Betting is a hell of a lot more fun when you win. The public generally views anyone that bets on horse racing as a gambler, translating a “loser.” With my early Computer Group success, I have never considered myself either a gambler or a loser.
You must approach racing with the mindset of a stock market analyst. If you look at it any other way, you are just another compulsive gambler. (Sorry if anybody is offended, but we need to keep it real) Racing is a new financial market that is slowly catching up to the rest of the world.
With the invention of peer-to-peer exchange wagering, racing can be attacked, conquered, and soundly beaten. Advanced algorithms we use in our computer programs still have a decided advantage over the public. We are not talking about the software you buy for £49.95 on the internet, but proprietary databases run by mainframe computers.
THINK OUT OF THE BOX, BE A CONTRARIAN
To beat the bookmakers and flog the public, you need to “think out of the box” and do the opposite of what they’re doing. This is only accomplished by contrarian thinking. Instead of betting horses to win, like the rest of the cattle, become a bookmaker and take a stand against public opinion by laying horses to win. If you are a newbie to all this, let me quickly explain that in any event, you can either Back a horse which means you betting to win. Conversely, I take a contrarian position against you, which means I am Laying your horse to lose.
When backing, you bet 10 to win 50. I choose to be on the other side by putting up £50 in order to win 10. Sound crazy. I am asking you to risk a lot to only win a little. Do not leave just yet we are only getting started. Think about it, all your loser friends are betting horses to win year in and year out. Are they retired and living on a golf course, offshore in Paradise, like I am? Or would they rather borrow money from YOU each week until payday?
Casinos and Bookmakers in Las Vegas welcome all comers to bet anything they wish on racehorses. Look on the internet, hundreds of casinos will give you a bonus if you promise to lose money with them. Maybe these casinos and bookmakers are on to something. Bookmakers are successful because they understand the mathematical odds of racing and sports wagering. We started in 1979, and have spent years learning the accurate mathematics on what constitutes a loser. Most people cannot figure out a system that is foolproof and mathematically correct. Math geniuses are few and far between.
Let us examine this proposition a little bit closer. You are in the position of being David versus Goliath when backing a horse to win. To win, absolutely everything needs to go your way. You need to trust the trainer. Has he been properly placed his horse in a race with his friends. (His friends of course are other horses that he can beat) Next, the Jockey must give you a perfect ride. Do not move to soon, do not get shut off, do not go too fast, is he an apprentice. Ouch, and do not go too slow, or move to late, and most important. Do not fall off.
The horse also needs to cooperate for you to collect. He must feel like running today. Those new blinkers or tongue ties need to work. What about that deep muddy track or the artificial surface, has he run well on it before? He cannot become spooked by a new track surface that is new to him. There are a million more little tidbits that can separate you from your cash.
Allow me to take a look at the Lay side of this same event. I have decided to error on the side of the casinos and bookmakers. I will bet that your horse will not win, I will be laying him to lose. Last time I looked, they were constructing some pretty nice casinos with this kind of thinking. And the good news is, you will need everything to go right. I only need one thing for you to go wrong. I also have another huge bonus. I have every other horse in the race running for me. So in a race of 15 runners, I am cheering for any of 14 of them to win. If you have spent years backing horses and going home a loser, maybe it is time to switch teams and start laying horses.
I WANT TO RETIRE YOU ASK CAN RACING MAKE ME RICH?
The internet is full of innumerable computer programs, systems, books and manuals that supposedly give you a chance to retire. Most of them will take your money and give you little more than empty promises in return. These programs are not terrible, there are just not sophisticated enough to give you the edge needed to win To be competitive, you must combine state of the art technology with mathematics and meticulous record keeping.
Can this be accomplished by hand or on your home computer you ask? Certainly, but you will need Santa’s little helpers working for you to input all the data. Also, make sure you are using computers with artificial intelligence. In other words, the computer learns each day from the results and makes corrections to the program when needed. No software program is guaranteed to work in the future. Racing is in a constant state of flux and change. It is imperative that you stay ahead of rule adjustments, track bias, weather, etc. or you will be eaten up by change.
