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10 ways to improve your punting


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Ten Pointers to better punting 

Having been a punter for the best part of 40 years and finally now become successful at it I thought it would be interesting and hopefully of some use to share some of my thoughts/ideas. So here are ten points that you can digest and then agree or disagree with.

 

1.         Keep a figure of EVERY bet you have. Be it on a spread sheet or in a pocket notebook. It really does make you become more disciplined as to how much you’re actually winning or losing. We’ve all got that friend who has told us or gone to social media to show us their big win which is fantastic, we all love to see these bookie bashing bets but what about the losers? You’ll be surprised how easily it is to whittle away winnings without realising. I actually work on a week to week basis in that I try and win every week and will do a figure at the end of the week to run forward to the yearly one and then start afresh on the next Monday.

 

2.         Watch as much racing as you can. It’s not like the (good?) old days when you needed reels of video tape to record races you can access replays of the day’s races in various ways. There’s nothing like watching the race with your own naked eye and making your opinion rather than someone else’s. I personally subscribe to the Racing Post ultimate monthly service which for £34.95 monthly gives me access to all the race replays as well as access to the digital paper the night before which actually breaks down to just over a pound a day which if you’re serious about making money at the game is nothing.

 

3.         Follow Twitter !! If you don’t already sign up and follow as many trainer, jockeys, punters, journalists etc. that are horse racing related. You’ll be surprised how many gems you actually pick up about a horse’s well being or not. Nowadays many trainers use this medium to break news of injuries and have columns with bookmakers. Absorb as much information as you can, you’ll never know when it may come in handy.

 

4.         Become a weather forecaster! The most important factor in finding winners in my opinion is the ground. I don’t believe the old saying that good horses go on any ground. To me that’s nonsense! Most horses have a preference and if you can find that through the form book, or breeding, or trainer stable files then use it to your advantage. With 48 hour declarations here to stay by the looks of things just remember when placing a bet does this horse handle/like the likely ground conditions? One of my most used website's is the Met Office one !!

 

5.         Stable form can be so important. A bit of an obvious one this but if a trainer is on the cold list then I would seriously be shying away from having a go on one of his or hers. On the flip side if a trainer has hit a streak of form then we can bet with much more confidence. Oh and its not just winners we should be looking at as trainers can be in form without hitting the number one spot all the time. I like to look at the Racing Post trainers last 14 days runners and dismiss any big price runners but look closely at their runners under 8/1 and how they have they run. If a trainer has had 0 winners from his last 20 runners but 14 of those were 20/1 or bigger but the 6 that were prominent in the betting were all placed I think you could safely say that they are in good form. 

 

6.         Official Handicap ratings are important. I love analysing each horse’s handicap mark and its fascinating when they find a winning mark that he or she can win off. We may find that they then struggle off of their new marks for a while (or even longer) but when they find themselves slipping back down to their ’winning’ mark and conditions suit then that’s the time to be very interested in them especially if they’ve shown enough in their previous run to give you encouragement.

 

7.         Take the very best price. Again an obvious one but you’ll be surprised how many punters have just the one account who they’re very loyal to. Open as many accounts as possible and when having a bet use an odds comparison site (I personally use Oddschecker although bear in mind that two of the biggies in Ladbrokes and Corals have now left that site). For example constantly taking that extra half a point here and there will make a difference to your overall figure (see pointer 1.) and could make the difference from a winning day or a losing one. Also take advantage of the firms enhanced place terms with many offering these nowadays. I’m a bit torn whether to take 1-4th odds 1-2-3 or 1-5th odds 1-2-3-4 as the difference between 1-4th and 1-5th is surprisingly quite high. If I have the choice I tend to split my bet half and half so covering my stake if the horse does finish in the enhanced extra place spot.

 

8.         Check collateral form. When analysing a race it’s always worth checking how their previous race/s have worked out especially in maidens. You may find a Newmarket maiden for example where five have run since and come nowhere near troubling the judge whilst in contrast at a lesser track say Lingfield may have a maiden where three winners have come out of the race.

 

9.         Become an odds compiler! It’s not for everyone but I’ve been pricing races for 35 years plus now and it gives you a real feel for the race. If you havn’t tried before give it a try (I’ll do a further piece in the future on how to price a race). The benefit of it is that you are basically pitting your expertise against the major bookmaker’s odds compilers who have so many races to price nowadays that if you specialise on a particular race you may just find an edge. As an example If you believe Horse A is a 6/4 chance in your opinion and the bookmakers price him up at 2/1 then if you’re confident in your own ability you’ll be more than happy to take half a point over your price. It’s worth doing if you havn’t done it before.

