Dealing With The Same Selections From Different Systems

If you run multiple betting systems or strategies, then everything is great until the day where you have one system saying a selection should be a back, another saying it should be each-way and yet another saying it should be a lay!

What do you do?

Every bettor faces this conundrum at some point in their betting career. There are a few ways of dealing with it, but only one that you should really be using if you want to maximise your profit.

First of all let’s look at the possibilities. When you have the same selection from multiple systems, and each system is telling you to bet it in a different way, then you can…

  1. Bet the selection as each system tells you completely independently
  2. Ignore the selection
  3. Adjust your bet to account for what each system is telling you to do

Without any doubt, the easiest thing to do is number 2. Ignore the selection. And if you want to keep things quick and simple there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you only get these types of selections on rare occasions. If you get this situation happening more often, then doing this is changing your system fundamentally and is likely to cause you some surprises.

And when we’ve got money on it, the last thing we want is a surprise!

Betting the selections independently, number one, works well as long as you’re running separate bankrolls. In fact, if you’re running separate bankrolls for each strategy then this is exactly what I would recommend you do. Because you’re running your systems completely independently, the final groups of selections each system contains will be very different.

For example, if we have two systems and selection one is a back in system A and a lay in system B. You may think, this makes no sense. But… each system has it’s own bankroll and is being run separately. This means that the next ten horses bet by system A are completely different to the next ten horses bet by system B. When we look at the profit, we’re going to be looking over the group of selections as a whole, not the individual selections.

What this means, is that when we look at the ten horses from system A, we can see they win more often than their average odds suggest and so we make a profit by backing them. When we look at the ten horses from System B, we can see they lose more often than their average odds suggest and so we make a profit laying them.

The first horse happened to fulfil the criteria of both systems, but the group of selections it was in when we look at the long-term results are completely different which is why when running systems independently we can bet the same selection as each system tells us.

The third option, adjusting your bet to take account of both systems, is the best if you’re using one bankroll and running multiple systems or strategies through it. A combined portfolio.

In this situation, what you need to do is to…

…analyse the cross-over selections independently.

So, if you have two systems and every month system A has ten selections as back bets that system B has as lays, then you take these selections and analyse them to see what the best way to bet these specific runners is.

It may not be a back or lay bet, it may be each-way or place. You’re creating a new strategy of betting just for these selections.

The key is to do this for every combination. By this I mean we’ve already built a new strategy for when system A has a back bet and system B has the same selection as a lay bet. But then we need to create another system for when system A has a place bet and system B has the same runner as a back bet.

You do exactly the same for every specific combination!

The more systems that you’re running then the more combinations you’re going to have. But by doing this, you’re going to be making the maximum profit possible from your selections and I can assure you it is worth the time spent

Think of it that you’re less confident in the selections when when the same horse is chosen by different systems as different bet types. So, what we do is to take these selections and find the best way to bet them.

In fact, it’s even possible to build mini-systems on these selections by specifically looking into their form further and then determining whether they’re going to be a bet and how to bet them, or whether they’re going to be ignored.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. Yup we encountered this sort of scenario on the PunterProfits NH Portfolio which is in effect a portfolio of several different separate systems. On occassion multiple systems would select the same horse in the race.
    Presented with such output any given day the obvious question is.. Do I bet the horse just once or twice?

    Officially we would count it as two separate bets even though the seelction was the same horse.

    Followers are of course free to do as they wish.

    Rather than use human hunch or temprament based preference however if one is seeking the “right answer” then cold hard facts and figures are arguably to best place to start.

    When we researched these “double qualifers” ie horses that matched at least two systems within the portfolio we found that they had a higher strike rate and a higher roi than normal selections which just matched one portfolio system.

    As such there was reasonable argument that double staking them was a half sensible approach.
    The essense of kelly theorum for example is that stakes should rise in accordance with both strike rate and ROI %.

    In this particular instance a horse passing two separate tests did indeed improve selection quality and increase strike rate and ROI %.

    Double qualifier selections however occur reasonably unfrequently.

    In general I would say decissions on what to do are best being fact led.

    I would not assume the positive impact on double qualifers would work for all such portfolio approaches.

    More so it is just what the facts reveal about the unique scenario above.


  2. Lay and back is an each way bet no matter how many systems you horse A either it wins or it does not.
    If it does not it might get you money by being 2nd and or 3rd , 4th sometimes. If a system tells you to lay, it is saying it has a good chance of coming 1st but more likely to be beaten by a slightly better or a Dark Horse. So just do it each way win or lose if the price is going to give you a profit. If not bet to win only.
    There is too much to lose playing bookmaker and Backer . Paying for a system is fine if it is updated as part of the payment but multi systems to compare is just taking time and money. Each way is job done.

    1. Thank you for the comment Liam. The problem with just betting these selections each-way is that the odds are very different and in effect you are creating a new method by placing a different bet type that neither of your systems recommends. In this case I would track these bets and their returns to each-way first before placing money on them.

  3. Follow the system advice that is returning the current highest overall % winners . OR follow your gut instinct – don’t be a slave to your systems in a case like this..OR chicken out and don’t bet. Life’s too short …just like the life of most systems.

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