Betting Tip 15 – Backing Odds On Horses

ODDS-ON HORSES – There are a number of punters that consider odd-on betting a no-no, as they seem to believe this is not value! This is due to them looking for that big priced winner, even at the price of ignoring a winner. You will find that the majority of these people will struggle to break even, let alone make a profit.

Bookmakers are betting odds-on in 99.9% of cases on each runner, and yet they make a profit. They also have the disadvantage of having to bet every horse. You have a choice, and with enough knowledge & experience you will learn which one’s to ignore.

With tax free betting, odd-on runners can now be used by anyone to turn a profit.

Anyone who says that horse Y will win, but at 2/5, is not value , so they back X horse in the race instead, have lost there marbles, and are the bookies pal.

The art is selecting which one’s you should back, and that my friend is your homework.

Betting Advice

Horse Racing Systems

Horse racing systems are a way of betting without the need to think. Some Pros don’t believe in them, whereas I use both horse racing systems & method styles of betting, although you could argue that a method is in a way a system, a method tends to be flexible, a system is not.

I give free horse racing systems qualifiers and the members systems qualifiers.
If you’re new to betting or membership, its advised to select 1-3 systems that suits you, taking into account the SR (strike rate), ROI% (return on investment), and number of qualifiers. Once you’ve got your head around using a system, and have made a bit of money you can then progress to another system.

Only use as many free horse racing systems as your Betting Bank can support. The minimum I recommend for a betting bank is £50 for Win bets, and £100 for lays.

You follow a system qualifier whether it is 100/1 or 1/100, and you back it with the specified stake according to your selected staking plan. To deviate in anyway results in the system becoming a method, and will probably result in a loss, so in simple terms; if you pick and choose system qualifiers, then you have made it flexible, so it is no longer a system.

Never expect a system to make you instant profits, they are likely to go into negative equity 1-3 times in the first year while it builds the bank up and stabilises. There is no quick way in betting of getting rich, I spend 10hrs+, 365 days a year, and I’ve been a Pro for years. Its more than a full time job, and if you don’t have the passion for it, you’ll never win no matter what betting service you use. A good knowledge of maths and statistics is also needed, without these you may struggle.

The majority of punters go from one betting service to another looking for fast profits, and finishing the year having spent a fortune, lost a fortune, and start the New Year ready to repeat it all again!

The main thing to remember with a Horse racing system is that every qualifier has an equal chance of winning, regardless of what the bookmaker price is, they do get it wrong, and systems allow you to take advantage of it.

Method Betting

A method bet is a selection that you pick yourself either from your knowledge, race watching, paddock watching, etc (in some cases a feeling!!).

My main method betting is by race watching, I never use 3rd party information, and with the amount of racing on TV its easy to get the hang of these days armed with a video.

You can go into plenty of detail with method bets, F/c (forecast) price, handicap rating, postmark, speed rating, form, etc, but you can do too much, and its best to keep what works as simple as you can.

If you’re new to this type of betting, start with something simple, such as favourites in flat maiden & novice hurdle/chase, and take it from there. This will ensure a decent SR even if you don’t profit at first.

Always write down every bet you do, even if its just fun. In fact keep fun bets in a separate list, and you’ll soon see how much this fun is costing you.

When selecting your own horses, take no notice of tipsters or what they write in the press. 99% of them are not Pro-punters, and they will swing your decision, usually towards a loser. I get the Racing Post daily, but never read the race previews, or tips of any kind.

Even with method betting you need a staking plan, and betting bank. Without them you will fail.

Betting Banks

A betting bank is a fixed amount of money you put aside to use for a particular system, or method, and is an amount you are prepared to lose. So if you start with £100, and your betting bank reaches £10,000, and you then lose it all, you have only lost £100. It is hard to accept this at first, but it is true.
It would also prove that whatever you were doing was correct, and you need to do some work to ensure the failure doesn’t happen again.

How big should your betting bank be? Whatever you can afford. Also, think of it as a bank account, there is nothing to stop you make deposits into it, this can speed up profitability in the long term.

Although the way the betting bank works will depend on the staking plan, its basically worth sticking to the simple rule that when the bank trebles, the stake doubles. This ensures that the more money you make, the bigger the safety net.

If you use more than 1 system/method, ensure you have separate betting banks, or you will probably fail.

You need to remember that when a failure does occur, in the majority of cases it is not the system/method that has failed, it is the betting bank size, or stake that causes it, and those two things are set by yourself.
Many people consider a failure is not their fault, and prefer to blame something else, but no one else set the initial bank/stake.