 

10.       Read as much as you can. Nowadays there’s so many publications that can help punters none more so than the excellent Stable files that can be found in the Racing Post or Weekender. The Attheraces website also has several features on trainer’s thoughts on their horses. Professional punter Mark Holder recently tweeted that he thought that these ‘stable files’ should be dismissed but I totally dis-agree and have backed many a winner on something a trainer has said in such copy about a certain horse’s ability. 

 

As I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, I’ve been a punter for over 40 years (my first ever bet was a £1 win ante-post bet placed by my Mum on my behalf when I was 16 on an unraced Vincent O’Brien 2yo called Try My Best for the 2000 Guineas that I had read about in the Sporting Life at 66/1! And for those of you that don’t know the horse he went unbeaten through his 2yo career and ended up at Newmarket on 2000 Gns day an odds on shot only to trail in last and be retired! I think the anticipation throughout the Winter of him winning is probably the reason why I still love an ante-post bet to this day). 

Everyday I learn something new about this great game and the day I think I know everything is the day I’ll give it all up. 

I hope you enjoyed this feature on better betting and feel free to comment below on anything you agree or disagree about.

The Brigadier

 

 Bookmakers_1716796a.jpg

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Interesting read , I do several of these but being out of the house for work around 11 hours a day it's pretty impossible.

I'm surprised you've not mentioned the exchanges for value with b.o.g. being tightened up with lots of firms these days sometimes on the day .

I too keep a notebook on my bets totals won & lost & am pretty consistent year on year generally losing a little but I don't punt big more of a fun hobby & like all punters have good months & bad months.

It was strange to see people flocking to the rails to have a bet in your photo , I go around 10/12 times a year racing & probably use rails bookies once or twice for me they represent zero value especially in big handicaps , like you say , get your bets on early.

If you're ever lucky enough to go to on a stable visit forget about taking your clothes , the most important thing is pen & paper write down lots of little tips the trainers tell you , happy punting everyone !

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Thanks calva decoy for your comments and some very good points made. Yes of course the exchanges are yet another valuable tool in a successful punters armoury and should of included it in my 'open as many accounts as you can' point. And you are exactly right if you're going racing (chance would be a fine thing at the moment mind) it's always best to have your bets loaded up before you go as drink and gambling just don't mix !!

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Good read. There’s 2-3 points that I usually do anyway, or at least take on board sometimes, but there’s some that I definitely need to up my game on . Don’t think I’ve ever checked the weather as much since I’ve properly got into racing 😂 Also being able to understand handicap marks is crucial and will save you from losing a few quid the quicker you get the hang of that. Punters are very lucky in this day and age with all the information and past runs that are available with a click of a button. I look forward to your write up on doing your own betting odds. 

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I've been betting for 20 years and the one thing I never really paid much attention to was the paddock ......then I took my young daughter to wolv and she was watching this chestnut horse ...stars stenciled into rear ....ears pricked ....jogging on spot ....just looked fab ....and she said after watching all of them ....I want the star horse ....long story short it won 500 quid at 100/1 ....since then if I go to the racing I always rate the horses in parade and put score next to them on card .. has got me countless winners...I've list count how many ...

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2 minutes ago, richard-westwood said:

I've been betting for 20 years and the one thing I never really paid much attention to was the paddock ......then I took my young daughter to wolv and she was watching this chestnut horse ...stars stenciled into rear ....ears pricked ....jogging on spot ....just looked fab ....and she said after watching all of them ....I want the star horse ....long story short it won 500 quid at 100/1 ....since then if I go to the racing I always rate the horses in parade and put score next to them on card .. has got me countless winners...I've list count how many ...

Good point and I’ve noticed before on itv racing where they quite often mention the appearance in the paddock and usually select best turned out horse in the race. If you’ve got a horse that seems like he’s carrying a bit too much weight or doesn’t quite look his usual self then chances are he won’t be fit enough to win and may need the race to condition himself. 

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59 minutes ago, harrisman said:

PS. Some very interesting points above indeed. I guess one of the problems with horse racing is the astonishing amount of statistics easily available today. Almost an information overload. Although obviously some things have more significance depending on the event maybe? 

There’s definitely overload which can be a negative imo, although I totally understand how some people can take it all in. 

