Betting on the Gee gees – Horse Racing Betting Strategies
Without a doubt, betting on the horses is one of the most popular sports betting past-times in the UK. Even people that practically never wager a sports bet have been known to have a flutter on the Grand National, or head off to Ascot and have a go. This is a sport that attracts all sorts of bettors, from the novices to the biggest and best sports bettors in the market. Because of this, there are all sorts of horse racing betting strategies to take your pick from. So, whether you want to just enjoy a wager on a big race, or whether you want to make some serious profits throughout the season, here are some of the best horse racing betting strategies around.
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Dutching Betting Strategy
Dutching Betting is a rather complex method that involves sizing up the probability of different outcomes in a race. You weigh them up against different odds from different bookmakers and place enough bets on different outcomes to make sure that you are highly unlikely to lose, but will still manage to get a profit when one of your horses comes in. As you can imagine, this takes some serious working out and is for people who want an almost guaranteed profit, even if it is a small profit.
Dutching betting originally started out back in 1930’s New York and was very much used by the gangsters at this time. It was used originally by the gangster, Dutch Schultz, when he joined forces with the accounting maths whizz that was Otto Berman. Berman used his understanding of the horses and the odds to calculate what horses to bet on and when to virtually guarantee a win. With this system, he could bet on all the horses that he thought could win in a race, and no matter what of those horses won, he’d get a payout that would more than cover his bets on the losing horses. Fortunately, with odds checkers online and online betting calculators, you may need a little time and concentration, but you don’t need a mathematical genius accountant by your side to make it work for you.
So, basically, the idea is to “share the risk of losing across a number of runners by backing more than one in a race”. This being said, although Dutching highly maximises your chance of a win, it isn’t fool proof if a complete underdog takes the race by surprise because then you stand the risk of losing all your wagers.
How does it work?
The only way you can be successful at Dutching is when you find the Under-round as opposed to the Over-round, but how do we calculate this?
Well, imagine that there is a special 2 horse race, Crown Walk against Catterick. You need to look for the odds of both horses winning at different bookies. Imagine Crown Walk has odds of 2.1 at Betsafe and Catterick has odds of 1.8 at William Hill, you can calculate whether it is an Under-round or Over-round by the following calculation:
So to calculate the percentage it would be:
(1 / 2.1 x 100) + (1 / 1.8 x 100) =
47.6% + 55.5% = 103.1%
Because the total is over 100%, then if you bet on both of the horses at these odds then you would lose 3.1% of your bet overall, so this is an Over-round and Dutching would not work with such odds.
If we look elsewhere for odds, we might find that whilst 888sport still has odds of 2.1 for Crown Walk, Ladbrokes is offering odds of 1.95 on Catterick, so we could try again to see how much this affects the outcome.
(1/ 2.1 x 100) + (1 / 1.95 x 100) =
47.6% + 51.3% = 98.9%
Because the total is under 100%, then if we bet on both of these horses at these odds, then we would stand to make a 1.1% profit, no matter who wins. So, if we bet £100 on Crown Walk and £107.69 on Catterick, then we would make a guaranteed £2.31 profit. This may not seem a lot, but if you work with bigger numbers and keep on using the system then it’s guaranteed cash. You really need to know the best bookmakers for odds to make this work.
More than a 2-Horse Race
However, horse racing involves more than two parties, so what then? It’s not a fifty/fifty choice unlike football betting strategies and tennis betting strategies. Well, instead of covering both / all options, you choose the outcomes that you think are possible but don’t place a bet on the real rank outsiders. Obviously this means there is a chance of losing your entire stake, but this is very low.
Imagine there are 10 horses in a race and you have a stake of £30 you can spread. You may wish to spread that stake over the 6 horses that have the best chance of a win, all with odds ranging between 4.0 and 11.0. If you spread that wager according to the Dutching system, then if any one of those horses wins, you stand to make a profit of anywhere between £1.77 and £1.84 and with a probability of 94.34% that one of them will come in, it’s a pretty low risk bet.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The advantages of this system are pretty clear. You are obviously maximising your chances of making a profit on every race you bet on. The fewer the likely outcomes, the better, because this means you can spread your stake more narrowly and stand to make more of a profit. If you see a race and you feel that there are 2 horses you feel might win, you could use this strategy to bet on both and still make a profit, no matter which one comes in.
The main disadvantage to this is the small amount of profit involved in winning compared to a normal bet and the more you spread it, the smaller the overall profit. If you back 3 horses, only 1 can win, so you will ultimately lose money on the other 2 that don’t come in.
