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Thursday, 24 May 2018

How to Bet on Horses: The Dos & Don'ts of Profitable Punting

By virtue of the fact that you’re reading this article , it’s probably safe to assume that you know how to bet on horses, in terms of physically placing a bet. If you don’t, your options essentially boil down to placing a bet in person, on the racecourse or in a licensed betting shop, or remotely, via the Internet or the telephone.
 
However, this article should really be titled ‘How to Bet Profitably on Horses’, because what we hope to do in the paragraphs that follow is to distill our ideas about successful betting, some of which we’ve discussed at length in other articles, into a succinct list of dos and don’ts.
 
Do proof your selections on paper only for at least a month, and preferably two or three, before you start backing or laying them with your own money. If you’re going to rely on a tipping service for your selections, make sure that you can obtain results for that service, independently proofed by a third party, for a similar period.
 
Do establish a betting bank or, in other words, set aside an adequate amount of money, exclusively for betting on horses, before you start placing bets. The purpose of doing so is that, if you do experience a sequence of adverse results, your standard of living isn’t affected in any way.
The amount of money you need to set aside will depend on your strike rate which, in turn, depends on the range of odds in which your selections lie.
 
Once you know your strike rate, you can calculate the longest losing run from the formula log (NB) /-(log(1 - SR)), where NB represents the number of bets you intend to place and SR represents your strike rate, expressed as a decimal fraction. So, if you have a (not unrealistic) strike rate of 25%, for every 1,000 bets you place, you can expect a longest losing run


= log(1000)/-log(1-0.25)
= log(1000)/-(log(0.75))
= 3/-(-0.125)
= 3/0.125
= 24


Of course, it’s always possible that you could encounter two such losing runs in succession, one at the end of your first thousand bets and another at start of your second thousand, so if you operate at one point level stakes, you need a betting bank of 48 points to protect you from such an eventuality.
Do keep a record of every bet you place, win or lose, in a business-like way. Doing so will not only instill discipline in you, so that you’re less likely to involve yourself in races that you know you shouldn’t, but also provide you with documentary evidence of your betting habits, which you can review periodically.
 
Don’t bet each-way. The standard place terms offered by bookmakers are below the true mathematical odds, unless you bet in handicaps with 16 or more runners. Even then, the mathematical advantage that you hold is negated by large, competitive fields, the vagaries of the draw, luck in running, etc. Not only that, but betting each-way requires you to halve your stake or double your outlay and often leads to indecisive selection.
 
Don’t chase your losses. Losing runs are a fact of life, even for successful punters, so come to accept them as an occupational hazard. Taking a long-term view, in conjunction with an adequate betting bank, should help you to deal with any short-term reverses without becoming emotionally involved.
Don’t believe advertisers who promise you massive-looking profits for the price of a monthly subscription, unless they can produce independently proofed results for a period of at least three months. The results should demonstrate that the advertised profits can be achieved by placing a realistic number of bets, to realistic stakes, at prices that are generally available. It’s possible to generate huge profits, on paper, by placing hundreds of theoretical bets at hundreds or thousands of pounds per point but, in reality, such “systems” are just plain nonsense.
 
We hope you enjoyed ‘How to Bet on Horses: The Dos & Don’ts of Profitable Punting’ and we will be back soon with another advanced betting guide. In the meantime, we would love to hear your thoughts on ‘How to Bet on Horses: The Dos & Don’ts of Profitable Punting’ in the comments section below.
 

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