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2 hours ago, richard-westwood said:

I've been betting for 20 years and the one thing I never really paid much attention to was the paddock ......then I took my young daughter to wolv and she was watching this chestnut horse ...stars stenciled into rear ....ears pricked ....jogging on spot ....just looked fab ....and she said after watching all of them ....I want the star horse ....long story short it won 500 quid at 100/1 ....since then if I go to the racing I always rate the horses in parade and put score next to them on card .. has got me countless winners...I've list count how many ...

Yes, agreed Richard. If you’re lucky enough to be able to identify a horses well being then another tool to use as a punter. I’m afraid it’s something I’ve never been able to do.

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2 hours ago, harrisman said:

PS. Some very interesting points above indeed. I guess one of the problems with horse racing is the astonishing amount of statistics easily available today. Almost an information overload. Although obviously some things have more significance depending on the event maybe? 

You’re totally right harrisman, punters have never had it so good with all the statistics available. It’s just a case of finding the ones that make it profitable. I like statistics but sometimes I do think well the horse doesn’t know that his trainer has a good record here as an example 😜

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21 minutes ago, The Brigadier said:

Yes, agreed Richard. If you’re lucky enough to be able to identify a horses well being then another tool to use as a punter. I’m afraid it’s something I’ve never been able to do.

I only use a basic system ....

1) awareness .....if a horse has ears pricked and looks like hes enjoying the outing he will get 5/5 .....if the horse has head down and looks half asleep then will get 0 or 1 

2) physical condition .....if horse has nice coat and looks physically muscular (up to 1 mile ...after that the muscular appearance is less required )....and has a good size then gets 10 .....grading down to 1 .....so a horse with dull coat ....small in stature with poor muscular appearance would get a 1 

So total 15 .....you can even ask the stable boys girls what they think today as they pass you ....they are usually happy to comment .....he seems well today ......I think he will need the run etc .....note it down .......like I said I've had winners up to 100/1 just on this score alone with no looking at form so it really does help ......it can be done on  tv but much less accurate ....you cant judge coat condition or temperament on a brief glimpse so it's best on course 

But definately adds an extra dimension and makes the trip on course much more enjoyable because your more involved so I wholly recommend giving it a go 

P.s note ....if the horse is too excited .....bucking too much ....sweating etc ....deduct points as he will knackered before even gets to post .....the odd kick is ok ...shows hes ready and in the mood 

Edited by richard-westwood
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I will add my 2 bob's  worth.  When doing the form  longest travelling horses always worth checking out  more pacfically horse from Ireland running in uk and vise versa and esp ones  that are not running in major races  but low to medium grade races  they are not travelling over for an expensive day out for the hell of it. Horses that run well at certain tracks and certain races always worth a second look. I am not  scared to back outsiders if  i find a  good reason too as i can usually find a good reason  not to back  favourites / market leaders!

Only ever bet what you can afford as dead   certs do  get beat.

Handy little site below.

https://www.irishracing.com/irish-runners-in-uk.html

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Thanks for the 10 pointers, very useful. As I used to say when I worked, you can't beat experience. Having said that apparently the brain begins to deteriorate from age 30 so it's swings and roundabouts.

I agree with all of your 10 points but I don't follow them as well as perhaps I should.

1. Record keeping. This is essential and is the reason I became profitable when I realised what worked and what didn't. I think I quoted once that I thought FRANKIE DETTORI was useless in sprints but when I actually looked at his records he is very profitable at short distances.

2. Watch racing. I'm pretty useless at this I'm afraid. I'm much more a statistics man.

3. Twitter. I must admit I struggle to separate the wheat from the chaff when I read trainer's comments.

4. Weather. Some of my best bets have been on horses that are proven on heavy ground.

5. Trainer statistics. When looking at these (and indeed other statistics) I use AE as a measure as ROI can be heavily influenced by the occasional long priced winner.

6. Handicap ratings. I think this has to be combined with actual weight carried, I find weight carried a very important factor in my systems.

7. Take the very best price. This is key. On average I make about 5% return. This is the equivalent of getting 15/8 instead of 7/4 on your selections. It is important to get early prices and BOG and take advantage of any offers that are available. 3 of the best at the moment are the BET365 Feature 4/1 races, UNIBET UNIBOOST and BOYLESPORTS Free Bet If 2nd To SP Favourite.

8. Collateral Form. This can be very informative as it uses information that shows the true worth of a run rather than information that can be open to interpretation such as speed figures.

