Last week on the Race Advisor we did a poll to see what the most popular types of bets are.
You can see the results below:
It’s not surprising that Back bets are the most popular type. Based on all the comments, thanks to everyone who sent in a comment it was great to read them all, Exotic bets may have had a bigger percentage if I’d broken down the actual bets included such as Lucky 15’s etc…
Anyway… I was surprised to see that Lay betting was the second least popular form of bet.
But then I realised it was because most people seem to be nervous about placing lay bets.
When lay betting first became available it was considered the golden goose. You could now bet horses to lose!
I means, who the hell would offer that?
And then reality set in. It’s actually pretty hard to make it pay off long term and… if the horse loses you’re paying out more than you thought you would.
But in the right situation it can be a very powerful bet.
Imagine that based on your analysis you know that the short priced favourite is unlikely to win the race. But there are too many other strong runners to be happy betting just one of them.
You could dutch the race, but the return may not be so good because you have too many runners in the dutch bet.
What do you do?
You take the one piece of information that you know to be true…
The short-priced favourite is very unlikely to win this race
And you find the best bet to maximise your profits based on that knowledge.
The best bet to make based on this knowledge is a lay bet.
In order to place lay bets without becoming a nervous wreck there are two things that we need to do:
1. Fully understand how lay betting works
2. Set a maximum odds limit we’ll lay at which is within our comfort zone
First of all I want to go through how to know exactly what you’re risking when you place a lay bet.
If you’ve found it complicated in the past then forget everything you’ve ever been told.
I can promise you it’s not complicated. But if you continue reading with the preconception that it is then you’ll struggle to get your head around it.
Lay betting is placing a bet on a horse to lose.
Now let’s look at the odds and your risk.
If a horse is available to lay at odds of 5.00 then to work out what your risking by placing the bet all you need to do is subtract 1 from the decimal odds. So…
5.00 – 1.00 = 4.00
That means for every 1 unit you lay bet on a horse at odds of 5.00, you are risking losing 4 units if it wins the race and your bet loses.
That’s it. I told you it was simple.
If you want to lay bet £10 at odds of 5.00 then if the horse wins the race you will lose:
£10 x 4.00 = £40
If the horse loses the race and your bet wins, then you’ll win whatever you staked, in this case £10.
It really is that simple.
I know there’s some websites that make it look incredibly complex, but it isn’t. Bookmark this page and refer to it if you’re ever unsure about how much you’re going to risk.
So now you know exactly how much you’re going to be risking on a bet, it’s time to work out how what your maximum odds for lay betting will be.
This is going to be different for everybody so go through these calculations yourself to determine what maximum odds you’re going to be comfortable laying up to.
1. Start with the maximum stake you use with back betting
If you bet 1 unit from bankroll of 100 units on back bets, then you’re maximum stake is 1% of your bankroll.
That means that you are happy to risk 1% of your bankroll on a bet.
Work out what percentage of your bankroll you are happy to risk on a single bet.
2. Work out what that percentage is in real money
Now you know what percentage of your bankroll you’re prepared to risk, it’s time to determine what that is in actual money.
Using the above example of 1% I am going to take my bankroll, let’s say it’s £500, and work out that the maximum real money stake I’m prepared to risk on a single bet is £5.
Work this out for whatever your bankroll is.
3. Determine what you can bet at different lay odds
The final stage is to now work out what your maximum odds are going to be on Betfair.
To do this we start with Betfair’s minimum stake of £2. Take the amount you’re prepared to risk and divide it by Betfair’s minimum stake:
£5 / £2 = 2.5
Add a 1 to the result of this:
2.5 + 1 = 3.5
And that gives you the maximum odds, of 3.50, you can bet at IF you’re using Betfair’s minimum stake of £2.
Make a note of this, because you cannot bet higher than this whatever happens and you should only bet this if you’re betting no more than £2.
But you saw how simple it was to work that out?
Of course, you may decide the bet isn’t worth it to you if you can only bet £2. But the key is that we can use this exact same process to work out what our maximum odds should be.
If we want to lay bet £3 on a horse to lose then we would do:
£5 / £3 = 1.67
1.67 + 1 = 2.67
The maximum odds that we can take on this horse for a £3 bet is 2.67.
By following this process you will always know exactly how much you are prepared to risk and what the maximum odds you can place a bet at are.
You need never be worried about not understanding how much you’re risking by placing a lay bet again.