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When to take advantage of the each way on offer in sporting events...

Ham2Ham2 Member Posts: 2
Good evening Neil,

You were on RUK the betting lab talking about each way betting. I found this very interesting. Generally most punters are looking for the winner but you didn’t seem to have to much of an interest in winner it was a combination. Picking one horse who you knew was reliable to place and another that may not be a reliable but had a chance of winning as well. You spoke of certain races where punters had the edge.

Depending on how many runners?

When to take 1/4 odds instead of 1/5 depending on places offered?

When the edge was with us instead of the bookies?

Do you still do most of your profit making on the bigger meets (like Punchestown this week) when the larger odds are available and you can get on? I could imagine this week has been your heaven.

Especially interesting how you put up both favourites around 8/1 the night before knowing that they would be 4/1 - 6/1 on the day. You getting evens at a place when your on at 6/4 already. Not something I’ve learnt about but am keen to add to my locker. (Of which they went off around 4/1 and 6/1, 4/1 shot won)

Do you find you need a bigger betting bank for each way as it’s Predictable you won’t always place at larger prices? Or is it still fairly consistent for yourself?

Also found it interesting how you’ve picked up on certain jockeys don’t necessarily bother to ride out all the way to the line if not going to win for each way purposes.. something I hadn’t seen until you said. Is there anything else you can comment on from this behalf?



  • Ham2Ham2 Member Posts: 2
    Also how many horses in a race is good for each way before it becomes too many horses for you to have the advantage anymore?
  • NChanningNChanning Member Posts: 838
    Hi Ham,

    A great question, one I get asked a lot and one which I really ought to have answered quicker. Thanks for waiting.

    So an each-way bet is two bets where one is just to win the race and the other is to finish placed. Placing can mean 1st 2nd 3rd or 4th depending on the number of runners and if your selection wins then you win both bets.

    Generally speaking every win bet you are offered will be -ve...the bookmaker has a profit margin built in which is called the overround. it's possible to go against a smaller overround by using betting exchanges but then you also have to beat the commission that you pay and also premium charge if you win all the time. It's clearly possible to overcome the bookmaker profit margin by being able to predict where the market may be heading and also to ultimately be able to pick winners that win more often than their odds suggest.

    For the place part of an each-way bet the overround is generally worse and they are generally much more negative ev. Bookmakers should happily take each-way bets in around 80% of races and punters should avoid making them. One bad habit you should quit is betting each-way when your horse is a double-figure price and win only when it's shorter. Some of the best each-way bets you can have are on horses that are 2/1 or less and some of the worst are on 20/1 shots.

    (I'll spread over a few posts so I don't lose anything as I'm typing this in between doing four other things).
  • NChanningNChanning Member Posts: 838
    As in lots of gambling questions the answer to "Is betting ew a good thing?" is "It Depends".

    There are a bunch of ways that you can turn the odds in your favour with each-way bets or at least make bets that are less -ev than the average ew bet.

    The top thing you can do is just bet in races near the cusp.

    Races with 5/6/7 runners offer 1/4 1,2 for each-way bets. It therefore makes sense that betting each-way in five runner races will generally be better for you than in seven runner races.

    Non-handicaps that are 8 runners or more pay 1/5th 123 and the fact it's 1/5th makes it harder to win but generally betting in 9-runner races will be better than 15 runner races for obvious reasons.

    Handicaps with 8 to 11 runners are 1/5th odds and that makes it hard for ew bets at 10 or eleven to be at all good or even close to neutral ev.

    Handicaps of 12 to 15 runners are also hard to beat as they offer 1/4 odds but just three places. 12 runners can be beaten but it's rare you'll be having a good each-way bet if you play in 13/14/15 runner handicaps.

    The massive change comes in 16 runner handicaps as these pay four places. These races often offer books that are what we call overbroke...the bookmaker is making a notional loss on every place bet they take. This happens in almost every 16/17/18 runner handicap where we are getting 1/4 1,2,3,4. It's almost impossible to have a bad bet in these races. If the number of runners gets up to around 25 then the balance starts to go back towards the bookmaker and with 30 runners you really need that 5th place, (as long as you still get 1/4 odds), to make a good bet.
  • NChanningNChanning Member Posts: 838
    Got distracted by gambling. I'll finish this post off properly tomorrow.
  • Gary_Irl32Gary_Irl32 Member Posts: 1
    Have enjoyed this discussion so far, Neil may touch on this when he posts again tomorrow but in case he doesn't I'll ask anyway. One thing I struggle with and struggle to understand is which place terms are better when there are different firms offering different terms. For instance, one firm might be offering 1/4 odds 1,2,3,4 in a 19 runner race while another firm is offering 1/5 odds 1,2,3,4,5,6 in the same race. Is there any formula whereby if the odds are cut from 1/4 to a 1/5th for a place that we need x times the amount of places extra? Which would be the better choice in this instance if we wanted to back say the favourite at 6/1?

    Following on from this example another thing I struggle with (and I see quite often) is when the same selection is a better price with one firm but the place terms are worse with that firm. So say the same favourite as above is 13/2 with another firm but they're only offering 1/5 1,2,3,4 for example?

    Which of the 3 firms offer us the most +ev bet?

    This situation is a lot more pronounced in golf betting where you could have six or seven different firms all offering completely different odds, number of places and place terms for any given selection.