9. Odds compilation. Again I'm useless at this, I probably need more practice.

10. Reading. I have a small library of racing and statistics books that I refer to and still request them on my birthday lists. My particular favourites are by ALAN POTTS, MARK COTON, NICK MORDIN and PETER MAY.

One further point I would add is to be a contrarian. You are unlikely to make a profit by following the crowd, you need to find an edge by doing something most punters don't do.

My handicap system is a case in point, it selects horses that are not fit, are relatively unknown and not short priced.

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Re point 7 (best price and plenty of accounts) I'd say don't forget about spread betting, though it can be both tiring and painful banging a drum for something and banging your head against the wall at the same time! :)

I'm more of a sports punter than racing but I'd say without any doubt that getting into spread betting has been the single most significant thing I've ever done in terms of becoming a better punter. You should have the accounts because sometimes the spreads will offer the best value for what you want to back. Even if you don't open accounts it's worth understanding the mechanics of spread prices as you can use them to identify potential value in fixed odds markets (e.g. the spreads for winning distances at a meeting might flag an under or over bet with a fixed odds firm).

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1 hour ago, Tedthewolf said:

I will add my 2 bob's  worth.  When doing the form  longest travelling horses always worth checking out  more pacfically horse from Ireland running in uk and vise versa and esp ones  that are not running in major races  but low to medium grade races  they are not travelling over for an expensive day out for the hell of it. Horses that run well at certain tracks and certain races always worth a second look. I am not  scared to back outsiders if  i find a  good reason too as i can usually find a good reason  not to back  favourites / market leaders!

Only ever bet what you can afford as dead   certs do  get beat.

Handy little site below.

https://www.irishracing.com/irish-runners-in-uk.html

See Saturday's 2.47 at Wetherby for confirmation of the above 👍

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1 hour ago, MCLARKE said:

Thanks for the 10 pointers, very useful. As I used to say when I worked, you can't beat experience. Having said that apparently the brain begins to deteriorate from age 30 so it's swings and roundabouts.

I agree with all of your 10 points but I don't follow them as well as perhaps I should.

1. Record keeping. This is essential and is the reason I became profitable when I realised what worked and what didn't. I think I quoted once that I thought FRANKIE DETTORI was useless in sprints but when I actually looked at his records he is very profitable at short distances.

2. Watch racing. I'm pretty useless at this I'm afraid. I'm much more a statistics man.

3. Twitter. I must admit I struggle to separate the wheat from the chaff when I read trainer's comments.

4. Weather. Some of my best bets have been on horses that are proven on heavy ground.

5. Trainer statistics. When looking at these (and indeed other statistics) I use AE as a measure as ROI can be heavily influenced by the occasional long priced winner.

6. Handicap ratings. I think this has to be combined with actual weight carried, I find weight carried a very important factor in my systems.

7. Take the very best price. This is key. On average I make about 5% return. This is the equivalent of getting 15/8 instead of 7/4 on your selections. It is important to get early prices and BOG and take advantage of any offers that are available. 3 of the best at the moment are the BET365 Feature 4/1 races, UNIBET UNIBOOST and BOYLESPORTS Free Bet If 2nd To SP Favourite.

8. Collateral Form. This can be very informative as it uses information that shows the true worth of a run rather than information that can be open to interpretation such as speed figures.

9. Odds compilation. Again I'm useless at this, I probably need more practice.

10. Reading. I have a small library of racing and statistics books that I refer to and still request them on my birthday lists. My particular favourites are by ALAN POTTS, MARK COTON, NICK MORDIN and PETER MAY.

One further point I would add is to be a contrarian. You are unlikely to make a profit by following the crowd, you need to find an edge by doing something most punters don't do.

My handicap system is a case in point, it selects horses that are not fit, are relatively unknown and not short priced.

Some interesting points there Michael, one point I didn't add was that if you do fancy a big priced one don't be afraid to have as much on that as you would a skinny priced one! We're all guilty of fancying a 33/1 shot and having a much smaller stake on than say a 5/1 chance but really if you are very keen and think the price is wrong then have the same stake on! Its taken me years to get a grasp of that but several professional punters will preach that. Some good books there by the way, well worth reading if anyone hasn't already.

