When we come to understand odds we can then Calculate Odds and turn the chances of winning to our advantage, essentially playing the Bookmaker at his own game.

The betting strategy of our choice can be used when we come to Calculate Odds and the stake to use in our chosen race.

Whether you like backing just the single horse in a race or prefer group betting, the strategy below is entirely flexible to suit all needs.

You can back 2, 3 or 4 or more horses in a race (given the odds allow) to show a profit whichever horse wins or you can stake to profit from one horse and place a saver bet/s on the ones you consider dangers to your main selection.

The amount to be staked is chosen well in advance and the formula never exceeds it plus for those that prefer group betting, your profit margin can be tailored to suit your style, some may prefer a maximum of 50% of the odds taken for the runners in a race i.e. 2, 3/1 shots (25% + 25%) or a 2/1 shot plus a 5/1 (rounded margins) effectively betting even money, some may set the upper limit higher at 75% covering all the basis, any higher might not be worth the risk.

The beauty of this strategy is its flexibility with stakes specifically tailored to suit your style so let’s go through a few examples and see the various strategies in action.

A race has been narrowed down to 2 horses, horse A is your main fancy at 3/1 and the danger to your selection is the 2/1 favourite horse B, your outlay on this race is set at no more than 10 points, the stake for your selection is found thus…

Main selection A at 3/1 = 25% The danger B at 2/1 = 33%

0.33 + 00.25 = 0.58. we divide our main bets chance by the total and multiply by the chosen outlay. 0.25 divided by 0.58 = 0.43 multiplied by 10 = 4.3 pts. The formula has taken into account the dangers chance of winning against your selection and therefore you are not flaunting the odds, but lets say that in your estimation you think the market has got it wrong and in fact you rate your selection as the favourite and the danger should (in your opinion) be the 2nd favourite.

In this example we only have to reverse the figures, 0.33 divided by 0.58 = 0.568 Multiplied by 10 = 5.7 (rounded) the stake has increased to reflect your belief that You’re getting a good price.

Playing by the odds your bet would have been 4.3 @ 3/1 to win 12.9 pts.
Taking into account your judgement your bet would have been 5.7 @ 3/1 to win 17.1 pts, a difference of 4.2 pts a near 33% improvement in profit.

We can easily calculate odds to incorporate an insurance policy by backing an identified danger to recover our outlay. In this example our main selection is priced at 2/1 with the danger priced up at 4/1, the odds make up 53% of the book but with this angle we don’t want to split the stakes up between the 2 selections or back just the one of them, what we do now is to back the danger to recover our 10 point stake and it’s a simple process……

The price of the danger is 4/1 so we add the 4 and the 1 and divide by our stake thus….4+1 =5. 10 divided by 5 = 2.Leaving the remaining 8 pts to go on the main selection. 2pts @4/1 recovers all of our stake if the danger wins whilst if the main bet is successful there is a return of 24pts minus the 10pt outlay leaving a nice 14 point profit.

This strategy might be best employed when a race looks slightly more competitive and wishing not to flaunt the odds, this approach takes into account another danger to your main selection.

If a race looks to be between 3 horses and your preference is for one of them as your main bet then it’s a simple extension of Strategy 2 to incorporate a second saver.

Main bet odds 3/1, Saver one odds 7/2, Saver two odds 5/1. Stake for Saver one, 3.5 +1= 4.5. 10 divided by 4.5= 2.2 Returns 9.9 Stake for Saver Two, 5+1= 6. 10 divided by 6= 1.7 Returns 10.2

Main bet = 6.1 @ 3/1 Returns 24.4pts minus 10pt stake leaves a profit of 14.4pts.

You’ve covered roughly 64% of the book in which your stake gets returned or a profit is made.

This approach takes the view that you don’t have to choose between the shortlist of horses in a race, if the odds appeal to you, you move in and stake to profit whichever horse on your shortlist prevails.

You’ve narrowed down a race to two runners, Selection A odds 5/2, Selection B odds 7.2. We divide the 10 stake between the two as with Strategy 1.

5/2 = 29% 7/2= 22% 0.29 + 0.22 = 0.51

Selection A Stake = 0.29 divided by 0.51= 0.568. 10 x 0.568= 5.7 Returns 19.95 Selection B Stake = 0.22 divided by 0.51= 0.431. 10 x 0.431= 4.3 Returns 19.35

The slight discrepancy in returns is due to rounding but backing very odd amounts is not practical when you’re making calculations and placing bets, and after a short time practicing a chosen strategy, keeping to relatively simple numbers will enable you to stake efficiently when away from the computer.

Strategy 4 can be extended to cover three, four or five or more selections in a race providing the prices available make it worth while.

A formula for staking that can encompass not only the single bet player but also the multiple horse players in a race just shows the power inherent in its flexibility.

Stakes are gained from using sound logic and judgement with due respect given to other runners in a race, there is no bucking the odds but a measured response to obtaining a price which you feel favourable and a stake that matches the circumstances of the race.

It may seem a little daunting to calculate odds at first sight but with practice and the use of a calculator or a spreadsheet designed to suit your style, calculations can be made with ease and it’s only a matter of obtaining the early prices and snapping up the value.

The above strategies are just a few examples of how this type of betting can be played, there are many more ways in which you can develop angles which swing the balance of winning firmly in your favour.

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