HOW THE SELECTION PROCESS WORKS
Remember with lay betting, you need to adopt a reverse strategy for evaluating horses and racing conditions. You must analyze how a horse will perform under existing track conditions. You need to take a look at race shape. Is there much speed in the race today? What part of the track should your jockey place the horse?
Many people think they have a system, only to discover that it does not work all the time. To be validated as successful, your program or system must work at all tracks, covering all types of racing, anytime of the year.
If your systems under performs, you must resist chasing your losses. This only leads to stupid decisions, and that of course is never good. Remember, scared money “NEVER WINS.” LIVE BY NUMBERS AND FORGOT HUMAN EMOTION.
We are good at what we do, because all methodology is 100% Mechanical and subject to human emotions. Over 100,000 races went into the Matrix Profile to find out what makes a loser. This is the most important line in this article. You MUST take Emotion out of the handicapping equation, unless of course you are a HAL 9000 computer. You will only WIN by strictly trusting and following the numbers.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH?
Before designing a system or methodology you need to outline your goals. Mine were very simple, but reaching the objective took a couple of years.
1. Design a method that would work everywhere. (All tracks, weather conditions, class, artificial surface, turf, types of race, maiden, stakes, claiming, etc.)
2.Design a method that could function with Betting Robots. The only thing the Bot would need to sort, are the odds. (Bet Only horses at 9.9 or less Betfair) Some people are not financially able to stay home and sit by their computer.
3.Maintain consistent results through out the year, without long losing streaks.
HOW TO BUILD A LAY SYSTEM
After our database of over 100,000 races was in place, we had to decide what was important. To be successful at laying horses, we needed to profile a loser. What were the key traits that are shared with the majority of losing horses? Each event is independent of all others. First we must compare all entries while assigning and deducting points for past results. Not only do we need a profile of a loser, we also need to profile who stands the best chance of winning.
In simply terms, I want to assign each horse a percentage chance of winning the race
Horse A = 75.00% Odds of Winning – 25.00% Odds of Losing
Horse B = 66.66% Odds of Winning – 33.33% Odds of Losing
Horse C = 58.33% Odds of Winning – 41.67% Odds of Losing
Horse D = 55.60% Odds of Winning – 44.40% Odds of Losing
Horse E = 38.90% Odds of Winning – 61.11% Odds of Losing
Horse F = 30.60% Odds of Winning – 69.40% Odds of Losing
Horse G = 27.80% Odds of Winning – 72.22% Odds of Losing
Horse H = 11.11% Odds of Winning – 88.88% Odds of Losing
Horse I = 8.33 % Odds of Winning – 91.67% Odds of Losing
Look at the raw data above, which of the horses stands the smallest chance of winning the race. Which horses do you want to lay? Is your Answer to lay both Horse “H” and Horse “I”? If so, you can go sit in the corner and put on the dunce cap. This is only a part of the equation. You must know what the Betfair closing odds will be to make that decision.
Horse Selection “I”, will only win 8% of the time. So that means if you Lay Selections “I” you will collect 92% of the time. It still sounds pretty good, a system where you will win 92% of the time. But what are the Betfair Odds? If that horse goes to post at 150.0 to 1, you will be in big trouble. First you will never be laying horses at 150 to 1 unless you have an interest in the Royal Family treasury. To win 100, you will need to make sure you have 15,000 in your trading account to cover the days when he does win.
Carrying on with the example, if you only lost once every hundred races, instead of the projected eight times (8%), you would still be negative 5,800.
You must look for an acceptable win percentage, and decide on the largest amount you want to risk. Remember, the public is always the indicator of who will win, so the lower the odds, the more chance a horse has of winning. That is why many people will never lay a horse below 3 or 4 to one.
I am comfortable laying horses at 9.9 Betfair or less. That means, my selections can be laid, at 9 to 1 or less. (If you are not familiar with Betfair odds, they add an additional 1.0 to each odds quoted, which represents the amount of your wager)
My raw strike rate is about 83%, plus or minus 2% percent. Here is an easy example. If we lay 100 races, we will win 8,300 with my consistent 83% strike rate. Looking at the last 20,000 selections, my average losing lay price on Betfair was 5.31. I expect to lose 17% of the time. Calculating my losses on 100 races, I can expect to lose 7,327. (That’s 4.31 Odds X 17 Losers = 7,327). So the profit over 100 selections is 973 or 9.73% percent.
