Its been a long time since I have ventured into a bookmaker, like all sensible punters I bet solely on the exchanges these days but I was tempted back in on Saturday to sample a lucky 15 bet and of course the delights of a modern punter friendly betting shop. The usual addicts were strapped into their machines conjuring memories of that classic Matrix Battery power plant scene. I asked the manager to explain the bonus system of the lucky 15. Now it is not too difficult in Betfred, you get one winner only and they triple the odds and if you get all four horses up then they add 10% to the winnings. He failed to inform me of the treble odds part. Make what you will of that.

My excursion began with an exchange on Twitter about the possibility of boosting long term winnings with under the radar bets like Lucky 15’s. The naive idea is that if you are taking money off bookmakers via single bets they will ban you but if you are taking money off them using Lucky 15’s they will make you free cups of tea and invite you to the staff do. So can lucky15’s turn a losing punter into a winning one and how less of a loser do you have to be to get lucky punk!.

I ran a siimulation using my own ratings on flat handicaps and selected my top rated horses from 2017 and 2018. This produces around 4,000 bets per year and across those two years they made a loss of around 9% to bookmaker SP. To Betfair SP they made a profit of +5.6% which should immediately make you curious as to why you are not pursuing Betfair especially if you have any ambition to become profitable as this is where you will be forced to bet in the long term.
To check the Lucky15 performance I ran some code to select 4 horses randomly from the top rated list and calculate the profit or loss using Betfred rules for a lucky 15. I did this 1,000 times to roughly represent a year and then ran the years 5,000 times. The results were interesting.

The best year to returned a profit of £251,502 to a £1 lucky 15 bet
Don’t get too excited though, the worse year was a loss of £5,579
The average profit or loss per Lucky15 came out at +1.75 per lucky 15 which equates to a 11.6% return on investment.

It would seem therefore that a Lucky15 can reduce a 9% loss to a healthy profit but one caveat I must mention. I had to ignore shorter priced horse to get the above results. Running on horses below or equal to 5/1 produced a bets year of +£8,465 and a worse year of -£3,529, the average profit per lucky was 0.02 pounds or 0.13% roi

I wont be pursuing this kind of bet in the future but I almost got very lucky on my sole and only venture any time soon into a betting shop. My selections came
3rd at 40/1 beaten a length
3rd again at 10/1 beaten 1.5 lengths
Won at 10/1
Won at 5/1

If they had all won we would be talking around 47k