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39 minutes ago, harry_rag said:

Re point 7 (best price and plenty of accounts) I'd say don't forget about spread betting, though it can be both tiring and painful banging a drum for something and banging your head against the wall at the same time! :)

I'm more of a sports punter than racing but I'd say without any doubt that getting into spread betting has been the single most significant thing I've ever done in terms of becoming a better punter. You should have the accounts because sometimes the spreads will offer the best value for what you want to back. Even if you don't open accounts it's worth understanding the mechanics of spread prices as you can use them to identify potential value in fixed odds markets (e.g. the spreads for winning distances at a meeting might flag an under or over bet with a fixed odds firm).

interesting point Harry, as I said in my original piece I'm always learning and open to new 'edges' so will bear that one in mind for sure

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Slightly off topic but some of the lesser events in lesser sports are well worth looking at esp as there tends not to be heaps traded on the exchanges which makes it harder for the odds compilers who often are not specialists in that area as its gen not a partic big market for them. Having said that it's prob only worth doing if you either are a keen follower of the sport/competition or have friends who maybe don't even punt but follow a sport closely and have a lot of specialist knowledge.

An example in rugby was Saracens beating Leinster in Dublin earlier this year. All the pundits were all over Leinster esp being on a massive unbeaten run and crazy short price, yet if you had followed the Pro 14 league last season it was clear that there had been a marked reduction in quality of the other teams in it so meant nothing. On the other hand Saracens already relegated and packed full of battle hardened internationals, even though depleted, proven winners with a massive motivation. Saracens were a ludicrous 5/1 when I had the game as a strictly 50/50. Sadly bets like that don't come along every day but there is normally one Handicap a week (which is gen the best bet even if 10/11). which is way out. Although sometimes you need to wait until just before kick off to get the Handicap you want. 

In a racing context Hunter Chases come to mind,although not an interest of mine. Thanks for this topic there's always food for thought for anything that can improve your approach to punting and considering something to include which can improve your edge. 

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I'd add bet same amount each race regardless of odds as I have missed several big odds (30-1+ winning) with lesser stakes that could have dramatically increased profits. I would also say anything over 12-1 is likely better odds on the exchanges as the overrounds are big for longer odds with bookies and you can see 20-1 wins being 36-1 on the exchange for example at times.

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A great topic and many thanks to all contributors for their sound helpful advice.

I would now like to add my £500 quids worth (you’ll see why I have said that later)

It is an old adage that one should never bet more than one can comfortably afford to lose.

I would like to take this one step further and say that anyone involved in betting of any kind should save up or set aside a sum of money to use for their betting purposes.  Just as millions of people around the country save up for months on end for their annual holiday I feel that there is nothing wrong in saving up a pot of cash to use for betting purposes.  Also, especially in these difficult times, one has to accept should one hit hard times then one may well have to spend the betting bank money on domestic needs such as food and/or keeping a roof over one’s head.  Never in any circumstances think that you can use your betting bank to overcome a domestic crisis!

In normal times (when all household bills etc are being paid) then one should operate their betting bank in a business-like manner.  However, betting does not necessarily go according to plan and you won’t be the first person to have got your strategy wrong and perhaps lose all the money that you have set aside.  If this happens, then, just as the millions of people have to save up for their next annual holiday you should do the same with acquiring a new betting bank and, hopefully, you will be better prepared for your next venture.

So, once you have saved the money and acquired a betting bank what should you do with it?

I can remember one man who had saved something in the region of  £60,000 and said that all he wanted to do was to go to Las Vegas and put it all on Red.  Win or lose that’s what he wanted to do.  What happened was that he won.  I don’t know what became of him but with such a reckless attitude I would be very surprised if he didn’t lose it all at some point.  I can also remember a man who took about £30,000 cash in bags into a William Hill betting shop and asked to put it all on a horse named White Muzzle at 9/4.  He said that if it won he wanted to be paid in cash.  The horse on this occasion lost the race.

These are mad extremes of people risking all to gain a big win.  It is pretty obvious that if one saved up, for example, £1,000 and kept putting on large sums of money on an event then their fun would be short-lived and so they would have to wait and wait to save up for another go.

On order to make use of a betting bank so that at least one can hopefully have an extended period of fun which may well outlast the time spent on a one or two week holiday, I have compiled a table of staking associated with allowing for an average maximum losing run based upon 1,000 bets with various probabilities and stakes adjusted as to whether one wishes to cover the expected maximum losing runs 3, 4 or 5 times over.  I have pulled the maximum expected losing runs off the internet and have not checked the formulae that support it. Perhaps @MCLARKEcould possibly verify this if anyone else other than me wants to use it. One thing that should be pointed out is that if one needs to cover a maximum number of expected losing sequences over a figure of much more than 1,000 bets for example 10,000 bets then the expected maximum number of losing occurrences increases.  An excellent example of this is that in the US in 1943 a record number of reds that came up in a row was 32! Also, it is reported that 39 Reds came up in a row in at the Casino Monte Carlo, Monaco.  All this is after tens of thousands of spins on a roulette wheel.  Contrast this with my figure of 10 for even money selections in the table.

