A number of people who bet on horses set themselves a daily profit target. When the target is reached, they cease betting for the day.

The theory behind this is that the more bets that are placed, the more likely it is that a loss will be incurred.

So, in order to retain the profit made on a given day, once the target is reached, betting for the day ceases.

Another argument that is often put forward is that to continue to bet after the daily target has been reached could be interpreted as being greedy.

As such, it is asking for trouble. Greed, in this world, is seen as a bad thing. Greed, apparently, will be punished and losses will be incurred.

It is also argued that to have achieved a daily profit target is lucky.

To expect the good luck to continue is thought to be pushing one’s luck a bit too far.

Much of the above, in my opinion, is total nonsense.

Who or what is the entity that punishes us for our greed may I ask?

Why should the luck run out just after the daily target has been reached? Why shouldn’t the luck run out before the daily target has been reached?

Based on the above arguments, it is irrelevant whether or not a daily target is set.

It is also irrelevant as to whether or not one should stop betting for the day once the daily target has been met.

Some days, you will regret not stopping. Some days, you won’t.

In theory and over the long term, whether or not you have a daily profit target and whether or not you stop when the target is reached will make little difference to the long-term profitability of the system.

Well, that’s the theory and nonsense dealt with.

Now here’s the science and good practice:

In my opinion, setting a daily profit target is DEFINITELY NOT a good thing to do.

Here are three logical arguments as to why I think this:

• If a system has a long-term strike rate such that it is greater than the average odds of the losing bets (when converted to a strike rate), then the system, over the long-term, must generate a profit. Luck doesn’t enter into the argument.

Now, if the system is profitable, the more bets that are placed, the greater will be the profit.

If the system is operated in such a manner that betting ceases for the day once the daily profit target has been met, then, fewer bets will be placed each day than would otherwise be placed had a daily profit target not been set.

If fewer bets are placed, then, by definition, the long-term profitability of the system will be reduced.

• If you have a winning system, then, on average, there will be more days that you will be glad that you continued betting after your daily profit target was reached than days that you regret continuing after your target was reached.

• It is remarkably easy to become obsessed with daily targets and meeting them.

Now, suppose that the system, one day, generates insufficient selections to reach the daily target.

What then? Should additional selections be randomly generated in order to meet the daily profit target?

Should the normal stakes be increased to such a level that the daily target is met?

Suppose that the day’s initial bets all lose. What then?

I hope that you can now see why it may not be a good idea not to set yourself a daily profit target.