Online Poker Room Gambling

If you enjoy all the fun and excitement of visiting casinos, but the travel expenses of going to the big casino cities is a little much, online poker room gambling is as close to the real thing as you can get. By signing up for online poker gambling, you can get lots of the benefits of casino gambling without ever leaving home and incurring travel expenses. From different games to varying stakes and the fun of exciting tournaments, it’s all right there waiting for you, day or night.

With online poker room gambling, you can play any type of poker game you wish. If you enjoy popular casino poker games, such as Omaha poker or Seven card stud, you can find these games easily, Of course there is always the very popular Texas Hold ‘Em for those who like that style. You can also choose from many different betting levels. No matter whether you are a high or low stakes player, the competition levels you desire are available at online poker room gambling tables.

With the tournaments available on these online poker room gambling sites, the fun never ends. You get the all excitement of real casino tournaments from the comfort of your own home. There are also lots of different stakes and games available for the tournaments, whatever you enjoy. So if you’re ready for some fun and want to get some practice in for your next trip to the casino, why not give online poker gambling a try.

Staking Plans – Why Kelly Criterion Is Better Than Level Stakes

In this article I’m going to talk about the different types of staking plans you can use in your quest for gambling profits. A book would be needed to cover every staking plan in detail so I’ll summarize the best I can.

The most commonly quoted staking plan is Level stakes, with other popular ones being Variable staking, Progressive staking, Kelly Criterion staking and Percentage of bank staking. I’ll go through what each means and what my thoughts are on their plus and minus points.

Many tipsters quote their profit figures (they never lose do they?) to level stakes in their advertisements. It is also the figure journalists and TV presenters throw at us when there quoting various trends for upcoming races, or matches. The problem with level staking however lies in its title. It means having the same stake on a 100/1 shot as a 1/2 shot. The result is, a few big priced selections, decide whether you end up in profit or not. Your variance will be huge, meaning you will have huge swings in your betting bank, and frankly there is very little logic behind a level stakes approach.

Let’s say a trainer had 30 runners over a period of the last 14 days and 29 of them started at 1/1 and the other runner was 100/1. All the 1/1 horses got beat but the 100/1 shot won. Would you say this particular trainer’s string was in form? No of course you wouldn’t but Level Staking would, as you’d be up €71 for a €1 level stake. One result has camouflaged a very poor run of hot favourites getting beat. You might say this is an extreme example but I find you have to us these examples to show up obvious flaws.

Why then do the tipster’s and media use it to the exclusion of almost anything else? The tipsters will use whatever they can to make their product look better than it is. Level stakes will achieve this, as a few decent priced winners will give them a tidy profit and thus it gives them an opportunity to advertise after a particularly good period. They will hand-pick the exact period they were most profitable and using level stakes can make it seem even better than it really was.

It is the same with the stats quoted by various media outlets. Quotes like ‘such and such a trainer has a level stakes profit in novice chases at Kempton’ and thus they’ll tip up the trainer’s runner in a Novice chase at Kempton based solely on this logic. The sample size might have been only 10 runners with one 20/1 winner but that won’t put them off. People are paid to come up with these trends or stats so they can be presented to the public in print, or on TV. It is much easier to come up with stats that were profitable in the past if you have a small sample size and use level stakes as the proof of profit. Therefore I expect the reason the media use it, is firstly to make their job easier, and secondly ‘the sheep effect’. Everyone else does it so why shouldn’t I? I will always be very sceptical of any trends based on level staking unless the sample size is very big or the prices of the selections were within a tight band. I’m not saying that trends are to be ignored; just they need to be analysed properly in order to find the valuable ones.

Some in the media like Hugh Taylor of ATR and James Pyman of the Racing Post have used Actual/Expected winners a good bit lately to evaluate statistic’s and this is much better than Level Stakes as a barometer of whether the statistic has value.

Okay, enough level stakes bashing. Percentage of bank staking is still fixed stakes but you’re staking a certain % of your betting bank on each selection. Same flaws as level staking while being marginally better for punting purposes as at least now you’re including the size of your betting bank in your decisions.

Progressive staking is basically increasing stakes after a loser in order to have more money on the winners you back than the losers. Sounds very good in theory but in practice the bad losing run will wipe you out every time. You will win most of the time as a few winners will normally wipe out your loses and produce a profit. The problem comes when you get the really bad run that only happens rarely. You’ll have two problems. One your betting bank won’t have the ridiculous amount needed for the ever increasing stakes, and two even if it had, you won’t be able to get the bet amount needed on. Some plans like doubling your stake after a loser would soon need astronomical stakes after a relatively short losing run even if you started at just €5 bets. I’ve heard of people using this in casinos on the roulette table. They will win often but the loss when it comes, and it will come, will wipe them out. Some will say they only bet up till they have 8 losers but this will happen often enough, for the big loss incurred to be bigger than all the small profits accumulated. You can’t make money from a staking plan of any sort if you haven’t found an edge to begin with. Some will just put you in the poor house quicker.

Variable staking is much more sensible. It involves betting to win a certain amount rather then staking a certain amount. So if you bet to win 10 points you will have 10 points on a 1/1 shot and 1 point on a 10/1 shot. This is better but it also has flaws especially with the advent of exchanges and the ability to lay horses. Laying a horse at 33/1 for instance to win 10 points would involve a liability of 330 points and brings back the variance problems of level staking. You are in fact laying bets to someone who is using level staking against you, which will of course mean huge swings in your bankroll.