 

Without further ado I herewith print the table:

 

image.png.5931c96fee3346e3c2f02123639e23cb.png

 

I have used a £500 betting bank for my purposes but any amount could be used.  I will use the tidied-up stakes for the maximum of expected fives times losing runs. Being cautious if a price is in between the fractions or decimals above I will use the smallest stake.  For example, if a price is 10/1 to 19/1 I would stake just 70p.  Strictly speaking, one should have a £500 pot for each category of pricing but this is just not practical.  Finally, I will not bet on anything under 4/6 so £12.50 is my maximum stake.

 

All this seems to be very well but what none of us knows is what are the true odds of a horse winning when we strike a bet.  We are told that the final market prices reflect almost the true odds. I do have doubts about this.  And, even if this is true then I’m sure that we have all experienced events such as scrambling around to get 2/1 about a selection only to find that it drifts out to something like 9/2 at post time and runs no sort of race. In this instance of course although the market adjusted for the horse’s lesser chance we have not allowed for it.

Further, you will see that a horse called Highland Avenue got beat by a neck at 1 to 4 in the 4.55 Kempton yesterday (previous price 13/18 PL). It was expected to run well and win however I don’t think it was a true 1 to 4 shot.  Looking at the table you will see that 1 to 4 shots are supposed to only lose 4 times in a 1,000 bets.  I am pretty sure that I have seen much more of these short-priced favourites turned over in the last 1,000 results. In my opinion, the bookies have deliberately shortened the price to mitigate their liabilities. This is the main reason why I don’t trust any odds offered at shorter than 4/6 ( I don’t even like these that much).

 

Hence, when one is considering a bet one should always be asking oneself whether the best offer price exceeds the estimated true chance of a selection’s success.

 

Finally, @The Brigadiersaid something like that if he fancies a long shot he has found it best to put the same amount of money on that he would do so on a horse at a skinny price.  I know from experience that it is very annoying for me to put say £4 on an even-money shot that comes nowhere and then find I put only £1.20 on a 5/1 shot that romps home.  Because I seek to protect my bank account I feel that it would be safer to use a more modest approach such as if I fancied a 20/1 shot then I would place two or three times my usual stake on the selection.  For example instead of 70p (in the table) I would put either £1.40 or a max of £2.10.  What I am trying to avoid here for example is that if one usually puts £10 on their selections not to go overboard on long priced selections.

 

I hope that some of this advice helps or at least creates some interest.

 

 

 

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One thing I’ve never understood with gambling is greed. If I’m up I’m up regardless of how much it is. An old friend of mine won 8k on the online slots a few years back. That wasn’t enough for him though and within two weeks he’d put the whole lot back in because in his head and these are his words, he thought he could get more out of it. I’ve chased losses before, and it’s horrible, but discipline is key to gambling. If I’m £50 up I’m happy as a pig in muck where as the friend in question wouldn’t be satisfied with that and would go after more, where he’d either succeed but more often than not lose his £50. 

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I think one thing you have to think about is - Why are you betting ?

I can't really speak for people who are in it to make money ..... that's never been my focus

My enjoyment has always been in solving the puzzle. Assessing form, factors, coming  to a conclusion and hopefully being proved right. What I've found is that I get just as much satisfaction from being proved right whether I have 2 quid or 20 quid on. In fact with the various racing competitions on PL I rarely bet on horses at all ....... I get the same buzz from posting a winner with no money on it

I got it right, it feels good, have a little skip around the room !

I do bet on football, very small stakes...... but I suspect if we had an equivalent Nap of the Day on football I might even give that up and just get my buzz from the competition

So .......... I only bet with very small stakes and don't worry about losing

So this would be my advice ........ if you're not in it to make money just play with small stakes and get your enjoyment from 'solving the puzzle'

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, The Equaliser said:

A great topic and many thanks to all contributors for their sound helpful advice.

 

I would now like to add my £500 quids worth (you’ll see why I have said that later)

 

It is an old adage that one should never bet more than one can comfortably afford to lose.

