I shall begin this final review with the factual stuff and then give my impressions of the service.

With the exception of just one or two selections at the beginning of the test, all bets that I have recorded are based on actual bets that I have made. The test lasted from 17th October until 14th November, inclusive. During this time there were 92 qualifying selections, of which 67 were winning selections. A couple of potential selections failed to qualify on price, but it was literally only two or three that failed. Of those that passed the selection criteria, only two were at odds of over 5.00. The average odds for all bets placed was 2.64 and the average odds for all losing bets was a fraction under 2.20. These figures are very slightly distorted as three bets were “Special Bets” – one multiple and two backs, rather than lays. However, I have assumed that the degree of distortion is too insignificant to record.

The strike rate was approximately 72%.  At average odds for losing bets of 2.20 the strike rate needed in order to make a profit after Betfair commission was 55%, quite a bit lower than the 72% achieved.

What the above figures mean in practical terms is that, laying to level stakes of £25, in just four weeks a £500 bank has been turned into just a fraction under £1500 after allowing for Betfair commission at the maximum rate of 5%.

Two emails are sent out each day. The aim is for the first email to be sent out by midday, the exception being when there is uncertaintly about the going. I did not pay particular attention to what time I received the emails, however. What was important to me is that I received them in time to get my bets on. With the exception of the one day when there were server problems (as the result of upgrading to a more reliable server) all emails were received in time to place the bets. At the beginning of the trial I may have missed one or two bets (certainly no more), but that was due to my unfamiliarity with the service and in no way reflects upon it.

Much the same applies to emails for the evening selections, the aim here being to send them out by 7pm. However, it pays to regularly check the inbox as they are sometimes sent much earlier. On one occasion I had to go flying (or in my case clumping) on to the PC to place the bets ASAP, as I had missed the starts of various events. Fortunately, I was able to get on in-play and the odds had (probably) moved slightly in my favour.

Throughout the test I have made a point of not looking at the “official” results, so that I have not been influenced in any manner. When I have finished this review I may take a look to see how the results compare, but I would expect to find that overall the odds at which I got on and the “official” odds are very similar and balance out. If there are any major differences in favour of the “official” results I may have to have to rethink my strategy, but I am not prepared to stay up until the early hours in order to get on at the last minute.

Moving on to my opinions of the service. I am sure anyone who has difficulty guessing what I think will be treated with sympathy by an appropriate professional (how an inappropriate professional might respond is another matter).

My first reaction when reading the sales page was on the lines of, “Sounds good, but don’t they all!”. In other words, yet another site claiming fantastic results that don’t stand up to close scrutiny. I suppose it is a fact of life, however, that no matter the quality of a system or service, all will claim excellent results – no one in their right mind is going to say, “This service is a load of rubbish (or some less polite term), but we want your money”. The difference is this service breaks the mould, it actually does what it claims! If this was a lager, then Carlsberg would have to change their advertising strategy.

I have trialled a number of systems and services on this blog and prior to that I read other blogger’s reviews, going back more or less to when the blog started. No other system or service that I have trialled has come close to turning £500 into £1500 (£1407.50 for the pedantic) in four weeks, and I cannot recall another service that has performed as well as this one (though I am open to correction).

It should be borne in mind that the test has only run for one month and that cannot give a true reflection.  However, the pattern of results has been consistent and this is not a one-a-day system.  While not statistically significant, 92 selections in four weeks is certainly getting there.

I suppose the highest praise I can give is that I shall definitely be adding this service to my portfolio – I have done so already, in fact.  I shall also be making occasionaly posts to keep readers up-to-date with how things are going.

As to whether there are better services available, the answer is, I don’t know!  But if I have found a goose that appears to lay golden eggs, I’m not going to be in a hurry to look for another that lays bigger golden eggs.

Prior to wrapping up this review, there are just a couple of procedural points to mention:  I have been informed that the managed account vacancies have all been filled.  Anyone wishing to join the managed account service (as opposed to receiving the daily emails and placing their own bets) should send an email to the Lay the Best Team requesting that they be added to the waiting list;  I mentioned in a previous posting that the number of subscriptions is capped.  The numbers are limited to 300 to avoid having a negative effect on value and liquidity.

My last word in wrapping up this review is – to paraphrase the words of an email sent to me during the trial – this is proving to be a cracking service.  Keep up the good work guys!!

