How to calculate your Expected Longest Losing Sequence?

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How to calculate your Expected Longest Losing Sequence?

Use stats to predict your losing streak and your potential losses before they occur



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Updated on 21 January 2016
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Why do your betting losses bunch together? Why can’t you predict when a losing sequence will come to an end? What kind of odds/return do you need to withstand this losing run?

If you have asked these questions (or you did not know that you should be asking these questions); then you will need to have a quick scan below to get a good grasp of your estimated longest losing sequence. This will help you to understand that it’s going to happen and anticipate when you’re likely to recover from it!

Having this knowledge will give you more confidence with your sports betting and nudge you towards a slightly more professional style of sports investing. This is where all the professional gamblers reside and starting to understand your estimated longest losing sequence will help you to get there.

Let’s start with some of these questions…What is your current success rate? How many bets have you had within the last month and how many have you won and lost? Let’s use these questions to work out how your betting should shape up:

Measurement period: 1 month
Total Number of bets within the period: 30
Number of wins within the period: 15
Success Rate = Number of wins within the period / Total number of bets within the period
Success Rate = 15 / 30
Success Rate = 0.5 (or 50%)

Now, you can work out the average odds you need to break-even by dividing 1 by your Success Rate:

Average Odds needed for break-even = 1 / Success Rate
Average Odds needed for break-even = 1 / 0.5 (or 50%)
Average Odds needed for break-even = 2

Finally, calculate your expected longest losing sequence. If your Success Rate remains the same, you then just have to use the log function on your calculator or excel:

Expected Longest Losing Sequence = ln (Total no. bets within period) / -ln (1 – Success Rate)
Expected Longest Losing Sequence = ln (30) / -ln (1 – 0.5)
Expected Longest Losing Sequence = 5 (rounded up from 4.9)

So…If you win 50% of your bets at over 2.0 average odds you will be profitable. However, your expected longest losing sequence is 5 losses! This means that you could potentially lose 5 in a row at ANY time and this could very easily be 5 back-to-back losses!

Remember that if your Success Rate reduces this means that you will win less selections, you will then require an increase in your average odds per selection and your expected longest losing sequence will also be greater. All of this puts extra pressure on your betting funds and becomes stressful.

Therefore, you need to make sure your tipsters or pundits are actually taking all of these factors into account when they give you their tips! It’s not just the prospect of a pick winning, but also the history of the tipster’s previous selections, your previous bets and their expected longest losing sequence. As, everything is linked…

Good Luck!


Tags: algorithms, odds

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