 

I would like to take this one step further and say that anyone involved in betting of any kind should save up or set aside a sum of money to use for their betting purposes.  Just as millions of people around the country save up for months on end for their annual holiday I feel that there is nothing wrong in saving up a pot of cash to use for betting purposes.  Also, especially in these difficult times, one has to accept should one hit hard times then one may well have to spend the betting bank money on domestic needs such as food and/or keeping a roof over one’s head.  Never in any circumstances think that you can use your betting bank to overcome a domestic crisis!

 

In normal times (when all household bills etc are being paid) then one should operate their betting bank in a business-like manner.  However, betting does not necessarily go according to plan and you won’t be the first person to have got your strategy wrong and perhaps lose all the money that you have set aside.  If this happens, then, just as the millions of people have to save up for their next annual holiday you should do the same with acquiring a new betting bank and, hopefully, you will be better prepared for your next venture.

 

So, once you have saved the money and acquired a betting bank what should you do with it?

 

I can remember one man who had saved something in the region of  £60,000 and said that all he wanted to do was to go to Las Vegas and put it all on Red.  Win or lose that’s what he wanted to do.  What happened was that he won.  I don’t know what became of him but with such a reckless attitude I would be very surprised if he didn’t lose it all at some point.  I can also remember a man who took about £30,000 cash in bags into a William Hill betting shop and asked to put it all on a horse named White Muzzle at 9/4.  He said that if it won he wanted to be paid in cash.  The horse on this occasion lost the race.

 

These are mad extremes of people risking all to gain a big win.  It is pretty obvious that if one saved up, for example, £1,000 and kept putting on large sums of money on an event then their fun would be short-lived and so they would have to wait and wait to save up for another go.

 

On order to make use of a betting bank so that at least one can hopefully have an extended period of fun which may well outlast the time spent on a one or two week holiday, I have compiled a table of staking associated with allowing for an average maximum losing run based upon 1,000 bets with various probabilities and stakes adjusted as to whether one wishes to cover the expected maximum losing runs 3, 4 or 5 times over.  I have pulled the maximum expected losing runs off the internet and have not checked the formulae that support it. Perhaps @MCLARKEcould possibly verify this if anyone else other than me wants to use it. One thing that should be pointed out is that if one needs to cover a maximum number of expected losing sequences over a figure of much more than 1,000 bets for example 10,000 bets then the expected maximum number of losing occurrences increases.  An excellent example of this is that in the US in 1943 a record number of reds that came up in a row was 32! Also, it is reported that 39 Reds came up in a row in at the Casino Monte Carlo, Monaco.  All this is after tens of thousands of spins on a roulette wheel.  Contrast this with my figure of 10 for even money selections in the table.

 

 

 

Without further ado I herewith print the table:

 

 

 

image.png.5931c96fee3346e3c2f02123639e23cb.png

 

 

 

I have used a £500 betting bank for my purposes but any amount could be used.  I will use the tidied-up stakes for the maximum of expected fives times losing runs. Being cautious if a price is in between the fractions or decimals above I will use the smallest stake.  For example, if a price is 10/1 to 19/1 I would stake just 70p.  Strictly speaking, one should have a £500 pot for each category of pricing but this is just not practical.  Finally, I will not bet on anything under 4/6 so £12.50 is my maximum stake.

 

 

 

All this seems to be very well but what none of us knows is what are the true odds of a horse winning when we strike a bet.  We are told that the final market prices reflect almost the true odds. I do have doubts about this.  And, even if this is true then I’m sure that we have all experienced events such as scrambling around to get 2/1 about a selection only to find that it drifts out to something like 9/2 at post time and runs no sort of race. In this instance of course although the market adjusted for the horse’s lesser chance we have not allowed for it.

 

Further, you will see that a horse called Highland Avenue got beat by a neck at 1 to 4 in the 4.55 Kempton yesterday (previous price 13/18 PL). It was expected to run well and win however I don’t think it was a true 1 to 4 shot.  Looking at the table you will see that 1 to 4 shots are supposed to only lose 4 times in a 1,000 bets.  I am pretty sure that I have seen much more of these short-priced favourites turned over in the last 1,000 results. In my opinion, the bookies have deliberately shortened the price to mitigate their liabilities. This is the main reason why I don’t trust any odds offered at shorter than 4/6 ( I don’t even like these that much).

 

 

 

Hence, when one is considering a bet one should always be asking oneself whether the best offer price exceeds the estimated true chance of a selection’s success.

