Horse Betting Systems

There are many ways of improving your chances of winning in horse racing. One such method is to use betting systems. Some people follow famous tipsters while others try to analyse the form book themselves. If you can get your hands on a good horse racing system then you could well be sitting on a pot of gold. Remember that a good betting system will identify several key things.

Even if you have as little as £1 on a horse to win, suddenly the race begins to take on a whole different meaning. In this guide on betting odds, we will discuss what the odds are, what they mean and the importance of them in a betting sense.

  • Consistent Winners
  • Criteria for Finding Winners
  • Good Odds
  • Easy Rules to Follow
  • Short Cutting Hours of Hard Work

Whichever system you choose to follow, there will be rules but you must always stick to these rules no matter what. Any system will look at key criteria and follow certain rules. Some systems will be seasonal while others will only work in certain types of races. We will now take a look at several well-known racing systems or methods that may work for you.

Laying the Favourite

The fact of the matter is that something has to be favourite but quite often that favourite isn't justified. There are many weak favourites every day in the racing calendar. Sometimes there will be reasons to oppose a favourite. If a book has around a 12% overround and we can effectively remove the even-money favourite then we have effectively reduced the overround by 50% and thus have an edge backing any other horse in the field. Always be on the lookout to lay the favourite.

Backing Losing Favourites

A favourite that lost last time out is generally undervalued by the betting public. It's as if there is something wrong with the horse in the eyes of the public. Any horse doesn’t just become bad after a bad result or two. If the favourite has been successful over several races and then suddenly has a bad couple of races then this doesn’t mean much by itself.

For example, a bad draw could be the reason for the result or jockey error or just plain bad luck. A horse just doesn’t lose its class or ability to win just because it performed badly. So any beaten favourite can be backed again the next time it runs at a higher price than it should be.

Backing Maidens

Some trainers are simply more successful than others when it comes to preparing their first-time runners in maiden races. Going back through the data on the Racing Post website can indicate some very good trainers who seem to find an edge in this area. Remember that price is everything and if you can find a good trainer that is preparing his horses right for these types of races then you could find a profitable betting system.

The Surface Switch

When you see a trainer do something out of the ordinary then there is nearly always a reason for it. For example, if you see a trainer take a horse 300 miles then you need to ask yourself why? A 600-mile round trip is a big deal for any racehorse and any trainer wouldn't do that if he didn’t feel that his horse didn’t stand a pretty good chance of winning.

The same thing applies when we see trainers switching surfaces for their horses. If a trainer moves from turf to all-weather then there has to be a reason for it. Once again getting on at the best available prices is the key thing here. All you need to find a good system is areason to back or oppose something. This is so that you are not backing or laying blindly.

Backing the Drifters

In a typical horse race, the bookmaker overround will be around the 5%-20% mark depending on the number of runners. This is the amount of theoretical profit that the bookmaker is trying to make, even the best bookmakers. This figure can be arrived at by taking all of the starting prices for the horses in the field and converting them to a percentage.

The betting public will be quick to show support for certain horses over others. Don't try to figure out the market forces, instead look to identify which horses are being well supported and then look to back the second or third favourites. If a horse dramatically shortens in price then the betting firms will look to balance this by moving the second and third favourites out.

So a 7/2 second favourite could become 4/1 and a 5/1 third favourite could become 6/1 etc. If these odds continue then a clear betting opportunity arises to back the second and third favourites as they are more likely to be valued unlike the favourite.

Back to Lay System

This is another betting exchange favourite but this system involves letting the horse go in running. Let us say that a horse is currently the 3/1 second favourite in a 7 runner field. You back the horse at 3/1 or 4.0 in digital odds on a bookmaker like Betvictor and let the race go in running. You then immediately place a lay bet into the system at less than 4.0 like 3.0 for example.

In most competitive races, the odds for a pre-race favourite will shorten. At some stage let's say that this horse touched 2.55 but was ultimately beaten. You layed the horse at 3.00 for £100 and so you locked in a guaranteed free bet to nothing. If you backed the horse at 3/1 then you stand to win £300 if it wins.

However, you layed the horse to lose at 2/1 and would lose £200 if it won. Your £300 win on the back side of the bet offsets the £200 loss on the lay side of the bet for a guaranteed £100 win if the horse wins. If it loses then you layed the horse for £100 and so that gets you £100 but you lost £100 backing it to win so you break even. These back to lay systems are very popular with betting exchange punters.

Betfair is a hugely popular betting medium and is why we recommend it to our readers and why it should be one of their first ports of call when they look to bet on horses online.