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Punt to Win
Horse Racing Betting Tips and Wagering Strategy
In the last issue of Punt to Win we presented the views of a successful professional, "John", about stopping betting when a set amount has been won on the day.
Today we present John's views about betting for the place on the tote.
Is place betting on the tote value?
When asked what he thought about betting for the place on the tote, John laughed and said, "No way. I don't have the slightest interest in trying to beat a betting market of over 120%. I've got better things to do with my time and my money. And to make things even worse, there's no fixed odds you can get on the tote just before the horses jump. That means you can't even control your bet.
How many times have punters found they've got odds way, way below what they expected? What about the times they've won and just got their money back for the place? Even worse, what about the times their horse was running around just to give them their money back if they won, and didn't even place? A bet where you can lose but not win. Now that's not for me. Nor is being given a "generous" $1.05 for my $1.00 investment should the tote always give you a dividend payment to make you a winner in those situations where you have a winning bet which would just pay money back."
"But John," I replied, "there are punters who say all you have to do is carefully select your place bets and you can make around 25% to 50% profit on turnover."
To which John replied, "Now who's kidding who? A tote place market is the equivalent of being offered odds of $1.65 the win in an even two horse race. To just break even with place betting you have to do 25% better than the average which is a loss of 20 cents in the dollar or a return of 80%. To say, instead of getting a return of 80 cents in the dollar you expect to get a return of 150 cents for every dollar bet is wishful thinking. Sure, if you're a very successful place punter, you may get some runs where that occurs. But from my experience if you are even able to make 1% to 2% profit on turnover on place betting over the long term you are doing very, very well."
"But John, there are plenty of punters who swear by place betting. They say it is safe, they avoid long runs of outs and they make good profits."
John laughed again and replied, "I said if you're a very successful place punter you may get some amazing runs. But if those horses were backed for the win the profit on turnover would be significantly better. Some punters get big runs by going all up with place bets. But let's not kid ourselves. It doesn't add one dollar's worth of value. You're still betting in markets of over 120% and most likely getting unders with your place bets."
"Avoiding runs of outs," continued John, "is the reason most punters back for the place. Never mind if they are getting significant unders with just about every bet. It's possible to go to the casino and play roulette or blackjack at a disadvantage against the house and yet show a profit after hundreds of bets. But the house advantage is only a few per cent, nothing like the tote's. From what I can see most punters would be happy with a 75% strike rate at average odds of $1.30. Even though that means a slow drain of their money!
I admit it's possible after a significant number of tote place bets to show a strong profit. But I will add that the result would most likely be a statistical aberration and have absolutely nothing to do with having found a magical formula to making a place betting fortune of 25% to 50% profit on turnover."
Surely you're not going to tell me that by taking unders on the tote with place betting it is possible to win long term at racing?
This edition of Punt to Win:
2007 Melbourne Cup Carnival Winners
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