To conclude, if you want to try Dutching, then you most definitely need to have more than 1 bookmaker’s account – preferably around 5 if possible. This is a low profit but highly effective method, although some bookmakers that target the more recreational bettors might catch on and may restrict your account. So, make sure you open the right accounts, set your overall betting goal and start putting down those stakes to watch the money trickle in.
Laying a Horse Strategy
When looking at horse racing betting strategies, the obvious act seems to back the favourite, as apparently these are the horses with most chance of winning. However, laying the favourite turns this idea on its head and changes the way we can profit from a favourite horse in a race.
In a 10 horse race, as you can imagine, it’s much easier to pick a losing horse than a winning one – the odds are in your favour. When picking a winning horse, with so many to choose from and so many factors to take into consideration for all the racers, it can be difficult and daunting to make an accurate prediction. The good thing about laying a horse is that you simply take 1 horse and decide whether you believe it will win or not. This is when you might decide to lay the horse.
Becoming the Bookie
When horse racing betting, the idea of laying a horse is simple. You back the horse to lose. However, you don’t put a bet on it losing, you take on the role of the bookmaker and if it wins then you have to pay out. Imagine there is a favourite, Hot Thursday, which has backer’s odds of 7. If you lay him with a stake of £10, then if he wins the race, then you will lose £60 (£10 x 7 – £10). However, if he loses the race as you predict, then you will stand to win £70 (£60 liability + £10 stake). However, most bookmakers automatically calculate what you would stand to win or lose when you enter your bet.
In virtually every race, there is a favourite to win. Your job, before you think about laying a race, is to decide whether you think this is a strong favourite or a weak favourite. Now, surprisingly, the rule of thumb is that approximately 2 out of every 3 favourites will lose the race. However, by no means does this mean just go ahead and lay every favourite, you need to choose carefully.
Laying a Weak Favourite
You can normally spot a weak favourite because its odds for winning tend to be below 3.0. You are most likely to find a weak favourite during the weekend, because bettors tend to want a quick easy win, so pick the favourite and this skews the true odds of the horse. If you are in the know and are well informed about horses, you may also be able to spot when the market and the bookmakers have assessed its chances of winning incorrectly. If you want to pick a weak favourite then you must either know more that the market or be able to understand the working of the market correctly. When laying a weak favourite, the best course of action is focusing on one meeting a day, especially if you are knowledgeable on that course or have read up on it.
Working out if it’s Weak
Ways you can try and figure out if the favourite is weak or not is by researching the recent history of the horse. Things you should check are: its last time out record; its ratings; then its course form; the jockey; its ground form; the trainer record; its current weight; its distance form and its odds in relation to the rest of the field.
Many horse layers also like wager on races of over 7 horses when horse racing betting. This is because it’s easier for the bookies and market to make a small error in accuracy. Just one slip could present the perfect opportunity to lay a weak favourite.
Another way to find a weak favourite is to research the horses that are often the short priced favourites that get beaten. If you can find a horse that has been similarly priced recently and has been beaten before at those odds, then that might be a good one to lay.
The False Favourite
The false favourite horse is a completely different concept to a weak favourite. This is a horse that has been labelled as a favourite falsely by the bookmakers. They do this in order to fool the punters who blindly back the favourite all the time. These false favourites are mostly found in smaller weekday meetings as opposed to the big weekend meets.
Laying a favourite is a very popular horse racing betting strategy and when done correctly can be incredibly profitable. Don’t blindly lay any favourite though, like most strategies, it requires research and study. There’s obviously an element of risk involved if the horse does come in. However, the money you get if it doesn’t win is good enough to make the risk worth it.
Value Horse Racing Betting Strategy
Whether you bet on a winner or another market, the best strategy to use is Value Horse Racing Betting Strategy. This involves making sure that any bet you decide to make is good value for money. Many people that make bets simply put their money on the favourite. They believe that if its high odds its good value and if its low odds then its bad value. However, this isn’t always the case.
To work out the real value, compare the odds of a bet to the likelihood of the bet winning. So, if you had a horse with odds of 8/1 (9.0 in decimals) (800 in moneyline odds) then it looks great because if you bet £10, then you’ll win £80 – pretty decent. However, if there’s a low probability that this horse will win, there’s little value in making this bet at all.
