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Winning Bets in Greyhound Racing
In the modern world of greyhound racing, punters have been forced to play exotic bets in order to get a reasonable return on their larger investments. When you compare the $100,000 plus thoroughbred race win groups to the sub $1000 anemic greyhound race groups and the reason becomes clear. To extract any value in the sport of greyhound racing, you have to play exotic pool.
I play horses and puppies. I play both sports in completely different ways. What works in horse racing will not work in greyhound racing. It requires two completely different skill sets. When asked which I prefer, my answer is always horse racing. It only makes sense if you think about it. When I play the horses, I’m simply looking for the likely winners and then see if playing that horse to win will be profitable for me. In greyhound racing, I have to find a winner and then evaluate 7 other contenders to run with my key winner. I also have to analyze how many combinations I can play to give myself a chance to win, while keeping those combinations small enough to make my bet profitable. I’ve always loved a good challenge, but given the option, I’d sooner play a greyhound to win. With the prospect of improving the groups of wins to play, hopefully in the near future, I decided to visit this possibility and discuss the things involved in being profitable with this form of play.
The first step is obviously the handicap. In my opinion, I would only be doing you a disservice by trying to summarize how greyhounds can be disabled in this short article. That’s why I created an online greyhound college to teach. It takes training, time and effort to be good at handicapping. It’s certainly not something I can teach in this short article. But I can give you some tips and how to apply them to play the winning pins.
Speed, class, early speed and form are the main foundations of greyhound handicapping. These are the basics. Past this is an opportunity. This would be the race setup you are analyzing. None of these factors mean much if a greyhound is in a race that presents conditions that will give it a good chance to win. There is a lot of information online that you can google and read for free on the subject of speed, class, starting speed and form. With this information, you will develop your handicapping method.
Once you have a method, you need to determine how accurate it is. In today’s world of online data, it’s much easier than all of them to gather results and see how your picks are performing. You have to play on paper and compile results and statistics to know how good you are at picking winners. Most handicappers find that they work better in some races than others. Some players specialize in Maiden races, or route races, etc. Find out what your strengths are and what your average win percentage is.
Once you have a handicap method, your role as a player becomes simple. You want to bet your selections in a profitable way. Below is a fictitious example of how this could be achieved
Suppose you have determined that you can pick the winner in the Maiden sprint races 40% of the time. You also know that your second pick comes up to win about 25% of the time. You could even go further if you have the records to back it up and say your third pick wins 15% of the time. To play Maiden races for profit, you only need to place bets that will give you long-term profit. Remember, it’s never about winning or losing a specific race. It’s about playing a volume of races and getting more out of the cashed tickets than you initially bet. This is why record keeping is so important.
In the example above, it will assume that your top 3 picks are 1, 2, and 8. A paper with its win percentages would look like this
What does this mean translated into probabilities? You’ll need to know this to make good decisions.
40% winners means the actual odds of the dog winning are 1 in 2.5 or 1.5/1 against. 1.5/1 on the board odds is expressed as 3/2.
If you don’t understand the percentage of odds vs winnings, here is a chart to help you.
Odds of winning – % win
1/10 – 90.91
1/5 – 83.33
2/5 – 71.42
1/2 – 66.67
3/5 – 62.50
4/5 – 55.56
1/1 – 50.00
6/5 – 45.45
7/5 – 41.67
3/2 – 40.00
8/5 – 38.46
9/5 – 35.71
2/1 – 33.33
5/2 – 28.57
3/1 – 25.00
2/7 – 22/22
4/1 – 8:00 p.m
2/9 – 18/19
5/1 – 16.67
1/6 – 14/29
1/7 – 12.50
1/8 – 11/11
1/9 – 10.00
1/10 – 9/09
1/11 – 8.33
12/1 – 7.69
15/1 – 6.25
1/20 – 4.76
25/1 – 3.85
30/1 – 3.23
50/1 – 1.96
99/1 – 1.00
Don’t let math, decimals, and percentages scare you. With a little time you will become very familiar with it. I like to use easy examples to get people started. Once you understand the easy ones, it will help you understand them all. We are all normally more comfortable with tens. It’s the foundation that the dollar is based on and we generally feel more comfortable with.
If a dog has a 10% chance of winning, it has a 1 in 10 chance. If you divide 100 by 10 you get 10. So there are 10 blocks and our dog has ONE. So 10% is a 1 in 10 chance of winning.
The odds are now represented as ODDS AGAINST. So if a dog has a 1 in 10 chance of winning, the odds against him are 9 to 1. This is usually represented as 9/1 or the odds normally seen on a board.
To be profitable, if you know a dog’s odds of winning all you have to do is get the winning group to pay you MORE than those odds! It’s pretty simple really.
So back to our example
1 – 40% 3/2 odds
2 – 25% odds 3/1
8 – 15% odds 6/1
So we would hurt the race and be ready to play well before post time. It’s as simple as comparing the odds that the crowd gives you versus the odds of the greyhounds winning.
Let’s say with 1 minute to bet, 1 dog is at 1/5 odds on the machine board. The winning pool gives you much less than the actual odds of winning this dog. You need to earn MORE to show a profit at the end of the week, month and year. Remember the odds table is fair. You need to get MORE than that in return.
Your 2 dog has a 25% chance to win from your records. That’s 3/1 odds. Looking at the board, you see that the 2 dog is at 6/1. That’s a double overlay! The crowd is willing to pay you double the actual odds of winning that greyhound. So the best play in this race is to bet the 2 to win, even though there is a 40% chance that the 1 will win the race.
This means that 75% of the time you will actually LOSE the race. But remember… winning or losing a race is not the issue. Making money is the problem. Let’s look at the 2 dogs we bet above hypothetically.
Based on your own research, this dog should win about 25% of the time. That means you will lose 75% of the time. But let’s look at a 12-race series. This means that 12 times this month we bet a 3/1 dog with odds of 6/1.
Bet $2 12 times for a total of $24 in bets.
The dog wins 3 times (25%) at odds of 6/1
Collect $14 each time. 3 X 14 = $42
And this is how you lose 75% of the time and still make money
Betting to win is part art and part math. But it’s much less complicated than building a complicated exotic bet. If you can hone your skills in the “art” part of the process, the math part does the work for itself.
Now get to work playing to win in the WIN groups at the greyhound track!
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