Using Betting Systems As A Starting Point

I did a radio show for the Craven Festival and on the show I had a couple of guest pro punters, one of whom was Eddie Lloyd. A few of the things he mentioned brought up subjects that I haven’t discussed for a while and I think are important to bring up again.

I’m sure that you have come across betting systems. In fact this is normally where most people begin with their betting. You may even have developed, or begun developing, some of your own.

What we’re going to look at today may be something that you have already tried but weren’t sure if it would be effective, or it may be something that you haven’t thought of before. Either way, by the time that you finish reading this article you are going to be able to start implementing this in your daily betting and I have no doubt that you will see the improvements of doing so.

When we use a system we are pre-conditioned to always bet the horses that the system selects. After all, that’s the point of the system isn’t it!

But, have you noticed how most systems work for a short period of time and then fail?

The reason is that because of the approach, which is made from AND, IF, OR, THEN statements. e.g.

IF the race has 12 runners or less AND (the favourite is odds on OR there are joint-favourites) THEN we lay the third favourite

This approach is very rigid and doesn’t allow any adjustments for different conditions of races. Usually a system will look at “handicap” races or “all weather” races, sometimes it may go a little bit further into the conditions of the race but often not very far. But…

…every race is very different and the system isn’t making allowances for that. Instead it is grouping them all together and then generally focusing on only the positive aspects of a runner.

It is this that causes us to only gain a small edge from them, an edge which is often eroded fairly quickly.

So, how can we prevent this from happening?

We can’t. Sorry, but it is the nature of systems that this will happen. You can still use them effectively by following them until they start to fail and then move on to another, and rinse and repeat.

But there is a better way, and I’m about to tell you what it is!

Instead of just betting on the selections from our systems, what if you used them as a starting point. Part of the problem is that there are just too many races with too many runners to be able to effectively analyse every day. So we develop betting systems to speed the process up.

However we can use these betting systems, which already have a small edge, to narrow down the races and runners we are going to look at.

To do this we apply the rules of our betting system as normal. This may leave us with one or more runners in a race depending on how many betting systems we are using.

Now, instead of blindly following those selections, we investigate them further. In effect what we have just done is highlighted potentially strong horses in a race by focusing on the positives of a runner. We need to go and check the negatives of those runners and assess what the level of competition is like.

We open up the Racing Post on the race in question and run through these check points…

  1. What are the negatives of our selection and what could trip it up
  2. Are there any runners that would have been selected except for one rule
  3. How strong are these potential runners and what are their negatives

Once you have done this you need to ask yourself…

How likely do I think it is that my selection could get beaten?

Write down the answer on a piece of paper. It can be a few words or a few paragraphs, it doesn’t matter, the point is that we want to be able to visualise it on paper. Just thinking it isn’t the same, you actually need to be able to see it.

Now that you have this you can look at the odds and decide whether you want to bet this horse in the race based on the value being offered in the odds. Why?

Because in those three simple steps you have gone from not knowing why a horse was a selection to understanding exactly why it was selected, who the potential threats are and how much of a threat they pose… just read the answer you wrote a moment ago!

You are no longer basing your bet on whether a system selected it or because this horse has a chance of winning. You are now basing it on whether the odds you are being offered, in your opinion, are offering value based on the competition you think the horse will face.

If they aren’t, then you don’t bet. If they are, then you bet.

It’s that simple!

Take this approach and start implementing it straight away, it works and will help you not only to improve your profits but also to learn when you are getting value odds and when you are better leaving the race alone.

Let me know if you do this and how you get on by leaving a comment below.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.
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