The secret is to turn you bankroll over as many times as possible each month. Using my raw selections, I average 650 to 700 raw data plays per month. Which means you can turn your bank over six to seven times every thirty days and turn that 973 into a lot more. Those numbers are not bad considering the Bank of England is only offering 1.7% a year, when you deduct for 3% inflation.
THE SECRET TO DOUBLING YOUR PROFITS
The next secret is to double stake low odd selections. As I have stated before, because the market is made up of a pool of opinions, the lower the odds, the greater chance a horse has of winning. Our selections going off at 3 to 1 or less, (4.0 Betfair) we still show a strike rate of 77%. Not as good as our normal 84%, but you are risking a significantly smaller portion of your bankroll on each bet. Double staking short priced selections increases your bottom line. If you lose 100 on a selection that is 6.0, your loss will be 500. When you lose 200 on a selection that is 3.5 your loss is also 500. But we have big bonus here. When you win at 3.5 Betfair, and you will win 77% of the time, you collect twice your normal stake or 200.
This is not an overnight “get rich scheme.” It is a solid, stair step progression, where your bankroll grows at a very steady pace. Make every wager unit the same amount, with the exception of the double stake unit with post time odds of 4.0 Betfair or less. Start small, and be comfortable with your staking unit.
You should have 40 to 80 units in your bankroll before starting. If you want to win 10 per race, you will need to set aside 400 to 800. If you start at the 100 level, conversely you will need 4,000 to 8,000. Do not increase your units, until you have won at least half the amount of your starting bankroll. When a raise in stakes is appropriate you should only increase your wagers by 10% to 20%. Move slowly and do not become a hog. Remember, “Pigs get Fat, but Hogs get slaughtered”.
You may be able to improve on my Raw Ratings and increase the strike rate with a system of your own. By either increasing the strike rate thus eliminating losers, you will fatten your bottom line.
TIME TO APPLY SOME FILTERS
I literally have thousands of little filters in my database, that I can apply to hopeful improve my Raw Numbers. A filter example is: “Eliminate any runner who has won more than 90% of his races.” Or, “Eliminate all runners who finished second in their last race”. There are literally thousands of Filters you can dream up to improve the Raw Ratings.
Some are completely useless, while others can seriously improve your results. Before applying filters, you need to have enough data, to prove your conclusion. I have found by applying 5 filters, I can increase my strike rate about 3% to 4%. This may not sound like much, but it makes a huge difference. At the end of an average month, I will win almost exactly the same amount in dollars or pounds, as with the Raw Numbers. But I will only have about one-third as many selections; however my Return on Investment will triple,
Average Monthly return with a 100 Stake using Raw Numbers
Strike Rate 83.9% – Selections 524 – Average Profit 7,633 -13.7% Return
Average Monthly return with a £100 Stake using Filtered Raw Numbers
Strike Rate 87.9% – Selections 160 – Average Profit 6,400 – 38.2% Return
As you can see, by improving your strike rate a few points, and eliminating unnecessary selections, you could in fact triple your minimum stake. Again, you must be very careful whenever you filter broad base winning raw numbers. Having a strike rate of 83.9% over 1,000 races is much more impressive than a strike rate of 87.9% over 100 races.
I have fallen into the over filtering trap myself. At one time, I was applying over 30 different filters. Short term success was fantastic, but the numbers will catch up with you if your not careful. Take your time, do your research, and trust the numbers.
I hope your are intrigued about the power of professional computer handicapping. We have developed proprietary main frame programs, that use artificial intelligence to learn every day. Continue to learn, and take advantage of our FREE Research articles. I also offer a FREE [http://www.horse-racing-computer-group.com] daily selection for U.K. and Irish horse racing each day.
Steve was part of the Computer Group, who had a betting pool of over $40 million dollars and beat Las Vegas in the 1980’s. Later, some of the programmers attack horse racing in Hong Kong where the stakes and profits were even greater. He is now retired, and offers he resources to others who share the dream of “Winning at the Races” [http://www.horse-racing-computer-group.com]