 

 

 

Finally, @The Brigadiersaid something like that if he fancies a long shot he has found it best to put the same amount of money on that he would do so on a horse at a skinny price.  I know from experience that it is very annoying for me to put say £4 on an even-money shot that comes nowhere and then find I put only £1.20 on a 5/1 shot that romps home.  Because I seek to protect my bank account I feel that it would be safer to use a more modest approach such as if I fancied a 20/1 shot then I would place two or three times my usual stake on the selection.  For example instead of 70p (in the table) I would put either £1.40 or a max of £2.10.  What I am trying to avoid here for example is that if one usually puts £10 on their selections not to go overboard on long priced selections.

 

 

 

I hope that some of this advice helps or at least creates some interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

great piece Equaliser and totally agree that all serious punters should have a separate betting bank (preferably in a separate bank account as well). Some very interesting points made and a good read 

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15 minutes ago, Trotter said:

I think one thing you have to think about is - Why are you betting ?

I can't really speak for people who are in it to make money ..... that's never been my focus

My enjoyment has always been in solving the puzzle. Assessing form, factors, coming  to a conclusion and hopefully being proved right. What I've found is that I get just as much satisfaction from being proved right whether I have 2 quid or 20 quid on. In fact with the various racing competitions on PL I rarely bet on horses at all ....... I get the same buzz from posting a winner with no money on it

I got it right, it feels good, have a little skip around the room !

I do bet on football, very small stakes...... but I suspect if we had an equivalent Nap of the Day on football I might even give that up and just get my buzz from the competition

So .......... I only bet with very small stakes and don't worry about losing

So this would be my advice ........ if you're not in it to make money just play with small stakes and get your enjoyment from 'solving the puzzle'

 

 

 

I would love to see a video of you skipping around the room after calling a winner 🙂

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1 hour ago, Trotter said:

I think one thing you have to think about is - Why are you betting ?

I can't really speak for people who are in it to make money ..... that's never been my focus

My enjoyment has always been in solving the puzzle. Assessing form, factors, coming  to a conclusion and hopefully being proved right. What I've found is that I get just as much satisfaction from being proved right whether I have 2 quid or 20 quid on. In fact with the various racing competitions on PL I rarely bet on horses at all ....... I get the same buzz from posting a winner with no money on it

I got it right, it feels good, have a little skip around the room !

I do bet on football, very small stakes...... but I suspect if we had an equivalent Nap of the Day on football I might even give that up and just get my buzz from the competition

So .......... I only bet with very small stakes and don't worry about losing

So this would be my advice ........ if you're not in it to make money just play with small stakes and get your enjoyment from 'solving the puzzle'

 

 

 

I’ve cut my football betting right down. Infact I was never that much into it anyway, as I just find it boring. The horses is so much more fun and enjoyable. A lot more to it which makes it more interesting, and horses are pretty honest and more likeable creatures than footballers are. Football used to be a great game but it’s been ruined.  I like a win as much as the next person but even getting a run for my money I can come away satisfied. If you feel comfortable losing 20-30 quid a week then that’s fine. I’ve been guilty of spending more than I’d like but I’ve never gone daft . The winning is great but the puzzle is just as much fun, which you point out. 

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10 hours ago, The Equaliser said:

Further, you will see that a horse called Highland Avenue got beat by a neck at 1 to 4 in the 4.55 Kempton yesterday (previous price 13/18 PL). It was expected to run well and win however I don’t think it was a true 1 to 4 shot.  Looking at the table you will see that 1 to 4 shots are supposed to only lose 4 times in a 1,000 bets.  I am pretty sure that I have seen much more of these short-priced favourites turned over in the last 1,000 results. In my opinion, the bookies have deliberately shortened the price to mitigate their liabilities. This is the main reason why I don’t trust any odds offered at shorter than 4/6 ( I don’t even like these that much).

 

1/4 shots have an implied probability of 80% therefore should  lose approx 20% of the time
In 1000 bets there will be approx 200 losers not 4
Its the 200 losers that have an Implied probability losing sequence ratio of 4 (4.29) in 1000 bets
 

10 hours ago, The Equaliser said:

Finally, @The Brigadiersaid something like that if he fancies a long shot he has found it best to put the same amount of money on that he would do so on a horse at a skinny price. 

I believe that's the same advice advocated by Dave Nevison (Failed Gambler,failed tipster) in one of his books who now sells his wares on Racing TV as some sort of expert mustn't be paying him that much as he looks like a tramp whose just slept in a skip when Ive seen him on tv.
Mind you John McCririck made a decent living out of talking crap and he was a failed bookie as well so couldn't do it as a pundit a poacher or a gamekeeper.

 

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