The Kelly Criterion was developed by mathematician John Kelly and is perhaps the soundest approach. It involves a formula which takes into account your current betting bank, the price of the selection and the edge you think you have on the bet. If your bank is €1000 and you’re backing a horse a 1/1 shot your bet will be bigger if you think you have a 10% edge rather than 5%. This is sound logic but the problem in its application is guessing the exact size of your edge. People in general overestimate such things which could result in over staking in relation to your bank. Kelly Staking is in its simplest form, your edge divided by the fractional price you’re backing at. So if your getting 6/4 on an 1/1 shot your edge is 2.5/2.0= 1.25 so an edge of 25% divided by 1.5 which equals a stake of 16.66% of your bank. I should warn an edge like that would require some serious inside info. There are many Kelly Criterion Staking Calculators online.

I use a variation of the Kelly Criterion in that I bet to get back a certain percentage of my bank. This would be the same as the methodology used for Actual/Expected winners. For example I might stake to get back 4% of my bank on each bet. If my bank is €10,000 and I’m backing a horse at 3/1 I will have €100 on. If the horse was 1/1 I would have €200 on. Both bets return €400. It would be the same for laying. You could also stake to return the same amount each time ignoring the fluctuations of your bank. If your bank was €1000 you could stake to return €40 on each bet. You’d stake the same regardless of whether your bank goes up or down. The problem with this is you can go bust, as if your bank drops to €100 you will still be betting as much as when it was €1000. The advantage over my method however is, you will recover from the losing runs, that don’t bust you, allot quicker. I believe either of these staking plans is infinitely better than level stakes, although incorporating a bit of the Kelly Criterion would be best. For instance you might normally stake to return 4% of your bank but might increase it to 6 or 8% if you think a bet is extra good value.

I discuss the factors to consider when deciding how much of your bank you should be staking in an article about betting bank and bankroll management.

The Gambling Gene – How to Measure the Entertainment Cost

RTE had an interesting program on the other night called The Gambling Gene. It looked at the Irish people’s liking for a bet, to see if we were more inclined to bet than our European neighbours. Overall I thought it was pretty balanced. The presenter Joe O’Shea looked at both the problem side of gambling, but also acknowledged that gambling provides entertainment to so many. If you haven’t seen it check it out on RTE Player.

Most people I know that like a bet, will admit that in the long run they will lose. They may aspire to turn from a losing punter into a winning one, or they may hope for the big win, that will cancel out all their loses and more. Both of these can happen, but in reality most people that bet, will end up as losing punters. Why then do they bet? That’s easy. Gambling provides entertainment and should be treated as an expense, the same as going to the cinema. We know the cost of going to the cinema but how much does gambling cost us?

Because luck plays such a short term part of betting, it can be hard to put an expense on it. If we go to the cinema we know the cost of the ticket, popcorn etc… but in gambling we may win €100 one week and lose €120 the next, lose €400 one month but win €350 the next. If you keep records of all your bets, after a period of a year, you’ll have a rough, but not exact measure of the cost. Most fun bettors don’t want the hassle of adding up every penny they’ve bet though. Where’s the fun in that?

Rather than the time consuming process of adding up everything over an extended period, why not use some averages to ascertain the entertainment cost of gambling. If you have an idea of the sport your betting on, and aren’t betting at any crazy over rounds, than I suggest a 10% loss on investment would be about right for most people. It may be slightly higher if your betting at big prices with bookmakers, but you should place those bets on Betfair or Betdaq for better prices anyway.

So if 10% is a reasonable estimate of most punters loses, how does that help us measure the entertainment cost of each bet? Its quite simple really. If your betting €10 the cost is 10% of that, which is €1, and if your betting €100 the entertainment cost of the bet is €10. yes sometimes you’ll win, and sometimes you’ll lose, but overall your loses will level out at roughly 10% of what you stake. Some people will do better, especially if their reasonably selective, while punters that will bet on two flies going up a wall, will probably lose more.

Your average punter probably bets maybe €50-€100 on a weekend. So his entertainment cost would be €5 to €10 per week on gambling. One trip to the cinema with his girlfriend will set him back more than that. That goes vice versa for girls, before I get any sexist accusations! The €100 a weekend punter could still lose all his bets for a few weeks in a row, so although it may only cost them €10 a week long term, you have to ensure you can afford to lose your full stake every time you bet.

In Betting Discipline – Fun bets and the inevitable Losing Runs I state you shouldn’t have fun bets if you want to win money gambling. You shouldn’t, or at least you shouldn’t count them as part of your normal bets, which you treat as a profession. You should count them as an entertainment expense, just as you would a nice meal out with your loved one. I have fun bets. I seemingly think Pod is going to win another major, I like opposing Andy Murray in Grand Slam finals, and I’ve been known to have an interest bet at the races while having a few drinks with friends.

Once you ensure you can afford to lose, the money you gamble with, there’s no reason not to use the 10% figure to decide if the entertainment is worth it. Would you rather a €10 bottle of wine, or a stake of €100 spread over the matches on a Saturday? Will the high’s and low’s, the excitement when you win, the despair, when your team ships a late equalizer, compensate for missing that bottle of wine? For many it will, and society shouldn’t frown on us for getting a kick out of having a bet. After all us gamblers don’t go out of our way to belittle people who spend money on flowers, but we all know whose wasting their money now, don’t we?