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24/3/2007 edition

Horse Racing Betting Myths Exposed

How to make a living win betting horses.

Just select six horses that can't lose each year and you can live off your winnings.


One of the common myths posted in horse racing chat rooms is that it is not that difficult to live off the punt. If you are extremely selective you can easily find six horses that "can't lose" and get average odds of $3.00 about them. Then all you have to do is wager $5,000 on each horse and you have $60,000 tax free to live on.

Let's have a closer look at this.

The psychology of betting

How will a punter cope knowing that he just needs to find six bets in a year and that these bets are so important because they will determine whether or not he makes his income for the year, whether or not he is able to feed himself and help support his family.

Can you just imagine how for practical purposes it might even be just about impossible for our punter to place a bet. Because if there is the slightest doubt that the horse might lose then there will not be a bet placed.

Not only that, but can you imagine the stress should the first bet, which let us say took two months to find, loses.

In addition, if a selection looks a certainty, don't you think most punters will think the same thing about it, in which case instead of getting about $3.00 you will most likely be getting odds around $1.40.

What is our punter meant to be doing every day? Working on form full time to find that one bet every two months? Can you imagine anyone even being able to tolerate that sort of life? What a terrible existence. Again, imagine the stress and tension. Imagine if a horse that was so close to being a selection gets up and wins at good odds.

The mathematics of betting

Those posters in horse racing chat rooms never actually discuss the mathematics of betting when suggesting that all one has to do is back six "certainties" in a year to live off the punt. My guess is they don't even understand it.

Let us assume that our punter is able to find six outstanding selections during a year, six horses that are in truth really two to one on chances, that is true $1.66 winning chances, and is able to obtain average odds of $3.00 about them. That in itself is a remarkable achievement.

But now comes the sting. The chances of getting two winning bets in a row are less than 50%. That's right. Less than 50%. If a horse is a true two to one on chance then its chances of winning are two out of three. So to obtain the chances of two of these wagers winning in a row you multiply 2/3 x 2/3 = 4/9. Converted to a percentage that gives you just a 44% chance of backing two winners in a row.

What about backing six winners in a row?

Multiply 2/3 x 2/3 x 2/3 x 2/3 x 2/3 x 2/3 = 64/729. Converted to a percentage that is just 8.78%. Less than one chance in ten.

Now that's hardly what we call "living off the punt."

Successful win betting on horses involves large numbers of selections where the professional has an edge with each wager. Successful win betting on horses involves generating big numbers in betting turnover so a fanciful 50% or 100% profit on that turnover is not needed.

Having a 1% edge or better combined with a large number of selections and high betting turnover and there is the basis for making a living. Assuming of course one can handle the wild fluctuations.

Because it's only in the fantasy world of racing systems fitting rules to past results that there is a smooth progression of profits, week after week and month after month.

This edition of Punt to Win:
How to make a living win betting horses
Get those betting odds
The 70% Strike Rate horse racing betting system
Horse Watch betting system - future winners
Betting favourites in small fields - 17/3/2007
Betting favourites in small field - 10/3/2007
Best odds for well bet winners - bookmaker or tote?
Betting tips from the track: 17/3/2007 - Rosehill & Sandown
Betting tips from the track: 10/3/2007 - Randwick & Caulfield
Betting top weights - horses carrying a weight handicap of 59kg.
Future winners - unlucky horses
Punt to Win 10/3/2007
Punt to Win index


2006 Melbourne Cup Carnival Winners
Best Tote Odds

Horse

Get these prices? Or these prices!! Extra Profit $10 bet
Typhoon Zed 21.50 28.90 $74
Delta Blues 17.50 20.20 $27
Lyrical Bid 16.50 19.00 $25
Brom Felinity 13.30 15.70 $24
Dance Hero 12.60 14.90 $23
Southern Courage 16.20 18.30 $21


 

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