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29/6/2001 edition

Value Bets Explained

"Do you really mean not one horse can be value in a race?"
"Yes, and you'd better believe it!"

Because punters are betting into markets of over 100% often many races will not have one horse that is a value bet. Any win bet made by the punter in that race will be a long term losing bet.

We know this will be difficult to understand, particularly for punters who are conditioned to pick the winner of a race, and then back it.

But to have any chance of winning long term at racing it must be understood.

An easy explanation, and one used by a visitor on our Horse Racing Forum, is to consider a throw of one dice. There are six numbers with equal chances. Each number is a true 5/1 or $6.00 chance. Expressed as a percentage each number has an equal 16.66% chance of coming up. Multiply that by six and you get 100%.

Look at the following table. Imagine these are the odds you are given on a number from a throw of the dice.


We all know the correct odds are 5/1 or $6.00. All odds offered are under. Any bet you make is a long term losing bet because you are getting under the true chances.

The market percentage of those offered odds also totals 123.58%. That is not an uncommon market percentage for a horse race. Similarly in many of those horse races it does not matter what horse you back. You will get under the horse's true chances of winning.

Where punters get tricked is that fair odds for horses are not so obviously clear cut as fair odds on the throw of a dice or the toss of a coin.

But one thing is for certain. It does not matter how good you are at selecting winners. If you are not getting a fair price for your selections you cannot make a profit long term. It is impossible to beat poor value odds. With the tote that is often the case because they have a standard market percentage of around 120%.

That is why we have also had a go at bookmakers when they sometimes set markets to ridiculously high percentages like in the recent Brisbane Carnival. It often means, no matter how good you are, that not one horse in the race is a fair bet for the punter. If punters refused to bet under those circumstances prices would have to be eased out.

One thing is for sure, when Robbie Waterhouse starts standing again shortly in the Sydney betting ring after his 17 year's warning off/suspension, things will certainly liven up. There will be better value on offer for astute punters.

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Brett Prebble, Damien Oliver, Darren Beadman
And more...

Top Odds Are Important

If you regularly get poor odds you must lose.

Did you back any of these winners last week?
If you did, see the prices you should have got.

Get these prices? Or these prices!! Extra percentage won Extra Profit $100 bet
Edging Out 2.90 5.00 111% $210
Rare Gold 3.20 4.60 64% $140
Expect A Star 3.40 4.80 58% $140
Chattanooga 4.40 5.50 32% $110
Splendid Retreat 4.50 5.50 29% $100
Midnight Avenue 2.20 2.80 50% $60
Maythehorsebewithu 2.50 3.00 33% $50
Scenic Peak 1.60 2.00 67% $40
London Eye 1.80 2.10 38% $30

Back Tote Longshots?

Get these prices? Or these prices!! Extra Profit $100 bet
Bargain 19.70 26.20 $650
As You Do 35.20 40.10 $490
Maguire 31.50 36.20 $470
Puzzle Book 38.70 43.40 $470
King Of Atlantis 16.90 21.40 $450
Denise 21.70 26.10 $440
Constructor 13.70 17.50 $380
Citichy 9.50 10.50 $100

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