You can join Lay the Best here:

UPDATE 17th December

It is a month since I finished trialling this service and an update is about due.  For this update, I think it appropriate that I relate my experiences rather than giving “hard” results – which would be difficult as I was using a compounding staking plan and it would take me some time to translate these into level stakes.  Also, there are other factors below that will become apparent.

I regard the results from the service during the time I was trialling it as little short of spectacular.  In fact I broke my rules and used my own money, rather than the minimal stakes I normally use to ensure that records are based on actual bets placed.  While my bets were smaller than the £25 notional stakes used for the test, they were large enough that had a loss been taken direct from my wallet I would have been complaining to the local constabulary.

Since the test there has been a change in the quality of the results from the service and the comment in my final review – to the effect that 92 bets is not statistically significant, but it is getting there – now seems premature.  Looked at more objectively, even double that number of bets is not statistically significant.

Whether the trial coincided with a purple patch and the subsequent results are more the norm, or whether the trial represents the norm and the service is going through a bad patch remains to be seen.  Of course, it could be that the norm is somewhere between the two.  Given the subsequent results, however, the timing of my trial could not have been better for the service.  Quite literally one or two days after the trial finished so did the excellent results.

When I have first hand experience of a system or service over an extended period (say 18 months or more), it hit’s a bad patch and nothing else appears to have changed, then I know to take a deep breath and remain disciplined.  By first hand experience I mean actually using the system/ service to place bets somewhat larger than Betfairs minimum, with the intention of making a profit that my bank manager is not going to laugh at.  Without that first hand experience, no matter what past results have been posted, when things go sour I find it exceptionally difficult to remain disciplined and at some stage thoughts about sex and games involving soldiers will come to mind (as in rearranging and adding in deletions to: soldiers game of this for).

I did not start placing “real” bets until about half way through the trial and so the profit I was showing at the end of the trial was good, but not as good as if I had started at the beginning.  I continued using the service for about two weeks after the end of the test, but around the beginning of December, when it looked like my bank was likely to come under threat of moving into negative territory, I put the service on hold, where it remains.

Due to my current limited access to the Internet, as well as various other factors, I cannot at the moment guarantee being able to get all bets placed in time.  For these reasons, as well as for the simple fact that I feel it appropriate to do so, I shall keep the service on hold until it has turned the corner and when it has I shall dive back in again.  Others may disagree, but I do not regard this as a lack of discipline, but a common sense move until an appropriate level of first hand experience has been built.

UPDATE 21st January

It is just over a month since my last update and time to bring things up-to-date again.

Owing to a serious family crisis, I have not had the opportunity to access the Internet on a daily basis since the beginning of the year and only one opportunity over the last week or so.  Things should be returning to normal very soon, however.

The results on Lay the Bests (LtBs) website show a small loss for December (-3.8 points) and a profit of just under 11 points to 18th January – the most recent update on the site.  Overall, the official results and my own, based on the bets I have been able to place, are pretty much in-line.  There is another matter that has given me cause for concern, however, and I think it important that I share this.

I have been made aware that, because of Decembers small loss, a number of blog readers (and I sure there are others) decided to take advantage of the free month offered by the service in the event that there is a losing month.

It seems that the promised free month was not forthcoming and the reason given sounded to me somewhat lame – to the effect that because the loss was small (-3.8 points) it was regarded as breaking even.  If terms and conditions to that effect had been posted on the website I think that may have been fair enough, maybe!  However, it does not appear that this was made clear on the site and I feel that this was a serious ommission on the part of the Lay the Best team.

I recently checked the site and I see that what they are offering now is “… if you don’t make a profit after 6 months, we will refund all of your subscription payments…”  Under the circumstances I feel it might be a good idea for any new subscribers (or existing ones) to check with Lay the Best to clarify exactly what their policy is regarding refunds.  However, I live in hope that the service will not record a loss for any six month period.

Despite my criticisms, the service was extremely profitable during the trial period and after Decembers losing run it is showing a profit of nearly 11 points (almost £270 using £25 stakes, as in the trial)  to 18th January.


FINAL UPDATE – 19th February

Around about now I was going to provide another update for the Lay the Best service.  However, events have ovetaken me and as things stand, this will be the last update.

First, let me provide the update and then I will attempt to explain my understanding of certain developments.

