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31/10/2003 edition

Re-Educating The Punter

Here are some betting ideas which have been recently published and are incorrect. We tell you why:

The statistical edge

One way to get an advantage is if you get $6.00 about a horse that starts at $5.00. You have obtained an edge on the price. If over the course of the year you are able to maintain that type of edge your chances of success will have significantly improved and be better than the punters who have got $5.00.

We all know that makes sense.

But it has then been argued that you can get a statistical edge when backing your $5.00 horse by doing the following:

Firstly back a "sure thing" for the place in an all-up bet with your $5.00 selection for the win.

For example, you might believe that Lonhro is a "sure thing" so you put your $10.00 on it for the place. When it pays $1.20 the place you get back $12. This $12 then goes on your selection at $5.00. If your $5.00 selection wins you get back $60 for an overall profit of $50 on your $5.00 chance.

So, it has been claimed, you have found a way to get $6.00 for your $10 bet on your $5.00 chance instead of just $5.00. You have found a way to get a return of $60 and win $50 for your $10 bet instead of just winning $40. So, it has been claimed, you have given yourself an increase or edge of 20% by getting $6.00 instead of $5.00.

That is false. It is not correct to claim you have found a way to get a 20% edge. You wouldn't expect any serious betting publication to publish that - or would you?

Here are the facts:

You have not got $6.00 about your $5.00 chance. You have not got a 20% edge. You have risked $10 on a $1.20 place bet. There is no such thing as a sure thing in racing. If that $1.20 place bet missed out, the $10 you were intending to bet on your $5 selection would be zero. You won that place bet. You then bet $12 of your money on your $5.00 selection. Your return was exactly what it should be for betting $12 on a $5.00 selection.

To put it in a simple way, imagine you first bet $10 on your $5.00 chance. It won and you got back $50. Where's the 20% edge? Of course there's none. Then you put the $50 on a $1.20 place chance. If it won would you claim an edge of 20% with your win bet on the $5.00 chance? Or would you instead claim a massive edge of hundreds of per cent on your $1.20 place bet? It's of course totally incorrect to do either.


Be honest with yourself

It has been claimed that we are often not honest with ourselves and often continue backing a losing horse just hoping it will win. It has then been claimed that just hoping is not good enough, that you should be logical and that means you must EXPECT a bet to win.

Fair enough - we can accept that, but only with the added proviso that the only bets you must EXPECT to win are bets you believe have a better than 50% chance of winning the race.

If you back a horse at $7.00 believing that its odds should be around $5.00 then you are not being honest with yourself or logical if you EXPECT that bet to win. You should expect over the long term that one in five of those bets will win which also means four in five will lose.

This edition of Punt to Win:
Lonhro - Cox Plate betting, trifecta tips
Re-educating the punter - getting the "ststistical edge"
How important is the barrier draw?
Spring Carnival horses - good runs, good betting odds
Betting favourites in small fields
Money talks - Rosehill, Moonee Valley betting tips from the track
Handicapping tips - weight and class
Future winners - unlucky horses
Punt to Win 24/10/2003
Punt to Win index


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Horse

Get these prices? Or these prices!! Extra Profit $100 bet
Grumans 15.40 36.80 $2140
Touchy Subject 22.50 35.80 $1430
Rupanyup 12.30 22.80 $1050
Proudly Aggro 29.40 38.90 $950
Silver Canon 30.90 39.90 $900
Sure Bet 15.50 23.90 $840
Starbucks 11.80 20.10 $830


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