Portfolio Betting

Portfolio betting is a very important tool in a bettors arsenal. Almost all pro bettors will be using it, even if they have a different name for it. As a bettor using a portfolio,  you have two main tasks…

  1. Maintain, monitor and manage your portfolio
  2. Look for new profitable strategies to enter into the portfolio

Which of these do you think is the most important?

If you said number 2, then you are not alone. That is the most common answer. Unfortunately it is the wrong one.

You already have potentially profitable strategies under step number 1, and your main focus should always be on maintaining, monitoring and managing them. These are the ones that are going to be making you money, so focus on them.

Number 2, in your betting business, is considered as development. Development is always there and on-going, but it costs money and time rather than creating money. Therefore we focus on number 1, which is making us money, but always have number 2 going on in the background.

So, what are we doing when we maintain, monitor and manage our portfolio? These three steps are crucial to the smooth running of your betting.


The maintenance of your betting portfolio is the placing of bets, updating records and stats, and keeping everything in good order. These records are key to being able to monitor and manage your portfolio. Think of your betting portfolio as a business, everything must be recorded down to the last detail.

You should be including, date and time, selection, event, odds taken, where bet was placed, bet type, reasons for bet, selection process bet was from and profit/loss amongst others.

Depending on how many selection processes you have, this can take anywhere from 30 minutes a day to a couple of hours. Do not skip this step!


Monitoring can take a couple of hours to setup, but, once everything is ready, as long as you are maintaining the portfolio correctly, it only needs to be checked once per week.

It is here that we monitor the current performance to the past performances. We want to make sure that the selection processes are still performing within the limits we would expect.

Our first step is to check the portfolio as a whole and make sure that the performance is still progressing. This means that…

  1. If the portfolio profit has increased we are good
  2. If it has stayed break-even we are good
  3. If it has shown a small decline over a week, we are good
  4. If it has shown a big decline over a week or extended period of 1 month or longer, then we need to cross-check that the performance is still within expected limits. We can use Archie scores, probability of a negative yield, expected downswings and similar information to re-assure ourselves that everything is still working correctly. 99% of the time, if you have setup your portfolio correctly, then this will just be a natural downswing

Although we are monitoring weekly, declines should only be checked over the past month or more of selections.

If you look at the above 4 steps, you will notice that in fact there is only one which gives us cause for concern, step 4. Over-analysis of results is very common, you must accept that there will be downswings and every selection process will go through it. Learning when selections are in a downswing and have stopped performing takes experience, but it is most common to think they have stopped performing when in fact it is a downswing.

We then repeat the same checks for each individual selection process in our portfolio. If you have a cause for concern, and investigate step 4 to find that the system has shown an unwarranted decline. We then remove the selection process from live betting. However, continue to monitor it for at least another 4 weeks to confirm that the selection process is no longer working, as sometimes it can just be an unprecedented downswing.


Managing your portfolio only takes a small amount of time. Imagine your portfolio has having three stages. You have…

  1. The live portfolio
  2. The selection processes being monitored
  3. Selection processes not being monitored

For selection processes being bet live, if there are any that are going to be removed and monitored for 4 weeks we move them from the live portfolio to number 2, the monitoring area.

If there are any that have been monitored and proven to be no longer working, we then move them to number 3 as selections that are no longer working.

If there are any that have been monitored and proven to have continued to be effective, we move them back into number 1, the live portfolio.

Finally we have selection processes in number 3 that are no longer working, but also new ones that are being developed. A new selection process sits in number 3 until it is ready to be monitored. When it is ready, we move it to number 2 and monitor it for at least 1 month, when we are comfortable we put it into the live portfolio at number 1.

Following this process will make your betting portfolio much more efficient and effective. It will minimise your time spent and maximise your profits.

Don’t be afraid to be varied with the selection processes you use in your portfolio. It should contain selections from betting systems,  strategies, form reading and tipsters. Make the places you get the selections from as broad as possible in order to spread the risk across as many possible methods as you can.

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. Dear Michael
    Not receiving any feedback from me and others must be discouraging,so I just want to say that your advice is very good and I am learning a lot.Thank you and keep up the good work.
    Yours truly

  2. Hello Micheal,
    May I thank you for your extended efforts to educate me in the ways of betting, I am sorry my friend , it is just not sinking in, despite your best efforts,
    The problem lies with me, I have never bet in my lifetime, and I only took an interest at 68 years of age after I had a stroke and was made redundant from my job. I have been a long distance HGV Driver most of my life, Continental and Middle East for the last 25 years, but after my stroke, which left me disabled, I lost my licence, so I trawled the web looking at may many things, including Betting, I have a severe loss of memory function, and I cannot cooncentrate on any one subject for any length of time, if I am researching racing, football, tennis and I leave the computer to go to the toilet, when I return, I have lost all memory of what I was doing, so damned frustrating, I am interested but I cannot retain the information, this current article makes absolute common sense but it is far too involved for me to recall what I should be doing next, any ideas.

    My best regards

    Bob Grimes

    1. Hi Bob, thanks for your message. I am sorry to hear of your situation. What I would suggest is that you try following a very strict process of finding selections. You write down each stage you want to go through in finding a selection. Before you start a stage you decide if you want to go somewhere first or not, and once you begin you stay until that stage is completed. Write down everything about each horse at each stage. Then if you need to take a break you can and still have all the details.

      This will take some time to analyse a race so I suggest you focus on a very specific set of races you enjoy. e.g. One track and one type of race. This means you will only have a few races to look at each day and some days none, where you can take a break.

      I hope that helps.

Back to top button