As previously explained, I had not been in a position to follow all the selections provided by Lay the Best, the age old problem of being in two places at one time.  However, for those bets I did place my results are in-line with the “official” results on the LtB website – some prices on the site are a bit higher than mine and some a bit lower.  Also, regarding some selections where I was unable to place a bet, I checked Betfairs SP and again the prices are in-line with those on the site.  Someone did point out to me that one or two of the results on the site broke LTBs own rules for maximum price, but I think this is more likely to be a misunderstanding of the price rule that appears in every LtB email.  This states that a lay should not be placed if industry SP is higher than 4/1 (5.00 in decimal odds).  As most readers know, in practice this means that if the industry SP is 5.00 the odds with Betfair will probably be higher – but the bet still qualifies. On that basis I double checked the results on the site and while some selections were over 5.00, I couldnt find any sign that industry SP was over this.

So, with one glaring ommission, the figures on the site are accurate.  Results for horse racing show just under 11 points for January and to February 12th (the significance of this date will be revealed shortly) just over 4 points.  For the year until 12th February profits are approximately 15 points, or £375 laying to £25 level stakes, as used in the trial.  

The glaring ommission mentioned above gives me considerable cause for concern, however.  As I stated, Januarys results on the website show a profit of almost 11 points… but, the results are almost entirely for horse racing.  Subsequent to 20th January the service decided to concentrate predominately on horse racing.  Prior to that, however, there were selections for a variety of other sports.  Conspicuous by their absense from the “official” results are any mention of results for sports such as NHL, Handball, Tennis, etc.  As these selections clearly appeared in the emails that were sent out, where are the results?  Possibly more importantly, why are they missing? 

My own position is that, if the emails had included selections for horse racing only, the service would be showing a profit and the results would be accurate.  Given that until 20th January the selections included a variety of other sports, however, the posted results do not reflect the true position.  To my mind they are seriously misleading and clearly beg the question of whether this is intentional.  If I were cynical, I would think that spin is being put on the posted results to attract new custom.  If I had paid my £50 subscription, followed the selections and made a loss, I would want to know why the posted results show a profit. 

Moving on to the reason why this will be the final update.  On 12 February, I received an email from the proprietor stating that I was being removed from the email list because, “… a very large portion of your most recent update is inaccurate, however you didnt contact us to ask about most of the points raised, so I don’t see how you could post that false information with a true picture.”  I was somewhat taken aback by this: as a reviewer I do not think it incumbent upon me to ask about “various points raised”, but to report overt facts and other facts made known to me.  My last update stated that the service had returned a profit for the year to date (mid-January) and I was scratching my head wondering what the inaccuracies might be.

Being unable to bear the suspense, I decided to email LtB and ask them to clarify how specifically a very large portion of my most recent update was inaccurate.  Their reply stated “… we are only  sending out horse racing selections now and not the other sports 
selections, as these were only ever previously bonus lays.”  To my mind the argument is specious, these ”bonus lays” appeared in last years results, October to December inclusive.  If they should be excluded, then I would need to go back and exclude them from the trial results.  However, in my view that does not excuse the so-called bonus lays being given out in the daily selections email (wihout reminders that these are bonus lays) and then being excluded from Januarys results.

The reply went on to challenge my comments regarding LtB refund policy and pointed out that there is a legal document that states that there are caveats and conditions to any refund.  I asked LtB to point me to where on their site the terms and conditions regarding the refund policy appear.  The reply did not address this, but amongst other things pointed out Januarys “profits”.  Given that the site does not include results for all the selections (see above) I regard the statement as specious.  In my reply, 13th February, I referred LtB to my previous email and asked them to address the point (about refunds policy) that I had raised.  I am still awaiting a reply.

To wrap up, the horse racing selections do appear to be profitable and on the basis of that alone, I would recommend an Approved rating.  However, I am concerned that the results on the site do not match the selections sent out and while I am not legally trained, I would think that Terms and Conditions that are not readily available on the website are not worth the paper on which there is no proof they have been written.  With these concerns in mind, and until they have been satisfactorily addressed, I think that it is appropriate to leave this as Neutral. 

UPDATE 1st April

My last update regarding this service was not my last, afterall.  My subscription was reinstated at the end of February and I am updating to the middle of March.

The last update I posted was on 19th February and verified the “official” results up to the 12th.  I do not have any issues with the results that have been posted subsequent to when I was reinstated at the end of February: they show industry and Betfair SP and potential selections that failed on price.  Also, all selections sent out to me appear on the site.

Results posted on the site include Betfair commission and – based on BF SP – March, up to and including the 17th (the last update on the site), shows a profit of around quarter of a point.  I cannot verify the results for the second half of February, but Ive no reason to doubt their accuracy.  From the 12th to the end of the month the service just failed to break even, but there was a 4 point profit for the entire month.