankroll and try to maximise your winnings.

Here we take a look at how a staking plan should fit in with your golf betting strategies and take a look at some different staking plans you might want to use when betting on golf.

What is a Staking Plan?

A staking plan is a system for organising the amount you place on each bet, with a range of factors impacting how much you decide to wager. Many occasional bettors will just alter their stake size willy-nilly, although more than likely there is some logic applied, even if it may often be on a subconscious level.

However, the more serious golf bettor, hoping to make a profit rather than just having their annual punt on, say, the Masters, should use a considered staking plan in order to maximise their profits, limit their losses and protect their bankroll.

What Affects How Much You Bet?

Various factors have an effect on how much one bets on golf or other sports, whether these factors are considered subconsciously, with a certain degree of thought, or as the criteria that form a staking plan. These are:

  • Betting Odds – in general one will be staking smaller amounts at longer odds and bigger amounts at shorter odds.
  • Value – the value of a bet is determined by the size of the odds in relation to what you perceive to be the true probability of that outcome and the more value you perceive, the more likely you are to bet; in simple, subjective terms, this is how much you like the bet.
  • Bankroll – how much cash you have has to determine how much you bet. If you have £500 for a season of golf betting then staking £200 on the first tournament is clearly too much. Similarly, when you are winning you may decide to bet more as you have more to play with, or you may opt for smaller stakes to protect your profit.
  • Goals – how much you wager should depend on your goals. If you simply want a bit of fun then small stakes are fine, whilst if you have a certain target then larger bets may be needed.
  • Confidence – related to bankroll, confidence is a massive factor in determining the size of your golf bets. When your form and confidence are high, betting bigger could be wise but equally you may simply have been lucky before and luck won’t last forever.

Different Staking Plans

There are an almost infinite number of staking plans across the world of betting and all of these can be applied to betting on golf. Here we take a look at some of the most simple and most well-known.

Flat Stakes

With a flat stake staking plan you decide on an amount and that is how much you will bet on every bet you place, regardless of odds, value or your current profit/loss. This should usually be determined alongside your bankroll, so, for example, if you have £1,000 and decide there are 50 tournaments you will be betting on, staking £20 on each bet might be an idea, guaranteeing you have enough for every tournament.

Kelly Criterion

Perhaps the most famous staking system around, the Kelly Criterion, was designed in 1956 and uses a formula based on the odds and the perceived probability of winning/losing to recommend a stake based on the size of a player’s bankroll. If we take the toss of a coin, which has a 50/50 chance of landing heads or tails, but you find someone willing to pay you at 6/5, not evens, Kelly determines you should bet 8.33% of your bank.

The issue with Kelly is that whilst the exact probabilities can be known for a coin toss, in the world of golf betting it can only ever be a considered estimate. Moreover, the Kelly Criterion is very aggressive and where there is considerable perceived value, especially at lower odds (and so a higher chance of the bet actually winning) it can lead to very high stakes in relation to your bankroll.

For example, with Kelly, if you were betting in-play at the US Open and Rory McIlroy is being offered at evens on the final day but you perceive his true chances of winning are not 50% but 75% then Kelly would recommend a 50% stake. Even if your probabilities were right you still have a 25% chance of losing half your money!

Modified Kelly

In our opinion, the Kelly Criterion is absolutely right in taking into account the odds, the chance of winning, the value and the size of a player’s bank (which it does because stake is always expressed as a percentage of the bankroll). However, here at GBO, we feel it is simply too aggressive and so using a modified version of Kelly is, in our opinion, a great option.

Betting half the amount recommended by the Kelly Criterion is a great compromise, not least because, whilst it reduces volatility by half, it only reduces growth by a quarter. In other words your losses will be greatly limited with less impact on your overall probability, assuming “average” luck.

Negative Progression

A negative progression staking system is one which increases the stake after a negative outcome, meaning a lost bet. The most famous example of this is the Martingale System which is commonly used for roulette but can also be used to bet on sports, including of course golf.

Never, use the Martingale System!

We strongly advise against the Martingale or other negative progression systems. It is a FACT that for roulette they are doomed to fail and whilst some argument can be made for using them in sport, where you theoretically at least could have found a value bet, we advise against negative progression systems for the following reasons.

  • Chasing losses – effectively they are chasing losses and we strongly advise against this
  • Confidence – after a loss your confidence may be low and thinking unclear – now is not the time to up the bets
  • Bankroll – after a loss you have less money, so betting more means you’re betting a disproportionate amount of your remaining funds