I’ve known many people see a betting bank go into negative equity, and they give up on it. As mentioned above, this does happen in the first year, and does not mean a failure. They are just impatient, and want instant profit, which doesn’t exist in this business. If it was that easy Pros and bookmakers would only need to be in business for a couple of months then we could all clear off to the Bahamas!

Staking Plans

This subject can be argued amongst most punters till the Martians land, but apart from picking winners, it is 50% of the problem for making a profit.

There are many staking plans available, with some mentioned on the free site, and the best listed on the members update page.

Different staking plans, suit different systems/methods, so if one doesn’t work, try another. It is possible to have ten systems, all with different staking plans to make the best of them.

Mostly though it comes down to preference, and Id recommend level staking for a beginner. Once you’re used to handling the betting
, listing all bets, etc, and have made a few quid, you can then try using a staking plan.

One thing punters never seem to realise is that the BB (base bet) on a BB+SR plan may be 50, and if they change to a stepping plan, to use that BB is suicide, as it is more likely to need a BB of 50p-1, even this low can result in a bet of 200 during a losing run, which means a bank of 500 would be in danger.

This is where mathematics comes into betting. If you want to use anything other that level stakes, you need to work out the above before
you’ve even bet. I have published the optimum plans for the members systems on the forum to save you the work, but it will help you in the future to work it out yourself, as wont be around forever.

Losing Runs

This is what kills of many peoples betting banks, and forces them to give up, and is usually due to the initial stake being set too high.

You need to remember that the lower the SR, the longer the likely losing runs.

A 50% SR can give you a losing run of 8, although unlikely, it is still statistically possible. 35% can give you a run of around 18, getting down to 20% and a losing run of 30 isn’t unknown. You must take this into account when setting your bank and stake. Its always best to be over cautious when starting off; you can always adjust a few months down the line.

Bookmaker / Betting Exchanges

Bookmakers have been around for decades, and with the betting exchanges around now the punter has more choice than ever. Which one you use it up to yourself, but I use the betting exchanges around 98% of the time now, unless I can haggle over a price while on course.

One thing that people forget is that there is usually little difference between odds on horses between the two, as you do pay 2%-5% commission on the exchanges, and you need to take this into account. Any horses over 5/1 should be place on the exchanges with out question. This year alone the free Draw Bias system threw up a 50/1 SP winner, 110/1+ on the exchanges, and a 40/1 Sp, at around 80/1 on the exchanges, that’s 100% more.

If you haven’t used the betting exchanges, then you are throwing away potential profit (please sign up via the site), as the above example would give you the profit to handle an extra losing run of 50, or at 10 stakes, you’ve made 500 more than the man next to you who used the bookmaker.

One other thing people ignore is the Tote, which has its uses in certain situations, especially short priced placed horses, as sometimes they are ignored in the betting, and go off a bigger price. There are a few other quirks, but I’m not giving all the secrets away.

Horse Racing Research

Research is probably the most essential part of a Pro-punters armoury, as without it we wouldn’t have a clue about trends. We all know simple ones, such as non-handicap Favs win more races than handicap Favs, and that is a researched trend. However the pro-punter must find one that the majority don’t know in order to profit from it.

In the old days we used to use old copies of the Sporting Life, or Raceform results books, etc, but with computers these days it is much easier to keep your own records or use such tools as Raceform Online, or
Proform. These services, although costly, will allow
you to trawl through years of data, and come up with past trends. In the case of Proform, for a small daily charge, they will even work out the system qualifiers for you.

Designing your own horse racing system is simple, although some can be complex, just begin with a simple rule such as back the shortest priced forecast horse of the day. This one rule gives you one bet a day, with a 50%+ SR, and has been profitable over the last few years. However, there is a drawback. Due to the low odds, it is high turnover, for low profit (ROI% around 1%-3%, 10%+ is good), but gives you some idea, and you can add new rules as you progress. Skipping handicap races will improve the SR, and so on.

If I didn’t do any research, I would never make money, and it is a subject you must constantly keep on top of.

Laying Horses

With betting exchanges now having a good foothold in the betting market, its possible to back horses, football teams, etc, to lose (LAY), although bookmakers are starting to give odds for laying as I type.

It may sound simple to back a horse to lose, as its easier than picking a winner. But there is a catch the majority don’t realise.

Taking an example from a recent race that won at an SP of 100/1, it was taken on the betting exchanges at 1000/1. This means that someone who wanted to make a simple 2 profit, actually lost 2000!! So he has to find another 1000 losers to get that money back before he even can look at a profit.

For an evens chance (1/1), you have just as much chance of picking a loser, as you do of it winning, although statistically, you do actually have 55% in your favour, as that’s what the research shows, but it is still high risk at those odds.

