One thing you don’t hear much of now Is laying horses on Betfair. I remember years back, when Betfair was still In Its Infancy, people claiming that laying horses on Betfair was the next best thing to winning the lottery. Apparently, laying horses would make punters rich…
Now I know from experience that It can be very difficult to make an ongoing Income with laying In this way. It’s not Impossible, but It’s certainly not the road to riches we were meant to believe that It was. I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences, and I think we need to dig Into why we’ve not succeeded.
Maybe the first reason, Is that we’ve been fed lies through hyped up systems that claimed the earth. We’re all suckers for a good system aren’t we? They say that time Is a great healer, and I know that all of those methods fell by the wayside. In fact my Dad and I produced much better systems than what we saw for sale. I remember fondly texting our selections to each other whilst following the racing on the television, when we’d had a bad day, we’d go to the pub and plan the next day.
From memory, one of our methods Involved backing horses up to odds of 20.0. Madness I hear you cry… Anyway we only used small stakes, but I still remember blowing my small bank when the first winner came in at 19.0 and the following race won at 18.0. Needless to say, that night was spent In the pub again… I’ve since learned that that’s how racing goes. And maybe our methodology wasn’t quite as robust as we’d thought.
That then brings us to favourites. Bearing In mind that favourites generally win around 30% or races, surely we can build a strategy around that. The good thing Is that the odds are considerably shorter than those pesky outsiders, the bad thing Is that they tend to win too often. Ironically this brings me on to the subject of False Favourites. These are horses that are supported by mug punters, In reality the horses have very little chance of winning. They slip through the net occasionally.
Accredited Betfair Trainer Jonathan Burgess released a system called False Favourites, and I got my grubby hands on a copy a few years ago. It’s a great product, and I was surprised to see It’s still selling after all these years (In fact It’s the only decent laying method available currently). You can get the gist of It Here.
At this stage, you might be thinking that we need to look somewhere In the middle. Somewhere between the favourite and the rank outsider. That seems a fair assumption, and depends largely upon your appetite for risk. In fact this reminds me of a famous forum post which was called “Maria’s Laying System“. This lady posted her selections each day on a particular forum and Included the results and profit/loss after racing. In just under a year she managed to turn a £3000 bank Into £100,000. An Incredible feat in anyones book. The only downside Is that she never released her selection method, which had a strike rate of over 85%.
So now we know It can be done, what selections do we use? This is why most layers don’t make money. This bit Involves hard work and going through the form book. The Racing Post has every stat you could wish for, as does The Sporting Life. We need to find horses that meet our price criteria, and have little to no chance of winning. The horses race history needs to be checked, has the horse won before? Is It running the same distance, Is It the same track, Is the going the same, Is It In the same class of race?
That’s just for starters, then we do the same for the jockey, as well as the horse and jockey combination. By being this thorough we can get a rating for the horses chance of winning. We need 2 or 3 horses In the same race with much stronger credentials, for our horse to be a suitable lay candidate. As you can see, this research takes time, and skill. Funnily enough, like any skill, you get better with practice.
I’ve seen software that allegedly rates horses and to be honest, I’ve never had good results with such software. I don’t recommend using It unless you’re sure that It fits your needs. It’s actually not necessary anyway. It’s good to go back to basics, I assure you that your results will be better In the long run.
Don’t get tempted to Increase your stakes after a losing lay bet. I saw a nifty little lay calculator once that covered your losses In the Martingale fashion. That’s basically doubling up your stake until you find a winner. Unfortunately the liabilites Involved with laying make for terrifying viewing. Just 2 or 3 losing lays will blow a bank, It’s not worth It, so don’t do It.
So to sum up then, can you still make money by Laying Horses On Betfair? Yes of course you can, but be prepared to put the work In. You’ll find that most really good lay bettors run a tipster service. The Income of which, offsets the endless hours of form study.