Horse racing

It is no secret that horse race betting is an Australian past time, it is a popular social and sporting affair throughout most of the year. During the Melbourne Cup even people who have never punted in their life have a crack at the bolting thoroughbreds. This is a betting arena that attracts a spectrum of budgets and experience from novice to professionals. In this article we will present what we consider the best horse racing betting strategies and tips irregardless of your budget.

Value Horse Race Betting

This is a concept most experienced and savvy punters use to place their bets. New comers to the game will want to put their stake on the favourite thinking it has the best chance to win. However the favourite is not necessarily “good value”, this is because its odds are so low, for example odds of 2 are essentially a coin flip, and if there are 15 runners in the race, the chance of the horse winning are not 50%, traditionally the chance of a favourite winning are 33%.

Studying the form guide and knowing which runners of higher odds have a chance of winning will get you a bet of higher value, and in the long run the strategy will be profitable

When reading a form guide, these are the factors one should consider in order of importance:

1)  Has won on the current course and distance
2) Has obtained second or third placings in past races
3) Has a number of wins over this distance
4) Has beaten favourites in recent races
5) Has won at this course

Other factors include the record of the jockey and trainer of the horse, and recent form at the track condition being raced on, whether it be dry or wet.

Winning Horse Racing Strategies

1) Dutching Betting Strategy

This horse racing betting strategy was used in the 1930s in New York by the infamous bootlegging gangsters of that time. The mobster Dutch Schultz teamed up with a math whizz Otto Berman to come up with the idea of calculating odds of horses winning a race.
The idea was to bet on a number of horses for each race and to insure that winnings would be larger than races which had loses. Nowadays you won’t need Otto or a Math’s wizard to work out the details, you can use a dutch betting calculator. Wins are small, but they can be relied upon unless a massive outsider wins a race.

If there is a two-horse race you just need to enter their odds into the calculator and follow the amount that needs to be bet, it is also a good idea to use the best odds from companies such as Neds or open multiple accounts and check out an odds comparison site before placing a bet.

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.

If there are a number of horses in the race with odds indicating they can win the race, spread the amount you want to bet over those horses according to the dutch betting calculator. For example if odds range from 3 to 9, allocate your funds (let’s say $50) on the runners according to the Dutch betting calculator, if one of your horses wins, you should make a profit of approximately $3.5 with a 95% chance.

2) Each-Way Betting on non-Favorites

Betting sites always have a setup which allows them to take a percentage of betting in the long run, one strategy which leaves them exposed is when a race has a strong favourite, because it means that odds will be elevated for the rest of the runners, the second or third favourite will have great odds, especially if you place an each-way bet (ie. place a bet on it to win or come either 2nd or 3rd).  If you do this enough times, in the long run you will come out profitable. Bookmakers hate these races. The same can be said for races where there are only two or three favourites to win the race and the rest are all at long odds and are deemed to have a much lower chance of placing.

3) Laying a Horse Strategy

When first considering betting on horses, a first impulse may be to bet on the favourite, since they have been deemed to the best horse-jockey combination to win. However, trying to pick the winning horse is not easy, since there are many factors to consider such as their recent form at that distance and ground type, barrier drawn, jockey, trainer, its current weight. What’s more, favourites lose 66% of the time, which gives rise to the horse racing strategy of laying bets.

Laying a horse, means you are betting on any other runner besides that horse to win, as you can see the chance of that happening are in your favour, however you must expect the odds to be lower.
So if you take a look at this Lay bet calculator, you can see that inputting a stake of say $100 at odds of 4.0, you can win that $100 clean if your selection does not come first, easy money? Not so fast, if your selection wins you lose $300 (called the liability). Clearly the aim is to get more successful lay bets in a punting session than the rare loss.
As a rule of thumb, laying runners around odds of 3 – 6 is usually a good win-to-liability ratio, if you want to lay outside runners with higher odds, your liability becomes too high.

So how do you pick a runner to lay?
The task is to select one of the weak favourites of the race.  If you are someone who has studied the form guide and assessed the top runners, you can use your intuition to select a runner that is overrated and not likely to win, if this is something you are not able to do, you will need to rely on the odds to place your lay bet.

If the odds of a runner are 2 or lower, you know it is a very strong favourite and has a high chance of winning and will not be a good idea to lay bet.
The best is if there are a number of runners in the race that could win, ie. an open race.

This strategy will work better when there are more runners in the race, a race with 7 or 8 gives the favourites a lot of room and easier chance to win, whilst many runners mean that there is more room for error concerning the favourites run to the finish line.
Larger track meets, such as on Saturdays or Spring Carnival bring together many runners who are all of higher quality and have a chance to win and make your lay bet successful.

Betting sites where you can place laybets include and Betfair.