I use what I call Pro-Losers, which are systems that work exactly the same way as winning systems, except they select qualifiers that produce a known ROI% loss. So if a given Pro-Loser system gives a long term 30% ROI%, that means you’ll make 30p in the pound, although this doesn’t include over betting (offering too high a price), and commission deductions, but with experience you should still manage an ROI% of 15%-20%.

If you’re new to laying (again sign up via the site), just start at 2 level stakes, before moving on to any of the staking plans given to members on the forum, while you get your head around it all.

One good thing about the betting exchanges is you can lay off any mistakes. Say you backed horse B with 50, but it should have been horse A! Then you lay horse B as well. You’ll lose the commission, and the spread between the win-lose price, but its a small percentage of the 50. Not many people consider that option either.

You can also have an arb on the betting exchanges, check the forum for further info, as its too complicated for here.

Also keep your laying and winning banks separate, and as with winning bets, NEVER chase your losses, you will fail in the end. Stick to the plans & systems, and any losses should be recovered over time. Patience, not greed, will see you become a successful Pro-Punter. Remember that last bit of advice it will save you a fortune, NEVER chase losses when laying.

Long term Profits

As mentioned above, the first year will only see you betting banks in the embryonic stages. After that they should really take off. Take a look at the members system research on the forum, to see the difference between the first year, and the 10th. In some case you may only start with a 1 stake, and make 100 that year, but if you’re doing 10 systems, that’s a potential 1000, and is probably 1000 more than you’ve ever finished a year in profit before.

You will also have to accept losses, sometimes wiping out your betting bank. This doesn’t mean the system has failed, as the members systems are proven over 10 years, but that your betting bank was too low, or stake too high. Re-adjust them, and start again.

Laying does tend to throw up quicker profits due to the higher number of daily qualifiers, but can suffer days that make you want to cry, but do have the potential to increase your betting bank by up to 100% a month. It is not unknown for laying banks to drop 80%!

In order to cover all angles, its best to run win and lay betting banks.

Horse Racing Festivals & Busy Racing Days

I’ve only recently researched this myself, as the BHA have been fiddling about with the racing calendar over the last few years, and so we have more racing than ever. This can cause problems on days were there is plenty of racing, where you used a fixed stake adjusted daily.

I take a normal day as 1-4 meetings, and from 2004 summer racing will include mostly 3 afternoon meetings, and 3 evening meetings. This is basically 2 days racing in one, and it is recommended you adjust the daily stake when the afternoon meetings have finished. If you are unable to do this you must decrease your stake by a set percentage, of between (25%-50%), on win and lay bets.

Bank holidays will not be as bad according to the BHA as in the past, but the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) may change that in the future.
A bank holiday may contain 10-16 meetings, and so is technically 3-4 racing days in one. In this situation I would reduce stakes by (50%-75%) for the days racing, win and lay. You may think you may miss out on potential profit. This is greed, remember patience and security makes a Pro-Punter. If you reduce the stakes, it protects you if it all goes
pear-shaped on the day. I also reduce stakes during sudden changes in going.

Festivals are similar to the above in that the competition is always hot, and is not a normal betting environment. So meetings such as Royal Ascot, Cheltenham Festival, Aintree Grand National meetings, are best if you reduce the stakes by (25%-50%).


Hopefully the above pools together all the basic information on the site and forum in order to get you on you way to improving your betting returns. If you have any questions at all, please post them on the forum.

Additional Betting Tips

Its best to have more than one bookmaker/exchange account so you can compare prices.

The Scoop 6 is worth considering once it is over 50,000, as it is not always won by the pro-syndicates.

If you have any doubt about a method bet, don’t bet, you’ll have another chance soon.

If you do find you are losing, and have nearly lost the bank, stop betting and re-adjust everything. You should never lose the bank if you have the maths right.

Generally speaking, your first year at being a pro-punter will be hit and miss as you find your feet, but you will then have goals and enough experience to progress further the following year. It took me 3 years to get into top gear.

Feel free to publish your own tips, systems, advice on the forum, this also helps you to correct mistakes quicker so you don’t look like a complete fool, and will not only help yourself in the long term, but others as well.

Never over bet on the exchanges when laying. By that I mean don’t offer 7/1 for a 4/1 shot, 2/1 for an evens, etc, You should never really bet over the odds of more than 50%, but your best trying to keep it to 30% or
less. This doesn’t have to be strict, as long as the 10% on some and 60% on others average out. To simplify things, its best never to lay over 11pts.

Horse racing systems | Free horse racing systems | Betting bank | Staking plan
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