However, if there was a different horse that was evens to win (2.0 in decimals and +100 in moneyline odds) then although you may only get £10 return on a £10 stake, if this horse was almost certain to win, with a 90% probability, then it’s much better value because you are likely to win something back.
Whether you decide to make your bets on low price favourites or high price outsiders, making money is much easier if you know the value of the bet. The secret is to study both the horse and the track. You can work out which horse offers the most value when comparing its odds to the chance of winning. Being able to effectively do this is where the real money can be made on horse racing betting. Again, this relies on the best odds.
Each Way Horse Racing Betting Strategy
Each way betting is a great strategy to get a return on your money. This works best if you like the look of a horse, but you aren’t entirely confident that it will win. You make a bet on it to either win or place.
Now, ‘placing’ all depends on the size of the race involved. If the race is between 1-4 runners, then there will be no place betting allowed. If it’s between 5-7 runners the place betting is 1st and 2nd at 25% of the win odds. An 8+ runner race will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd placing at 20% of the win odds. A 12-15 handicap race will place 1st 2nd and 3rd at 25% of the win odds. Lastly, a 16+ handicap race will place 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th at 20% of the win odds.
Imagine placing a £10 bet each way on a horse with 10-1 odds in a 12 runner handicap race. If it wins, you’ll get back £110 for the win plus £35 for the place bet (25% of the win odds). In total you’ll get £145 back. Therefore, with a stake of £20, that’s a £125 profit. If the horse was to place 2nd or 3rd, then you’d lose the £10 stake on a win. However, you’d get back the £35 for it placing. This means you’d still see a profit of £15 after deducting the original £20 stake.
Taking Advantage of the Bookies
Clever bettors realise that the place terms of each way betting aren’t often to the bookies advantage. This is what can be exploited by those in the know. Bookies like to have the odds always stacked in their favour, and more often than not, they do. However, each way betting can often expose a chink in their armour. Great each way bets for punters can be found in races where there is a strong favourite. This usually sees a second and third favourite with only a small chance of causing an upset. However, they are are still likely come 2nd and 3rd in the race. In these races, except from the favourite, the rest of the field often have high prices. These are every bookie’s nightmare races – but why?
Getting Favourable Odds
Bookies cannot set place odds that are different from the win odds. So, if the strong favourite has odds of 1.6, then the 2nd favourite may have odds of around 5.0. The third favourite could even have odds as high as 11.0. Obviously the favourite has a low price, but the 2nd favourite has a pretty decent 5.1 odds. So, if it’s a 9 horse race, the odds you’d get for that horse placing would be 20%. You would then get decent odds of 1.8 if it managed to place, which is highly likely.
Should you place your bet at a betting exchange where the placing and winning odds could be separate, then you’d likely get odds of around 1.45. So, we can see that odds of 1.8 would be pretty good value. You’d get a horse with a 69% chance of placing for the price of one that has a 55% chance.
Each way betting is a great horse racing betting strategy if you know what to do. You need to check out the odds for the favourite runners in the race. If you know what you’re doing you can find a bookie’s weakness and expose it. Exposing the bookie is the perfect profitable horse racing betting strategy.
The Points Horse Racing Betting Strategy
Another horse racing betting strategy to help you improve your likelihood of picking a winner is the points system. This is where you rate the front-running horses. You can use this system to help you keep an eye out for the horses on the very best form. The point system works as follows:
You need to score the horse over its last 3 races. This will give you the best indicator of its current form:
5 points for every win, 3 points for every 2nd place, 2 points for every 3rd place and 1 point for every 4th place
Then you add points with the following system:
- 2 points of it has won over course
- 3 points if it has won over distance
- 4 points if it has won over both course and distance
- 2 points if the horse has been a beaten favourite
- 3 points if the horse is in the first 3 of betting
The total number of points that a horse could possibly have scored at this stage is 24.
Once you have worked this point score out, you then add to that the horse’s Racing Post Rating.
Finally, you then add a point score depending on the odds a horse has been given for that particular race:
|11/10 or 6/5||21 points|
|7/4 or 15/8||16 points|
|3/1 or 10/3||11 points|
|5/1 or longer||7 points|
Do You Have a Winner?
All the points added together will give you its point score rating for that race. This should be a good indicator of which horse has a better chance of winning.
An example of this system would be as follows:
4.30 at Newmarket – Rule the World
He scores 19 points for his form
Add on his RPR of 79
His odds are 6/5 (21 points)
Adding these together, his points rating for this race is 119
If you can work this out, then you can work out which is more likely to finish the race victorious.