    Thanks Neil, looking forward to hearing your thoughts on all this.
  • NChanningNChanning Member Posts: 838
    Very good questions Gary...ones that come up a lot these days as we are offered more and more varieties and options to choose from. I'll come on to the answer in a bit. First I'll continue talking about when an each-way bet might be a good (+ev) bet...

    So yesterday I talked about sticking to races on the cusp. It's not as simple as just that though. Betting each-way in 8 runner races, 12 runner handicaps and 16/17/18/19/20 runner handicaps will often be OK and maybe small -ev with the exception of the 16/17/18/19/20 runners where the 1/4 1234 will mean it's almost always a good thing to do (and +ev).

    The main time that the advantage swings in our favour is when the favourite is odds-on. If we take an extreme example of a race with eight runners where the betting is like this...

    Red Rum... 1/10

    Dessie... 10/1

    Shergar... 16/1

    Tiger Roll... 25/1

    Dancing Brave... 25/1

    Frankel... 33/1

    Oh So Sharp 50/1

    Kribensis 100/1

    The overound on this market or notional bookies profit margin is 120 (that's not exactly what that is but I'll keep it simple). Also ignore the names, I just put some random famous horses there.

    If we get 1/5th 123 we can bet every horse and be guaranteed a profit. The reason for this is that using a proportion of the win price to work out the place simply doesn't work with a short-priced or odds-on favourite. If we made a book without the favourite to 120 the prices would be like this...
  • NChanningNChanning Member Posts: 838
    Dessie 7/4...Shergar 3/1...Tiger Roll 5/1...Dancing Brave 5/1...Frankel...7/1...Oh So Sharp 12/1 and Kribensis 25/1.

    You can see from doing that calculation that the prices to just come 2nd would all be close to 1/5th of the chance of winning and if we bet them each-way we get three places.

    Races that have a 1/10 favourite don't come around that often and bookies often restrict each-way business on them. They also tend to offer a bigger overound or bookie profit margin to try and defend themselves.

    Even if you didn't quite get the maths of this, why it works or it seems I explained it badly then just take on board the point that races with odds on favourites often mean there are good each-way bets. If they are near the cusp it's even better.
  • NChanningNChanning Member Posts: 838
    I should note that in four place races, (16-runner handicaps), the presence of a short-priced favourite helps a lot too but with these you don't need an odds-on favourite, one as "big" as 3/1 will help turn things your way.

    So we have our race, it's near the cusp and it has a shortish priced favourite, what else is going to help us?

    The next thing we'd like in our perfect each-way race is some total no-hopers. If we have a few horses at 100/1 or bigger then our chances of placing go right up but if the favourite is quite short then hopefully our runner will still be pushed out to reflect it's win price giving us a +ev place bet.

    Ideally I like it when we are not on the exact cusp, so I like to bet on 9 runner races or 17 runner handicaps as that means a non-runner, maybe if one refuses to go in the stalls, doesn't turn my fantastic 3 or 4 place each-way bet into a rotten 2 or 3 place bet. If the extra runner is 100/1 then the benefit of that "back-stop" totally accounts for any disadvantage from having to beat an extra horse.

    Having found a good race we need a good horse now...
  • stokefcstokefc Member Posts: 7,587
    this is brilliant info , thx Neil
  • NChanningNChanning Member Posts: 838
    When looking for a good each-way horse I tend to go for those that have done it rather than those that might do it. If I know a horse jumps soundly, (obv in NH races), stays the trip, goes on the ground and has done Ok in this kind of race I would take that over one that has a big question mark on one of these criteria but who might have more potential.

    Of all those things I think trip might be the most important. I'd way rather have one coming back in trip than one going up in trip. If you bet each-way you are clearly placing two bets and they are heavily correlated...if someone could see the future and told you the horse finished in the first three then there is a good chance it won. If a horse doesn't stay then you will probably lose both bets. A good each-way bet is one where the place is fairly "safe" and you sort of "know" that if it doesn't win it will probably place...for that reason I like solid>flashy.
  • NChanningNChanning Member Posts: 838
    On the subject of when to take the extra place and "pay the penalty" of taking worse fractions it's not totally straightforward. It does slightly depend on the price of your selection and their chance of filling that or those extra places. If you bet a 4/1 favourite to win The Open in golf then taking 5/2 but having the insurance of a sixth place is not too good, he has really quite a small chance (maybe 7% chance) to finish 6th so I'd take the 4/1 and play first five. So in general if you are betting a favourite each-way I'd go with the lower number of places if I have to give up the best price or take worse fractions to get one extra place. I would also probably do that if I was getting two places. If they offered me eight places at 1/5th though and I was still getting 7/2 about my 4/1 chance it would be close to enough to sway me and 10 places at 1/5th odds definitely would.

    If my selection is about the fifth or sixth favourite in a horse race then there is a much greater chance of it finishing 5th or 6th and the place being useful so that could sway me.

    In general though I would say that...

    1/4 1234 is better than 1/5th 12345 and about the same as 1/5th 123456

    1/4 12345 is better than 1/5th 123456 and marginally better than 1/5 1234567 but 1/5th 12345678 is about the same and it would come down to whether I still get the best price and whether I'm on a favourite or the eight favourite.

    1/4 123456 is about the same as 1/5th 12345678.

    It's all quite a feel thing but if you are ever unsure you can always look at the exchange market, as long as it's a liquid one, and the different place markets there should point you in the direction which one is best.
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