Why So Many Bets?

Rob's selection, which he kindly posts each day on the forum, by mid-May 2018 had returned the following:
Bets: 2,938
Wins: 369
Strike Rate: 12.6%
Profit: 511.28
ROI: 17.4%

These are very impressive indeed and these prices were available when Rob chalks them up each evening after he places his bets.

What is doubly impressive is the time taken to amass these 511 points profit.

These are from the 3rd of March to the 13th of May, inclusive. A period of about ten weeks and this works out at roughly fifty points profit a week.

This means then that each week there are about three hundred selections a week which then translates to a little over forty bets a day.

And this is the recommended way to approach Value Betting: lots of bets in which each bet has value, i.e. The Edge, on one's side.

Double or Quits?

Let me explain further by quoting the opening passage from the excellent book, Chancing It.

One Sunday afternoon in April 2004, a 32-year old Englishman walked into the Plaza Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas with his entire worldly possessions. They amounted to a change of underwear and a cheque. Ashley Revell had sold everything he owned to to raise the $135,000 sum printed on the cheque; even the tuxedo he wore was hired. After exchanging the cheque for a depressingly small heap of chips, Revelle headed for a roulette table, and did something extraordinary. He bet the lot on a single event: that when the little white ball came to rest, it would end up on red.

...Surrounded by a large gathering of onlookers he waited anxiously as the croupier put the ball into the wheel. Then in one swift motion he stepped forward and put all of his chips down on red. He watched as the ball slowed, spiralled in and bounced in and out of various pockets, and then came to rest - in pocket number 7. Red.

...For surely even billionaires for whom such sums are loose change would not have punted the lot on one bet. Would not any rational person have divided up such a sum into smaller wagers, to at least check whether Lady Luck was in town?

But here's the thing: having decided to do it, Revell had done precisely the right thing. The laws of probability show that there is no surer way of doubling your net worth at a casino than to do what he did, and bet everything on one spin of the wheel.

(Excerpt from "Chancing It" by Robert Matthews, Profile Books)

Before Packing Your Passport

Before rushing off to Las Vegas with your house mortgage in your back pocket a word of caution first needs to be offered.

Robert Matthews is quite correct in saying that there is no surer way of doubling your money at the roulette wheel but that's just another way of saying that this is the least worst way of going about things.

On the other hand if someone gave me $137,000 of someone else's money and told me to gamble the lot without consequence and any profits made I could keep, this then would be the way to go about it. One bet and one bet only.

Our Old Friend, The Edge

In the case of Ashley Revell above, he gave himself the task of doubling his money in a game where the Edge belonged to the house.

We have already seen in What Is Value Betting? that the American casinos have an edge of 5.2% in their favour.

Revell had experienced this first hand when previously he had tried out a series of test bets and ended up losing a thousand dollars.

So even though Revell has around a 45% chance of doubling his money with everything staked on one bet it's better than knowing full-well that a series of bets would ultimately remove one's stack of chips because the casino's Edge would chip, chip away (pun intended) at his funds.

One Bet or Many Bets?

It now boils down to the question: one bet or many bets?

The answer lies in knowing where the Edge lays. If the Edge is against you then you may, just may, get lucky and you may win the prize. The casino, as we have seen, would prefer that the roulette players play lots of smaller bets because, as we know, in time the money would flow one way: into their coffers.

So, the simple rule of thumb here is that if one doesn't have the Edge and that one simply must have a bet then go for it in one attempt. And if one has the Edge then it's a case of getting as many bets on as possible.

The casinos ensure that they have as many bets going by making sure that the roulette wheels are spinning day and night.

We can do the same by finding all of the value bets, i.e. the bets with the Edge, and to make sure that we're backing them all.

Rob, whom we came in with, has forty such value bets a day. And this is the reason why it works. Some days we may have a dreadful day but, all in all, with the edge on our side we'll do better in the long term than those who try to find one or two bets a day.